apologies for having to reach out like this but I am trying to contact airbnb to no avail - just keep being taken back to the contact guest page and it is the pending guest I am concerned about.
Here's my situation:
I’ve had a warning that my account may be suspended and now I am in a situation where I might have to decline a booking.
My 'warning' was due to someone leaving as they didn’t like the dog I was fostering so I agreed to re pay him but airbnb have penalised me - I did contact airbnb at the time. Then it turned out the next lady that had booked was allergic to dogs (despite my add saying in the title and throughout that I had a dog!) She cancelled but this added to my penalty it seems. I immediately turned off instant book. The dog is now gone so it's just me (single female) and a cat.
Now I may have to decline as the pending guest profile is not complete - there is no verification, no picture and they say they are an 18 year old girl who wants to spend a week at mine so that they can see their grandfather and take him to Ipswich.
I live on my own (no dog now only a cat) so I would have to leave this person in my house on their own and give them a key.
They have no picture on their profile, and no verification, they only joined airbnb in December. I am communication with them and have asked for both picture and verification but I am very skeptical and concerned. They have said they don’t know how to add a picture or verification and are now asking me about how airbnb works!
I am concerned that if I decline this booking that I will have my account suspended, but at the moment I have no way of verifying this person to ensure my safety and that of my property.
How do I respond so that I am safe and I don’t get punished by airbnb?
All the ways of contacting Airbnb are outlined in the CONTACT AIRBNB post in the Help Forum - about third post down - have a look and you can give Airbnb a call.
I would also recommend you read the Airbnb Help Centre and community guides in this forum, as the issues you queried here are explained in their Q&As.
If you say in your house rules that only guests with verified ID and a clear photo can book and you have ticked this option under Instant Book, then you won't be penalised if you cancel a guest who doesn't provide this as they haven't met your house rules and shouldn't have been able to book in the first place.. If you don't have IB turned on (and I wouldn't recommend you despite how Airbnb pressurises you do this - then you can decline.
If the guest can't work out how to upload photo ID and a photo of themselves, they can call Airbnb to talk them through but it's normally fairly easy for most young people who are tech savvy.
With your prior guest if she cancelled because you had a dog and this was clearly outlined in your listing at the time and you had ticked the box on the listing to say you had a pet - Airbnb had no reason to penalise you.
The guest should have been refunded in line with your cancellation policy. The only way this wouldn't have happened is if you voluntary chose to give the guest a higher refund than they were entitlted to.
Give them a call now to try and resolve these issues.
Thank you so much.
When I spoke to airbnb and explained the dog issue - they just said that I would be penalised as it was too soon after the other one and in their T&C's. :0(
Also every time I search Contact Airbnb I just get taken to the contact guest page - I can't get any further :0( Seriously considering just stopping the whole hosting thing as it seems impossible to get help and I'm obviously getting the wrong sort of guests :0(
I'm new to hosting so didn't know about asking for verification so have only just ticked it - I had tried to go through step by step to do everything to protect myself but it seems not :0(
@Lisa Your listing is still a little bit confusing about the cat and dog. You reference the dog in the only review so you could explain you no longer foster a dog. You could require the guests to acknowledge that a cat lives in the space as another way to ensure the guest realizes there is a cat.
If you are only hosting females, you need to add that to the must acknowledge category as well. You would think having cat and female in the title would be enough but it is not.
If you have a potential guest that does not meet your verification requirements, just decline and explain that once the verification is completed they can contact you again. Keep all messaging in the Air BNB system so if you need to address any automatic Air BNB responses, staff can see what transpired between you and the guest.
Thank you sorry for not being clear.
When I had the dog the listing had DOG all over it. Now I have only the cat I have put CAT all over it. To be honest that's not the issue - apart from being penalised because a lady allergic to dogs booked my place then cancelled when I pointed out the dog lived here (!!) and because was so close to the chap who left because the dog barked (a lot) at him - I'm in danger of being suspended.
I am only hosting females and have also put that all over my listing - as agreed with Airbnb when I explained what had happened with the man having to leave due to the dog.
I am keeping all messaging within system.
I am conerened that if I decline I will be suspended - I still have 16hrs to accept or decline.
The problem is you do not have much of a track record. Declining an inquiry will not lead to suspension. Cancelling a booking might given your short hosting. I have had to decline more inquiries than ever because people are not reading my listing clearly.
Hope you will consider tweaking as I suggested but it is always up to the host as to what suits.
The two Host are right and are good at what they do as Host we do work hard, but one thing as long You are clear in your description and every thing is through Airbnb message board then you are all right, most yes most off the guest don't read plus get your dog back as long you are in your rights and clear in your description there nothing Airbnb can said,you hear me Airbnb supposed everybody decide to have a services dog what then you know what I mean Airbnb come on now let's be smart now
I did list the dog as present, I even let the man know she wasnt' great with men before he came. It was my first ever booking, (stupidly) I had instant book set up. He took the risk to come (his words) but also he decided to leave. To ensure he got his money back I called Airbnb and explained the situation - they cancelled it ... on my behalf so it counted as me. After this incident I contacted those already booked in which is how I found out the lady had a dog allergy. She said she had seen I had a dog but didn't think it would be near her. I explained the dog lived on the ground floor of the house so had access and it's a small house and encouraged her to rethink. She eventually saw sense and cancelled. I tried to explain this to Airbnb as well - but nope I got black marked again and now every time I log on get a message that I could be suspended.
I had one successful booking (with the dog).
Thank you to @Helen I have now managed to contact Airbnb via Twitter and they have advised to decline the pending guest and have confirmed I will get no further penalties for doing so.
I have often thought of putting together some basic rules for using ABB, Rule No 1 would be as a Host never cancel, if the Guest made an error let them sort it out. Do not see where there was a case for a refund but if you want to that is your call.
Lots of things about ABB are counter intuitive and you need a basic understanding to make it work best for you.
@DavidIt may prove very helpful, to make one of your rules, to READ, read and read before starting to host. Also, if they are given a choice - starting hosts should stay clear away from the high-risk Instant Booking option.