Experience the difference of "Elite".

Security Deposits (CC holds) outside of Airbnb - Airbnb telling guest they are not allowed

CTK
Jan 1, 2022 10:55 PM
Joined Dec, 2020 27 posts

I've been collecting separate deposits on Airbnb for a couple of months no problem but then I had a guest send me this and inquire why I was asking for something Airbnb says isn't allowed. Any thoughts from OR team how to navigate this with a guest that is inquiring?

 

Chris L
Jan 2, 2022 2:34 PM
Joined May, 2017 164 posts

If I get any pushback on my SecDeps, I send guests this Airbnb article:

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2827/collecting-fees-outside-of-airbnb

Of note (emphasis mine):

Hotels and software-connected hosts can charge guests additional fees that aren’t collected by Airbnb or used to calculate Airbnb service fees and taxes. These fees are collected directly from guests using a separate payment method outside of Airbnb. Fees are normally collected before a guest’s stay, at check-in, or within 48 hours of checkout.Fees that can be collected directly by the hostAirbnb only authorizes these fees to be collected if they’re detailed in the listing description and included in the price breakdown before guests book....
  • Security deposit: A refundable deposit that can be used to cover any damage that occurs during the stay

I've even had to send that help article to Airbnb customer service agents. So far, I've had 100% compliance from both Airbnb employees and guests after sending that.

CTK
Jan 3, 2022 10:36 PM
Joined Dec, 2020 27 posts

Really curious why Airbnb would send conflicting information like that though. Anyone from OR have a guess?

Chris L
Jan 3, 2022 10:40 PM
Joined May, 2017 164 posts

They have thousands of employees (and likely thousands more subcontracted call center reps). Disseminating policy updates on a large-scale company-wide basis like that is bound to take time and get missed by some people.

In other words, incompetence. ;)

BlueMtnCabins
Jan 4, 2022 6:19 PM
Joined Jun, 2016 1007 posts

Poorly trained reps 

Aunger Vacation
Jan 6, 2022 12:33 PM
Joined Apr, 2021 26 posts

Hi there Chris this is super helpful. Would you be able to share what you send to guests as a message and what you send to Airbnb if there are issues would be awesome if you could… much appreciated 

Ken T
Jan 6, 2022 12:37 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 838 posts

Here's what we've found to be helpful:

 

https://www.ownerreservations.com/support/articles/channel-management-api-integrations-airbnb-common-issues-questions#offline-secdep-complaints

CTK
Jan 6, 2022 12:51 PM
Joined Dec, 2020 27 posts

Thanks Ken. The issue actually is around guests that push back as they read conflicting information on Airbnb’s site. Any chance you could Airbnb to at least up date their guest facing information?

Aunger Vacation
Jan 6, 2022 12:52 PM
Joined Apr, 2021 26 posts

Thanks Ken and Team totally as you might be aware we have had significant issues with Airbnb and this functionality to the fact bad reviews, Airbnb not reviewing the reviews either still to date. The account manager at Airbnb for ownerrez has been awesome but has not be able to fix this. 

It was also used as one factor also for having our account got disabled a year ago. Not the only factor and was provided to be retaliatory and we got enabled again..

think how people have been approaching the communications on this would really helpful. We list damage deposit on Airbnb advert, house rules , messages and communications as well as rental agreement and emails. 

the latest one we have is Airbnb says we are not allowed a rental agreement that has more rules than on there website and getting to sign or communicate about rental agreement and deposit is not allowed which as we now is garbage and Something some made up the consistency of Airbnb is amazingly bad. 

as mentioned last year would be excellent if they could put a flag on the listings that says allowed to take deposits and rental agreements be it an internal or public flag. They do it for other things and now it’s not just ownerrez would have hoped the training, T&Cs and communication from Airbnb would be much clearer. At least they could make the website very clear. 

thanks as always doing the leading job you guys do it’s hard being at the front 

Aunger Vacation
Jan 6, 2022 12:53 PM
Joined Apr, 2021 26 posts

Exactly exactly still not clear and very contradicting so no wonder why Airbnb call center staff and email staff don’t give out the right information either…  

Ken T
Jan 6, 2022 1:02 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 838 posts

would be excellent if they could put a flag on the listings that says allowed to take deposits

There actually is such a flag, but it's internal only and visible just to Airbnb staff.  One of the longstanding bugs is that this flag is commonly not correctly set; we're working with Airbnb staff to manually check and update that flag as our clients start using this feature, which has helped a great deal but isn't perfect.

Interesting idea, to make that visible to guests.

Aunger Vacation
Jan 6, 2022 1:07 PM
Joined Apr, 2021 26 posts

Would be great like they have with camera section of health and safety they could point it too a specific website page also that highlights that we could take deposits. 

I know your pain and our pain also, totally now that more and more software companies are being allowed to do this also it’s crazy that they don’t have some way of communicating it. 

to be honest think it’s on purpose because it might put people off booking via Airbnb if they knew people could take deposits I’ve been told it’s quite a draw for renters as a trust thing… 

Chris L
Jan 6, 2022 1:21 PM
Joined May, 2017 164 posts

> the latest one we have is Airbnb says we are not allowed a rental agreement that has more rules than on there website and getting to sign or communicate about rental agreement and deposit is not allowed which as we now is garbage and Something some made up the consistency of Airbnb is amazingly bad

There actually is a rule that you cannot make a guest sign a rental agreement that has more or different wording than is disclosed in your Airbnb listing. So the solution is to put the full text of your rental agreement in the Airbnb listing. Thankfully, the "House Rules" section of an Airbnb listing has a ridiculously huge character count, so I'm able to put the full text of my several-page rental agreement in it. That satisfies Airbnb's requirements.

Aunger Vacation
Jan 6, 2022 1:44 PM
Joined Apr, 2021 26 posts

Yes totally is but the crazy thing is it doesn’t matter either because the Airbnb staff don’t look at the house rules section or aware how to handle them I’ve mentioned to many customer service people it’s in my house rules and they haven’t or don’t want go in them… 

Interesting as we also know guests never read them or the rental agreements either.. 🤪

had a really good one the other day a litigation lawyer that wanted to book my home… was very happy to side with me and said it’s amazing Airbnb hasn’t had a massive case against them. Then rightly said have you seen there terms they are really a media company (totally are) they leave all the liabilities on the home owner. however want to control the homeowner like a letting agency he said he had never see a company or industry like that expect the few internet companies we know the ones and he said they couldn’t get away with that in physical world. 

VRBO allows you nicely to do rental agreements. Booking.com wish they just worked to better rules amazing. 

We need a Theranos moment in the STR industry these companies are faking a lot of things and then people are buying it. What they are saying to the public and there investors doesn’t line up to what they are practicing. We are slaves to this…