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Everything That You Every Wanted To Know About Airbnb But Were Afraid To Ask

Everything That You Every Wanted To Know About Airbnb But Were Afraid To Ask

Everything That You Every Wanted To Know About Airbnb But Were Afraid To Ask

We came across this very interesting thread on Reddit where an Airbnb case manager was answering questions anonymously. There are a huge amount of questions and answers here but the insight is quite fascinating (case manager’s notes are in blue).

I am a case manager with Airbnb, go ahead and ask me anything, even if you need advice about how to handle something. Please note this is a throwaway account as we are technically not allowed to say we work for Airbnb if we work under a partnered business with them. (Which almost all do)

Case Managers are the people you will speak to regarding any issues on your reservations, we issue decisions, mediate, investigate, review disputes, check in troubles, rebooking, possible waiving of penalties, all that jazz.

all 151 comments

Are there efforts to address the “location” score for hosts? I’ve noticed a common frustration is that hosts will get great scores on everything else but location because A. They’re not located in the middle of downtown, or B. There was outside noise the host predicted in their listing but which the guest wanted to complain of anyway, or C. The neighborhood isn’t all white.

The scoring criteria for “location” doesn’t seem well defined, unlike “cleanliness” or “value”, so it’s a catch-all for any complaints, usually which the host has no control over.

So this is something that I have to agree with you about and we’ve as agents have complained about as well. It says in our TOS that we cannot refund guests due to neighborhood concerns as it is their job to research the town they’re going to beforehand and the host cannot control what goes on outside of their listing. (Which is always fun explaining to an angry guest…..not)

Personally I’m not quite sure why the location rating is even there. I wish it wasn’t because it’s not the host’s fault that they feel an area is unsafe or ‘too ghetto’, it shows you the general location on the map before you book, you could have looked up the area if you really wanted to.

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard any updates on it, but they update stuff so rapidly that I’ll be on call with a user and they’ll go “Can you walk me through how to do ____?” and when I refresh the page it’s all different and I’m left figuring it out too, so who knows they could update it soon.

Thank you for the insight. I’m glad at least it’s an issue some airbnb is aware of internally.

Boy this will be fun to read through later.

What’s your thoughts on the recent changes they’ve made to letting guests leave a review if the reservation has been cancelled the day of the reservation?

Personally I don’t like it. One of the most common calls we get is about review disputes, and chances are if it’s a same day cancellation they haven’t stayed long enough to write a real review (or haven’t given us a chance to help mediate) or it was a mutual cancellation where neither party should be leaving a review, etc. Overall I’m not thrilled about it.

I disagree with them. I think it’s a great feature. The number of guests who cancel on or during their reservation because of a trip issue is much higher than people trying to be shitty. If you had to cancel because you stepped into a home that had never been cleaned, you’d want to warn otjer guests of that wouldn’t you?

What should we realistically do as hosts to break up a party or enforce house rules that are clearly being broken and pose a threat to the well-being of our properties, relationships with our neighbors, etc.?

Kick them out. I have broken out at least 20 parties in my properties. CCTV system is worth its weight in gold.

So really you are free to go over there and kick them out. There’s not much we can so besides call you guest until they answer and let them know it needs to stop.

If you can gather documentation or proof of house rules being broken, we can help compensate you sometimes. Honestly though, you can use whatever means you need. We’re not allowed to straight up be like “Hey call the cops” or something, but you’re absolutely allowed to. Just make sure you’ve at least attempted speaking with your guest through our messages and that you can give us the police report and other documentation.

<also work for airbnb.. seems like they are on a crazed hiring spree currently so I imagine a ton of people “Work” for air bnb.. they hire other companies to handle communication from web to phones etc

Unfortunately it’s true, and it makes it hard to be efficient with all the new people coming in.

I called numerous times about this and it seems that I always get a different answer. So I would like to hear it from you too.

Let’s say that you rent your place to a guest who says they will have 5 guests total. You include 2 people in your booking and every guest over you charge an additional $X amount (in this case 3 guests). Then they bring 10 more guests and now the total amount of people staying there is 15. You also have in your rules that if they bring more guests that they told you, in the beginning, you will charge 2*X as a penalty.

How would you handle following scenarios:

  1. You find this one on the first night of their 6-night stay. You call them and/or go there and tell them you will kick them out if they do not pay more. If they do not want to pay, you kick them out, but do you get to keep your entire reservation price (all 6 nights) since it is very difficult to book the place for tomorrow?
  2. You find this out at the end of their stay. They do not want to pay for extra guests, and you can’t do anything since you do not have the leverage anymore (they are already leaving). Can you successfully submit the claim for extra 10 guests at your 2*X price, as your rules state?
  3. If you do award any money for these, what happens if they do not have the money on their card? Lets say damages/extra guests came out to be $500, but security deposit was only $300 OR it was $500 but they spent the money on their card and you can not charge them $500 anymore.
  4. You have in the rules that your checkout is at XX:XXAM. They stay 1 hour more. You also have in your rules that you are charging $XX for late checkout. Can you submit a claim for this money?
  5. Unrelated to the scenario above, why I can not claim labor in my damages? For example, guest breaks built in oven. Part is $200, but in order to replace the damn thing, you have to pay the company $300 on top. Why will Airbnb reimburse me for the part but not the labor?

So the overall answer to this is that it allllllll depends which case manager you get when you call in. So as a case manager, we pretty much get sole discretion over what’s going on. But adding additional fees in your listing that are not defined by Airbnb is a bit of a grey area.

So our policy does state that for every 24 hours after check out a guest is still in the listing a host reserves the right to charge double the nightly rate. But we can’t really enforce a charge because a guest was an hour late leaving. Same in the case of extra guest fees. If you can provide documentation of those extra guests, we can charge them the additional extra guest fees for the amount of time those extra guests were there.

If you just write in your listing “I will charge you XX for XX”you’re free to request that money in the resolution center, but I can’t guarantee a case manager will uphold that for you if it’s not a definable fee by Airbnb. Some case managers will view it as “Your guest agreed to pay that when they booked your listing because it says so.” And might uphold it, and other times it will be “That’s not listed in our policy nor is it a definable fee by us and so therefor we can’t.” It just depends on their interpretation and if their supervisors agree.

For collecting payments we usually send them a link that lets them manually choose which payment method they want to use to pay the fees. If we try to collect it ourselves three times with no luck, or the cards declined, it gets sent to a team we have that deals with collecting money. I don’t know what they do to get it honestly, I just know that’s their job. In cases where it’s not a lot of money, like say the guest owes you like $150 but hasn’t paid it yet, chances are I might just give it to you myself so you don’t have to wait forever for it, but again that depends on the case managers choice.

And the reason we usually don’t reimburse for labor is that different companies charge different amounts. So like, let’s say they broke your sink, and the plumber you want to come out is the most expensive in town, we’re not gonna cover that. Now in certain cases let’s the part to fix it was not super expensive, in cases like that if you can provide receipts sometimes we can reimburse partially for the labor and the part. Again boils down to that case manager and if they decide to. Some are softer and more willing on reimbursing, some are more hard asses who follow policy to a T.

Hmmm… Interesting. So if I understand this correctly, of the fee is defined in AirBnB somehow we can collect and if it isn’t, then tough luck. Meaning that we can collect 2*X fee for extra guests (of course assuming all documentation is on point), but we can not collect Pet Fee if the guests bring the pet without our approval, since AirBnB does not have pet fee in place.

Am I correct in this interpretation?

In a way yes. You can always file a resolution center case and we can help enforce fair compensation through mediation. But it’s not something we can straight up make a final decision about without further review since it’s not a definite amount or fee.

And as far as the labor goes, I guess I understand what you are saying but the host is out the money for labor even in the case of the cheapest plumber. That hardly seems fair.

Well if you have a security deposit it can be reviewed further to help compensate you for that labor. If you have a security deposit and you want to make a claim for it you can go through the Resolution Center to do so. I’m speaking mainly about what our customer service specifically can compensate for. Not so much our trust and safety or other departments.

What’s your experience with the $1m host guarantee program? Google seen to have loads of stories of claims denied. I assume it’s not a statistically accurate representation but for some reason it’s very rare to find people talk about successful claims.

I believe it’s due to the fact that what people try and claim under it is not actually covered (should have added a security deposit to their listing) or they are not providing the required documentation for it. I personally don’t work in the department that reimburses for the Host Guarantee Program, but from my understanding it is done in a similar manner to the ways we investigate most compensation requests.

In all departments if you have full documentation and have filed the claim appropriately 9/10 times it will be resolved. The frustration most people have is they are impatient, or not super willing to work with us which is what causes a lot of the negative feedback in my opinion (that’s not just me rooting for the company because trust me there’s lots of things I personally would fix about it.)

The department that deals with the Host Guarantee Program also deals with fraud, account security, property claims, and any type of imminent danger or safety concerns during a reservation. So they are a small but very busy department, and they work on things based on priority. So for example cases where someone is claiming their host is attacking them in the house or threatening them with bodily harm of course will be reviewed far before a property claim has been made because it’s the most urgent, and a $1,000 claim will be of less priority than a $10,000 claim.

With this being said, the more influx of very urgent cases there are, the slower they are to respond to less urgent matters. I’ve seen a lot of times people assume they’ve been denied because it’s been over a week or two with no response. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean you’ve been denied, it means that there are just a ton of urgent cases at the moment and a case manager from that department has just been unable to review it yet. Or what happens is they ask for very specific documentation and set a deadline for that documentation which the person did not meet which is why it was denied. (We’re not supposed to hold on to cases for extended periods of time unless we absolutely have to because it takes time away from the urgent cases, and the majority of time if we don’t set deadlines people will just keep saying they will send documentation without doing it and at a certain point we have to sort of draw the line.) And insufficient documentation will get you denied as well if they tell you I need “X X and Y stating ___ in order to process this for you,” then that’s what they need to process anything for you.

But overall, if you can provide the proper documentation, and you go through everything properly, then the majority of the time, from my experience they are not declined and are usually successful, it just takes patience.

Can confirm in 7 years I’ve been declined one claim out of over 50 total. Cost ranging from $5 to 1200. The one that was declined was because I hadn’t followed the proper procedure and was my very first claim ever.

[–]A_Beach_Guy 3 points 23 days ago 

50 claims? I’ve never had to file a claim.

[–]jrossetti 2 points 22 days ago 

I do a high volume. At least a half dozen to a dozen over 7 years were related to keys.

Keep in mind ive cycled through close to 3000 bookings.

[–]funlikerabbits 1 point 22 days ago 

In a year and a half I think I’ve had five claims, and each one was paid out.

[–]Galaxyhiker42 3 points 23 days ago 

I think the impatience comes from “this guest broke X and I don’t have the 1000 bucks to float the replacement which the next guest will need.”

[–]IrishinManhattan617Host 3 points 23 days ago 

I 100% confirm this. I’ve filed a few complaints, including one for a few thousand. I made sure to supply all the documentation required and it was zero issue.

One tip – photograph your property periodically. Not necessarily before every guest visit (though really that isn’t that big a deal to many). But definitely photograph everyone once every couple of months for a “before and after” shot.

[–]AirbnbThrowawayX 1 point 22 days ago 

Some of your statements here are wrong. Ie the host guarantee can be claimed on even if you don’t have a security deposit. Also the amount of the claim doesn’t impact the urgency of the case. A big issue for the delay of reply is the thousands of cases that aren’t actually valid.

I know it can be claimed even if you don’t have one, but some stuff that the host guarantee won’t cover can be covered by a security deposit and people will try to claim it under the host guarantee which can be why it gets denied. And the amount of the claim can affect the urgency when it’s sent to our other department, I’ve been told that from people in that department. But of course I’m not actually there to validate that.

[–]sliver86 4 points 23 days ago 

What is the true story behind the closure of Kelly Kampen account?

superhost, officially recognized also by Airbnb for his role as evangelist, got blocked all of a sudden with no apparent reason and no explanation.

https://medium.com/@kellykampen/airbnb-why-did-you-terminate-my-account-an-open-letter-to-airbnb-9631213f8a1b

[–]tbsynaptic 5 points 23 days ago* 

That’s weird.

[–]Dushmanius 1 point 23 days ago 

Seriously, source?

[–]PlutoISaPlanet 1 point 23 days ago 

source? that’s quite a claim

So honestly, I hadn’t heard of this before looking at that article, so I can’t say what the ‘true story’ is.

However, what I can say is that I’ve seen users get banned for all sorts of reasons. Like there have been Superhosts with 5 star reviews across the board, but then they get banned because they get angry at one guest and blow up at them. Specifically I had one where the guy seemed like a perfectly great superhost, but then one guest he started making racial slurs too in the messages and he was banned because of it (we have a 0 tolerance policy with discrimination). So despite them being a SuperHost, that does not mean there was no reason behind it. Now she did mention a suspicious login from an Iphone which could have maybe had something to do with it? (Couldn’t say for sure, not in that security department)

But honestly, there was probably something behind the scenes to make it happen and I wouldn’t consider this a regular occurrence. I can say the majority of the banned users I’ve encountered have been banned for specific reasons, and when it has been a false flag we usually get it taken care of.

She seems really nice and sweet though, so I am assuming positive intent and hoping she’s able to get it sorted out. Honestly my favorite part of the job is being able to help people, so hearing stories like that does make me pretty disheartened.

[–]TheGardiner 1 point 23 days ago 

I’d really like to know how this pans out. If you find out, please let us know.

[–]HillcrestHostelSD 1 point 19 days ago 

This just happened to me too! See HillcrestHostel.com about my plight after 15 months… superhost… nearly 800 reviews

[–]Kyle700 4 points 23 days ago 

My mom rents our studio on ABB and has noticed that sometimes customer service reps seem to make up responses that are simply outright falsehoods (example: that they were just notified that PayPal is now going to charge a fee for each ABB transaction so it was better to use direct deposit). While she has mostly had good reps, she has reached a handful of numbskulls who almost want to appease you with flattery (I see you are a great host with lots of good reviews, blah blah) or say nonsense just to get you off the phone. Are these call centers or is she reaching the actual company? What kind of training do they receive?

It seems like the company has become far more guest centric in recent years. Hosts are treated as an afterthought. They know they don’t really depend on them like in the early days. Is there a culture among the company to turn it into a guest oriented experience? Will IB and flexible or free cancellations be pushed on hosts until there is no choice anymore?

So the biggest thing they push on us in training is empathy. So no matter how angry a user is we are supposed to try and de-escalate it with as much mushy mush as we can. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it backfires completely.

Now if you call in and a agent gives you wrong information, lies about policy, doesn’t handle a case correctly, etc. As long as we can see in the notes that this was case, when you call back in, we will absolutely look into it. We have a form of internal reporting where I as another agent can submit feedback to that agents supervisor about how they handled a call or case. We can do this for every person who works for the company to make sure we are all doing our jobs correctly. But it has to be documented. We get a lot of calls of someone being like “This person promised me a $400 coupon and or payout!” And I open the case and the email to you just says “I can see about partial compensation…” I’m not going to report them for that. I will say we hire people at a fast rate, and usually week three of training is when we start taking out first phone calls, and let me tell you it’s 100% a job where you learn on your feet because the first call I ever took, it was a really simple question but I was so nervous my brain completely bonked out.

But for trying to get you off the phone, we’re reviewed based on the amount of issues we can fix in a day and the amount of calls we take, so if you try to keep us on the phone for an hour, over an issue we’ve already explained to you 8 times (in general you not literally you as a person), then we do start trying as professionally and politely as possible to get you to want to end the call, because that’s time I could be helping someone else for a different issue. Assuming that agent was giving you the correct information to begin with.

But yeah chances are that agent was new, and if not shame on them for not doing their job correctly. Honestly it’s infuriating to other agents who know the policies because then we’re the ones who have to give you the ACTUAL answer, deal with the yelling, and then have to come up with a reason why that agent could have told you that. So we don’t like it either and we’re definitely on top of keeping an eye on each other to make sure it doesn’t keep happening, because we don’t like to deal with it either.

As for the site being guest-centric, I don’t know if that’s entirely true. I do know IB has been being pushed as it’s now the default option when you post a new listing, which I personally don’t like. Most of the calls are of people who swear they didn’t have IB turned on or didn’t know what it was fully and now they want to cancel on a guest who’s literally at the listing. So I really wish it was default off.

But from what I’ve personally seen, guests feel the same way on the other hand. They think we’re too nice with our hosts and we don’t care about them, and hosts feel it the other. However, usually we run into the same kinds of issues repeatedly with hosts who say that kind of stuff.

“Well how come you took my payout I have a strict cancellation policy and why do I get the hosting penalties?! It wasn’t my fault! You guys don’t care about hosts anymore!” Well sir, your guest had valid documentation of an amenity issue or severe cleanliness concern, I sent you three emails and four phone calls, and you didn’t get back to me within my deadline so I had to cancel and find another place for your guest to stay. “Well I don’t like that and I will be posting it all over the internet and business insider!!!!”

“I had no IDEA smart pricing or IB was on and I want to cancel without any hosting penalties.” But we can look at the activity log on your account for your user ID and see that you manually turned smart pricing on or IB on……. Or there will be a previous case indicating that IB was turned off or penalties were waived as a one time courtesy and you still haven’t turned it off, or you turned it back on after an agent turned it off for you….yes you’re going to get the hosting penalties.

Or hosts will update their listing AFTER a guest has booked and will try to say “There’s no AC in the listing….look…” but our records will show exactly what the description, amenities, and price were AT the time of booking, so we know if that’s false or not.

Now of course this is not all hosts who feel this way, that’s just the most common complaints I get from people who use the same verbage of us only caring about our guests (and there’s common guest problems too for the reversal). Chances are though, if there’s a feature or policy you don’t like, we as agents don’t like it either for the same reasons. But as a case manager I am equally as strict on guests as I am wish hosts, I just can’t guarantee every case manager will be that way (though I think they should.)

[–]CumGuzzlingStonerBro 3 points 23 days ago 

Why does all Airbnb customer service reps pretend that they don’t know that you can’t pay with your paypal balance? “oh must be a paypal problem, call them!” Listen, i understand the need to have a card on file to later charge for incidentals, but i don’t think its a big deal to pay via PayPal balance + a different card on file for incidentals.

I don’t know…..it could be you keep calling in and getting newbies? We hire at a pretty fast rate. I personally will straight up let people know that for whatever reason our system won’t charge you Paypal balance, it charges your card or bank account attached to that Paypal and there’s no way for us to override that.

But I agree with you just paying with Paypal would be a lot easier for users.

In some cases we HAVE to recommend you call Paypal, like “Hi I’m a host and I see that I haven’t gotten my payout yet it’s been a week after check in” but our systems show we released it, then you gotta call Paypal. Or if it keeps getting declined when we try to charge it, then you gotta call Paypal or your Bank connected to it.

[+][deleted] 23 days ago (1 child)

[–]PlutoISaPlanet 3 points 23 days ago 

I recently had a guest that arrived and started complaining about cleanliness. They sent me three ridiculous photos of what they claimed was unclean. They left and got a hotel instead and started barking for a refund the following day.

I went in the unit with my cleaners the following day and saw nothing noteworthy in terms of uncleanliness. It’s a very clean space and my cleaners are great.

The guest got AirBnB involved and I did too. I refused to provide any refund despite the case manager requesting I do so and telling me most hosts do. I think these guests were completely unreasonable. Is it likely that AirBnB coughed up a refund for them? The case is now closed and no money was taken from me.

So we have guidelines we must follow in regards to complaints and cleanliness issues.

The essential steps are -Guest calls in about cleanliness issue -Do they have documentation? Yes? -We review documentation and see how severe it really. We try and see if it is something that the host can fix within a reasonable amount of time or not. We reach out to the host to try and get them to work with us on fixing, depending on how bad we might be forced to issue a partial refund for nights affected, or a full refund if it is very severe and the host is unwilling, unresponsive, or it cannot be fixed. That’s pretty rare though that it has to come to that. -If they have no documentation, or it’s really not severe at all. Then we still much reach out to the host to try and negotiate something, but that’s really all we can do without evidence, or if its so minor its confusing as to why they’d even care. -If its something super minor like “There’s cat hair on the couch and even though I know there’s a cat here….I don’t like it!” We might come back and be like ” Well hey, what if we reimburse you for getting a lint roller and a little extra for the inconvenience, will you be okay staying?” Because we know certain things are pretty nitpicky or completely ridiculous, so it’s like why bother the host over it (even though we’re supposed to) if we can just give them $20 and call it a day. – The BIGGEST thing I have to explain to guests though is that if you don’t call within 24 hours of check in, have documentation, and let us reach out to your host, you’re not getting a full refund. It’s just not happening because you didn’t allow us to continue with the mediation process or give your host a chance and I can’t penalize them for that.

But as far as the compensation goes, or your agent trying to be like “Hey….a lot hosts give a refund…..you gonna go for it?” Is because we can only compensate so much. Over a certain amount, we have to have supervisor approval, which most of the time they’re going to say no over something like this, so we try to get the host to give even a partial refund and see if we can match it on the guests end (depending on the individual case manager and what the situation is). Chances are that case manager probably did take some for of loss to compensate the guest to make them happy. (Something we’re not supposed to talk about much but agents are graded on the amount of cases we ‘finish’ in a day and on the survey scores people get at random which we’re not allowed to talk about unless our users bring up because they don’t want us fishing for good scores. So sometimes we do compensate to make both parties happy for a good score, or we reach out to the host any way knowing they will say no just because it means we technically get to open another case and it’s in our mediation policy.)

Of course we’d never tell you if we did or not, no matter how much you asked merely due to the fact that it would be considered account specific information which we can only discuss with the account holder, and it can cause tension between hosts and guests too. But yeah it happens.

[–]PlutoISaPlanet 1 point 23 days ago 

Thanks. I figure they got some kind of money back considering I haven’t heard back from them and I imagine if they hadn’t they’d still be bothering me over their $800 reservation they skipped out on after a a couple hours…

[–]theeemaster 3 points 23 days ago 

I refused to provide any refund despite the case manager requesting I do so and telling me most hosts do. I think these guests were completely unreasonable. Is it likely that AirBnB coughed up a refund for them? The case is now closed and no money was taken from me.

when airbnb faults you and decides you OWE they don’t take money.. (they don’t have that ability!) they put you in debt to them and make you pay it back through “other” rentals.. to see if your in debt.. you check Account – Transaction History – Future payouts (stuff like that)

[–]PlutoISaPlanet 1 point 23 days ago 

They didn’t fault me. They seemed to side with me. I’m just wondering if AirBnB compensated them anyway. I realize that’s probably hard to get an answer on without specific case details but just wondering about what they typically do

[–]Dushmanius 2 points 23 days ago 

This would be my question too. Not so much about the refund, but more so about unreasonable expectations. I had one guest that said my garden is dirty. When I asked for the photos they sent me pictures of my lawn and pointed out fallen leaves. They still got to cancel the reservation and I lost income for 5 days booking.

How to combat this?

Honestly change your cancellation policy. Everyone complains about the strict cancellation policy because guests feel it’s ‘too strict’ but it’s the only real way to protect hosts. If you have a moderate or flexible, then you need to be okay with the fact that you could lose potential income for that guest canceling. Plus, keep in mind that in the future if you ever want to refund someone outside of your cancellation policy, you’re free to do so in the Resolution Center, but have the stricter cancellation policy will help deter it in the first place.

Also just make sure you take as many pictures as possible and your description is written as accurately as possible.

You can’t please every body. And honestly if that person called in to me and was bitching about some leaves in the garden, depending on HOW upset they were, I’d probably either see if I could compensate them to get a fricking rake, or I’d call you and be like “Hey they have this really stupid issues, do you want to go over there and pick up the 3 leaves on the ground for them so they’ll stay?” And if you say no chances are I’d probably final decision them and tell them to get over it. As long as the pictures look like they do on Airbnb, and it’s something out of your control, such as weather, then I can’t do much for them and neither can you as a host.

[–]Dushmanius 2 points 23 days ago 

Thanks for replying.

My policy is strict, but guests can still get refund if they didn’t stay all of the days and canceled because of “reasons”. This happened many, many times.

Was it not supposed to?

That depends. Unfortunately without being able to just look at the case on file I can’t really say for sure.

I do know that for Extenuating Circumstances, if they provide us with valid documentation of a death of a loved one, medical issues, etc. We will refund them and we don’t /have/ to tell the host why (or guest why if the host cancels) because it’s a personal subject. It’s common courtesy to at least call the host to say “Hey I just need to let you know they are opening an extenuating circumstances claim with us, which means that this reservation could be canceled for a refund.” But we can’t go into any further details.

It could also be due to an amenity issue or cleanliness concern. But if that’s the case you definitely should have been reached out to and given a deadline to respond before any money was touched and that guest should have been made to provide documentation of those claims and you should receive and explanation why.

Best practice for me as a Case Manager is that even if a host doesn’t meet my deadline and I am forced to cancel or refund a guest, I ALWAYS send a final email saying “This is why I had to do this. This is the documentation they provided. In the future you can do ___ to prevent this from happening.” But I never cancel and refund guests outside of the cancellation policy without doing those steps and ensuring that I let the host know why, otherwise I feel it’s unfair.

So I can’t say for definite whether the decision your case managers made was right or not without seeing what actually happened. But in the future, if you have an ongoing reservation, make sure you’re not just checking your phone but your emails as well to ensure you haven’t received any notifications from us. A lot of times I will call a host, and their voicemail is full or they think it’s a spam number, so I call them again 3 more times in the span of an hour and send them multiple emails, they don’t respond. Then the next day after their reservation has been cancelled they FINALLY reply to my email angrily because they think I never tried to get a hold of them.

But overall, if you have a strict cancellation and they want to cancel without documentation of an issue or an extenuating circumstance, no they shouldn’t be getting refunded without your say so.

[–]Dushmanius 2 points 23 days ago 

Thank you so much for this very detailed and thoughtful reply.

[–]maccrogenoff 2 points 23 days ago 

Unfortunately, a lot of hosts believe that Airbnb trying to smooth out every situation encourages guests to have an entitled attitude. Guests get rewarded for complaining instead of being told that their complaint is invalid. Other guests hear about this then they complain too so that they will receive compensation.

I get it. I really do. Honestly when I can I try to let the guests know their wrong. I don’t like rewarding bad behavior on either side. It’s just our over all policy try and attempt and make all parties happy.

[–]PKBitchGirl 3 points 23 days ago 

Is there any chance that there could be a filter for disability friendly listings?

Also, I’m in Ireland, it seems the only payment method is paypal, are there any plans to offer more payment options?

There is a filter for listings that have wheelchair accessibility under the ‘facilities’ tab when you’re searching for listings, but as far as I know that’s the only filter we had. I wish we had more though, I think it would be great for people with other kinds of disabilities.

I’m not sure if they plan on updating it, but I hope they do allow more payment methods for other countries besides just the US and CAN. I feel like in a way it alienates people from those countries as they don’t have as many options.

[–]usimanio 3 points 23 days ago 

Hello there,

I remember a few years ago there was an option in the settings of app to clear the search history. This feature has been deleted since … Is there a hidden option? Why did you delete this option?

Thanks

I have no clue why they would remove this option. I’m going to be honest with you, agents aren’t super familiar with the app. We use a desktop computer all day in the office and usually we’re just going to tell you to use a computer or the mobile website if you can because the app..is really not good. It’s lacking a lot of features, it’s slow, and has issues. Plus we don’t have access to view it as we are not allowed to have our phones or electronic devices out in the office because it breaks out PCI compliance (most call centers are this way for all companies). If you wanna use it for basic booking and messaging go for it, but everything else I’d say just use the Chrome app and the mobile website version or on a computer. Sorry. ):

[–]12wd 5 points 23 days ago* 

can you figure out a way that I can communicate with a host talking about websites? I travel with Airbnb a lot and it kind of sucks that if I even say the word “Google”, the abnb system redacts it. it’s kind of stupid that what I get from a host on the msg system is ” message removed some of the restaurants in the area to see what you like. our city also has a great restaurant resource website called message removed“.

the fuck, even?

Okay that is really strange. Has your reservation already been accepted? As far as I was aware it only blocked out ‘sensitive information’ like addresses and phone numbers until the reservation was officially accepted. It could be to prevent spam they implement the feature so you can’t send website links. I’ve honestly not encountered this as an agent, as I’ve not seen anyone send any website links that weren’t from Airbnb before.

I’d recommend maybe having them email it to you if the reservation has already been accepted, or seeing if maybe they can type it without any (.) and add spaces. But if they email or text you off of airbnb, just make sure that any serious conversations pertaining to any issues are kept in the message thread for documentation if you ever need to call in for any reason.

[–]Iris_BlueGuest 6 points 23 days ago 

There is a listing in my country where the headline is “Grí(SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN)es” because the place is called Grímsnes. It’s ridiculous.

[–]funlikerabbits 3 points 22 days ago 

That is spectacularly funny, though.

[–]Iris_BlueGuest 3 points 22 days ago 

Yeah, it is. But I didn’t even know MSN was still a thing.

[–]12wd 2 points 23 days ago 

every. single. time i travel. for years now, not new. it can be subverted, it’s just a crappy overzealous amateur spam filter

I’m sorry about that and I agree with you. Like I said I haven’t personally had to deal with that yet in my time as an agent, but I wish they would get rid of it anyway

[–]trouzy 3 points 23 days ago 

It is only messages before a booking is confirmed, or after it is over. But it is really bad, it even blocks Airbnb links sometimes. Or numbers that aren’t at all a phone number and even just words like google

[–]puddinhead 2 points 23 days ago 

Thanks for doing this!

I’ve been hosting for three years and really love my experience with it. My question is about declining requests. I only decline once or twice a month—when I get a bad vibe about someone being too demanding or their past reviews are iffy. I have a ‘vague idea’ what if you decline very many bookings, it will hurt your listing placement.

So, how many booking refusals is ‘too many’? hanks!

No problem! My favorite part of my job is helping and educating people (so much so that I am doing it on my time off! haha).

So to answer your question, this is one of those vague things they don’t fully communicate well to us as agents either.

Now with declining a reservation request,from what I have surmised is basically the frequency of declines + the time span + amount of accepted reservations. So if you get 10 requests in a week, you decline or 3 of them but accept the other 7 you should be fine. But if we see you’re canceling all 10 immediately as they come through, sometimes it puts the account under review so we can see if you are able to meet our hosting standards. So if we see a host declining mass amounts of reservations in a short period of time, then chances are something is up. Maybe they need to be educated on blocking off their calendar dates or snoozing their listing if they cannot accommodate for that time frame, or it could potentially be a fake account.

But declining a couple a month shouldn’t hurt you. And usually the main reason that a hosts account falls under review is due to a lot of negative reviews rather than their acceptance rate. I wish I could give you a more clear answer though, but I believe it’s one of those things our system automatically calculates which is why we don’t receive specific information.

[–]maccrogenoff 2 points 23 days ago 

Thank you very much for giving us so much help.

I rarely decline a reservation and it’s always because the guest didn’t read my listing. The most recent example is a guest who planned to have three people sleep in my listing which has a maximum of two guests because I have two twin beds.

It’s irritating to get a pop up message from Airbnb asking me to make sure that my calendar and house rules are updated.

I understand. It could be the reason for declining that you get the pop up, the system is weird and stupid like that sometimes.

[–]AirbnbThrowawayX 1 point 22 days ago 

Yes, the more you decline the lower you are in search results.

[–]19832526 2 points 23 days ago 

Not sure if I am too late but I have some many questions, here is one

  1. I found it very unfair that sometimes we get 1 star reviews because guests did not read our description I.e we did not advertise parking and they gave us one star review for not providing free parking

Is there anyway we can remove the star, not just the review?

[–]AnotherAirbnbAdvisorVerified Airbnb 2 points 23 days ago 

Not OP, but I can answer this one for him!

When we hide the reviews, in any circumstance, the rating is never gone, unfortunately.

[–]19832526 2 points 23 days ago 

Thank you!

[–]robert_langdon83 2 points 22 days ago 

I got exactly the opposite response once I called Airbnb with this question.

[–]AnotherAirbnbAdvisorVerified Airbnb 1 point 22 days ago 

The opposite? as in.. we can hide the rating, but not the review? Then someone provided with the wrong information, because we can only “hide” the review from appearing on the website, but it’s still there, so the rating will still be there.

[–]robert_langdon83 2 points 22 days ago 

Sorry, I was not clear enough. I was told that the hidden review will not be counted in the SuperHost calculations. So, if 4-star rating was hidden it would not hit my superhost status.

[–]AirbnbThrowawayX 1 point 22 days ago 

That agent told you wrong. That being said it’s not in any of our workflows anywhere that the stars are still counted so they probably haven’t worked here long enough to know.

[–]robert_langdon83 1 point 21 days ago 

Must be some confusion. Star rating used to calculate superhost status, we are talking about hosts, right?

[–]AirbnbThrowawayX 1 point 21 days ago 

Yes, everyone. Our system just doesn’t actually delete reviews. We hide them, the star rating still counts. There’s no way for us to adjust them, at all. It’s very unfortunate.

[–]robert_langdon83 1 point 21 days ago 

Yes, she actually said that the review will be hidden (not removed) but hidden reviews are not part of superhost calculation. I specifically asked it and that was her response. Apparently she was not right.

[–]AirbnbThrowawayX 1 point 21 days ago 

She was definitely wrong. Sorry friend

Not too late, go ahead and ask away.

So I think only our supervisors USED to have the ability to do so, but not any more, and I have no clue of the reasoning as to why they can no longer do so. But I agree with you it is unfair.

The best thing I can recommend is leaving a public reply to the review. Like “Hey, I’m sorry you felt that way, but my listings states there is no park or free parking.” So people who look at the listing will be able to see why that review is the way it is.

[–]19832526 3 points 23 days ago 

Thank you. We have one of our listings got paused because we have 1 star reviews from guests who were upset that the parking isn’t free. It’s a bit unfair especially we mentioned 3 times in the listing.

Thank you so much!

[–]robert_langdon83 2 points 22 days ago 

Is there any way for a case manager to “bury” a case? I had a complaint from one of my guests and case manager set a deadline for me to respond. I offered a solution in time, everything was handled through the email. Then in one day case manager canceled the booking (for one month!) on my behalf, my calendar was blocked (for one month), I got an automated review that I canceled the trip and I got an adjustment that I owe money for one month now (as I already received a payout). Now that’s clearly a manager’s fault as she canceled it. It was very clear to every other case manager I spoke with on the phone, but they promised me that my case manager will get back to me ASAP. I called Airbnb twice a each day, spent hours on the phone, wrote numerous follow up email but never received a word from my case manager. It looked like she realized her mistake and just decided to bury this case. Is this possible in your system? Is there supervisor that checks case manager’s cases (on a daily basis, for example) and makes sure no case left not responded / unsolved?

There’s no way to bury a case, it’ll be on your account forever even after it has been closed. Did she give you no explanation? Sometimes when someone meet my deadline but the email comes through late due to internet or something, I will waive the hosting penalties.

Supervisors from what I understand pull cases at random to sample if we’re doing our job, but not every single case is always reviewed. If you genuinely feel the case is mishandled, that you answered within the deadline and nothing was done, I’d ask for a supervisor to speak to. (Note when you call in asking for a supervisor, we still have to ask you the account security questions, and you have to tell us why you want a supervisor or they might not take the call) but that would be the most direct way to get it reviewed.

[–]robert_langdon83 1 point 22 days ago 

So, do you mean that open and not resolved case can remain open till the end of the days? Yes, she just canceled a day after the deadline. Apparently missed my email. It took me A LOT of efforts to get this sorted, with a huge help from fellow case managers (like yourself). I asked for a supervisor numerous times but never reached to them. Somehow other case managers forced her to solve my case into my satisfaction. She then called me and apologized. So could she keep my case open forever? There is no indication or alert for a supervisor that some case is abandoned?

P.S. So by “bury a case” I mean keeping it open forever and no one notices.

Oh no. We can’t keep a case open forever. We’re pushed to try and solve a case within 48 hours. Of course due to circumstances we can’t always meet that goal as some things are time sensitive or will take longer. But if a case has been opened for an extended period of time, or we’re not reaching out in an extended period of time, our supervisors do notice. For example if I leave an email pending for 3 days with no update or response, they will check and see and then make sure I follow up (or they’re supposed to, my supervisors do.)

Now the way closing a case works is we click the solve button, and it takes 48 hours with no response for it to officially close. So if I solve a case but the user respond within 48 hours, even if it’s just a thank you email, it still reopens a case. But we can get in trouble for avoiding cases, leaving them open too long, etc.

[–]robert_langdon83 1 point 22 days ago 

Thank you so much for the explanation! Really helpful. I suspect we get an automated message to review the service once you close the ticket. By the way, does it work the way it works with hosts? I mean even 9 out of 10 stars are considered as a bad review?

After 24 hours you should get an automated review saying the ticket will be closing in case you need any further assistance.

After that sometimes surveys do get sent out (we’re not allowed to talk about them unless the user asks us first as they don’t want us fishing for good scores because our statistics are based upon our surveys as well.) I’m not sure the actual specifications of when we send them out, they don’t tell us.

And our scoring is similar to a hosts.

Agents are rated on a 1/10 scale for different categories. The only downside to the surveys is that let’s say that case manager mishandled your case, so I was the new case manager who took over, I will be the one getting the survey since I’m the one who would solve it out. So sometimes we wind up with negative scores because of someone else. Which no one wants and it’s why we try to hold each other accountable for our actions. I’m not sure how the average or break down of the survery works though.

However if we get a low score, our managers are supposed to look at our case and see if the score was actually our fault or if it was something we couldn’t have helped. So we definitely get checked in that respect too.

[–]robert_langdon83 1 point 22 days ago 

Yeah, makes total sense. I didn’t rate that case after all as I didn’t want to hurt anyone involved and there were few very helpful case managers. But I’m pretty sure it was still assigned to her and she deserved a really poor rating.

Thanks you so much for your help! You’ve made a platform more transparent for me. Best of luck!

[+][deleted] 22 days ago (1 child)

[–]Dushmanius 2 points 22 days ago 

Is there anyway to speak to the case manager’s decision?

[–]AirbnbThrowawayX 1 point 21 days ago 

You can call and request your case is reviewed by a new case manager. Sometimes someone nice will look over it again.

[–]Pm_me_your_motocycle 1 point 23 days ago 

How akeen are you guys to fake reviews/AML stuff?

How much of an accounts history do you guys look in to when deciding on course of action?

So when it comes to reviews, it really depends on what the review itself says. The vast majority of review disputes are “They lied, my listing is perfect (or I was a perfect guest), I demand it be taken down!” Then when we go to look at the review there’s nothing abnormal about it outside of the fact that the person just doesn’t like it. Normally in those cases we just let them know it’s not a violation of our Content Policy and let them know it wont be removed.

Now for fake reviews, its kind of hard, because if something does not violate our content policy and we cannot /prove/ it to be untrue, we have to let it stand because we can’t call that persons experience wrong. Now for reviews that have literally no relevance to the listing or stay we will definitely remove it. If it is something like a fake account, we’re usually all on board for correcting that as quickly as possible. We usually do that by checking the recent reservation history or account information.

So let’s say a new user who is a guest, has had 20 reservations with the exact same host and no one else ever in a really short amount of time, and constantly leaves good reviews, that’s considered suspicious to us based on the account activity and we would probably remove that account and the reviews as well (once it has been reviewed by our security team first of course). Or if that guests account has very similar information to the hosts account like same exact phone, email, DOB, etc. that is also suspicious. I’d say over all we’re pretty good on catching inappropriate and fake reviews (review disputes are some of the most common calls honestly so they’re always brought to our attention.)

And for account history, it really depends on the situation. If you’re speaking solely on fake/spam reviews, then basically what I’ve already stated, we would check the account for general suspicious activity, and also see if the review falls under our content policy. Now if we are unsure of an accounts validity as it looks kind of legit but kind of not, we would check pretty much all history before submitting it to our security team for fraud review. (I would be able to remove the review, but only that team can delete the actual account or ban the user.)

If it’s something along the lines of a guest claiming there was a misclassified listing, sometimes we do look at reviews to see if this has been a recurring issue with this host from when they started Airbnb until now, or if they have any previous cases relating to the same thing, because if it has and we see that, it changes the way we set deadlines and how we will go about working the case.

[–]EducatorDave 1 point 17 days ago 

What other situations can you remove/edit a review. For instance: A) a guest stays at a lot of Airbnb’s during a trip and leaves a review for a listing and makes a mistake and meant to leave that review for another listing.
B) guest leaves a negative review about an ammenity that was never included in the listing e.g. no WiFi when it was never part of the listing C) guest meant to leave 5 star reviews but somehow chose 1 star There are so many other scenarios. Can you please share what other situations can a review be removed or edited.

[–]sliver86 1 point 23 days ago 

Is it true that Guesty now handles some of the communication on behalf of Airbnb?

From what I have heard, it’s not communication on behalf of Airbnb per say but they help hosts with property management. So hosts who have multiple accounts and listings on VRBO and Airbnb can manage everything easier. I can’t say much more about it though as personally I have not experienced any users calling in about it nor have I heard much else about it.

[–]trouzy 0 points 23 days ago* 

Just fyi, it’s “per se” not per say

EDIT: seriously it is

[–]nuorigin 1 point 23 days ago 

I’ve recently had two hosts deny my reservation request claiming that someone else might need the unit for the same time period. Is this normal and OK with AirBnB?

Well, it depends. Request to books give the host the option to manually accept or decline a reservation which they can do for (almost) whatever reason (since most places on airbnb are peoples private property we allow them to have discretion over who can stay or not). Let’s say you want to stay from August 27th – the 30th, but another person reaches out and says “Hey I wanna book from the 27th to September 14th” the host has the discretion to pick the longer booking as it would make them more money which is the business side of it.

Now if you requested to book and your reservation was officially accepted, and the host then turns around and says “Hey we need you to cancel because we want someone else to stay.” Or ” We want to cancel because we accidentally overbooked our listing” then that would be not allowed and a violation of hosting standards. If they decided to cancel for those reasons it would be a Host Cancellation and we would help rebook you into another listing.

If you bring to our attention that a host declined your request because of double booking with VRBO or other such reasons, or they say their listing is unavailable even though those dates aren’t blocked off, we can’t force them to accept, but we would definitely educate them on blocking their calendar dates or snoozing their listing so people don’t keep trying to book and there’s no future confusion.

Also keep in mind, it could be a case wherein someone was just canceled on by their host or due to other circumstances we have to rebook them and find another place for them to stay last minute. We reach out to potential hosts and ask them if they can accommodate this guest last minute, and that could be a reason why they were holding it for someone else.

My best recommendation is if you have multiple hosts in mind that you are considering, I would use the Contact Host feature to send an Inquiry to see if the dates are available for you. That way before you officially request the reservation you will have an answer. Or if it’s a case of last minute trying to find a place for yourself, I would recommend finding reservations that use Instant Booking (should show a lightening bolt symbol next to the price of the listing) as they are automatically accepted, or I would try and find listings run by Superhosts as they are the most responsive and most reliable.

[–]jaherrick 1 point 23 days ago 

I think those hosts are not good at keeping their calendars up to date. As a host myself, I used to be like this: recieving a request and then deciding on the fly whether or not those were good dates to host, or looking at my calendar and seeing that my sister would be in town, so deciding to decline. Now I am much more proactive about maintaining my calendar, looking ahead, and blocking dates I can’t host.
If a host uses InstantBook, it’s absolutely vital that they keep their calendar accurate. If they don’t use it, they are within their rights to decline, but it’s still always a better practice to keep the calendar up to date.

[–]7click 1 point 23 days ago 

In my neighbourhood people rent multiple apartments that they subrent to Airbnb thus crating a fake request. The rent skyrocketed in the past months to almost double the amount. The landlords seem fine with it . I know it’s not Airbnb’s issue but do they consider doing something about it?

Honestly I have no clue if the company as a whole has any plans for it. That’s the kind of stuff they tend to keep to themselves inside the higher ups as it’s all legalities and stuff.

I know that we do get calls sometimes with people saying “I don’t think this listing should be on Airbnb because the host renting it to me doesn’t actually ‘own’ the listing themselves they just rent it!!!” And really there’s nothing we can actually do in regards to that because we don’t know what deal they have with their landlords. I do think there’s a process where if the actual owner of a listing calls in and wants them to stop renting, but that’s handled by a different department that I’m not trained in, so I honestly don’t know a whole lot about it and couldn’t speak on it.

[–]trvlsrfrpt 1 point 23 days ago 

1) Why is Airbnb forcing us to pay in the currency of our debit/credit card and not in the local currency of the accommodation? Airbnb uses very unfavorable exchange rate for this. Any chance to let users decide in which currency they want to pay?

2) What do you think about hostels/hotels offers on Airbnb?

1.)As far as I was told the currency you pay in is controlled by your payment method, and in some cases even the country you are in, not Airbnb, which is why we can’t offer that feature.

2.) I mean I think sometimes they can be good finds, like a good room for cheap. But mostly I don’t really understand why they list with us, usually people on sites like Airbnb are looking for some form of house or private property to stay in, if they wanted to check into a hotel they probably would have done so on their own already. So I don’t know, never really thought much about it.

[–]jaherrick 1 point 23 days ago 

I rent a private room in my condo where I live. It seems to me that Airbnb is becoming more and more of a vacation rental / whole unit place, even with big resorts listing hundreds of places.
I know Airbnb caters to both, but sometimes I’m curious how it actually breaks down. I get a gut feeling that I’m in a rapidly shrinking category, but I don’t have enough data to confirm or disprove that gut feeling.
Do you think listings like mine represent closer to half or closer to 10% of all listings?

There are TONS of Private Room listings on Airbnb. Whether people book them usually depends on what they are traveling for and how many people they bring. I know some guests use Airbnb exclusively to meet new people and travel. Other prefer private rooms because they are cheaper than the entire home/apartment listings.

So I wouldn’t say it’s shrinking, it just really depends on the customer base, location, and time of year. Usually in summer entire homes/apartments are more appealing for family vacations. But during school season college students are more likely to go for private rooms for a few nights because of the price.

Those are just trends I’ve personally noticed, I can’t offer and valid data either though.

[–]maccrogenoff 1 point 23 days ago 

Thank you very, very much for being willing to hear our gripes and offer assistance and information. I really appreciate it.

I have several frustrations with Airbnb’s customer service. One is that I can’t talk to anyone on the “team” that will be handling my complaint. I explain my issue to a customer service representative who usually doesn’t understand what I’m saying. This customer service representative passes the complaint on, I’m pretty sure incorrectly, and the “team” usually does nothing. Why can’t each team have a customer service representative who understands the problems that team works on and who can speak on the telephone?

I’m also frustrated with how little training Airbnb customer service representatives receive. When I describe my problem they almost always try to tell me that it’s because I’m not looking in the correct place, don’t understand the website, etc. I then have to walk them through what pages to look at and where to look to get them to believe that I really have a problem.

Oh I COMPLETELY agree with you on this one. I absolutely hate having to relay the fact that I can’t transfer you to that specific department. Trust me when I say that we literally cannot though, the system itself doesn’t even have a button for it. And I get frustrated when another agent isn’t clear and concise enough with the notes they leave on a case because then of course it’s not going to get resolved as easily due to the misunderstanding.

Even in my own department I’ll get a case transferred and I don’t fully understand what’s going on and I wind up having to re ask all these annoying questions when I could just be fixing the issue.

It’s definitely something we’ve been submitting feedback for. And I definitely bring it up to agents supervisors if I see them not doing their job correctly.

[–]puddinhead 1 point 23 days ago 

Hi! I have a question about the emergency housing system that airbnb has just activated for Houston. (I think it is a fantastic idea and I’ve signed up—though I live north of Seattle am and not involved in this issue.)

So, how does it work on a practical level? Lets say our host lives in Dallas and already has a few days booked. I presume the host would keep her paid bookings and fit the displaced people in on the days she doesn’t have bookings. If it is structured that way, then the displaced guest would have to move out as soon as a paying guest shows up? And wouldn’t there be a huge need for rooms on weekends, when rooms typically fill up more?

Thanks for doing this ama!

Yes that is essentially how it works! Also if you don’t sign up as an evacuee, when you look for listings in that area, it will still show the original price of the listing. Some hosts however sign up SOLELY for evacuation purposes so you don’t have to worry about their paid bookings.

[–]hilogirl 1 point 23 days ago 

Personal third party reservations are against TOS but they happen quite frequently. Besides opening the host to liability, there are also a lot more communication and expectation challenges when the actual guests don’t self book or refuse to create their own accounts to connect to the res.

We are able to stop such bookings when received as inquiries, but we’re seemingly stuck with Instant Books. Is that the case or is it a simple matter with which an agent can help? Any danger of losing Superhost status over it if we can’t get the real guests to book/on the itinerary?

As a side note, this seems like something Airbnb could detect with filters similar to those used for URLs during the inquiry phase. Otherwise, it’s up to the hosts to educate (read: police) and not a great start for guest relations.

[–]esstielGuest 1 point 23 days ago 

not OP but – if its a third party booking and you weren’t aware before the time of booking and you are uncomfortable, call airbnb and have them cancel it. also – if you’re uncomfortable with an IB guest, you can cancel no penalty.

Third party booking is allowed if the host is made aware of it and is okay with it, we reccomend guests using the message thread so we have documentation of this.

However if you were unaware of the 3rd party booking and you can prove it (like they message you after the fact to tell you or something) call in to customer service and tell us. We can help cancel it for you.

[–]gimbha 1 point 23 days ago 

Has there been a recent change where case managers have pressure on them not to resolve an issue with refunds? I recently had an issue that was so ridiculously obviously Airbnb’s fault and responsibility and kept being told up front that there was no chance for a refund or reimbursement of costs…. it felt very odd and has really turned me off Airbnb, and I’ve been a busy successful host for several years now.

[–]tbsynaptic 2 points 23 days ago 

What was the issue that was Airbnb’s fault?

[–]gimbha 5 points 22 days ago 

Apologies: I thought I hit reply and ended up posting this entirely separately.

When I put a new listing up, airbnb asked if I would like to make a ‘welcome offer’ – a one time 15% discount to the first person who would book the new space. I said ok, sure, offer that!

Then the system proceeded to give the discount to about 40 people, many of whom were instant books (proof that I had no realm to intervene in the providing of the discount) stripping me of hundreds of dollars of income combined.

There was no way for me to ‘turn it off’. I had to get a case managers intervention to do so.

[–]AirbnbThrowawayX 2 points 22 days ago 

Quite the opposite. Airbnb in the US has a kindness challenge going on where we are literally throwing money out for free. They are trying to get back to their roots of the good old days where we FIXED issues, not ignored them.

I agree with tbsynaptic that it would depend on the issue. I do have user complain and swear up and down that it’s our fault or our system just because they’re not understanding something, or because they don’t want to take the blame.

But regardless of that, overall it depends on the issue and the amount of money. We can only give away up to a certain small amount without supervisor approval. If it was a small amount of money sometimes we will just take the loss.

If it’s something where we feel the user could have prevented it, we would prefer to educate them on it and not take a loss. So really it depends. If you could give me more context as to what happen I could probably clarify a little more.

[–]gimbha 1 point 23 days ago 

A second question: I had an issue with a case manager where no questions where asked, I was condescended to and shut down, and where they really abused their power over my situation. When I called in to request help from someone up the chain this same manager suppressed it. It became traumatic for me, a situation where the only person I was being allowed to communicate with was the abusive case manager. I wanted to hold him accountable but could find no way to do so. I ended up staying focused on getting my issue resolved (his decision was overturned once I got someone who actually inquired about the evidence… I still feel quite wary about the fact the first case manager is still at work, without being held accountable. What recourses are possible if we feel unsafe with a case manager??

e So this is a tricky area. I’ve definitely seen case managers who don’t do their jobs, or abuse the power they have. But most of the complaints we get about case managers are usually people who just don’t like the answer they are given even if the CM was in the right. Because we get so many of these false complaints, it is hard to review all of those claims.

However, if there was a case of a CM being unprofessional, rude, not following procedure, etc. The best thing to is call in and ask for a supervisor to discuss it with. We are supposed to try and de-escalate supervisor calls, especially if it’s something we can handle, the person is just really upset. But if you push for it enough, and are willing to wait on the line, then you can discuss it with them. If that person refuses to get you a supervisor then I would call back in to get a different agent to speak to theirs. That’s the best thing to do. Of course we hold other agents accountable ourselves if we see mishandling of cases, but of course that’s not as reliable as speaking to a higher up.

[–]gimbha 1 point 22 days ago 

Thank you. I tried calling in and asking to speak to a supervisor and was told that they were busy and I would get a call back (which never came, and ultimately I realized that that customer service person had just shut me down, too.) Next time I called the customer service person took the time to read my emails and saw the proof (and also informed me that my case was now closed), and while they didn’t directly put their supervisor on the line they did put me on hold while they consulted together… it definitely felt that the goal was to keep me away from talking to a supervisor.

Sometimes it is. We’re supposed to try and de-escalate a supervisor call as best we can. But really if you’re stubborn enough and keep asking, they should take the call, but unfortunately it depends on management in whichever location you called. Some supervisors will take supervisor calls easily, others will be like “if they didn’t ask 5 times in a 10 minute span and didn’t push it I won’t take it.” Which is frustrating for us agents too.

I’m sorry that happened though. I would try again and hopefully you’ll get a different location with a manager who can take the call.

[–]gimbha 1 point 23 days ago 

When I put a new listing up, airbnb asked if I would like to make a ‘welcome offer’ – a one time 15% discount to the first person who would book the new space. I said ok, sure, offer that!

Then the system proceeded to give the discount to about 40 people, many of whom were instant books (proof that I had no realm to intervene in the providing of the discount) stripping me of hundreds of dollars of income combined.

There was no way for me to ‘turn it off’. I had to get a case managers intervention to do so.

Sometimes weird glitches happen like that, especially if they are new features. Unfortunately there’s not much we can do until our technical teams work it out. It’s frustrating for us too because we are limited in our power. We can fix the after affects by turning off IB and helping you change pricing and all, but we can’t fix what’s already been done which is not the ideal answer for users.

[–]gimbha 1 point 22 days ago 

Whoops I realize now this posted as a separate comment, no way for you to know I was trying to reply to a previous thread. Reposting in the right spot now.

[–]chubbswifeHost 1 point 22 days ago* 

Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions.

What the heck is with the search ranking recently? One day I am number one in the area and the next day I am on the very last page. It is very frustrating for those of us who have been on airbnb for a while.

When I change my house rules to add in something more current, such as traffic due to roadwork being out of my control, does this update it for all future reservations? Or do I need to email all future guests each time I add something? Surely, a good feature would be having it so when the house rules change, it notifies all guests.

The search ranking is randomized so everyone gets a ‘fair chance’ is how they explain it to us. Which is why yours is showing up like that. The only real ways to have better results is with Instant Book or Superhost status.

[–]chubbswifeHost 1 point 22 days ago 

Perfect. I updated the question and edited it. Another one:

When I change my house rules to add in something more current, such as traffic due to roadwork being out of my control, does this update it for all future reservations? Or do I need to email all future guests each time I add something? Surely, a good feature would be having it so when the house rules change, it notifies all guests.

It doesn’t update for people who already have confirmed reservations, you’d have to email them.

The reason is because we have to hold hosts accountable to what they agreed to at time of booking. (If we see you reached out to your guests to let them know about stuff like construction we won’t penalize you because that kind of stuff is out of your control)

But in regards to house rules for example. Say originally the listing said that you allowed pets and parties. So a guest wanted to throw a family gathering and bring her dog. Then after the reservation has been accepted you update your listing because you decide you no longer want parties or pets. Well at the time your guest read your listing and booked, you allowed it, and if you didn’t allow it chances are your guest wouldn’t have booked with you.So it would be a host cancellation because we have the ability to see what was agreed too at the time of booking, because now your guest is out of a place to stay if you cancel.

Or cases where hosts list AC and then change it after a booking has been confirmed and never tell us or the guest. It’s just to protect guests to ensure they’re getting what they contractually received.

[–]chubbswifeHost 2 points 22 days ago 

One more question.

I run an Airbnb in a town that has a big event once a year. Our entire search area is clogged with listings for just that one week.

It makes it hard for guests to find people hosting day to day not for that one week.

Does Airbnb have any plans to clean up the search listings in the future? No one seems to know how to snooze their listings and just have them available for that one week. It drives down profit in this area and I have heard a lot of my guests complaining about it.

I agree with you on that. Unfortunately from what I’ve heard, the only thing we can do is try and educate people on blocking calendar dates and snoozing their listing. We have no way of monitoring the activity of so many users.

It happens in the town I’m from too with our big events and it’s frustrating. We hope that even if they don’t know how to snooze or block their dates they will at least decline guests wanting to book past those dates.

However I’ve not heard anything in regards to updating the search feature.

[–]Dushmanius 1 point 22 days ago 

How to address the situation where guests break house rules at the begining of their stay?

What do I mean by that is, there seems to be two options: – Option 1: Let the guest continue breaking the rules. – Option 2: Kick the guest out.

Problem is that in the option 2 we forfeit the booking and have to give guest refund for the nights they did not stay.

This does not seem to make sense, since guest not only breaks the rules but this way effectively cancels strict cancelation policy, since they will be getting a refund.

Is there a smarter way addressing this situation. Ideally I would like to keep the reservation money and kick the guest out. Is there a way to accomplish this?

P.S. I do not mean to sound heartless here, it’s just that many times it happens that we notice the guests are smoking in the home, and when we try to kick them out have to issue a refund. Of course we rarely (if ever) rebook those days since it is such a short notice.

[–]Setheck 1 point 22 days ago 

I know of a host who is in direct violation of HOA/CC&R rules. Other neighbors are also upset that this host continues to break the rules… I’ve created issues through the Airbnb site, but they just get closed and there is NO contact information on the website. How can I go about getting their listing removed? Or what recourse do I have. We have talked to this host face to face and told him to stop hosting since it is against the neighborhood rules, why does airbnb not seem to care about this situation and what other recourse do I have.

Also, thank you for taking the time to answer questions here.

Your HOA/Whoever needs to deal with it as they would any other violation. It’s not Airbnbs job to make sure everyone everywhere is following their HOAs very specific rules. They aren’t the police or lawyers.

[–]Setheck 1 point 21 days ago 

Interesting… Would it not be airbnbs responsibility if they were breaking federal law? I find it hard to believe that Airbnb has no obligation to remove posts in violation.

Airbnb are not the police. If someone calls about a guest breaking a law, they’re told to call the police. You’re trying to make a platform responsible for an individual’s actions.

And no federal government has a restriction on short term rentals, only local governments.

[–]Setheck 1 point 21 days ago 

No… different context. I’m not saying the guest is doing wrong. I’m saying if listing the unit for a short term rental breaks the law, airbnb should certainly be held accountable. Wouldn’t they be an accomplice under certain circumstances? You are making it sound like I could open a site to sell contraband and when it gets shut down my defence could be “the platform is not responsible for the actions of its users when it directly enabled those actions” which is not valid (a la silkroad).

The terms of service that the host agrees to when joining is that they will follow all local laws as well as the rules of their HOA or whatever else. The trouble is that Airbnb receives calls every single day from people saying they’re a landlord, and yes the hosts DO receive a warning from these calls, but it’s very hard to prove if it’s really a landlord or if it’s a local competitor in the area pretending to be so.

Comparing Airbnb to a place like silkroad isn’t fair, because Airbnb doesn’t encourage users to sell illegal product. They agree they can legally host. And when a host asks guest to lie about being Airbnb guests for example, we can strike them and cancel their reservations and punish them because they are admitting they are illegally hosting.

Even of the landlord sends in a lease, if it’s fake and someone’s account is terminated and they lose thousands of dollars in potential profit, it doesn’t look good on the company and puts them in a liability, of course no one can file a class action lawsuit but it doesnt mean they vant spread bad media. So their stance is, sorry we can not provide information about that user, if they are violating their lease, local laws, etc please contact the correct authorities to enforce those.

[–]Setheck 1 point 20 days ago 

I understand that Airbnb doesn’t want liability, but you just said “And when a host asks guest to lie about being Airbnb guests for example, we can strike them and cancel their reservations and punish them because they are admitting they are illegally hosting.”

Which is basically what’s happening here… So how do I get the listing taken down? The thing I really don’t understand is that it sounds like someone could list my house, start setting up reservations and collecting money and I can’t contact Airbnb to have them remove the listing, I would have to just turn away guests that show up. Seems like its bad for both sides.

If youre a guest and being told to lie, contact Airbnb and tell them you arent comfortable and want to cancel. The cancellation will be on behalf of the host who will have penalties.

For the second scenario, those guests are going to call us. Probably as soon as you turn them away, and once we get the very first report we escalate that host to Trust and Safety who will ban them. They wouldn’t be allowed to just collect money for the rest of their lives, they will have their accounts terminated and all reservations cancelled.

I know you’re trying to understand so I really appreciate that. It’s easy to blame a company when someone is doing wrong, but Airbnb has hundreds of thousands of legal listings and I’m sure thousands of illegal ones. They try to make sure everyone follows the laws, including sending emails when laws change and make letting illegal. To comply with laws they have made it completely impossible to list property in some areas, etc. It just becomes hard when it’s a landlord or a HOA.

[–]Setheck 1 point 20 days ago 

Ok thanks for all the info, you have been very helpful. But I’m still a little put off by Airbnb since a property owner or steward has no recourse through Airbnb. I guess i just have to wait for guests to report lying (probably won’t happen) or try to get the HOA board to take some legal action. Thank you so much for your patience with me.

You can always distribute letters to the “friends of the owner” stating they are subletting illegally. Once neighbors start poking around, guests feel nervous and that makes hosts nervous.

[–]nomadchica 1 point 21 days ago 

I’ve recently had a few ‘bait and switch’ type issues with hosts in a certain city. One guy accepted my reservation, then realised that he wasn’t going to make as much money out of it as he thought due to dynamic pricing, and requested a modification to the reservation so that he would get more money. I told him to forget it and cancel the booking, but he wouldn’t, because he’d then be unable to host anyone else for those dates. The Airbnb case manager was great and refunded me, since this was 100% the host’s own fault, but the host does not seem to have been penalised in any way for his total lack of responsibility regarding checking reservation details properly and not trying to make the price higher when a guest has already booked. I imagine a lot of guests would have just felt bullied into accepting the situation. What are your thoughts on this kind of thing?

[–]tinkerbellx3 1 point 21 days ago 

I’m a newer host and just took a reservation over Christmas for a low price. I’m so bummed. We had carefully set up all our peak & off peak pricing, but somehow it went back to Airbnb setting the pricing range. We had no idea it switched until the request came in. We could’ve rejected it, but we just bought this property and are too new to Airbnb to turn people away. We really want to climb up in the placement ranks so can’t really say ‘no’. Just saying this because something like this might have happened to your host and through no fault of their own, got their pricing changed. Its not something that we think to check everyday, because we set pricing the way we wanted and didn’t anticipate that it would change. But, we took the hit and hopefully the renters are fabulous and appreciate the great deal that they are getting.

[–]nomadchica 1 point 21 days ago 

That sucks :/ In my case, the guy accepted the reservation and THEN told me the price was too low…it’s one thing not realising about a new pricing system, but he should have checked the price before accepting my reservation, as that then meant we were both locked in (it was a long term cancellation policy). He then claimed he didn’t know that I would get zero money back if I cancelled after he accepted the request. Completely irresponsible host. If he’d said ‘look, I’m sorry, actually I didn’t realise the place would be priced that low’ and rejected my request, I wouldn’t have minded at all, and quite possibly would have considered a higher price. I just can’t stand dishonesty and/or total disregard for guests. TBH I don’t buy for one moment that it was all a mistake – I think he’s a manipulative jerk who does this a lot (advertises the place at one price and then hikes it up when someone has already spent time and effort discussing details) and this time it backfired on him.

In your case, it sucks that your profit is going to be so low, but perhaps they only took a chance on a new place because of the super low price. Hopefully it will go well and then you’ll have a good rating!

[–]captn_amHost -1 points 23 days ago 

Are guests able to see host reviews before posting their review, or is it double-blind?

It’s double blind. There’s a 14 day period after a reservation where you cannot see what their review has said. After the 14 days it automatically gets posted even if you have not written a review in return. If you write a review in return during that 14 day period they both automatically get posted and are viewable by both parties.

Source: IAMA Airbnb Case Manager