I had a booking for one night less than 24 hours from check in . The guest profile told me he was verified.
When I approved it turned out that the verification was a phone number and nothing else. How can Airbnb say a guest is verified when only a phone number is provided??
Moreover his photo (which now under the ridiculous new rules that Airbnb has introduced does not appear before a confirmed booking) was that of a fox (his name from the Chinese was apparently Mr Fox). Isn't Airbnb supposed to check that the profile photo is genuine?
He had no previous reviews, had just joined and I felt uncomfortable with the booking. I asked him to provide offline ID and a proper photo both of which are listed in my house rules as necessary for a booking. Receiving no reply I contacted Airbnb and they cancelled on my behalf. I waived all booking fees which apparently I could have charged.
In spite of all this and the small matter that he has never seen my place, Airbnb are still allowing him to leave a review, never having even seen my place. Apparently if there is a cancellation with 24 hours of the reservation date Airbnb policy allows this. A ridiculous situation!! My fear is that he will leave a negative review because I didn't let him proceed with the booking. Any advice??
@Phil-And-Aquilla0, you're clearly extremely experienced hosts, so you'll probably be aware you get to choose the verification parameters (under booking settings/guest requirements). If you'd set a higher verification class, this would limit (for good and bad) the sort of guest who can book.
As for the photo requirement, while I could care less what a guest looks like, I understand some do have an issue with this.
And the review thing? Yep, it's true, and yes, he'll probably throw you under a bus. But let your other reviews speak to would-be guests.
Change your verification settings now!
Hi @Gordon0, We DO make off line ID an essential requirement for booking in our clearly stated house rules. However, Airbnb only gives the host the ability to set off line ID as a requirement in the settings for INSTANT BOOK!! Most unfair for hosts like us who don't do Instant Book!!
@Phil-And-Aquilla0 Airbnb was forced by a UK regulator to allow reviews for bookings cancelled less than 24 hours before check-in, even if the guest doesn't step foot on the property. See here: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/27/airbnb-agrees-reviews-loophole-intervention-cma-r...
I would argue that no law in the world requires any website to use star ratings, and it's well within Airbnb's power to have a separate review process - without star ratings - for bookings that are cancelled or terminated early by either party. But I'm not aware of anything like that being in development.
You can't prevent this person from leaving a review, but you have plenty of time to think about the Host Response you'll post in the event that he does.
Hi @Andrew0, I've read the article and it seems to refer to bookings that have been cancelled or shortened once the guest has seen the place. Logic would dictate that a review can't be left for a place the guest has never visited or seen!!
Whilst Airbnb were indeed forced to amend their policy by the UK CMA (Competition and Markets Authority), on account of guests who had actually turned up at a substandard property not being able to leave feedback to warn others (without jumping through hoops with CX), there was never any stipulation by the CMA that reviews should be permitted up to 24 hours before check-in though, @Andrew0. Airbnb came up with that little gem all by themselves.
Gordon Ashworth, CMA Project Director, said at the time: "We were concerned that, if someone cut short their stay, it was too hard for them to leave a review under Airbnb’s existing reviews system and so we are pleased that Airbnb engaged constructively with us and committed to making the necessary changes"
In fact, technically, Airbnb are potentially in breach of the CMA ruling because..
"The CMA considers that review sites should publish genuine reviews, including negative reviews, provided they are genuine, lawful and relevant. Failure to publish genuine reviews may breach consumer protection legislation, in particular the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs)"
It's difficult to imagine how a review that contains feedback on several key factors that a guest couldn't possibly have any first-hand knowledge or experience of (accuracy, cleanliness, location etc) - because they've never actually laid eyes on the place - could be considered genuine, relevant or lawful.
@Phil-And-Aquilla0 There have been some very lengthy threads about this on the forums. Airbnb seems to have solidified its position that guests who have not been to the property can still review it because their communication with the host still constitutes an experience.
I'm not saying I agree with their reasoning - it's absurd that someone who never entered your home can still rate its cleanliness, for example - but that's the answer other hosts have been gotten when they made complaints similar to yours. Nobody in this forum works for Airbnb so complaining here won't get you any results.
There's nothing you can do to prevent the guest from leaving a review, so all you can do now is wait and see what happens. If the review appears to violate the Content Policy you can try to get it removed.