Unjust suspension of listings

Answered!
Teresa1712
Level 5
Llanfyllin, United Kingdom

Unjust suspension of listings

Hi I'm a long term super host with five 5* properties in mid Wales. I've had a guest from HELL recently and I'm keen to here from any other hosts who might have experienced something similar.
 
Sorry about the long post but please read to the end for the BIG ONE
 
Guest booked to stay in our luxury shepherds hut/lodge (28/02 - 03/03)
 
They messaged shortly after arrival to say they "loved the place" and to ask where the bbq was and where the nearest grocery shops were. I responded within minutes to state that the bbq had been moved due to the high winds in the recent storms and that we would bring it round and set it up. I also replied with details of nearest stores. To which she messaged back asking travel times and again I replied within a few minutes. Note, we provide an online welcome book and physical welcome book in the property with details of shops.
 
My husband delivered the bbq and set it up, in the rain, within 10-15 minutes.
 
This was the last we heard from the guest and we assumed they enjoyed their stay.
 
The day after checkout I received the review
1* "I am so disappointed"
I was completely shocked as the guest had not given any indication that they were dissatisfied with anything.
Within the private feedback the guest stated she was disappointment they had to "ask for every little thing". She said she thought we had an iron but the welcome book said to request an iron and ironing board and it would be brought to the property. We aim to provide all of the luxuries of our other 5* cottages and so offer some items on a request basis due to limited space in a shepherd's hut. Note, she never asked for anything other than the bbq.
 
I contacted Airbnb to ask for this review to be removed as I felt it violated their review policy as
"I am so disappointed"
Does not inform future guests, or provide details about the stay. What was she disappointed about????
 
Anyway fast forward several days and Airbnb say they can't remove the review.
 
Note, we currently have 250 reviews for our listings.
247 at 5*
2 at 4*
Then this one at 1*
 
Surely alarm bells should ring at Airbnb!!!!!!
 
6 days after she checked out I get an email from Airbnb stating the guest had asked for a refund as their were cats at our property.
We are a farm and our listig states that we have lots of animals here that they may meet. They are extremely friendly cats and the guests always love them. They do not enter our properties but may be seen around and about the farm. Infact we have some guests who have rebooked because they love the cats so much.
 
Anyway, I refused the refund and stated that I felt these guests had enjoyed their stay, used all the facilities and had left without saying anything negative, then 6 days later asked for a refund.
 
At this point I put a request in for a refund for a tap that the guests had broken during their stay. I would usually just accept this as wear and tear and take the hit but this guest was really pushing all my buttons.
 
Note, the guest refused the request and said the tap was already broken. A blatant lie.
 
Anyway I thought this was the last I would hear from this guest until THE BIG ONE
 
The next day I received an email from Airbnb saying that the guest had reported us for having DANGEROUS ANIMALS on site as she said the cat scratched her husband on the first night and that he was too afraid to go outside and use the bbq for the remainder of their stay!!!!!!!!!
 
Strange but she had not reported this to us or Airbnb during her stay

 

I replied to the email and sent copies of approximately 25 reviews over the last couple of months from guests stating how lovely the cats are, how friendly they are and much they loved cuddles with the cats. I also called the 'so called support helpline and was told there was nothing they could do as this had to be investigated by another department and that I should wait for an email from them.
 
As a result all 5 of my Airbnb listings have been suspended whilst I wait for this investigation. Guests are unable to see my listing or book any future dates.
 
I am absolutely livid and have reported the guest for bullying as I feel she was doing everything in her power to get a refund and then when this didn't happen she is trying to ruin my business.
 
I have received an email from the so called Airbnb support team asking me to provide further details, see below
 
1. Who does the cats belong to?
2. Is there a fence or anything to prevent the cats from entering the property during the guests' stay from the farm? If so, we would like to receive a relevant picture or video.
 
I responded with
 
Thank you for your response.
 
With regards to your questions please see below
 
************
 
1) As stated on our listing we have many animals on our farm and obviously as this is a farm we also have farm cats. 
 
However, as cats are PROTECTED BY UK LAW WITH A 'RIGHT TO ROAM' and as the guests did not inform us of the cat scratch. I have no way of determining who owns the cat that this guest alleged scratched them. 
 
The guest alleges that this scratch happened during their first evening (28/02/22). The guests then remained at the property for a further two nights without making any claims of any kind about the cats, departing on the (03/03/22). 
 
If they had informed us during their stay, as we live on site, we would have obviously been able to identify the cat and if it belonged to us we could have resolved the issue immediately and retained the cat. If the cat had belonged to a neighboring property or farm we would have then been able to report this to the rightful owner. Alternatively, if we did not know the owner of the cat we would have been able to call the correct legal authority to retain the cat.
 
As stated in UK law cat owners have a duty of care to ensure that cats do not cause injury to anyone. We are fully aware of this law and ensure that OUR cats that live on the farm are extremely friendly with people. This is substantiated by our MANY reviews mentioning how friendly the cats are, which I have already forwarded the most recent to you.
 
Note, I am very happy to approach MANY of our previous Airbnb guests and inform them of the current situation and ask them to provide written statements detailing the friendly nature of OUR cats, above and beyond that which they have already stated in their written reviews. Obviously I can not comment on the nature of the cat that allegedly scratched the guest as we were not informed of the incident and so unable to identify the animal.
 
 
2) This question I find extremely strange and wholly irrelevant.
 
Cats are able to climb fences and so the only way to prevent a cat from entering a garden of the property would be to completely enclose and roof the whole space and creating a bubble over the whole property!!!! 
 
Surely Airbnb are not requesting that we BREAK UK LAW by not allowing cats to roam. Also as cats roam and do not stay at their owners properties surely Airbnb are not requesting that all properties rented through Airbnb be enclosed in a bubble to prevent any roaming cats from entering gardens attached to the property.
 
The property is completely fenced around the perimeter of the land attached to this property. However, as stated no fencing would be able to prevent cats entering a garden. Also as stated in 1) cats have a right to roam.
 
We currently have guests staying at our Little Acorn property so I am unable at the moment to take photos or videos of the fencing. However, I am happy to take these at a later time if Airbnb can PROVIDE EVIDENCE that a fence would prevent cats from roaming in to a garden!!!!!!
 
***********
 
Again I must stress how ridiculous I find this whole situation. Surely it is clear that this guest is trying everything to request a refund for a stay they remained at for 3 nights and made no comments about any of these issues during their stay.
 
As stated in my previous email I shall be contacting a solicitor tomorrow if this issue is not resolved. I also request the following details be provided by yourselves and the guests if you continue to suspend my listings.
 
1) Medical evidence obtained and date stamped at the time of the incident stating the guest sustained a cat scratch on the 28/02/22.
 
2) Photo evidence of the cat that performed the alleged scratching so that I can determine if this cat belongs to us.
 
3) Written and timestamped evidence that the guest reported the alleged scratch to us and Airbnb during their stay. 
Note, the first I heard of the 'dangerous animals' claim was approximately 10 days after the guest had departed.
 
4) Written and timestamped evidence that the guest reported the alleged issue of cats entering Little Acorn property to us and Airbnb during their stay. Obviously, if this had been an issue and as we live on site we would have been able to remove the cat immediately.
 
5) Written statement from Airbnb stating that they require all of their UK properties and associated gardens, to be fully enclosed, bubble like, to prevent cats from roaming through the land attached to the property. 
 
If you are able to provide 5) then I also request
 
6) Written and timestamped evidence that Airbnb has suspended all UK listings where the property has any outside space that is not fully enclosed, bubble like, to prevent cats from roaming.
 
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE ALL OF THE ABOVE THEN I REQUEST THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY LIFT THE SUSPENSION FROM ALL 5 OF MY LISTINGS AND STOP THE UNDUE HARM YOU ARE CAUSING TO MYSELF, MY FAMILY AND MY BUSINESS.
 
I REQUEST THAT YOU ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THIS EMAIL.
 
 
Anyway 18hrs later and I still have had no response, I'm currently in the process of liasing with a solicitor on this matter and my 5 listings are still suspended. 
WHAT THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE AT AIRBNB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1 Best Answer
Emiel1
Level 10
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

@Teresa1712 

 

Obviously one lunatic guest can ruin your business and reputation.

Airbnb should protect us hosts against them by:

 

- Remove a nonsense review

- Reject nonsense claims

- Kick them of the platform

 

View Best Answer in original post

81 Replies 81
Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Catherine-Powell Sadly another example of a host, @Teresa1712 , having their listings suspended for specious reasons. The only advice I can give is that the host makes sure she is also listing on other short term rental sites such as VRBO or move to a provider such as cottages.com who seem to take better care of their hosts.

Thank you for your advice, I have been disgusted with Airbnb and the way they have handled this case. 

@Mike-And-Jane0 hi, do you know how I can add an update to my post please? I can't seem to find how to do it, or do I just as a reply?

Thanks

Question:  Does VRBO only list stand alone listings?  Our Airbnb rooms are in our house.  

No VRBO is much like Airbnb, you can do multiple listing

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Teresa1712   You may have better luck with Airbnb if you dial down the rage element a little bit in your communications.

 

As to the issues, it should and hopefully will be a huge red flag that the guest has continued to add issues to the complaints.  First it was only asking for every little thing, and then it was cats, and then it was cat scratches and dangerous animals.  

 

It seems that the guest never mentioned or complained about the cats and that should go heavily in your favor.  Since I can't see your listing, I don't know how or if the various animals on the property are described, but you might want to beef up that element going forward.

 

Keep us posted.

Teresa1712
Level 5
Llanfyllin, United Kingdom

Thank you for your comments.

 

The rage element that you mention has come about following many attempted civil communications. When you get nowhere and feel like your are banging your head against a brick wall you tend to get rather annoyed. It seems as if no one is willing to listen to a word you have to say.

 

Airbnb have been very quick and happy to take the many thousands of pounds in commission from my bookings but I have had absolutely no support from them with regards to this issue.

 

It is very clear within our listing that we are a farm. It also states very clearly that we have many animals that they are likely to meet.

 

We also have MANY reviews on our listings about the friendly animals, including our friendly cats.

 

It surely makes you question humanity when you face such disgusting guests and lack of support.

This is so jacked up. I feel for you. Airbnb is out of control & so are these slimy guests.

 

What Airbnb should be doing is protecting you. The Airbnb host liability insurance is nothing. It’s a lie to suck new hosts in. 

Teresa1712
Level 5
Llanfyllin, United Kingdom

Thank you, I agree completely. 

Hi - I completely understand your rage.  I do hope you have now found resolution.  I am in Australia and only new to airbnb - 3weeks.  I only have 2 reviews ,which are both 5 star and glowing.  My account has been suspended and they have not provided me with a piece of information regarding my suspension.  What is was for, when it occurred, how long I will be suspended for - no idea !   Abhorrent behaviour from any organisation, let alone one of this size.  I have no idea what to do next - the only contact details I can find, are Brian Chesky the CEO ! 

Emiel1
Level 10
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

@Teresa1712 

 

Obviously one lunatic guest can ruin your business and reputation.

Airbnb should protect us hosts against them by:

 

- Remove a nonsense review

- Reject nonsense claims

- Kick them of the platform

 

Teresa1712
Level 5
Llanfyllin, United Kingdom

Thank you for your comment, I agree completely.

Marfy0
Level 2
Sta. Rosa, Philippines

same experience, my prev guest is mental. she is the only one who made so much trouble and me being superhost and my listing has been compromised and suspended without any explanation or when it will be lifted

Yvonne735
Level 4
Kinlochleven, United Kingdom

  1. WTF!. Sorry, but I simply cannot believe that you are being penalised for absolutely nothing , and it is nothing. The guest has no standing ,and Airbnb have failed to spot a blatant attempt to extort money. I would not only be seeking legal action, but privately suing the guest for loss of potential earnings, deflammatory accusations and stress. But that's just my initial reaction to dealing with her. I am gobsmacked that Airbnb have taken the action that they have and must also be considered as also culpable . I seriously hope it gets rectified soon. Best wishes to you. von