AirBnB "Help" - Venting!

The story so far:

Four weeks ago, at the beginning of May, I had a guest check-in. He was from Korea, and was visiting Canada for the first time. One of the first things he asked me was whether or not he could store his medication in the refrigerator. This wasn’t a problem, so I agreed. A couple of days into his stay, I noticed that he hadn’t really left his room all that much, and that he had done several loads of laundry on the antibacterial setting. With those three things in mind, I began to wonder if perhaps he was ill and I became concerned about infection for me, and also for my other guest.

I emailed Airbnb help with an urgent request so I could find out what my options were if the guest did in fact turn out to have an infectious illness. At the same time, I contacted the guest to try and get more information, and find out if he needed assistance. Since his English was poor, I messaged him through Airbnb, so he could use the translation apps on his phone to understand what I was asking.

He got back to me right away and said that he actually had a sensitive skin condition and was just avoiding the sun, and re-washing the linen he had brought, which seemed to help. I was happy with his answer, and so his visit proceeded without incident, and he checked out at the end of May.

Today (June 8), I get a callback from the case manager, regarding the email I sent them four weeks ago! I told them that the issue had been dealt with, seeing as the guest had already checked out. I was told by the case manager that their recommended course of action was always for the host to talk to the guest first with any problems before contacting Airbnb.

I get that, but I tried explain to the case manager that the reason I was contacting Airbnb was to find out more information about my options. I didn’t want to present various scenarios to the guest without knowing whether or not I would be in violation of Airbnb’s policies.

The case manager simply didn’t listen. He kept repeating that they always recommend that the host talk to the guest, and he kept interrupting me when I was trying to explain to him that that wasn’t really why I had said the email in the first place. He then said I kept interrupting him, so when I asked to speak to his supervisor, he told me that he was at the top of the line and there was no one above him that I could speak to. I felt like pointing out to him that unless he was Brian Chesky, I was nowhere near the “top of the line”, but I refrained! He was rude, uninformed, and extremely unhelpful.

I got in touch with Airbnb help through Twitter, and it looks like they’re going to email me back, hopefully sooner than they are four week history would seem to indicate.

Has anyone else had bad experiences with Airbnb help? Any suggestions? Share your horror stories here!

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I would have been going insane with that type of customer service rep! I can understand your concern for the health of that guest as well as your other guests.
I guess, from responses I had on something I posted, that I’ve been extremely lucky when dealing w ABB, whenever I have called them, they have been helpful and courteous.
As hosts, I think it’s super important that we make as much noise as possible when we are mistreated by ABB customer service, so yeah…you should keep talking to anyone who will listen.
Don’t forget that they are extremely responsive on twitter…the handle is @Airbnbhelp.


I have spent over a week with “help” because my listing has disappeared from the site. They have repeatedly told me the listing is fine. After to days I started asking them to escalate to someone in tech support. More messages saying my listing was fine. I finally sent them screen shots from 8 people who searched for the listing without success. Now they have sent it to tech support which will take a few days. It’s a short season here and I’ve lost 2 weeks and counting!

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I recently dealt with them and they seem polite but not helpful, and they do keep repeating something you already know when you want further information. I think it is not the rep’s fault, they are trained that way and they stick to Airbnb policy. Though it can be frustrating when communicating with them. They seem to not care about my concern but only give standard answers.


The guy is taking antibiotics I’ll bet. Those make you photosensitive so of course his skin is sensitive. He’s got TB or who knows what. Have you asked what his condition is?


Ask what medication he is taking if that is allowed. Then search its use. That would help narrow down his ailment or condition.

I once had the unfortunate experience of being grabbed and forcibly removed from my listing by a guest, after I was asked to come over to help them with difficulties they were having using the television.

The whole interaction was a bit ridiculous, but what seemed to escalate the situation was asking them not to cover the heaters with towels because it was a fire hazard. This was written in our House Rules. I was then grabbed by the arm and dragged to the front door, pushed out, and told that I shouldn’t be there. I ended up tripping as there were stairs immediately outside the front door.

It was a distressing encounter, however what was most shocking was that it took SEVEN calls to Airbnb over the course of the night before they would agree to cancel the booking. Highlights of these calls include:

  • Being encouraged to communicate with my guests and resolve the issue. Let me emphasise that this was not an issue that could be resolved. After (for the lack of a more appropriate term) being physically assaulted by my guest, I was told to go back and speak to them in person when they didn’t acknowledge my messages. I had already told Airbnb that I didn’t feel safe doing so.
  • One person I spoke to couldn’t find my account, and didn’t seem inclined to do so. Despite the fact that I had told her my name, she kept calling me by a different one, and when I corrected her, rather than apologising, she said “well, whatever your name is…”, and then proceeded to encourage me to go talk to my guests in person.


This isn’t to say that I haven’t had good experiences with Airbnb. However, a lot of the time they’re unable to deviate from the ‘script’. This may be a consequence of their training, to be fair, as the first person you speak to always has limited power and is generally encouraged to try to resolve the situation without escalating it.


I’m in shock that you were assaulted by your guest, and then told to go talk to them? I’m really sorry to hear you had that experience, and commend you for being brave enough to continue hosting!


I would remind everybody that AirBnB is just a booking service and that it is your Business and you need to manage it, if I had an issue I would deal with it first and then contact AirBnB.


Except it doesn’t work like that. In situations where you want guests to leave you cannot act first and then hope that Airbnb sides with you. @como

In situations like that hosts need to involve Airbnb before any action is taken…so that there’s no unintended consequences and lost income.


I think we have to agree to disagree.

I assume we are talking about something serious rather than minor and I am not going to be second guessed by a spotty CS rep who may have only been there 2 days in how I need to address a serious issue.

When it comes to it it is my business my issue my problem to resolve. If I need to discuss it with ABB I will do that later. And we all know that logic and how that conversation may work out is another issue.

I am not sure how serious the incident first mentioned was but let us say there was an assault, 911 first, or whatever the code is in your country, 999 in the UK, AirBnB a long way second.

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I’m totally intrigued as to how many hosts have had a situation so bad that rather than mediate with Airbnb it was better to call the police on their guests…

None of the experiences shared on this thread (and to which you responded warning hosts to manage their businesses appropriately) warrant police involvement… so I wonder what you had in mind when you wrote that comment.

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The OP certainly implied this was an Assault situation so who would you contact other than the Police.

I have had to once, years ago and not an AirBnB booking. With the sort of business I run most unlikely to need the Police, but it can happen to anybody.

Somebody I know who has a small hotel in a bigger town and partly uses AirBnb for bookings has had many more interesting situations than I have had, seems any minor issue I mention is easily trumped by their experiences.


That sounds like the black hole of support I have always received from them. Might be best to ask them to delete the listing and add it back again. They will probably have a preset reason why they can’t. The loop will continue. That’s how it worked for me when a group of partiers trashed my place. Just a generic email with a refusal grin an untouchable email only recipient. 3x.

Yup that sounds like what I’ve been experiencing from ABB too!