Airbnb just deactivated my account with over $13,000 credit and told me to not contact them about it

Hi there,

I came here to look for some advice. What happened: For the past two years I have been successfully referring new customers to Airbnb and collected a lot of account credit (over $13,000) with Airbnb’s referral program. Last week I was trying for the first time to book an accommodation but it didn’t work. I always received the message: “Please contact the Airbnb support.” so I did. The support told me that they sometimes do technical checks on some accounts and that it will take some time and that I should be patient. So I waited a couple of days and called again. After my call I received this email:

Hi Marco,

Thanks for reach out. My name is Carlotta and I’m a member of Airbnb’s Trust and Safety team.

Please note that your account has been found to be in violation of the Airbnb Referral Program Terms & Conditions, which can be found here:

Due to this violation, we have decided that it’s in the best interest of our community to deactivate your account. We’ll contact you if anything changes in the future, but until then, we won’t be able to assist you any further with your account issues.

Best regards, Carlotta M.

My reply:

Hi Carlotta,

I just got off the phone with your german colleague. She told me that english is your native language, this is why I email you again in english to avoid misunderstandings.

I’m not aware of any violations of the Airbnb Referral Program Terms & Conditions. You wrote “Due to this violation […]” without naming a violation. I’ve been successfully referring Airbnb clients since 2012 with my user review website: Airbnb Erfahrungen & Test 2024: 710754 echte Bewertungen and now for the first time I want to use the credit on my account to book an accommodation and my accounts gets deactived without naming a reason, my 12,029 Euro credit is not accessible and you tell me: “[…] we won’t be able to assist you any further with your account issues.”

Until this day I was under the impression that we had a successful advertisment cooperation, but your email changed my view completly. Taking away 12,029 Euro in credit without a reason and telling me to not contact you again is unacceptable after I’ve referred hundreds of paying clients to Airbnb.

Best regards

What I realized after all this: Airbnb apparently flagged my account all the time so that I would not be able to book anything but still receive the referrals from my website and when I complained about not being able to book they just deactivated the account.

It has been 24h and I did not receive any email from Airbnb. Do you guys have any advice for me?

Thanks for your help.

I think it’s stupid that they didn’t tell you sooner about the violation and just waited until you tried to claim the credits. But based on the link they sent, it seems pretty clear to me that this was the violation:

Sharing Referral Links

Referrals should only be used for personal and non-commercial purposes, and only shared with personal connections that will appreciate receiving these invitations. Referral links should not be published or distributed where there is no reasonable basis for believing that all or most of the recipients are personal friends (such as coupon websites, Reddit, or Wikipedia).

Seriously, $13,000? Sounds like you were doing this referral thing commercially? That is probably why they canceled you.

@OneGuy AirBnb and any other Rails platforms out there can determine if someone clicks on a link from a website (called the referer). Therefore they found that it was being referred to your site. But I agree they should let you know once you were violating the terms.