Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2
582 Views

Hello, I am new to hosting & would like to know have anybody else ran into a situation like this & what is the best possible way to prevent it from happening again. I recently had a guest try to book my unit, thank to Airbnb they flagged there account & said they were high risk of partly, damage, etc. I advised the guest due to Airbnb flagging there account by algorithm I am unable to host there stay. The guest then makes a new account using one of her friends pretending to be her “mother.” I tell that account as I told your friend I am unable to fulfill your request. She asks why and states I need to state exactly why & Airbnb flagged her account because she is a teenager & she should be able to book an stay for her daughter. I let that account know that if there is an issue to contact Airbnb. They wait a few weeks later & used there 3rd guests account to book. I immediately knew it was them again. Bring the exact time date etc. I immediately knew they were going to be a problem. They check in at 1045 pm. 1 hour later she send me a picture of 1 of the blinds being slightly bent. 2 hours later she send me other picture such as marks on the wall, which was done by a previous guest & I already notified Airbnb about that incident, a “piece of hair” that was left on the bathroom floor from so called previous guest. A spill in the refrigerator. That when I got there was not there. And false claims of my blanket that is TAN, stating that it was dirty because it was suppose to be white. I think we get the point here. I don’t respond back because I seen it coming already. She messaged me again ANOTHER 2 hours later & states the place is disgusting & she rather get a hotel. I then go to my unit that following morning & it’s locked being that someone is still staying there. Airbnb called me another day later & stated that what the since the guest did not stay there she has been fully refunded. And I’m trying to explain to him that someone did stay in there. After the stay she notified Airbnb that she never stayed there, but I know she did. I went on a 2 days trip & was unable to take action immediately to look at these accusations. I told my cleaners not to go until I visit the unit myself. I immediately went to my unit as soon as I got off the plane and the only accusations that was true was a few marks on the wall. The bed had obviously been slept in, the air mattress had been used the coffee table had been moved to use the air mattress. There were chips on the floor and the same “strand of hair” that was on the floor were also on the bar area and at the desk. One of them left there charger as well as used bandaids and the trash was taken out. Upon checking out I send out check out instructions asking them to take out the trash on there way out. The trash shoot is not an easy find. In order for you to take out the trash you have to either live there or someone tells you where the trash shoot is in specific detail. I have proof of her admitting that I denied there stay twice already as well as a joint social media account that they share with both of there names up there. It’s very inconsiderate for Airbnb to automatically take the guests side being that I reported both account previously. The guest intentionally booked with me stayed at the unit & told Airbnb she did not. & even if she did not one of the friends did reside there. Airbnb stated to me that she said she did not stay there and they have to take her word for it and refunded her money back. At this point it’s not about the money. It’s the fact that she intentionally extorted me to leave a bad review. I have all the messages proof as we talked through Airbnb only and now I’m asking to talk to supervisors of airbnb for there inconsideration. I would like to know how is there a better way to go about this situation or avoid this situation to not let it happen again in the future.

14 Replies

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Bianca492  "They wait a few weeks later & used there 3rd guests account to book. I immediately knew it was them again. Bring the exact time date etc. I immediately knew they were going to be a problem. They check in at 1045..."

 

I don't understand- you knew they were scamming you and yet you accepted the booking? Of course there's a way to prevent this in the future, just as there was with this booking- you don't accept it.

Why did you? And why didn't you report all these attempts to book from other accounts when the first one had been flagged by Airbnb?

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2

@Sarah977 I have instant booking on and since the last account met all the requirements they were able to book with that. If I would have cancelled the booking my cancellation rate would have went up. And I did flag all the account & notified Airbnb. Nothing was ever done. I have all the proof of me reporting there account & Airbnb is taking a while to get back to me.

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Bianca492  When you use Instant Book, you are allowed 3 free cancellations a year.

 

And if you let fear of your stats lowering lead you to allowing scammers to stay, then you really only have yourself to blame. 

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2

@Sarah977 @I was not aware of the free cancellations. Thank you 

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2

@Sarah977  does that only apply to before they stay? Airbnb cancelled they stay on my end & it affected me.

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Bianca492  Yes, those free cancellations are to be made to cancel a booking before a stay starts. I don't know why you woukd have been penalized by Airbnb if they made the cancellation from their end. Did you ask them to cancel it?

 

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2

@Sarah977 I did not, they told me they were cancelling on my end in order to refund her money back. After that there staff messaged me stating that I have been a great host as he did an review of my account, and that this is an isolated case and doesn’t define me as a host. But one bad review cause turn a lot of people away.

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

in
Los Angeles, CA
Level 10

@Sarah977Those 3 free cancellations have never worked for me. I do a run-through and it tells me my penalties. It never said anything about a free cancellation penalty. I tell Airbnb and they tell me it doesn't apply and to go pound sand.

 

For example, a guest IB at 11pm the night before check-in and didn't respond until 4 hours before check-in. Books for 1 for and said 7 are showing up. I said that's not how it works and that they must be added to the reservation. Then the guest went on to complain that requiring ID is a violation of his privacy. All of this is documented in the app.

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2

You seem knowledgeable, I’m normally great about screening guest.  Especially lately has been testing many bad guest in big tourist town.   It’s entirely to long of story.  

 

I figured out not fast enough what guest was up too. bulling for free vacation an I didn’t back down.   On site 30 minutes after her message.  No issues.  If someone read the 100 messages they’ll catch her lies too.    I finally caved in bc specialist with Airbnb suggested I refund cleaning due to her actions.   This guest claimed false pictures to Airbnb specialist an they immediately took her side stating proof. The previous day the specialist working case fully understood issues better but she was off today.  The pictures were of the trash bin area.  That is Down hall in little room for guest to throw trash away.   Yea they are little nasty but not for trash bin area.  Guest claimed it was inside condo area of picture.   It’s clearly not.    How to spot these? Any advice?  I wish host had more options to communicate bad guest.  Many reviews are not truthful from others.  I know many fear their personal rating over this.  But this could have been avoided if someone had something on her to read 

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Hi @Bianca492 

 

Do have a look at the Airbnb Help website to familiarise yourself with the basics of running your STR business on Airbnb.

 

And remove instant book so you can vet guests or use it and only accept guests with positive reviews . 

Finally you're mean to use a profile photo of yourself not graphics of a house - it installs trust in guests . 

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2

@Helen3 Thank you so much for the advice. I will take sometime & go over the basics, instantly remove I stand booking & use myself as my profile picture.

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Bianca492when someone tries to book and I don't want it, I just block one day in this period... or forbid check-in or check-out on these dates by using rule sets.

Re: Having a guest book intentionally for extortion

Level 2

@Branka-and-Silvia0 thank you for the great suggestion. I will use that to avoid running into the problem again.

Join the conversation