Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10
7,776 Views

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.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

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

101 Replies

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

@Justin131

 

When a company expands at the rate Airbnb has, it tends to leave employees behind unfortunately in Airbnb case it’s the whole executive management team behind who are simply not up to the job.

I always wince, when I see executive management using celebrities to promote the company as its an indication to me they taken their eye of the ball.

I hope you did not waste you time on the last Airbnb Q&A, I didn’t as I suspected it would be complete waffle and as one host Gordan humorously stated “his time was better spend watching paint dry”

 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
British Columbia, Canada
Level 4

I tried instant book for about a week.  I really don’t want to have people book that I haven’t had a conversation with.  I feel it’s a scary process.  Airbnb customer service is really spotty with some people getting great results and others poor.  Some of their policy’s suck such as putting a number on how many reviews you need to maintain superhost status.  Totally unfair to short season hosts or hosts that take longer term rentals.  I lost superhost status with a 4.9 status because of not enough reviews.  That now effects my whole season and I am royally pissed.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Grass Valley, CA
Level 3

I never use instant book for that reason. If I lose business, so be it. I insist on messaging the prospective guest before I book. 

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
New York, NY
Level 2

Thanks for this - I have been debatig it for a while because I have a high priced vacation property and we only accept families.  Great to hear I am not alone.  

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

@Gina0

 

Don’t worry Gina, you’ll have an outstanding interaction with Airbnb and you'll wonder what all the nay sayers are talking about, because you’re in the top 20%, your nightly rate is well more than the $100 cut of point, in fact its circa $800 per night.

 

The other 80% of us are just Airbnb cannon fodder.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

Level 2

Just wait until you get smokers or guests who trash the place, it's a matter of when not if.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Kingsvale, Australia
Level 2

how do I turn off instant bookings

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Sandpoint, ID
Level 2

You sound like my kind of person, going by your profile, and I agree that you do better to talk with prospective guests. Since my listing is so different, I rarely run into issues with guests, as most of them (who actually read) get that they are being hosted in my home, and that they’ll be coming into a quiet and restful atmosphere. Let’s see whether your season is really affected by the temporary loss of superhost; I wonder how many people pay attention to that. I hope your bookings flood in for the duration.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Level 1

I totally agree.  Arbnb does not have qualified customer service abd its a lucrative fraudulent company, whicj will crash very soon!

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

I'm not surprised by your story, but am curious, what made you move all of your listings to airbnbn in the first place, a lot of these issues are ongoing, or maybe you have been lucky.  I think for next year we will add HAway as a second platform and see how it goes.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Shell Knob, MO
Level 2

Homeaway  is worth the money. Everything is much clearer and customer service is always available by phone.  I have both, and am on this site now as I cannot find a phone number for Air BnB.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

Level 2

I would personally be wary of Hway! Their payment gateway totally sucks and good luck talking to representatives (vacation payment ) . It was a good experience to begin with however after 8-9 reservations their support was totally careless . I have had payments arriving 10-15 days late. As a contrast Airbnb support has been really quick and the payment arrives on time !

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Hauula, HI
Level 2

I quit Homeaway/VRBO because they outsource their payments. I had a guest dispute the whole cost of their weekling stay on their credit card and Homeaway would not back me up. These people stole from us. That ended my relationship with them. I hope airbnb does not go down this road.

Re: Instant Book Hosting nightmare

in
Houston, TX
Level 2

I'm sorry that happened to you however HomeAway and VRBO do not have the same guidelines and regulations as Airbnb. They do not verify the credit cards or the person that is renting your property to make sure that they're one in the same. I had a chargeback of $1,250 and was made to pay it back to HomeAway. Because my guest was using a stolen credit card. I no longer use HomeAway or VRBO. A lot of guest use them because they know that there is no protection and they can get their money back after staying in someone else's property it's a rip-off.

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