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Guest with no reviews was able to IB me!

This is very confusing! All my listings have settings that only people with 5* reviews should be able to IB me.

So, someone with no reviews booked me. I looked at her profile and it says one review. I click to see it and it’s a review for another person! On the reservation page itself on the right it says clearly my guest has 0 reviews.

Confused, I called CS. This is what they told me and I think it’s stupid.
Let’s say person A is the one with no reviews who booked me and person B shows up when I click on the review.

So in the past person B made a reservation and added person A on the list of people. Person B got a 5* review that got “applied” to all the people in her reservation, including person A.

Now because this “inherited” 5* review person A was able to book me. But it’s not her review per se, it’s her friend. I have conflicted feelings about IB with 0 reservation. I feel like canceling. What would you do?

Were you aware of such business rule? I hate when ABB comes up with stuff like this and we are unaware. They are so sneaky!

I’d allow the reservation. We’ve had plenty of guests who had no reviews. Some of them instant-booked. They’ve all been great.

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perhaps you were right, but I got confused. I mean you are looking at a person, click on the review and it’s another person. I thought it was a scam, an impersonation… you read all kind of stuff. Usually with people with no reviews I ask a bit more questions to see if they are ok before deciding.

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Accept it and not worry about it.

RR

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Is that actually a setting? I thought the setting was actually “Recommendations from other hosts” which is actually kinda vague but supposedly is based on the “Would you host [this guest] again?” part of the host’s review.

To answer the main question though, you can find lots of hosts that have experienced this issue over the past few years and what you described is the most common answer as to why it’s allowed.

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Uhh… no. The setting you are talking about only requires one positive review. No stars are involved.

But you are correct that no one should “inherit” a review that was given to an account that doesn’t belong to them. That’s one of many horrendous software glitches plaguing them since they laid of so many employees. If they can’t answer the phone, I don’t expect anything but bugs that shut down their system to get fixed any time soon.

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Ok so I assume that you have this Checked in your IB settings:
image

Yes, it is not clear (perhaps by design). Here is my understanding of how it is supposed to work. A guest can only IB book if they have:

  1. one or more reviews regardless of stars, and
  2. They did NOT receive a “No” from a host review for “would you host again”?

In theory, the guest could have ANY overall rating, provided that no host answered “No” to the “Would you host again” (used to be last question - not sure if true these days).

A guest who actually does not have a single review should not be able to IB. Since Air is very messed up, it may be prudent to double-check by using the AirReview plugin (chrome preferred?).
It may be possible that one screen is telling you they have 0 reviews but maybe they actually have one and AirReview may reveal it? Just an idea - since their tech has gotten so bad.

Frankly, IMO that Air CS Bonehead Idiot rep is wrong. If you wished to do so, you should be able to get them to cancel it out at no penalty.

All that aside, I’d communicate with the guest to get a sense of them and their party and then decide what you want to do.

Worst case, you have at least 3 “We are not comfortable with this guest” cancellations. In this case, you have a perfect argument that their system should not have allowed it - if you really want.

In our case, we used to welcome guests with no reviews. They were always fine for us but that was pre C times.

I’ll add my vote to the ‘don’t worry so much about it and accept the reservation’. These aren’t guests with the plague. They are simply new airbnbers. How are they supposed to get any reviews if hosts are driving themselves to neurosis by worrying about the ‘could happens’. I would say 1/3 of our guests have no reviews and they are the ones who turn out to be perfect guests. Everyone is new once.

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@Icklemiss Seriously. How would hosts like it if no one had ever booked with them because their listing was new and had no reviews?

I remember my very first guest, a vivacious single mom from Denver (her son was 16 and she was vacationing alone). One of the first things she said when she arrived was “You didn’t have any reviews!” I said “That’s because I just signed up and you’re my lucky first guest”. She stayed for 10 days, and before she left she said she was going to leave a great first review for me, and she did.

And I was lucky to get her for my first guest, as well. She was such a fun, cool, easygoing gal that it enabled me to start out with a relaxed approach to hosting that has stood me well through several years of hosting.

It seems like a lot of hosts who use IB have come to rely on those requirements they can choose, as if it’s some guarantee of a good guest. Whereas I find that good and prompt communication from a guest is the best indicator of what kind of person this is.

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And again, we say guests don’t read…

JF

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Well, first timers are supposed to get good reviews by asking for
permission to book and coming across as responsible people. The guest in
question wrote on her profile “I like to eat, dance and hang out with my
friends.” This is not inspiring confidence to me. A teenager would write
that and then wreck my house. I want a bit more mature and responsible
guests. A bit more substance on how they present themselves. I cancelled.

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@adrienne12 I can understand that and I always think hosts should go with their gut feeling, as it usually turns out to be right.

But I had a guest I accepted, a single guy, whose profile said he was a student at the polytecnnic university, and liked a mix of partying and being quiet. So I’m thinking, yeah, right, 95% party and 5% hang-over quiet. Additionally he had had an Airbnb account for 3 years and not one review. And his profile photo was of him and 2 other guys (so I don’t which one is him) holding up wine glasses.

Red flags all over, right? But I just host a private room in my home for 1 guest, it’s not like they can throw a party or sneak in extra guests, and he’d sent a nice message, so I accepted.

He turned out to be the nicest guy. He had never updated his profile since he joined, he was no longer a student, he was the manager of 10 Dominoes pizza outlets, and when I asked him about not having any reviews, he explained that he had joined 3 years previous, planning to take a trip, but wasn’t able to get away and mine was actually his first Airbnb stay.

Poor guy had his phone and debit card stolen on the beach when he went in for a dip his first day here, and I felt terrible for him, but he wasn’t even fussed- said that it was actually fine, because now his employees couldn’t call and bother him with issues, as they had been, they’d just have to work it out for themselves and he’d made sure to only carry the debit card for an account with a small amount of money in it, he had another one.

I guess he’d emailed his sister earlier in the day and told her about the theft, because that evening, when he was out, his mom phoned here, concerned about him, we had a lovely conversation where I assured her he was fine, and we commiserated about worrying about our kids even though they’re adults.

After he checked out 3 days later, I went up to his room, fully expecting a bit of a mess, single guy and all, and my jaw dropped when I opened the door. It was so immaculate that apart from the used towels hanging neatly on the rack, it didn’t look like anyone had stayed in there since I’d cleaned. He’d swept, wiped down the bathroom counter, there wasn’t a speck of garbage anywhere. He’d even made the bed perfectly.

I gave that guy his first review and it was glowing.

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@Muddy, how would you have felt if this guy IB you, though? If I were you I’d have asked questions to see how they come across and most likely I’d have accepted. Normally I don’t accept undergrads but in my own house, in the spare room I have accepted twice high schoolers and they were fine.

In my case my guest came with a group and they wanted to rent the entire house in which I don’t live. She IB me. I don’t know who these other people were. I conduct my business on the phone, using ABB app. I didn’t discover the fact that she didn’t have any reviews until a few days later when I was on the laptop and I was able to see her “review” was not hers. I wasn’t aware reviews can be inherited. My first thought was fake profile, impersonation. Then I looked at how she introduced herself to the world and it was like a teenager. Then I thought better safe than sorry, so I cancelled.

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Well, I’ve ever used IB, but if I did, I probably would have communicated with him to see how he responded and then decided whether to cancel or not. And like I said, I host a private room for one guest, so it’s not like they can throw a party or trash the place.

I certainly wasn’t trying to say that you should have accepted that guest, not at all. Not to an entire house listing. I was just relating a story where I actually did have some wary feelings (which I’d never had before), but it all turned out not only well, but better even better.

I know that, as hosts, we’re all different. I doubt that I’d have canceled this reservation. The very fact that this guest filled out something in her profile would have impressed me. Many people don’t bother to do that.

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Well, people who don’t have anything filled out are out of question for me. I’m used to professional people with an online presence, who can present themselves in any manner they choose. Linkedin style, FB style, funky style, witty, quirky etc. Nowadays employers look at such things like online presence when people apply for a job. Not to say anything about yourself means you don’t care. So why would you then care about my house? This is my logic. Unless the guest is not computer savvy, which would be in general older people. But in this case their children or whoever makes the reservation should have something about them in the profile. But if they put in the profile something stupid like my guest, then they look immature. If they seem immature chances are they won’t care about the house.

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Plenty of excellent guests don’t have a professional presence online that matters to them. Or they don’t consider an Airbnb profile to be part of that presence. Many people who sign up for Airbnb do so as quickly as they can, because they have an immediate travel need.

These days, people are invited to create a profile for dozens and dozens of online accounts. I find a lot of those requests (or demands) to be very intrusive. I often fill out as little as possible.

I don’t read as much into the guest’s profile as you do. Yes, we’ve had guests who have fully filled out their profile—as well as guests who haven’t written a word. I don’t see any correlation to how they behave as guests.

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People are looking for a place to stay, they are not applying for anything.

RR

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I’d keep the booking, probably ask a few questions, AND now have the opportunity to provide a review of them (hopefully a positive one)

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I do wish that this myth would disappear. We ‘older people’ have, in many cases, been using computers since the 70s or 80s. In those days, Windows wasn’t invented, we had to use computer languages. When we built our first websites in the early to mid 90s, we had to create them in html.

That has been going on for a lot of years, it’s not a ‘nowadays’ thing. And I don’t think that many people would think that signing up with Airbnb to find a place to stay is the same as a LinkedIn account or a portfolio site.

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