Here's how the scam works: intending guest books with a debit card with only enough funds to pay for the initial booking. Booking is confirmed and guest(s) arrive. Shortly, prior to check out - scamming guest sends an alteration to extend the booking X nights. Host accepts BUT the registered payment method fails as there are no funds on the registered payment method (here the debit card you can buy and load at any store). Air BnB does NOT get paid. Then the hosts does not get paid and the scheduled failed payment amount goes to pending payments in the host's account. AirBnB conceded to us orally and in writing they were contacting the "guest" first to secure their payment PRIOR to paying us- the host. This is a failure in the payments algorithm at AirBnB. In our case, the new guest was in town as a defendant in a criminal proceeding. we documented this to AirBnB Trust and Safety and had no reply. Caveat Emptor
@Sahlee-and-Fred0 Yes, this is also an issue with Long Term stays. Airbnb only collects the first 30 days upfront, and washes its hands of the matter if the payment method fails for the subsequent month(s).
Whenever I am asked about long-term stays 30+ days), I insist on taking the transaction off the Airbnb platform and make the tenant sign a short term lease drawn up by my attorney and also require a hefty security deposit.
Hi Debra, how do you take the transaction off the platform without having a booking confirmed which gives you the contact details? Whenever I type in a URL, an email, a number, even the word "google" in the Airbnb message, it gets hidden. It sucks cause for a long term booking I would actually like to talk to the person so I need the phone number. Curious to hear your thoughts 🙂
I wasn't suggesting that you take the booking off platform. I was trying to point out that if you have a guest that is making another reservation that will start immediately after the completion of the current one, that there be at least one day afterwards that the guest will not be able to book.
For example, your current guest is supposed to checkout on September 19, but has decided to extend the stay by two weeks. The space cannot be booked on September 20 (and 21, depending upon the preparation time that you selected under the Availability tab). By default, Airbnb has instituted a one day buffer between reservations. This means, your guest will have to send you a booking request for September 21 to October 4 (13 nights), and you will respond with a special offer with a rate that covers for 14 nights.
@Debra300 I think Anna was asking the other Debra who's posted here, who specifically said she takes it off platform. Easy to get confused when people don't use the tag feature and there is more than one poster in a thread with the same name.
Good to know. If you had taken this guest’s money for the extra days into a PayPal account instead of through Airbnb, would this have protected you?
We ALWAYS book through Airbnb... We had a guest pay for the first 30 days and then tricked us into extending a reservation outside Airbnb by claiming the Airbnb website had bugs. Lost over $30,000 in income and legal fees - 9 months of hell and they moved out the day before the sheriff came by to lock them out.
Airbnb has NEVER left us high and dry: they've reimbursed us for theft, wild party damage, accidental breakage, bleach damage, cracked floor tiles, even paying for lost rental time to make repairs. They stand by their hosts; are apologetic and fair and never negotiate us down... unlike other reservation services we've used.
@Debra48 Airbnb offers no protection or recognition whatsoever of transactions made outside of their site. If a guest damages the property or any other kind of incident occurs after the period paid through Airbnb is complete, you're on your own.
@Lachristy0 I'm on hiatus for now, because social distancing isn't really possible in my home. We'll see when circumstances change with the Corona, but for the time being I can't host in my own space. I do occasionally co-host for others though.
@Lachristy0 That is quite a detailed critique. But it does appear that the guest was genuinely trying to be fair and accurate in describing the difference between her expectations and her experience. Based on other recent reviews, it sounds like there might be some inconsistencies with cleanliness - some guests rave about how clean the place is, others feel it doesn't match the photos. Are you personally inspecting the property between guests, or could it be that your cleaning service might have the occasional rush job or putting out the wrong linens?
Whatever the issues were, I think your response should convey that you take the feedback on cleanliness and accuracy seriously, and mention any changes you've made to implement it. I'd ignore the comment about the neighborhood, as it's entirely subjective.