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Airbnb not interested in protecting hosts who play by the rules

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:

Adam17:35

I’d like to report an account in my local area.

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/42645012?s=67&unique_share_id=79357a4d-6df2-4d90-aba4-6a0586df3e0d

*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 *
Thanks

*Adam *

#### 21 Jul 2020

Adam14:43

Hello… anyone there?

#### 22 Jul 2020

Adam11:19

I guess not… hopeless!

#### 30 Jul 2020

Airbnb Support16:11

*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.

Message from Adam

Adam16:26

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. *

Thank you
*Adam *

Airbnb Support17:03

*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

Adam17:07

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 :wink:

Edited to add: he has since removed his cell/mobile number from his listing description, I suspect Airbnb has been in contact with him.

How are they asking the guests to book off platform and how do you know this? Are they asking in the listing description or?

I take direct bookings, I prefer direct bookings.

RR

Edited to add, I looked at the listing and could not find where the host was trying to get people to book off platform.

Yes they said it in their listing description, also gave a cell number. Yes, he’s deleted the number now as I suspect Airbnb has been touch and asked him to remove.

The point I’m really making is that if Airbnb just turn a blind eye to those who blatantly ask potential guests to book direct, what’s the point in someone like me, paying my fees when he and others get the benefit of using the platform for free. If you don’t want to pay Airbnb fees then set up your own website and pay for the marketing out of your own pocket rather than ride for free.

1 Like

If you read to the end of the post the OP added this:

Obviously Airbnb did contact him and/or removed the contact info.

All that said @petshopboy, try to focus on your own listing and not worry about the competition. You spent a lot of time on this and I’m not sure it was the best use of your time. Yes, it’s annoying when people flout rules and it’s endemic in the pandemic but just do your best and things will work out.

This illiterate property investor will probably not last. Although his decorator, IKEA, did a nice job with the property.

Also, I bet half those reviews are fake, that is, from friends of his. I don’t see any dates on his upcoming calendar blocked meaning he has no bookings? I don’t think you have to worry about him competing with you.

Also, I looked up your listing. 298 (4.98 av) reviews. Your place is adorable and no way Mr. IKEA display apartment (misspelled) is taking guests away from you. I’ve bookmarked your listing just in case something brings me to the UK

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Wow you are a piece of work. Worry about yourself. In fact, if I was him, I’d make sure I found your listing, booked it with all my friends, and 1-stared you into oblivion.

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Yes you are @God . If you have nothing to add to the conversation then keep your opinion to yourself.

RR

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And I had hoped you’d gone forever, but no, I was wrong.

Spiteful.

Extremely spiteful. You have a problem with anger management. You are not God.

Right now, I’m a bit pissed off with you for being so unpleasant, so bugger off will you please, and don’t darken our doorsteps again.

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What a nasty, vindictive person you are.

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I have no desire for some twat, who thinks he’s godlike, to speak to me. Be as dismissive as you like, “point” at me as you feel able to, but to not attempt to intimidate me.

You will be dismissed, undoubtedly. This forum is kind, generous with it’s tough love; you are not.

Bye.

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Oh no…another bully. Btw-the real God wants everyone to talk to Him.

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God is taking some time away from the forum.

RR

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Back to the OP, I have no idea why he/she is spending so much time worrying about this.

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I think there was a miscommunication. I sounds like Adam was trying to tell Airbnb that the other host had an explicit invitation to book off platform stated in their Airbnb listing, and the Airbnb rep thought the other host was simply taking direct bookings off the Airbnb platform. That would annoy me too! I would probably use the “I’m confused” technique in addressing this with Airbnb, however:
“Hello Airbnb, I’m confused about something I saw in another host’s listing. They say right in their description that guests can call them and book directly without paying Airbnb fees, and they provide their phone number. I didn’t realize this was allowed, and I’m excited about trying it myself. So I plan to offer direct bookings in my listing, too, but I just wanted to check with you first to make sure it’s OK. if you want to see the other host’s listing, it’s at _____.”

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yet I would want to wave no flags and draw attention to my listing! We know they have dropped hosts for the flimsiest reasons…

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The funniest is that I mistakenly flagged my own post! :beers: :wine_glass: on board…

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Ooh, you’re right, they’re not too bright, are they? I would need change my message then to “I would be interested in doing this if it is allowed, but of course I wanted to check with you first.”

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Well I guess I spent a lot of time on it because I genuinely thought we were all on a level playing field, obviously not, and I was more concerned that Airbnb weren’t bothered about it. But maybe I’m just a bit naive… Brit trait I guess. Hate paying into something fairly and someone comes along and gets a free ride, human nature. Apologies for kicking off… I’ll just take it on the chin and get back in my box. Thanks

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And thanks too for your kind comments about my listing, much appreciated. :wink:

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I had to laugh reading this God. Interesting name btw… although it completely washes over me being an atheist. Unfortunately your lovely plan is scuppered from the outset. Firstly my place only sleeps a max of two people, and secondly, a random one star rating would very quickly be seen an an anomaly by Airbnb and would be removed. Hey, but keep trying… no wonder religion is dying on its arse with you in charge… try and be a little better.

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Because I expect us all to work on level playing field, but hey, obviously not.

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