I just received a phone call from a guy saying he had booked, and checking the distance from where he was going to be working (don't people know how to use google maps?). As he was talking to me, I checked my account and there was no booking ... so how did he come to call me. He told me that the number was released to him by airbnb. So, I just called airbnb and was told that the booking was preliminary, as the guy hadn't completed the verification process ... so they don't actually know who he is. I asked his name - just Gardman - which could easily be a pseudonym. When I asked why airbnb had released the number, I was told that that simply wasn't possible ... and the suggestion was that he got in some other way! It is an x-directory phone number, he told me he got it from airbnb, but no, computer says not possible so ...
Airbnb takes a fee for every booking, from hosts and guests. Security is critical for most hosts, we're letting people into our homes. It is not good enough that they release this sort of information, particularly to somebody who hasn't even given a full name, never mind completed the verification process in such a way that their identity can be substantiated. There's obviously a glitch in the system.
Thankfully the guy just called back to say that 30 minutes was too long for him to travel, so he wanted to cancel the reservation ... but would he get his money back? How do I know? What has it to do with me? I assume no confirmed booking, so nothing to actually cancel. But he says he received confirmation, which is probably why he got my phone number.
Airbnb obviously needs to improve customer service for both hosts and guests and solve this security breach IMMEDIATELY.
@Miguel It is the first time that I hear that Airbnb made a host phone number visible to the guest before the guest has actually booked. I believe that te guest somehow must have been charged from Airbnb. Ask him to contact his bank and then call Airbnb to solve this issue.
@Miguel I would trust Airbnb over an anonymous guest who can say anything that can't be verified. Airbnb has a very strict policy about not releasing contact information, including phone numbers, prior to a confirmed reservation.
I don't believe he got your phone number from Airbnb just out of the blue. He might have gotten it from a previously confirmed guest, though.
I had the same thing happen ,BUT, the guest stayed 2 nights and I found out ..Airbnb refused to pay me and they admitted at first there was a glitch in there system , But still did not pay me ..I am in a Marina and have a House Boat, I did not want to call the Police to have the guest removed so I am still up in the air about when they will or will not pay me.