A guest just changed her booking request to check out today instead of three days later after I pointed out her violation of house rules for bringing in an extra person last night. In this case, I definitely will get a retaliatory review. Should I consider to approve her alteration of booking request and suffer a financial loss as well?
I have strict cancellation policy. I suggested her to cancel her stay instead. I have sent a message to Airbnb support. I would suggest that Airbnb to have rules for allowing an alteration of request. This should not be enabled in all cases. In this case, the guest booked 8 nights and she wanted to change it today and check it out today. Then it leaves me with no time to have today and next two days booked.
What do other hosts think?
I'm sorry that this happened to you, but can I ask, do you send them a message upon requesting to book that confirms their number of guests or anything else? I find that 75% of our requesting guests have had a profile since 20-whatever but have never used the platform, therefore they have an uncompleted profile and just don't know how to use Airbnb. So may I suggest you send them something like this upon requesting......"____name_____ thank you for your request, we look forward to hosting you. You will love our little peaceful retreat. Before I can accept your request, would you mind completing your profile and providing the necessary info so Airbnb can verify you as a guest? Also please make sure you book for the correct number of guests as well. It is something now required and may have changed since the last time you used it. This protects you as a guest and me as a host. We look forward to hosting you and will reply as soon as this is complete. Thank you." This works every time. If they think it will "protect" them (that's all they care about) they are willing to do it. Good luck and again, I'm sorry you are going through this.
@Peter & Pearl Thank you for your input. I have saved your wording for my future use.
In this particular case, I welcomed the guest when she checked in. She did not have any extra guests until two days ago. During check-in, I did briefly told her about house rule. She mentioned that her relatives may come to visit her during daytime, I told her that as long as she told me before they came and did not stay over two hours long it would be fine.
My video doorbell captured the person sneaked in at 8:35pm and left at 7:30am. Then the day before yesterday, the same person came around 8:00 pm again. Then I sent a message to the guest and warned her and requested the extra person to leave before 9pm.
OK, know I see. That is a different story. So let me ask you this. When they requested, or booked, did you inquire as to the purpose of their visit (not in a nosey way, but a "what brings you to our great area? What are some of your interests and I can help you make the most of it" kind of way?
I find that when I ask that of them in that way, they have a tendency to divulge that..."I'm coming to meet a friend who lives in the area, or I'm coming for a wedding or a family reunion"
Right there, that is a different guest than someone just wanting to come and enjoy the area or come with a partner for a proper vacation.
That tells me that someone they know, at some point, will probably be spending the night and I should let them know ahead of time, that "I look forward to hosting them and if you feel at any point you think you may have a guest, there is an extra charge for those nights and they will need to be listed. Protection for all parties".
Also remind them, after they book, that you have door cameras to verify guests, for security reasons.
I consult, Co-host, remodel and launch short term rentals for a living so please don't take offence. I just want to see people succeed in the amazing industry and help prevent some things that others or myself have gone through or had to handle. Good Luck and let us know how it turns out.
@Peter & Pearl Thanks for your good advice!
I always ask guest question about their trip. In her booking request, she mentioned that she came to help her Dad's business. She is from a town two hours away. Therefore, I think that she does know some people around.
I will update the hosts in this thread. My experience could be of help when they face the same situation.
Just accept the alteration request... You pointed it out and she complied and not you don't want to accept her alteration request WHATS WRONG WITH YOU???
@Nina75 Nothing wrong:-).
She did comply after I pointed out the issue with sneaking in extra person the previous night and asked the person leaving by 9 pm on the second night. But she violated the agreement of strict cancellation policy I laid out again by trying to get refund.
I just don't want to be controlled by a guest. It is my business. I got to decide what I should do. It is purely as simple as that.
I have security cameras so I watch the properties constantly If I notice a guest bringing extra people I will send them an alteration request. Simple. You guys are too worried about reviews. You have no control over a persons review.
Most of my bad reviews are from people who I busted bringing in extra people and they retaliated by writing a bad review. Welp, you cant win them all.
@Nina75 You may not care about your business reputation while I do. It is just the way of doing business differently between you and me. Hopefully you understand and respect hosts with different way of running business. Thanks for your feedback from a different perspective.
The perfect purely business solution would be to split the difference.
"I will accept your reservation alteration after you accept the $50 cancellation fee I sent you in the resolution center. Thank you"
That will really piss the guest off!
@Paul154 I agree with you because most businesses try to negotiate with the guest and come up with a solution which is in the middle.
Being Airbnb hosts, we don't have much control like an independent business since we rely on Airbnb's platform. There may be some execution difficulties in getting $50 cancellation fee in the resolution center if a guest delays accepting it. Then the chance of re-booking will be reduced as well.
Stay away from booking.com... Booking.com lets guests cancel anytime for any reason, if the guests don't show up you don't get anything.
@Paul154 ... be aware .. I just had some weeks ago a case, where a guest arrived with an additional person. Finally she agreed to accept the fee to the second person and in the system my changing of alteration of the booking was 'accepted'. One week after check-out I got a mail, that airbnb could have resolved the problems with collecting the additional payment. ... what?? .. There was no information about any issue with this and as normally most of my guests stays only one night, it would be too late when I realize this the next day that the pay out was not adjusted. To summarize: there is no guarantee that a changing offer (I guess this also adopts for resolution issue) is going to be paid, because you don't get an information from airbnb if they have problems to collect the money.