Greetings from the UK
A few weeks ago I flagged an issue with Airbnb about a fellow Superhost in my area requesting potential guests, quite blatantly to book direct on their listing.
As proud Airbnb super host, recovering from the dire consequences of the Covid-19, we’re all doing what we can to get guests back into our accommodation. I took a real issue with this host, using Airbnb’s platform to get private bookings, and basically bypassing the payment of booking fees and therefore saving him and his guests money.
I sent a message to Airbnb… interesting reading, and please note it took them over a week to reply:
I’d like to report an account in my local area.
*This is the listing and they are asking potential guests to contact them directly to make bookings. They are Superhosts and this type of tactic to bypass the booking system is a flagrant abuse of the rules and action should be taken against them. I reported this over the weekend and the listing is still live. *
*This is unfair to other hosts in the area, as they are able to negotiate on price and not pay the associated booking fees, thus saving them money whilst abusing this platform. *
*I look forward to hearing from you *
#### 21 Jul 2020
Hello… anyone there?
#### 22 Jul 2020
I guess not… hopeless!
#### 30 Jul 2020
*Hi Adam, *
Good day! My name is Anna Marie, one of the support ambassadors of Airbnb. I hope this message finds you well. I would like to thank you for your patience as your case was being assigned.
We’re so glad to have a host like you in our community. Thank you for your dedication to providing exceptional hospitality.
I would like to let you know that we received your report about the listing https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/42645012?s=67&unique_share_id=79357a4d-6df2-4d90-aba4-6a0586df3e0d where the host is asking potential guests to contact them offsite to directly make bookings. We really appreciate your report and happy to assist you with this.
I would like to let you know that we currently do not have any specific policy against hosts marketing strategy. I understand that you find this unfair, as they are able to negotiate on price and not pay the associated booking fees. However, I would like to let you know that when a booking a made offsite, and we have no record of it, it is almost impossible for us to assist them if an issue arise. They are also not covered by Airbnbs Guest refund policy or Host guarantee.
You may visit the link below for more information; https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/199
As your case manager, I highly recommend that you also report the listing. If you go the listing page, under the calendar, there should be a hyperlink that says Report this listing.
Just know as well that we’re always working to improve our products and policies, and we absolutely value our users’ feedback. As a customer of Airbnb, your voice is both powerful and essential and I’ll be sure to pass your thoughts on to the right team.
I hope this information helps. Should you have any questions, feel free to respond on this thread.
I think this is absolutely ridiculous Anna Marie.
*This ‘super host’ is using your platform quite flagrantly to promote their accommodation and asking guests to book direct. That, in my eyes is an abuse of your platform, an abuse of their super host status (they should be sanctioned for this action), Airbnb as a business is losing revenue, and they have an unfair advantage against other hosts. Whether or not they qualify for Airbnb Guest refund policy or Host Guarantee is bye the bye because in the main most guests stay with no problem whatsoever. *
*No other platform management team would tolerate one of their members doing this, and I’m absolutely amazed that as a business you are not protecting your income stream or your reputation. *
*I pay my fees to invest in your platform… and if you aren’t going to sanction or prevent hosts, who aren’t putting into the pot but reaping the benefits of your site, from abusing it, then you seriously need to look at your relationship with honest hosts such as myself. I’m very disappointed and would like this issue escalated to a senior manager. *
*Hi Adam, *
Good day! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your perspective with us. I understand that you would like this issue to be escalated to a senior manager, I would like to assure you that I can help you with any of your concerns.
We really do appreciate your report on this Adam, however, as previously explained, we don’t currently have a policy regarding how hosts market their listings.
*I understand that this host may be getting a booking offsite, however, as you know that before you earn a superhost status, you must have completed at least 10 trips OR completed 3 reservations that total at least 100 nights. This host will still need to have bookings on his Airbnb account to maintain his superhost standing. *
Find out more here: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/829/how-do-i-become-a-superhost
Well may I suggest you raise this issue and put a policy in place, or will you just continue to turn a blind eye to this abuse of your platform. I’m really, really disappointed with this response and your attitude towards hosts that play by the rules and will share it with my fellow hosts.
Is it just me or would any of you be pis*ed off that Airbnb has no interest in, firstly protecting their own income stream and reputation, and secondly protecting hosts who play by the rules, pay into the pot and expect the site to policed efficiently. If this is the attitude of Airbnb, then why don’t we all just do it and take a refundable deposit.
Very disappointed in them. Many apologies for my ugly mug appearing… I don’t know how it got there
Edited to add: he has since removed his cell/mobile number from his listing description, I suspect Airbnb has been in contact with him.