Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Tucson, AZ
Level 1
434 Views

A guest is staying in our property which is located in the desert (Tucson, AZ). They were set to stay for 1 week and just checked in yesterday. They accessed the property late at night around 2am and immediately submitted a claim to Airbnb about there being black widows on the driveway and by the front door outside of the house.

Now I understand that spiders are creepy, and Black Widows can provide an even greater scare, even though they are unlikely to bite humans. So I offered to have pest control come out early and spray around the property for their peace of mind. However they decided to leave early saying they did not want to stay any more with black widows around. It's up to the guest to make whatever decision they want so fine with that, but my concern is that Airbnb validated their claim and added a flag on our account and said we failed host standards by providing a property that was not safe for guests due to pests, vermin, mold, etc. 

 

Given that the same guest did not report any evidence of any pests of any kind inside the property (nor has anyone, ever), there is no risk to health at all staying in the property as intended. We professionally clean the property each and every stay, and we have nothing but 5-star reviews for cleanliness and people raving about how well-kept everything is (Superhost here). This includes the porch, and backyard areas.

 

As well, spiders, much like other insects, etc are nocturnal! So if you decide to wander the desert at night, whether the front lawn of your home, or the walking path by the park, there will more than likely be spiders, scorpions, rattlesnakes, beetles, you name it. And while we do control (as much as possible) what pests get inside of our home, I find it highly unreasonable and impossible that we would be expected to stop every desert-dwelling critter from roaming around in their natural habitat when they are normally up and about.


By that standard, it seems if the outside air-quality is not up to a guests standard, it seems they can file a claim and win saying we failed to meet Airbnb's health standards again, because we didn't control the outside air quality "around the property".

 

So what gives Airbnb?

16 Replies

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Matthew1347 

 

Stupid can’t be fixed. 

The best you can do is try to avoid it.

 

 I note in my listing that there are all manner of creatures great and small in the forest, and occasionally some of them might wander near or into the house.

 

 I included some pictures for the illiterate and noted that anyone with phobias regarding insects, spiders, snakes, owls, trees, Bigfoot, or the dark should not come here.

 

That may result in fewer bookings. I hope it does if that means I don’t have to deal with STUPID.

 

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Matthew1347 

 

You definitely need to dispute Airbnb’s ruling which is clearly uninformed. Unfortunately some CS agents are poorly trained and not always logical.

 

Be brief, polite and respectful and if you have an exterminator contract send them a copy. Explain that you cannot control the outside environment.

 

If they won’t correct their error take a look at VRBO.

 

They want your listing and will assign someone to help you transfer your data from Airbnb to their platform.

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Matthew1347  you said: but my concern is that Airbnb validated their claim and added a flag on our account and said we failed host standards by providing a property that was not safe for guests due to pests, vermin, mold, etc. 

 

Did you get such a message from Airbnb ... or it is just your concern?

 

Btw I think every host who has a property anywhere in the rural area has got such guests at least ones.  Even those who host in the city can get complaints about the fly or mosquito or a bee who came through the open  window. Stupid people are everywhere

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Tucson, AZ
Level 1

I got such a message. The CSR in chat said right away we had violated this and would be flagged. I tried to ask for further explanation as to how we violated it, and that has not been given yet. Only that "he reviewed and found us to be in violation of this policy based on the complaint."

It's unfortunate that there are indeed stupid people everywhere. It's just crazy to see Airbnb's current stance on this. Fingers crossed they re-review and find some alternative, because again it just seems ludacris to think that we are responsible for every possible environmental factor outside of our home now too, even those we can't control. God help us if the same type of person comes here during the summer and complains that it is hot outside our house and they fainted from the heat. Seems to me we would have once again violated their guest health/safety rules in that case. *eyeroll*

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Matthew1347,

I believe the CS rep is referencing the Health & Safety section of the listing where hosts are supposed to disclose if there are or the potential for dangerous animals being on the property.  This is an excerpt from one of my listings that is located in a woodsy area:

 

Debra300_0-1634071331860.png

 

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Port Dover, Canada
Level 2

@Debra300  where do I go to add this to my listing? I am a rural property and for sure these creatures are in abundance around my property. I had no idea there was something to post on my listing to address this. 

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Becky454,

 

On your dashboard, select your listing.  The page that allows edits should be displayed.  Scroll down, and near the bottom of the page, there is a section called Guest Safety.

Debra300_0-1637345066037.png

 

The listing configuration tabs should appear.  Select Listing Details.

 

Debra300_1-1637345227854.png

 

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the Guest Safety section.  Click the Edit button, and then make the necessary updates for your listing.

Debra300_2-1637345390528.png

 

 

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Port Dover, Canada
Level 2

Thank you ☺️

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Port Dover, Canada
Level 2

Does this seem all encompassing enough? 

There is potential to see or hear wild coyotes, rabbits, raccoons, opossum, mice, Gardner snakes, fish flies, black flies, mosquitos, and ticks. Please bring a bug repellent to keep yourself safe from getting West Nile Virus from mosquitos, and Lime Disease from Deer Ticks. 

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Becky454  I might change the wording at the end to, "Use of bug repellent is advised when outdoors, to guard against diseases which could be carried by mosquitoes and deer ticks."

 

BTW, there's no such thing as a "Gardner snake"- it's "garter snake". And lyme disease, not lime. 

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Port Dover, Canada
Level 2

Thanks for the name correction. And I really like your wording better. Thank you for taking the time to answer. 

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Florence, Canada
Level 10

@Becky454 : Menu -> Listings -> Listing Details. Then scroll down to Guest Safety and hit Edit.  Check "Potentially dangerous animal", and describe the scary beasts in the comment box.

 

 

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Port Dover, Canada
Level 2

Thank you 😊

Re: Guest complaint lodged a health/safety flag on our account...due to bugs outside!

in
Clare, Australia
Level 10

@Matthew1347 

Imagine all the listing's here in Australia. 

 

*Everywhere: Red Back Spiders

*Entire East Coast: deadly funnelweb spiders and Death Adder snakes

*Entire Central West & South: deadly brown and tiger snakes

*North: Crocodiles and Taipan snakes

*And never go anywhere a shark can swim..

 

Look these critters up folks, and laugh at the numpties doing such silly things on a host platform.

Join the conversation