Guest insisting on phone call

Got a msg a few days ago from a guest who is booked for 3 nights starting Friday. His message was simply: “I’d like to talk to you on the phone. When is a good time to call?” I responded simply with: “Is there something specific I can help you with?” No response. Then today I sent him my usual pre-check-in message with info like the code, parking, internet, etc… pretty much everything you need to know (and this is in addition to my 30 pg guest guide he received a while back). He responds with this: “Sometimes a brief phone call can save 4-5 texts. Could you give me a call when you have a chance. My number is xxxx…”

So now I’m thinking what is up with this guy? Is he genuinely looking for a getting to know you session, wanting an outlandish favour or trying to do something through the backdoor? He has 5 reviews (three by one host) and all good. My hosting style is hands off and I make it clear that I don’t meet guests, they do self check in and out, etc. I rarely get people who want to talk on the phone and never had a booked guest approach like this. Any thoughts?

All you have to say is “Airbnb Terms of Service require ALL communication between Guests and Hosts take place in person or through the Airbnb message system. Failure to comply can cause your booking to be cancelled.”


He may want some sort of reassurance? A special request? I would have absolutely no issues in talking to him and hope he gives me 5 stars for communication!


Tell guest that you are out of the country in a remote area with limited and costly cell reception.
Ask guest what he/she needs to know so you can answer via dash as required by Airbnb Terms of Service.
Let guest know you look forward to hearing back via dash immediately to resolve any lingering questions.

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I’ve had a few guests call me and it was just easier then texting to ask some quick questions. I don’t think there is anything wrong with talking - some would even say it’s human. Don’t you remember those touching Bell commercials - now I have to call my mom and tell her I love her!


Hi @SB9671111, I also have had a guest that preferred to talk on the phone. He was a little older and texting was just kind of a pain for him. So I would have a conversation with him, and then I told him I would be sending him a message containing what we had covered in the conversation so that it would be on the Airbnb platform. He was totally cool with that. Not everybody likes to text message. My husband, for example, as a former high school teacher, equates it with passing notes in class and he really doesn’t care for it. Personally, I’m not really a fan either. You can cover so much more in a couple of minutes on the phone than you can texting back-and-forth for half an hour. I understand the need to have everything covered on the platform, but, again personally, I don’t see a problem talking to them and then just covering it in a message after.


Thanks everyone. Although there are a lot of diverging ideas here, actually these are all thoughtful ways of approaching things. I can see why people might prefer to talk over the phone. Actually I am one of those people sometimes! Just not on air unless there is a problem or emergency. I guess it’s kind of ingrained in me to keep it on messaging as per Airbnb policy.

In the past the only instances that someone has requested a call but refused to tell me why was because they wanted to book outside of Airbnb. That’s why I’m a little hesitant. If it’s just someone who is used to people obeying without question that’s not great either. They usually turn out to be the most taxing guests who offer the lowest reward.

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But this guest has clearly already booked so it’s not that. Just give them a call or arrange a time for them to call you and follow up the call with a summary of the conversation on Airbnb.

I’ve never had a guest ask to talk to me on the phone pre booking, but quite a few who what’s app or text me once they are here. However if they wanted to call me, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.


I think calls in an emergency are fine, otherwise a complete PITA. Nine times out of 10 calls interrupt a real life conversation, important work or drag us down 2 flights of stairs for no reason. Then a call ambushes us, perhaps making us decide something on the spot. Because we were in the middle of something else it’s difficult to take stuff in and remember it, so we need pen and paper. If it’s business it needs to be in writing anyway.
I am in contact with a fair number of young people. Apart from close friends and family or emergencies phone calls are definitely outdated as a form of routine communication, because it is intrusive. People who say a phone call is quicker are usually ill prepared or muddled. I would mark a guest down for insisting on going off platform.


@SB9671111 -
I suggest you go ahead and call. The guest has asked several times already. You are risking them marking you down on communications.

Right now, you don’t know why they want you to call. Just call and find out! If it’s an issue you don’t like, then tell then you prefer to address “those kinds of issues” in writing and hang up, then address that issue over the Air platform. If it’s just a few questions on your favorite restaurant or what kind of clothes to bring, all of this worry will be over!


I don’t see myself as ill prepared or muddled, but have called hosts a couple of times, when they didn’t reply to a message and I needed some information relating to check in for my arrival.

Different people prefer different communication channels.


Just arrange a convenient time for a phone call as requested twice by the guest. There is nothing with a phone call with an already booked guest.

You are in the hospitality business, not an employee of Air, that is prohibited by threat of getting fired from talking to a guest.
Air is insistent on using only their channel to safeguard their cut of the pie. They used to have an option to call their their site.

I also think the guest is older.

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That is different and a jolly good reason to call. I call guests if they don’t respond to messages and texts.
However here we are talking about a guest who has a perfectly attentive host on the app yet is insisting on a call instead. They should just spit it out on the app as they have been asked a couple of times. That’s why I say they are muddled.

The guest is unreasonable to ask twice and should use the app as requested and as per platform. Noone is paying for the host’s time to call.

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reminder: guests are rated on THEIR communication as well…


Although I agree that in a perfect world we should all use the app, unfortunately guests will be guests. :roll_eyes:

Some guests prefer to speak in person. There can be many reasons for this. Some are suspicious souls who think Airbnb is a con and want to be reassured that there’s a ‘real person’ behind their booking. Others are simply more comfortable using the phone.

Some, admittedly, might want to ask things that they don’t want to be on record on the messaging system but there’s not invariably anything wrong with that. Sometimes it’s as simple as the fact that they’re unsure about whether something is ‘allowed’ by Airbnb or will it be okay for their girlfriend to stay one night or it could be something very personal regarding their bathroom habits! :wink:

If I have a guest who’d like a phone call, then it’s no problem. It takes no longer than typing a message. I’ve never had a guest ask me to call because they want to book privately (and after all I can only get their number if they’ve already booked) or indeed, anything that’s even remotely suspcious. Mostly I’ve found that it’s people in their forties who prefer speaking on the phone but for all age groups sometimes using the app is more convenient, sometimes using the phone is.

As for doing what Airbnb want, I only summarise phone conversations on the message system as a belt and braces procedure. And only then if it’s about something of importance. ‘As per our call, Gino’s is a great restaurant’ isn’t really going to matter. ‘As per our call, checkout is at 11 am and housekeeping commences at 11.05 am’ could be. It’s just a matter of common sense.

Apologies but I don’t understand this phone phobia. Just pick up the phone. If the guest wants something shifty, then deal with it.


I don’t like phone calls myself but it happens. I think I’ve grown so used to the guests who just prefer to communicate via the app that I’m (unfortunately?) easily annoyed by those who want to text, call, or email! My preference is the system application because it’s easy. But customer service isn’t always easy. In fact, I had a guest call me at 8:00 AM recently to inform me she was checking out. She could have sent a message. I could have let it roll to voicemail. But hey, if she leaves a 5 star for communication it was worth catching that phone call!

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No need to apologise for not understanding my phone phobia… particularly because I don’t have one. Like I said before, I am one of those people who sometimes likes to use the phone. The fine print here is that he is telling me to call him but when I ask him why he won’t say. Instead he mentions how much faster it would be if I just did as he says… thus unnecessarily prolonging his supposed wish to speed things up. What does that say to you?

He’s been an air guest at least 5x. By now let’s hope he’s figured out air is not a con. His picture doesn’t show him to be an old timer.

Anyway, my curiosity is piqued. Wondering wth he wants.

Yes. You are right. He only has a handful of reviews so any new reviews have a high impact on his star status.

I hope he gives me a 5 star review for calling him. Thing is, the first flag tells me he’s not the most cooperative guest I’ll ever have. My experience has been that these personality types don’t hand out 5 stars and that following orders typically leads too the expectation of following more orders. My property manager used to do that for guests. She would make personal visits and give them flowers, chocolates, etc if anything would go wrong. She gladly catered to all special requests. One guest requested balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, exotic spices. Tick, tick, tick! She was very willing to exceed expectations with a smile so I was pretty happy. Sometimes it paid off but more often than not they would leave less than 5 stars and comments that would leave her feeling disheartened. Counterintuitively, my overall star rating fell while she worked for me (for 1.5 years). I went from superhost to a low of 72% five stars when she left back in Jan. I am just getting back to superhost territory now. I don’t do the things she did. Makes no sense but that was the overall result she got for all that people pleasing.