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Three strange reservation requests in first month - normal?


#21

I heard back quite promptly from ABB. They looked at the back and forth I had with these guests and recommended declining and reporting all three requests which is what I had already done.

I have now asked them whether this is unusual, to receive this many shady requests in such a short period, and what I might be doing wrong to attract such negative attention. Waiting to hear back.


#22

It could be the same person.
I get a lot of those. Usually from newbies who don’t know how Air works.


#23

Were all 3 requests for the same dates? As many others have mentioned they could have been the same person. I think it’s equally as likely that they were separate people, just new to the platform. We all know that new listings get a bump in search rankings for several weeks, and there are numerous other factors that affect how you appear in search. It’s possible that there’s some other factor that’s attracting these shady characters.

Do you have detailed house rules? I used to be laid back and didn’t list appropriate behavior in detail because I assumed the best in people, and quite frankly didn’t feel like writing out a huge long list. But after a few weird/uncomfortable experiences, I added more rules explaining behaviors that are not acceptable in our home, and that seemed to help deter requests without messaging. It wasn’t immediately obvious to me what to include as house rules when I started, because I didn’t know which behaviors would actually bother me. Once I had a few “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE MY GUEST IS DOING THIS” moments, I knew those were the things to add to house rules. As you’ll learn on this forum, some things that bug the crap out of one host are completely benign to another host. A good set of rules can also attract more quality respectful guests, as they are likely to feel more safe in an environment where they know your values (rules) match their own. Just a thought.

I have another theory that the search algorithm pairs new guest accounts with new host accounts, so new hosts are more likely to appear in search results for recently created guest accounts. Maybe some combination of these factors caused you to get a few bad apples in a row, and I also think you did the right thing by declining them. Unfortunately declining does decrease your search position, but I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Your HOME is at risk if something goes south. It’s possible that any of those guests could have been wonderful, but you really never know with strangers on the internet. In my opinion, it’s better to be seen by fewer guests (when your search ranking decreases due to declining) than to accept a request from someone who makes you uneasy, and possibly be faced with an uncomfortable situation in your own home.


#24

When our listing went live, we received odd requests but nothing to that caliber! Our first request asked if she and her family could prepare food in our kitchen during her stay of 6 days even though the listing is for a private suite and separate from our space as stated in the listing. That was a no. We also got a few that had incorrect names attached to the account. The other day a group instant booked and their name was an e mail address that read [EMAIL HIDDEN]. We asked them to change it so we know who we’re talking with, and it took them about 4 days to respond. We called Air BnB and they told us it’s not Air BnB policy for them to have their correct name displayed on the account. That was a bit confusing to me.

Eventually she fixed it and they were wonderful guests.

I do think Air BnB could be a bit more on top of verification. Even with the requirement to have Government I.D. on file, this still happens. So strange!


#25

Ultimately Airbnb has no control over who enters your home, they are just a booking platform. Someone could tick all the boxes and then give your address and check in information to a third party and you would never know, unless you check their ID. There’s another thread about this same issue except with VRBO.


#26

You were right as there were multiple flags on the request but similar to @K9KarmaCasa I have a lot of guests who have pics that look nothing like them, or are their pet, because they are first-time guests. That’s mostly what we host and that shouldn’t stop you on just that alone. They’ve all been delightful. It’s the lack of transparency on their communication, reason for coming, etc., that is the most telling and reason to decline, IMO. You’ll also find that many guests don’t read, so stay off instant book for a while. We have it turned on for one of our listings, and it’s been fine, but many hosts don’t, and they have good reasons for that too. In the end, you have to be comfortable so your instincts are usually right.


#27

Hi. No they were all for different dates and I didn’t get the sense that they were all the same person at all.

I really like your comment about “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE MY GUEST IS DOING THIS”. Lol Very relevant. Had a young couple stay just two nights over NYE. They checked in and she immediately took a 40 minute shower with her music cranked. When I went in afterwards she had left her socks and g-string balled up around the faucet. :slight_smile: But I know it gets weirder than that. That’s really just being kind of messy.

I don’t know if I’ll ever know what these attempts to book with me were. It doesn’t sound like anyone is aware of any scams that could be pulled like this. The only thing I can think of is that they want to exchange phone numbers and then somehow con me into paying them. No idea.


#28

I agree. It’s somehow kind of jarring to not know what the person you’re allowing to rent a room in your house looks like. I suppose it’s easy enough for someone to post a fake photo but when someone has no photo at all it really puts me off and I’m surprised it’s not required by ABB.


#29

There are many hosts with no photo either.


#30

Yes, and there are hosts who post a photo of their spouse or son in their place or are wearing sun glasses, etc., etc.


#31

Well sure. And hosts who are also guests who have no photo.

In any case, it puts me off when someone is unwilling to share their photo. It also means that you have no idea if the person who greets you at the door, either as guest or host, is the same person whose account you were dealing with.


#32

I get it. I’m just saying the pictures aren’t required and probably never will be.

I have had countless guests who looked nothing like their picture, some didn’t even appear to be the same gender. I had one guest talking about a wife. It was a female name and a female picture. I thought it was going to be a lesbian couple and then some guy shows up with this woman and I was pretty confused. It was the husband booking under his wife’s name.


#33

I once had a seemingly young mother, who looked from her photo like a slim woman, her mother and daughter book for 5 days. They booked a bunk bedded room with cot for her daughter, while at work my husband rang me to say that he had put a single bed up on the room as well. I insisted the room was too small and why had he done it, they were obviously present so had to be diplomatic. I said I would sort it when I got home, well, I was astonished ! She had more than quadrupled in size compared to her photo, my husband was right, she would have crushed her mother underneath if she had slept on the top bunk as she said she was going to do. So yes sometimes people put old flattering photos as they’re profile picture that’s shows no relation to what they really look like !


#34

Hmm. I guess I knew that but it didn’t really settle in until now.

I mean… at the very least they could make it to where people can’t put in an e mail address as their name… haha


#35

I had a host stay with me, and his name was [Email Hidden.] Dumb really, but he was actually my least favorite guest to date.


#36

There should be some sort of prompt that invalidates certain characters in the name field such as the @ symbol. I can’t even subscribe to mailing list by putting an e mail in the name field. Why in the heck does it fly on a platform as big as air bnb?!


#37

Because it isn’t important to them.


#38

Not anymore. Personal photos are not required because they are believed to increase the chance of discrimination based on ethnicity.


#39

Yeah unfortunately that is probably true so from that perspective not requiring photos makes sense.


#40

Hiya,

Airbnb Superhost here. 2 1/2 years. My opinion would have been to decline all three. I never Instant Book by the way. NEVER