Hi everyone,

I have a guest who made an "instant booking" and who has NO profile photo. Airbnb rules state:

"Airbnb requires the following from every guest: Profile photo"

How was it possible that this person was able to do an "instant booking"? 

Definition of instant booking according to Airbnb: "Guests must still meet Airbnb’s requirements", so, if one of the requirements is having a profile photo, i wonder how tbis situation was possible..

Can anybody help?

Txs

Al

152 Replies

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Stafford, VA
Level 6

I just received an inquiry, not the first w/o a profile pic, and before accepting the reservation, I requested a profile pic, stating that while I have keypad check-in, I am always home when guests check in, and that I want to verify the person making the reservation is the same person entering the property.  She replied with can I upload a picture of my dog as verification, he is traveling with us.  I said no, I need a picture of the person making the reservation; she then came back with she doesn't know how to upload a picture (according to Airbnb's rules, you have to upload a photo when you create an account, and whenever you try to book.  I told her to call the helpdesk.  She came back with wanting me to decline the reservation, because she didn't know how to do that either.  I said call the helpdesk.  The helpdesk eventually canceled it for her.    She had 6 positive reviews, and I told her I would accept the reservation as soon as I saw a profile pic, so there was no fear on her part about discrimination, but how do I know she's the one that actually stayed there?  How do you create an account, go on 6 trips, yet cannot upload a photo or know how to cancel your reservation.  Sounds like a scam situation.  This is why I don't allow instant book.  All other guests have uploaded a picture when I requested it.

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Ontario, Canada
Level 2

some people take pride in their privacy and do not want to upload a photo of themselves - seems very reasonable.    

 

I am a host and a guest with great reviews and I do not post a public photo which anyone can screenshot etc and do what they want with it.

 

If people are worried about security then simply check the guests ID when they arrive (reasonable)

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Stafford, VA
Level 6

I am a Superhost with self-check in, so I'm not able to always verify IDs upon check-in.  If you don't want to post a picture as a guest, then check into a hotel.

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Satellite Beach, FL
Level 2

i don't think the biggest fear/situation here would be that someone would use your basically stock photo for something illicit. This runs Much deeper and you seem to be missing the bigger point. Hosts are losing their rights and their ability to chose who stays in their home. Some people are sharing their actual homes not just structures that have been bought for the soul purpose of renting out. Most people care a LOT about who comes into their acutal home, if you do not--you are definitely in the minority (oh, geez i just said minority...they are probably going to kick me off this forum now)----this runs Much deeper than "checking a persons id when they arrive"..........another case of one group having to carry the unreasonable burden of proving they are not racist or discriminatory. That's why they changed the policy.  (unreasonable) 

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Albuquerque, NM
Level 6

Well handled. Given that hosts are putting the value of their investment on the line, I don't think one should hesitate when it comes to protecting it. How can this person with 6 prior rentals, know how to upload a photo of a dog, but not of herself? This is the age of social media, people should assume that asking to rent someone's personal property would at least warrant curiosity from the owner. 

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Pittsburgh, PA
Level 10

we all have control over who we approve.  we are not victims.  we may be inconvenienced but no one including airbnb owes us anything.  i recommended to have a reality check...insert what controls you can with buttons, all else with text, reset your expectations about who's the real client here (hint:  its not the host) and what airbnb's objectives are (hint:  rhymes with honey), and take the hit on search rankings and find other creative and resourceful ways to drive traffic to your listing after you rank and visibility gets dinged to the bottom of the barrel.

 

~~~~~~~
like nikey: just do it

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
North Richland Hills, TX
Level 2

It amazes me how airbnb makes all the rules when they get a very small percentage. I am the homeowner and I live in the house. If they threated to take away Superhost and block my calendar because my guest broke all the rules and I cannot live with it, then it is a sad situation and does not encourage hosting at all in the future.

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Pittsburgh, PA
Level 10

I LOVE YOUR RESPONSE LAURA.  its really quite simple, follow MY rules or step off (all with sickening PC sweet talk).  i sometimes soften my language, send a few help page links and suggest that call or write the helpdesk with help.  that's what those people are getting paid to do.  i make sure i'm not going to get scolded for verbiage and content in the email thread.  make niceity comments, i hope you get the help you, i'm happy to blah blah, best of luck blah blah.  and when i absoluately can't make progress i send a RIDICULOUS "special 'offer'" so "special" that no person in his or her right mind would ever accept it tell the potential guest that i encourge them to contact me again if and after they get their issues worked out.  i say i good luck again and hope to hear back from you soon before the space is reserved.  they decline.  we both win

~~~~~~~
like nikey: just do it

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Hahndorf, Australia
Level 2

Well written overview of the situation Laura.

 

 Important to have the ID s and photo in place especially if your hosting situation is in your own home.  

 

You say that you ask for ID after people book- I understand that they pay the fee when they book... does that mean if they do not comply there is difficulty for them to get their fee back from Airbnb?  But sounds to me like a good idea.

 

 I am instant Book and am currently awaiting a response for two good future bookings requests  with no reviews and no ID or photo.  

 

I had an insident  recently where someone booked a third party.. guests turned up different names from the booker,  not a nice thing to happen.  

 

Something a bit wrong with Airbnb officially declaring that they uphold host security but people can INSTANT BOOK without any ID!   It puts you in a role of having to explain every time.

i would appreciate a response to the my query about the request for ID AFTER booking!  Sheila

 

 

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Boston, MA
Level 4

Yes its true, AirBNB doesn't care at all about its hosts. We've been battling this issue for years.  I'm checking whether VRBO or Home Away protects their hosts better right now. But anyway here's what I do: I am a superhost so I also have instant-book turned on. When they b book without a photo, I simply email the person that I will have to cancel their reservation if they don't post a photo within 24 hours. I politely explain its to protect myself against host-jacking, and I politely explain I must check their ID when they arrive b/c if the person who pays isn't the person who stays, I am liable if something breaks or something bad happens. So far, guests have complied 100% of the time - over perhaps 5 incidents in 2 years.

 

I am also putting a warning about 3rd party booking into my listing.

 

All that said, if the person did not post their photo within the 24 hours, I guess I would cancel and lose superhost status (but I would certainly call them to explain first, I wouldn't just roll over about it since I'm in the right.)

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
North Richland Hills, TX
Level 2

If the host cancels a reservation, airbnb fines you $50, takes away Superhost for a year, and blocks your calendar for the duration of the reservation you cancelled.

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Satellite Beach, FL
Level 2

i replaced my host picture with a note written in sharpie that states "only accepting previous guests...no strangers without a face" 

if we ALL did this, there would be no place for the guests to stay and they would rethink their policy. 

jana&joe in satellite beach, fl

i painstakingly wrote all my former guests and let them know to just send me a message and i would open up the calendar for them and we would be happy to have them OR their friends stay with us...but that we did not agree with this new policy and were taking a stand. we hosts need to stick together and take a stand. 

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Tyler, TX
Level 4

Great answer Laura.  It looks like I will have to do the same.  Appreciate you sharing how you resolved the horrible way Air B & B is now doing his.  I think I will add this info on my listing 


@Laura678 wrote:

Discrimination is obviously wrong and obviously ridiculous. I wish I had a clever solution for that kind of messed up profiling and theres a special place in hell for these idiots.

 

But the fact remains that homeowners have the right to know the identity of their guests according to AirBNBs own rules.  I am an instant-book superhost. I simply tell the guest (immediately after they book) that we do not accept guests without photos and a phone number verified by ME (not airBNb who obviously doesn't care about its hosts or we would not be having this discussion for so many years now). I give them 24 hours to fix the situation or we cannot honor their booking.  Note: hosts aren't meant to be judging anything about the content of the face in the photo - hosts need to make sure the person in the photo is the same one who arrives at their door. This is how host-jacking happens: A person without a photo books the room, but the guest who shows up is a different person because they have paid a 3rd party a premium to stay at your place. The host-jacker would have used your unit photos to create a false account on , say, VRBO. That 3rd party makes a profit by effectively subletting your home without your knowledge. Then If damage occurs, you have no recourse because the actual guest never gave their information to you, including credit card. And the party who host-jacked you didn’t cause the damage - so they arent responsible. And even if you threaten a bad review, the host-jacker can close the old account and create a new one to do it again.

 

All that said, in every instance where somebody doesnt have a photo and/or personally verified phone number, I have respectfully asked the guest to provide the info and 100% have complied. Its happened probably 5 X in 2018 so far. Just be respectful and honest about your intentions. 


 

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Elyria, OH
Level 6

Your comment makes no sense!

There is one simple way to  Identify that the person who registered is the person who shows up at your door and that is by looking at their government ID before you show them to their room, I take a photo of their ID before the get shown to their room. Song

Re: Guest WITHOUT Profile photo

in
Chattanooga, TN
Level 2

Those are wrong reasons to decline a reservation and you should be able to get a reason for the decline if you ask.  If it sounds fishy you should report them to Airbnb.  Besides, do you want to stay in the home of such a narrowminded person?  

 

I want to see who I will be renting to so I know who to look for in my drive.  It is a point of security, you will have our info, we need yours as well.  I hope you will come visit 🙂

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