Hoping the Air BnB community can give me some guidance.
We received an instant booking from a guy with 2 reviews. When I read his message, he had actually booked on behalf of a young male friend of his from Morrocco that he could "vouch for as he had stayed" in his home on a number of occasions.
We have a young son in the home in which they stay, so we are particularly keen to make sure that all of the verifications are in place for anyone that stays with us.
I cancelled the reservation and explained to the booker that as per Air BnBs rules, the person that books must be staying as part of that booking.
We now have an automated cancellation review and it also looks like we may lose our superhost status.
Does anyone have any insite about this type of situation and if there is any avenues to take this issue up with Air BnB?
It’s important to have Airbnb or the guest make that type of ccancellation for you. If you cancel, you get penalized.
Call Airbnb immediately and explain to them your valid reason for cancelling and ask them to remove the automatic review. If you show them the communication between yourself and the guest, you will be able to prove it was a legitimate cancellation. Good luck 🙂
@Graham146 I see that you still have the automatic cancellation review on your listing but you also still have your SH badge. Have you had any joy speaking to the CS people yet? Any third party bookings are against the Airbnb TOS so you should not have a problem with getting the review removed without any penalty to yourself and particularly if all the messages between the "guest" and you were on the Airbnb message thread. Do let us know how it goes.
>>I see that you still have the automatic cancellation review on your listing but you also still have your SH badge<<
I think you lose Superhost status at the next evaluation period, @Rachel0.
The review from a host about you, @Graham146, suggesting you booked for somebody else doesn't bode well. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation, but it does rather fly in the face of your situation.
Hope you're able to sort this tho. And remember, only every get Airbnb CS to cancel in these situations.
@Gordon0 highlighted the contradiction in your making a 3rd Party Booking.
It seems there is also another discrepancy which best explains the situation.
You state 'We received an instant booking ...'
However, your 2 listings don't display the Instant Book icon.
If they did, you would surely be entitled to automatically cancel without an automated review of Cancellation.
So, it rather seems you received a Reservation Request with the message informing you of a 3rd Party Booking. If that's the case, then it seems prior to Accepting you overlooked the message... and then belatedly read the message and decided to Cancel.
If this is correct, then Airbnb will assume it was your responsibility, in which case CS will not oblige you in this matter. Airbnb will only act on behalf of the Host if the booker failed to disclose a 3rd Party booking till after the booking.
In respect of the current situation, if correct, i.e. you were informed of a 3rd Party Booking with the Reservation Request, Airbnb will instruct you for future reference either to Decline such an RR or request Guest to Cancel.
In sum, if my appraisal is correct, the automated Review will stand and you're wasting your time contacting CS.
ps. I don't do Instant Book. In the past couple of month I contacted CS twice re Declining 3rd Party Reservation Requests, notably after Guests ignored several communiques my explanation and request for them to Cancel the RR. (Some people are simply inconsiderate and can't be bothered and leave Host to sort it.)
To Airbnb CS, I expressed my concern that my Acceptance Rate will be affected because the computer will not be able to distinguish the reason.--I was assured it would not be the case, as accompanying request for explanation for Declining is monitored.
Whatever the policy and assurances by inexperienced CS, the reality is different. My Acceptance Rate was affected as I predicted it would.
Consequently, in any future case, I will ask Airbnb to contact Guest to inform why they should Cancel rather than leave Host to Decline.
The booking was instant. As you probably know, the guest can add a message when booking that responds to questions that you ask. It was only when I read the message that I understood the booking was not for them.
I cancelled and explained to the person booking that as we had a child in the house and no ID had been verified and as it also went again Air BnB's rules for the booker not to be staying, that I regretfully would be cancelling the reservation.
Thanks for the other info though. It's appreciated.
A similar instance happened to me a little better than a week ago. A person instant booked my listing, and her message read that she was booking for her father. I cancelled the booking with the message that I apologized for cancelling, but that it was against ABB policy to book for a thrid party.
I did not receive the dreaded "cancellation" message in my reviews, nor did it affect my stats, but I am now in "Instant Book Jail", whereby my listing has changed to "Request to Book". I see your listing is the same.
I don't really have any advice to give, other than to contact customer service and see what you can do about this from your end. I truly hope they'll sort this for you.
The differing "penalties", and the difference between what we're told will happen if we cancel an Instant Booking vs. what actually happens, are not very trust inspiring.
I like @Alon1's idea of calling in and having ABB cancel the booking in cases like these (since what we've been told is obviously bollux), and will be doing the same moving forward.
As mentioned I don't do Instant Book, so I'm far from fully versed in its modus operandi.
Thus it seems you may have explained the reason Graham keeps referring to this case being 'Instant booking...', re. 'Instant Book jail' with accompanying sentence 'Request to Book'.
However, as you didn't receive 'the dreaded "cancellation" message...', we should expect Graham wouldn't have either.--For this reason I remain unconvinced, and still believe Graham didn't operate IB when he received this booking.
Still, It's possible I missed something, as mentioned I don't know all the ins and outs of IB.
(IB simply is not appropriate for my circumstances).
@Alon1With Instant Book, hosts are supposed to have the option of cancelling up to 3 bookings a year without penalty (though I'm not clear as to whether that means per calendar year, or per hosting year):
I assume this is why I've not been dinged with the "cancellation" review or had my stats affected. As I've read a number of times in these forums, however, IB hosts are being penalized in different ways. I assume my circumstance of "Instant Book Jail" is a warning from the platform. I find "Request to Book" very inconvenient, and I also no longer show up in searches that guests may make for "Instant Book" listings. A most annoying and duplicitous circumstance, given the outline provided in the article above.
Perhaps @Graham146 has unknowingly exceeded his allotment of cancellations, and thus is suffering the cancellation review and the potential loss of superhost status - which would make me think that the policy aligns with the hosting anniversary year and not the calendar year, given it's so early.
So difficult to know how to navigate a system where there are so many mysteries...
(Edited for spelling error)
I don't know why you find Request to Book so inconvenient, but I can tell you my aversion to Iinstant Book, first and foremost as a live-in host, it simply wouldn't work.
I can make this assertion based on 6 years of experience (pre & post IB),and dealing with well over 1k Inquiries & Reservation Requests. in this period conversion rate to bookings has remained remarkably consistent c. 35%. In other words, about 2/3rds of those who contact me don't end up booking for a variety of reasons, theirs or mine, more or less in equal measure.
Crucially, the reasons why a booking won't materialize are not always immediately obvious, and it can take a few exchanges for the underlying issue to surface. (Initially undisclosed intention for a 3rd Party booking is just one of the less frequent issues, but it occured a few times last year).
Consequently, it's not hard to conceive that if I used IB I would quickly exhaust the 3 alloted Cancellations.
In other words, an Inquiry that has little or nothing riding on it in terms of rating and committments is far less stressful to deal with.
Yet since the introduction of IB, I have received a considerably higher % of Reservation Requests. I can't recall all the preceding layouts, but nowadays 'Request to Book' in red is far more prominent than 'Contact Host' in blue for Inquiry. Indeed, some guests, notably newer ones, are not even aware of the possibility to contact for inquiry.
In the cases where an inadvertant Request to Book occurs but turns out incompatible, I do my best to get the Guest to Cancel rather than me Decline.
Since this is a TRUST and SAFETY issue, we must all ask Airbnb to improve the booking process.
Please feel free to copy and paste the below content:
1. Please add an extra step in the booking process:
"Is this a third party booking (for someone other than yourself ex. friend, or family)?
This is a TRUST and SAFETY issue. Additionally, if a host has to bring this to the guest attention later, it's awkward at best, and sours the relationship at worst. Not to mention the time/money resources that must be spent by Airbnb and the host to settle the mistake.
Hi - We have are Super Hosts and have instant book and, coincidentally, have had our first two third party bookings in the last week. Apart from trust and safety issues, we would not have the usual Airbnb protections if the person making the booking is not staying. I have had this confirmed twice in the last week with two third party bookings that were not connected. We do not have rental insurance so we require the protection of Airbnb cover. If you have rental insurance and you accept a third party booking, you may be ok if there is an accident to the person or damage to the property but I'd check the small print. They may say you're listing through Airbnb so we don't cover that.
We have managed to sort both bookings through Airbnb help centre, Aus 02 8520 3333, by person who made the booking is required to cancel and the actual guests rebook. We agreed to a full refund to the original booker once the actual booking is made. Therefore, we didn't cancel them.
However, we have a code box containing the key and we release the code to the guest at 2pm the checkin time, and we would not release a checkin code to anyone who hasn't followed Airbnb guidelines or is rude, deceitful or aggressive in their messages, to hell with the Super Host consequences, our safety and security come first. This also eliminates people arriving early and letting themselves in.
It's also good to have an active security camera at the entrance/driveway that records to a chip, purchased online from China about $70 Aust, linked to a free App on your phone and linked into your house wifi. You can log in anytime/any place and check recorded movement at the entrance/driveway to ensure that only the persons booked are staying. I have added to the end of our House Rules that an active security camera is installed at the top of the driveway so they know if they bring in others they will be seen. Hope this helps.
Kind regards - Lexi and Steve.