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Hi everyone, 

 

We value the feedback about the rebooking and refund policy that we’ve heard from Hosts in workshops, here in the Community Center, and across Host Clubs. 

 

From your feedback, we understand that many Hosts aren’t familiar with the policy, and our update raised more questions than answers. We also know that you need more details about how this policy works. 

 

As a result of your comments, we are doing the following: 

 

  1. We’re removing the language about Hosts being responsible for rebooking costs from the policy. 
  2. We’ve also answered some of your most frequently asked questions about the policy that we’ve heard over the past week. 

 

You can read more about these changes here.

 

We hope this will help give you peace of mind, so you can focus on what you do best—providing amazing hospitality to guests from all over the world. 

 

Thank you for being a Host. We want you to know that we listen to your feedback. Please continue to tell us what you think so we can make sure we’re helping you meet your hosting needs. 

 

Best wishes,
Catherine 

125 Replies

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
Anchorage, AK
Level 8

We've decided to do a time-stamped video before checkin and at checkout.  The concern I would have is a video, while showing the unit was clean, appliances working (if Airbnb takes the light coming on in the video, etc..)...How do we guarantee Airbnb will look at it?

 

The concern is AIRBNB CS will immediately refund money or some other action without contacting the Host, giving that Host time to respond.

 

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Catherine-Powell  thank you for your detailed explanation of the FAQ.

 

It sounds fair. On the paper.

But, we have heard about CS rep calling the host in the middle of the night and if the host doesn't answer the call, CS issues the refund immediately. The host wakes up in the morning and finds out the reservation is canceled and a refund is given while he was asleep. Airbnb CS reps should not only call the host but also try to reach him through the message or email and give him a chance to respond within at least 10 hours.

 

I just hope every CS rep will be educated about this VERY IMPORTANT new policy because we all know how often they tend to misinterpret Airbnb policies.

 

To stay on the safe side, all hosts should immediately bookmark this link https://www.airbnb.com/resources/hosting-homes/a/details-about-the-guest-rebooking-and-refund-policy... provided by @Catherine-Powell so they can present it to CS rep if needed.

 

 

AND ONE MORE, VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE

Why there are so many superhosts (!) with perfect ratings, lately often being suspended without any questions asked and without giving any explanation or timeframe of suspension?

Are you aware that every new guest, without previous reviews, and without ID verification can falsy accuse his host of basically anything, without any proof, and cause the host's suspension and cancelation of all future bookings?

It happens on the daily basis, @Catherine-Powell  just browse this CC.

 

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

Level 9

@Branka-and-Silvia0 And while it's a brilliant idea to bookmark, all the CS rep will have to do is to point to the last line that states: "Information contained in this article may have changed since publication."  Typical Aibnb, there is always a way out...

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

Auch @Property2  I overlooked that 😕

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

Administrator in
Malibu, CA
Administrator

Hi @Branka-and-Silvia0 ,

 

Thank you for your message. 

 

I also want to thank you for your constructive feedback and continued engagement here in the Community Center. 

 

Your feedback here about Community Support (CS) and our new policy is well taken. With all changes we ensure our Community Support Ambassadors are informed and trained on the changes. We also run programs to ensure we are continuously improving the quality of your interactions. Please note we have invested additional resources in people and training to ensure understanding and fair enforcement of the policy.

 

With regards to your other comment on suspensions. We take Host suspensions very seriously and have a robust process for when and why that occurs. We capture all of the escalations in the Community Centre around suspension and endeavor to investigate each one. I am personally very involved in this as I understand how distressing a suspension can be.

 

Thank you for raising this
Catherine 

 

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Catherine-Powell 

 

I am glad to hear that you are running programmes to ensure you are continuously improving the quality of our interactions with CS, but I have to say my interactions with CS have been, in general, deteriorating rather than improving over the past couple of years. Here's just one example:

 

Conversation with Airbnb Support
 
Hide details
Skip to Last Message (Ctrl-e)Skip to Typing Your Message (Ctrl-m)
 
 


Huma0_0-1649555461351.jpeg

 

Airbnb Support19:40
Hi Huma,

Thank you for escalating your concern.
This is Nadeem, the Support Ambassador from the Escalations team.

I am just going through your case, and I sincerely apologize for this experience and inconvenience throughout the resolution process.

I would like to let you know that your case has been escalated to the right department and I will make sure to assist you with the best of my abilities.

Requesting you if you can give some more details to us regarding your concern so that I can investigate your concern and get back to you with a resolution.

Appreciate your understanding !
Huma0_1-1649555461288.jpeg

 

Huma20:20
Hi Nadeem, thank you for your message. Can I just double check, are you referring to my query RE the Superhost bonus or something else. As I haven't heard from Airbnb support in a few weeks, I'm not 100% sure. Many thanks, Huma
Huma0_2-1649555461351.jpeg

 

Airbnb Support20:54
We usually work to reply all inquiries within a day, however, the recent influx of inquiries pose a little challenge to us due to COVID-19. Please be assured that we are working very hard to help everyone now, and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
I sincerely apologize for the delayed responses from Airbnb, and really appreciate your patience !
You can share your issues with me, I will be more than happy to answer them and resolved them for you.
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Airbnb Support03:56
Just a friendly reminder, I’ll be on leaves for next 4 days.

I’ll get back to you once I join office, please be assured of it.

For an immediate assistance, you can always call our 24-hour international support number at +1-415-800-5959 (or +1-855-424-7262) and one of our specialists will be just as happy to take care of you.

Wish you a great week ahead and thank you so much for your understanding and cooperation with this.

Best Regards,
Huma0_4-1649555461290.jpeg

 

Huma16:17
Hi Nadeem, thanks for the update, but I am still not sure which issue you are contacting me about. I have had to make several contacts to CS over the past months but your message is not part of those other threads. Could you please clarify if it is about the Superhost bonus or about a booking or something else? If you can let me know, I can certainly provide you with more information.

Many thanks,

Huma
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Airbnb Support07:36
Hi Huma,

I would request you to share all your queries, as I am not contacting you for any specific issue.

You can share the information related to the any issue you are facing.

Response Awaited !
 
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Huma11:29
Hi Nadeem, sorry I am confused because your original message said you were contacting me about a case that I escalated? Do you know when this case was escalated? That would help me to identify what it was and let you know if it has been resolved or not. Many thanks, Huma
Huma0_7-1649555461350.jpeg

 

Airbnb Support20:11
Well, I see that you were not happy with a resolution that was provided to you.

To be honest and transparent with you, as a Support Ambassador I would really like to help you with any query you would like to discuss.

Please feel free to share your thoughts for any issue that you facing.

Response Awaited !
 
Huma0_8-1649555461351.jpeg

 

Airbnb Support22:39
This is the follow-up response to the last message to know that you have received our response to your query.
 
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Huma01:44
Thank you for reaching out to me but I am still at a loss as to which case you contacted me about. I understand that you have said you are interested in hearing about any issues I may have, but you initially said you contacted me about a case I escalated and it is not clear what that case is. I cannot provide further information unless you clarify. Please answer my question as to which case you are referring to. I asked already if it was related to my last query to CS, which was to do with my Superhost bonuses not appearing on the system, but got no answer to that. I would be most grateful if you could clarify the reason I have been contacted and which case it was related to. Many thanks, Huma
 
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Airbnb Support10:22
There is no specific case Huma, I am right here to assist you with any concerns you are facing.

Requesting you to please elaborate the issue related to the Superhost Bonus so that I can assist you further.

Also, I apologize for the previous experience you had with our customer service team, I will be more than happy to assist you.

Response Awaited !
 
Huma0_11-1649555461350.jpeg

 

Airbnb Support05:02
I just wanted to follow up and make sure you received my reply to your inquiry.

I hope all is well!

We haven't heard anything back from you.

Please let us know whether we can still be of help, I will be more than happy to assist you.
 
Huma0_12-1649555461350.jpeg

 

Airbnb Support06:13
For now, I will be putting a closure on this message thread on no response from your end.

Please feel free to let us know if there is anything else we can look into for you.

Rest assured, you can always reach out to us anytime for any queries, we are here for you whenever you need us at www.airbnb.com/help

Thank you once again for making Airbnb your platform of choice. We are truly glad to have you around this community!
 
 

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Catherine-Powell 

 

Eventually I just gave up and stopped responding because what else was I supposed to do? How much time should I have wasted on this nonsense? Meanwhile, other host with really serious issues and often in very urgent, time sensitive, potentially even dangerous situations,  are getting no responses/contact whatsoever...

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
Hawaii, United States
Level 10

oh dear me....

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Hi @Huma0 ,

 

How frustrating, so sorry to see you dealing with that! 😱 We are, as always, collecting all of this feedback on CS, and all other Airbnb services, and sharing directly with that team. 

 

Thanks,

Steph


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Click start a conversation to ask the Airbnb Community! 

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
Anchorage, AK
Level 8

If you'd like more examples of this type of non-customer service support, let me know. I'll screenshot a few for you.

 

 

 

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

PS, re the conversation I posted above, note the UK time when the rep followed up - 5am. I am not awake at that time. He then closed the case just over an hour later.

 

I said I gave up and stopped responding, but actually that's not true. I forgot that I did respond and got the rep to deal with the issue about not being able to use my Superhost bonus.

 

However, I never found out what he was contacting me about in the first place, and I doubt that it was the bonus thing as that's unlikely to be something that I escalated and made a fuss about. More likely it was a more serious issues but from a long, long time back. I don't know why he was so cloak and dagger about it. Baffling.

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

Level 2

Most of my stays are 2 or 3 night stays. I can tell you right now that the first unsubstantiated claim against the stay and money is refunded will be the last for me as I will move hosting to another platform besides AIRBNB. I am not here to give out free vacations.

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

in
Fountain Valley, CA
Level 3

Removing the language of relocation is not enough to release and calm the uncertainty from the host side. Guests must report the issues and/or concern to host AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Not 72 hours. What take guests so long to report it so hosts have time to fix the issue, and/or arrange repairs, solutions in timely manner. It’s so unreasonable to apply this 72hr time frame report by guests to both short-stay (1-3 nights booking) and long-stays, in which it causes more unforeseen damage to  hosts from fraudulent reports and/or scams for a free stay. It makes more sense if guests report immediately as issues occur. Guests, at this point, have a choice of continuing stay and wait for the issues being resolved, or ask for refund of the remaining nights booking, NOT the days/nights that already past by.

 

The 72 hr report changes raise as much as concerns, uncertainty and/or anxiety to hosts compared to the language of relocation booking for guests @Catherine-Powell 

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

Level 9

@Catherine-Powell Thank you for trying to explain these totally unnecessary and irrational policy changes to the outraged host community. While your efforts are much appreciated, the details are still not clear.

 

First and foremost, what “travel issue” that severely impacts the guests’ stay and warrants a full or partial refund would require 72 hours to notice and report it? In your post, you make a reference to a pool. Are you trying to say that it would take up to 72 hours for someone to notice that the pool is missing??? If the travel issue is so serious that the guests can’t stay and need to be re-homed, does it really require 72 hours to notice and report or Airbnb is inviting scammers to take advantage of the hosts?

 

You stated: “We investigated other possible time periods and concluded that giving guests 72 hours after they discovered an issue to report it to Airbnb actually resolved most of the guests’ concerns, because it gave Hosts more time to address the issue.” I personally would be very curious to know how this investigation was done and why nobody bothered to ask the hosts for our feedback while this “investigation” was being conducted. Could it be that Airbnb knew what to expect from the hosts' feedback and chose to inform us after the fact?

 

You stated: “We have a process in place to assess and investigate all guest claims to help protect Hosts from false or exaggerated reports. This process includes requiring valid proof, such as photos of the conditions or confirmation of an issue from the Host. If we identify guest misrepresentations, we take appropriate action to hold guests accountable.” Are you saying that if the Host denies the existence of the issue, that particular issue will be closed? Or this is just something that looks good on paper? There are examples all over the CC where the CS reps simply issue a refund without ever talking to the hosts. One of my guests stuck 6 gallons of warm water into the fridge, claimed the fridge was not working, demanded refund or threatened to write a bad review. How do you hold guests accountable as you bravely suggested? If they choose to leave the premises due the “non-working” fridge by actually causing that fridge to choke and they report it 72 hours later, they are entitled to a full refund according to the new refund policy.

 

You stated: “We have highly skilled, specialized Community Support team members who are experts on this policy.”  With all due respect, you DO NOT. Your CS reps are the most under-trained and the least knowledgeable. You are really lucky if you have never had a “pleasure” of dealing with one of them. They often don’t understand what is going on due to their language or cognitive abilities, they transfer the case to their “colleagues” and 3 days later your bot simply closes the ticket. One time, I received an initial response to my concern 14 days(!) after the ticket was opened asking me if I still needed help, with the guest having checked out 12 days before the response had been received. If these are your highly skilled stuff, it’s frightening to even imagine what less highly skilled “ambassador” would look like.

 

You stated: “Some Hosts collect a time-stamped video prior to every check-in to ensure they have a record of the conditions of their space immediately before guests arrive.” Could you please educate the host community on how to take a video of a working appliance (that a guest may claim as non-working) or a fast internet (that a guest claims is slow). Do you actually expect us to run a dishwasher and take a video of it? Please help us understand your thinking so we can be protected from fraudulent claims when 72 hours after the guest’s departure they have a vivid recollection of a mosquito flying in through the wide open door and ruining their sleep, so they can request a partial refund.

 

This policy change is anti-host, helps the scammers, and, based on the CC comments, will significantly reduce the number of available properties due to the hosts leaving Airbnb. Please, do not cut the feeding hand…

Re: Our guest rebooking and refund policy explained

Administrator in
Malibu, CA
Administrator

Hi @Property2 (sorry not to have a name to address)

 

Thank you for your feedback. In the example of the pool, if a guest chooses to stay in the space, they would only be eligible for a partial refund for nights impacted by the amenity - so in other words the guest could not get a free stay if they choose to stay and choose not to report the issue for 72 hours. 

 

I wanted to share more on your note on the investigation; we did look at a number of options, and found 72 hours to be the optimal time period. We had heard from guests for years that 24 hours sometimes wasn’t enough time to reach out for help and get their issues resolved - and because of this, guests were opting for an immediate refund, versus giving Hosts the opportunity to fix an issue. We also heard from Hosts that in some cases they needed more time to resolve the issue. By extending the timeline, it should address the majority of valid guest claims for more serious issues, and also give more time for Hosts and Guests to resolve issues on their own without involving Airbnb.  

 

We do take any false claims made by a guest very seriously. We have a process in place to assess and investigate all guest claims to help protect Hosts from false or exaggerated reports. This process includes requiring valid proof, such as photos of the conditions or confirmation of an issue from the Host. If we identify guest misrepresentations, we take appropriate action to hold guests accountable. 

 

As part of this process you will always have the right to appeal a decision of a refund, Hosts who want to appeal an outcome can contact Community Support with appropriate evidence.

 

I appreciate your feedback on the ways to collect evidence. The video was an example that could work in some situations. For other situations like slow internet, Hosts often use a wifi speed tool test. Each situation is unique, but we work with the Host to find the best solution. 

 

Thank you for all your feedback  - we will be sharing it with the team. 

 

Warmly, 

Catherine 

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