3rd party bookings

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 3
601 Views

Hi,

 

Having a difficult time at the moment with Airbnb, the latest being a guest IB for yesterday for one person. Multiple people turn up which is an issue so I contact Airbnb as there were initially 3 people. These people were checked in by the cleaner as the Co host was at a funeral. I message the guest and explain the situation. He does not respond so I proceed to let Airbnb deal with it.

 

As part of our check in procedure we use an WhatsApp group and the person whom booked states he unhappy that he has to supply ID and that of his guests ( despite booking for one) He states that one of the 3 people is a driver. Fine I let it go. Still two people but he booked for one.

 

Then this morning 3 people checkout and none of them are the person whom booked.

 

The real kicker is this Guest whom did the 3rd party booking is a Superhost. Unbelievable! 

 

This is not going to end well. With bad reviews all round.

 

I have updated Airbnb with regards to 3rd party booking and 3 people.

 

Since the person whom booked did not stay at the apartment how would the review work, I have little faith in Airbnb review system as recently I had another guest book for a single person and 5 turned up ( They would not leave) Airbnb terminated the booking but let the guest review which was as expected was 100% lies. 

What can I do to mitigate these rule breakers without my listing being penalised? 

Regards 

 

Andrew

21 Replies

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

For starters, control  over who enters you place is paramount; otherwise the minute you loose control the problems will begin, everytime.

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 3

Well we soon realise that fact shortly after starting with Airbnb. The guest ( Superhost) who booked accused us of ‘stalking’ and we should allow guests to come and go as they please. He said he was at the security gate for 15 minutes which is unacceptable for him 4 people including him at the apartment now, however he booked for one and he himself did not stay at the apartment.

 

The real question is with the fact I have House rules which stipulate that only authorised guests are allowed ( Paid for on the booking) Does anyone actually read these and if not once they break the rules how come they are then allowed to leave negative very reviews. If the person booking the apartment does not stay how is that review even relevant.

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

@Andrew-and-Yvonne0 The allow-a-review issue is insane, you have to think roleplay being a little crazy to even begin to understand it. 

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Fred13 too be fair it is a lot easier to control access to your place than it might be for us mere mortals who host on dry land.

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

I really could see that, nonetheless considering some of the abusers out there control is the only way to stay away from them. Yes, the how is the tricky part. I could just imagine the feeling what is like to have 25+ people invade one's private place and having to then get help from the 'authorities'. 

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 3

I had one guest a student whom decided to book for one night & turned up with many people and lots of alcohol with many other people in cars outside awaiting to gain access. Our rules state 4 people max and no parties. I refunded her fully as a mis understanding on her part ( She never read the rules) and she left 1 star reviews all round. Airbnb would not remove the review so it seems Airbnb do not give a flying fish about your rules when it comes to review time.

 

I’m thinking god forbid if a guest decided to shoot the owner as long as the guest had access to the internet ( likely from Jail) their review would stand.

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
NY, NY
Level 10

Beautiful space, @Andrew-and-Yvonne0.  Though my opinion (as usual, to people who know me) is that you don’t charge enough 🙂

 

One tip:  any time someone books for one, ask them to correct the number of people in the party.  Offer to make the correction yourself through “change or cancel reservation.”  This sends the signal that you’re watching everything closely before they even get near your place.

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 3

@Ann72  Thanks for the compliments 🙂 We decided to reduce the fee by at least a 3rd due to Corvid as in Kenya back in late march they completely locked the country down. No flights in or out to protect the older folk & lockdown from 7pm Unlike our own Boris Johnson’s herd immunity strategy which as expected backfired with the results that the UK has one of the worst deaths rates per capita. But the kind British will forgive him as he is such a nice bloke. In any case our fee will go back up once things normalise. 

 

With regards to your suggestion I already do that, unfortunately some people choose to ignore. my message. I had a booking for today and the guest booked for one person. I sent my welcome message and a separate msg stating only one person booked and we need ID ect. He changed to 4, so your suggestion is a must.

 

However what do we do with those people whom basically lie/Ignore. I seem to be getting more than my fair share lately. Last week we had a very case of this where someone bought in 5 people. Airbnb cancelled early evening and he still in there next morning. Police removed them and gave them an option of paying for all the other guests plus another nights booking as their  booking was cancelled, or go to jail. They left a scathing review as expected. I wonder if he never paid and got prosecuted by the courts would Airbnb still let them have a review.. I guess so!! No matter life is too short to worry about Superhost status.

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Andrew-and-Yvonne0 my strategy on this is that no one gets within 24 hours of check-in time without them and me being very certain that we all know what the rules are. (bc while I really don't like to deal with PITA guests, I really really really don't want to deal with them AND let them trash my review thread/stats) Therefore no last-minute bookings, in fact, I had (pre-closing the doors bc of ECP) that ABB reservations could not be made any less than 7 days in advance, bc as you've seen it can take more than a minute to sort out these kinds of problems. Usually the scammers and cheapskates and problem makers realize that their business will be better sorted elsewhere before they show up on my doorstep and perhaps I'll "lose" that reservation, but really, don't you wish that guy had never shown up at your place anyway?

 

Btwn the review system and payment problems, last-minute guests are just not worth the gamble. And assuming, without actually confirming, that guests have read, understood and intend to abide by "rules" is a recipe for disaster.

 

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 3

@Kelly149  our issue is since Corvid our bookings have come in very late, it used to be when travel was normal at least 70% of booking was from foreigners/Business/Tourists Our main market was from EU/USA. That is no longer the case due the travel restrictions still in place, Though I completely agree your method is foolproof. 

With regards to house rules do you convey these rules to your upcoming guests? in the form of a message or maybe a link, as my thinking right now is people do not even read these house rules. I have them online and also a House manual which state the rules as well as many other info, Maybe a strategy might be to include a link to these rules in the welcome message so there is no ambiguity.

 

Most of my negative reviews are down to this one specific issue,  people start to feel invaded if you ask them too many questions regarding whom is staying and requirements to disclose guests. One guest complained that her guest was held up at the gate with a requirement to supply ID. ( This being a requirement from the Management company ) The security always provide feedback to our co host. So she then follows up. But I understand you have to nip this issue before it can occur.

 

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
Whitehaven, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Andrew-and-Yvonne0 "People start to feel invaded if you ask them too many questions regarding who is staying and requirements to disclose guests." - THAT'S A RED FLAG!

 

- Decent people will respect why you need to ask, and your need to protect your home!

Guests need to understand they are not booking a hotel or villa, that it is YOUR private (second) home, and that you have every right to be cautious who you let it to. Feeling "invaded" shows entitlement... - which should have no place in the peer to peer ethos of Airbnb!

- All to do with type of property/host/guest changing since Airbnb started with Airbeds in Brian's living room! 

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Helen350 "People start to feel invaded if you ask them too many questions regarding who is staying and requirements to disclose guests." - THAT'S A RED FLAG!"

 

I could not agree more. If a guest has that attitude, I am just thankful they threw up that red flag right off the bat. DECLINE. Bullet dodged.

@Andrew-and-Yvonne0 

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Andrew-and-Yvonne0 "With regards to house rules do you convey these rules to your upcoming guests".

 

Yes, you need to do that. While there is no excuse for a guest not reading the full extended house rules, to be fair, they are easy to overlook. Sure, they are linked at the top of the listing description, but they appear as "The host doesn’t allow pets, parties, or smoking. Get details". How many people are going to click to 'get details'??  As far as most are concerned, they're now aware of the rules. They have no idea that there is more. 

 

This one small detail really irks me, because when Airbnb first made the positive change of more prominently displaying our house rules they had them displayed as "Make sure this host's house rules work for you 'click for more'. So a guest HAD to click. In true Airbnb fashion, they just could not resist taking what was a positive update and then tweaking it for the worse. Further to that, they also now hide the extended house rules behind an extremely small link that looks like fine print, down at the very bottom of the checkout page. Again, super easy to miss. 

 

From my house rules:

 

1. Maximum occupancy is 5. Up to 5 guests may be on the booking, and those will be considered 'authorized'. A guest is any adult or child at the property, staying the night or visiting. No unauthorized guests on the property at any time. Disregarding this is cause for booking being terminated with no refund.

 

2. The booking guest must have completed identity verification with Airbnb. Please be sure your last name is on your profile, and your profile picture is of yourself (not your dog, etc). We require that all guests on the booking be disclosed. Please provide first and last names in your request message to us. Note: any guest info you provide to Airbnb is not shared with us. This is why we ask it be provided directly to us.

 

The part about '...with no refund' isn't neccesarily going to fly with Airbnb if the rubber meets the road, but most guests won't know that, and my point is to put people on notice. If a booking comes through without the guest info I ask for (which is 95% of the time btw), I know the guest hasn't read the rules. I then paste the rules into my reply message and ask them to supply the info. I don't use IB by the way, and I don't accept a booking request until I have made sure the guest has read the rules and supplied the info I ask for. My rules also make note of the security camera. Something else to put guests on notice.

 

You might consider something along these lines with your house rules, and in your case add that gate security will require ID to be shown by all guests. 

Re: 3rd party bookings

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@Andrew-and-Yvonne0  Unbelievable.  What stress!

 

I'm still laughing, though, at what you say about Boris Johnson and the British people 🙂  It's clear you're maintaining your sense of humor in spite of everything!

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