When I first heard that AirBnB is refunding the guest 100% I was seriously impressed. I thought wow, AirBnB must have some sort of insurance, some sort of stashed away super fund to cover this and I was impressed.
Then however, I learned that this is not the case at all. I learned that AirBnB was actually refunding OUR money without even asking.
So how on earth can AirBnB refund money that isn't even theirs to refund? I understand that its a hardship for a traveller, not being refunded (100%). But for us hosts its for than a hardship, its a severe financial problem, at least for people who rely on their income from airbnb.
Here is some math: if there is a group of 10 friends, who booked a place for a weekend for 1.000 EUR and they have to cancel their plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they are not refunded at all. Their maximum financial damage per person is 100 EUR, which is annoying but not a real hardship.
The host on the other hand looses 1.000 EUR and yes, this is a hardship and can be very threatening if this continues for much longer.
I just hope that AirBnB realizes that siding with the travelers does not solve the problem, it creates a very severe problem for a lot of hosts and in the long run undermines the very foundation AirBnB is built on.
Why did you think that? Airbnb made it very clear it was offering cancellations under the EC policy you signed up to when you joined as a host for both hosts and guests. It is not your money until YOU provide the service. It is the guests.
As you know many countries (apart from the US it seems) have heeded advice from healthcare experts and have put their countries in lock down to help halt the spread of the virus. All best practice is that people should not travel and should stay at home and isolate unless going out for essentials or exercise - unless they are a key worker. That means guests can't in most cases and definitely shouldn't, travel to your destination.
This means hosts can no longer provide a service. Why would you expect to be paid for a service you can't provide?
Why in a country with one of the fastest growing rates of infections of the virus would you want to continue to host?
All those running a small business are in the same boat. Look to your government for assistance and if you need to approach your mortgage company for a mortgage break.
@Helen3 "As you know many countries (apart from the US it seems) have heeded advice from healthcare experts and have put their countries in lock down to help halt the spread of the virus."
First of all, let me make clear I am no apologist for the current Federal administration. They could have done a lot of things so much better.
But realize the US is a very big country. It is not managed by one government. Each State has its own government, alongside the Federal government, which is an assembly of State representatives.
Many State governments actually have stay-at-home orders in place, in the whole state or worst-affected areas. Mainly areas which are largely urban. On the advice of the scientists. Areas which are largely rural are not, at the moment, demonstrating a large number of cases, for the simple reason that people live pretty far apart anyway. We do expect that the big cities in the rural areas will start to see a rapid increase in number of cases, and since many rural hospitals have closed, I expect they will soon be facing resource shortages just like the larger urban areas.
Our State government has been awesome, as have other State governments. They have been honest, some would say brutally honest, listened to the scientists, and have been well prepared. They even ran a simulation of this very scenario in September of last year, identified some issues, which they have remedied. The Federal government also sent participants to this exercise. We've all seen how prepared they are.
Really pleased to know that @Michelle53
The problem is when there is an inconsistent approach between states, and central government messages that don't back up a good practice approach, people will be confused and it gives license to those who continue to go to the beach, party, gather in groups and travel that this is okay to do this. Then the virus will continue to spread more quickly than it needs to putting frontline health and care services at risk that they will not be able to cope.
Wishing all the best for you and yours during these difficult times.
@Helen3 Thank you, and to you and yours,
Realise there will never be a consistant approach for the country as a whole.
Politically speaking, and in very broad and general terms, Republicans have a philosophy of a smaller Federal government and a stronger role for State government. Democrats have a philosophy of a Federal government able to play a greater role in supporting national programs, while still supporting a strong State government.
We currently have a Republican administration. That means they will never introduce strong national policy on this, as a philosophy, other than to release "guidelines" that States can follow. Or not. In fact, they are talking about "getting the country back open" in a "targeted way" relying on people to "be responsible" via counties which are "high risk, moderate risk and low risk". I leave it to the imagination to understand how that is likely to work, when people aren't responsible enough to avoid going to the beach in droves.
Whatever one's personal political beliefs, the reality on the ground is that, in the current circumstances, it will fall on State legislators to get the job done. Or not.
@Helen3 " It is not your money until YOU provide the service"
This statement is false. If you have a specific cancellation policy, the money is yours even if you don't provide a service. You could argue that a host willingly blocks dates to insure others cannot book them with the promise the host will get paid! In that sense, they are providing a service. The EC policy mentions nothing about compensation or the lack of.
Seems to me hosts think guests monies saved for trips is a loss they can afford, yet many people now also have lost their incomes and should they also lose their deposits in trips that are clearly not going to happen.
i have really enjoyed Airbnb but most likely will not use again as cannot protect the guests. Many hosts make lot of extra money owning properties. This situation is out of normal control; people should get their money back and not some weak voucher ; which will not accept as Airbnb May go under.
So hosts retain the money and guest lose it: beyond madness!!!!!!!!!
MY HOST WONT HELP; Shame on them
have you ever thought about the fact, that most host are simple human beings as well and not some multi-national mega firm?
A lot of us are facing severe financial loss, more than a lot of us can cope with.
Talking about me: I lose about 2.000 EUR every month if I would refund every guest 100%. Plus: in my "real" business life I am a professional photographer, facing 99% cancellations of all jobs.
I am not saying that I have the perfect solution, but narrowing it down to "good guest vs. bad host" is too simple.
@Jane2800 It is wrong for hosts to assume that guests' booking payments are just "play money" they can afford to lose, and it is equally wrong for guests to assume that hosts all make tons of profit off their listings and can afford to refund 100%. Many hosts live as hand-to-mouth as many guests do and won't be able to pay the mortgage on their primary residence, which is the only place they host- they don't own multiple homes, or even one other home they list on Airbnb.
None of us should make assumptions about other people's financial circumstances. The average person, no matter what their job may be, is suffering financially right now.
you know very well that its not a question of whether or not I want to or I can continue to host! It is a question of shared burden if you will.
Hundred people each dealing with a loss of 100 EUR isn't a problem. One person dealing with a loss of 10.000 EUR is a major problem.
So if this continues for the next several months, then AirBnB will loose a lot of hosts because the hosts simply loose too much money and cannot afford paying their rent anymore and hence go out of business.
I am an AirBnB user as well, booking most of my vacation homes through AirBnB. For my summer vacation in Sweden and Denmark I booked three houses, each for a week. One of them offers a free cancellation until mid June, the two others 50%.
So my worst case scenario is that I will be stuck with approximately 1.500 EUR. This sucks but it will not put me out of business. On the other hand: if the three hosts would be forced into a 100% refund over lets say a four months period, most likely NONE of them will keep their places and would hence disappear from the AirBnB community.
You are missing the point
a) You signed up to a policy that gives 100% back under Airbnb EC policy and now want to change the goal posts to suit you
b)Why should a guest cover your business operating costs for a service they can't access. It is your business, your business model and hosts should have enough liquidity in the business from all the profits they have had in the good times to keep them going over a few months.
If Airbnb survives it won't have a problem finding hosts who want to host with them even if some hosts currently using them disappear.
"If Airbnb survives it won't have a problem finding hosts who want to host with them even if some hosts currently using them disappear"
Firstly, even forgetting the inconvenient little truth that the company's valuation was already being slashed long before anyone had ever heard of coronavirus, there's less and less chance of Airbnb surviving with each passing day, as more and more information about the company's dodgy dealings and nefarious practices comes to light and makes its way into the public arena. And even in the event of a miracle happening and they do survive, the new slimmed-down and streamlined Airbnb will have no place for homesharers or small independent hosts on their platform. Make no mistake, we're not part of Airbnb's post-COVID-19 "roadmap".
And either way, it's hard to imagine there'd be too many new hosts on the planet who would dare to entrust their businesses - large or small - to the whims of Airbnb's moveable-feast policies anymore. The damning worldwide publicity they're receiving (with much more to follow in the coming weeks/months) for this debacle, has well and truly put paid to that.
Exactly... a huge worldwide publicity campaign, that's exactly what it is!
That first my initial thought when I read it on the news and I thought hey, how cool! They have an insurance to cover our loss... bravo. Only days later I understood what was really happening...
Its not about missing the point.
I think the ongoing discussion about the refunds reflect quite well the diversity of hosts in our community. There are host who rent out a room more or less as a hobby, as a means to meet fellow travelers and have a nice chat over a glass of wine sometimes. And that's fine.
But there are also hosts, who depend on the money they make through hosting for a lot of different reasons.
So now go figure which group is having a severe problem with AirBnBs 100% refund policy?
E.g.: I need to make 2000 EUR per month to cover part of my rental cost. More than that is cool, less is not. None is a disaster if it should go on for several months or even the whole year.
Needless to say that both groups of hosts are valid and important but I guess if we as a community want to survive we need to acknowledge the different needs and problems and figure out a way to deal with them.