Supportive Airbnb Support

Hi Folks,
I just wanted to give a shout out to the support team who were helpful and understanding.
This is the story (it’s long so feel free to ignore!).
In September an Englishman living in California booked my south England cottage for 4 nights this March. He asked for a discount at booking (saying his flights were expensive!), and for an early check in because they’d land early. This did raise alarm bells. I refused a discount (obviously) and suggested he book the previous night to be sure of getting in early (I don’t charge for extended checkout/in if there’s time but my cottage is nearly always busy).
He asked for a stair gate and high chair (odd as the child is 4 and able bodied, but hey!)
I mistakenly thought he had booked the night before so left fresh milk, croissants, butter in addition to my usual goodies.
Later that day he said he’d been unable to install either of the stair gates. I know it can be tricky and I never do it for guests for legal reasons. So, I asked him to measure the stairs (I don’t go in when the guests are there). Then I went straight out and bought a new stair gate that same afternoon. On my return he blamed jet-lag and said he’d managed to work an existing one. But I left the new one anyway.
His manner was a bit off hand but he seemed pleasant and happy with the place.
I allowed extended checkout. Despite that, they left a tip. Dirty cutlery, half eaten breakfast, bins not emptied, a broken bowl not declared, the loo flush replaced with tissues, stains on the carpet, hotel slippers discarded in the garden. I could go on. All this against house rules.
He gave a glowing review, 5 stars for everything and said he’d be back. I gave the following review which I thought kind in the circumstances.

I’m not sure this is readable but I said that he seemed new to Airbnb and perhaps didn’t understand. (Actually, he had no reviews but the registration year was 2017, more alarm bells?) I gave 3 stars for cleanliness but 5 for the rest making it 4.5.

However, the next thing I got was a message from Airbnb support saying he’d requested a refund because of problems with the stair gate.
I replied immediately with the catalogue above, saying this was vexatious and a revenge claim. Susanna from Support rang me back immediately. She was so nice, said it wasn’t a “violation” and confirmed his complaint only came after he’d read my review. She was sympathetic and even hinted I should make a counter claim. I didn’t.
So, long rant.
But I did feel empathy and was pleased with the support I received.
Here in West Sussex our guests are almost universally appreciative and try very hard to get things right. I suppose, if anything, I would have expected an apology from this guest.
Hey ho. No harm done.
Thank you for reading this!


Good to hear they were supportive. I’m sure you leave check out instructions so he has no reason to leave the property in that sort of state @Caroline_Bradbeer

I absolutely do. I have a laminated checkout instruction sheet that is on top of the info when they arrive. There’s a notice above the bins, and on them, explaining the rubbish rules. Then, on the day before they leave I send directions and point them towards the checkout sheet. I’ve had people get it wrong occasionally and some workmen who were 3rd party (another alarm bell) and didn’t care. But it’s usually fine. It was all documented with my messages on the site which made the issues very clear. No actual harm done anyway.

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I don’t leave check out instructions and I’ve only had one guest out of over 1000 leave my room in a similar kind of condition. I gave them low ratings, would not host again and also warned other hosts of their fondness for smoking weed indoors.

As a guest, I’ve never had to deal with extensive check out instructions and wouldn’t like a host who thought they were appropriate.


I suspect it depends on your property. Mine is a whole cottage and they need to know for example not to put towels in the washing machine (they go to the laundry), that they can leave the beds unstripped, there’s a reminder to take their food away and request to recycle their waste. I don’t have room in the bins if they don’t and then I have to dumper dive to sort it for them. The instructions are described in friendly terms and I’ve never had complaints.


Nice to hear you got an understanding CS rep who did the right thing.

The long-standing account with no reviews thing is definitely something to note, and even ask the guest about in a tactful way, but I’ve had 3 or 4 guests like that, and the reasons for it were perfectly legit and nothing nefarious. And they were all great guests.

Oh dear! The story didn’t end there. The guest put in another claim. The first I heard of it was a message from Support saying he would be refunded 20% for not having a stair gate. The message gave 24hr to reply. I immediately re-outlined the issue and also called Support again. I was sympathetically assured he would not get the refund.
Not hearing anything after 24hr (not even the usual How did We Do? message) I wrote asking for confirmation the guest had not been paid.
No reply for another 24hr and then a message saying the refund HAD been made. I put the case again. 24hr later another message showing they hadn’t read mine properly and justifying their decision.
Eventually, I called and asked for the supervisor. The result was that the charge on my account was lifted and I received £50 (~$65) compensation. But the b……d guest still got his $120 reward for lying and leaving the place a mess!
Support is apparently overloaded, several people dealt with my case, it seems no one spotted the duplication or read the correspondence carefully enough.
I’m a tad mollified by the £50 but still angry that the guest got a refund. And very glad to be a SuperHost as it would probably have been much harder if I wasn’t.

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