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Airbnb Support Account Freez & Hosts Union

Who would like to join an Owners Union? I feel Airbnb needs to treat their hosts better. I just bought the domain airbunion.com

We currently see about 1 in 10 people ask for their money back after they have already stayed with us. Airbnb usually grants them some sort of compensation for whatever issue they had. This is coming form an owner that has hosted over 700 people between Airbnb and Home Away. Airbnb is giving out money away.

Case in point, We received an email at 2 am from Airbnb stating that we had 24 hours to respond. There was no follow up and so in the morning it got lost. Our fault but Airbnb didn’t follow up and proceeded to give the person half their stay and the cleaning charge. I was told this is standard for them. I then responded less than one minute after upon which Airbnb told me it was done and nothing could be done.

I then was briefly suspended by Airbnb for threatening an employee that I don’t know their name or anything, possible a BOT. Their employee, who could of been a BOT, who knows. Proceeded to email me back for about an hour on this topic. All that was on their support email was a Name and last name letter, it has since been removed. Most likely this person was from another country. Who knows. I said that if this person had an office, they would treat me differently and speak to a manager to open my case. (that is it) This person, who knows exactly who I am and my number and name. Then reported me to standard and they suspended my account without pay and the ability to have stays. I had another Airbnb Standards person reach out to me and basically said they would suspend my account forever if I didn’t answer my phone the next day at 8:30. This came in an email version. What would of happened had I been on vacation or not in front of email. I was then told about my harassment of a no named unknown person while I complained that there is no local contact or support or anyone who cares about my business at Airbnb. I then I had to promise not to threaten anyone in the future. I was simply pointing out all they did was email me and I didn’t have any sort of contact to speak with on this case. In fact, I wrote a complaint into them about it. I have no arrest record, I wasn’t physically threatening someone, I was simply stating they would act different if they weren’t texting and we were physically having a conversation. Airbnb has missed the point!!!

Airbunion? I thought they were a pain in the @ss, not a pain in the toe. LOL.

Ok, you probably aren’t in the mood for a laugh but there it is.

To answer the question, I’m not really interested but some will here will be. It sounds like you should leave Airbnb and just use the other OTA’s as well as promoting your own website.

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Why do you have unhappy guests?
10% of your guests numbers is 70 guests… the is a huge number! What are their issues?

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I don’t know how this would work. we are not ABB employees. Political views aside, i don’t have time and wouldn’t want to be involved in organizing, we don’t know each other personally. who’s going to be president, fin sec, etc, etc, etc?

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Nope. Not for me, if 10% of guests were getting refunds I’d look at my processes.

Plus, I’m not an employee and airbnb is less than 40% of my business.

JF

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Ten percent? What on earth are you offering as accommodation? And why are so many guests asking for a refund? Sorry, but I’d be looking at myself if that was happening to me. How come you issue refunds willy nilly?

There are plenty of hosts here who have been using Airbnb for years and who have never issued a refund, myself included. If your guests are a) taking advantage of you or b) not liking the accommodation because you’re not offering hospitality then you need to look at yourself and your practices, not the Airbnb advertising platform.

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I was thinking the same thing, I have given refunds but they are few and far between and Airbnb has given refunds maybe a handful of times in the 3 years we have been hosting for E.C. issues. Plus if I have an issue I take it upon myself to 1 resolve the issue and 2 compensate the guests for any inconvenience even if it isn’t in anyway my fault. I try to be compassionate and have refunded guests when I didn’t have to but have also stood my ground. In dealings with Airbnb if you are willing to work with the guests they are more likely to stand by you when you say no refund. However, if you are a host and have a reputation of being a hard-a** then they are going to be less willing to work with you. IMHO…you reap what you sow…

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10% asking for a refund is really a bit too much. There’s something wrong either with your attitude towards guests, your listing accuracy or location. But that is besides the point. The point here is that unions have to be proper legal institutions, not some website with a bunch of hosts in different countries or different states. What you’re proposing is not going to work. You could probably setup an association or a club instead, and push for fairer treatment of hosts.

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I’m anti-union in principle. All unions do, IMHO and experience, is add another level of unwanted management and take money away from the people doing the actual work. No thanks.

Agreed. 2020202020202029

Agreed. 202020202020

Oh thank you @jkclassic ‘AirBunion’ you have made my morning. Hilarious.

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Indeed it is hilarious.

Air Bunion; perfectly silly but is it only a Brit thing?

I get the feeling that feet are feet worldwide. :rofl:

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There are some things I’d like Airbnb to pay attention to, but this doesn’t seem like the best path to achieve those ends.

First off, you don’t appear to have the first clue about how a union works (at least in the US). We’re not even employees of Airbnb, so we’re not covered under most federal employment statues. There are well-established guidelines for what defines a contractor vs employee and we tick every box for being contractors.

To this end, we wouldn’t have protections given to a regular bargaining unit. Air doesn’t have to bargain with us. We wouldn’t be protected from reprisals, as you would a Union under the Labor relations act. (That means Air can just say “Bye, Felicia! Account banned.”)

If you have the funds to organize, you might as well go for a free-market solution and build your own guild or co-op based competitor to Airbnb.

I agree with others. 10% of guests complaining is nuts. In 5 years of hosting I’ve had one request for refund, which Airbnb supported me in denying. <1% requested?

Yes, it’s annoying that they require immediate response to some things while they’re allowed to take their sweet time (weeks or months!) to reply. You missed a deadline, so lost the money. Same thing would happen if you didn’t reply to a rez request and lost revenue because they blocked your calendar.

I’d focus on getting your own house in order before taking on Airbnb.

This is politics and I don’t think we should be debating here who is pro or against unionizing in general. I simply don’t want fights amongst us.

I, as host, have given refunds very rarely and for good reasons like circumstances beyond my control or guests’ control, when guests had to leave earlier. but this was like 2 times in 2 years. Out of hundreds of people hosted.

However if there is an interest in unionizing I’d suggest you address United Steelworkers. They represent steelworkers (what’s left), policemen, nurses, teachers, repairmen and other categories of workers and they do help people unionize.

I’ve thought about something similar, but with a different approach. I’ve thought it would be nice to have a short term rental hosts association that could bring an independent perspective to regulatory and other matters. In the US, it would be structured as a tax-exempt 501(c )(6) business league. (501(c )(6)s are allowed to lobby and endorse candidates for office.)
When STR is faced with regulatory restrictions in a particular locale, it seems to be Airbnb that attempts to organize hosts to show up, protest, write letters, etc. (see: New York City). But Airbnb has its own business agenda.
Start with a core group, willing to work on organizational set up and management and others just as inaugural members to build the organization, with no membership fee. (Y’all would be an obvious invitee group.) Pick some officers, file articles of incorporation in some state, file nonprofit paperwork with the IRS, set up structure, finances and membership fees.
And of course set up a public relations function, with website & other social media. When some STR controversy erupts, issue releases from The National Association of Rental Hosts, with a pro-host perspective. Media would start to pick up on the association as a new spokesperson in the industry.
Also set up a regulatory and legislative function.
If the organization takes hold and starts to grow, and increases its financial resources through membership, start paying professional management, providing host educational content, maybe run an annual conference (Tom at one time gauged the interest in this, not much as I recall!). Establish state chapters. Establish a Short Term Rental Host Certification program. Right now I guess the only certification is “you are a host” (i.e., you list on a platform) or “you are an Airbnb Superhost.” Airbnb controls the “certification” process.
Along the way, platforms such as Airbnb would need to start paying attention to the positions and objectives of the association.
No reason this couldn’t happen – and maybe it already exists, it’s not a far out idea, given the size of the host population. Traditional bed & breakfast owners/innkeepers already have the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals, which Airbnb has partnered with to get B&Bs on its platform.
One policy issue that would need to be worked out fairly quickly would be the definition of and organizational preeminence of “mom & pop” hosts vs. treatment of multi-property “professional” hosts.

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Eventually each should have it’s own organization just as other professional organizations do. For example in the public schools, admin, classroom teachers and librarians each have their own groups despite obvious common interests.

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