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#1

Hey guys! I have decided to help the community of Hosts as much as I possibly can while I’m lounging around on my weekends and time off. Officially, I’m the guy you call and discuss what’s going on with your listing when you call Airbnb. All of those sticky situations you’ve all probably have or definitely will face as a host, I have the answers that will help you navigate what Airbnb can and can not do. Also, there are quite a few things hosts/guests can do in order to get what they want when calling in for support.

Got questions? Just want clarification from an Airbnb case manager? Write them here and I’d love to start helping you all!

Cheers!


#2

Yes!.

Why do so many CSRs seem to have no clue what Airbnb policies are or what they are doing?

Why does Airbnb say third party bookings aren’t allowed and then urge us to accept them if we call in and ask that the booking be cancelled?

If you know anything about search: If I block off days for vacation or remodeling, how does that impact my rank in search for the dates before and after the blocked period? Should I block dates or do something like raise my price so high no one will book me? Or make the listing inactive temporarily?


#3

I have a situation where the county requires me to get a copy of ID of the guest who books. It is against the TOS, but the same section of the TOS 14-1 says I must obey the laws… I have it in my rules and listing verbiage. I am afraid a guest will complain then what?

RR


#4

#1 thanks for being the first person to respond!
#2 unfortunately many CSRs are what we call non-trip (NT) or CXL agents (cancellation specialists). It takes a bit more training to handle active and on-going reservation cases, resolution center mediation, etc etc. So when they sound clueless, they are. The call center is contracted out and even though we all “work for Airbnb” we are considered external employees and the contracted company will literally higher anyone with a pulse, turn over rate is through the roof, and only a few of us who have taken all training seriously, are in upper positions and know the ins/outs of policies. This is why I’ve decided to dedicate some time to giving any Host some advice on situations that may come up. I’m here to help, I just have to be discreet.
#3 Third party bookings are a touchy subject. Yes they are prohibited but they are loosely enforced in most cases. IF you have a request to book person who sent you an inquiry and has made it known that it is a third party booking you can accept it or deny it. If you accept it knowing it was a third party booking, dont call in for help later on as Airbnb will not do anything since they can see you acknowledged the booking prior to accepting. IF you deny it you may want to call in to Airbnb and explain why you denied it so they can make sure that one reservation (reso) doesn’t count against your acceptance rating. Documentation is your best friend! When you see the potential guest verifying it is a third party booking PRIOR to accepting, snap a picture of the conversation (just in case it goes away somehow) and call a CSR. Send the picture to CSR through message thread (MT) and they SHOULD make sure it is removed from your ratings or at least not counted against you. I can’t believe some have told you to accept it from the beginning, that’s horrible! P.S. you accept a reso and a week before the check-in, the guest (G) states it’s actually her sister coming and not her. BOOM… right then and there, call in to Airbnb and get the reso cancelled. The CSR will either cancel by admin or cancel by guest if they are feeling that sort of way and want to “punish” guest when it comes to cancellation.

Let me know if you need anything else!

TheInsider


#5

What happens if a guest shows up with a dog in my no pet property, when I kick them out will it count as a host cancellation? Will the offending guest be able to leave a review?

RR


#6

Hey RiverRockRetreat,

Thanks for the question. There are a ton of Hosts who do require additional contracts at time of check-in, copies of ID, collection of occupancy or value added taxes at check-in, etc etc. It is very clearly in policy that Airbnb allows this. Simply edit your listing ad and MAKE SURE to CLEARLY let it be known in the “house rules” section that per county regulations, you will be required to take a copy of their state issue ID or passport at time of check-in. No exceptions will be made.

Stating this in your listing is the only way Airbnb allows it and quite frankly, the only way to cover your own ass. A guest can call a CSR and bitch, scream, yell all they want and Airbnb will stand behind you 100% because it was known at the time of booking that you require it. The only time Airbnb will not be on your side in this matter is if the guest shows up and then is asked to provide ID, they say no, you say fine cancel, etc etc.

Biggest takeaway, the additional requirements need to be listed in House Rule section of your listing and then Airbnb will have your back on it and it is not breaking any policy. Sidenote: if you have any upcoming guests that you need ID for but havent added it to your house rules, shoot them a message and just let them know your county just changed rules and you’d like them to accept the new rule. If they give you any push back, either continue the reso and hopefully it slides under county radar, or call a CSR and tell them you’re uncomfortable with the upcoming guest and are requesting to cancel. NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS> This type of cancellation is a cancel by admin or CBA and doesn’t count against you up to three times a year, so use the phrase only on much needed situations.

Cheers!

TheInsider


#7

It is in my house rules, I am glad to know I am doing it right. It REALLY SUCKS that AIr does not have an option to collect the tax on my behalf, I have in in my rules that the tax has to be paid prior to check in, I do not give the door code until it is paid and some guests feel strong armed into paying even though they agreed. We all know they do not read. Why can’t Air just collect the tax for me LIKE EVERY OTHER platform?

RR


#8

As long as your listing is a no pet listing and the animal is NOT a service animal (yes, emotional support therapy animals count in this as well) you have the option to call a CSR and they will CBG (cancel by guest) or they can cancel by admin (cba) if they want to be nice to the guest. The guest will be refunded based on your chosen cancellation policy for nights not spent and IF the CSR knows their job (or you coach them) make sure they click the little “block reviews” button we have because your worry for a retaliation review is very valid BUT it is much easier to block reviews proactively than it is to remove a already written review (common complaint but literally about 6% of all reviews are actually removed)

Note: service animals do not need to be disclosed to the host or guest (if host has one). You are NOT allowed to ask for documentation showing the animal is a registered service animal or emotional support animal. ALL either party has to say is “this is my service animal” or “this is my emotional support animal” and the CSR (if following policy) will try to mediate the situation if either party is uncomfortable but will not cancel the reservation in order to punish the host or guest. If it is cancelled, the rep should do it as a CBA but only if something like “im a host and im allergic to dogs and here’s my documentation from doctor” THEN we will cancel it.

With almost all situations, Airbnb will require documentation to do anything without a “punishment”

-TheInsider


#9

Thanks. You probably realize this since you found the forum but it is a public forum and anyone can read posts, even if they aren’t members. After you’ve been a member awhile you gain “privileges” and one is to private message other members. So if you ever don’t feel comfortable posting something in the public part of the forum you can message them privately. We have many members who use the PM function almost exclusively.

I haven’t had this problem but others have reported Airbnb’s nonchalance about the issue. I think in some cases it’s been an instant booking and when they called in to cancel the agent suggested they should honor it.


#10

Honest answer: Airbnb doesn’t collect VAT because it’s simply too time consuming. They do collect occupancy taxes for some hosts but, in my opinion, they do that on the host behalf only to earn the interest on the tax money quarterly and add it the their bottom dollar.

Advice to you with collecting the taxes, switch your property to Request to Book (no instant book) and once the guest sends an inquiry, send them a special offer for those dates and adjust the price to include your nightly rate, all fees, and the taxes. This will show the guest you’re being upfront, it’ll be all one payment, and there is no offsite payments being done. As much as most guests understand and don’t mind paying the tax upon check-in, some are sketched about it which is why I personally always recommend just doing a special offer from the get go so you avoid potential cancellations, loss of revenue, headaches, etc.


#11

Ya the agent sounds untrained. If for any reason a reso needs to be cancelled and it is an Instant Book, ask the agent you call in to for an Instant Book forgiveness option “as you thought you turned it off the other day” They will automatically cancel the reso for you as an admin so it doesn’t hurt host in any way and they’ll refund guest and/or help them book a similar property.


#12

That’s not going to work, I did some experimenting with this and when you are not on IB you go to the bottom of the list. Also it’s not a pain to collect the tax and give it to ME to pay, Air just does not want to do it. I would not want Air involved in paying my taxes they would F it up for sure. Just ranting I know you can’t fix it

RR


#13

Calendar settings question I missed somehow but anyways, just block off your calendar as needed for yourself. Don’t worry about making it inactive or raising rates. If calendar is blocked, it’ll allow potential guests to check out your property and make future plans. Unlisting the property will drop you from search for a short period once you turn it back on and raising the rates will only turn future guests away from the property once the dates are open again.


#14

Not your fault; I edited the question not realizing how on top of the post you were going to be. :slight_smile: Thanks so much for contributing here.


#15

I see what you’re saying. I work for Airbnb and don’t want them near my money either lmao. As a side note, IB compared to request to book as no difference in your “search ranking” as the searches are based on location, specifications, dates, etc etc. It is similar as to why all hosts wonder why the reviews are out of order by date. It is for marketing… a French guest will see reviews written in French (even that shitty 2-star review by a lying guest) before they see the 5-star review from that nice couple you had stay for a few nights.
Everyone will see search results and reviews in a different order EVERY SINGLE time using different location, language, etc.


#16

I have looked at this and found the opposite to be true. As listing is, on IB I searched from a private browser and it came up first page. I turned off IB searched again and it was buried on last page. It has been a year ago since I did this maybe things have changed. IB is better for my business regardless, people do not want to request to book in my experience.

RR


#17

How wonderful to have an ABB-insider here ! I’m sure you will be flooded with questions.

My question:
Yesterday we had an arriving guest. Already during the house tour he started complaining about several issues:

  1. He sat down on the bed and said it was no good. It’s an expensive medium-firm pocket spring mattress from a quality brand, and it’s disclosed like that in our listing.
  2. He complained that there was no television in his room. That is NOT an amenity we offer as indicated by our listing and photos.
  3. He complained that there was no air-conditioning in his room. That is NOT an amenity we offer as indicated by our listing and photos.

His attitude was really negative and he was only complaining and complaining.
What should/could I have done according to AirBnB? What would they consider the best course of action?


#18

Good to know! From my experience and training it doesn’t change simply for the setting being changed, BUT, now I’m curious and when I head back in Monday I will research with IT dept. and confirm one way or another. Thanks for making my brain question myself, I like learning new things too!


#19

Thanks for the warm welcome and the question GutHend. I’m definitely risking my employment as I will answer all questions regardless of what Airbnb wants agents to do, but I’m on my own time and just like helping out.

Your topic is a very touchy subject with hosts because a host is always worried about negative reviews. Unfortunately, a review is highly subjective to the guest’s opinion, their experience with your listing, and “their own sense of truth” (per policy). So no one can proactively shut down or block the reviews for fear of a bad review coming. Honestly, I would just make sure to very clearly state in the ad that there is no TV or AC in bedroom (as many people will see these features as common among listings). The bed being comfortable or not is of their opinion and none of us can avoid that. I have guests call in all the time regarding this and there is simply nothing to be done. I personally sleep on a mattress that is extra firm and most would find uncomfortable but then again, I hate soft mattresses.

If this was a good reso that earned you some decent money, perhaps proactively offer the guest a mattress topper to better suit their needs. This isn’t required but not only can it benefit you with other guests in the future, but you can add it to your review response if indeed the guest leaves a “negative” review on the bed and/or amenities. Personally, I would recommend spending $125-200 on a 32" TV and having it in the bedroom for guests, but that’s just me. I wouldn’t stay at a listing without a bedroom TV unless my point is to check-in to your listing for the simple need of “unplugging” for a weekend or so.

-TI


#20

Re: @GutHend’s post. This is a real touchy point with hosts. You are advocating supplying things that we don’t have because guests expect it. But what about expecting guests to READ THE LISTING instead of expecting every Airbnb to have the same amenities? The guest doesn’t read and then we get punished with a bad review because it’s subjectively the guest’s experience?

This just tells me that any guest who complains needs to preemptively be given low stars, a warning to other hosts in the review and “do not recommend” because if they do the same to me there is no recourse even though the guest is at fault.

For the record I’m a SH of almost 5 years with 460+ 98% 5 star reviews. I don’t ever have problems. I do provide anything a guest could want but it’s annoying AF to think that if I don’t and the guest books me anyway I’m still at fault.


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