"Verified" Phone Number Meaningless

So my co-host and I have been trying to reach my upcoming guest about check-in, with no response. When I called the phone number in her profile, a recording said it was a non-working number. I even tracked her down on Facebook through a half hour research effort. Still no reply. My co-host got Airbnb support on chat, saying we’d like to cancel the booking without penalty on the grounds that the guest is not responding, and that the phone number is said to be verified, but is not. No way, says the customer service rep. Customer service rep says there’s nothing in the Terms of Service that gives hosts any recourse if a guest will not respond to communications and their phone number is non-working. The phone number was verified TWO YEARS AGO, says the rep, so yes, it’s verified! In other words, even in this day and age, where people change phone numbers as often as they change boyfriends, there’s no process to re-verify a phone number, even TWO YEARS after the initial verification. THAT is BOGUS. Guests should have a responsiveness rating, just like hosts do, and hosts should have some recourse if a guest won’t communicate their arrival time in advance. Frustrated!


I’ve had a number of guests who didn’t respond before check in but it always worked out. They’ve tended to be the type that don’t need a lot of hand holding and so good guests. If someone I’m not friends with tries to message me via facebook I don’t get a notification. Maybe she doesn’t realize the old number is in the system. When is the last time she used ABB? Could you contact the host she last stayed with and get info? When is “upcoming?” Will you be able to rebook the room if you cancel? Although I understand your frustration maybe you are overreacting a bit?

I also have a lot of guests that are hard to reach and I worry about getting them details, etc. and then I get a call at 3pm saying “Hi, we’re here”.

I agree with @KKC that you should just let it ride, and be prepared for the guests arrival on the specific day.

Guest SHOULD have all the details updated like phone number, etc. but maybe they are paranoid like me and use a google voice number that gets cut off after non-activity. I think it will be important when the guest shows up to ask them for a valid contact number in case you need to reach them during their stay.

Having a valid phone number as a guest is vital in my opinion. What if there is some crazy emergency 6 hours prior to your arrival? Say the electrical panel goes awry, and suddenly there is no power in the house, the host would most likely call ABB pronto (I would!). ABB would then want to phone the guest immediately to help make other arrangements. Not being reachable by phone is going to slow down that process.

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I find that my foreign guests typically don’t have a phone number listed where I can reach them.


No, I don’t think we’re overreacting. We both work inconsistent hours, so our check-ins are by appointment. Most people set the appointment, show up roughly on time, and it all works out smoothly. Occasionally, a guest goes “poof” like this one. The unfortunate bit is, those are the ones who are quickest to become irritated if we can’t leave work at the last minute to meet them at their convenience. Glad it works out okay for you with folks who don’t respond. Maybe your schedule is more flexible than ours.

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I, for one, would be interested to know the outcome.

I had a guest showmup once looking totally different than her pic, none of her phone numbers worked, and her email was also dead. She showed me her drivers lic and her gf who was with her gave me hers as well. Their review was as expected - “i was not welcomed and sensed that the host was cold and distant”. Shhesh. Her excuse was that she had been out of the country and didnnot have time to fix her credentials. Oh, and she somehow had my address but not her confirmation email with her, which included the house rules, and whe. I mentioned them she waved me off with 'ive done this many times i know what to do."

There is no way for Airbnb users to change or uodate their phone numbers. I have tried. Even though people change phone numbers all the time there is no way to change it. This causes the issue above ehweee the host cannot contact a guest because they don’t have the same numver as they did when they signed up in 2014. Crazy and stupid on Airbnb’s part

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Thanks for explaining. This just goes to show that Airbnb is a very immature company, indeed.

I think I have only ever had to call a guest twice before they arrive, I message through the ABB system.

I just added a phone number via my profile and saw the option to delete a phone number.
Perhaps though, you have to have at least one active reservation in order to alter phone numbers?

I’m not sure what situation is regarding changing your contact details on Airbnb. However, I do know that a few of our international guests actually turn their phone off while they are traveling.