Hi, I had a guest that just joined Airbnb recently and has no review that booked my place instantly on the 13 of January. As I do is to send them confirmation with details where and how to find me, as I do with all my guests. They send me a message back and thanked me for the information.
Then on the 18 Jan, the guest sends me a few questions :
Good afternoon! We have booked your accommodation, I have several questions:
1. We need official registration in your apartment, do you?
2. Do you have mosquito nets, how do you fight mosquitoes?
3. Can we check out at 15-00?
I replied :
1. Due to local Thai law, we are required to register the people staying in the house. We will take a photo of everyone's passport that stays in the house and we will register with the immigration.
2. There are mosquito nets in the bedroom of the house.
3. If you want to check out at 15:00 I recommend you to book another day as if we get another booking. We can give you a check out at 11:00 instead of 10:00
All of this is written in my description and if they would read it they would have known.
Then on the 22 Jan, the guest canceled, with not giving any reason ???
I do have a strict cancellation policy and Airbnb send me an mail confirming it and that I would get a payout According to my cancellation policy.
When I check the Transaction History and upcoming payouts and can’t see anything there!
I contacted Airbnb and asked them about it, to my surprise the Case Manager tells me that the reservations were canceled due to the extenuating circumstance and full refunds were issued to guests.
I have never received any information about this? When I asked what was the reason the extenuating circumstance, the Case Manager tells me the child being sick for which she could not make it to the trip.
I find this very strange as they canceled after they became aware that they had to show their passport upon check-in and that if they wanted another check out time they were to advise to book another night!
When I asked the Case Manager of why I wasn’t notified about this and only got the email confirming my According to your cancellation policy, he replied :
The Case Manager who handled the case may have forgotten to contact you and take the permission before issuing a full refund. ????
I wonder what would happen to me if I would forget to host a guest and just give them the answer «I forgot»
I'm sorry you've had this negative experience,
Unfortunately if you read these boards a bit you will discover that this is not at all an unusual experience.
Airbnb CS if very quick to offer full refunds to guests for "extenuating circumstances" very frequently violating their own guidelines. They just want to keep the guest happy - it's your money that's being lost, not theirs, so they don't really care.
All I can suggest is that you do not totally rely on airbnb for your income. Other platforms, although they have their own problems, do offer hosts better protection when it comes to cancellations like this.
I can only imagine how frustrated you are, but there's almost nothing you can do, except breathe, chalk it up to experience, and move on
It's all very well, chalking things up to experience and moving on - except for those who are getting stung, time and time again, by all these shady policies and "glitches", often losing substantial amounts of much relied-on income in the process.
Instead of kicking up holy hell, we've all been passively chalking these travesties up to experience for far too long now, with the inevitable result that everything just gets progressively worse and worse (and more abusive)
@Susan17 I agree, but there is no platform for kicking up holy hell- yet.
What did you have in mind? Go legal? Class action?
Talk to a politician?
I don't know.
I do know Air Bnb doesn't give a rat's a*** about hosts and that's their business plan, and that's why they have 4 million people a night staying at Air Bnb businesses globally.
In the end, it's all about the good people who appreciate what we do and that what makes it worthwhile.
I lurk in these forums trying to pick up on hints and tricks to enable me to operate smarter, to be ahead of the rip-offs and grifters.
Hopefully, Air Bnb will see the light one day and look after us-the ones who invested in our infrastructure and are putting money in their pocket also.
There are many platforms where one can kick up holy hell - local and national regulatory bodies, consumer associations, financial regulators, better business bureaux, competition and markets authorities, data protection offices, ombudsmen, FTC, EU online dispute resolution authority, ACCC, etc. The more complaints received by the authorities, the more seriously they'll be taken.
Airbnb's T&Cs should be subject to a legal challenge, certainly. Particularly the more abusive and exploitative clauses, such as the Extenuating Circumstances policy. (There is precedent - in Sept 2018, the EU Commission forced Airbnb to amend several of its terms, conditions and policies to align with EU law, on foot of complaints originally brought by the Norwegian consumer authorities, on behalf of aggrieved service users). There's no reason at all why more of the T&Cs couldn't - and shouldn't - be challenged, and overturned.
And quite frankly, Airbnb needs to be investigated under anti-competition, abuse of dominant position and anti-trust laws too, because their policies and practices are blatantly favouring, promoting and benefitting the "professional" and commercial operators on the platform, while discriminating against small, independent hosts by forcing them to operate under far more restrictive and punitive conditions.
And of course, there are the swift and deadly courts of public opinion. Airbnb has gotten clean away with becoming more and more controlling and tyrannical over the years, largely because hosts were too afraid of possible repercussions to speak out. There's always been this unspoken threat hanging in the air of.."Oh if I speak up, or criticise Airbnb in any way - especially to "outsiders" - I'll be punished by the Algorithm Gods, or excommunicated from the Temple of Airbnb for life". So everyone stayed schtum. Fear and intimidation - whether explicit or implied - are powerful silencers.
More and more disenchanted, disillusioned and disgruntled users are speaking out now though - through Twitter, FB, blogs, podcasts, videos, alternative and mainstream news and media outlets etc - and the world is starting to wake up to the fact that Airbnb may not be quite the happy-clappy, fuzzy-warm,, caring-sharing outfit it professes to be, and sells its brand image on. And that's a good thing. The more an outside spotlight is shone on the company's inner workings and dark underbelly, the more accountable they'll be forced to become.
So there are actually countless ways for hosts to fight back, and to advocate for change. But for any real change to take place, the biggest change that has to happen is for hosts to stop looking at everything solely through the prism of their own personal experience, acknowledge that what hurts one host, will ultimately hurt all hosts, and start standing together to demand fair, just, ethical and lawful treatment for all.
I'm very prepared to kick up holy hell if it actually goes anywhere.
Apart from posting on these boards adn maybe contacting a news agency if something dire happened to me personally, I have no idea how I effectively could.
I belong to several FB pages where most of the hosts are stunningly naive.
I am constantly reading advice there which says things like "this is unacceptable. I am going to ring aribnb and tell them how disappointed I am and make sure they change this policy"
I suppose I could have encouraged @Phanita0 to kick up merry hell which would be the equivalent of encouraging her to beat her head against a brick wall. IF I actually thought a complaint would go further/register with anyone beyond the ill equipped poorly educated lackey answering the phone who is probalby working for $2 a day I'd encourage complaining. But in my experience it results in a "case closed" with no response - it's just prolonging the agony. I'm definitely up for hearing alternative ideas though if you have soem strategies. I tend to try the more subversive route myself.
Airbnb are having a fancy PR boat cruise my area as a thank you to hosts. Hardly any spots. I managed to snaggle 2 for myself and my husband. I always go to these things and ask lots of uncomfortable questions especially if they have a rep there. I do wonder why my area seems to be getting a lot of rather high end subsidised meet ups like this - something brewing I reckon.
you are far nicer than me @Sandra126
Thats probably exactly what it is - a nice PR gesture.
It's back fired a bit in my area. There were only 60 places ( in what is a high density touristy area) and in usual aribnb fashion a great many hosts - some of them SUPER HOSTS (because they are incredibly rare) and what is more, not just super hosts but AIRBNB PLUS did not even receive an invitation yet "substandard" hosts were invited. You should SEE the vitriol of the FB page that the poor old moderator is copping
Here is the explanation our mod offered "Hi, this was a first time Airbnb Superhost Week celebration event, that had to be planned and run with a very quick turnaround. Airbnb made funds available for host clubs to apply to stage an event."
I suppose it's really nice thing to do and the opportunity to meet other hosts is definitely beneficial. Personally I think the PR part is pretty useless when time and again even in my limited experience the company doesn't fulfil all the promises and guarantees they're spinning.
I'd rather the money went to creating strategies where a hosts weren't shafted re the extenuating circumstances policy , or a party line that did actually deliver genuine support... ( neither of which are services I have ever needed BTW, but they are pretty major IMO)
Let me tell you how this little story plays out..
First, you get the invitations to the cruises, the outings, the parties, the all-expenses-paid happy-clappy social gatherings, with everyone having a wonderful time, joyfully singing the praises and extolling the virtues of this awesome company..
Then, pretty soon you'll have the subtle (and not-so-subtle) urgings to sign up your friends, your family, your neighbours, your postman and everyone else you ever knew to become a host on Airbnb, because it's such a fun and easy side-gig, they'll make pots of money, and hey - in the rare event that anything does go wrong, Airbnb and their famous million dollar guarantee will have their backs.. right?
Next thing you know, your town/city will be bursting at the seams with Airbnbs - the majority of them unmonitored, and being punted out by "professional" and commercial operators (with all the well-documented associated problems that come hand-in-hand with that), and your local authorities will be chomping at the bit to shut you down.
You'll still be getting invitations to those Airbnb meet-ups, only now they'll be scripted and stage-managed affairs, rallying the troops to get out there and fight Airbnb's battles for them. You'll be urged to ambush your local politicians, and wax lyrical to them about how Airbnb absolutely must be allowed to carry on operating in your area, as the little guys like you depend on your income to pay your bills and feed your family. (Airbnb will generously provide handy templates to help you draft your missives)
Then will follow an extended period of pure hell, when every news article and radio/TV bulletin in your region will be blasting out damning indictments of the ravages of Airbnb (and Airbnb hosts) on your local housing stock, communities and public order. You'll suddenly find that you've become Public Enemy Number 1, and find yourself blurting out to people that you're a stripper on the internet or something, rather than face the shame and embarrassment of admitting that you have anything to do with Airbnb.
During this time, Airbnb will go to ground and be unavailable to answer any questions hosts may have. The only time you'll hear from them is when they want to wheel you out for whatever their latest stage-managed, scripted, media-attended PR stunt is. (You may be asked if you'd like to ask questions at these events, only when you get there, you'll find that Airbnb will provide you a shortlist of 6 or so questions - written by them - that you must choose from to ask)
Throughout this entire tortuous period, Airbnb will continue to aggressively recruit more and more "hosts" in your area, offering juicy big bonuses and incentives to lure them on board. Needless to say, your local authorities will be getting more and more pissed off with this, and before you know it, they'll have been forced to introduce draconian regulations which will either wipe you out altogether, or restrict your ability to operate so severely, that hosting is no longer a viable option for you (particularly as the gross-oversaturation of your market will have pushed rents down so low, as to be no longer worth it for you anyway) Not to worry though, the big "Pro" and corporate players will carry on regardless, and they'll take up the slack. End of story.
There's no such thing as a free lunch, ladies. Nor a free cruise, neither.
First off I have to say - when you mention me in one of your threads I almost never get an alert, but I do from other people. I only found this and several others by accident.
A lot of what you have described has already happened in my area actually. It's already over saturated adn the councils have already taken steps to discourage/limit airbnb ing in general ( actually when I read the statements of some of these hosts on the FB community page I think that might be a good thing for rather a lot of them) I actually have quite a lot of empathy for the council in our area - there is a real shortage of housing - only 7 houses available for rent - but masses of airbnbs. We'll probably only be in the game ourselves a few more weeks - months - as soon as we can get the landscaping finished if half of our road base doesn't wash away a third time in a torrential downpour - we're looking for tenants which is precisely what we always intended to do, has just taken a little longer than we planned. After one years worth of data, we'd be about 5K better off LTRing - and that was before firestorms and viruses turned the place into a ghost town.
I guess the PR thing may result in them getting a PR ponies, but there is a reasonable amount of cynicism from a reasonable amount of hosts.
I'm also constantly re inforced for my cynicism. The cruise was VERY badly advertised, mulititudes of hosts didn't even receive an invite. Lots of complaints. After booking I was told if we couldnt' attend it was VERY important to cancel via the "i can't attend" button in the confirmation email. My husband now can't make it. I went to the confirmation email, - you got it, there is no "i can't attend button" just an RSVP button which says booked out. Honestly they couldn't organise their way out of a wet paper bag - why would I be encouraging anyone to join the ranks?
If You're considering to rent long term, take my advise: Ask Your prospective tenant for the phonenumers of his or her most recent landlords. And then call them up. This is the only way to prevent trouble.