Santa Barbara, CA Level 1
Heads up in case I'm not the only one who didn't notice another subtle wording change Airbnb has made in regards to IB.
I use IB with requirements turned on. It used to be that a guest could only book instantly if they had at least one positive review. NOW, a guest can book as long as they don't have any negative reviews. ie, They completed a stay but the host didn't review them.
So, theoretically, a guest could have been a nightmare, the host was scared to leave a review, and now the guest is unleashed on the rest of us. Another reason to ALWAYS review bad guests!
I am not a fan of this and it's sneaky of Airbnb to make this change. Perhaps they did this at the same time they changed the wording of "Would you host this guest again?" to "Would you recommend this guest to other hosts?"
I'm still okay with IB because it works for me so I won't be turning it off. I just think this feels slimy.
I offer longer-term rentals and have had to remove Instant Booking options from all of them due to this fidgeting with the process. I received a string of Instant Bookings from guests with no reviews, an excess of people and pets, and they were sometimes hostile or ignoring requests for basic information regarding their stay. They were also making third-party bookings not allowed by Airbnb for construction crews or teenagers.
Ultimately, allowing Instant Book under these new terms would open my property to excessive damages and my constantly canceling unreviewed guests who make reservations against the policies, like those traveling with a small herd of pets. Now that Airbnb has changed the policy again to penalize hosts who cancel bookings further, it simply isn't worth it.
In a longer-term rental, I could be looking at a full refurbishment over one unreviewed guest stay. The new policies do not protect hosts who use Instant Book.
I am seeing people on other forums posting that they have received instant book from new guests with no stays, but the policy clearly states that they have completed at least one stay. They are also saying that the Reps at ABB have been advising them that yes, someone with no stays can instant book. Does anyone have a definitive answer on this?
Yeah.......'Tick', that's one more thing off the hosts verification tool list! Can anyone tell me what we actually have left?
It appears we must now accept totally anonymous packages with what ever surprises they might contain! Third party bookings, children, pets, drugs, sexual or religious orientation, allergies, parties, health issues, disabilities, beliefs, rituals, past guest behaviour, criminals!
Is there any type of potential guest on earth who has a condition we are actually allowed to assess before granting entry into our properties!
Some of these things are legitimate information that a host needs to know, e.g. exact make-up of group, children, pets - I would even argue that it's important to know the guests' nationality and age since this can significantly influence their expectations when travelling.
Other things you have listed are none of the host's business, and booking decisions should absolutely not be based on them, e.g. sexual orientation, religion and other beliefs, health issues that don't affect the booking. Why do you even want to know? Using this information to decline a booking is straightforward discrimination.
Yes, well, I recently discovered that a guest with NO reviews can instant book. That's bit contrary to the purpose of the filters. Especially because if a guest gets a bad review, they can always just close their account and open a new one (something a previous guest told me they do whenever they get a bad review from a host).
I'm still using instant book, with all filters on, and the vast majority of guests are good, if not great (instant book or not), but they day I endure an awful guest who instant booked, it's going off.
@Elaine701 Yes, that was my point. The extra requirement you could choose used to be a guest had to have a positive review, meaning, even if they had 10 stays with no reviews, they still couldn't IB without at least one positive review.
The wording change allows guests who have completed at least one stay to IB, even if they weren't reviewed, because they're still considered to not have a bad review. It's ridiculous.
Hi Suzanne and Robin and Elaine, yes I worked that one out. If are new or had a trip and got no review you're in.
I have sort of gone on the attack but hopefully nicely in my first message when guests book saying welcome to Airbnb we are looking forward to being the hosts who help you learn the ways of Airbnb and give you that vital 5 star review that make you more desirable to future hosts. Do please have another look on Airbnb at where you have booked so you know all about us, our apartments and ours and Airbnb rules. Good thing is we are right next door so available to you all hours of the day and night. Best part is two cancelled after that warm but slightly overbearing welcome. Kathy Jarrett
Very smart! I do a similar message telling them to please make sure they've read the listing description completely because I want us both to have a great experience.
I accept new Airbnb users all the time, but I'm actually more suspect of a guest with no review than a new user!
I don't know about other hosts, but if I don't leave a review for a guest it's usually because "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing."
Most guests get a positive review from me, the really awful ones get a negative review - but there are always those guests who are just a little inconsiderate, no bad breaches of house rules or anything, just not a very pleasant experience. After over a decade of hosting, I know in my gut now which ones will not bother to give me a review, so I don't trouble myself to review them either.
Personally, that's what I would take into account if a guest has had previous stays without host reviews.
And I totally agree that my IB settings require a POSITIVE previous review from a host and that Airbnb should honour that.