I’ve hosted over 2,000 times & have over 1,000 reviews. Yesterday & this morning has made me seriously rethink my relationship with Airbnb.

 

 Last night a guest instant booked one of my properties representing 1 guest. (7) 19-22 year olds showed up with full coolers.

 

I kept my cool, I explained to them that 6 was the max & we charge $60 per additional guest after the first 2 ($480 extra for a 2 night stay). 

 

1) you can’t change the # of guests through the app past checkin time. Why is Airbnb continuing to tighten its control over simple modifications to reservations. Guests wish to add guests all the time - get out of our way Airbnb! The guests still has to accept the change so why are you making simple changes difficult?!

 

After requesting the $480 through resolution center I waited a while, then reminded the guest he needs to make this right to stay. Still no response, then a “I’ll do it right away”. An hour later, still no response. So, I had enough & went to cancel the reservation due to breaking house rules. I had reached my 3-times limit so I was informed I need to call customer service.

 

2)If I host 10 times a year in 1 listing I can cancel instant book reservations penalty free 3 times through the app. So I can cancel 30% of my reservations no problem. If I host 1,000+ times a year in 9 different listings (like me) I can cancel instant book reservations 3 times penalty free through the app. WTH?! Use percentages not hard #s Airbnb!

 

So, I was informed I need to call which I did & I WAS ON HOLD FOR OVER AN HOUR then shifted around until finally someone could help me. I called at 8:30, it wasn’t until 10:40 that Airbnb took action. To all Airbnb executives, what’s 2 hours of your time worth to execute a simple task.

 

I challenge all hosts to turn off instant book & look at the message Airbnb displays.

“Are you sure? We have peace of mind guarantee if anyone breaks your rules or you’re uncomfortable you can cancel.”

 

A total & complete lie.

 

I called again this morning to cancel the reservation & after over 30 minutes of re-verifying who I am, asking mindless questions, & being shifted around I just hung up & handled it myself.

 

This experience has made me re-think my relationship with Airbnb. I no longer trust that I can have control over my home or rental properties.

 

I went 100% Airbnb last year & stopped using other booking sites. This would have never happened on VRBO. On so many levels I’m disappointed & feel Airbnb does not have our backs as hosts.

 

So, dear Airbnb, If a guest shows up with 6 friends, only pays for 1, & refuses to pay the extra charge should I, as a host, be able to efficiently & easily cancel that reservation as a guest is clearly in violation?  If your answer is “yes” then your actions don’t match your words. Remove these crazy controls like “only 3 times” for active hosts and have our back already so we can manage our own business without your terrible customer service bottleneck.

101 Replies

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

Level 2

Oh My all of you who have responded and  John I am glad for your  input where you mentioned about the documentation.  One thing I have noticed is the fact Airbnb seems to as I am reading now - it appears Airbnb requires a 72 hour response time.  To me 72 hours does not provide enough time to respond nor to gather information.that might be needed.  

 Do you know if Airbnb has some kind of instant booking app where you can add the addition fee's mentioned within the property profile listing description I had included on my profile.  I have mentioned that the first dog is free but any dog there after there is a charge.  

The person who booked my listing mentioned to me that her son had discovered that loophole with in the Airbnb booking profile where guests basically can take advantage of the hosts goodness with out putting the correct people head count or the current animal head count and I am now realizing there is no editing app on the reservation which allows the host

to change the # of pets or the # of people?

In my case it would make life easier if a host could quickly change the # of dogs as stated in the original reservation by the guest from 2 (two) to the correct head count of 76 (seventy six)  not including the puppies!  

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

Level 1

I have done instant book 7 times.  The sixth guest destroyed my apartment.  Broke the toilet and did not bother to walk over to the main house and report it to us.   They continued to pile humans waste and paper in the toilet until they left I prayed the septic would accept it..  That in my opinion was very immature.  Then the guest and his friend  ( whom was not scheduled) proceeded to wreck the place. Throwing items on the floor  that were part of the decor.  Throwing food on the floor, walking over it, ordering delivering and peeling the stickers off and smearing them on the kitchen table, requiring Goo Be Gong to remove.  Dark liquid spilled all over a couch cushion, they turned it over so I would not see it. I found it!  I had to check every dish, silverware , towel  etc. They could have stuck gum under the dining table. The list is endless..  My problem is:  I related the information about the guest to Air BnB to warn other hosts,  but my guest has 14 days to reply therefore that person could be doing  something to other hosts because no other host will see my post until the 14 days has expired.   Makes me sick!  Now I get work non-stop with AirBnB to get $ for the repairs.  It is worth it to me  to drop the instant book. I would rather have 30 booking per year with decent folks than going for the gold.  What is scary is the prior host gave that guest a 3.5 rating and invited that person back.  Wish I could connect with that host.  My post says the guest is not welcome on the premises. I asked AirBnB how do they protect me from that guest?

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Providence, RI
Level 10

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Oh my, you had a horrible experience and you have my deepest sympathies. it sounds like you had guests who were somewhat sociopathic besides being mean spirited scumbags.

 

I'd be interested to hear if you get any type of good resolution from Airbnb. Many people posting here on this complaining thread do not follow through with how the situation was resolved. I'd be very surprised if you get a satisfactory resolution from Airbnb. And that is a sad thing.

 

However, I must reiterate once again that there's nothing wrong with instant booking.     

These problems arise when instant booking is not managed stringently. 

Hosts simply cannot take chances on hosting people who will damage their property: they must be weeded out before they're allowed to check--in using all the tools at a hosts disposal.

 

There is no substitute for managing your listing and fine-tuning it until you have negated all potential problems to the best

of your ability so that the probability of a bad guest showing up is almost nil.

 

The best advice that I took to heart when opening my listing and reading these forums to learn as much as I could about which mistakes to avoid was this: AirBnB simply provides a booking platform: It is up to the host to manage their business.

 

Airbnb provides the tools in their platform for hosts to manage their listing as loosely or as tightly as they wish.

 

Often times Airbnb hosts go into this business with little or no real life business experience.

 

The most important thing to me, in running my Airbnb business, is to avoid letting people like these into my listing.

 

I have turned away many, many people with nefarious intent in mind, and  until a host learns to do so they stand the possibility of having an experience like this.

 

I can understand the knee-jerk reaction of wanting to blame Airbnb for these problems, but as I see it, it is not Airbnb's fault but the lack of business experience and naivety on the part of Airbnb hosts that lead to problems with instant booking. 

Good Airbnb management skills will negate these potential problems.

 

Don't let yourself become a victim. Take absolute control of your Airbnb business.

 

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Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 7

Good idea not to believe AIRBNB host protection policies.   My experience was somewhat similar to yours.   I've learned that the Moderate and Strict cancellation policies are not enforced by AIRBNB.   All reservations will be treated as Flexable regardless of when the guest wants to leave.   My guest found a better deal and requested a full refund for the 10 remaining days including the day he sent the request.   The request was sent after my checkout time, I refused his request for a full refund of the remaining days and yet AIRBNB wore me down after endless texts and ultimately overruled by granting a full refund of remaining days to the guest.   

 

I think the guest was scamming his university as he had a nice big bill to submit and get reimbursed for and then ultimately received a refund to pocket for himself.   This guest wrote he loved the breakfasts and our accommodations but that he found a better deal elsewhere.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Providence, RI
Level 10

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@Debbie96 

 

A nasty story indeed. Cancellation battles are tough. I've won  a few, and I always make them (CS) go all the way,  and I insist they obtain documentation when someone tries to use the extenuating circumstances loophole.

 

I had to cave on one because the guest was going to come and stay anyway after she tried to cancel on my strict policy and found out she would only get a 50% refund --rather than let her stay and get a bad review I caved and gave her the full refund, but I booked in her place immediately anyway, so no loss.

 

I state in my house rules that I never approve a refund request unless it's in strict accordance with Airbnb policies especially the extenuating circumstances policy. I don't know the effectiveness of this tactic yet, but I have a feeling it may help me out someday. 

Whenever Airbnb calls or texts and asks  me to agree to a full refund I say, "I adhere strictly to Airbnb policies in all matters. As long as it's in accordance with my and Airbnb's "Strict Cancellation Policy" we should proceed accordingly."

 

That seems to confuse them enough for another round. 

 

I'd like to know, on what grounds did AirBnB overrule your cancellation policy? Do you have a "strict"  policy?

 

 Did they overrule you, or did they break you down till you finally agreed to give the full refund because of their harassment?

 

I thought they could only go against your policy if there were extenuating circumstances. 

 

I'm very interested to know that if they overruled you, what was there explanation for doing so?

 

Thanks for your post.

 

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Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 7

@John1574 You wrote, "I had to cave on one because the guest was going to come and stay anyway after she tried to cancel on my strict policy and found out she would only get a 50% refund --rather than let her stay and get a bad review I caved and gave her the full refund, but I booked in her place immediately anyway, so no loss."....

....well, that is how AIRBNB got me to 'cave'.    They told me that if I didn't accept his change request that the would be returning to my property and that I would be forced to let him stay.    They knew exactly how to coerce me.   After all the drama created by the guest, like you, this is the last thing I needed and wanted.

 

Again, so much for Moderate and Strict cancellation.    They mean nothing unless you can convince the guests that they are enforced.   AIRBNB sure won't when pushed hard enough by the guests.

 

 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Atlanta, GA
Level 2

Had the same situation two days ago and was unable to cancel the reservation even though the guest had a terrible review.  AirBnb would not allow us to cancel online or by phone.  We called 4 times with no assistance and no call back.  We removed instant book today. 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Western Australia, Australia
Level 2

Just had nightmare guest instant book. Only ONE previous review from a serviced suite. He snuck additional guests in who crashed in our store cupboard, smoked (drugs) in the bathroom and attempted to conceal the smell by spraying anything smelly to mask the smells. Broke the front door latch (and promised to fix, but never did) had a party (birthday man) but the apartment is no smoking or parties, then refused to leave after waking me at 4am having LOST the entry key after breaking the lock fro  the inside.  I am astounded that AIRBNB let GUESTS with only one review get to instant book. That is irresponsible and places hosts in potentially confrontational situations. I say at least FIVE (positive) reviews before a guest can instant book.

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Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

I'm so sorry this happened but it wasn't Airbnb let guests with one review IB it was you @Jeremy406 

 

 

as an experienced SH you'll know the best way to avoid problem guests is to vet your guest's carefully to ensure there's a good fit and to have CCTV or similar so you ensure on those who have booked are using your listing . 


If you only want to accept guests with five positive reviews then turn IB off . 

 

 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Western Australia, Australia
Level 2

Helen3, They sneaked them in. We have an outside patio area and mostly the grown ups entertain family/friends etc. no worries. These overgrown children with no house training at all will find anyway they can to disrupt. I don't think that CCTV would put them off though. We have had other local hosts here in Northern burbs of Perth with the same issues from cashed up twenties looking to take advantage. I even found a steel pipe cosh left in a backpack in our cupboard where one of the extra guests had made their nest. NO, I believe FIVE positive reviews is the way to go. IB should be a privilege NOT a right. SORRY. As AIRBNB effectively punish hosts who don't have IB on. 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Jeremy406 “NO, I believe FIVE positive reviews is the way to go.”

 

Believe what you like of course, but you may want to consider the following two posts:

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/Asking-for-and-giving-5-reviews/m-p/1479316#M349851

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/House-Party-Pool-Sex-Party-advertised-on-Instagram/m-p/1479...

 

There is simply no substitute for taking complete control of the guest vetting process from start to finish. That process is multi faceted. 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Western Australia, Australia
Level 2

Colleen, I was not asking for 5 star reviews, which you referred me to. I was stating that AIRBNB  currently allow anyone with even a single positive review to then do instant booking, and in some cases not even one review, just the photo ID etc. I reckon that if there was a reward for good behaviour rather than open slather then the guests would realise that they have to comply with their respective hosts' rules. Which they are supposed to do anyway. 

 

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