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Why list on air if you're going to violate TOS at the first message?

I’m looking at places to stay for a family weekend trip. I’ve contacted a few places, and I was surprised at first that a nice, affordable place had no reviews. Well, this is the message I received back: “We have those dates open. We do our own contract. Our rates for the fall season are 110.00 a night. If you would like a contract sent. Just send me your email. Thanks so much XXX.”

I responded with: “I’m sorry, but as an Air host I do not think it is appropriate that you list on Air and then try to book outside the system. No wonder you have no reviews. I’ll be booking elsewhere.”

I reported him for violating TOS. It’s bad enough that where we’re going is a commercial area and 90% of the listings are professional condos and hotels listed on Air. But then he’s trying to go outside the system and basically advertise for free. Ugh.

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Haha, then I got this message from him: “You are implying I’m a scam. And I don’t appreciate your sarcasm. Most home schoolers I know are Christians. Which I am myself. Good day. And don’t respond to my ads again.”

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You got those messages in the Air system? I don’t know if you have time to keep an eye on it but I’d be curious to see if they remove him. We have a poster on another thread saying their account is suspended because they get 4 stars and yet air gets no money from this guy?

I know, I saw that too. Yep, I figure between me flagging him and those messages on the Air system, he should be removed. It’s so frustrating.

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This person doesn’t take Airbnb seriously and regards it like Craigslist, which I sometimes use for my other listing. It will be interesting to see what happens. Did you post the link?

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What stuck out to me from his message is the part about him asking for your email. It is possible that he is a long time VRBO user, and doesn’t realize how Air works. For one, he should know that your email is going to be blocked out if you type it in the message field… If he completely understood the system, then he probably would have said "send me an email at such and such address - and he would space it all out so that it wouldn’t be blocked.

Many new users who are used to VRBO don’t realize that with Air, they have to get the contract signed after they accept the booking. They just need to get the guest to confirm they read it in the listing and understand what is expected.

Then again,…he could be a scam…

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It’s like they immediately gloss over the first words on Air’s site: “LIVE THERE
Book homes from local hosts and experience a place like you live there.” The other place I contacted, the host lives in TX and remote hosts places in X, Y, and Z. Come on people, list on other sites all you want, but quit screwing up and over saturating Air for us legitimate HOSTS that fit the style of AirBnB!

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I think he calmed down a bit. This is what I just got from him: “Just so you know. I just terminated my account on Airbnb. I see you have a listing yourself. I hope you have better luck. I’m never comfortable with a company that doesn’t have a physical phone number. My wife and I are new to the overnight rental program. And like to deal directly with our renters. No third party included. But by doing it that way. By no means implies we are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. We were booked solid in July thru VRBO. Our first month for accepting rentals. And trying to get people to give reviews is like pulling teeth. Even after I ask after their stay how everything was. We have gotten nothing but positive feedback. Unfortunately they seem to forget to go to our VRBO site and write a review”

And I responded with: "I do want you to know that I wasn’t trying to be snarky. But Air has a “Live like a local” feel to it, and you get no protections as a host if you don’t follow their TOS. I’ve never used VRBO, but I know several hosts on that site and getting reviews there is difficult since it’s more of a listing site similar to craigslist rather than a “community” that Air tries somewhat unsuccessfully at times to create. I’ve had great success with Air, but I’m an on-site host renting out my MIL apartment above the garage.

“But Air is clear on their page, this is posted right above where I would click to book with you: ‘Protect your payments. Never pay for a reservation outside the Airbnb website.’”

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Cabin is correct. This guy was a VRBO person and had never booked his place on Air before. I would cut him some slack. It’s too bad you reported him. That was a bit hasty.

I reported him after he got nasty. He did admit that he doesn’t like the Air platform and decided to take his listing down since it doesn’t fit his style anyway.

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And, I think I was right to report him. Air should not be full of commercial properties where people don’t want to be hosts. I’ve been looking for our upcoming trip because I want to try out the experience of Air from a guest’s perspective. And all I can find are commercial properties. I hated my last Branson commercial experience and want to try out a home. The best I can find is a cabin on a lake… If I wanted a commercial property I would just call a condo on my own and not book through Air.

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But I don’t understand what you mean by commercial? Was he just a guy renting a house?

No, he was renting a space in a condo building in a highly commercial area in Branson. It’s one of the few places I could find on air and the least hotel-ish so I thought I’d at least try as I’d prefer a place with a kitchen over a hotel room, but he immediately responded with “send me your email and I’ll send you a contract”.

And I get people renting out their vacation spaces to offset costs. But if you’re listing on Air, you’re agreeing to their TOS. It’s bad enough hotels listing and you think you’re dealing with an individual. But if I wanted a commercial condo, I would have searched somewhere else.

But then later he admitted he was new to this type of system, just as Cabin had stated. In the VRBO world, they communicate directly, so thus, this would have been an appropriate response and not at all shady. Just novice. :slight_smile:

Just the fact that he didn’t even know your email would be blocked tells me he’s innocent. Now if he had made attempts to email using code language deliberately intended to bypass the system, that would be a different story.

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I don’t think he was scamming. I just think he’s not a good fit for Air. With so many listing sites out there, people should list with what fits their marketing approach. As a consumer, if I want to stay in a home I’ll search Air. If I wanted a vacation rental, I’d search VRBO.

There is a reason I found the listing site that works best for me and why I’ve decided to not list on other sites. I’m not mad at the guy, I just don’t think he should be on Air if he doesn’t want to have a basic understanding of the platform and actually host his guests. I"m all for hands off in whole spaces as that’s what I offer as do you @konacoconutz, but do you really want Air clogged with commercial vacation properties? I’m tired of being buried in the results by listings that are “hosted” by management companies or people with a dozen listings.

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I don’t think it’s fair to characterize this host as having a “commercial property”. He didn’t sound like a professional manager overseeing dozens of units that he doesn’t own. He’s renting out his condo which isn’t so different from you renting out your apt above the garage. He’s just clueless about how to use AirBNB but that itself is a sign that he’s actually not a professional manager!

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Is it possible that Branson doesn’t allow ABB so there are few listings? I’m glad he took down his listing and wrote back in a more reasonable fashion.

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You should be complaining to Airbnb, for changing their own ethos and moving away from the original format. Why did they do this ? greed and the desire to make more money.

When it comes to reporting other people to Airbnb, I would not make a judgement call, its not my place to decide whether he is good fit or not.

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I definitely don’t think that’s the case as it’s a highly commercial area and there are actually very few people who actually live there. I just think if you want to use your own contract, there are better sites available. I do regret flagging him after he apologized and explained, but basic research should be done when listing your place.

Air needs to make things more clear. Hosts should actually host.

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