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

in
Atascosa, TX
Level 10

@Patti45  Here's the number:

 

AirBnB number:

United States and Canada

+1-415-800-5959
+1-855-424-7262 (toll-free)

View solution in original post

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

Level 2

Thank you for the numbers. I was travelling in Maine with friends and when we went back to the AirBnB  for some unknown reason the hosts had changed to lock code on the door. We were out of cell service and had no access to the bookers AirBnB app. ( where they say they sent the mesage they had changed it.) it was a nightmare because we couldn't even find a number for AirBnB  to call them to contact the host when we finally booked into a hotel in the next town.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

Your host's number should have been on your booking confirmation. If you were able to call Airbnb(or would have if you had the number), why couldn't you call your host?

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

Level 1

Thank you!

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Columbia, SC
Level 2

@Patti45 I just listed my property with HomeAway, I also started using Wheelhouse.  Is there an app that I can use to sync both calendars?  I really nervious because i don't want double booking.  Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Portland, OR
Level 10

Cheryl,  just call Wheelhouse.  They will do the syncing for you.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Houston, TX
Level 2

Hi please be careful with the HomeAway and VRBO because they do not have any credit card Protections like Airbnb. And you can easily get a chargeback from VRBO because their customer has used a stolen credit card. 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Jerusalem, Israel
Level 2

I've listed my place on Airbnb and Booking.com as I didn't know the other websites before.. and through Airbnb everything went smooth but Booking.com guests sometimes makes more trouble than income! I've had about 10 noshows in a row with guests that do not respond to my calls/emails prior and on check in time.. I'm wondering wether I should cancel the booking.com  reservation option and try home away and /or VRBO...

It seems like the touring market in Israel i is a little different

(I worked at a hotel for the last 2 years..).

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Shell Knob, MO
Level 2

I jump on and block the dates on the other site and keep my own Google calendar with different colors. Plus, I don't use instant book on air bnb so I slesys gave a chance to review. I use modified instant on homeaway...can book as long as 7 days away...so...more focus but so far so good.

I need to check out that Wheelhouse mentioned!

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Grass Valley, CA
Level 3

I use both as well. My bookings are about 50/50. The customer service is better with VRBO. Sorry Airbnb but the hold time is unacceptable to me. 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10

Mark - I wanted to streamline bookings. What I didn’t want to do was give up complete control of simple tasks & be bottlenecked by arbitrary rules & unnecessary controls or be put on hold for an hour just to speak with someone offshore who couldn’t execute the simple task of canceling a reservation with a guest who is clearly breaking multiple house rules.

 

Dear Airbnb, these are our homes, our property, our assets. You either get out of the way so we can manage them efficiently & securely when guests put them in danger or you’ll loose all long-term host confidence.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Vancouver, WA
Level 10

I've found Airbnb support to be good most of the time. My strategy is to call the number given to superhosts (supposedly faster service). Occassionally I get a rep who isn't very good; when that happens I politely end the call and call back until I get a rep who knows what they're doing and can resolve issues to my satisfaction.

 

About IB.... we use IB and so far have had good luck with it. More positives than negative aspects to it. But I'm on guard and vet guest reservations as soon as I receive them.  I appreciate your sharing your recent experience; quite disheartening. I agree whole heartedly that Airbnb needs to allow hosts to manage our properties efficiently and securely.  So far we haven't had to cancel a booking, however we've had a few guests who didn't initially follow the rules, listed the number of guests inaccurately, or raised a red flag or two. Fortunately we were able to work through it before they arrived. I doubt we have the ability to fully vet guests and predict their behavior with or without IB.  But without IB, we do have more time to ascertain if the guest is a good bet or not.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Berlin, MA
Level 3

Sorry, my jaw just hit the floor. Look, someone books my space for 1 and shows up with 7.... hahahahahahahahahaha I meet you at the door, hand you the money for your booking back to you. You do not pass my threshhold to enter my space. If that bothers you, YOU can call airBnB and talk to the customer service. It shouldn't be my fault or problem. The fact is, booking for 1 and showing up with *7* is ffraud and theft. They are stealing a place to stay for 6 people without paying for it. It's like going to a restaurant, asking for 1 meal, then feeding it to the whole damned neighborhood that would otherwise have to order and pay as well. That isn't right.

Part of this is the host's fault as well. I don't understand why AirBnB, is to blame when a host lets people in when he can see that they are in violation of the booking. A certain amount of this is on the host, if he honors the agreement when they show up to the door. Hells NO. THAT is when you take a stand and say no I don't think so. Not after you let them in. If someone books dishonestly for 1 and shows up with 6 more without paying for them.... Then you have this whole back and forth and you TRUST them enough to let them in, some of that is on you. They already lied to you once when they booked. They should have NO credibility with you after that. So why you would let them in then try to convince them to pay what they owe..... Is beyond me. And that is not AirBnB's fault....

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

 All good, but Airbnb should also make sure they don't leave you a wonderful 1* review. What a mess this whole business is becoming.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Shell Knob, MO
Level 2

I have a perfect excuse to call all guest before they arrive as we offer a dock as well...find a reason to check in with your future guests!

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