I'm new to Airbnb, and in fact new to hosting.
We opened our cottage up on the first of this month. Thanks to Airbnb we've had some fantastic guests so far.
However, I've had to cancel one booking already, and tonight have requested someone that has booked, to withdraw their booking.
We can only accomodate three people - both of these bookings (so they informed me) were for four people - even though they only officially booked two.
The first set of people also told me that they have a wee dog that only comes inside if there is a storm (at least I believe that was what they inferred), yet we clearly state in No Pets.
Both parties informed me that they had small children - you guessed it, we also clearly state No Children.
Our property has a creek running through it - as it's midwinter here it's in full flow - NOT a safe place for a child. We also have an uncapped well on the property - another safety concern for us. Sure it's contained, but children like to explore!
Also, our cottage is raised - a pole home - and although it has verandahs with railings and balustrades on the staircases, I have no child proofing on those stairs or verandahs.
I don't want a child to be injured or worse on my property - yet people with children keep trying to book.
Without offending anyone, how do I stop these people from applying?
The first one that booked, I replied to their message, stating that we coud not accept children or pets on the property (I won't bore you with the details, but I was kind but assertive) as stipulated on the advertisement - and then I cancelled their booking. This affected our 'accuracy' rating. Probably because on the surface their booking was for two people, when in reality it was actually for four.
I'm stressing about this, because I don't like turning people away. I don't want to have to continually do this.
I believed, that because we stipulated no pet, no children, three people only, on our booking sheet, that I wouldn't have to go through this.
Please, any sensible suggestions will be listened too. Can anyone please advise me?
That's hilarious! Thanks for that.
10 months and they're still trying? For goodness sakes!
Thing is, I have a creek (running) an open well (fenced, but kids y'know?) and stairs, verandahs etc - but I shouldn't have to spell that out to each one that 'tries' it on.
I've turned off Instant booking. This should hopefully stop me having to cancel any future bookings that aren't a great fit.
I love pitties; they're such big love bugs. *sigh* Although I'd love to use your suggestion, I just can't though. Thanks though, I loved your feedback.
Thanks for the tip Cathy. I've just placed this at the bottom of the description, and I've checked, it's clearly seen without having to open it up.
NB: Please read House Rules - as a refusal may offend.
What are your thoughts? Does it read like a stop sign? Am I going to turn even the ones I want off?
Just hosted a guest who showed up and got really pissed that the couch wsan't "big enough for him". He ended up staying one night with his daughters, cancelled the next day by calling in and telling Airbnb that it wasn't advertised correctly. I fought for an entire week to get some sort of compensation for the night.
They refused to uphold my cancellation policy. The case manager even lied in her notes initially and said she spoke on the phone with me. She never even called me. It was originally a cancel by host and I finally got them to change it. It was a battle and a half.
I recommend always having pictures of everything and not relying on captions, notes, or the description in your listing to tell the story. Apparently even though I had a picture of the sofa and the caption read "this is not a pull out and it is the size of a loveseat", that wasn't enough and the guest was allowed to cancel and get a full refund.
Nightmare. Airbnb doesn't have your back in the way they make you think.
I assume from your email that you have Instant Booking turned on? If so, you might be wise to turn it off and have an email exchange with guests covering the points you mention in advance of confirming a booking.
If you are one of the 'lucky' new hosts who cannot turn off IB, then you need to put these items top of your description - including items such as: Not safe for children under x age, Max number of guests allowed x. etc..
Thank you - I've turned off the instant booking facility (thankfully I can).
I've also included a "Please read House Rules prior to booking" message in my description.
Hoping this all works.
Just reading all your comments, I cannot currently turn off Instant Booking, I'm a new host, AirBNB informs me they are currently experimenting, all bookings are instant with fail safes inbuilt into the programme enabling me to cancel bookings if I wish without penalty I think, if done so within 24 hours. I'm not keen on their experiment
Hi Stephen, I'm not too sure about there being no penalties against cancellations.
I cancelled led the first one that tried to bring in two young children plus two adults (I'm three guests only, not four and no children) and my accuracy level dropped within 24 hours by half a star.
Considering both of my first two guests had already given me five stars across the board and it dropped by half a star? I can only guess that the algorithm that Airbnb have in place demoted me because, as far as it was concerned, I cancelled an apparently 'perfect' guest. As the person that placed the instant booking, did so stating only two guests were applying.
In theory the Airbnb algorithm would work fine...if only guests didn't have a simple way to get around it by fudging the system.
I've noticed since I've switched off Instant Booking that I've received no new bookings.
All of this has me very concerned.
@Charles-And-Deborah0 don't worry about no bookings they will come but if you leave IB and cancel people are scared to book with someone who cancels a great deal
i have a single room for one and a woman tried to book with her 15 year old son in the same bed she got really snippity in emails but I firmly said NO
stick to your policy .
...further, because I requested he cancelled I had to wait until he did so before my calendar for that period cleared.
Talk about stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Either cancel it myself and recieve a penalty from Airbnb, or wait for the guest to cancel at their leisure and possibly lose other bookings because my calendar is blocked out by someone loath to cancel their booking?!
Indeed a rock and hard place. Its such a coincidence currently reading and learning about all the things that can happen. Ive just had a lady book she's here now, Airbnb did not accomodate my 1 day between bookings even though its set on the system and the guest did not initially follow through with her booking locking those days out of my diary. I called customer support, they traced her, an Australian currently in London and talked her through the booking process I accepted as was able. I sence that if we call airbnb customer services can clear diaries, maybe! Just this morning a lady in London contacted me (Im in London too) requesting I host her elderly father visitng from Canada, her profile was limited I suspect placed within the hour she contacted me, of course her father did not have a profile. I declined even though I need the cash the father is not verified, I wonder why she doesn't want to host her own Dad. I wonder if declining a request will negatively impact. I recall reading it will.
Anyway, best Rgs
ouch, not good, not good at all.
Still, it's a steep learning curve.
Sad to say my diary still has not received anymore bookings since my last guest cancelled.
I continue to read through all the info on the blogs and in the community, it's all a learning curve.
good luck going forward,
Loving the Airbnb Community❣
I was reading about maximising Airbnb bookings with your experience in mind and thought, if you have not already come across this it might be helpful, I hasten to say I have no link to it whatsoever.
Having had a few quiet days myself I related to your words. a few things I did immediately I blocked a week and then opened it up again instantly, I changed my settings to accep1-night bookings (changed back now) then while my average price is 42per night I set my base price to 25% less c30pn. I had a few days to fill for July and I set, though it broke my heart kkk the price as suggested by airbnb for those 3 days.
Well, in half an hour having done all the above i attracted 2 bookings I filled the 3 days for this month and received a 10 day booking for August.
Sorry, as Im a newby if you already know about this site and these things if not, you might just get a booking. Best Steve