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Accepting mail/packages on behalf of a guest?

Hi all,

I got some super helpful replies on my other post so here is one more.

I got an instabook from a Chinese student for a weekend January. After booking he sent me a message and said he was coming into town for an event at one of the major sports venues in my city. He said that he bought a ticket for it online, but they have to mail it to him, but he won’t be in China the week of the event because he’d be in the U.S. so he wanted to know if he could have it sent to my house.

I pushed back and asked him if he is 100% sure that he can’t get an e-version of the ticket because I don’t want to be responsible for any guests’ mail or packages. For the venue/event he is attending I know for a fact that they offer Flash Seats and stuff like that, or the ability to login online and print rather than having them mailed.

He replied and said that he is sure that he can’t get an online version and was super pushy, which left me in the awkward position of either saying no and looking mean or accommodating him so…now I have to look out for mail in January that is for this guy and put it to the side for him. Had he asked all this before booking I would have declined the booking but he booked and then asked. Also, there is probably some language barrier issues here too, where maybe he didn’t understand what I mean about asking if there’s an electronic version of the tickets or whatever. I did make it clear to him that I am not responsible if I don’t receive his mail.

I know that in the future I can just say no to this. I swear I am not a pushover but I sure feel like one today between the early arrival guest and now this other thing.

If you have dealt with this, how would you respond?

I know that some venues only accept paper tickets. This is because electronic tickets can be printed more than once. I do permit Airbnb guests to have packages and mail sent here. You certainly don’t have to if you don’t want to. If it comes up again, you can tell the guest to have the package delivered to the closest post office or box and ship store.

The forum has some searchable features, so I suggest you do a search as we have answered this question a LOT in the past. But I’m going to answer because this one is really important…

Do not EVER accept any guest mail or packages at your address. They could be sending contraband! If drugs are found and it’s addressed to YOU at your address, guess who’s going to get arrested and be held accountable? Not the guest! Think about it… what an easy peasy way to get drugs to the US with zero risk on the sender!

You can suggest they send mail to the nearest mailboxes, etc… places that are set up to deal with this sort of thing. Or general delivery, although I think that requires a postmaster approval.

I also don’t like how pushy this person was. You are not MEAN. They are pushy and rude. This is not the making of a good guest and certainly sends out red flags. Paper tickets went out with high button boots. The guy’s story is fishy. What if he’s sending heroin???

You may want to try contact Air to see if they can cancel this dude without penalizing. Explain you are a new host and plead ignorance.

And in the future NO PACKAGES! ESPECIALLY FROM ABROAD!

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A short term guest having mail in their name is a huge step in proving residency at a particular address. You could quickly be forced into a landlord-tenant dispute, at least in some states in the US.

I don’t have mail service where my property is, which at times is a real pain. But in a case like this, can be a blessing in disguise.

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Thanks again all. I called AirBNB and explained the situation. They said they definitely can see this as a safety red flag and are forwarding it to the proper case manager.

Hopefully it will be resolved soon! Thankfully there is time since his reservation is at the end of January. I will post the resolution here when I hear back.

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I really don’t think that sending contraband to someone is enough to have them held accountable for the contraband. If it were, with the ease of finding anyone’s address online, there would be revenge packages being sent constantly. If sending a package of contraband is in fact enough to have them held accountable, does anyone have Donald Trump’s address?

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Might be Trump Tower, NYC. :wink:

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You don’t want someone sending heroin to your house to test it out.

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When guests asked to receive mail, I told them they should have it sent to the nearest post office for general delivery, and they could pick it up there with an ID. Then their crap wasn’t my problem.

Anecdotally, I know from acquaintances that it is very common for folks to mail themselves drugs while on vacation.

All,

Update on this. I have not heard anything in an official capacity from Airbnb yet, but I did get this message from the guest today:

“Hi, [name redacted]. I have negotiated with the website which i bought the ticket on , the website consented to change my ticket into electronic ticket , so there is no need to change the ticket address , but i have to thank you for your reply to me before sincerely . Thank you.”

So I guess he does not need me to accept mail on his behalf after all. So even if I don’t hear back from AirBNB a good resolution has been reached.

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Another update:

It took 6 days but AirBNB contacted me and said that they cancelled the reservation without penalty. They sided with me on the fact that he booked before asking my permission to send mail here and agreed it was a safety issue - even with the guest being able to change his tickets to electronic, they still felt that he had crossed a line.

I am glad they sided with me on this one. Hopefully it does not happen again.

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Did Air provide you any compensation, besides saying they won’t penalize you?

No, but I didn’t expect any.

The booking in question wasn’t until almost the end of January. They did NOT block those dates from other guests for me - it was wide open again when I checked the calendar. I’ve been getting really consistent bookings so I should still make money. And if not, this isn’t really my primary revenue stream so I am not too worried about it.

Well I do hope you get those dates re-booked in time. Six days for Air to have your calendar blocked while making a decision, is absolutely ridiculous.

My policy is as follows:

  • No U.S. Mail - I have all mail for the address held at the Post Office.
  • UPS/FedEx - They can have it delivered, while they are there. If it arrives after, it will be sent back to shipper.

Seems to work well. For those who have to get an item through the U.S. Mail they can arrange for it to be mailed to the local Post Office for pickup (General Delivery is the term).

Cheers,
Rob

You might want to be careful here. A few years ago, there was a ring busted here because they were using Fed ex to deliver drugs. Why take the chance? What could they possibly need to have sent to your house? You can suggest a third party store like the UPS store or Mailboxes Etc.

Honestly, I can’t stop them - they rent the entire house, and I’m not there. If they choose to ship something there, that is their choice. The clientele I get tend to skew older and higher-income. Not saying it couldn’t happen.

And I have had guests who have come for weddings and such ship wedding items down. Had one gentleman who was coming from up North ship down some hunting gear.

Cheers,
Rob

Huh? Their choice? It’s YOUR choice. Your house, your rules! I wouldn’t care if my house was in Timbuktu and I was in Hawaii. The rules still apply! No shipping of anything, via any method is allowed! That’s why there are places like the UPS store. I mean… If you are okay with it, you’re ok with it. But I would never ever allow shipping right to the house. But that is me. :smiley:

I’ve had guests who were here for work who needed to have documents sent here. The country we get the most guests from is Mainland China. As consumer goods are more expensive in China, some of them like to buy products from amazon.com and have them shipped here to take home. One of our best guests ever who was here for 25 days bought a bathing suit online and had it shipped here as Southern California has more opportunity for beach going than her native Germany or England where she is attending University at Cambridge.

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I guess you could decide on a case by case basis… But… If you think about it, what a great, no-risk way to send drugs. These are strangers remember. You are allowing strangers to send unknown items to your personal home.

I don’t think it’s a smart idea. Especially when there are alternatives. If it’s for work, why can’t it get sent to the office?

And not to be argumentative… But buying a bathing suit online??? That’s one item I would definitely need to try on! With how much great shopping is available in your area Ellen, I don’t get it.

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