Let me begin by saying that I have been a host since 2011. I find the practice of encouraging hosts to lower their price with the suggested competitive pricing is attracting bad clientele.
Last year an AirBnB guest booked a room at my BnB. I checked his profile, he had no picture. I was concerned and searched his name on google and discovered that he had stabbed a woman in a nearby town and had an extensive record. I refused the reservation. Since then I have checked out each and every AirBnB guest due to this obvious lax in security.
Then another AirBnB guest came to stay with me for a month. He appeared to be legitimate and was the head of a Non-Profit. He prepaid but wanted to extend for another month paying me with his wife's credit card. To make a long story short they defrauded us and it was later learned that their Non-Profit was under investigation in their home state.
The new policy of Not Sharing Guest's Names is security issue for me and all hosts. I will, after 8 years, no longer host under these conditions
How are you taking credit card payments outside of Airbnb? Agreed Airbnb doesn't bring the best clientele and their background checks leave a lot to be desired but they keep the majority of us pretty booked up.
Stripe, Square. to name the two that we use. As for bookings the push for competitive prices around here on AirBnB has proven a detriment, and consequently we are booked up May 15th -Sept 15th with other sources at higher prices.
He is not the main point of my post but, he was supposedly vetted by ABB. We did not thoroughly check him out until after he left. His public profile was outstanding until we dug in. The main point is that hosts can no longer know who is coming to their home. Other services devvulge names and phone numbers.
A friendly recommendation, it is best not to mention publicly that you took a payment outside ABB. It can get you into hot water. Only unless the guest found you organically or through your own webiste, they you can freely charge by CC without risk
@Felicia60 I agree that it is very risky especially when Airbnb does not screen guests after they hide a guest profile information before a booking is confirmed.
Not until a big lawsuit or a few life threatening accidents occur on hosts, Airbnb would not be make any change in the near future since they want to get as many bookings as possible.
There seems to be an air of paranoia with sharing guest information. I live where my guests stay, I have to be safe and if I can't check them out through my own sources then I am not comfortable with not knowing who is under my roof. Perhaps the founders are willing to open their homes up to unknown guests.
How did you happen to check out the man with a violent past if you only had his first name? Did you ask for this info before booking and he gave it freely? Because all we get in a request is the first name, no pic and no other info. Or was this on instant booking and you canceled the reservation? I thought that looked bad on the host's part and Airbnb does not play nice afterward. So far all our guests have been sweethearts, except for one that left us with a flea problem that took a month to rid. May I ask what other service you use besides Airbnb?
I agree with what you say. Lowering your price attracts very bad guests. Two weeks ago I hosted a guest with just one review. Her story was that her brother was coming to visit her for just one night and she was unable to accommodate him. Hence she booked my apartment for the two of them. The morning of the checkout the lady had left and it was just her brother. I have to say in hindsight he did seem agitated. The guest left. I checked the apartment and it seemed initially ok. However, I noticed a picture was taken off the wall. I panicked as I have nice artwork eventually I found it in the bedroom. I went out into my garden and it was a real mess as if the guests had a party. Lawn was all messed up, a small garden trolley broken in two.
I started to get the apartment cleaned and ready for the next guest. I couldn’t close the sofa bed. They had broken the back of the bed in two. The mechanism wasn’t broken. I such can’t understand how they managed to break the back. Anyway, the bed is now unusable. I have a strong lock on the bathroom door, it was completely broken, plus several other minor things.
I live a distance from the apartment. When my neighbor saw me at the apartment. He came out to see me and he told me that the guests had held a party and he told me that the noise was terrible. He saw between 20-25 guests enter my apartment.
This is two weeks ago. I am still pretty booked with no sofa bed to accommodate the new guests. I have a claim with the Resolution Centre. I have posted photos of the broken part on the bed which makes it unusable. However I have had no response from Airbnb. Fortunately, I have a small single fold up bed which I now have to offer my guests. I am not in a financial position to be able to go out and buy a new bed and neither do I want to as this is criminal damage. Yes, and this guest was even able to leave a bad review. Plus the new guest who arrived the day that all this happened and I was unable to provide a sofa bed for her daughter complained bitterly with a bad review complaining about my stress. I could tell you lots more but enough has been said. From now I do a minimum of 2 nights and even though I have instant book on. I will only accept future guests with good reviews. Better the loss in bookings than this behavior! My listing now has dropped because of these bad reviews from a 4.8 to a 4.5. Where is the justice and loyalty with Airbnb. I am a long-standing host.
I do not use instant booking because I like to read reviews and get a feel for them through messaging with guest before booking. I had a guest inquiry for 3 nights. It was just going to be him and his dog. Red flag #1, His five reviews were all positive, but stated him and his family. Red flag #2, Kept asking for a discount, said would only be using one bedroom (I only have 1 bedroom),said we leave places as clean if it cleaner than when they arrived. I gave a 10% discount, approved him for he 3 nights, he accepted, then he said he forgot he needed to be somewhere on the last day and would only stay 2 nights. I modified reservation. Obviously he didn’t read the listing because he asked many questions he would’ve found in the description on the site. He arrives, calls me saying how great the place was and his plans have changed he might stay the extra night. Long story short he did not stay the extra night I did extend the check out by two hours. My cleaning lady arrived a couple hours after his departure and found the place a mess . Stains on the carpet, trash never taken out, dog food left in the bowls, towels just thrown on the bathroom sink, the list goes on. I was very upset and left a nasty review. When I texted him and Said how disappointed I was and how he left the place, his reply was he did not think it was a mess. I’ve been using Airbnb for three years, and very proud to be a super host. Out of the 170 guest I would say three are not welcome back and he is one of the three.
I strongly believe that you would never have had this guest if you used instant book. With instant book your guest accepts the price and listing as is. If they want to haggle over the price and ask many questions to bend your rules, then they inquire.
Always make sure you take photos after you have Guests like this, it pays to keep evidence for future reference.
You may also like to reach out to @Laura who is Head of Customer Services to see if she can help you with the resolution of your claim.
If you click on here name you can msg her through CC.
You can always edit your listing to ensure potential guests send an enquiry, or the purpose of their stay prior to booking, also make sure you ask for car model, colour & registration as a safeguard should any issues arise.
It's good your neighbour came to speak to you and I hope you both have each others contact details to network - always helpful to have caring neighbours to look out for one's property.
Did you exercise your right to leave a Right of Reply to your Guests who left negative reviews?
If not, you may like to exercise your rights there to - do be aware that future potential guests read prior reviews and that sooner or later those reviews will hopefully slip down out of the radar.
All the best
@Felicia60 I feel like ABB is trying to make booking a very easy thing for guests to attract more people. They are competing with the hotel industry and with that in mind, they don't care about background checks or who these people are. They just want a booking system easy enough for a guest to log on and book. Which obviously sucks for the hosts who have to deal with the bad guests. Just my thoughts as to why the security seems to keep going down!
Kaylee, I use other venues to get bookings, they do not encourage me to lower my prices, I am provided with first and last names along with a phone number. Guests on these venues are allowed to communicate with me and their emails are not edited. ABB is, in my opinion, is asking hosts to attract the bottom feeders.