I am sorry this is a long post, but it is all relevant and seems to be in step with what a lot of other hosts posts here are saying!
The object of a company like Airbnb should be to put A (the guest) in touch with B (the host) and at that point let nature take it's course. Nothing is going to run smoothly every time, but I am becoming frustrated with the complicating hurdles that Airbnb are putting in our way.
My guest for last week was slightly unusual in that he booked for the working week but only wanted to spend between 9.00am and 4.00 pm here each day!
The reason for this, he lives in a suburb 70 Kms away and has a daughter starting her schooling in a local school....one of two in this state that use the Rudolph Steiner Education system. He didn't want to make two trips a day in order to drop his daughter off and pick her up, and was prepared to work his daytime job from our cottage.
I felt a bit guilty taking the money as I am geared up for night time stays but he said to me, and it made sense...."Most of your guests are here during the night, but out all day, it's still the same for me, I am still using the place, just not at your normal hours!" He was happy with the arrangement, and so was I.
Mid week he said he had forgotten to book the next week but would like to book if the cottage was available. I said I did have it blocked for the next week because, batching at the moment I wanted to catch up with friends during the evenings and didn't want to be tied to hosting, but due to his circumstance I was prepared to open the week up to him.
Well, did Airbnb put some obstacles in the way!
I wanted to send him a special offer for the next week, but in order to do so l knew this would required him to submit a new enquiry with his dates.
The system would not let him do that, it kept directing him back into the current message stream we had with each other. I tried everything I could think of to get around this problem but no matter what I did.....the system would not even let him book, and have me part refund him, let alone me send him a special offer for the dates he wanted.
The last thing I want to do is go behind Airbnb's back but I was running out of options, I had opened up the next week on my calendar for him and I was scared another booking would slide in for possibly a night or two and ruin things for this good guest , so I jumped onto support........
Not even support could get this simple request sorted out. I was feeling him for options which he just didn't seem to have. God in my time in support with the tools we had at our disposal I could have fixed this in a flash. Not only could support not help fix the issue, he took off for a few days and is unavailable to further assist.
This is just simply not good enough! If you are going to run a support arm Airbnb, at least make the program and the personnel part way competent!
The situation has resolved itself.
Current guest for last night wants to extend to tonight as well, and wants to leave early tomorrow (Monday) morning giving me an hour or so to get ready for George's arrival at 9.00 am.....but guess what, they could not extend their reservation to tonight either!!!!! I know the calendar is reasonably tight but please, let us use our options......if it is possible to host, let us do it!
The only option open to me to accommodate these two guests is to once again block my calendar and do a private deal.....I don't want to do this, I am an Airbnb host, and that is all I want to be but, the level of support that I can get in order to be that host has deteriorated to the point where, I feel Airbnb are costing me business, not making it for me!
I spent almost a year with Directly in 2017-18 and you are right they are on a recruiting drive at the moment, I got an email to re-apply just recently.
I would not say that 'Experts' were incompetent, most were very knowledgeable and they are given a lot of company support material to work with but, their roles are simply advisory, anything that requires direct action still had to passed on to a company agent!
As mentioned previously, the company support material that the Community Experts are given to work with, is frequently inaccurate and/or outdated. And while some of the "experts" may have been reasonably knowledgeable back in 2017/18, Airbnb's rules, regulations and T&Cs have become infinitely mor convoluted and labarynthine since then - particularly in Covid times - and the community experts in particular have become notorious for giving out completely erroneous information.
And yes, their roles are solely advisory, with no authority or ability to take direct action on anything. Which makes it particularly disingenuous that Airbnb is including them in the figures for the 2000/1500 (depending on who's telling the tale) new "support staff" they're trumpeting about.
Penelope (great name that, my wife's middle name) you obviously have a good degree of knowledge about the operations of Airbnb and that is a great asset to the community.
You will find there is a definitely line to be drawn here as far as company criticism is concerned. I am not going to get involved in the rights or wrongs of that.....but it doesn't pay to be too knowledgeably critical of the company. I was instructed when I left Directly that I had a legal obligation to refrain from discussing aspects of the company's operations.
We have just lost a most valued contributor to the CC in @Susan17 because the powers that be felt she had crossed that line regarding company criticism that we all agreed to when we became Airbnb members. And that is the third time I have seen this happen in the past 4 years!
What I am saying is, we have rights.....but we also have responsibilities, and we do have to be careful what we say!
Use your knowledge in general terms Penelope but I would tread carefully when quoting specific possibly unauthorised information.
We need all the knowledgeable people we can get and I wouldn't like to see your access here closed!
Thank you for the heads up! I have to say, I'm rather nonplussed though! On almost every page of this forum, there are reams of comments from hosts that are viciously and vehemently critical of Airbnb and its operations - many straight out accusing them of being liars, thieves, cheats, scammers and worse! How is it that all those hosts - and from what I can see from quick perusal, there are hundreds upon hundreds of them - are not removed from the forum?
Are you saying that (typically justifiable, but often aimless) ranting and raving and letting off steam at the company is perfectly permissable on the forum, yet polite and knowledgeable criticism of Airbnb that is 100% rooted in truth, experience, fact and publicly available material, will ultimately result in the silencing and ejection of the poster?
How frightfully odd! And rather disturbing.
"What I am saying is, we have rights.....but we also have responsibilities, and we do have to be careful what we say"
Should our responsibilities not be - first and foremost - to the truth, and to each other?
@Sarah977 Your excellent suggestion (division of labor based on expertise) is dependent on the hope that they can appreciate the value of organization and simplicity in the first place. In the last 5 years Airbnb has quadrupled, but it has made an already complicated (and risky) model even more impossible. Besides, in the last 5 years layers on top of layers of odd tangent of thoughts & directions has been piled on to it. To ask of the existing culture to think of a totally new way of thinking begs the question - where is this going to come from? Not internally. The usual pattern is that many companies with an otherwise 'successful' product are oftentimes run like a royal mess, and eventually shareholders (if & when it goes public) bring in a real organizer from 'Outer Space' (aka outside the company).
Factories figured it out a few hundred years ago. Assembly lines are efficient and save the company money. A clothing company doesn't have one person create a garment from start to finish. One person is sitting at a sewing machine all day sewing on the back pockets, they pass it down to the person next to them who sews in the zipper, they pass it to the next one who sews the waistbands on all day.
Airbb is still trying to invent the wheel, oblivious to the fact that that's already happened.
Fred, that is an internet images photo but, the guy who services my car has an engineering workshop. He saw a similar photo and thought what a hoot and made one just the same.
I had and old cheap Kmart Chinese bike I didn't want any more, so I gave it to him and he modified it to look just like that photo. It was a snap for him because he is all the time folding up new car exhaust pipes and has all the oxy and bending equipment. It is not as simple as it looks because you have to use a heavy grade steel tubing to offset the lack of integrity in the design! But Jeez, it did look good.
When he finished the frame he sandblasted it so there was not a trace of paint left on it, put a new set of tyres and brakes on it, put it up on Ebay and got $1,400 for it.
He is caught between a rock and a hard place at the moment Fred....he dearly wants to make some more.....far more lucrative than replacing vehicle exhausts, but he only got that money because the bike was unique, if he starts pumping them out, the bottom will fall out of the market along with the price.
But Fred, you sure would get the looks....particularly as you chain it up outside the local, slip the Sat Nav off the handlebar bracket, put it in your pocket and calmly walk into the store!
Man, you would have to fight your way back through the onlookers to get to the bike!
I can just see one of those at the head of the Peleton in the Toure De France!!!
Yet another indication that hosts are not running our own business.
Airbnb have build a monumental bureaucracy around booking and can't put in place a simple and airtight guest varication process.
Chesky has to go....