I have been hosting on Airbnb for about 1 year now and just had the unfortunate experience of asking guests to leave my home. My home was booked for 2 nights this Memorial Day weekend and my house rules are clear; no parties and all guests staying in my home must be mentioned by name in the initial booking as well as their relationship to the person who booked my home.
Long story short, as I have Ring doorbell, I was able to see 4 people entering my home prior to my 3:00 PM checkin time, 5 more people entering my home in the following 2 hours. I tried texting my guest; no response. I tried calling his phone to inquire as to why there were 9 people in my home instead of 1. No answer. At least 7 of the 9 people had backpacks or bags as if they were planning to spend the night.
I called Airbnb and was told that I was within my rights to ask everyone to leave as they had clearly violated my house policies, and because my cancellation policy was moderate I would be paid for 1 night as well as my cleaning fee with no penalty against me for cancelling the reservation. Airbnb did ask me to wait before taking any action while they tried contacting my guest. Airbnb was not able to contact my guest either.
Finally at around 6:00 PM I went over to my house to inquire what was going on as I could not get any response via the app or phone. I had to BEAT on my front door in order to be heard. The young man who came to the door was not the person who had booked my home and told me there was no one at my house by my guest's name. I was momentarily speechless. I asked several more times and he continued to deny there was anyone by that name in my home. Finally I said I was going to have to ask him and everyone in the house to leave. At this time, the man who had booked my house appeared at the door and I was able to ask him and everyone in my home to leave.
I contacted Airbnb again to let them know that I had asked my guest and all additional people in my home to leave. At this time I was transferred to a different department within Airbnb and the representative I spoke with, Aysia, questioned me as to whether or not I really would need to clean my home and said Airbnb would not be compensating me for 1 night's rental fee. She said, "well, you could have a rule about not wearing shoes in your house and ask everyone to leave because they wore shoes in your home" as if I was the one being completely ridiculous. I tried to point out that my house rules clearly state no parties and that the names of all guests staying in my home must be mentioned when the person is booking my home. She told me that if I could provide proof that my home needed to be cleaned, Airbnb would compensate me for my cleaning fee. I told Aysia that I would not be able to return to my home until the following day in order to assess the condition of my home.
What I found when I went back to my home: during the five hours that 9 people were in my home, the bottle of complimentary wine and brownies I leave for my guest(s) had been consumed, both bathrooms/towels had been used, and all beds had been slept in. The kitchen had been used and trash left. No one bothered to lock my doors when they left my home, so it was left unlocked overnight and into the next day.
I uploaded the pictures proving that my house would have to be cleaned and again asked Airbnb representative Aysia for 1 night to be compensated as well as the cleaning fee as I would not be able to rent my home out over the weekend to someone else. Aysia said that because the guests didn't actually stay in my home overnight she would not be able to credit me for one night. However, my guest was refunded the entire amount of his stay while I was left unable to rent my home out or recover any loss of income due to HIS violation of my home policies. I let Aysia know if all 9 guests had slept in my home overnight, I would have been in violation of my City of San Antonio STR permit as only 2 people per bedroom are allowed. I have 3 bedrooms. It made no difference.
I am left feeling very unhappy with Airbnb. In all probability, the guest I had to ask to leave will go on to do this to other hosts as there was no penalty to him whatsoever. Airbnb has taught this young man that it's perfectly fine to disrespect a host's home policy. In fact, they refunded his whole fee and offered to find another Airbnb house to stay in. Airbnb has taught me that they don't care if my house rules are disrespected either.
When I asked Aysia if the first Airbnb representative who told me I would be compensated for 1 nights stay as well as my cleaning fee could be located, I was told that because I didn't have anything in writing from this representative, it would not be honored. I reminded Aysia that the call was recorded, so surely they could listen to it in order to confirm. Again, I was told no.
I think I am finally understanding why Airbnb is offering $360 for new host referrals.
Although I asked for a supervisor, I was told a callback would be scheduled. I'm still waiting.......
It also appears that I am unable to upload any images to this post. I get this message when I attempt to add images, "Your post has been changed because invalid HTML was found in the message body. The invalid HTML has been removed. Please review the message and submit the message when you are satisfied."
Does anyone else hosting on Airbnb also feel that they are biased against hosts? Or, that bad guests are rewarded for their bad behavior while the host is penalized?
I would like to share a concern with you.
While I understand that AirBnB’s main focus and concern is based on consumer experience and customer service, some level of care for the hosts needs to be taken.
Of late there have been an increasing number of guests and potential guests who exploit various areas and AirBnb policies to save money on bookings, these exploitation's affect my bottom line and all AirBnb hosts as I am learning in a large community of hosts within which many are considering going to other platforms.
Essentially, any time a guest is charged any type of surcharge or damages they retaliate with unfair and untruthful reviews (unfair 1 star reviews) which inevitably lower our ratings and have even caused loss of Super-host status for many of us. The system as it stands opens the door for these bullies and profiteers to book properties as though they are 1 guest, and bring as many as they want, cause damages and not be held liable and otherwise take advantage of not only the hosts with whom they stay, but more often than not even affect AirBnb’s bottom line since as we’ve seen and learned in the hosts forums that AirBnb often pays out to the hosts and doesn’t in the end hold the guests liable, and this word appears to have reached out to the public where guests are thereby cheating the system.
While fortunately the majority of guests are great people, as someone who tracks trends and incidents, these problems appear to be trending not only in and on my properties but in the entire AirBnb community, and us hosts can ill afford to keep letting guests book for 1 or 2 people and bring more, cause damages and not be held liable and the like, these gaps cause us hosts losses of revenues that cannot be ignored as small business entities, whether in increased utility bills , increased property wear and tear ….
The current modus operandi has not only changed the joy that used to prevail for us hosts of meeting new people and learning about life and culture, but is also decreasing profit and therefore long term feasibility and desire to continue with short term rental vs long term rentals of many of us hosts. To properly care for the customers has become a full time communications job, and increasingly now that job comes with the thanks of inaccurate reviews if the bullying and exploitative behaviors are not allowed of those guests, I for one am seriously considering other platforms as well as switching to long term rentals, I hope AirBnb can work with us hosts to come up with a more balanced system that works for all.
In the past month I have had 2 Guests who snuck in 2 extra guests each and another guest who broke house rules. 2 of the 3 were confronted about extra guest fees they owed within the 14 day review period. BOTH retaliated with ONE Star reviews and a horrible write up. A guest who takes time to read My 4+ year review history will see that a bad review is a rare occurrence. I do provide a public response to their false review but this doesn't help change my Ruined ratings. I just had a guest this weekend who snuck in 8 guests into my backyard campsite/tent. He originally booked for ONE. Later he told me he would have 6. But at checkout I realized there were (8) EIGHT. They were mad they had to pay 2 extra guest fees and also mad that when they returned at 230am to my house and tried to party and play music and talk loudly in my residential backyard, I politely asked them to please be a bit more quiet to avoid a noise violation and upset my neighbors. IN my Listing, it clearly states that "Quiet hours are after 11pm." They returned drunk and loud. One girl vomited in my driveway. They had indoor bathroom access. I ask that they come in One at a time. at 3am 3-4 girls came in Talking loudly and drunk, waking myself and my indoor guests. They were mad I asked them to please Not smoke Hookah in my tent (NO smoking rule IN MY LISTING). The next morning I told them one or two could come inside to cook for the group. in Their review Khapel lied and said "I wouldn't let them do anything but boil water". NOT TRUE.
he said there was a Line for the bathroom. My 3 Indoor Guests left by 745am for the beach. I had 2 friends staying for Memorial Day. They were aware per the listing there was One indoor shared bathroom.
Prior to checkout I asked to take a group photo (as I do with All My guests for stories I Post on Facebook about Airbnb.) I realized they had 8. so I informed them they owed for 2 extra guests.
HIS ENTIRE REVIEW was nothing but lies. He defamed my character and I feel his review violates content policy.
Every guest who gets caught breaking rules are the Same Ones who Destroy an excellent host in the reviews. He gave 1 stars and caused MY awesome backyard campsite to be paused/deactivated. Therefore Costing me Money and Ruining MY Superhost potential for all 5 listings!
I am so fed up with guest who bully and Lie in their reviews. In all instances Airbnb says they cannot remove it because "it is there opinion". No. it is their retaliation and payback for getting caught sneaking guests or causing damages. if we speak up we get punished.
(Virginia-5 listings & Dominican Republic-1 listing)
@Robin336 I feel you pain because I had encountered the same situation. I got a 1 star relatiation review which dropped my rating from near 5 to less than 4.9.
1 one star review needs to have 19 five star reviews in order to get on 4.8 mark, which is used as a criteria for gaining superhost status.
I have send feedback to Airbnb https://www.airbnb.com/help/feedback. And I urge all hosts submit their feedback about removing retaliation reviews or don't allow reviews when there are confrontation/arguement between a host and guest.
@Alice595 I aksed myself the same question as to why Airbnb would allow reviews when there has been a confrontation or argument between hosts and guests. However, I feel that it is important that I be able to leave a negative review of someone who books my house for 1 person and brings 8 additional people as I don't want other hosts to be scammed. I am of the firm opinion that when someone violates a hosts policies, and it can be clearly documented via photos, eye-witness accounts or video footage, that the HOST should be the only one permitted to leave a review. Airbnb really needs to wake up and realize that there are unscrupulous people who are nothing more than scammers. Why doesn't Airbnb start banning guests who do this type of thing? Airbnb talks so much about how to set a guests expectations,--well, maybe they, (Airbnb), needs to start practicing what they preach when a new user signs up for Airbnb!
@Julieanna0Sometimes it is not easy to figure out or prove who is at fault, the host or the guest when a confrontation or arguement occurs. That is why I prefer to not allowing reviews from either of the host or the guest.
The bad review hurts a host more than a guest in the current Airbnb system since a guest can change a phone number and an email and can register on Airbnb again. A host takes time for establishing the credibility.
@Alice595 So true, Alice!! We work for months and years towards a perfect 5-star rating and can't just change our email address. I agree with you that perhaps it is best if there is a confrontation or argument, neither side gets to leave a review.
I so agree with you. Airbnb should at least have their own review process to determine whether the bad review or 1 star rating is legitimate. I am reading these community posts to decide whether or not to review a recent bad guest. I am leaning towards not reviewing them at all but scrutinizing any future guests who are first timers with no reviews. It is unfair to all the hosts out there that I am actually being forced to not write a review warning them about these guests but I don't want to risk my own status.
Thanks @Robin336 for your post. It is so very true! I have no idea what my guest I asked to leave will say in a review. I could hear him talking via Ring Doorbell and he did not sound very happy even though HE was the reason he and the additional 8 people had to leave. Until Airbnb steps up and starts supporting and respecting hosts as much as they do the guests, things will continue to get worse. As you say, mainstream media is now speaking out about different ways that scammers are exploiting Airbnb hosts. Hopefully Airbnb will take action to correct the problem(s) in light of recent, negative media exposure.
I hope that Airbnb will realize that asking the bad guest(s) to apologize to the homeowner does NOTHING to counteract loss of income and bad reviews!
@Julieanna0 A friend of mine who has been hosting for years gave me some really good advice re dealing with Airbnb CS. If you get a clueless, unhelpful rep (why was this Aysia even talking about wearing shoes in the house?- the issue was 9 people staying on a reservation made for 1, the cleaning fee was a minor issue in comparison), you don't continue to engage with them at all. If they start out that way, they'll continue in that fashion, or become even more unhelpful or close the case. You just grit your teeth, say thank you for your time, hang up, and call again, as if it is a new issue. Don't mention you've already spoken to someone else about it. You may have to do this several times until you are lucky enough to get a CS rep who actually understands the issue and is willing to work with you respectfully on it.
Also, although I realize getting guests out ASAP would require a phone call, as it's urgent, phoning seems to be the worst way to contact them- from what I read here, users have their calls dropped, claims that there is no record of any previous conversations, and they almost never seem to call back, despite the assurances that they will. For non-emergency issues, I prefer the messaging function- at least there is a message documentation trail which I can screenshot. And while I haven't used Twitter to contact them, others say that works better, as well, and same, you'd have a trail of messages you could screenshot before they mysteriously disappear.
@Sarah977 After this experience, I had already come to the same conclusion. I think I will try to open another case as you mention and hope I will have a better outcome than waiting for a phone call that, even if placed, can't be used for any type of proof. I've already taken screen shots of this latest reps unhelpfulness as well as a screen recording. I am concerned that she will just close the case without escalating it to a supervisor as I requested.
@Sarah977I'm happy to report after 5 days, I was finally able to get in touch with a different CS rep who agreed that one night's rate, (1 person), should be refunded to me. I hope I don't ever have to do this again...
@Julieanna0 Oh good. Luck of the draw. I hear you about not ever wanting to go through that again. I consider myself very lucky because I get lovely guests,. have never had a complaining refund request, had to cancel a guest, had to ask for damage payment, nor gotten a retaliatory review. I've only had a couple of issues with guests and dealt with it in the moment without involving Airbnb, and in such a way that there were no hard feelings or nasty reviews.
So the only things I've ever had to contact CS about are tech issues and few other things, none of them super urgent, just irritating. And the responses, which weren't on point at all, required lots of back and forth to get them to understand the issue and finally admit it was due to their glitches, so I can just imagine how frustrated and irate I'd be if I was dealing with some horrid guest or other major issue.
I have also had this problem as well. If you realized 9 people were staying there. You could alter the reservation, take pictures of each of guests if you can. And alter the reservation to include 9 guests. Speak to Airbnb about it. Show the proof, and charge the guest. Also you can charge a security deposit. In the event the guest violates the rules or does damage, you take the security deposit.
@Joanne63 Unfortunately I couldn't get the truth as to how many people were in my home from any one of the guests that came to the door, much less pictures. I had to carefully review Ring Doorbell footage to see/verify that there were 9 guests staying in my home. I couldn't alter the reservation for 9 people as I would have been in violation of my city code. Your recommendation re a security deposit is interesting,--I wonder if, as hosts, we could enforce the "sneak-in penalty" here or if Airbnb would only allow us to collect the security deposit if there was damage done to the home? Would be interested to know if anyone has done this.....
I know, obviously it would be difficult to get pictures unless you had security cameras. And if nothing was damaged, you would not be able to file a claim with Airbnb's insurance. The idea of a "sneak in" penalty has merit. It could be charged to a guests credit card after checkout. Either way, it is good to legally document as much as possible. It may also scare legitimate guests away to have a security deposit. I haven't tried that feature yet.