No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

Level 2
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Short story: I have an issue with my reservation that I raised with the host. After a few messages back and forth this issue was not addressed. I then received a phone call from a man who was not my host or co-host. They were being quite aggressive and confrontational on the call. They said they were the owner of the company that manages the listing. They were not on the listing as a host or co host. They still did not address my issue. I now feel unsafe and uncomfortable staying at the listing and want to cancel and get a refund but I am afraid I will lose any money I have paid. I have reported this to airbnb support but I am not sure they will support me- the host has accused me of bullying when all I have done is ask legitimate questions about the listing. What else can I do?

 

My issue: The rental company has a website which displays the super host logo and says all hosts are superhosts. They link straight to airbnb. This is how I found the listing and booked. After I booked I realised the hosts are in fact NOT super hosts. When I raised this issue with the host they did not address it and thats when I received the phone call from the owner. 



Long story: 

 

I had an issue with my reservation and was attempting to seek clarification on It with my host. After a few messages the host had not clarified my issue and  I then received a phone call from someone who is not the host or co-host. This person claimed to speak on behalf of the host/cohost and in the call they were being confrontational and intimidating. I felt uncomfortable and asked to only be contacted through Airbnb. 

 

My first fear was that the host has given out my number out to a third party without my permission.

 

The person then messaged me through the hosts Airbnb not their own Airbnb profile. Apparently they own the rental company that the host works for and are a contact for all the Airbnb listings run by this person. I did not see a mention of them or their profile on the listing or hosts Page

 

Before the call I had not heard of this person- they weren’t a host or co-host of the listing. I was a) unaware someone other than an official host or co host could access my contact information and b) I never expected a phone call (let alone a confrontational one) from a host in a non-emergency situation.

 

The phone number that came up on my phone is the phone number for the company- I was not aware that hosts actually got my contact number. I assumed that if you use the call function on Airbnb a security feature would hide the number. I feel uncomfortable by the fact they have my number  

 

I now feel extremely uncomfortable  and unsafe staying at this listing and want to cancel however I’m scared if I cancel I will not get any money back. I don’t know what to do?

 

My issue that I had:

 

I had found the listing through a website (I am not sure if I can say the name on this forum but happily will if I am allowed) which displayed the superhost logo on their site and claims all their listings are run by super hosts. (I have since found out it is against terms and conditions to use this logo for marketing and on third party websites.)

 

A link on the website takes me directly the air bnb profile of the host. In the bio the host says they are an employee of the rental company. This is how I made my booking for the listing. the website and the fact that the host works for the company strongly suggests that the host is a superhost and would provide a high quality stay. someone that doesn’t book very often with Airbnb would probably also assume this.  I made the booking under this assumption. But neither The host or co hosts are superhosts. When I brought up this issue (along with other queries) with the host they never addressed it and I was accused of bullying  it was after this that I received the phone call 

8 Replies

Re: No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Michael5904  Your post is a little hard to follow and you haven't said what the issue was that you contacted the host about. 

It sounds like you booked this listing not through the Airbnb site? If that's the case, then it has nothing to do with Airbnb.

 

As far as your phone number being given out, I understand your concern, but it sounds like it was given to the company that manages the listing, not just randomly given out. And no, there is no coding of phone numbers on confirmed bookings- both hosts and guests receive each other's phone numbers. This is often a useful and necessary way of getting in touch if a user isn't answering Aiirbnb messages, which does often happen.

Re: No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Sarah977 It sounds like the issue was that the host noted on his personal website that he was a super host when according to the Airbnb listing, he is not. 

 

@Michael5904 The host could have been a superhost when you booked and just recently lost the status. What do other reviews say? Does the listing have a good rating? The host has access to your phone number just as you have access to the hosts. Sometimes others in my household will communicate with guests, although they are not on the listing and I do not mention them. I will put a stop to this as it apparently makes some feel uncomfortable. 

Re: No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

Level 2

@Emilia42  Thank you. That’s exactly what my issue was. 

They did have a good rating. That’s a possibility but even then their website should be adjusted. Also they didn’t present that as a possibility. They never addressed the issue with me via messaging. 

yes it did feel uncomfortable as I only expected the host to have my contact information. Airbnb support said he was a point of contact for the host but I was not aware of this. If there was more transparency about who my information is released to when I make a reservation that would have been ok- maybe it is part of Airbnb terms and conditions?  Nonetheless, I was not aware and it did not feel like he had legitimate access to my number when he called. 

Re: No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

Level 2

@Sarah977 1) The issue was that the host/company was claiming on this website to be superhosts when in fact they were not which I found to be misleading (and also against Airbnb policy to advertise/market). I also had another query that they did not answer. When I brought this up with the host they did not answer and that’s when they called. 

2) I did make the booking through Airbnb- on the website a link took me to the Airbnb page of the host where I made the booking through the Airbnb booking portal.

 

3) while I understand hosts may work for companies, to be called by someone not on the listing randomly did make me feel uncomfortable, especially the way he talked to me. I was also being very responsive it was the host and co host that weren’t replying. The host had not even made contact, I was only speaking to the co host 

Re: No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Michael5904  Without knowing what your 'issue' is, its hard to give advice.  Your phone number is listed on the airbnb reservation.  I'm not sure if there are any regulations in terms of what a property owner should/should not do if he/she isn't listed as a host or co-host.

 

If you cancel you will be refunded according to the cancellation policy active at the time of the reservation, you can ask Airbnb to give you a refund, and they may or may not do it.  That is assuming that you actually booked via Airbnb and not the property's web site that references Airbnb.  If you didn't book w/Airbnb then Airbnb won't assist you.

Re: No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

in
Irvine, CA
Level 10

Whatever a host puts on a website not associated with Airbnb, has nothing to do with Airbnb and is ultimately out of their control. For example, If I wanted to advertise my home on a forum somewhere else and stated that I was a “superhost” Airbnb would have no grounds to regulate that even if the statement was false.

 

Ultimately, it is up to you when you book a home/room/etc to verify that the credentials the host claimed to have are in fact valid on Airbnb.  You will be able to look at your potential host’s profile before even deciding to book. When doing so, you can verify their status

 

That being said, I am not entirely sure if the fact that they don’t actually have that status they claimed is grounds for an official complaint. I understand you felt mislead, but if the accommodation is an accurate representation of what was presented on Airbnb, and you have no issues with the property itself, then you might just have to accept the fact they are not a “superhost.”

 

As for someone reaching out to you that is not on the listing as a host or cohost, I can see the concern there. It can be normal though for people to utilize property management or vacation rental companies to assist with their properties, but that should be disclosed if the host intends for them to be the primary communicator. I would recommend you stick to communication only through the platform, that way everything is documented.

Re: No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

Level 2

@Jennifer1897 while the example you gave may be true, what they have done is in fact against the terms and conditions of superhosts (commercialising the logo and putting it on a third party website). 

I understand that Airbnb have no control over third party websites. However you cannot deny the host is trying to be misleading with their false claim. 

I disagree that it is not grounds for a complaint- if a guest or host feels mislead or has questions they have a right to ask. What is not acceptable is aggressive/intimidating contact, especially off the Airbnb platform. 

Re: No longer feel safe/comfortable with a listing and host. "Host" made aggressive/confrontational phone call

Level 2

Thank you for your replies everyone. I have been able to get resolution on this and Airbnb has refunded me 

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