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Are Airbnb representatives robots?


#1

Just got off the phone with support and my god I can’t cope.
I haven’t called them in years but today I had to as a guest wrote me yesterday after me asking about their arrival details that they would arrive between 11 and 12 pm. They land little over 10pm so before they get here from the airport it’ll be close to midnight IF their plane is on time that is.

I don’t want to wait well into the night, so I’ve set the check in window between 15.00 and 20.00 hrs to avoid this. And yes, many know how dreadful it is to wait hours for guests whose flight are delayed. You can really feel the will for life being sucked right out of you while the long minutes turn into hours all the while your precious life is being wasted So, of course, this should be avoided by all means and that window me likes a lot which helps matching hosts and guests expectations. Mostly.

I wrote the guest saying that this late arrival would be a problem since neither myself, partner, neighbour, cleaner or sister would be able to be there that day next week (this is the holiday season where a lot of Danes are off work for the summer and are either away or on festivals, so that limits my options for help) Either way, my options are next to none, so I had to call the support, which I told him.

Welcome Superhost… please hold…” the voice response said in an excessively enthusiastic and eager tone. Well, being super was of course not worst thing to be called, so after a little while, I got through still being super-optimistic.
Now, was I talking to robot or an actual person quickly came to mind. It sounded that she went through a script instead of engaging in a normal conversation. Mon dieu!
As a host you will get penalties if you cancel…”… “Your superhost status will change.…” I_f you cancel more than 3 times, Airbnb can suspend your account_…" MY GOD - Listen to me and help and tell me how I would be the one to be penalized when I’m not the one not following what the listing says?
When I asked what options there were, she didn’t really give any but began reciting rules for when a guest cancels on a strict cancellation policy. Yes, yes I get it, but where’s your resolution s’il vous plait?
It didn’t come and that’s when I got a bit pushy and told her to get in touch with the guest and find him another spot where check in late might be possible. It was only when I got agitated she went into somewhat troubleshooting-mode but I clearly felt her resistance. I could literally hear her eyes roll :roll_eyes:

I’m not gonna cancel that fore sure. I’ll await the robot’s response and see what kind of bad deal they’ll propose to me. I bet they’ll side with the guest and give a full refund but I’ll have to wait and see. Can’t wait!

What really pushed me over the edge, was her scripted get-the-f-away-from-me-but-corporate-says-this-is-great-customer-service-question b: “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” -she said in a lighter tone after she agreed to contact the guest and get back to me. I dumbfoundedly just uttered a loud WHAT? and lo and behold she simply repeated that exact same sentence in the exact same manner with her fake-interest in that obviously I-really-dont-give-a-shite -tone. Sacre bleu!

The morale of story? Don’t be afraid of the rise of the robots anytime soon!

Oh, and that guests are entitled and expect hosts to accommodate them in any way possible.
After writing messages back and forth the guest simply wrote: “It would be hugely appreciated if you could make it work”. I get that. But what would be hugely appreciated too were if you weren’t an entitled twat who would actually read before booking.

Have a great day y’all :sunglasses:


#2

Why don’t you just install self check in. Problem solved.


#3

That’s really not the point but I wouldn’t use such a thing as I feel more safe when I’ve met the people renting my place or having people I trust vouch for them. I live here when not renting out and I also enjoy meeting people and chatting with them prior to giving them the house keys.
Self-check is indeed a great option for those who want to use them but I’ve never had to use such option, so for me installing this device for 1 out of 200 check in’s would be excessive.


#4

Why was this late check-in not addressed when they booked, or at least well before they arrived?

You should have told them they had to pay for the night of their late arrival, and then been willing to stay up until they actually arrive. During our high season there are numerous flights which don’t arrive until 2300 or 2400, and as long as I know this more than a day in advance, I plan for it. Th CS person was right “It would be hugely appreciated if you could make it work”.


#5

Hey @KenH!
It was the guest who said that, after I told him that I would have problems meeting them that late.

But you’re right. They booked in May with IB and in my IB-message to guests prior of them booking, I write: "Please let me know beforehand your arrival details so I can try and accommodate you in case of a late check in. Check in is between 15 and 20 hrs. Why didn’t they let me know back then? My guess is that they booked first and haven’t had flights booked at the time and then thought I would let it slide and wait 4 hours for them?


#6

Well it sort of is, if you are not going to clarify check in times with your guest until the last minute, then you need to accept in some situations it will create problems.

If you have a strict check in window, then you take control and you chase your guest until you get confirmation.

You can have it part of your IB rules that guests need to confirm adherence to check in times before you confirm their booking.

That’s what I do, and it has never been an issue. If they are outside the check in slot I have every right to cancel as many times as I want.

For the times I am not around within my check in slots I have a key lock.


#7

Having self check in as an option (keypad for example) for those few times that you are not able to be there is not an either/or; you can always meet them in the morning for example. I feel you have made the check in situation very stressful for yourself unecessarily.

Many scenarios call for the host to have alternative plans when things go awry… if a plane is delayed it should be fairly simple to allow self check in and then meet up when it is convenient for you.


#8

I agree with you that one must push for arrival details which I do.
I sent an email I month ago, followed-up last week and again a couple of days ago.
In Denmark we have a saying that you can pull the cattle to the drinking trough but can’t force it to drink…

How can I be more clear about the check in times? I don’t follow @Helsi? And did you use the magic reason for when you’ve cancelled due to late arrival or how did you go about it?
Should I’ve just cancelled via the platform instead of phoning CS?


#9

I live in a co-owned apartment complex and I would have to install such a thing outside a beautiful building from the 18th century and that’s not worth the while since this has only happened under 0,5% of my total bookings.

I’ve once waited for people coming in 5 hours late and had even brought them some food as the it wasn’t really their fault.

Mind you this guest saw the check in window several times and chose to overlook it.


#10

As I said I put it in my IB questions and rules.

If they don’t answer my follow up request for info, I get Airbnb to contact them within a week or so. I certainly wouldn’t wait three weeks before following up when the booking is just a week away.

If they don’t answer Airbnb, I ask Airbnb to cancel the booking.

No magic involved :slight_smile: just following a clear and logical process in line with Airbnb’s way of working.


#11

You can purchase a lock box on Amazon for $20. They’re great.


#12

as Ritz3 said, a lock box. And you only need to advise where it is located when u have a situation like this.


#13

It’s not really problem solved though because guests do stupid things. I could bet my bottom dollar they’d flood the bathroom or leave the front door open etc. without guidance. I also think they’d take advantage more.


#14

Lock boxes are great and I have one for myself which I hope never to need to use. However in this case it would allow the guests, who are at fault, to hold the host to ransom and force self check in against the host’s will. The guests should pay for an hotel for the first night at their own expense.


#15

That’s totally unfair. Each host sets their own boundaries, mine for example is check in only up to 10pm. Guests can jolly well stay at an hotel with 24 hour reception for the first night. There’s no way I am buying into disrupting my sleep on a regular basis, particularly when I have responsibilities outside of Airbnb.


#16

use the magic reason - yep you could say you feel uncomfortable with these guests because of their attitude and they don’t seem to have read your listing or rules.


#17

@Christian As I live in the house, I don’t allow late check-ins either. I do have a lockbox (they sell those that can clip on your door handle), but I’ll only use it if I’m away for a couple hours during normal check-in times. No way am I letting someone walk into my house while I’m asleep.


#18

I might consider a lock box for the 0,5% if my clientele. Just might :thinking:


#19

We had these kind of issues before.
My wife is quite strict in this: If the guest communicates up front, but is delayed by an incident. We can accomodate for a self check in.

If the guest does not communicate and just ignores our messages and then thinks he can get in way past our check in time. He gets a message trough the system to be there before 22:00 or he will not be let in until 09:00 the next day. He can book a room in hotel or sleep in his car, we do not care.
So far this always worked, they suddenly managed to be there on time or booked a room for the night. We never had a negative review because of this.


#20

I get the ones wanting to check in early. Next week a girl wants to arrive at 7. 00am, i said her what should i do with the guest in the room, no reply. Had a couple turn up at 10.00am, he wanted his moneys worth and did not believe he was getting his full value for his money. Last week, i had 2 other guests arrive 4 hours early.
None of them had replied to 3 requests for arrival time and people dont seem to understand i need to clean rooms and allow guests to check out at 11.00am. They pay til check out and dont need other people distracting me, using facilities and putting people under pressure.

Out of desperation i am now not answering the door until my current guest has checked out and i have prepared room and bathroom. I dont mind the ones who get delayed as my hubby will stay up til midnight. I have been told that guests must adhere to my check in policies. A lock box would not work for me as my house is on 3 floors with several bedrooms, and i normally have back to back bookings in peak times.


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