AirBNB why did you terminate my account? — An Open Letter to AirBNB
Kelly Kampen
1K74

I randomly came across your story. I’m terribly sorry to hear about this. I’ve been hosting my properties on AirBnb for many years. I own 10 rental properties and have them all on AirBnb. They’ve been a good source of bookings but I learned early on with renting my properties that it’s a good idea to spread out to all the various options.

There are a lot of places to advertise your property. From TripAdvisor owned, Flipkey.com, VRBO, Homeaway, Homeexchange.com to even having your own rental property website with your property on your own URL. In fact, to this day, I still probably get more bookings with my own URL vs. any of the other options.

It’s gotten more expensive over the years as Homeaway has gobbled up most of their competition. They bought VRBO along with many other vacation rental websites. These websites used to be affordable but now some of them are up to $1,000 a month per property for the Platinum packages. Airbnb has forced them to change their business model and now they are offering options similar to Airbnb (pay per booking) but they don’t work as well.

I don’t think Airbnb is being fair to you not communicating with you at all. If I had to guess (and I don’t know this is the case) but I’d say it looks like your account was hacked. The same thing happened to me a few years ago. Somehow hackers got my Airbnb password and they started making fake listings in another country and I happened to spot it as someone immediately sent in a request and I saw it. The hacker’s apparently were in the process of changing my email address. They changed it and locked me out of my account but not before I happened to get a guest request for one of the properties.

I called in and immediately took back control of my account. Maybe your account was compromised in some way. Maybe AirBnb can see how you have a growing audience reading your posts and they worried that you would post about the situation. It’s the only thing I can think of why they simply wouldn’t want to communicate with you and explain why they shut down your account.

Even today as they stopped communicating with you, you are still posting about it (which I fully agree) but from the outside looking in, it looks like AirBnb views you as a possible threat to them and they simply don’t want to deal with you. Rather than communicate with you and giving you more information, it almost seems like they believe the quicker and faster they stop working with you the better. And want to give you less “ammunition” to post about.

They are probably going to do an IPO in the next year or so and probably want to avoid ANY possible problems. The fact that they aren’t communicating with their managers in your country sound like it gives more evidence of something like that going on. I can’t say for sure but that’s my opinion.

I’m sure you’ve probably already started to explore other options for rental sites. While my percentage of AirBnb bookings increases each year, sites like VRBO and Homeaway still get more bookings vs. AirBnb on my properties.

It’s sad to read about cool start-ups that made it doing “evil” like this once they make it big time. I still remember when AirBnb started and they were really struggling. It’s great to see what they have become but very sad to read about stories like this.

I wish you the best.