"Extenuating Circumstances" - a little known Airbnb rule allowing Airbnb to unilaterally cancel a booking and give a full refund.
Guest canceled 4 days before a trip booked for 11/20 (right before the holiday) because her daughter who lives in the Bay Area wanted to come home that day instead. I have strict refund policy so she should have had no refund.
Guest called Airbnb and said she could not make the trip because the air would be too poor, the following week and demanded a refund.
The guest asked me if she could get a refund first. My policy is if I can re book I give a full refund, otherwise we can discuss some kind of resolution.
Airbnb did not contact me and did not actually notify me. They only said the guest trip was canceled thank you for being a super host.
I had to prod them to ask why does it show that no money is coming to me for this trip, only then did they explain the "extenuating circumstance rule" which trumps any refund policy.
So, without contacting me, or without any evidence that my place would be unusable during the time the guest booked, or apparently without reading the guest's messages where she said her daughter is coming home and that is why she is canceling, bam all funds are canceled. This was 1/4 of my Airbnb income this month and I had already budgeted receiving it.
I already paid the cleaner $100 and I am not going to ask for that back.
I called customer service for super hosts and was advised that I could speak with the person who sent me the message.
I cannot imagine an airline or hotel giving me a total refund because I thought there "may be" be an issue with the air in the future. Indeed, the woman said the guest said she could not get a refund on her airline ticket.
SHAME on Airbnb for this unfair application of this policy. Shame on Airbnb for not contacting the Host before giving the guest a full refund.
Shame on Airbnb for not giving time to review the issue -- perhaps wait to see if what the guest alleged about the air turned out to be true for during her booking.
I have a host referral fee that has been under review for weeks. That seems completely legit ---they scrutinize payments out seems appropriate. But for hosts, give full refund with NO scrutiny , NO notice NO Process of Review........ How is that legit.
Airbnb asks a lot of us and we step up and deliver. It is suppose to be a mutually beneficial partnership. So much for that!
We have an agreement with Airbnb that they can unilaterally sever and cause us harm without any prior notice or input and without any evidence. Sheds a little light on who really has the power in this "mutually beneficial" relationship.
What's going on .... how can hosts trust they won't do this to them... anytime there is anything going on anywhere in the Bay Area, guests can cancel at whim because they "think their trip may be impacted".
We have these tragic fires regularly now does that mean that all of our bookings around the time of a fire are at risk of being canceled without any prior warning or input and given total refunds - this is really a FINE..
How do we trust this won't happen again?
What about other situations -- if it floods in the area, or some other unusual events that could impact a guest's enjoyment of the unit.
Is Airbnb applying this "extenuating circumstance" to all of San Francisco for next week? No, OF COURSE NOT because it is not warranted! All forecasters expect the air to be restored by Tues. In fact, today's air is much better than yesterday and it is still 3 more days to the guest's scheduled arrival.
Did Airbnb cancel your booking in or around SF for a date after 11/20?
Sorry still upset....
P.S. Hosts please show you do not support this Airbnb behavior -- maybe if enough of us complain they will modify their policy -- at least to give the hosts due process...
@Karen126 so sorry this happened to you, but it should not be a surprise. Airbnb's extenuating circumstances policy forces all hosts to provide travel insurance for their guests. We have to build that into our expectations and pricing.
Ok, I did not know that. Even travel insurance requires proof of claim and notice to the insurer.
Part of the problem with this experience was that it was so one-sided with no input from host/insurer.
- notify host for input
- delay any refund until review
- require proof that harm to guest trip really exists
- share burden equally betw guest/host or some other fair balance of burden
OR BETTER YET :
Offer Travel Ins. to Guests. Guests pay a little extra for ins to Airbnb and Airbnb picks up charge (of course, they would expect proof of harm, review and input from host) and it would be a clear, transparent policy.
Pay a little more for ins. that covers all cancelations for any reason...
I bet a lot of guests would like this as it is always scary booking a trip that far off and not having any way to get a refund or credit if there is a change of circumstance.
Any other suggestions?
Hosts do you want this changed?
Let Airbnb KNOW