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Odd host did not answer my questions

Two pet peeves to get out of the way.

First off, what’s with Airbnb showing me places that aren’t available for the exact dates I specify? This has happened several times, where hosts are listed that are supposedly available, but after a message to the host, it turns out that their listing is already booked.

Secondly, I am forced to use Firefox to make Facebook functionality work, which is completely broken in Chrome. But, even in Firefox, logging in with Facebook presents me with a nice ‘Error’ message, but I am still technically logged in. Very odd.

The message below has been taken almost verbatim from my latest conversation with an Airbnb host, albeit with names and locations removed for obvious reasons. The fact that this host repeatedly didn’t take the time to answer my messages was a red flag, and it surprised me as this host has over 50 positive reviews.

Because of my current work schedule, I cannot confidently book any room without knowing if my check in/out times are acceptable and if the noise level (especially during the weekend) is low, as I sleep during the day to get up for graveyard shift. Anyway, the transcript is below:

Airbnb Message Transcript:

[ME]
Hi, my name is [BLANK]. I am interested in staying in the room next Saturday, but my schedule is a bit odd. I would check in around 1:30p.m. or so on Saturday, and leave around 1:30a.m. Sunday morning. I sleep during the day, usually between 3:30p.m. and 12a.m., so peace and quiet is essential. I work near [BLANK] in [BLANK], and I assume that’s fairly close to where you are located? I am a respectful, quiet tenant, with solid reviews. Please let me know if the above conditions are applicable. Thank you, I hope to hear from you soon.

[HOST]
[BLANK] pre-approved you Today at 3:04 PM
Hi, Thank you for your interest in staying at my place. I’ll be delighted to host you. I’ll approve your request shortly so you can complete the booking. In the meantime, feel free to reach me with any questions. Thanks again! Best regards,
Today at 3:04 PM

[ME]
I do have a few questions. I would check in around 1:30p.m. or so on Saturday, and leave around 1:30a.m. Sunday morning. Are those check in times okay with you? I sleep during the day, usually between 3:30p.m. and 12a.m., so peace and quiet is essential. Is the apartment generally quiet during the weekend? I work near [BLANK] in [BLANK], and I assume that’s fairly close to where you are located? Thank You,
Today at 3:06 PM

[HOST]
Re reading your email, I see you are looking for booking next Saturday. Your request dates point to a date in April. Could you please clarify? I’ll rescind preapproval until we clarify. Just want to make sure we have the right month. LOL. Thanks!
Today at 3:08 PM

[ME]
Sorry about the confusion. My booking date is planned for [BLANK] through [BLANK]. My questions are below: I would check in around 1:30p.m. or so on Saturday, and leave around 1:30a.m. Sunday morning. Are those check in/out times okay with you? I sleep during the day, usually between 3:30p.m. and 12a.m., so peace and quiet is essential. Is the apartment generally quiet during the weekend? I work near [BLANK] in [BLANK], and I assume that’s fairly close to where you are located? Thanks.
Today at 3:11 PM

[HOST]
I’m not near my computer to rescind the preapproval. Just keep in mind that I have preapproval you for the April date. The room has been booked for next Saturday. If you need help, with date changes, give the nice folks at AirBnB a call. Thanks.
Today at 3:12 PM

[ME]
You have not answered my questions. I apologize, but I will not be booking your room.
Today at 3:13 PM

[HOST]
Sorry if you check the calendar you will see the room is already booked for next Saturday. I’m so sorry I won’t be able to host you. :frowning:
Today at 3:14 PM

  • End Message Transcript

This host never answered my questions. I don’t even know where she got April dates from, I checked and re-checked what dates I had selected before I sent my first message. Then, she gives me the runaround that she’s not at her computer to rescind the pre-approval. Nonsense… if you can approve, you can also take that away.

Also, I consider it extremely rude to put LOL in any message like this or any other semi-professional message.

To me, a host needs to answer questions upfront, and not just hit the approval button, then tell the guest to run off to Airbnb support for further help. Hosts not answering questions has happened to me several times, very odd and off-putting. I’m sure if my schedule was normal or ‘vacation-like’, then I would have no trouble booking this host’s place without question.

Did the host have a posted check-in and check-out time?

Yes, but I’ve always messaged hosts and made this clear up front, and it’s usually declined on the check-in/out times alone. I did find a host with a lock box on his front door that I’m constantly booking. Another host said he would be there to let me in during my check-in time, and he was. I was provided a key for the front door during my stay.

I understand the posted check-in/out times, but if I were a Host, I’d most likely get a Lock-Box and change the passcode in the Itinerary constantly.

What was their normal checkin time?

I think the fact that she said she would be delighted to host you answered your questions that she agreed with your conditions. Bear in mind that she was probably contacting you via the app (which I find great for messaging but not always for other functions) and it was likely a quick reply because she was in the car/ supermarket/at work.

Some hosts would be a little annoyed that you asked HER whether the place was close to your workplace when you could use Google maps or look at the map on her listing.

Of course, it could also be that she advertises on other platforms and hadn’t updated her calendar for the dates you needed.

1 Like

Honestly, you should like a really high maintenance guest with a lot of particular needs. Most hosts will pass on these because there’s a perception they are hard to please. What if there was noise in the middle of the day that was outside their control? Would you write a bad review? They probably feared things like this and thought it wasn’t worth their time.

3 Likes

True bkbnb. Our place is really quiet most of the time and I advertise it as such on Air. But today for example there were noisy landscapers on the property next door. There can sometimes be unexpected construction.

One time the people next door had a pre-wedding party in the yard with lots of people and live jazz. I would have been worried about the noise for our guests but luckily, they were in town for that very wedding so were at the party!

I also wonder why the OP hasn’t thought of buying earplugs… :slight_smile:

I literally just bought a pair for that reason. I wouldn’t leave a bad review, but I want to know if kids are going to be around and such.

That’s not really the point. I can accommodate 24 hour check ins and check outs but because my regular checkout time is 11am, I couldn’t have the apartment cleaned and ready in time to have a 1.30 pm check in.

If you read what other hosts have to say here in various topics, it can take anywhere up to five hours to prepare a place for the next guests. Hosts have to factor in that even the best guests might need an extra fifteen minutes or so beyond check out time. Then, it’s not always possible to start cleaning and preparing the place immediately.

You would have given her a bad review if a) there was unexpected noise beyond her control and b) the place wasn’t cleaned properly. You would have been disappointed with the accommodation. So it’s likely that she was saving you both from an unsatisfactory experience.

1 Like

After dumping this into Word for a little analysis…

He posted over 3 pages of text to complain about the host who decided not to host him. Imagine what the review would have looked like.

2 Likes

That’s really cool of you, Jack :slightly_smiling:

Until a couple of weeks ago, had I been your potential host, I would have been able to assure you that there are no kids on our premises. But one day, just as my guests were enjoying their last day outside in the sun, the apartment opposite was suddenly full of eight adults and three young children!

The owner of the apartment doesn’t live here but uses it as a vacation home. He doesn’t rent it. But members of his family had just been on a cruise and their flight home wasn’t until the evening. So he told them that instead of spending hours at the airport they could use his apartment for a few hours just to chill, use the bathroom etc.

Good logic - it was so much better for them with three young kids than being confined in an airport lounge for hours.

But the point I’m making is that it was totally unexpected and quite noisy. As a host, it’s honestly impossible to guarantee no noise whatsoever. The unexpected can happen.

Today, someone in the next door building started practising the drums! That’s never happened before but if you’d been staying with me, I’m sure you wouldn’t have appreciated it :slight_smile:

1 Like

Also, as hosts, we have ALL learned that guests who ask a ton of questions tend to be the hardest to please. It’s not “odd” that a host didn’t answer your questions, they just quickly judged that it was a ton of work and the booking wasn’t worth it and, as people on the Internet who you don’t know and who don’t owe you anything, didn’t feel the need to explain themselves to you. The best guests ask the least questions. Are all guests who ask a ton of questions bad? Of course not. But we have to use our best judgement to make sure we get low-maintenance folks who are happy with our accommodations. You come off as too high a risk, so they ghosted.

“What’s with Airbnb showing me dates that aren’t available?” Ummm… they are available. Just to people the hosts want to stay with them. Airbnb is an opt-in service, and hosts don’t have to take you. “Sorry, not available” is a nice way of saying “I’m just not that into you.”

3 Likes

Why, exactly do you feel a host needs to answer any questions you may have? That is exactly the entitled attitude that scares hosts away. Seems like you would be better served with a hotel. Check Hotwire or Hotel Tonight for some decent deals.

1 Like

I’ve had noise in places I’ve stayed, and I left them 5-star reviews. I’m a good, honest guest, I fold towels when I leave, I clean up any areas I’ve used (that includes toilets, shower), and I leave the place as if I was never there.

If a host can’t be bothered to just say yes to re-insure me, at the very least to letting me in during my desired check-in time, then you really shouldn’t be a host. That is, if you can’t take 10 seconds to answer those questions.

My tenant reviews support my claims above, being an excellent guest. All I wanted was a ‘yes’ from this host, and if my check-in/out times worked. If you can’t answer me in full, wait until you’re home or you have time to fully answer. Every other host I’ve contacted or stayed with has been quick to answer questions, and has never told me to ‘contact Airbnb support.’ No, as a host, you should be willing to keep in contact most of the day.

I haven’t left any negative reviews and wouldn’t, unless the place was crawling in fleas or something like that.

There is a reason the allowance to respond to an inquiry is 24 hours.

That being said, the host is being courteous and letting you know they saw your message and that it isn’t falling on deaf ears. While they may not be able to fully address the inquiry, they are alerting you that a reply is forthcoming.

1 Like

Ahh you bring back memories of the ‘good ole days’ around here. For six months two doors down I had the drumming, yelling, fighting, meth head neighbors from hell. Cops called to their house every other week. Then when they moved out, directly next door the 90-decibel, wolf whistling parrot moved in and made our lives total hell for another six months. Finally they left and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Incredibly, no guest of mine ever complained, but I was so stressed out all the time about this neighbor noise completely out of my control!

NowI can really state that yes indeed, I am quiet, tranquil and peaceful at night!!

2 Likes

I usually immediate ‘acknowledge’ at least receiving the inquiry and wait till get home to reply better on my computer.

1 Like

I think the first response was simply a “cut and paste” auto acknowledge to your inquiry by the host. They probably send the exact reply to every inquiry.
After that, the text answers become more specific to your needs.
There was some kind of confusion in the dates or the communication.
Host also did not want to answer your specific questions…obviously you were not a good personality match…and host was tactfully letting you know you were not welcome when you kept pushing.
Host uses lots of “cut and paste” answers for standard responses, including that you are not accepted.
Host also was directing you back to air customer service; host did not want to deal with you.
LOL

1 Like

I dont think you were asking anything out of the ordinary.
And you are right, it sounds weird that she totally ignored your questions.
All of you questions are legitimate. Hosting over a 100 guests, i do not find questions about location, quietness, or check in hours are the indication of you being a difficult or demanding guest. You clearly state your needs and you should be answered by host without any fuss.

Quietness of the house meaning: there are no kids running around, there are no dogs barking, the house is not on a busy road or train station. Of course it can not be expected that a host can predict out of the ordinary noises but i dont think OP is unreasonable person who would hold the occurance of such against the host.

2 Likes

Exactly! It’s astonishing to me to think that a Host would find my questions unreasonable, or find it rude that a potential Guest would ask any questions at all. Some of us are not on Airbnb for vacation all the time and we have questions we want answered up front. I even had a Host who barely spoke the same language as me, and he answered all my questions just fine.

Anyway, I wouldn’t fault a Host for noise issues out of their control and try my best to get my questions answered without being rude. A Host before this one wanted me to email or call him outside of Airbnb, and that was a big red flag to me.

1 Like
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