When guests are booking, they need to be highly observant to detail in order to find the House Rules they are supposedly accepting before booking. This means that most guests miss the rules entirely, which causes a lot of problems for listings that are more complex than the norm. The screenshot how NONE of my rules are actually visible during the booking process, unless you notice the "read more" dropdown menu, which needs to be clicked so that the rules are displayed.
@Sean95, I completely agree. It also looks like they've changed the layout because I'm sure it didn't used to look like that. What make it even more problematic is that on the listing page, the house rules appear below the reviews, which is usually the last thing that appears on most sites. So people often don't realise they need to scroll down past the reviews to see more information. Its almost as if Airbnb doesnt want guests to be inconveniened by house rules.
I have attempted to overcome these issues in a couple of ways (although it doesn't always work). First, I message all guests who book asking them to carefully read the listing and house rules to ensure they are a good fit and suggesting they cancel within the free 48 hour cancellation period if not. You could even remind people to scroll down past the reviews to find the house rules. I also repeat my most relevant house rules (e.g. no cooking) under 'Other things to note' in the hopes they see it there.
@Kath9 I didn't even know that the rules appeared on the listing page until reading your post. That's definitely testament to the senselessness of putting them so far down the page... nobody is going to scroll that far. Reviews should be collapsed into a menu - not the rules.
I do something similar to you when it comes to keeping guests informed... the moment they book, I send a pre-written message, which contains all the rules, as well as the house manual. It's 1140 words though LMAO. But it also answers every conceivable question they may have, including transit info. It's all organized under headings and sub-headings, so when I get questions I don't have time to answer, I just give them the reference, e.g. "see II)2)c)i for the answer to your question".
Hi again @Sean95 I just read your listing and I really like how you're so up front about what you're offering and what is expected. I might take a few leaves out of your book! I noticed something though - under House Rules, the 'read more' link doesnt seem to be working. I don't know if this is just my phone or what, but maybe there's an issue with it...?
I just checked the 'Read more' link in my own listing (under House Rules) and that isn't working either! (although the other 'Read more' links are). This is very strange! I haven't checked this in my laptop yet, but it definitely isn't working on my phone. This could be a huge issue if people are booking using their phones (which many do). Anyone else want to check?
I have just checked several different listings (on my phone) and none of the 'read more' links are working for house rules. If this is the case, this is a major issue.
That's very strange indeed.... I just checked it myself: www.airbnb.com/h/mckenziepiping by using my "probing" account, that is, my secondary "guest" account I use to verify any changes I've made since I want to see exactly what guests ought to see before giving them grief, and for me the "read more" link was working.
@Sean95, I'm on my laptop now and the link is working, but still doesn't work when I use my phone (not just for your listing, but any listing I look at). Were you using your laptop or phone to check this? I'm just wondering if this is something to do with my phone (although it shouldn't be because all other 'read more' links are working). If this is an issue for other people, then it is a major issue for us hosts because many of my guests are booking with their phones as they are already travelling.
@Kath9 You know I'd be happy to assist you in a heartbeat, dear, but I'm a pretty low-tech gal- I have never used the app, use an old school dumb phone for calling and texting, and have never downloaded the app onto my smart phone, which I only use for the camera and to tether my laptop to my cell-based internet.
And yet, somehow I survive :-)
However, I am interested in knowing if this is a glitch in the app or what, as many guests do only use the app for booking.
@Emilia42 I was thinking that when I finally do use Airbnb as a guest, I'd have to accustom myself to using the app, but you've traveled as a guest, right? Nice to know it's not really necessary in that case, either. Do you just let your hosts know that you don't use the app, and that you'll need door codes and whatever else before setting out?
When I read on these forums about all the ongoing glitches there seem to be on the app, it's never made me even tempted to use it. I know there's glitches on the desktop version as well, but doesn't seem to happen nearly so often.
I've never had a problem. I would just ask the host the send the check in instructions via messaging in advance if I haven't received them a few days prior. I can then print them, along with my printout of the mapquest directions. Haha, very old school. I would be scared if I was traveling internationally though because then I would be cut off from all communication.
@Emilia42 Old school for sure, but sometimes that actually works better than relying on modern technology. "I couldn't get a signal", "My phone was out of juice", " I lost/someone stole my phone" are all possible scenarios that do happen, so having a host think they can just message you the pertinent information a few hours before check-in could turn into a big problem.
@Kath9 The app wouldn't make it quicker to respond for me, unless all I was doing was clicking on buttons. I have a really hard time using a phone keyboard. I have thick manual labor fingers- I find it impossible to hit the letter keys without half of them being wrong :-) If I'm out and about, it's only for a few hours- never had a guest move on just because they didn't hear back from me immediately. If I took same-day or even day-before bookings, it could be an issue.