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Downgrade in verification requirements?

Last week I received a request to book from a newbie guest whose only verification was a phone number. As I have found first time AirBnb users to be great guests, I pre-approved the booking, expecting that the guest would then be asked for government ID and drivers licence as usual.
I was very surprised to see that the booking was confirmed straight away, still with the phone number the only verification.
I am just wondering if Air are now accepting a new low in booking requirements, or was this a one off glitch? Can’t help thinking it would be so easy for bad guests to re-invent themselves with a new name and a new prepaid phone. Thanks for any input!

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I have seen some with just an email! After discovering there is no vetting or verification process for guests, we started asking guests to verify their identification. It’s not a glitch.

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That’s not a glitch or a downgrade; you have to select this option in your “guest requirements” if you want to require your guests to be ID verified. Otherwise, AirBnB doesn’t require it.

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Sometimes people who joined Airbnb years earlier can get by with very little because it wasn’t a requirement back then. But its up to us who comes through the door.

I see these come through sometimes. I send this message and it’s always worked out. I usually get something like, “yeah, I am new and didn’t know, thank you” and then they complete everything.

"Unfortunately, I won’t be able to complete your booking as your profile isn’t complete and your ID is not verified. If you’re interested in completing your profile and also having your government ID verified, you can refer to the link below for some guidance.

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1170/what-are-the-requirements-to-book-on-airbnb

It looks like you may be new to using Airbnb, if so, then welcome to the community and please know that I would be happy to help if I can. Please let me know if you have any questions or anything. "

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@JJD , that is what I do, too. I have never receive a definitive answer on whether pre-approving an inquiry or accepting a reservation request will allow a guest to bypass my booking requirement or whether it forces them to complete the requirements before they actually book, and I’m not willing to try it just to find out.

Yes that is EXACTLY what my Guest Requirements look like. So it must be a glitch ??

@Brian_R170 It will allow them to by-pass your booking requirements; however, you should be able to get it cancelled without penalty if you call it in - though they will ask you to reach out to the guest first (so best to just do that to begin with). The system won’t “stop it” if you hit pre-approve or accept because you are accepting the guest “as-is” basically; however, I have had luck getting a reservation cancelled when a guest refused to complete more of .the requirements. As we all know, Airbnb is inconsistent, but this has been my experience.

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@Raffaelo Even though those are your guest requirements, guests will still be able to “Request” (just not IB) without them but you can tell them to do it before you will Accept.

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Thank you JJD, I am glad to hear that Airbnb can be inconsistent. I have been hosting for 5 years without a hitch until now, and every guest has provided detailed ID without asking.
I had a good dialogue with this guest and I was happy to take this booking at short notice, otherwise I might have taken it up with Air. Will be looking out for this in future!

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I’ve gotten a lot of these this summer, figured it was just because there are a lot of new users for the busy season and didn’t realize it hasn’t always been a problem. I’ve only been hosting a year and it seems like nothing works quite the way they say it will so had not given it much thought and just learned to work around it. It would be really nice if I didn’t have to cue guests to do it all the time but it’s been working out at least :flushed:

Frankly I’ve often wished it would not allow them to even send me a request to book without them already being ID verified first, because I don’t make exceptions. But yes, it’s correct and confounding that does not block them from “requesting” to book if they aren’t ID verified no matter what the settings are.

In these cases I tell the guest that I’d be happy to approve their request to book once they’ve become ID verified. Every request I get I go to the profile and figure out why it didn’t allow them to instant book and work to resolve the issues from there.

If you aren’t allowing instant book at all then this is definitely something you need to check first on every guest’s profile for each request before pre-approving.

FYI, Just had my very first guest cancel a reservation request after I asked him to provide verified government ID on his profile. Every other guest I’ve asked just did it.

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Probably a fugitive. :smirk:

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@JJD is all over it.

You have requirements for instant book, but anyone, for any reason, can do a direct request to book. They’re basically presenting themselves “as is”. As is can include things that break your house rules (kids, pets, etc) or booking requirements (Gov’t ID, positive reviews). Ask for whatever you need to make them an acceptable guest or hit decline.

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This is great, but it wouldn’t work for “Instant Book” - if the guest told you to take a hike, you’d be stuck with no alternative but to suck it up or cancel and all the bad cess that comes with that, including having the booked period blocked for other bookings.

@ClaireHL
I’ve only had to call in a couple of times regarding an IB but both times they cancelled it penalty-free without hassle.

Having the verified ID has not been an issue with IB as I have it set as a requirement and have not had one come through without it.

However, I have had IBs come through without meeting other requirements like answering my booking questions or having phone and email verified, which are also technically requirements.
I don’t actually care that much for the requirements themselves, but it’s a handy free-pass to use to get rid of an IB that I don’t want otherwise (most notably someone trying to bring their toddler to my no kids listing). 99.9% of the time people just complete them if I ask. I don’t even always ask if I am otherwise satisfied with the interaction. Asking people to complete the requirements and their attitude about it tells me more than any of the requirements themselves. I’ve probably accepted/kept some guests that others wouldn’t only because they so readily jumped through the hoops that I set up (requiring they complete the profile, etc) - for me it has been a great indicator of what kind of person I am dealing with if I can’t tell otherwise. (I hope it makes sense :wink:

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This isn’t totally true.

First off, this thread is about guests who bypass a host’s IB settings by sending a direct request. A guest without verified ID can’t IB if you have that requirement on.

Secondly, whether the guest IBs or sends a request, they still have to abide by your house rules. Make a rule like “A verified ID and reason for travel is required at the time of booking”. With a RTB you need to be happy with what they’ve provided before you hit “accept”.

With IB if the guest isn’t cooperative you can ask Air to cancel penalty-free.

For instance, I require a guest list with first and last names. If a guest balked at providing one it falls under both the “guest hasn’t responded to questions the host needs to know about their trip” and “guest makes it clear they’ll likely break one of the host’s house rules”

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2022/how-do-penaltyfree-cancellations-work-for-instant-book-hosts

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Thank you so much for taking the time to make this clear.

Thanks Allison - very helpful info.

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