Guest made a mistake in making the reservation but I, the host, have been punished.

Teri5
Level 2
Avon, CO

Guest made a mistake in making the reservation but I, the host, have been punished.

Here’s a good one. A guest made a reservation for one person. I confirmed with her in writing, on the platform prior to her arrival, that there was only one person coming. While my listing identifies that I live on the property and the reservation is for a room rental only, upon arrival she was surprised to learn that I lived on the property and informed me that her husband would be joining her. I explained that the reservation was not for 2 people and she promptly cancelled her reservation.
 
She never even slept on the property. Somehow the system allowed her to leave a negative review, a review that tarnished what was a perfect 5.0 rating. Upon complaining that this was clearly the guest’s fault, customer support refused to remove the review or rating. I am taking my hosting business to another platform. If this is how they treat superhosts, I don’t want to do business with them.
 
 
 
12 Replies 12
Cuong25
Level 1
null

Just happened to me. One guest booked but ended up 4 peoples stayed in my studio. They also damaged my window blind and left messes and rubbish all over the studio. I submitted a request form on 21/9/22 and still haven't received any replies from Airbnb or the guest. What else can I do? Anyone please. 

Kia272
Level 10
Takoma Park, MD

@Teri5 Your listing says you take up to two guests. Why didn't you simply ask her to modify her reservation from 1 to 2? 

 

Teri5
Level 2
Avon, CO

Because I had confirmed with her, in writing, prior to her arrival, that there was only one person coming. I had personal reasons for not being able to host 2 guests on those dates.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Teri5 

 

Well, this is the thing. If you asked the guest to confirm the guest count and she specifically confirmed it was just her, it does seem a bit suspicious that she only admitted her husband was coming once she realised you would also be on site...

Teri5
Level 2
Avon, CO

She neither confirmed nor denied, she didn't respond to my written request to confirm.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Teri5 

 

Well that is also potentially a bit suspect. Why wouldn't she have responded to the question and then seemed 'surprised' by it when she showed up?

 

Perhaps she was just clueless, not checking her messages, didn't have her notifications turned on or whatever, but in general, I just don't buy it. When it's clearly stated in the listing PLUS the host messages the guest about it, there is no excuse for the guest to act as if the host somehow mislead them. It's BS.

Andrew0
Level 10
Berlin, Germany

@Kia272   Exact same thing happened to me. Guest booked the homestay for 1, never mentioned a second person, but 2 people showed up at the door assuming they had a whole apartment. I did exactly what you suggest - modified the booking and charged for 2 - and within less than an hour I was already regretting it. These were truly horrible, disrespectful guests.

 

When people show up at a shared home thinking they'd booked an Entire Home, they tend to be angry right off the bat, and it goes straight downhill from there. The ones that decide to stick it out and stay have no intention of modifying their behavior out of respect for the shared nature of the living space, so it's just an uncomfortable situation for everyone. It's all for the better that they don't check in.

Kia272
Level 10
Takoma Park, MD

@Andrew0  Of course I understand that, and it makes perfect sense. The OP seemed to emphasize that the additional guest was the issue, hence my question. 

 

"I explained that the reservation was not for 2 people and she promptly cancelled her reservation."

 

I'm thinking that if the guest wanted out based on her inattention to the fact that the listing is owner-occupied, then accommodating the extra person puts the onus on the guest to come up with legitimate reason for cancelling. 

 

Inattention to the listing details certainly isn't legitimate, although customer service doesn't necessarily seem to know that. 

 

Agreed that starting off on the wrong foot will generally make for a disastrous stay, but I was a bit confused by the OP's narrative. The OP also didn't mention a refund, so presumably she got paid? 

Andrew0
Level 10
Berlin, Germany

@Kia272   Ah, ok - I see what you mean. I guess we'll never know what she would have done if her bluff had been called. Still, it's interesting that she consistently maintained the lie that she was staying by herself right up until it sunk in that the home was owner-occupied and sneaking someone in would be impossible. Maybe she was just trying to evade the very small Extra Person Fee, or maybe she had something else to hide. I could be overthinking it, but I wouldn't be comfortable handing those people keys to my house.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Andrew0 

 

I agree. If the guest was just confused and didn't realise that they had to specify/pay for two guests rather than one, that is one thing. If they thought they were going to get the whole place to themselves, that's another. They will resent you being there, even if they realise it was their own mistake.

 

One of the worst experiences I had was with two girls who booked one of my rooms and then seemed astonished that I lived here, even though it's very clearly stated on the listing. The thing is, if they miss something so crucial, what is the likelihood that they have read/understood anything else, especially the house rules?

 

Luckily, back in those days, CS would remove an untruthful, retaliatory review, so at least I had that protection, because it was clear that the guests were the ones at fault, but now hosts are also likely to be stuck with a bad review due to the guest's mistake.

Andrew0
Level 10
Berlin, Germany

@Teri5 actually Airbnb was forced by regulators in several countries to allow reviews from all guests who cancel on or after the check-in date. It's intended more for the cases where the guest arrives and the home isn't in livable condition, or they can't get in, or it doesn't exist at all, but it also means situations like yours happen that feel unfair.

 

Presumably the other global platforms are subject to the same regulations, but every review system is a bit different. No law anywhere requires star or number ratings to be used in customer reviews, but I haven't seen many platforms going against the grain on that. 

Sudsrung0
Level 10
Rawai, Thailand

@Teri5 

 

I would say dont get stressed out over a negative review, I feel airbnb will not remove that,

Guest will see right through that and not be put off, 

My way of thinking is you cannot have all perfect reviews it doesn't look genuine there has to be some negative ones.

I think Im right in saying we all get them, your reply is important I have one that is worse than yours I didn't even bother to ask airbnb to remove it, I left it there so other people can see what a crank she was. Other guest have commented on that bad review and just laughed.

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