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When the Competition Lies

I am very glad you did not send this. I think you have to chalk this up under the column Life is Not Fair & Sometimes People Suck.

That said, I have used the platform to contact another host and it was when I realized I had been ripped off by the vacation curator (long story, already told) and I used Airbnb to contact the other two hosts whose listings were “curated” along with mine.

Also, I have “reported” a listing. I realized that someone in the Catskills had listings advertising “glamping” properties, but they were using stock photography entirely. I used the “report this listing” link - it was a clear violation - and it disappeared soon after.


You know I am beginning to hate this word. I’m seeing it everywhere now too. it’s the latest hip-ism.


But in @KKC’s case she is interested in booking, just won’t have her dates lined up in the beginning…

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And may I say, good luck with the search, @KKC! From my experience I enjoy getting away from home even more now that I’m a host, and since you have so much responsibility with the dogs in addition to the humans I’m sure you are ready for some nice R&R!

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I live about 35 minutes drive from a major tourist area that is the reason most of my guests come here. I am also honest that the attraction most of them go to visit is at the far side and takes about an hour to get to. I point out due to traffic at the peak of summer they should add an extra 30 minutes on for traffic jams. Then someone started an airbnb about 10 minutes further away than me saying it was only 25 minutes to the major tourist attraction event from her place when it was at least 45 minutes and double that in summer. She had taken it down about a month later due to no bookings. I suspect a lot of people who lie about location and transport don’t get booking because guests still do some research themselves to make sure they aren’t lying.


I ignore the “decline” or “accept” button and just have a conversation with them until they tell me what I need to know to accept them. If they don’t give me that info it doesn’t block others from booking. (it just then says “not possible” next to their message once I have accepted someone else for those dates or even part of their dates)

I have a sort of similar scenario, in which sending a message is obviously a bad idea, but i am tempted to do so…

Where I host the county require we first apply for a permit to host (about $700), and second collect and remit transient occupancy taxes (9% per booking). Of my direct competitors, I know only a few have permits and collect or remit this tax, and when I’m feeling particularly bitter about it I fantasize about writing disingenuous messages to these hosts to enquire about some aspect of this tax collection in the hope that they will admit that they don’t pay them, or at least feel a little bit guilty about it :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


and there is nothing wrong with some healthy competition to keep you on your toes-
your lucky to have just one!

How is it possible to know? DO you work for a county?

Oh, there’s many - and actually my husband found a second listing with the exact same wording - so it appears that this new listing lifted everything off the other listing.

For me its a huge thing when hosts lie on purpose about location. My only bad reviews were based solely on that fact: misleading location description. Once i got mad at the host so much that i gave her 1* on overall experience, accuracy and communication because of it. It was in Germany, and her description said: near subway, 10 minutes to center. 10 minutes sounded great, near subway sounded great, so i booked it. In her 2 reviews nothing was mentioned about distance.
In fact it was far from 10 minutes to center. First of, it was good 20 minutes walk to metro. Bus stop was near her house but bus only went every few minutes in the early morning before 9 am, the rest of the time it was every 20-30 min. Then it was 14 metro stops to city center. With wait depending on time of the day it would take minimum 20 minutes.
it never took me less than 40 minutes to get to center. I booked her for 5 days, and cancelled after 2nd, as i understood that this vacation will turn into nightmare if i stay at that location. AT night i always took taxies as i could not get on subway after midnight.

I called Airbnb and they cancelled it without hesitation when i explained where its located.

This host knows what he/she is doing and purposefully lies to get guests. This is wrong and not fair to people.
I think writing her a letter JUST about that would be a great idea. Leave part about you, and competition, but just point out the misleading location description. Or, just wait until someone trashes this host in reviews like i did.

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You messaged HOA about what, its not clear. ABout other hosts not having permits? How do you know they dont have permits?

It would probably be be better to get out of the competitive/lack-of vibe; there are enough guests
for everyone, and trying to keep up with what your neighbours are doing will serve no purpose if you are already doing your best.

The cream always rises to the top.


Gosh Yana, you’re a bit hard on this host. Walking time depends on how fast you walk and it doesn’t sound like she over exaggerated. One star? Really I think three on location would have been fine but why ding her on everything. Don’t think I’d want a guest to rate me so harshly for a small miscalculation. Many cities have bus schedules like this including NYC for non rush hour schedules. And, why didn’t you check out google maps for distances. I do when I travel to a place I’m not familiar with. Just imho

Good words, @Elizabeth. It’s true that after investing a ton of money (for me) and quitting one of my jobs to do airbnb I’ve been quite nervous about every little thing. I need to step back, for sure.

It’s such a process, becoming a host and then maturing as one

I don’t blame you at all. I can’t imagine depending on this for my income as so many do. After having a secure job for 28 years I don’t think I have the kind of entrepreneurial mindset it would take to take that kind of risk. Kudos to you.

Well. i dont think i was harsh, not even a bit. Our 2 days were basicaly ruined because the host lied. It does not matter how fast one walks, but 15-20 minutes walk is not " near metro", not even close. Our second stay was in fact near metro, not even 5 min.walk. ANd what do you mean, small miscalculation? It was not small, and it was not miscalculation. It was an obvious lie. 10 min to center? 14 stops can not even come close to 10 minutes to center, even if only metro is taken into consideration.
I gave her 1 on overall experience, because overall experience was at 1*. It was not only location, she was a poor communicator who did not even tell us where to find keys. When we got to the house we were wondering around not knowing how to get in util we luckely spotted keys under door mat that was a side door, that we did not even know belonged to the appartment.We had tours scheduled in a center, and because of misrepresantion of location and morning traffic and delays, we were late on first one the next morning, as we thought the apartment was in fact NEAR metro. Then we had to take taxies from center after concert as again we did not want to walk after midnight 20 minutes from metro to get to the apartment for 25EURO.

So, as you can see accurate location description is not a little thing but a big one, especially when we were there for a very short period of time. It cost us time and money to stay at her place, and its not ok to put people in such position only because they dont know.
As far as Google maps, i just did not google. I based my decision based on host’s description. Not only that, i even asked her prior to booking, is it in fact takes only 10 minute from her house to the center total time, and she lied to me again by confirming it.

Gusts of all ages ask me specifics about location all the time especially those without cars. I even put in description exact amount of miles to beach, airport, and how much Uber costs. And i hope that host learns from my review and never does it again to anyone.


Doesn’t it hurt our response rate not to accept or decline?

Just send them a message back. You can even send a canned one that you’ve saved.

Ah, I knew response time was based on how fast you reply, but I had thought response rate was based on how often you accept/decline instead of failing to reply.

I’d felt obligated to decline the inquiries I was getting for the wrong dates (people asking if I’d “open the calendar” for the busiest weekend of the year, which had been booked months earlier). I know too many declines can hurt your search ratings.

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