Guests who refuse to communicate via Airbnb

We get some guests who have hardly managed to use their phones let along throw AirBNB messenger into the mix. I would do as @KKC suggested and follow up via AirBNB messaging, and warn the guest that I needed to do it for the peace of mind for both of us (host and guest).

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I wondered about that, too. But he works in IT. Who knows? Maybe he was taking a technology break.

They’re gone. I did send a message during their stay saying that I wanted to meet them. Didn’t happen. All the texts/calls came from the same number as the account. Who knows? If there ever is a next time, I will simply ask in person, via phone or text (nicely), “Hey, just curious, but is there a reason you don’t want to go through Airbnb? It’s helpful for host AND guest” and see what happens. Still waiting for the review. The guy whose account it is works in IT. Maybe he was taking a technology break.

That sounds like a resonable explanation.

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I haven’t had anyone specifically ask that I do NOT contact them through the AirBnB system (I agree that would be a red flag). However, I just had a guest who did not reply to me at all through the system. I finally had to call them to get the name of the other guest and their expected arrival time. After the phone call, I documented it through AirBnB’s system by messaging, “Thanks for taking my call this afternoon. We look forward to hosting you and [guest’s name]…”

By the way, my “day job” is running our web design firm, where I often deal with IT staff for various clients. I am often amazed at how little these people know. I have definitely learned that it doesn’t automatically mean they know what they’re doing just because they work in IT!

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It’s actually. Its not a problem to communicate outside of Airbnb if you keep the message log. It’s preferred to communicate via Airbnb but for those without wifi it can be an issue. Sometimes texts are more convenient than wifi while traveling. Airbnb accepts external message logs or screenshots of the messaging. What it does add is a few mins more time to keep those and save them. We do it all the time, and we have apple devices and have had no problems recovering texts within a year of the visit. We live in a remote area and we understand that Service areas and contracts with phone companies can limit international guests. They have no idea where they can get Service and can add additional time and frustrations for good guests. That being said if a guest does this simply state within the thread that you are or are not open to communicate via the system and refer to the new thread and keep the log. I think many hosts answering this question are biased because if their reliance on a provider that provides local service and have no idea the challenges to travelers who commit to a service for one area of their trip and cannot receive the same service in other areas. We often resort to location sharing with guests and find it more convenient for the entire message thread without the huge email notifications through whatsapp and other services so we can get customers to our location.

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I find it frustrating when guests won’t use their phones “because it’s too expensive”. We’ve had guests who got lost, guests who asked us to look up the details of every sight they wanted to see, draw maps for them, etc. I believe that being able to use a phone where you are traveling is one of the costs of traveling.

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I can understand why that would be nerve-racking. The phrase “that won’t work for me” is one that I use a lot. Then there’s feel, felt, found.

I understand why you feel that way.
I’ve had other guests who’ve felt the same.
What we found was that the airbnb messaging system works great because I never miss a message.

Etc. Good luck.

But he was on our property–where there is free WiFi-- when the problem with the hot water heater thermostat arose. I could certainly understand in the situations you describe.

Thanks. Still no review, but it’s okay. I’m pretty much over it now. Used this on Saturday with a different guest and kept it in my saved messages: “It’s really helpful to me if you use the Airbnb messaging feature. It notifies me 3 ways if you get in touch, ensuring there is no way I will miss a message from you. Thanks.”


May I ask where you did your PhD in psychology?

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Lol selling Mary Kay cosmetics :slight_smile:

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I agree but it depends on your phone & plan. I have always used global roaming but 2 emergency calls from Nepal to Australia :australia: (less than 20 minutes total) = $400. That’s not reasonable for most people and many people’s phones are locked.

I am on a great plan now and I just pay $5
Extra per day to have the same days and calls etc if I’m overseas. Very few people have this and might not have the skills or unlocked phone to get a local sim in your country.

Of course, some people are just lazy or total tightarses!


In those situations I’ve always bought a local SIM card so I can roam locally. I have had up to three different SIM cards taped to the back of my mobile so I can swap them out as necessary

I’m sorry, but considering the extra work people who don’t use their phones while here have caused for me I don’t have much sympathy for them. The local AT&T store is less than half a mile away. We have it in our guidebook. We’ve drawn maps to it for guests who don’t want to use the guidebook. We’ve only had one guest who was told that his phone wouldn’t accept a local SIM card. When I worked in entertainment business management, one of my duties was to call my clients’ phone carrier and add the country they would be staying in to their plan for the time they would be there. I assume that my guests can do this. If all else fails, they can buy an inexpensive local phone with a pay as you go plan.

For international calling, Skype is available in most places; unless the country blocks it. You just need a reasonably fast net connection - wifi will do. You can use it direct from Android and presumably other mobile platforms. And I think the basic rate is 2c per minute.

There might be free alternatives to Skype which do the same thing.

For local calling, you should get a local SIM. And make sure you have an unlocked phone, of course.

If there is no WIFI available, with a home country chip and without good knowledge of “plan” possibilities (=most people) internet can be hugely expensive. A local chip is not always available the first day(s).

I try to steer guests to the AirBnB messages, but won’t fuzz or get paranoid when they decide to text or call. If anything important is said, I just confirm what was said through the AirBnB messages.
Of course we are live in hosts, so any messages or calls tend to be pre-arrival and without any problems to discuss.

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A local chip has been easily found by me on my trips over the last 5 years. I bought a cheap unlocked phone in London, UK for £20 and it has worked well. My chip for Portugal was €2.50, found at a newsagent. Wifi is easily found also. I use Skype to call home when overseas.

You really don’t want to know my Bolivia story as far as chips go. I just wanted to point out that not everything is always as easy and straightforward as people pretend it to be on this forum.

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All airports sell SIM cards these days and it should be your first stop as an international visitor somewhere. I honestly think locked phones are a thing of the past!