Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Jamestown, CA
Level 10
576 Views

My listing is for two "not suitable for infants' and "pet friendly? NO."  AirBNB now states anyone under the age of two doesn't count and with the removal of the "pet-friendly," filter I am getting one request/booking after another that is not within my rules or instant booking guidelines. 

 

Last week I had a booking request for SEVEN as I said my listing is for TWO. The booking request was two adults and five under the age of 2. As far as SEVEN humans in a listing for two... My Waste Management standard bin will not accommodate that. Luckily they withdrew the request since I asked a lot of questions. 

 

But, in addition to the infant requests, I have had multiple requests for pets since the "pet-friendly" filter was removed and the selection option for "number of pets" was added.  

 

In my last pet request, I suggested they call Airbnb directly to help locate a "pet-friendly" accommodation.  but I'm just wondering does anyone have  a standard message they use in these circumstances?  I would love some examples. 

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26 Replies

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Hmmm... We allow infants, but not pets. 

 

We just had a Instant booking checked out yesterday. The max capacity is 8 pax. They booked 6 adults, 2 children, 2 infants. That's 10. But infants don't count. So technically, it is within the max, by Airbnb standards. 

 

However, despite repeated requests to the guest prior to check in, to let us know if the default configuration of adult/child beds and infant beds (2) was suitable for them, it wasn't until Christmas Day (the day before their arrival) that they they wrote back and said they needed much more than the default setup. I immediately responded thanking them for the information, but unfortunately, being Christmas day and the house has already been arranged for their stay, there is no chance of changing it now. 

 

There were 3 families in this group, and the one who booked it (who all communication was conducted with, but didn't respond to our requests until too late) wasn't showing up for several days. The first family to arrive wasn't happy. They didn't know what to do. But we're nice enough to say "don't worry, we'll figure it out". 

 

They ended up moving everything, removing mattresses from the beds and placing them on the floor (don't know why), dismantling the baby beds, and generally creating a chaotic environment. We were called to fix a technical problem And saw all of this. It seemed pretty uncomfortable. And although they put everything back at the end of their, stay, it was done sloppily, requiring a lot of extra work. I don't have a review from them yet, but I expect something less than ideal. 

 

The reason I mention this is that your post reminded me of this, and the relevance is the infants. They don't count in the max number of pax, yet most definitely impact the ability to accommodate the guest comfortably. 

 

Lastly, I've been reluctant to maintain instant book, but until now, I haven't had any problems, because I have all of the instant book filters on, and it tends to weed out the undesirables. But now I'm reconsidering whether to keep instant book. Mainly because of the infant issue.

 

Yesterday, I started to remove instant book, but the gauntlet of questions and advisories against it that Airbnb presents you with are daunting. They really don't want you to remove IB. And I suspect I'll take some sort of hit if I remove it. 

 

So, I'm on the fence. It's just one "less than ideal" experience. So far... 

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Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Jamestown, CA
Level 10

@Elaine701 I feel the same way. I am also considering removing the instant book feature due to the unlimited "children under two" option. Pets are another issue because Airbnb has made it confusing for guests with pets to find a pet-friendly location by adding "Number of pets" as a booking option instead of a search option.  

 

I'm struggling with removing instant book because my listing on most searches does not even appear in my city. The search cuts off about a 1/4 mile from my house. I also just found out recently that you rank lower in searches the more you decline bookings am at 91% the cut-off is 88% so I'm not far off. 

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Jillian115 I do not allow infants due to safety issues. But ABB still permits people with infants to book. We have had a few snuck in over time. Guests think they don't have to say anything. Not true. 

 

Typically I emphasize the safety concerns if a guest discloses a baby prior. If not they get a poor score on house rules (and often cleaning.) I added a pictogram about capacity to my listing and that has cut down on the number of requests I get that don't meet capacity counts. Guests do not read, so putting something in with your images may help. 

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Jamestown, CA
Level 10

@Laura2592 I do have a picture of my house rules in my listing already and I state that the booking is not suitable for infants and not pet friendly. When I am confronted with children under 2, they want to know exactly how it's not suitable, but when I list the reasons it doesn't change their minds on staying. The response is "Airbnb says children under two do not count." 

 

My concern is that this could become a discriminatory issue if I don't respond appropriately.  That is why I'm looking for examples.

 

For pets, I refer guests to call Airbnb Customer service to help them locate a pet-friendly location. For infants, I just started asking a lot of questions and they canceled, "Can you tell me more about your stay?" Who you are visiting?" "Where do they live?" "Have you read my house rules?" But it's not ideal. 

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Jillian115  I explain that our listing is 'not suitable' for infants or young toddlers because we don't have any children safety items such as door/window/cabinet guards, there are numerous glass items, a gas stove and 100 year old wood floors and no cribs/toys/changing tables, etc.  That usually does the trick.

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Jamestown, CA
Level 10

That's pretty much what I was saying but it wasn't deterring those who really wanted to stay. 

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Jillian115 just lean on insurance and safety. 

 

I say "hi guests- unfortunately our insurance doesn't cover children under 2 and therefore we can't legally host little ones that age." If needed I  go into detail about the fact that our place has very steep stairs (it does) was not built to be a family home (it is a converted schoolhouse) and is historically designated and therefore not up-to-date on safety codes for infants (it's not.) I close by saying we would love to have them stay with us when the kids are older and wish them well. I try not to debate or over explain and avoid all of the details above, but some people press. 

 

If any of that works for you, use it! Insurance, fire safety codes, building requirements etc are a very valid and non-discriminatory way to show why the listing won't work. If someone still wants to stay I throw in "I would never forgive myself if a baby was injured on our property.  Its just not worth the risk to us. We appreciate your interest and hope you find another place thats perfect for your family!"

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

@Laura2592 wrote:

I added a pictogram about capacity to my listing and that has cut down on the number of requests I get that don't meet capacity counts. Guests do not read, so putting something in with your images may help. 


I saw that, it was very clever!

Might have to do similar. 

 

 

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Jillian115 @Laura2592  Did they change the rule on infants again? I know Airbnb touts the hosts listings as 'free' for infants, but I thought that hosts could still write in the rules that infants were counted as part of the guest total?  

 

I don't even know what to say about their insane new pet policies of making it seem like you can bring 2 animals to the listing w/out notifying the host and an automatic prompt to remind guests that if they say their pets are service animals, they can bring them to almost any listing w/no notice. 

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Jillian115 I am curious as to how these people are communicating in their booking requests? Do the people with dogs say something like "BTW, we will be traveling with our dog. The system would not let me add the dog to our guest count, how weird!" ??

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Jamestown, CA
Level 10

@Emilia42 The last two did not refer to the limitations of the booking system.  One was we would like to bring our well-behaved pit bulls after I approved the booking the other was We have a lovely well behaved dog that other Airbnb hosts have all welcomed would it be okay if we brought it along. 

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

 

If this happened to me, I would classify these people as honest guests (honest because they are telling you well in advance, as opposed to trying to sneak a dog in or a 'btw' the day before arrival,) but they are clueless and think your rules have little weight because everyone should love their dogs. I would be relieved that it was caught early. I would respond with "As you noticed when you submitted the booking, you were not able to add a pet onto your reservation. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the space. I would be happy to host you without your furry friend. If this impeeds on your vacation plans, you have the chance to cancel. Airbnb gives guests 48 hours after booking to cancel before any fees apply." If a request, I would change to: If this impeeds on your vacation plans, you can withdraw your request. Please do so by X time today. I would hate to see Airbnb charge a deposit on your credit card for a booking that may not work for you."

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Jamestown, CA
Level 10

The first guest I told, "it is listed in my house rules." He wanted to know "exactly where it was stated."  That's when I found out that there is no longer a filter but an option to select the number of pets which is greyed out if pets aren't allowed. For the other requests, I explained that if the counter is greyed out it means pets are not allowed and asked them to contact CS directly to help them find a pet-friendly location. I wouldn't classify them as dishonest either but it does tend to become confrontational. That's bad for both guests and hosts. These new policies are creating a lot of anger on both ends, it's becoming exhausting. My three most common issues are Pets, Infants, and Profile pictures. No pets, not suitable for infants and you must have a profile picture that shows your face.  

Re: Anyone else feeling bullied by pets and infants? Whats your response to these requests?

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

@Jillian115  haha, everyone has a "well behaved" dog it seems!  Until they come to a farm, and see our cats, the cattle, possums, kangaroos and bunnies....... I have in my listing info:
"Please be aware that on the farm we have livestock, and there are plenty of wild animals here: birds, hares, possums, foxes and kangaroos, some doggos might find it sensory overload." 

Just to gently let people know their fur baby might not be so "well behaved" once they are tested. I'm glad we don't have sheep anymore, because those are just delicious bouncing lollipops as far as dogs are concerned. 

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