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Untrained Airbnb reps or something worse?

I recently have a guest complain about the cleaning at my home. My manager messaged him that she wanted to come out and clean the home to his satisfaction. He responded he already finished the touchup. She also asked why he didn’t complain when she was at the property around 5 pm of the same day. He did not respond.

An Airbnb rep called to say the guest was complaining about the cleaning. She followed up with a message that she was going to refund him 50% of his 4-night stay and 100% of the cleaning fee.

I tried sending her the messages that show we responded immediately but she just said her decision was final and then strangely threatened me with sanctions if I continue to have cleaning issues. Please see the screenshot.

I accept that not every rep has a crystal ball but what concerns me if they are not following their own rules about allowing the host to remedy the guest’s complaint.

In addition, the guest has zero reviews and I have over 170. I added my properties to VRBO and opened the calenders to see how I like that platform. I do not want to give up on Airbnb but I don’t know what rules I am playing with.

First-time poster. Hoping for some feedback. I implemented my manager having guests sign a letter saying the home is cleaned to their satisfaction so we will see if that helps but if the reps are doing whatever they want without getting feedback from hosts it doesn’t seem like it will help.


I would have told the rep if they are being refunded then they will have to leave in an hour. With 170 reviews you can weather a bad review.


No doubt I have a bad review coming anyway. There was no negotiating with the rep. She made her choice and it didn’t matter the proof (text messages back and forth with guests acknowledging they finished the cleaning themselves the first night), the thing that blows me away is the 50% for 4 nights affected. How is a cleaning issue a 4-night ordeal? I’m stunned. I think it’s just a very uninformed rep. No doubt when I contact Airbnb there will be a more reasonable rep.

I think that you’re getting the wrong end of the stick here. You run your business the way you want to. Airbnb is an advertising platform and they don’t run your business but like any advertising medium they have certain rules.

The suggestion that guests contact hosts about any issues is just that, a suggestion. Airbnb can’t make guests behave in a certain way.

But what I’m not understanding is why the guest didn’t point out this alleged dirtiness when your manager gave him the house tour. Many in-home hosts have snoozed their listings because the pandemic makes in-home hosting very difficult but some of us with separate places still do the meet-and-greet - fully masked and maintaining social distancing.

Is this what you mean by ‘something worse’? Are you suspecting that your manager isn’t doing her job?

I suspect the guest has done this before. I read in his text that he has rented many Airbnb’s but this has been the dirtiest. He does not have any reviews though so more than likely he tries to get the money refunded whenever he stays by making up or exaggerating the problem with the rep. There are many things strange about this complaint.

That being said the real problem is that the rep did not want any info from me. She made her decision and that was it. What I mean by “something worse” is perhaps Airbnb is now taking a position to automatically side with the guest and give large refunds to improve client satisfaction.

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I really can’t see that as being a very good business model. As hosts, we all want to give client satisfaction and cleanliness is a very serious issue. It does seem that the rep wasn’t very thorough, but that’s nothing new and hardly enough to start a conspiracy theory.

Yes it is. I would be livid if this happened to me, especially from a guest with no reviews. For Air to side with a 0 review guest over a 170 review host is BS.



You could try tweet & facebook: “First-time no-review guest scammed us. Guest was shown the clean apt, had no complaint. Later said it was dirty, refused our offer to reclean. CS gave 50% refund, ignored our pics & msg history, threatened to delist us. Never rent to guests w/ no reviews!” (Edit for accuracy; I’m extrapolating based on your post)


I imagine there has to be some sort of guidance to reps. Once listed it can be very hard for hosts to change listing platforms. Airbnb may think they push a little and not lose many listings.

Yes I had read about Tweeting on this site. I tried it and was messaged right away. The suggested I contact my original rep who already closed the case so that was a dead end. I had this happen in the past and worked it out with a more responsive rep. I imagine I will do the same. The lack of universal rules is what concerns me most. Great Tweet though. I will Tweet it out as well. Thank you

It can sometimes be hard to get started on a new platform, but many hosts list on multiple platforms simultaneously and use channel managing software to synchronize them. This is your best defense against the seemingly random policy decisions at Airbnb.


Just asking to clarify - were these messages on the Airbnb mesage system or phone text messages? If they were on the platform the rep should have been able to see them. I’ve had reps tell me they “can’t” read messages because it would be an invasion of privacy (Not) and I’ve pushed back and “allowed” them to read the thread.
Advice often given on this forum - always keep communicaton on the Airbnb message system.


I agree with RR. Cancel the reservation and get them out. If the guest gets away with this, they will continue doing this at every Airbnb they stay in the future.

I’m also wondering if the messages were on the platform or texts on a cellphone. Airbnb won’t look at texts, only messages on the platform.


Some of the reps are just awful. They should be scrubbing toilets, not trying to resolve Airbnb issues.

Keep trying, wrong decisions will often get overturned if you are persistent and finally get a more knowledgable rep.

I would be really angry if this happened to me. Definitely kick this scammer out of your place and leave him a scathing review.

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I had a problem guest and Air accepted the text thread, not right away, but they did, and decided against the guest.

Just to clarify: Were your text messages with this guest on the Airbnb platform or not?

The messages were via text not on the platform. I just sent out a message to my managers of the properties to send a template response whenever a guest complains and then answer on text if need be.

Im getting all my ducks in a row before I speak with a new Airbnb rep. I suspect I will get the 3 nights back and maybe part of the cleaning fee. I still do not think the guest in entlteled to anything under the Airbnb rules being that we offered to come out and clean immediately.

I agree. I find its mostly the reps outside the US that do not understand the Hosts issues. i do better with US reps.

These were texts but neither the guest nor my co-host wrote on the Airbnb platform.

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