My cancellation policy is strict.
A few days ago a guest cancelled, a couple of days before her reservation was going to start.
Because she was having some family issues, and I wasn't attached to the reservation, I offered to refund her in full. And I did. $160 on top of the $75 she received automatically, to make it a full refund.
I then received an email from Airbnb saying that the $160 will be deducted from my next payout, from my next reservation.
So...Does that mean the 'payout' from THIS reservation will be deducted, the $ I would have received had I not refunded her in full? That makes sense to me, of course.
OR does that mean Airbnb somehow pocketed the $160 and I will have to pay another $160 out of my next reservation payout? Does that even make sense (my question)? I am getting confused.
Should i have waited to refund her after receiving the payout from her cancelled reservation?
Thanks for advice!!
Airbnb will deduct from your upcoming earnings the amount you would have been paid for the canceled reservation. They will "pay" you 24-48 hours after the scheduled check-in date of the canceled reservation. Unfortunately, this is a ploy to make you pay for a guests cancellation, and allows them to hold on to money for a longer period of time. This is especially significant if the canceled reservation is a longer term booking scheduled several months in the future. For example, the guest could have had a reservation that would have paid you $1,600, with a scheduled arrival for December 19. Airbnb would make deductions of your upcoming stays until the $1,600 is met, and the earliest you will get re-paid is December 20.
It actually depends on how the refund is processed. For me I usually encourage the guest to cancel the reservation and then I process the refund using the "Send or Request money" link, which has the option of "Full refund". In that way the total of the actual reservation will show zero then there wouldn't be any of those issues like deducting the refund from your payout of other reservations. The only problem is that by doing this the guest is losing the service fee.
I have experienced other methods like some Airbnb representative processed the refund directly. It shows as a resolution payment that's deducted from my next payout, and then I will be paid back 24 hours after the supposed guest's check in date. In this case the cancelled reservation will still show the original contracted amount.
Given the cancellation is so close to check in, I agree the guest should take the initiative for the cancellation, go through Air BNB, and you refund the difference after that using send money option. These days with all the system issues and difficulty with customer service, don't count on it all to be sorted out correctly. There is a danger of you refunding money you never get and the guest getting paid twice. Also, you are not responsible for the Air BNB guest fees.