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Third party bookings are aging me

#1

Why if Airbnb have a “no-third-bookings” policy don’t they stand behind it in terms of delivering the stated consequence?

Even when I have restated in my House Rules that we do not accept third party bookings and any made will be processed in accordance with Airbnb policy.

I keep getting talked out of enacting the Moderate Cancellation Policy we have opted for.

Hundreds of bookings and the 5 that have sucked hours and hours and HOURS of my time trying to manage unrealistic expectation have funnily enough started as third party bookings.

What are you dear folk doing to steer clear of these hassles? One of many reasons is I just don’t want to have anyone booked in who I don’t have direct contact with via the Airbnb platform.

Staying tuned…

#2

i gave up trying to avoid them. If someone says "I’m booking for my husband, etc I just ask for their contact info. In a couple of cases I didn’t even get that. So far no problems. I’m going to save my energy for a more worthwhile battle. However, if I had different kind of listing instead of a room next door attached to my house I might have a different approach.

2 Likes
#3

I’m okay with third party too, as long as they don’t make it obvious in the Airbnb message thread. If they are blatant about it in the message, then I tell them that they’ll have to get the real guest to open an account and that Airbnb will walk them through it if needed. That usually works and the real guest gets an account and books.

I’m not one of those hosts who believes in, or relies upon, any help from Airbnb (apart from it being the industry leader and a fantastic service) so I depend on myself for getting proper insurance and so on.

I try to make hosting as hassle-free as possible and to me, being as self-sufficient as possible is the way to do it.

4 Likes
#4

@retrogrannybnb same here, what is with the surge in 3rd party bookings?

I ask the booker to temporarily make their profile to be “Hannah and Third Party,” and ask for the contact info of the person who will actually be staying.

It’s probably not kosher 100% but, I cannot afford to lose bookings because they have been quite anemic lately.

2 Likes
#5

I’ve had a few. I got good-enough reasons for them, I allowed them, and they all turned out fine.

#6

So did mine. In one case I suspected it was because the third party has failing eyesight.

#7

When I get one I call Airbnb and ask them to cancel it because its a violation of the ToS. There is an official way to do third party bookings on Airbnb but it has to be a business trip and you’ll see that its verified. I haven’t gotten one of these yet but apparently you will see that as a host and know that its legit.

1 Like
#8

I got my first one about a week ago and they arrive this Friday. I’ll let you know how it goes. It’s a doctor and she’s coming for a week. A large medical organization booked for her.

1 Like
#9

Yes. Business ones are different. The booking a friend or family member in is where ours often fall down.

Skewed expectations

#10

My worst Airbnb story involves a third party booking. It was a woman who claimed to be booking my place to attend for a wedding a of friend, for which she would be photographer. In truth, she had her own booking platform called Theycay dot com - now defunct, and I would like to think I had a hand in that. Theycay “curated” accommodations for special events and booked the guests through their own platform - by bed - and upsold. Way, way upsold. They also lied about the purpose of the reservation to the Airbnb property owner and host. Oh, and would violate the maximum number of people allowed on the property. Sigh … it is a long story that I’ve told here before although I deleted by posts.

Since then I have been VIGILANT about not allowing 3rd parties but one slipped in last October. But Airbnb made it quite clear: absolutely NO coverage or “host guarantees” would be valid with a third party booking and since the people staying at the house were NOT the contract holders my insurance would probably have balked, too, had something happened. You are at more legal risk with a third party.

4 Likes
#11

I too don’t allow third party booking and I require the person who checks in first be the person that is on the reservation. (One way third-party bookers try to get around the rule.)

Since I require guests full names, ages, and addresses along with a selfie, it becomes obvious real quick when I get a third party booking.

I used to try to help the guests with Support but now I just state in my message that

  1. They need to create a new account for the guest checking in (I allow newbies) on my IB and then contact Airbnb about how they made a mistake.

  2. Once the account is verified I tell them to contact Airbnb Customer Service and provide the phone number.

  3. I document this in my message and say that the Airbnb customer service rep needs to read my notes saying it’s ok to move their reservation to the new one. (Basically cancelled and rebook).

  4. But here’s the key - I have strict cancellation so I wait until the 48 hour grace period is over before I bring this to their attention so that they are incentivized to deal with Customer Service so that they don’t lose their money.

  5. I also tell the guest that if they get a customer service rep that has no idea how to do this to thank them, hang up and call again.

It puts all the work on the guests (who makes the error) but they are motivated to do the work because they will lose money if they don’t abide by the rules.

3 Likes
#12

I’ve rented a home in Newton, MA for a group vacation this summer. Two friends are coming from IN the other 6 of us from my town. Luckily the homeowner is fine with my friends arriving first. Otherwise that could be quite inconvenient for them. Of course I’ve been transparent from the beginning and I’ll be sending their full names and contact numbers.

This is a real pain for many people and if they don’t really want an Airbnb account…

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it your way for your place but flexibility is key. If this host wouldn’t have permitted my friends to check in first if needed I think we probably wouldn’t have booked his place.

#13

Just say “NO!” I understand they pressure you but you don’t have to go along with that because they fail to follow their own policies.

1 Like
#14

I’m in MA but closer to Boston. I have a 95 percent occupancy rate at the booking rate I want. I’ve had some shady characters book and I always want to have accountability.

2 Likes
#15

Ideally that’s how Airbnb should work. A lid for every pot as they say. Hosts and guests should be a good match for one another. Eventually Airbnb will probably have a “allows third party bookings” for all hosts, not just business accounts.

2 Likes
#16

Not that i would like or want that but if they would change their policy to match it would be ok in my mind. The real problem is that Airbnb makes policies they ENCOURAGE hosts to break and don’t back them up on THEIR OWN policies and that also trickles down to Airbnb not supporting hosts on host policies in the House Rules. it almost encourages guests to do whatever they want as long as Airbnb gets money from a booking and to heck with the results for the hosts.

2 Likes
#17

Based on the very small sample of hosts that post here Airbnb doesn’t back up their own policies anyway. So given the fact that most bookings don’t have a problem I’ll just take the booking and money and deal with problems on my own as much as possible. Airbnb doesn’t cover dog damage either but I still accept dogs. I want Airbnb to do two things, get me bookings and get me my money. Anything else I’ll try to deal with on my own and if Air can help me that’s a bonus.

3 Likes
#18

True, but I would add at least one more thing (for myself anyways): I want Airbnb to support hosts (and guests, although it seems they do that already) with respect to Airbnb policies and host House Rules. If they dont want to support hosts with their House Rules then dont allow us to have them.

2 Likes
#19

I want to like that x 1,000,000 :slight_smile:

I don’t even think about that bonus part though.

I’m not convinced that it’s a case of allowing us to have them. I suspect that their listings are designed to cater to the lowest common denominator - in this case, the host who hasn’t a clue. So maybe the house rules section is more of an ‘idiots’ guide"? A sort of nudge to let new hosts know that it’s a good idea to set a few rules in place?

#20

But if that is the case they should still support us on actually enforcing them.

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