Punishing hosts for guests behaviour,

Level 10
Tours, France

Punishing hosts for guests behaviour,

A copy of the message I sent to Airbnb after a month for pure fustration.  We are constantly receving threatening emails about our listing because guests do no read the listing or house rules.  This either leads us to being forced to decline of receiving a poor review.  (The last, when we welcomed her stated that she was aware that there was no WIFI or French TV but then compalained about the lack of in her review).  Very fed up of the change of direction by Airbnb and hope that they will start to respect hosts as they used to.  We are welcoming people to our home and must feel comfortable with the people we invite here.  THe new system does not make that possible and we miss the ethos that used to allow you to rent an airbed in a living room.  We offer so much more but feel bullied into dropping prices and offering special deals to the unworthy.  It used t be fun - now is just like being a cog in the grind of commerce.  And so to the email:

You are punishing hosts for poor guests and we are thoroughly fed up with it! You have sent me an email threatening to pause our account for one review that lists issues that are not relevant because they are complaining about things that are clearly stated as unavailable in the listing.
We are also being dropped in the search engine for declining guests who do not read the listing and house rules and try to book in contravention of those. We did a search on our property (being the only listing in this village) and were below fortieth on the search, you listed properties one hundred kilometres from us prior to our property.
We get consistently good reviews but are at the beck and call of the few poor guests who do not think that the rules apply to them. We signed up to a service that promised that we could refuse guests 'who we are not comfortable with'. This has now changed and we are expected to accept people who have no respect for us, as hosts.
Your review process for guests is too involved and some guests who are very happy with our property get bored with ticking boxes. This leads to five stars for everything but four stars overall. How does that work?
You are not the cheapest option for guests, the service charges are in excess of listing on other sites (when you take into account the host and guest costs) and you are charging our guests a tax that is not applicable in our area - do you refund this to them?
Overall very unhappy and we have talked to other hosts on your forums who feel the same. Less threats and more concentration on the original ethos would be good - we are the core of your business and without hosts you have nothing.
Looking forward to hearing that you will be behaving in a more ethical manner and standing by your original concept moving on.

8 Replies 8
Level 1
New York, NY

I'm enjoying the venting, glad I found this. Most guests are amazing, but some...  My biggest ratings problems lately are less sophisticated and have totally unrealistic expectations about amenities and price...a little more guidance from airbnb during the review process might make sense.


After 9 years and over 3000 bookings I've learned early eviction is the best option when you know you have a problem guest, that way they don't poison the rest of your guests or drag down your employees.  When caught off guard with a bad review from someone who appeared to be having a great time just roll with the punches.  


If anyone ever creates a site called www.badguest.com I will gladly register all my bad guests there and pay for searches on future guests.

Level 3
Marsaskala, Malta

Im new in this sector, seems that lots of you meets with the same common problems. regarding the house rules better to print them out and attach them allover the house. for example on the doors i have a note which reminds them to switch off lights and fans. In the bathroom I have 2 notes, which says ''Leave bathroom door opened when not in use'' ''Put shower handle in place when ready'' ''please wipe floor from water so that no dangerous slippery flooring will be left behind you''. The note which is on the bath tube says also, ''if your wetting this notice this means that you are doing a mess''. 

Level 2
Ta' Xbiex, Malta

I can guarantee that no one reads any of the text we write to describe our listing - why else would I constantly get questions about things that are clearly indicated in the text.  As for the rules, I guarantee no one reads those either even if they are supposed to read them and accept them before they book.  That's one reason I have printed them out and placed them prominently on the coffee table in the living area which is the first thing they see.  Not that that's a guarantee they will read them anyway, but if they complain I would have something to back me up.

Level 6
Boulder, CO

We share so many of your frustrations. Rarely does a potential guest actually read the house rules (as we require they do prior to booking). We are a fragrance free, chemically sensitive household. We end up having to cancel most instant bookings and turn down most others because the guests can't meet the needs of the house and conversely, doesn't need what we offer. We feel we are being punished by airbnb for not being generic, cookie-cutter lodgings. airbnb needs to bring back the search terms function so people who need what we offer can actually find us and the traveler who can't seem to figure out how to read a listing prior to booking doesn't have to go through the cancellation process.

Level 10
Tours, France

Have been doing the sums whilst looking at other platforms and the service charges combined (host and guest) are lower on a number of platforms, just put the price of the listing up to cover the host charges and everyone wins.

 The new host requirements must have hit a few people hard - those who offer very cheap basic accomodation, hostel style. This goes against the grain of the original ethos, a sleeping bag on somebodies sofa. In addition hosts  are receiving a constant barrage of emails telling us that we may not decline guests, must maintain a minimum of a four star rating and should reduce our price all with threat of dropping in the search engine or being 'put on ice'  So much for laissez-faire.

As to who else can we choose, you must do your own research and make choices, it would be completly unfair to suggest other compainies on this forum, we chose to complain and try to get some of the latest implentaions changed out of a sense of loyalty to a platform that has been very good to us for the past five years and only in the past few months started to fail. If nobody tells them what is going wrong things will never improve.  However if they chose not to improve................

Level 1
New York, NY

Robert here a fellow host from NY, you text really touched me because is describing a lot the frustration that I am felling.

here is low season and with low season prices drop and you get the worst type of guest that you can get. You can’t imagine how many weird situations I am facing but the worst one is with the support team, because gives no support at all.

it always put first a guest with no reviews and inpolite from the very beginning that you are forced to host if you don’t want to suffer the consequences of cancelling a reservation from someone that you know from the very begging is going to be a nightmare.

then either you get a bad experience by hosting them and a bad review wich is going to afect your possition on the platform. 

Then the email saying that you are not a good host because you are having less stars than the average in your area (I would love to see if this is not based on fake reviews)

or if you decide to cancel.... welllllll then be ready.... because even tough you have the right to do so, your guest can make a review based on a stay that never happened and of course with no good intention at all ( of course you cancelled on him/her is not going to give you five stars or mention how amazing host you are)..... and then you will have to call to the support spend one hour explaining your situation and the reason why they need to take that review down....

omg!!!!!! This used to be easy, simple, profitable..... funny!!!! Get to know people, share!!! 

Not anymore.... 

also the quality of the people that used to travel is different.... future? Not sure. But is not going good. Mayor cities around the world and the most profitable for the company are against the platform. So you don’t only fight about all what I had mention (and being a host) then you also need to be scarred about your neighbors and community. Maybe at some point they are starting to be Right.

there is a host meeting next week. I don’t got invited (not sure why, maybe my more that four hundred reviews is not enough) but Ian going with a friend and I am going to speak out loud! The need to take us under consideration, we are the core of this bussines. We give the experience. 

Level 10
Seattle, WA


All great. But where are you going to go?

Who has cheaper fees? Who is more laissez-faire? Who will let you do what you want to do?

I admire your ability to try to change things by complaining, but I prefer to punish companies by taking my business elsewhere. 

Who else can we choose?

Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

It "seems" that although HA/VRBO charge for listing, that hosts retain more control, real damage deposits are collected, and the companies serve as booking agents, not a defacto Big Brother, attempting to control how many towels are given and all the rest of the minutia that airbnb seeks to enforce, nor do they set false expectations with guarantees in name only.  But, I have not yet listed there, and I am sure there are negatives, but it is hard to imagine any company is more random, mercurial and less transparent than airbnb.

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