Guest spends 6 hours trying to book Sept 25, 2015 2:20:30 GMT
Post by High Priestess on Sept 25, 2015 2:20:30 GMT
Deborah shared on Anecdotes Jan 5 2015
Guest spends over 6 hours trying to book
A frustrating story about what can happen when host doesn't require verified ID but Airbnb demands it. I wonder -- why aren't driver's license and/or passport sufficient? Why does it have to be so made so hard for people to set up verified ID?
So, most of the week I am not too far from a computer and can help guests who are trying to book. My latest inquiry came on Sunday, when I was out on a several-hours long bike ride in the Napa Valley. During a rest stop I noticed the inquiry on my smart phone and sent a message and a preapproval to the guest. Strange thing -- the preapproval wouldn't go through. Guest said she was unable to book. I didn't know what was happening. I got no error message, just the preapproval kept bouncing back and after sending preapproval I would still see the "preapprove/decline" button showing up. Kept riding, stopping now and again to ask guest questions. Tried again to send a preapproval -- it still bounced back and the guest message kept being denoted as "inquiry" rather than saying "preapproved."
Guest said Airbnb was asking her to make a video of herself, and wanted access to her Facebook account. She didn't know how -- she was an older person, not used to doing these things, and valuing privacy. I was upset -- I don't require verified ID and don't ask guests to jump through hoops. I realized this was one of the cases where Airbnb was requiring a guest to verify ID even though I as a host don't require verified ID. I kept trying to send preapprovals to guest and they kept bouncing back. Not sure what the problem was. Took at least 1 hour out of my Sunday bike ride communicating with guest and trying to help her.
When I got home, and again tried to send a preapproval, now the message came up "you cannot preapprove those dates for the guest as they are unavailable." I go and see the dates blocked in the calendar and the message "pending verification." Now I realize that guest sent a reservation request, and it got held up in the system. Airbnb already had her driver's license and passport but was also demanding either access to her Facebook account or that she make a video of herself. I spent 45 minutes on hold trying to reach Airbnb customer service, and was told that they were requiring these things of her. I expressed annoyance that I don't require verified ID and the guest was trying to book for the next day, and was it really necessary for her to make a video of herself. I expressed that if guest could not get this done in time, she might not be able to book at all, since she was asking to come the next day. Customer service just said that they would try to "reach out" and help her complete what was requested.
Total time spent on "verified ID" hurdles and confusion: myself, 1 hour out of a bike ride in the Napa Valley, plus 45 minutes on hold on the phone. Guest: 2 hours setting up account and picking a place to stay, and 4 hours trying to deal with Airbnb.
6 comments•1 like
Nic and Rach
Bridget and Mark
Bridget and Marka year ago
That is a pretty damn frustrating story. It is a slightly funny mental image, though, of a long distance bike rider, decked out in cycling gear and helmet, stopped in the midst of beautiful vineyards poking and poking at their smartphone and growling at Airbnb! What a shame for everyone!
I have also had guests be frustrated with the video thing, didn't realize it was an either/or with Facebook.
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Deboraha year ago
Exactly that's what it was ---long-distance bike rider having to stop often to deal with air B&B in the middle of bike ride!!!! At least there was chocolate dessert at the end.
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Julie and Eric
Julie and Erica year ago
There should always be chocolate dessert at the end. And/or beer.
Stan & Maggie
Stan & Maggiea year ago
Yay for chocolate dessert! I had a similar problem whilst at Open! Apparently Airbnb is running a spot check system on guests in order to tighten up security. I sympathize with our guests I spent most of last evening trying to book a one night get away !
Lula and Larry
Lula and Larrya year ago
You deserved the chocolate dessert! Lol
Serafinaa year ago
Ugh. What an unpleasant experience that must have been--and such odd requirements from Airbnb. I wonder how many potential guests get turned off from it.
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Nic and Rach
Nic and Racha year ago
Airbnb is great as a whole and I love Airbnb, except for some other sections that needs advancement and, improvements such as ID verifications it's the 21st century and they should be investing on a high tech ID verification for me, Drivers License and or passport. E-mail address and Telephone should be enough and as soon as Airbnb received and reviewed the ID verification requirements should be good to go and if Airbnb is in doubt they can start using the tracking number code for verification by texting the code number to their cell phone and in turn the guest will e-mail the code number to Airbnb for authentication... something like that will work..just a thought And Deborah, I totally agree with you that it is unacceptable... and I'm sorry that you went through this problem. And since you are one of the moderator, you can definitely e-mail the head of the department and let them know that there is a problem and needs an immediate attention to get this important issue resolve or some easy way to handle guests id verification.
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Deboraha year ago
Thanks Nic and Rach! I am not sure that being a moderator makes any difference in being able to be heard on such issues -- I do think that Airbnb is more likely to pay attention to a problem area if they get a lot of feedback from a lot of hosts, however.
Kathleena year ago
I had a couple give up and decided to walk down the st. where I live and just look for the picture of the front of my house on my posting. they knocked on the door and explained they were trying to book but they weren't getting a fast enough response. I of course, welcomed them and booked them on my own. Worked out wonderfully.
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Leaha year ago
Not a fast enough response from you??
Annya year ago
Wow, glad I read this. I recently lost a 2 week booking because the guest tried to book and could not. I contacted Airbnb and they gave me the same "reach out" formula, but it still didn't happen. Maybe the guest couldn't get enough verification. Still, it's a good idea for airbnb to have good verification, but surely drivers license/passport and phone should do it? LinkedIn and Facebook not so valuable, surely - since you can have multiple personalities on both.