So I just got a last-minute booking request from a guest. They had absolutely no information on their profile, and zero verifications. ZERO! Not a cell phone number or email address, even. I asked why they wanted to stay, and they said that they're locals and their landlord needs to fix their bathroom. Yeah, no, sorry. What I can't get over is that Airbnb would even let them send a request with absolutely no verification of their profile. I really feel like Airbnb is starting to take the piss when it comes to guests.... we aren't able to do even the most cursory of checks on them because they now block all info before the booking is completed, and apparently they're not doing any checks either. It takes the giddy buscuit.
How much does Airbnb value our safety when they are allowing guests who have not provided any personal information whatsoever to book with the platform?
One other addition to this: when I declined, the system didn't ask why. I don't decline very often, but it did used to ask why you were declining. I wonder why they changed that?
Oh wow, maybe their system can intuitively see that this is a no, no way, guest! I doubt it though. I would be holding myself back from messaging the guest back with a sassy statement asking them if they think I was born yesterday. No verifications? Things are really slipping at airbnb. One contributor here recently had a payment deducted from a stay already completed earlier this year, due to some issue, possibly a stolen card used by a guest. I really have no faith in airbnb doing the right thing by hosts anymore, if they can't even do a basic thing like verify identity and payment methods. That is what they are supposedly there for. What next? No wonder hosts are getting scammed right, left and centre when it seems that the company is asleep at the wheel. I'm glad I have started taking bookings from other sites, if they can manage to take payments and not be paranoid about releasing email addresses for booked guests why can't airbnb follow suit? I know, it boils down to money, even if it is hosts paying the price.
I also use VRBO which is owned by Homeaway and I have been successful on the sites. My only issue is that neither VRBO or Homeaway or Vacation Rentals.com ask any questions of the potential renter and we, the owners, are unable to validate any information provided before offering the keys to guests we don't know. These sites only ask for a name and phone number which means nothing. I had a potential guest recently put down a deposit on my villa with only a name. When I asked how many people (using 2 bedrooms or one), the flight information for my manager to be at my villa to greet them, if they had any special needs, etc., ~~ no response. I nicely wrote 3 times, through the VRBO email, (since i have no other way to connect) with no answer over 10 days. Plus with a very generic last name, my suspicians grew. Given I do not receive the payout until the guests have arrived, I am opening my doors to anyone -- good guest? Thieves? Party host to use my villa for events? Their lack of response raised my suspicians and i canceled only to be downgraded on the VRBO website because of cancelling. If the websites take no responsibility to at least secure some proof of identity, etc., before allowing access to our homes, we should not be penalized when the guests prove to be a negative rental! Vacation Rentals.com and VRBO.com (owned by Homeaway, needs to take some responsibility for leaving their members' homes vulnerable. They are simply a pass through and we deserve more care than we are being given for the fees they charge.
This is the only scond booking with AirBnb but at least to list my villa, I had to provide lots of information which gives some security to the guest and I stipulate on my listing that the potential guest is "vetted" as well so I have some assurances of the quality of the people I am renting to. I also check the reviews of the potential guest which helps.
My only issue is that I am trying to add Airbnb to my villa's card to hand out but I can't find a listing number in my profile to state "See Airbnb listing # " ????? I want to advertise my listing on their site but can't find a member number and there isn't any way to contact anyone at Airbnb! Not good! I don't want potential guests to see all of my competitors so I need to pinpoint my listing only.
@Judith461 Odd. When I click the link above, I'm brought straight to your listing.
Be that as it may, it's not possible to search Airbnb by listing names, listing numbers, or host names.
When you are in Preview for one of your listings, have you tried clicking the "Share" icon and getting a copy of the link? Are you saying you haven't yet found a link that will bring people straight to your listing?
Ann Thank you so very much for your research and help. I want so very much to add Airbnb to my cards so that possible guests will go straight to my villa listed on Airbnb. I will work on it tonight and if I get it right, I will order cards right away.
I am not sure why, on my computer, if I click on the link it will go to the airbnb website but not directly to my villa. If I try it on my iPad, it goes to my listing.
Yup, going to get this right by tonight.
Thank you. I will update you when I am successful -- or nuts! :>)
While I don’t make a habit of declining I still want the ability to decline without penalty. I feel that’s our right as property owners. But **bleep**, if you’re reason isn’t good enough it seems then AirBNB blocks your calendar anyway. I always respond to requests (so my communication stats don’t take a hit) but I wonder what would happen if (for a sketchy guest) I didn’t accept OR decline but just communicated...? Perhaps use the “I’m Uncomfortable” or the “Not My Kind if Desired Booking” option thingy to decline and then explain in detail. I’ve also turned off Auto Booking, detailed my listing with firm parameters, and at times, blocked all of my dates and only opened them for the optimal guest. I play with many options, all of which are based on my latest delightful (or horrible) guest experience.
I hear what you're unhappy about: You want to feel more in control, without penalty.
However, as Airbnb has emphasized, guests make a booking after a fair amount of work on their end, and it is discouraging, even a bit ego-bashing, for them to be refused. I have refused guests because 2 people want to book a room that is only advertised for one, and there are fire safety issues I have to comply with, so as much as someone wants to save money and pile 2 people into a twin bed, my reason for refusing their request (and it always comes as an inquiry, because they are asking for something that my site does not allow), is reasonable and sound.
I've refused guests who have elderly people who want to use my attic--again for safety and fire issues.
Unless you have a valid reason for refusing someone, something you can politely and easily articulate, then perhaps you have reasons that aren't sound, or perhaps you're feeling overwhelmed.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, what I do is block days off and snooze my account: I could easily work 7 days a week for 5 months straight, but that isn't healthy.
Cheers, and best, Elizabeth (7 year host)