The rudeness of Airbnb, the lack of cultural understanding is appalling!

I have often experienced Airbnb communication as rude and culturally incentive. Here is my story …

I have two beautiful homes in Copenhagen, the Capital of Denmark, that I rent out. One full time one when ever travle takes me away, leaving it empty. I have an alarm in both my homes and this alarm system is connected to a security camera which turns on in the event of an alarm. I can not turn it on and I can not access the pictures. Only the Alarm company can do this and only in the event of an alarm. This is clearly stated in my listings.

So a guest did not bother to read the information, but complained to Airbnb, that they felt they were being watched.

Now what did airbnb do? Write and politely asked me about the issue? Look in my listing to see if the camera were mentioned? No they did not… what they did do was temporarily suspend my account - and write to tell me to read this rule and that rule and change this and do that … and if I did not do this in 48 hours I’d be permanently suspended…

Now this made me as angry as I have ever been! I am a super host and a human being and I deserve respect, not threats. I am a traveler and so I cant be expected to be able to respond in 48 hours. We’ll I did respond and I told them not only did I now as always, follow the rules, and so there was also no need to treat me as I was guilty of some crime instead of going by “innocent until proven guilty” …

After almost a week they - with no apologies or explanations re instate my account and informed me that if there were any further complaints about this issue I’d be out…

I fele hurt and bullied…

So I send them this : " Dear Lauren - Dear Airbnb

It is clear that you have chosen to ignore my feeling of hurt and of being talked down to by Airbnb. That is quite sad.

I assume that it comes out of ignorance and not out of malice and so I will taker the time to tell you a bit about Denmark, so that maybe you can understand why your way of addressing this issue from a Danish point of view is rude and incomprehensible.

Danes are again and again voted amongst the happiest people of the world. If you look behind this vote you will find that one of the main reasons for this is trust. We trust our fellow man, We trust our government and we trust the media to watch over the government. I understand that America is a nation of distrust and while I appreciate how sad that must be for you, I need you to respekt that we are not like that and to keep it to your self in America.

The fact that we trust other people is the fact that Airbnb as a company is basically capitalizing on. This is the trust that lets us allow other people to live in our homes. So when Airbnb expects us to show that trust, the least you could do is to show us as hosts - me as SUPER host that trust. What does that mean in praxis? It means Innocent until proven guilty. It means asking me, politely, if there is a problem or how I feel about the complaint instead of pulling out the big guns and suspending, threatening with further action if I do not answer in 48 hours and so on… It means approaching me with trust instead of distrust.

Super host, what does it actually mean? It is a fancy word you throw around but what is it worth if it is not followed by action? What does it mean, if at the first sign of a problem you go directly for the big guns instead of assuming that I am in the right or that it is all based on a misunderstanding - on the part of the guest? What is it all worth if you (maybe because of cultural ignorance) leave me feeling disrespected and hurt?

I hope you will take the time to read this, think it through and come back to me.

Regards Jacob Hasle Nielsen - Super host!"


I did not know security cameras are a fixture of Danish culture.


They are not a part of our culture… Don’t think I ever claimed that they are … but as I said trust and politeness is … There is and newer was anything wrong in having security camera, when it is part of the alarm system and which are controlled not by me but by the alarm company.They point only towards the door nothing else. It is for the protection of my home and of my guests. But if you have a point besides stating the obvious, please make it.


I expect that you will get a reply that says something like


Thanks for taking your time to explain this. We know it can be frustrating to work hard at being a host only to be disappointed when I guest lodges a complaint. We are grateful for the time and effort you put in. Your account has been reinstated and this case is now closed.


We have had multiple hosts here complain that they were unjustly targeted by a guest complaint. I don’t know that there is any solution other than to leave the platform and try to rent your homes on your own or on other platforms.


Nice letter.
You wasted your time.
They don’t give a shit.


I know but I just had to say something as I was driving me mental!


You are highly likely to be right but I just had to have my say …


Let us know if you get any reply.


I am saddened for you that you had a paranoid guest who failed to read & understand AND who failed to ask you about the camera before leaping to a conclusion. I’m angry for you that Airbnb immediately found you at fault.

I understand venting on this forum. I’ve done it myself.

Have you sent the message to Airbnb yet? If not, you may wish to hit the pause button.

Do you have your rental listed on any other sites? Is your goal to make rental revenue?

The following is just food for thought…you will do what is best for you.

You may wish to respond in a business polite manner, include a letter from the monitoring service of how & when & why the camera activates. Say what you need to say in the last sentence—maybe a statement that you are hurt, angry, disappointed Airbnb immediately leaped to the conclusion you were doing something wrong.

Message the guest through Airbnb 1. Explaining the purpose of the camera & attach a copy of the monitoring company letter. 2. Thank them for their input & the next guest will be better informed. 3. block them from EVER booking you place again.


Sorry about what happened. Don’t expect much from Airbnb customer service. These people are mostly young recruits straight out of college, part timers, summer interns, worked in customer service way too long to give a damn.

Last time I checked on Airbnb Careers website, these positions don’t get paid enough to make them feel responsible for their quick judgements. Oregon’s Airbnb office pays them $18/h.

Sometimes your case could end up in the hands of someone in Romania, Italy, Greece, India, Brasil, India.


Hi Annett

You are so right it is not the most business like response and It could have been done better but I was/am hurt. I have given them all the information the asked for in a former letter - this letter is to be seen as an after thought … and one you see further down in this threat the response I got. I think you’ll agree that it was needed - and ignored …

So here is the reply i got - in Danish and below that in google translate:

Lauren O, 19. sep. 08.22 PDT:

Hej jakob

Tak for din feedback. Jeg håber at du forstår, at sikkerhed, sikkerhed og privatliv i vores samfund er vores højeste prioritet. Vi skal tage alle rapporter om overtrædelser af EF-standarder alvorligt. Nu hvor du er opmærksom på vores politikker omkring optagelses- og overvågningsenheder, er jeg overbevist om, at du kan fortsætte med at have mange flere positive erfaringer med hosting på Airbnb.



Lauren O, Sep 19th. 08.22 PDT:
Hi Jakob

Thankyou for your feedback. I hope you understand that security, security and privacy in our society are our highest priority. We must take seriously any reports of violations of Community standards. Now that you are aware of our admission and monitoring policies, I am convinced that you can continue to have many more positive experiences with hosting on Airbnb.



Im thinking this might be a fair response - in Danish and google translate :slight_smile:
Hej Lauren

Så du er dansk? Det er jeg ked af at erfare for så har du faktisk ingen undskyldning for din opførsel.

Det er tydeligt at du på ingen måde forstår problemet og det er sørgeligt! Det er som jeg utallige gange har foersøgt at forklare dig ikke et spørgsmål om reglerne, de skal selvfølgeligt overholdes. Det drejer sig om “almindelig god opførsel”.
Du kunne være nået lige så langt, ja langt længere, hvis du havde talt til mig som til en ligeværdig samarbejdspartner og ikke som til en skyldigt person.

Når du er dansk, så kender du også alarmselskabet Dansikring Direkte (Versiure) og du ved at jeg på ingen mode kan krænke nogens privat liv med en sådan alarm og det dertilhørende kamera.

Din måde at takle sagen på er derfor dobbelt uforståelig og jeg er nød til at tage mit fremtidige samarbejde med Airbnb op til grundig overvejelse, da der er mange andre firmaer på markedet, der rent faktisk forstå at værdsætte deres værter.

Jeg bemærker i parentes at jeg i modsætning til andre værter ikke gennem mine mange år som vært har modtaget nogen af de gaver som Airbnb ellers er kendt for at sender ud. Så du må meget undskylde hvis jeg ikke føler mig særligt værdsat eller særligt respekteret som super host!

Jacob Hasle Nielsen

Er sidste afsnit patetisk ??? Det er ikke for at tigge efter gaver men for at bringe en point hjem…

Hi Lauren

So you are Danish? I am sorry to learn because in that case you have no excuse for your behavior.

It is clear that you do not understand the problem at all and that is sad! It is as I have repeatedly tried to explain to you not a question of the rules, of course they must be observed. It is about “common good behavior”.
You could have gotten much further with me if you had spoken to me as to an equal partner and not as a guilty person.

When you are Danish, you also know the dance company Dansikring Direct (Versiure) and you know that in no way I can violate anyone’s private life with such an alarm and the associated camera.

Your way of dealing with this case is therefore incomprehensible and I have to carefully consider my future cooperation with Airbnb, as there are many other companies on the market that actually understand how to appreciate their hosts.

I notice in parenthesis that, unlike other hosts, I have not received any of the gifts that Airbnb is known for sending out through my many years as a host. So you have to understand if I do not feel particularly appreciated or especially respected as a super host!

Jacob Hasle Nielsen

Is the last section pathetic ??? It’s not for beginners but to bring a point home …

I’m 100% sure what your actual grievance is.

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You are not bringing any point to Airbnb. Writing them is a waste of your time. If you need to vent, we understand. But your case is closed with Airbnb.


MAY I ask you what has caused you to conclude that the U.S. is a nation of distrust? Just wondering.

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Is it the same with English dance companies and home security?
Asking for a friend.

Might be the guns.

Research shows that Danes are much more trusting than Americans and for that matter, many other Europeans.


Ok please accept that I was angry and trying to make a point and it is newer fair to generalize. For that I do apologize. That said, it is my experience based on many visits as well as cases in the media that though I have lead many amazing people in the US trust is not a typical thing. If you need axapels I can mention the Danish couple who left their baby sleeping in a stroller outside a cafe - something that is totally safe and commonplace in Denmark. In NY city the social services and police got called. When you cal Airbnb you have to answer a ridiculous amount of security questions many of them things you can not be expected to know be heart (like you bank account number for payout) again showing a clear distrust you don’t find in Denmark- one security q should be enough (or a password)… the fact that you even have to consider the question if there were cheating at your last presidential election… seen from “my side of the pond” America is a wonderful country with many wonderful people but trusting … not so much.
No offense intended

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I am sorry but I don’t understand the question?