Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10
727 Views

 

Hello everyone,

 

This is my first contribution, but unfortunately, my introductory message isn't exactly illuminating.

 

We recently had our villa well and truly trashed by an Airbnb guest, as the evidence we provided in our claim clearly shows. The guest flagrantly broke house rules and caused verifiable damage, costing us hundreds.

 

He even admitted it in his rebuttal, though unsurprisingly, doesn't agree with the cost of damages, but he admitted the violations and the mess they left.

 

We contacted Airbnb support literally on the same day of this guest's checkout, and were promptly given advice on how to proceed. We even asked about any time limits. 60 days is what we were told.

 

We had no security deposit. It is not security deposit related. According to Airbnb's own claim policy, which the support bot keeps repeating to us, the technicality used to justify declining our reimbursement request (we failed to file the claim before the next guest arrived) doesn't even apply in this case, as it is not a claim against a security deposit.

 

Nobody in Airbnb's support department has ever indicated there was any such limitation. 60 days is what they told us. We finalized the claim in 4 days. We filed the claim as soon as we had the final bill, as instructed by Airbnb support. We did exactly as we were told.

 

But Airbnb host guarantee dept closed the claim, with the justification that it was not filed before the next guest arrived. Despite that being contrary to the directives given by Airbnb support, and contrary to Airbnb's published policy.

 

Airbnb are always encouraging hosts such as us to be better at what they do. As a superhost and ambassador, with a highly desirable offerings, well booked year-round, with consistent 5* ratings for nearly a decade, I believe we have been exemplary in that regard.

 

Would Airbnb have us leave the house filthy, smelling like a night club for the next guest? In fact, had the next guest's booking been only one day later, it would have not only been equally impossible to file the claim beforehand, but we would certainly have had to cancel the next guest's booking. Surely Airbnb must understand the implications to our business, and ostensibly, Airbnb's as well? We spent 3 full days cleaning up this mess, and it was a major rush-rush, to avoid subjecting the next guest to it. And we spent far more than what we asked in compensation.

 

Now, as a result of Airbnb's inexplicable refusal to pursue this well evidenced claim at all, we're stuck with all of the consequences and costs, while the offending guest gets away with impunity, on a nonapplicable technicality.

Now, we are being completely ignored by both the host guarantee department, and every support request is closed without any reply.

 

As a long time Airbnb host (amongst the first in Mallorca), and a long time superhost with year round bookings, consistent 5* ratings, and niw being elevated to "ambassador"  we had become one of Airbnb's most dedicated evangelists in Mallorca. Long ago, we dropped all other booking platforms, and have been listed solely on Airbnb, and for years, and it's all been very successful for both of us. We are perhaps the very icon of the character of host which Airbnb has always encouraged and promoted.

 

However, this is no longer the Airbnb that we started with, and as much as it pains us, we feel compelled to begin migrating away from it. I have to suspect this change may be related to the recent IPO, as the character of the company becomes more and more enslaved to the needs of the shareholders rather than hosts and guests.

 

I'm under no illusions that I can expect any better treatment from any other platform, but it's really a shame to see Airbnb begin a descent into mediocrity. It was such a great company and we were really proud to be part of it.

 

Anyway, I felt compelled to write this. Sorry that it had to be my first contribution.

 

Saludos - stay safe. Watch your back.

Elaine Harrington
Proprietor
Villa Son Gat Mallorca

17 Replies

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Welcome to the forum. @Elaine701 

 

im sorry you had this experience with this guest.

 

on any insurance type claim there will  always be criteria you need to meet for your claim to be considered .,

 

. A key one for the Guarantee as it says on its website under the terms for the guarantee is that you must initiate the claim for guest damage  before the next guest checks in.

 

And as you say you have up to 60 days to make a claim,  so if you don't have a guest booking for another month, you'd have a month to submit .

 

it is not a technicality it is a key criteria you need to meet whether applying for the guarantee or under the security deposit the system is the same . 

I do appreciate you are frustrated but it's worth familiarising yourself with this and other key Airbnb policies so should you be in the unfortunate position to have to use them you know how they work . 

 

As you don't meet the criteria to make a claim under the guarantee, as a long time host do you not have specialist home insurance for STRs that you can claim on? 

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Thanks, however, this seems to be an elusive criteria for Airbnb support specialists, as it was never mentioned, even go wrong our query into time limits.  Also, the both continuously rebates the policy to us, which is inconsistent with what you are saying. It says that sides can be made up to 60 days after guest checkout. In the case of a claim against a, security deposit, then the limit is 14 days, or before the next guest checks in, whichever comes first. 

 

This was not a claim against a security deposit.l, which might explain why even Airbnb support was unaware of it. 

 

We were trying to do everything correctly. And as far as we knew, we were. The next guest checked in 3 days later. We received the final bills one day after, and promptly filed the vlsim, as directed by Airbnb dupport. We simply couldn't file the claim before the next guest checked in.

 

And we were lucky, because if the guest's booking were any earlier, we would have had the additional loss of being forced to cancel it, in addition to our claim being denied. 

 

Nonetheless, we have filed a claim with our insurer, and we'll see how that goes. I'm not under any illusions. 

 

Still, it's quite a slap in the face. Especially for an exemplary, highly productive host. They no longer respond to anything. 

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Sorry for the word errors above (mobile auto-correct). 

 

"even go wrong our query into time limits.  Also, the both continuously rebates the policy to us, which is inconsistent with what you are saying".

 

Meant to read " even after our queries about time limits. Also the bot continuously presents a copy of that policy in the support section, which is also inconsistent with what you are saying. "

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

...within the earlier of (i) fourteen (14) days of the check-out date, or (ii) before your next guest checks in.

 

The above is directly from the HG terms @Elaine701 .



Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

From Airbnb help section:

 

The Resolution Centre lets you request or send money for things related to your Airbnb trip. To open a refund or payment request, go to www.airbnb.com/resolutions.

You have up to 60 days after your reservation's checkout date to submit a Resolution Centre request for non-security deposit related issues.

If you want to make a claim on your security deposit, you'll need to submit your request to the Resolution Centre within 14 days of your guest’s checkout date or before the next guest checks in, whichever is earlier.

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

So, I've tried twice now to post the exact text from the Airbnb help section which illustrates my point. 

 

After two minutes, it is promptly deleted. 

 

?? 

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Exact text from the Airbnb help section

 

The Resolution Centre lets you request or send money for things related to your Airbnb trip. To open a refund or payment request, go to www.airbnb.com/resolutions.

 

You have up to 60 days after your reservation's checkout date to submit a Resolution Centre request for non-security deposit related issues.

 

If you want to make a claim on your security deposit, you'll need to submit your request to the Resolution Centre within 14 days of your guest’s checkout date or before the next guest checks in, whichever is earlier.

 

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Elaine701 

I am afraid you misunderstood the whole thing. The Resolution Centre lets you request or send money for things related to your Airbnb trip. You have up to 60 days after your reservation's checkout date to submit a Resolution Centre request for non-security deposit related issues......

 

For example, non-security deposit related issues would be if you, as a host, want to refund some money to your guest or if your guest wants to pay for some extra services you provided or send you a pet fee or something like that.

 

Damage claims are different, it doesn't matter if damage will be paid from your security deposit or from the host-guarantee, it should be filed 14 days after check out or before the next guest checks in. You don't have to have all estimates and bills, it is enough if you just report it on time, maybe just to send a few pictures and then you can send bills, etc... afterwards.

 

I am sorry for what you've been through and I know how stressful, time-consuming and expensive one bad guest can be

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Thanks for that. It explains more than anyone throughout the entire exercise has bothered to attempt. 

 

However, we filed our only previous claim against a guest in summer 2019, much smaller in scope, but it was at a time when we had back to back bookings, and the claim was (necessarily) filed long after the next guest checked in. Host guarantee pursued it without delay, and after a thorough investigation, paid the damages. 

 

But things may have changed since then. My greatest grievance in this exercise, aside from being left with 720€ in bills, is that throughout the exercise, we followed every advice given by all involved, all along. We had substantial dialogue with Airbnb support, and throughout that dialogue, nobody ever mentioned 14 days or filing before the next guest arrived. We were assured we had 60 days. We asked specifically for any time limits, because we knew it would take days to get a final tally.

 

I'm happy to publish the entire dialogue here, if you're interested. Airbnb can easily review it by simply looking. 

 

60 days. We did it in 4, by the skin of our teeth. Unfortunately, the next guest checked in 3 days. Technicality. 

 

Nonetheless, it's like getting kicked in the teeth for following the rules. 

 

Airbnb just lost a true believer. 

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Elaine701  I am really sorry, bad guests and a trash party is every host's worst nightmare  😞 Small amounts like up to 200€ were always much easier to get than huge ones. Even if you would have done everything by the book maybe you wouldn't be reimbursed. 1 mil host guarantee is not very reliable and all of us would prefer to be allowed to collect an actual security deposit.

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Thanks for that. 

 

Yes, we suspected that the real reason it was declined was because it was a larger claim, not because we didn't "file the claim in time".

 

We spent far more than what we asked for in the claim, simply because as hosts, we always risk a filthy guest. Rare, but it does happen. And there's not much we can do about it, other than write it in our guest review. 

 

But this was verifiable damage. It is indisputable. And ignored, on a technicality. 

 

The whole situation has shattered our perception of Airbnb as a "quality" and "leading" booking platform. It appears we were wrong about that. It looks and sounds nice, but it's really not all that different from booking.com or vrbo or anyone else. Just focused on sales. This quarter. At any cost.

 

Pesky customers! We have a business to run! 

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0 

 

I don't wish to continue to drag this out, but as far as I can tell, when filing a claim, you have to put a price on it. And it doesn't appear to be changeable after the fact (and I'd expect the recipient guest would flag any later changes to the price of the claim as "moving goalposts", to discredit it). 

 

So, you don't know the costs, but you have to file a claim right away, as the next guest may be checking in as, early as 24 hours later, or perhaps you just have to cancel the next guest's reservation (and that's a no-no, both in Airbnb's book, and in ours) .

 

So you guess what those costs might be. Maybe it's low, maybe it's high. You simply don't know.  You guess. 

 

So, later, you put up the receipts, and it's not anything like what you claimed. And that sets off alarm bells for both Airbnb and the offending guest. 

 

It seems this system has a few major flaws. And it's pretty slanted in favour of the offending guest. As in this case. 

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Elaine701  You don't need to submit all costs when you make the initial claim you just needed to have initiated the claim in the three days between the guest who created the damage checking out and your new guests checking in. 

Re: Decline of AirBnB host support

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Thanks, Helen.

 

I should have consulted this forum rather than Airbnb support, since they don't seem to be aware of that. No mention of next check in, no mention of time limit other than 60 days. And the policy as repeatedly presented by the bot is certainly unclear, if not downright misleading. 

 

Live and learn. We'll just have to get better at vetting guests in the future.

 

I just received another dubious booking request this morning from a member with no history. I'll probably decline it. It smells like possibly another clandestine party. 

 

Under current covid lockdown law here, gatherings of more than 6 persons is illegal, punishable by stiff fines. The villa is in the countryside. Nearest neighbour half a kilometer away. Largely out of sight. 

 

Lately, we've been receiving a rash of booking requests from "couples" Who "are taking a break", but upon further dialogue, we discover it's just some 20-somethings looking for a party venue, out of sight from the authorities.

 

In fact, the guest in question here was precisely that. They claimed to be professionals, coming to Mallorca for work purposes, sounded like medical professionals. They booked for 6 pax, and sounded reasonably safe. It turned out to be a raucous 3-day party of hipop musicians. We can't be sure how many were there, but it was certainly more than 6. We can't prove it though. 

 

Watch your back. Ask pointed questions. See how they respond. Be wise. Recourse for unsavoury guests and resulting damage is obviously not assured, even if you produce irrefutable evidence. 

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