In the attached screenshots, you will see a huge contradiction. In one of them, there is the false statement, "Pre-booking message: require guests to read and respond to a message BEFORE they confirm their reservation". In the other screenshot, where a friend is going through the steps of booking my listing, you will see that my pre-booking message does not appear anywhere.
What we discovered is that AFTER the property is booked and paid for, the pre-booking message will be automatically sent as a conversation starter.
This is a pretty huge design oversight. I've contact AirBnB customer service many times about it, and either the service rep is somehow incapable of understanding the issue OR it gets passed over the the backend personnel, who then give me a canned blame-the-user response that totally misses the point, "the guest should be reading the rules before booking so you shouldn't need to remind them about the rules in the pre-booking message".
OMFG it doesn't matter what the host wants to put in the content of pre-booking message. Don't call it a freaking pre-booking message if it's actually a pose-booking message. Ridiculous.
@Sean95, omfg is an appropriate response - that is just completely ridiculous, both the so-called prebooking message as well as the CS response. Have you got instant book switched on? If not, you could message all prospective guests with your prebooking message asking them to confirm they've read the house rules before accepting.
Just out of curiosity, which house rules do you find people don't tend to observe?
@Kath9 I have instant book turned on, and I honestly need it on because I have set up my downtown Toronto apartment in such a way that people can come and go without my direct involvement. I'm too busy with my job to vet my guests or cater to them once they are here.
My listing's only selling points are that it's cheap and very clean. The trade-off is that I'm particular about many things and don't make myself available to spoon-feed guests, so there are many procedures in place that must be followed.
The rules people typically don't observe (80% of guests fail at at least one of these things) are:
Using the lockbox to get their keys (they often just bang on the door), stumbling into neighbouring properties since they don't bother checking the listing photos before arrival, keeping shoes on in the house (unless I'm home to tell them otherwise), leaving my apartment door unlocked, leaving windows open while the aircon or heaters are on, bringing loud and disruptive animals (I allow pets, but it says in the rules that only quiet animals are allowed and that if dogs bark, they will need a muzzle), asking to cook even though the rules say kitchen isn't included, turning off the water to the kitchen sink while the portable dishwasher is connect to the faucet.
The rules people typically observe (99% of guests comply) without issue are:
Checking out on time & not using the laundry machine
Educated guess... this is no design flaw, but - along with all the other "glitches" in the system that are saddling innumerable hosts with unwanted bookings that are routinely overriding their set parameters - is merely a deliberate continuation of Airbnb's relentless quest to eliminate every possible barrier to booking, in order to optimise revenue in the run up to the IPO. I'd put good money on it.
@Susan17 exactly what I wanted to say. There are so many places where Airbnb tries to make ambiguityor make things presented on the host side and guest side different in order to reach their purpose of attracting more guests booking and more acceptance of bookings from hosts.
Some infamous examples are forcing price tips, smart pricing, instant booking etc., no clear explanation of ratings, set guest the tone in a guest review process that 3 star is meeting the expectation.
After almost 5 years, this will be my last season with Airbnb.
There are countless examples of the just not giving a duck. There are also countless possibilities for lawsuits.
I was going to give it one last go after taking almost a year off. However, it is abundantly clear from this post (and others that I have read tonight) that Airbnb's relentless manipulation of hosts is still going full-force. If any of these latest shenanigans result in my having an unpleasant booking or guest experience, I am out of here. My listing sells out when I have it open. I made 43K in just 20 months, so Airbnb made some decent service fees off of my tireless efforts (I manage and clean my listing myself with the help of my partner). But yes, I'd walk away in a New York minute, because I refuse to be treated like a village idiot or wayward child or be made a 'slave to the (corporate) machine', allowing myself to be disregarded, dehumanized, and objectified in Airbnb's quest for profits.
And if you think I'm being dramatic, then you likely have not been hosting with Airbnb for very long. Just give it a little more time.
I've just checked this out using my partner's account for my listing. Here's what I discovered:
After I chose "Reserve", the "Rules" page appeared. All the preset rules that I've chosen (no pets, no parties, etc) are listed. The box must be expanded through a "Read More" drop down to see any additional rules that I've added. In my case, I've included a "no 3rd party booking" rule and a couple of other things.
The booker must then click "Agree and Continue".
They are then presented with the prebooking message, in which I've asked for arrival time (after 3pm) name of second guest (if any) and a **Note: 3rd party bookings violate Airbnb's terms of service. Please abandon this booking now if you will not be staying here personally.
You can tell that I have a problem with 3rd party bookings :)
Anyhow, the booking is not confirmed at this stage, so I guess it is still a PREbooking message that guests are presented with before they confirm the reservation. A "Continue" button must be clicked before the order is processed.
I've only just added the 3rd party biz into the prebook message, so I'm hoping that I see a drop in people doing this going forward. Obviously no one expands the "read more rules" part (which seemed to make no difference - or at least didn't discourage ALL third party stuff), so I though I'd try this.
@Jennifer1421 Would you mind sending screenshots? If you look at my screenshots in the very first message of this post, you will see that I have a pre-booking message (shown the 1st screenshot) and that when someone tries to book my property, that message is NOT shown (shown in 2nd screenshot). You will see that the screenshot shows the page where the "Agree and Continue" button appears and that the pre-booking message is nowhere to be found. Once they click "Agree and Continue", that's it, the booking it finalized. So I would like to see how you figured that the pre-booking message is actually shown before guests confirm the reservation, if you don't mind
@Sean95 This is what I see as your pre-booking message. Once you click 'Agree and Continue" (after the house rules) you are brought to one more screen before billing and confirmation. However, this is not what your pre-booking message says in your screenshot above. Did you recently change it?