I received a request to rent my property. I had to decline this request because the timings did not work with another tenant. I attempt to do so. My password did not work. My poor prospective tenant is then advised the request has been accepted. BUT NOT BY ME. I then manage to get on the site and have to cancel this reservation. In the meantime the prospective tenant has paid AirB&B the deposit. I am then told by AirB&B that to cancel something I haven't even had the opportunity to decline is going to cost me $50. Both myself and my prospective tenant have been abused by AirB&B's computerised system. This needs changing. I have now taken my property off their books. I have no intention of putting any prospective tenants to my property through this muddle created by a poorly led organisation. There is no way to get through to AirB&B to sort out this problem. The help line simply asks questions, I cannot it seems discuss this directly with a human being. VERY POOR. 0% out of 100%.
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Sorry to hear about your experience.
It sounds like you are new to Airbnb and haven't taken on board the basics around how it works, before letting your listing go live. Do have a look at the tutorials and guides on this community centre and the Airbnb Help Centre which has Q&As around the basics of running your listing on Airbnb.
It sounds from your post like you are using Instant Book (see Airbnb Help Centre). This means anyone who meets your criteria can book - instantly.
If you want to vet your guests/consider each booking on a case by case basis, I would suggest you use 'Request to book' where you have to approve each booking before it gets confirmed ( I would recommend new hosts use this while you learn the ropes).
It is not that there is a problem with the Airbnb booking system but rather unfortunately (and you are not unusual) as a new host you did not familiarise yourself with how Airbnb works before going live.
Sadly it was not a technical error but your lack of understanding of how Airbnb works, which led to you accepting a booking, you could not honour and be penalised financially for doing so (Airbnb notifies you when you go to cancel (three times) that there are penalties involved). It also led to the guest thinking they had a confirmed booking, only to find you had cancelled it .
I am sure you appreciate this platform is built on trust and you cannot have hosts cancelling guest bookings without good reason.
If you look at the top of the forum you are posting in, there is a Contact Airbnb post with all the ways for you to contact Airbnb. There is also a Contact Airbnb Q&A on its Help Centre with this information.
Thank you very much for such a clearly written message Helen. You do though sound very much like an Abnb employee!! Sorry. I will certainly take what you have said and do something about it. However at no time have Abnb (and as you say I am a brand new member) suggested or offered some kind of tuition. I have had to sort it all by myself and, as quite a wise old bird, I am still an old bird and need help technically a lot of the time. At no time during your message to you really look at the 'other side'.
@Caroline1388 if you read some of my other posts on here, you would not say I sound like an employee of Airbnb :) I like everyone else on this community centre am either a host, or a guest and quite often both.
I tried to help you understand what happened and directed you to contact details so you could speak to Airbnb directly and directed you to it's help centre so you could read up on host cancellations and instant book.
When we decide to set up a short term rental business then we should do our due diligence on how any advertising platform we chose to use works. This is something we all need to do in order to understand how the platform works whether Airbnb, Trip advisor, VRBO or any other listing platform.
In terms of Airbnb there are lots of tutorials and guides here on the community, on Airbnb's website and on the Help Centre I directed you to.
I am sorry you don't accept that it wasn't a technical error but a human error that created this situation or appreciate the help freely given to you by more experienced hosts in this community.
By the way despite saying yesterday you removed your listing from Airbnb - it is still there so you will continue to receive bookings.
Thank you very much Helen. I'm sorry that you feel I have slighted you. Not meant to. Difficult though when one has so many issues these days that sound great but turn out to be very much not great to TRUST. I am very happy with your reply.
@Caroline1388 I'm not someone who is all that adept with "techie" stuff either. In fact, a friend had been urging me for years to use Airbnb to rent out my mostly unoccupied guest room, but I was intimidated by having to navigate my way through an online booking platform
. But when I first decided to list on Airbnb, I spent a few days reading through every article in the Help section of the website for hosts, as well as reading through the Terms of Service I was agreeing to if I listed. Then I spent a few days familiarizing myself with where to find everything in my hosting account, clicking on everything, and every other link that came up and, since I'm of the pencil and paper generation, writing everything down for myself so I would remember where to access different settings. I made note of Airbnb's phone numbers, and how to contact them through messaging. I did all this before I submitted my listing.
I wasn't aware of the existence of this forum at that point, or I would have also spent several days reading through posts by hosts to understand what issues hosts deal with and further understand things that aren't necessarily mentioned anywhere that can be easily found.
It's like being in the market for a new car- you'd do your research before just walking in and plunking your money down- you'd read consumer reports, you'd read reviews, you'd read up about all the features the car has, you'd compare pricing to similar vehicles.
It isn't too late for you to do these things now and I suggest you make time for it- read all the Hosting Help articles. Click on everything there is to click on in your hosting account so you know where to find all the settings. If non-techie me could do it, I'm sure you can as well.
Thank you Sarah. You've obviously taken time to write so much helpful information down. It is very much appreciated. I did look at the Terms etc, but unlike you I was not nearly thorough enough. I am in the process of taking your advice. How's the weather in Mexico?? It's pouring with rain here. All the best.
@Caroline1388 Coming towards the end of rainy season here, has been pouring rain, thunder and lightning most evenings. Lasts for a few hours. And the temps are hot. The rain we get here isn't like the rain I was used to in the Pacific Northwest when I lived in Canada, or the type of rain I think you get in the UK. It's seldom that dreary constant drizzle bone-chilling sort of thing- it's sudden downpours where the sky just opens up and comes down in buckets.