AirBNB staff instructed to lie to us

To me, the following experiences with airbnb are alarming:
I have now been told by two different helpline staff members that they are instructed to lie to us if we are phoning about problems with our published listing on their site.
The first time was when I called about my listing not appearing, at all – not on Google, not on Chrome, nor Safari, on several different computers.
The assistant told me it was appearing just fine on his computer.
I asked if he could please explain why it didn’t show on my computer, nor those at the local public library and the University. I was, at the time, genuinely puzzled.
He answered: " The explanation is that we are told to tell you that everything is fine, on our computer, if you’re calling about a problem with your displayed listing. Depending on what your issue is, we can even create a false screenshot to forward to you, as proof that all is well."

More recently, the posted price on my listing is incorrect. It shows as significantly higher than the setting made for it.
The helpline staff member told me she would check it on her computer. We’d developed a bit of rapport during our call, as she sounded stressed and I was empathetic and we talked a little about her job. I said: " Please don’t tell me the price on your computer is accurate, because it isn’t on mine, nor on three public computers I have checked. Also, I have been told by another assistant that you are all instructed to tell us whatever we see is wrong with our listing, shows as correct on your end."
“That’s true. We are told to say that. I’ll check that the settings you’ve made for the price are accurate, and then I’ll see what price shows up on my computer.“
She verified the settings were accurate. But when she looked on her computer, the price showed as several dollars LESS expensive that the set price.
So, the listed price shows as more than it is on some computers, and less than it is, on others.
She will hand it over to the tech. team.
” I actually don’t believe there is a tech team.” I replied.
“Well there is, but we have no way of knowing what they fix, if anything. I hear a lot of complaints that issues continue, in spite of them having been reported.”

I appreciate the honesty of the assistant who first told me that they are instructed to lie to us. I’m grateful the second assistant verified they lie to us. What a stressful and ghastly job they must have…

I will continue to let assistants know that I’m aware they are instructed to tell us all is well with my listing on their computer, when it isn’t on a variety of others. But I doubt this will change the stunning lack of integrity this company has demonstrated to me.

So, what can we do?
To me, it appears the only power I have is to delist with airbnb. But, but, but…

What are your thoughts on this?

Thank you so much.

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I very much doubt that any member of staff would tell you they were lying.


Those staff will no longer be working at Airbnb then. They’ll have been sacked for unprofessionalism. for a call centre not to monitor calls between staff and customers … is unheard of, which is why I’m bemused that they supposedly admitted lying.


I think it is outsourced call center. You call and get someone from Kansas or Missouri.

The number I called when the two different assistants told me they were instructed to lie to us was
I did ask the second assistant where she was located and it was California.

Helsi and Zandra – I do understand your disbelief/bemusement of the content of what I have shared here. To me, it is also unbelievable. The fact that it was reported to me by two different assistants has me suspect it is true.

If anyone can help me to have my set listed prices appear accurately on my listing, I’ll be most grateful.

Thank you.

To me, it’s not unbelievable. It’s basically what I expect in every discussion with front line customer support. I have never had any other expectation.

It’s simply more convenient, in a productive environment, to lie to the customers about things they cannot check, rather than admitting an error and being incapable of following up.


Although it’s a sorry comment on how customers can be treated, I’m grateful that your response in some way validates my reporting here of what I experienced.
The incredulity expressed by members above is understandable, given that it is a bizarre experience and I am a new member here.
I hope, over time, that which I post may be deemed truthful and useful information.

To Alec_Campbell:
Thank you for your suggestion. Fearing repercussions from airbnb for exposing such information on this forum has me loathe to give the link to my listing.

I have 98% 5-star reviews, from over 200 reviews through three years of operation. Perhaps the incorrect price shown on my listing will not deter a significant number of potential guests from booking with me.

It’s not at all unbelievable that CS would lie. What is unbelieveable is that they would admit that to you …not least because all calls are monitored.

I used to work in a surgery on Harley Street that specialised in cosmetic surgery. One day woman came in and said she wanted a specific treatment; I told her her skin was lovely and suggested she might not need it. There was no-one else in the room when I had this conversation with her. 30 minutes later I’m being hauled in to see my boss and told that I’m on a warning for not taking every opportunity to sell.

There are, apparently, some things you cannot say if you want to keep your job. I’d say telling a customer you’ve been told to lie to them is one of those things you can’t say, assuming you want to keep your employment.


I’ve had them lie outright about why a payment was late.

“It’s PayPal. They contacted us today. They are going to start charging a fee to process our payments so you might want to switch to direct deposit.” Total lie.

Why lie that elaborately? It’s easier than saying we don’t know why the payment is delayed. And it gets the customer off the phone faster. The

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To be clear, that is of course not my view at all. I am just stating the obvious that “productive” in a call centre doesn’t mean making everyone happy (which takes time, both in perfect training and on call), but settle for a marginal improvement in customer satisfaction within the shortest possible time.

I do appreciate though that your approach is the same, feeling empathetic for the agents. I cannot understand why “apologize and escalate” wouldn’t be the policy. It just confirms that Airbnb is doing a particularly bad job about it. For the joke, they used to outsource everything to a third-party that offers CS for Netflix too

Either it comes from (middle) management, or from drama professionals!

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No so much lying, but my listing was only showing up intermittently for a month late May to late June. With dozens of calls and tweets they continually stated all was fine.
They even told me I had had hundreds of views. Further that the views I saw on my dashboard were meaningless. When I asked for a supervisor two dif reps told me they had no supervisor.
After a month I got a wonderful rep who worked with his supervisor (!) and spent two days and fixed the problem. I am getting bookings again but out a month of income.
So yes, they lie if they think they can get away with it!

The implication there is that the OP is not telling the truth, which is your right to believe, but I do believe that someone in call center would just 'fess up and blurt that out. They either don’t like the policy to begin with or they plan on quitting anyway.

In fact, I used to work in a mall store that sold cookies and I was told to tell everyone that the cookies in the beginning of the day were freshly baked when in truth they were left-overs from the day before. I would respond, “I have been told to you tell you they are baked fresh today,” while shaking my head in the negative.

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