ABB favoring a host. Warning--long post

So, I’ve actually been too embarrassed to even write this, but I’m going to share it anyway because I think it’s important.

I’ve been high and dry for months with my listing for a while now. Luckily, I have a full time job, so I don’t depend on this income, but it does come in handy.

For those that don’t know me, mine is a shared home listing, guests have the upstairs bedroom and non-attached bathroom exclusively, and we share living and kitchen area on bottom floor, where my bedroom/bathroom is located.
I live in an area of NY that is heavily dependent on the summer tourist season. My rates range from $65-$85.night.
I’m in my 3rd year of hosting. Wait, maybe it’s my 4th. Anyway.

So, like I said, my listing was high and dry starting in the Fall of 2016, when I usually normally get a somewhat steady stream of guests from other countries. I of course, blamed it on the politics :slight_smile:

I don’t like to rent during the winter as it’s iffy here with blizzards and I really don’t want to add keeping the place shoveled out at a moments notice for a guests need on to my already full schedule. Me, I’m used to traipsing through the snow but with guests, there is always a different standard.

Finally, in late April, I started getting a request or two for May and June. Some I declined because you know…stupid people ask stupid questions when they ask for a booking and you just don’t think it’s gonna be a good thing. For a while, I was declining more than I was accepting.

So, I started to play around with the smart pricing recommendations, and every once in a while, would change my price for a random few nights during the week to the ‘tip’ given by ABB, or just a few bucks above.

So, when “Suzie” requested a one night stay on a Wednesday night in the middle of May, for a listed price of $63, I said yes. The booking request came in one week prior to arrival date. She had one good review and 4 verifications.

Her initial booking request included details on 3 things they had planned to do and see (almost as if they read my guidebook and/or listing).

I was at work when I got the request, and the online app doesn’t always work well on my phone, and while her profile photo looked grainy and blurry to me…I attributed that to my poor overworked eyes and cracked phone screen.

So, I did my usual thing of reminding them of check-in/check out times, and the importance of coordinating check in time due to my busy calendar, when I accepted their offer. Also sent email via ABB system 4 days prior to check in, 2 days prior to check in, and 1 day prior to check in, and yet again at 630am on day of check in asking them to let me know probable arrival time.


So, my plan on their check in date was to call ABB once I got to work and figure out what exactly my schedule was going to be like that day, and see if I could change things around to be able to leave early for my rules which include a check in time of 3pm-8pm.

The you know what was hitting the fan the moment I walked into the office at 745am, so I just didn’t have time to contact ABB, and before I knew it, it was 830am and I got an email via ABB messaging system from guest responding to my emails, saying they were on their way and would arrive approx 930am.

So, at first I’m like…WTF? Stated check in time is 3pm, WTF. But I’m literally at work with a landline to one ear and my cell phone to another dealing with patients and their issues and doctor offices, with a total of 7 patients to somehow see in an 8 hour work day with an estimated traveling time of 70 mins for the day (i’m a home care nurse)…

So I was like, OK… I sent an IM to a friend, asked her to get the keys and leave in a place the guests could find them…deciding to allow the early check in as there was no way in the world I was going to be able to leave work early to meet the 3pm check in time anyway.

At about 245pm I rec’d an email via ABB from guest that my home was nice and charming and they took a nap as they woke up early to drive here, but that when they woke up from the nap, they turned on the diffuser, and the boyfriend had an allergic reaction to the oil diffuser (this is left in the bedroom with plain water in it, essential oil bottle next to it, instructions on exactly how to use it if they want to). They wanted to cancel their reservation.

I’m at my wits end by this point because I’m crazy busy and this is just pissing me off to a place of incomprehension. So I told them to contact ABB, giving them a screenshot of the number to call, and for them to advise ABB of the situation and that I would be willing to give a refund.

I get a call and email from ABB, sent a quick response back via email to them, saying yes, go ahead and refund their damn 60 bucks or whatever.

I get home…my keys are NOT in the place they are supposed to be (instructions I gave not only in an email, but also had my friend leave a note on the door), in fact, my keys are missing completely. NOTE: No, I’m not getting one of those ugly keypad doorlocks for the 3K I make per year, nor can I use the internet kind of door locks as cell service is sketchy, and if the internet is down, it would just be a disaster. )

Go upstairs…condom on floor of bedroom, pillow case and sheets stained with I don’t even know what kind of makeup nonsense that is, two rooms that are clearly marked “no guest access’ with doors left ajar (they were not ajar when I left that morning), towels left haphazardly, every light on in the most of the rooms, space heater in bedroom still running so it was like a sauna (also there is a note attached to space heater…'unplug when you leave the house”, basically, it was like walking into a crime scene, I know it doesn’t sound like much from what I’ve written, but I’m telling you, I felt violated.

I sent an email to them via ABB re: keys missing. 3 hours…no response from ‘guests’. Contacted ABB, advised them of missing keys, they contacted guest who found a hotel room 15 miles away. Guest sent an email after ABB contacted them saying they would return the keys “tomorrow late afternoon/early evening”.

I contacted ABB and explained the state the house was left in, the overall lack of communication, that they had the keys to my home, that I’m normally not a nervous nellie, but something was just not feeling right about this whole thing.

ABB offered to pay for me to have a locksmith come to my home immediately to change the locks. I happened to have an old set of hardware and a friend who was willing to come over and change it for me though so I declined the offer.

The guest did finally return the keys at approx 530 pm the next day, ( i went for a walk, they were there when I came back).

ABB contacted me numerous times via telephone and email asking if I felt safe, on numerous days, and they said they would leave the ticket open for a few weeks if I wanted to have the locks changed with no expense to me.

So, obviously, couple morals to this story eh?
But I guess the thing that impressed me the most was the follow up from ABB.

So, I know there will be a few who will chastise me for allowing the early check in, or whatever…go ahead, I’m not going to pay much attention to you though.
But for anyone else out there…my advice is to contact ABB immediately, be sincere, and know that there are actually times that ABB looks out for their hosts. Even their hosts who make them very little money.


Hi @brook2adks,

Interesting story; thanks for sharing. I’m quite surprised that Airbnb went to so much trouble to follow up. Is it possible it was the same person each time? Seeing as Airbnb isn’t actually, you know, a person…

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I think it was the same person at ABB writing the emails as the responses were personalized and written the way a person would talk, not some prewritten messages.
Edited to add: I do wonder if perhaps this isn’t the first time this guest has done this, and maybe that is why ABB went so over the top to assist me.


Yes, maybe it’s a particular person who is taking an interest in your listing.

If that’s the case, they should remove her account.


I suspect it’s more you got a CSR who could give a damn…


I am not surprised. Most of the time I had my issues resolved though those times when it was not resolved I got really pissed at them.
When you said you make 3K a year, it was a joke right?

I also have a suggestion but again it’s just a suggestion, because I am always for not leaving money on a table and when there is a chance to make money then why not, about your guest room that is sitting there half a year empty. We have slow seasons too here in South Florida and ours lasts 8 months. I had a very hard time renting both properties during summer and fall: separate pool house and my 2 rooms in my home where I live . I was dropping prices and working very hard with 1-2 days stays.
Now I host longer term guests. Not long term like a year lease or 6 month. In that case I would sacrifice with income but short longer term guests. From 2 weeks to 2 months. Then you would not have to be so meticulous about snow shovel because you most likely will have workers who are out all day and have no time to complain.

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Hi Yana,
Not a joke, that’s all I make. I really only get guests May-October. I’m dependent on my neighbor for plowing the driveway, as we share a driveway, and that may not be convenient for guests. The winter is just too unpredictable, I don’t want to have to shovel the walkway to meet their needs, I already work a couple of jobs! Obviously, I do shovel, but I work it around my schedule, and I can just see guests complaining if I leave for work at 7am, it starts snowing at 8am, when they leave at 11am they have to trudge through snow. Just not worth it.
I don’t want longer term guests because I get burned out on people way too quickly :slight_smile: People, and interacting with them, is often quite emotionally and physically draining for me. I greatly appreciate and need my solitude.
My house is not really completely set up for completely private living quarters for guests and myself, so when I have guests, I don’t really have a complete ‘space’ to myself. My maximum stay is 4 days. And then I find I usually need at least a day if not 2 or 3 to myself.
Also, I have friends and family that I invite to visit, further using up time I could rent out, but I like those visits, as they are good for my heart and soul.

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I understand very well , I get burned out too by constant interaction. Yes never thought I could have someone in a house all the time . Now i have 3 rooms for rent and they all occupied. Good thing with workers that they are not home many many hours a day and then they don’t want to interact as they are tired. It’s very different hosting working people and vacationers


A year ago I would have said the same thing. And I’d still say the same thing about the internet-based ones. This is because I have seen so many of my neighbour’s guests simply not being able to get into his rental because of the fancy lock. Or being locked out like some recent guests. They had checked out at his checkout time but just a few minutes later (they were still in the parking lot) realised that they had left something in the apartment. But because it was one or two minutes after checkout time, they couldn’t get in.

However, we did get an under-$100 keypad, paid about $40 to have it fitted and it’s brilliant.

Not very pretty though, I agree, :slight_smile:


I may still look into it, I don’t know. I seriously have never had that type of problem before.
I always tell guests to leave the keys in one of 3 spots outside, as I always tell them, "It’s my only set right now’, specifically to avoid them having the keys with them.
Honestly though, I don’t think I’m going to be doing this ABB gig forever or even more than maybe one more year.
My quality of life is worth more than a few bucks.
For now I’m still using the funds to go to household upgrades and sending the other half of what I earn to my nieces who are in college, it helps them out with things like gas, and chicken to go in their ramen noodles :slight_smile:
They are extremely appreciative and frugal young women who deserve a little help.
But I really enjoy my privacy.

You are right, there is a difference. And maybe I could get used to it if things were set up differently, but there are some days I just want to hang in pj’s and chill with netflix :slight_smile:

I atill do what i want and usually do. Those time of tippitoeing around my guests are gone. You have your room, they have theirs.

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