Airbnb closed my account!!

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Apr 13, 2018
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I was an Airbnb host. I have been a host for 2.5 years with 100 positives reviews and an average of 4.7 stars out of 5.

A guest, Trevor Wallace, accused me of something that I never did and Airbnb decided to close my account.

This guest and his group stayed at my place for 7 days and never complained about anything. A few days later, all of a sudden, after he had already checked-out he sent me a direct message on Airbnb complaining about everything during his past stay at my apt. He wanted some refund, he mentioned. He also said that he planned to contact Airbnb. It sounded like: "if I do not get a refund I will contact them and I will leave you a bad review". (He never mentioned on this message the story that he would make up later when he left a public review on my profile). Anyway, so since he did not get any money, refund. He decided to accuse me (this is the story he made up) of having entered one of the rooms to "watch her female friend sleep" while he was out of the apt. He mentioned that when she woke up I was watching her...
The saddest part is that airbnb believed him and not me and, even though I gave the company all types of explanations, decided to close my account and cancel all my future reservations, based on a lie completely made up by a guest. A total disaster. He caused a lot of reputational damage as a host and as a person and lost earnings.
I just met this guests during the check-in and then when they check-out. Actually, during the check-out I only met Trevor. Neither the other 2 guests were at the apt that morning. They already had left according to Trevor. I never met that girl after they checked-in.
I Have been trying to contact the guest (Trevor) a few times but he did not get back to me.
I contacted airbnb a few times but they do not change their position. Even though I gave them all types all explanations and sending them all the messages I received from the guest. Proving that this guest made up that story since he could not get any refund. Why am I going to enter a room to watch a girl sleeping? Why am I going to destroy my reputation as a host and loose all my incomes? I had 100 great reviews. How did airbnb think I got all those favorable reviews? Watching people sleeping!!??? How is it possible that a serious company believe this type of bizarre stories?
Where is the host protection on this? Host do not feel any support from Airbnb. Guests can make anything up and destroy you reputation overnight.
We, hosts, do not feel ourselves considered a part of the Airbnb Community as well as guests do. We do not see zero-tolerance against the damage of reputation against hosts in our own homes. Really unfair and sad.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#2
Just to be clear, since it's not entirely clear from your message, and I don't want there to be any confusion: during the time Mr. Wallace and his group rented your apartment, were you in the apartment at all, other than at the time of check-in and check-out?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
Were you renting out the entire place? Is there a way to show that you were elsewhere when the guest alleges that this happened?
 
Apr 13, 2018
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No I was not renting the entire apt. I did not meet them after they checked-in. Just met Trevor, the one who accused me of that, the last day, the morning he checked-out.
I do not even know which day the guest alleges that that happened. He does not specify the exact day. He just accused me of that, and that is it. He does not say anything else on his public review. I do not k ow what else he might have said privately to Airbnb. I asked Airbnb for information, proofs that the guest might have presented, but they do not provide of any info about that. They are very hermetic. They just close accounts in a very dictatorial way. They believe the guests whatever they might say regardless the info the host might provide. It is really sad. They do not back hosts at all.
I asked Airbnb, If that would have really happened, why he, they (the guests) did not call the police at that moment, or cancel the reservation, or came to me and confront me that day or next day?? Why we shook hands when he checked-out? Why The guest did not mention anything related to this issue on the message he sent me a few days later in which he complained about some less important things?? He decided to include this accusation on his public review because he did not get any refund...
 
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Mar 14, 2018
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#5
I doubt AirBNB is going to help you. Even if the guest is lying, they face little risk in closing your account as they have many other hosts. If the guest is telling the truth and they do nothing, though, they could have a huge reputational disaster.

If you and your guest live in the same country, you might want to consult an attorney. You could have a libel claim against the guest. If the guest knows he is lying, he might agree to retract the review rather than go to court. Then you could go back to AirBNB and ask to be reinstated.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#6
I doubt AirBNB is going to help you. Even if the guest is lying, they face little risk in closing your account as they have many other hosts. If the guest is telling the truth and they do nothing, though, they could have a huge reputational disaster.

If you and your guest live in the same country, you might want to consult an attorney. You could have a libel claim against the guest. If the guest knows he is lying, he might agree to retract the review rather than go to court. Then you could go back to AirBNB and ask to be reinstated.
Agreed. From their perspective, it's clear somebody's not telling the truth. If they believe the renter, and they're wrong, then all they've lost is one rental apartment on the platform among many. If they believe you, and they're wrong, they're risking future headlines of "Guest Stalked/Attacked/Spied on at AirBnB, Even After AirBnB Was Warned About the Host's Behavior."

I'm not doubting the truth of your story at all, just saying that, for AirBnB to take your side, they would need to be VERY sure you're telling the truth.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I would seriously assess the cost benefit before considering a lawsuit — and realize that even if the accusation is retracted Air BnB may not reinstate because of concern and not wanting to be held liable. And Trevor could shift the blame to guest X .....

There are people that try to game the system — and I do not believe that the customer is always right.

I wish I had some advice to give.
 
Apr 13, 2018
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#8
Just to be clear, since it's not entirely clear from your message, and I don't want there to be any confusion: during the time Mr. Wallace and his group rented your apartment, were you in the apartment at all, other than at the time of check-in and check-out?
Yes, I was. I was not renting the entire apt. But we never met during the time they stayed at my place. They were most of the time out, so did I. And I also have a private entrance to my area. They were in one side of the apt I was in the opposite side.
 
Apr 13, 2018
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#9
Agreed. From their perspective, it's clear somebody's not telling the truth. If they believe the renter, and they're wrong, then all they've lost is one rental apartment on the platform among many. If they believe you, and they're wrong, they're risking future headlines of "Guest Stalked/Attacked/Spied on at AirBnB, Even After AirBnB Was Warned About the Host's Behavior."

I'm not doubting the truth of your story at all, just saying that, for AirBnB to take your side, they would need to be VERY sure you're telling the truth.
...............

That is what I said, they do not back hosts at all. They do not care about hosts. It is better and easier and less risky for them to close a host account right away even though the guest is lying, which is the case this time.
 
Apr 13, 2018
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#10
I would seriously assess the cost benefit before considering a lawsuit — and realize that even if the accusation is retracted Air BnB may not reinstate because of concern and not wanting to be held liable. And Trevor could shift the blame to guest X .....

There are people that try to game the system — and I do not believe that the customer is always right.

I wish I had some advice to give.
....

I know. Of course not. The customer is right when is right, but not always. (Nobody is always right).
He is a filmmaker, a public figure that can be found online. He should have thought twice before doing what he did. Somebody can accuse him now of something similar and he might be in real trouble...
 
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Apr 13, 2018
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Agreed. From their perspective, it's clear somebody's not telling the truth. If they believe the renter, and they're wrong, then all they've lost is one rental apartment on the platform among many. If they believe you, and they're wrong, they're risking future headlines of "Guest Stalked/Attacked/Spied on at AirBnB, Even After AirBnB Was Warned About the Host's Behavior."

I'm not doubting the truth of your story at all, just saying that, for AirBnB to take your side, they would need to be VERY sure you're telling the truth.

Well, according to Facebook he lives in the same borough of the city I also live. He is also a member of the explorer club in NYC. I have been trying to contact him on his cellphone, I also sent him some messages explaining the situation and the damage he has caused. Asking to contact Airbnb to clarify the situation, this "misunderstanding". He never got back to me.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
I too wish I had some advice, this is a really sad story and extremely unfair. I agree with my colleagues' take: AirBB doesn't need you as a host, so their action is understandable from a business point of view. They are unwilling to chance even the slightest possibility of scandalous behaviour. You were engaging in "internet commerce" which offers you little support. About the only remedy you might have are the courts, and you have little chance of being reinstated even if you win. This Trevor could just be a monster jerk who likes torturing people for no reason. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
 
Likes: Javier
Apr 13, 2018
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#13
I too wish I had some advice, this is a really sad story and extremely unfair. I agree with my colleagues' take: AirBB doesn't need you as a host, so their action is understandable from a business point of view. They are unwilling to chance even the slightest possibility of scandalous behaviour. You were engaging in "internet commerce" which offers you little support. About the only remedy you might have are the courts, and you have little chance of being reinstated even if you win. This Trevor could just be a monster jerk who likes torturing people for no reason. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
...........

Well, obviously Aibnb is a company with more that 1M Listings worldwide. We all know that getting rid of one host does not make any different for them. They do not even think if a claim coming from a guest against a host, is legit or not. They just close the host account right away and problem solved from their point of view. I asked them for proofs, of course they did not provide with anything. It might be hard to prove something that never happened...
Sad what the people do when they do not get a refund. (Money)
Thank God he just said that I was just watching, I cannot even imagine what would have happened if he would have suggested I did something else...
It is not easy to deal with this type of situations, when you have been accused of something that you did not do.
You open your home to strangers, you allow them to stay around your personal things for days or weeks, while you are not even around, trusting them completely.. And you get this in return.
Thanks. Have a good day.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
I don’t know that there is really much we can offer besides writing to the US contacts. This is a sticky subject and Airbnb already have enough issues on their hande when accusations come up.

I think you need to contact an attorney and file a defamation claim against this traveler- that may be the only way to get your reputation back. Airbnb just isn’t going to take a chance of being linked to a property where there is even the slightest claim of impropriety.

I am going to close this thread.
 
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