My feed back to Airbnb today after a June guest canceled:
I had a cancellation today for a reservation starting June 17th, 2020, on Maui. My website that I can see said no to extenuating circumstances because it was after May 31st! I called up only to find out you have once again changed the rules! That sucks, just so you know. I am a super host, I would think you could have mentioned it. Supposedly you sent out a notice, I didn't see any notices.
Now I find out that you are going to let this cancellation and that cancellation go as "extenuating circumstances". I cannot afford to be an insurance company without even getting any premiums! Do you understand? If the guest didn't buy insurance, and they have a death in the family, I have to pay for it? Stuff happens. I am one condo. I cannot afford to pay for someone else's choice of not buying insurance for their trip. That is on the guest.
I have made a lot of money with my Airbnb site. But to be truthful, when I say "no refunds" I mean it. The guests know if they even try to read it. I don't hide this! VRBO still sends me my income when a guest decides to not come to Maui for whatever reason they say. Yet you are going to override my no cancellations policy and give my profit back. People book a long time in advance for a trip to Maui. It is not the same as "Oh, let's take a ride to the next state tomorrow" type of vacation. So when you allow them to cancel, against my wishes, I am NOT O.K. WITH THAT! I cannot rebook that close to the reservation.
I have to rethink my being able to host on Airbnb. If I am rethinking it, you can be sure others are too. You cannot do business with a company that you cannot trust to keep their word. You just randomly make changes.
Then, poor business move on your part, you do not offer insurance on your site! If you offered insurance, and it popped up with every reservation, "do you want to insure this trip?", then no one would have issues with cancelations, guests or hosts.
Please offer insurance and please stop making changes that are detrimental to hosts or you aren't going to have a lot of hosts.
Also, hosts, did you know that Airbnb is going to continue to offer extenuating circumstances for illnesses or whatever else a guest tells them to cancel. So your reservations are never really secure! You can never count on that time being truly reserved if the guest is an Airbnb guest.
Airbnb are liars and scammers. In Europa all countries are closed. .
1.They change terms of cancellation. Was May 28 now May 20?????
2. I add all documents which they demanded but cancellation not available. System not work.
I'm afraid, @Jan288, despite any refund rules you may have included in your listing, they're not with the paper they're written on at times like these. Like it or not, these really are extenuating circumstances, and Airbnb have decided to do what they've done.
Hundreds of hosts, like you, don't believe this was fair, but it's a moot point. It's done.
As an FYI, this isn't a forum to get your point across to Airbnb, so you might want to tweet them. if that was your aim.
PS. For the avoidance of any doubt, Covid-19 isn't going anywhere soon.
With the difference that the circumstances this time are extenuating for everyone, and it makes absolutely no sense that only the business owner that has no other income should bare the totality of consequences while leisure customer should bare none whatsoever. Airbnb is a middle man and their bottom line should be balanced fairness between two sides. From the standpoint of an Airbnb partner that evaluates that partnership - decisions that go against that balance are simply bad decisions.
I am not trying to take the conversation to the 'fairness vs reality' realm, I know that 'customer is king', but I would like to get a sensible explanation why this was impossible to avoid.
Sp please tell me: why not, beyond basic PR impulses, simply provide guests with vouchers - even if those had a 2 year validity period. If a host cant commit - then allow full refund. If hosting circumstances change in that time frame - again apply full refund and the cancellation policy, which is already harmful enough to hosts. We are already bombarded with terrible consequences if we cancel on guests.
Basically, our commitment is a given, while a guest that can afford to travel shouldn't be bothered to have their money locked up in a voucher? Is this fair?
Not to mention the nonsensical randomness of the 25% aid distribution that allowed hosts with the misfortune of having all their reservations in June to be left with absolutely no aid whatsoever. And no one says that Airbnb is obliged to help in this way in the first place, Im simply disputing what seems like extremely incompetent decision making by someone who has absolutely no idea how hospitality business really works.
@Zoran25 I'm not saying this is fair or otherwise, and I too lost plenty of money due to a raft of cancelled reservations in a single day, I'm simply stating what Airbnb chose to do given the circumstances. However, I'd ask you this question; if your airline cancelled on you, do you think you should still pay something as a leisure customer?
Customers want 'no strings' recompense, and that often means a full refund, as airlines are finding to their peril (despite their punt at offering vouchers).
It's undoubtedly a PR disaster for Airbnb (at least from the hosts' perspective), but I suspect it will help them in the long term as there are more would-be guests than hosts who are, more and more, ten-a-penny.
Hi @Gordon0 , sure. If my airline cancelled on me? First of all, that example is misleading since we are not talking about host cancellations. If a host cancels - of course a guest should get a full refund, but what we are discussing here are guest cancellations. Not sure why we should use the airline industry as an example, mobility isnt always leisure - but since you asked for my personal experience: in April, when this all was well ongoing - I actually failed to get any kind of refund with British Airways on a flight that i wanted to re-book. So, I wasnt cancelling, just re-booking - still had to pay since my ticket didnt include the free re-booking option in the first place. So, it was business as usual. Besides, good luck trying to get a re-fund from an airline in any personal extenuating circumstances, if you didnt pay for insurance or a higher fare that includes re-booking option.
And I am not proposing that leisure customers should be deprived of their money simply because they can afford leisure, please dont get me wrong. What Im saying is that having their money tied up in a voucher, ready to use with same conditions that are already agreed after all this is over - seems perfectly fair to me.
Precisely, and well stated, @Gordon0. Airbnb's decision to refund guests will help them in the future, and was PR-driven. Their decision will not help Airbnb hosts (which are, in the end, replaceable). In fact, their decision to refund indiscriminately will destroy some hosts financially.
Anyone hosting with Airbnb needs to understand that they will always protect their own interests, and there are always more (new) hosts to be had. Most new hosts will not understand the history, having not been a victim of these guest-centric policies. The carnage and wreckage will be familiar only to those who experienced it first-hand. One thing I learned hosting with Airbnb: Never rely on it as your main income stream, and do not expect to pay your mortgage via hosting, as your earnings can be taken away from you at any time.
@Jan288: I am deeply saddened by what has happened to you.
well said @Rebecca181 , always appreciated your sage words when I first joined & had challenging guests.
Never rely on it to help pay rent or other bills either.
There's been another Oops 500 message doing the rounds the last 24 hrs across the world.
No one needs that as we are trying to get our lives back on track, do we?
Hi, why don't you find a job. Seriously, or why don't you hook booking or expedia with their 23% commissions for hostsd and leave airbnb asap. Seriously.
The Extenuating Circumstances policy always existed on Airbnb.... even before covid-19. While I agree that cancellations due to illness or death in the family is something that should be covered thru travel insurance rather than burden the host, it's what Airbnb has always provided to guest users. It's not new, and we all agreed to these terms when we signed up as hosts. I don't like is any more than you do...... but it shouldn't be a surprise.
They edited it after Coronovirus broke out, and now apply the edited policy retroactively. Those links are now different than they were 3 months ago. Besides which, it is contract of adhesion, and thus must be fair/consistent with expectation. There is nothing when you select "strict" cancellation policy that directs you to the (ever evolving) ECP.
@Jan288 , I too have a "strict cancel policy", as it is not easy to re-book my property, when a guest cancels. Airbnb, over the years, has modified what was a stricter policy into a very lenient policy; now a guest can cancel 7 days prior to check-in for a 50% refund. If I'm not mistaken, that used to be 30 days prior to check-in. It looks to get worse, as they tell Hosts you need a "flexible policy", in the C-19 world. Then they will collect booking fees and Hosts will get cancellations.
Airbnb did hold up my strict policy for an early June cancellation. They told the guests that CDC travel warnings were not adequate documentation for a "full refund". This allowed them to keep the booking fee, redirect the blame towards the Host, and keep their positive PR propaganda spin. I refunded the guest, and made it very clear that it was Airbnb requesting all the documents, modifying the EC policy every 2 weeks, in control of their money, and in control of a cash or voucher refund.