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Lowered my Acceptance Rate for declining a 12 person yoga studio request?

hosting

#1

I recently received a request from a potential guest who wanted to host a 12 person yoga class in my suite. The guest requested us to remove the furniture to accommodate the proposed 12 yoga mats and 12 student participants. This was not practical or possible, so I declined the reservation. Our occupancy clearly states no more than 4 people, and we are a residential property. When I declined the reservation request, Airbnb lowered my Acceptance Rate. When I contact Airbnb, I was told that it is their default policy to lower Acceptance Rates no matter the reason for declining the reservation. Doesn’t make much sense for me to be penalized for declining a reservation request that was impossible to accommodate. Any feedback or suggestions on what I can do restore my acceptance rate would be appreciated.
Thank you


#2

I regret that happened to you. I think almost every host has a story of Airbnb not considering the host’s situation. You may wish to contact customer service and inquire why a guest reservation request that was completely in-appropriate and you declined it, counts against your acceptance rate. Push until they bounce you to a supervisor or specialist.

I wish you success with getting it fixed.


#3

Although I can’t suggest anything to restore your acceptance rates, my suggestions moving forward is as follows…

What I’ve learned so far (I’m a new host) is that you should almost never press the decline button. Rather, you should making the potential guest disinterested in the property.

In your case, all you had to do is tell them, “I’m sorry, but my property is not suitable for a yoga class as furniture cannot be moved and it cannot accommodate any more than 4 people.”

They would then choose not to book without you pressing the decline button. You then archive the thread to avoid seeing it again and, if you’re so bothered (which I am), set up an email filter to dispose of all the Airbnb emails pushing you to either accept or decline.

If they still go ahead with the booking, you contact Airbnb to complain so that they cancel it on their side.

I am a new host, so please don’t take my word for it unless other more seasoned hosts agree with me. Just wanting to contribute if I can.


#4

This is a good strategy. Another one that some people have used with success is to “accept” by sending a ridiculous special offer. For example you reply with the offer charging $1200 for the commercial use of your property. When they reply “that’s ridiculous and outrageous” you just smile and reply “Just as ridiculous as asking an owner who accomodates 4 to host three times that many.”
I’m kidding, don’t say that. Just make sure it’s a fee that’s high enough that if they did accept you would be happy with the money. LOL.


#5

When I get ridiculous requests I simply leave it for several hours before responding. I tell them that the place isn’t suitable or whatever - in this case it would be ‘our homeowners’ association sets a maximum occupancy of 4 people’. Or you can blame the insurance company or fire regulations or whatever you like - they don’t know.

And because I leave it for a while, the chances are that they’ve made the same request to several other places and some idiot new host has already accepted them :slight_smile:


#6

Dear All, thank you so much for your feedback about this issue.
I discussed this with one of my associates who is also an Airbnb host and they do something similar to what K9KarmaCasa suggested. My associate is highly allergic to animal hair, and even though they stipulate this in their Airbnb listing, they constantly receive requests from guests asking to also accommodate their pets. My associate now accepts their request with a $10,000 surcharge for cleaning the suite and disinfecting the furniture after the guests depart…with their pet. They also direct the client to the no pet policy on their listing and the additional listing information where they describe their doctor diagnosed hyper allergies to pets. To date they have not had a guest agree to the $10,000 surcharge and their acceptance rate is back to 100%.

I followed up again with Airbnb support, but by email and phone and they confirmed that Airbnb does not have the ability to manually adjust Acceptance Rates for any reason. They simply don’t have the technology in place. As someone who works in IT, this is absolutely bizarre to me. We develop many automated systems, with manual override features and this is not difficult to do. I understand Airbnb’s platform is massive and much larger than the projects than we work on. However, it is not rocket science to add a manual override feature and with their what must be significant tech team, it is something they should be able to do quite easily. I offered our tech support services to improve their systems. Lol. The support people were wonderful to del with, but sadly they could not do anything to help. Thank you again to all of you for your feedback and suggestions. Very much appreciated !!


#7

@Kitsilano - I highly suspect AirBnB doesn’t want the ability to override the acceptance rate. If they could, their CS group would be swamped with hosts pleading to have theirs adjusted.

I’m guessing this was a deliberate design decision, not a lack of ability


#8

You may be right in it being a deliberate decision, but I don’t think for the reason you suggest. I believe having the ability to override the acceptance rate would have quite the opposite effect. It would reduce CS support. Take for instance my situation, the Airbnb CS online rep responded to numerous chat texts from me, supposedly checking back and forth with supervisors and tech support during the communications. When I then called the Airbnb CS phone rep, they spent close to 30 minutes listening to me explain my issue and putting me on hold to confer with their supervisor, taking the time to explain their systems and policies, and providing me with suggestions on how to pursue the issue further. Having the ability to manually override an Acceptance Rate issue and giving their frontline staff the ability to do this, would greatly reduce the time Airbnb CS has to spend with disgruntled hosts.

From what I see it sounds like Airbnb CS is already swamped with complaints about Acceptance rate issues due to situations like mine. To me, it doesn’t make much sense for Airbnb to provide hosts with booking criteria such as;

  • Maxim Occupancy,

  • Pets allowed – or not,

  • Smoking allowed – or not,

  • Parties and events allowed - or not,

  • Recommendations from other hosts - or not

  • Etc.…….

And then penalize hosts who decline Reservation Requests that don’t meet the above hosting parameters. When a host declines a guest request that doesn’t meet the Airbnb provided criteria set up in their Airbnb listing, it is my feeling that the host should not be penalized. If Airbnb was concerned about their CS department being swamped by hosts pleading to have their Acceptance rate manually adjusted, they could quite easily add this functionality to their already automated decline process, and when a guest declines a reservation because the reservation did not meet one or more of the hosts criteria, the Acceptance rate would not be affected. This would take some system reconfiguration work, but here again, it is not rocket science to do this.

After all my discussions with CS, I believe Airbnb does not provide manual or automated Acceptance Rate overrides, for one simple reason. They want hosts to enable Instant Book. From what I was told by CS, Instant Book will allow a host to decline a reservation that does not meet a host’s criteria, without any penalty or impact to the hosts Acceptance Rate. Not sure if this is true or not, but this is what I was told.

Long story long, with the feedback from the associate I mentioned previously and a super smart friend who is also an Airbnb host, in the end I was able to find a workaround solution. After initially declining the reservation request, I reactivated the request by sending a Special Offer to the guest with a $10,000 surcharge. I explained the reasoning for the surcharge was to hire movers to remove all the furniture from the living area, move everything to an offsite storage facility for the duration of the event, pay for the storage, pay movers to return the furniture back to the suite after the event, obtain storage locker insurance, special commercial liability insurance, obtain a commercial business permit from the City, and blocking dates prior to and after the requested dates in order to facilitate the removal and return of the furniture. The Special Offer was not declined or accepted by the guest, and it expired. When the Special Offer expired, the declined reservation penalty was removed, and my Acceptance Rate was restored to what it was prior to declining the 12-person yoga studio request.

I hope this Special Offer solution works for any other hosts that find themselves in the position of having to decline a reservation request that does not meet their hosting criteria.


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