Has rapid growth and an IPO on the horizon shifted this once exemplary short term rental service?
One of Canada’s top Airbnb is operated by Bill Dandie, an enthusiastic host who loves setting the stage for exceptional stays, saw Airbnb change from a strong partner to merely a frustrating big business.
“A recent guest logged a case and Airbnb shut our idyllic Cabin in the Woods down. I was shocked to see Airbnb take the side of the guest who has three reviews and discredit a Superhost with a 4.96 rating with close to 500 reviews”, Mr. Dandie comments.
For a period of one month Airbnb did not inform Mr. Dandie of the proper details and the matter went unresolved.
Mr. Dandie remarks, “Airbnb’s current platform to resolve host and guest matters is faulty. The safety department handles these cases poorly and from my personal experience has created serious trust and respect concerns related to this STR service.”
“On the dawn of an IPO you’d imagine that Airbnb wouldn’t be pushing long term, successful hosts into the arms of competitors such as Vrbo and TripAdvisor”.
As the foundation to Airbnb’s success is a solid community of hosts, guests play an equally vital role in driving Airbnb’s value to the estimated 30 billion mark.
In addition to mismanaging community relations being the top Airbnb host complaint guests will need to be seriously concerned with their privacy.
Outlined in a previous article Bill Dandie explains how he resolved this matter after a month of attempting to communicate with the Safety Department at Airbnb.
Mr. Dandie comments “A weakness at Airbnb ended up helping me solve the case that suspended business for a month. I called for two weeks straight and customer service, on two occasions, disclosed the guest name. I was shocked, but used this breach of privy to solve my case and move on”.
The guest mistook an electronic mouse deterrent device for a hidden camera and based on Airbnb’s inability to communicate this to Mr. Dandie he is no longer an Airbnb supporter but a STR [short term rental] proponent.
In closing Mr. Dandie remarks, “Airbnb was one of the last great organizations that I respected based on our remarkable 5 year working relationship. I feel something has seriously changed and as their stock goes public on December 7th, 2020, take heed to this infamous date in history when choosing to invest your money.”
As December 7th looms, one long term Airbnb Superhost is questioning the value of the short term rental (STR) service along with its 30 billion dollar valuation.
Bill Dandie has been opening his home and hosting guests since 2016. With over 800 reviews and a passion for hosting he has become skeptical with Airbnb and questions their commitment to customers.
Bill comments “I recently worked closely with Airbnb to resolve a safety issue and feel the organization showed their true ability. As the standard customer service is exceptional, when dealing with the Safety department at Airbnb you are treated differently”
Mr. Dandie’s main Airbnb listing was removed when a customer filed a case. Based on the guest’s appeal to Airbnb and no interaction with Mr. Dandie nearly a month of no communication, guest frustration and business interruption ensued.
“In my four years of hosting I never experienced this before. Airbnb cancelled a guest reservation just after they checked in. Adding to the frustration they told the guest to vacate the premises immediately”.
After a series of cancellations Mr. Dandie called Airbnb. Customer service mentioned that their department wasn’t responsible for the matter and stated the Safety department would help.
For 15 straight days Mr. Dandie called hoping for clarity and to understand Airbnb’s current actions but unfortunately each call went unanswered.
Mr Dandie remarks, “After a significant investment of time trying to resolve this issue, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Out of the 15 customer service calls two agents disclosed the origin of the case. So with the guest details I decided to communicate with them directly”.
After Mr. Dandie and the guest talked it was clear that the accusation was false and was merely a mistake on the guests behalf.
The guest had contacted Airbnb weeks before and alleged that there was a hidden camera in the cabin.
Throughout the course of this case, Airbnb did not share any details with Mr. Dandie so he was unable to provide any input to the claim.
“After speaking with the guest I discovered that she thought an electronic mice deterrent device was a hidden camera. She apologized to me and later communicated with Airbnb who reinstated the listing.”
Mr Dandie lost confidence in Airbnb over an issue that could have been resolved in hours but lasted close to one month.
“As bad as the situation was for me, the safety agent made matters worse. In an Airbnb email, after it was clearly indicated the device was not a hidden camera yet an electronic pest device, the agent statesIf we receive another report about recording devices in your listing(s), we may remove you from the Airbnb community.”
Mr. Dandie continues to enjoy the STR industry and has added his top listings to other providers such as Vrbo and TripAdvisor.
In closing Mr. Dandie shared, “Based on my recent experience with Airbnb I’d avoid investing in their IPO. If mishandled customer issues continue and result in host alienation the foundation of their business will be in jeopardy.”
Because of the proximity to Toronto and it’s remote feel, the cabin has seen hundreds of couples escape the city.
In November 2020 and after five years of hosting, the listing was shut down by Airbnb. A brief email stated there was an undisclosed camera and a representative from the Safety department would call at a designated time.
The agent never called and what ensued was Bill Dandie’s worst customer service experience ever.
He called for 15 straight days looking for clarification. Because he operated in the same fashion over many years he was perplexed by the undisclosed camera claim.
Mr. Dandie called Customer Service every morning and they stated that it wasn’t their department but a Safety issue.
For 15 days straight Mr. Dandie would leave a message never receiving a call to clarify the matter.
Over the course of 15 days, on two occasions Customer Service disclosed the name of the guest and the date of stay.
On the first occasion of hearing this privacy breach, Mr. Dandie thought it was odd and didn’t take action. Due to frustration and wanting to resolve the matter on the second instance of Airbnb breaching customer trust and privacy he decided to contact the guest directly for clarity.
The guest confirmed what they thought was a hidden camera in fact was an electronic device to deter mice.
Throughout this time Airbnb wrongly accused a long term, loyal host at the same time as sharing private customer information.Mr Dandie comments on his recent experience, “working with Airbnb for over 5 years I developed a strong trust and respect for this STR company.
At the point I truly needed support regrettably I only received unanswered questions, false accusations and a breach of customer privacy.
After this experience I lost confidence, respect and no longer endorse Airbnb.”
Mr. Dandie’s opinion of Airbnb has greatly changed and he’s now looking at more trustworthy STR services such as Vrbo and TripAdvisor.
Onthe9 operates a series of unique properties throughout Ontario.
One is a 15 aces, 150 year old Victorian House with an iconic cabin, another an off the grid home in Adjala-Tosorontio and a 186 acres nature preserve in Nippising.