I have 2 listings, I'm a superhost and had a PLUS listing as well, I have only had amazing reviews and amazing experiences 5 stars all the way. Airbnb had also been a main form of income. I decided to be a good person and put my listing on Open Homes thinking that I would be helping a fire victim. I allowed the guest Jenn to check in when I was not home, but they didn't end up checking in until 2am. They left the house at 4am. I heard some noises and went out into the hallway at 4:30am, they left the bedroom door open and their light on and I could see that the room was not looking right and I could see syringes from the hallway. I then locked myself in my bedroom and called airbnb, telling them I felt very uncomfortable. As I have hosted many many guests and have never had guests act this way, I was really scared and concerned for my safety. On the phone with airbnb, the representative told me to take photos of what I saw and send them to Airbnb, which is why I then entered the bedroom to take photos as I was told by an airbnb rep, she also said to call the police. When I went to take photos, I saw hundreds of syringes, butane bottles and spoons, and being a woman that lives alone, it scared the hellout of me, I was scared for my safety, and did not feel safe at all, so I gathered their things which wasn't a lot, and put it outside, cancelled the reservation and left them a message telling them that I didn't feel comfortable hosting them anymore. I only went into the bedroom because the airbnb host that I was talking to told me to take photos. These guests were obviously abusing the Open Homes program, and they were freebasing pronbably meth in my home. Once Airbnb permantly deactivates your account, you no longer can sign in or get support. Its ridiculous. I can't beleive that I did something kind out of the bottom of my heart, and was treated this way by Airbnb.
Crazy - so much wrong with Airbnb and its support for hosts.
You can of course enter your own property legally if you believe it is in danger, and I would assume that includes illegal activity. Just tell them you could smell something burning from the butane etc. Or that the police tried to arrest the guests but that they fled.
The biggest problem is actually communicating with Airbnb - Twitter, then some CS agent, then escalate I guess.
@Pete28 Please weigh in on the 'Introducing Superhost Week' thread in the airbnb updates section, it is written by a what is apparently the new Host Success manager at Airbnb, and ignores all our regular complaints to make themselves look good with the new hosts. You will see all level 1 and 2 postings in there, probably they should hear from the regulars.
I did that, 10 days ago, and directly asked several questions of our new Head of Homes Hosts. No response from her, of course. (To be fair, Lizzie did respond and tried to help, but of course, isn't in a position to answer my questions to Laura)
I recently had 'super hosts' staying with me. It was a great learning curve. I told them of my difficulty with finding a phone number if need arises and they loaded it on my phone, bless them. However, recently an incident occurred re payments and try the ph numbers? --------
@Erica250, on what grounds did Airbnb deactivate your account??? Entering the bedroom? Surely that isn't a reason to deactivate an account, particularly if the guests are doing something illegal! I recommend going to the media with this story - they will love it and it seems to be the only way Airbnb will listen to reason. I'm really sorry this happened to you - all the best with it?
@Kath9 Please weigh in on the 'Introducing Superhost Week' thread in the airbnb updates section, it is written by a what is apparently the new Host Success manager at Airbnb, and ignores all our regular complaints to make themselves look good with the new hosts. You will see all level 1 and 2 postings in there, probably they should hear from the regulars.
I had a guest who claimed to be a doctor book with me. Left the room entirely dirty, ordered medical supplies to my home without approval, and left a box of loaded dirty needles in the room. Took pictures of everything, submitted to Airbnb...
They removed the review because I mentioned the loaded needles.
Go to media.
@Erica250 so sorry this happened..............It is a lesson for ALL of us.............when YOU FEEL UNSAFE AND THIS STUFF IS HAPPENING.....syringes, meth, butane......CALL THE POLICE first...... Sure Airbnb wants pictures ......... What if the druggies had walked in on you - that's so scarey and dangerous....when drugs are involved - WE NEED police..........Airbnb said to call them which was correct.
For all new hosts we need to realize that when in doubt, in danger, when fearful CALL POLICE not Airbnb.
I think people assume Airbnb can handle everything - They are a Booking Agency - they show our place and people everywhere see it and book it! That's what they do. Please don't assume they can do anything more than that. yes, alittle more but not to protect us.
Sorry I have seen real evil in my life and so I am venting here some.
By laws in lots of states you can do lots of things BUT you took their property and put it outside! That's where they unfortunately probably get you and deactivated your listing. It's against the law in Fl. to do that - but the police would have helped you with all this. I am so sorry you had this happen.
One more thing - When something happens with a guests THEN you let Airbnb handle it - you canceling and messaging the guests was also probably what they are using to deactivate.
Please keep us posted. I hope everyone reads your post and learns from it.
When I have time later - I will start a thread and reach out cause this is a very teachable moment for all hosts!!!! And I will work to help get you relisted....don't know how - but, I will try
Be at peace somehow, blessing, Clara
At the point where you cancel and refund they are trespassing on your property and I would have hoped you could simply remove their property.
The problem may be that they told Airbnb a very different story - wife is diabetic, needs syringes etc etc.
Its a good mental dry run for how to handle this stuff - ideally let cops deal with it I guess, but really you just want these people gone.
Wow! That must have been so scary! I'm sorry you had to deal with that without physical backup.
You opened your home out of goodwill, the guests were frauds; they lied, took advantage, disrespected you and your home, broke several laws, and ABB booted you and all 3 of your properties? No "are you ok?", 1st warning or education? No concerns about "how could we make this (Open Homes) a better program and help hosts avoid this in the future?" or "Is this "open homes" thing really a good idea if we can't set it up with enough structure to create safety and success?"
I think ABB may have gotten so big it's forgotten it's community roots of people-to-people cooperation and good will, which was the foundation for it's success.
I'm not close by the fires, but my heart broke for all those who lost everything, and I put my listing on "Open Homes." It lasted all of 2 hours until I read the host horror stories from back east about scammers, squatters, having to formally evict, and no support from ABB, and my gut decided that was the end of it for me, even though I saw dozens of good-hearted hosts opening thier homes in CA. Hoping for enough good news to reinstate my property in the program, I created a post here expressing my concerns about the lack of clarity and policy about Open Homes from ABB about how "open homes" works, what would happen if we refused a request (from a scammer), and what ABB would do/not as support: https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/OPEN-HOMES-PROGRAM/m-p/888478#M218913 There was little conversation and no response from the moderator @Lizzie, but I still wanted to help, so I chose to my space via direct referral from friends on FB instead. I donated total of 7 days to folks grateful for a place to ground and regroup, it went well, and I would do it again this way. Direct referrals have ties and accountability.
My house rules clearly state nothing illegal is allowed on the property. So far, I've not had an issue, but it's all over, so no one is immune.
I know there's a "help" section if you have a "bad" guest, another if someone threatens your safety, and another if a guest breaks the house rules, but I do not recall seeing anything on drugs/dealing/using, and when it catches you by surprise at 4 am and you're worried about your well being and blow torches in the bedroom down the hall, and what if they return with friends, or hostile competitors follow them back to your place...who has time to click through pages of text?
There are things we need to educate ourselves about (local laws, where/when to call for help, etc), and ABB would do well to create more clarity and policy around this. ABB is not the police, and it;s not thier responnsibility to be, but I do hope there's enough documentation surrounding your experience to appeal your case with ABB .
Regarding income -- this is NOT the end of your business. ABB isn't the only online listing of it's kind anymore. Do some research and learn about alternatives. I think you might be pleased with what you find, and far wiser moving forward.
You're fortunate the guests did not walk in on you with "freinds", and to be honest, I might have done the same thing you did. The last thing a host or the neighbors want is negative drama and the police storming the place at 4AM. ABB has already had a lot of headlines for that in LA and elsewhere.
Bottom line: We have a right to decide who comes into our home and how they will behave.
Thankfully, you're OK and your business can continue with or without ABB. Be gentle with yourself, take a breather, do something nice for you, and don't let this shut you down.
...the suggestion of going to the press carries the possibility of rasing awareness and possibly saving other hosts teh same heartache.
ABB created this program and receveid some nice PR from it, but it's full of loopholes, lacks a safety plan, and policy to address the fraud. I called "support" and asked specific questions about these matters before I saw your post, and was referred to the "Open Homes" recruiting pages as "having all the information you need." I called back and asked them again, stating my concerns were not addressed and they could not help me, so I withdrew.
Maybe another kind of PR sharing your story and exposing the frauds to the public would inspire improvements that would make it a stellar program...
...and...I read that they're still supposed to back us up if there's a problem, so you may have more details to add to your story if you choose to go public, and if you're still interested in working with a company that's treated you less than kindly, you may actually have some foundation to have your "forced exile" reversed based on the alleged benefits adn support of Open Homes hosts on the recruitment pages here: https://www.airbnb.com/openhomes