Pressure on hosts from Airbnb to accept bookings

Status changed to: Under Consideration

Airbnb is pressuring hosts to accept bookings in two ways, Instant Book and the new policy to permanently block your calendar for not accepting or denying a booking request within 24 hours. I have always thought that Instant Book is counter to the founding principles of Airbnb and have said so at every opportunity. The new policy of blocking your calendar causes problems for us when we try to extract some information from a potential guest and they just do not respond within 24 hours. This leaves the only recourse of denying the request (and I do not think this is what Airbnb wants). We have many newbie guests who have no profile (I thought there was once an effort to prevent this) and are very reticent to share any information even though they are coming to our home. This is NOT a hotel and we need to VET guests without time pressure from Airbnb.

 

Airbnb has been very good in almost every way, but I sense more and more of the corporate mind at work.

Comments
Mellora in
Xagħra, Malta
Level 2

I am a new host and I want to leave airbnb as soon as possible. I thought it might be a good idea to share a wonderful place with lots of space not always occupied by friends and family. Giving back some of the enjoyable experiences I make when travelling.

 

Airbnb is for some reason the place to go for informal hosting and I thought I made a good choice. Bad idea. I feel that a guest has all the rights and is always right and a host is the idiot providing an income for airbnb. Therefore all this policies for cancellation i,e. are only in favour for the guest. After two horrible experiences I dread new "guests" and wanted out of the airbnb system and cancel reservations as far or longer than 6 weeks away. Surprise, if I cancel and have no "real" reason I am fined with more money than the reservation is worth. 

 

This is my home, I live there on a permanent basis and I am not allowed any longer to do with my property what I want???? Because Airbnb says so???? On top of it after the horrible review I got, Airbnb send an email kind of threatening me to be more accurate and what not or else I would be banned. I'd love to be banned, but so far it does not happen, of course, they will lose  some revenue. At least I have the feeling that I do not come up in a normal search without any filters, thats something I am gratefull for.

 

Just wondering, am I the only one wanting to leave Airbnb? And how the heck do you contact those people? Yes you can call, but I am not in a country where they have a call center and I for sure do not call long distance via mobile.

 

So far, I am very disapointed with the whole thing. I wanted to offer some nice space, share some conversations over a meal, met some potential new friends .... I did not offer the space because I need to pay my rent.

 

What I do not understand reading the posts here, why do you not leave airbnb, to me it is so obvious there are only interested in increasing their revenue, thus  sideline always with the guest and keep the hosts because they are kind of needed.

Helga in
Paris, France
Level 10

@Mellora, it seems you launced yourself into this adventure without reading the terms of service. That's always a bad idea, even if airbnb's terms are by far less dangerous to blind jumpers than others I read before subscribing here. There you have one reason why so many people stay here ;-)

 

the fact that you are fined if you cancel on guests is not only a result of airbnb's greed, if you see it. It's more of a reaction to requests by hosts and an observation of guest behaviour after a cancellation. 

What happens to the guest, if his host cancels? He gets notice out of the blue, all his plans are in disarray, he has to

find  new a comodation, which will be more expentcloser to the date and searching is time consuming during a period where he has his other last minute preparations to accomplish or may be already travelling without internet access. 

Many take an expensive hotel room in such a situation and  vow to never use airbnb again.  Others book with the next host and arrive fearful of the next disappointment or still furious. That's stressful for the next host too - I know, I take in last minute booking. 

 

When putting the offer online you sigbed an engagement with airbnb, when accepting a booking, you agreed to a legal contract with your guest. In that very monent, you signed away some of the rights of your home to this guest and for this period. Against future payment. 

Imagine you buy the last bread in the supermarket and at the door the manager wants to take it back against refund to have for his own dinner. Would you be pleased? Would you cede it? It's their building after all ;-)

 

I read the review infuriating you. There is a thread in the hosting section about hosting international gursts. You could find some ides there to avoid such situations. It's better to avoid politics, religion and stereotypes with guests, at least till you are sure they share your views. General rule: Even with people hating their  country of origin, don't slander it! It's like family and spouses in bad marriages: if your best friend tells you for an hour how bad their partner is, don't dare to say a bad word about the person of your own. Defenses will go up immediately!

Mellora in
Xagħra, Malta
Level 2

@Helga

 

I do not get the way you felt that you have to respond to my comment. You do not know me, you read the review from the guest and felt entiteled to lecture me about the airbnb rules .... which in my opinion are valid for a guest as well. But me being a host I am obviously always in the wrong. 

 

Of course signing up with airbnb accepting guests I am aware that I have to follow some rules. But if a guest does not feel the same and putting up a review like that, after I kindly asked to hand over some money for a complete ruined set of bed linen, I am not feeling very friendly towards guests like him. And reaching out to airbnb how to react was in vain as so far I do not got any reaction from them.

 

I see it like some of the others here, IB is to make revenue for airbnb, taking away the decision from hosts, not joining IB has disadvantages because you are not obviouly listed anymore. Did check it, you have to put down my house name and location to get my ad now. For me that is good, because I do not want any more guests from airbnb. As so far my experience is a mixed bag between terrific and really bad.

 

I do not offer the rooms because I need the money. I wanted to share a great place with like minded people, met potential new friends, hear some new stories, share some nice meals with travelers passing by. And that in times when no friends or family are staying.

 

About myself, I am a sixtysomething, spend most of my life as a traveling civil engineer in lots of places where I did not speak the language nor could I read the signs. For the time being I am an off and on travelling language teacher .... am I a person slagging of foreigners?  I do not think so  otherwise I could not have done/can not do my job. What the guest put into the review was completly out of context and if I had flamed or dissed a guest like that for sure airbnb would have already come down on me like a ton of bricks.

 

Everybody is entiteld to his / her own opinion and mine is, airbnb is not what it says it would like to be. Advantage from this site, its cheap for guests and hosts. (fees). Airbnb does not care about the standard of your home, i.e. you do not need a licence and I think they do not care if you pay taxes or not. Leaving it to that, would be fine. But putting all this pressure on hosts in favour to keep guests on the site, is not something I appreciate and thus I rather pay a higher fee on another site but get in return more help and feel more respected. Because in the end of the day it is my home which I share with strangers and if I am not allowed to have a stand against guests who disrespect me and my home without financial consequences, again that is not a place or community where I want to be.

 

Please refreign from giving me another lecture now, you have not been here, you are not an airbnb official offering help in this particular situation.

Helga in
Paris, France
Level 10

@Mellora, I did not say that I believe what the guest said is true - as you say I was not there.

I reacted to the fact, that you said you wish to cancel pending bookings because of that experience. That would mean punishing people you do not know yet for the experience with the past guest. You have contractual obligations to them and moral ones. 

Ruined sheets are annoying, but beside asking nicely the guest pays for them, there is not much you can do. The last version of the Terms I signed makes it rather hopeless to claim replacement for sheets. 

Beryl in
Groveland, CA
Level 1

Ladies, I think you have helped me solved the reason why my listing disappeared completely after two years of cudos from AirBnB ane being made a superhost.  I never allow IB -- I live alone and really need to know who is coming here.  I really do love hosting even though as we know it's a lot of work and often stressful.  Right now I'm breaking out with a cold sore and it's because of never knowing whether I'm going to be able to make ends meet even though I live in a spot that is very popular and have (had) a very popular listing. 

 

There was a famous experiment by a psychologist named B.F. Skinner.  Lab rats were taught that if they pushed a little lever they'd get a food pellet.  Then after a little while they wouldn't get it until they pushed twice.  Then they got it randomly and sometimes not at all.  At that point they stopped pushing the lever altogether and just starved to death.

 

I'm tired of feeling like one of those lab rats.  If there were any way to change the way AirBnB treats hosts it I would be happy to work toward that, but they deliberately make it impossible to do this and just discard us.  Life went on before AirBnB and it will go on without it. Has anyone tried Wimdu?  I understand they're looking for US bookings.

Mary in
Baltimore, MD
Level 2

I want to be able to block guests if I don't feel comfortable to have them in my house. I don't use Instant Book because of this issue andI feel it's unfair that this limits my views from potential guests.

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