I see that a few other people have mentioned this on other threads, but I feel this deserves a thread of its own - and I am making a complaint to Airbnb about it. All of our guests for March and April have cancelled, specifically because they have been informed personally that there has been a Covid 'incident' in the village where our cottage is. I have searched online, and spoken to friends and relatives who live there, and no , there has not been an incident as far as I can tell, and in fact Scotland generally has had low numbers compared to England ( 6 deaths by yesterday compared to about 350 in England?)
If they put out an obviously generic message saying there have been incidents in the UK or Scotland, fine, but they have lied and said there were incidents in Freuchie, a small village, which gives a totally false impression of risk. I suppose this is carelessness, but the effect is malicious. They must change this wording in any future messages, and rectify the damage done, as this message has been directly cited in our cancellation messages from guests. At the very least, it is neglectful of hosts and guests, and I am furious.
I know it is an awful time, and was expecting cancellations, but why make it so much worse?
I contacted them two days ago about this, to get information as I didn't even know it was generic and if we don't know that, how can the guests? They have never replied - tonight I phoned and at first the rep denied any message went out, and then he said it was up to me to tell guests it isn't true - not good enough. I said I want to make a formal complaint and they are supposed to be getting back to me.
I know thing will get worse before they get better, but we could have made a few hundred pounds now while it isn't prevalent. Grrrr! My blood is boiling!
Maybe part of the problem is they think in terms of 'cities', but in a small place with a few hundred folk in the country, it is a very different picture, people could be safe for some weeks.
What can we do to stop them lying and scaring off our guests?
I have posted on several threads about this very issue. Thank you for articulating it- my rural area doesn't even qualify as more than a zip code, but yet I am getting guests canceling because Airbnb is sending them the same scary messages you described, and there are no "incidents" in my general area, much less the zip code.
I find it likewise infuriating that Airbnb has not communicated with or copied these hosts whose guests are canceling. Thank you for posting!
thanks Maria! It is only tonight that I realised it wasn't just us - we are completely left out of the loop. I spent ages searching for it in the news - hope things get better soon, both with CV and Airbnb's diplomacy and communication! xx
Here is VRBO's (an alternate platform) COVID policy - which first encourages guests to seek relief through their credit cards etc and only then offers only a 50% refund...AirBNB needs to stop overriding Host agreements!
VRBO COVID19 Policy
What you can do after booking
What we are doing as part of our COVID-19 emergency policy
What we don’t cover
Please be aware that our Book with Confidence Guarantee is designed to protect you from fraudulent listings and misrepresentation. It does not cover cancellations due to events outside of our control such as disease or government actions.
The same thing happened to me ....cancellations due to 'the incident in my local village'....I googled it..there was none!
We should start a revolution/strike if they extend the complete refund date.
They are a HUGE multinational company, it is amoral that they should make the 'little guy' pay. They are bound to have insurance ,which should cover this !
I don't think that I will survive this year and will probably lose my house that I have been trying so hard to hang on to since being hit by the last recession!
that's a shame, I feel for you - yes we dont have any voice - I am still waiting to hear back from the manager after my phone call last week....if they arraying hotel chains they have money! I think they should have made it 50/50 between us and the guests....