We were about to upload our hosting capacity, but realised:
1 we were compelled to accept instant booking, which we don't want
2 we could not be confident the block out days we put in were functional, and
3 cancellation policy was weak as a default, and we could not change it.
Not going ahead with the listing.
@Anne It is good that you found out what does not work for you on this site before you listed. Many hosts are blindsided by not knowing. BTW, I think Instant Book is the default when you list, but you can turn it off. Hope it all works out for you.
@Anne, while Airbnb is widely recognised as the No. 1 platform of its type, it isn't for everyone. Hope you can find another platofrm more appropriate to your needs. Do share your findings, we're keen to learn of non-Airbnb experiences that actually bring business in.
It is true that you can turn off IB. HOWEVER, you can no longer vet potential guests if you do so - i.e. no profile info, no ratings, no reviews before accepting the reservation. This is apparantly something AirBnB is "trying out", so I'm told by Customer Service after discovering this myself. I was then told that if, after accepting the res and vetting their profile and having an issue or a schedule change to go through the process of cancelling. In other words, accept all and cancel later instead of reviewing and declining beforehand is AirBnB's advice. The logic is absurd and unfair to hosts and guests!
It is an absolutely unacceptable situation for the many (even if not the majority) of us hosts, especially those of us in private, single family homes who choose not to use Instant Booking so that we can vet potential guests for our private homes.
@Freddi, are you sure that you can see "no profile info, no ratings, no reviews"?
My understanding is that all they do is hide the guest photo, and that you can still see their reviews and info.
What happens when you click on the grey circle with the letter? What do you see?
@Matthew, yes I am sure.
On a potential guest's request, when clicking on the grey circle I get the name and where they live, no other information. I thought it was a fluke with the website at first, but it continues to be the case after a week and several requests. So, when contacting Customer Service, I was told this something they were "trying out" and that accepting the res would allow me to see profile info.
It is certainly hard to see this as other than a further attempted coercion to turn on Instant Booking.
@Freddi, thanks for the quick reply!
That is a definite bummer, then.
(I can't check for myself, because I have IB on.)
Yes, you should definitely complain to AirBnB about this!
What is the point of vetting your guests if you can't... you know... vet your guests?
I have been complaining. I'm also in touch with my local ABnB rep.
I've also been told it may be a targetted "test" with only certain markets being affected. But what a drag!
....Here's what is even weirder: I can, for example, click on a user profile here in this forum, say yours, and see your Air BnB profile with reviews, ratings, and listings if any. I can also click on any users whose "circles" appear (in reviews or wherever) and view their profiles, etc. But when the username circle is of a prospective guest in my inbox, clicking on it brings up nothing but name and location !?
I can still see these details in the UK.
I think it's terrible the way Airbnb is pushing IB. Being able to vet guests is important for some hosts. Particularly those of us who share our homes.