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Airbnb TOS/ not honoring host guarantee


#1

Hi Group,

I have read online many many horrible stories about both hosts and guests. Unfortunately I am now one of those statistics. I have been a superhost on 2 properties (current with one) and long time advocate of the platform. We recently hosted a guest that had a large party at our Big Bear property that saw well documented illegal and destructive behavior, leaving the cabin in need of repairs. I have had to forensically document, catalogue, research, link up, send estimates, resend, file a police report etc etc to various departments within airbnb over the course of about 12 days. We’ve had to cancel a few guests while this process plays out. Additionally I have been hung up on, repeatedly lied to, and received absolute unprofessionalism and incompetence at the hands of airbnb call centers and via email correspondences. I am not relishing any of this story to get sympathy – I have tough skin and will be ok canceling the next +/- 20 airbnb bookings on the calendar. I see people mention suing airbnb or not bc limiting TOS, negative press, social media etc, and I wondered if anyone has actually tried to, or heard of any of these avenues being worthwhile. We have a permit to operate in San Bernardino County and it restricts the amount of guests to 6 total. We clarify that to all guest so it is well established via the app email that anything more is illegal. Airbnb enables this activity to a degree by not holding problem guest accountable when clearly they are breaking the law, yet alone property rules set forth. I also noticed through my interactions with the call center (and their very serious ethics issues) that when you say you just might record the call too, they will say its against company policy and either ask you to verbalize to them you are not recording them or they will disconnect (this is different then them hanging up on you). While I initially found that very troubling, since the idea of recording the call to get quality, training purposes and accountability, i now see their angle. It is that they simply don’t want the liability of their operators being recored telling lies and misinformation etc. I As it turns out, after they mention the call may be recorded, either party CAN record in CA! Thats another topic. Please let me know what has, if anything, worked for any of you, to get resolution or move forward in a professional and respectful dialogue (insert sarcasm). To be clear, as of right now i have not been denied anything yet but i also have not received any responses to my messages by the Trust and Security dept (more than one person claiming to be my point of contact) and feel in a few days it will be “sorry but we are not doing anything for you”.
I am not against naming the guest and airbnb in a lawsuit. End of rant. Thank you in advance for your insight.


#2

This demonstrates to all host that we need to diversify, do not put all your eggs in the Air basket because they will screw you.

Sorry this happened, don’t bother suing, because Air has a legal department that will crush you and the guests will never pay.

Sorry this happened

RR


#3

Very true. If your business model is only one platform you are eventually going to have an issue. We use VRBO as well, and will move forward with them. I now see that airbnb is actually a horrible company lacking ethics. It took one party guest to confirm it, which is one negative experience too many.


#4

I would not expect VRBO to help you if you get bad guests. But at least VRBO allows you to take a real security deposit and manage it better than AirBnB does. And the VRBO guests are familiar with signing a contract instead of just “house rules”. VRBO is still guest-centric and concerned about their business, not yours, but they aren’t a “nanny state” like AirBnB is.


#5

Also i would add don’t bite off your nose to spite your face. If Airbnb brings you business and you would not readily replace that business do not quit them. You see they do not care so there is no moral victory. Always look through the lens of what is the best business decision here? Knowing that people lie and this could happen again through any of the booking platforms you need systems in place to head off bad guests. Cameras, checking the guests in or having a co host do it. I am lucky I live a block away from my investment property and I can be over in a minute should something go sideways. I check the camera more often on check in day so I can count guests and make sure they are not sneaking in a emotional support peacock.

RR


#6

We’re currently going through the same thing with Air Bnb Support and the Host Guarantee. There were $622 in damages and they offered us $20. We have documentation and photos aplenty, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Sorry I can’t offer any help, just commiseration.


#7

I must be the exception to the rule. AIR has always backed me up & in fact last summer reimbursed me for damages a guest did & refused to pay for. I’m not saying you aren’t, but I always start the conversation with AIR like, I can’t believe this happened & I don’t know what to do & if the Rep seems out of their depth I ask to speak to their supervisor because the initial point of contact person has almost NO power. I’m always respectful but I keep asking for the next person’s supervisor until I get someone with the power to do something. It usually takes the ability to have a lot of patience to tell them over & over that it’s ok, you don’t mind being kept on hold for 45 minutes until the supervisor is available & then I just read while they’re on speakerphone. I almost never say it’s ok for them to call me back later. I also find I seem to get better service the later I call, like 11pm or midnight, but since I’m an insomniac that’s not a problem for me. Best wishes & persevere.


#8

More than two weeks and they are still asking to resubmit the same thing again and again. I took screen grabs and showed the T&S rep where the documentation is hosted ON AIRBNB. I am done with them as far as hosting. Researching arbitration with regards to this as you cannot sue them per TOS?. Although i see a person that named them in court and won by default bc airbnb was a no-show. Who knows. I am happy to hear your experiences are normally cordial and efficient with them. Happy reading on hold, cheers


#9

Will you be able to replace the bookings? What is the best business decision? There is no moral victory in quitting because they do not care.

RR


#10

You can get bad guests on any platform. It is up to the hosts to manage the guests.

RR


#11

I know this. I can’t wait to have this bad of an experience again. Unbelievable amount of time and resources to fulfill everything to a T in the claim. Its a if they sanction party & detractive behavior. In the county for this property the owner is responsible for any laws that are broken (permit to operate limits guest count). You know that saying about driving the koolaide? Yes i was doing it lol. I am not anymore. We have an awesome place and nearly everyone that stays states they can’t wait to return. I have retained the emails and we certainly enjoy traffic off other platforms. Well work it out. Considering personal booking option to. I have seen traffic directed from our social media to airbnb, that resulted in bookings, I will simply point that to another platform
for the moment.


#12

This could happen with any booking from any platform.

Good luck

RR


#13

I think you put too much faith in Air, you actually thought they had your back. Now that you know they do not what is the best business decision?

RR


#14

Now that I know AirBnb does not have my back, the next destructive guest will very quickly be visited by my 300# friend with a 100# German shepherd and a tow truck.


#15

This is typical of any large company. They put you through the ringer and you either cave in and give up or you stick to your guns. I say you continue working with them until you get a favorable resolution. I suppose they do this for any large claim and hope you just go away. Don’t.


#16

Before I listed on Airbnb, I did a bunch of research on the Host Guarantee and came to the conclusion that it would be naive to rely on it to protect my $400,000 investment. So, I purchased dedicated short term rental insurance. Every Airbnb host should do this because Airbnb definitely does not have your back.


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