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Instant Booking made for a third party. What would you do?

I admit I HATE Instant Booking and I believe it makes more harm than good but I was forced to turned it on as Airbnb is very clear about that if you don’t have it you will not be visible for the people browsing the site.

I have turned on IB just 2 weeks ago and I’m surprised how quickly problems have arrived. I have recently received an IB for a girl that booked my place for her parents. So the reservation was made for a third party which is disallowed by Airbnb as it is stated in the following FAQ.

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/427/can-i-book-on-behalf-of-a-friend-or-family-member

I have received many inquiries for third party bookings in the past but I was able to decline them without IB. This is a clear example of why IB sucks!

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If the booking is made by a third party, contact Airbnb and they will cancel it.

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Yep. And it will make Air aware of the violation of TOS and possibly even remove the user from the site. It won’t penalize you.

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Are you getting many more bookings since you turned on IB?

I actually do accept 3rd party bookings – kids booking for their parents.

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I have my thoughts about why IB is a complete lie. You don’t get twice of reservations because guests love IB iso much. You get twice reservations because you are doubly exposed on the search results. If IB is a top need for guests there will be no need to help listings with IB to gain more exposure. This is an undeniable argument so, there is a big lie here.

The real reason Airbnb wants everyone using IB is because they want to make a step aside their competition before the company goes to its IPO. There are many vacation rental sites on where people publish their listings. It is common t find listings replicated across those sites. So how do you know if Airbnb is the main site and the other one are the alternatives? The answer is IB. You can only have IB in one site to prevent double booking so the one in which you have IB is the main one. All the rest are the alternatives. That is a big source of information for the stakeholders once the IPOs arrived. When you have IB turned on you are a member, a customer, and more real measure of the company assets.

Third party bookings aren’t always a problem. What happens is that when you book on behalf of someone else you are the one who choose the place based on what you think the real party will need. Well, sometimes this place you think is awesome for you isn’t the best place for the ones staying. Another problem is the house rules which are aimed to be read and agree upon booking. It might happen to you that even if you define a no smoking rule at your place, you get a smoker anyway if the guest wasn’t aware of what your rules are.

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I’ve only had one. A mom booked for her daughter because the daughter was traveling out here in West TX/Southern NM with limited wifi. She had been camping and wanted to pop into a place for a shower and good night’s sleep. When the mom instant booked she told me it was for her daughter and gave me the daughter’s cell number. The mom had 5 positive reviews over a 2 year period so I decided to complete the booking but she didn’t give me all these other details. I just went with it. The daughter was a great guest.

I have never had IB for my listing. I am very careful who I get to my house. I do not accept every request. I still have reservations :slight_smile: people just write to me and ask if I can accept them.

I’ve had three third-party bookings and I will never accept them again. The first one damaged linens (seemed accidental so no charge), the second smoked in my apartment and broke furniture from probably neglect (clearly the one who booked it didn’t pass on the house rules to them - I ended up not chasing this as the one who booked it is a host, very apologetic, and I could have damaged her business from it). The third one was no problem, although it was awkward communicating through a third party. I read his reviews later, he booked about a dozen places for colleagues on the same weekend, and for someone else there was a big argument over meeting for the key exchange with a he-said-she-said thing going on. I realised that in the event of a dispute, even if it were say for their elderly parents, the person in the negotiations isn’t the one who did caused the problem and won’t know the truth of what really happened.

I have decided I will cancel any future bookings done this way.

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I don’t mind instant book because the number of bookings that I got dramatically increased once I turned that on. Although granted I have had a couple of problems they aren’t serious enough for me to want to turn that off. My new approach with potential guests is to over-communicate rather than under-communicate. I’m hoping that this will forestall any issues. One thing I’ve done is to change my pre-booking message to forestall certain issues that are extremely annoying. And with a booking that I got today that change seems to be working.

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Uh, who says that? I don’t have IB. Nor do many other people here. We still get bookings. Maybe I’d get more if I turned on IB, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. Aside from losing control over what guests can book, Airbnb’s site is also buggy and does weird things with pricing. So you should be checking pricing before accepting any bookings.

Yes, Airbnb keeps pushing IB down our collective throats, but they would, wouldn’t they?

@Monica, in addition to
https://www.airbnb.co.in/help/article/427/can-i-book-on-behalf-of-a-friend-or-family-member see https://www.airbnb.co.in/help/article/1311/who-can-book-trips-on-behalf-of-someone-else

I have not found any specific language in the Terms of Service to forbid third party bookings. I’m not sure if the above articles are legally binding - I’m not a lawyer. But in general, regardless of what Airbnb thinks about it, I think it’s a bad idea. I had one request for a third party booking - I refused.

If you have IB, I recommend turning it off. At least until such time as you are desperate for bookings. Hopefully that won’t happen.

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I saw someone mention on another site that it’s now compulsory for new listings. I don’t know whether it’s by new account or new property?

No, It seems Airbnb is now arbitrarily forcing some new hosts to use Instant Book. I’m pretty sure it isn’t “compulsory for new listings”. But don’t take my word for it - ask Airbnb, if they will give you a straight answer. I usually contact them via Twitter - AirbnbHelp.

Though apparently they are also too chicken to admit that’s what they are doing. :frowning:

There’s at least one person on this site who is currently being subjected to it.

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New account here. No option NOT to do IB. I have begged. I have threatened. All to no avail. Woke to my first IB booking this morning. 20-year old from Australia, an architectural student coming to the states to attend a wedding north of here. Single guest, so no appearance that a bachelorette party will happen. We shall see how this goes!

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I have IB and have accepted third party bookings which are usually for a spouse and have never had a problem.

It’s happened so many times I just let them stay now. I’m insured either way.

How are you insured ‘either way’ when someone is booked as a third party?

I have home insurance.

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