I have a guest who wants to cancel a reservation and would like to get a full refund including the service fee. I told him to contact Airbnb. He opened a case 10 days ago and called airbnb multiple times and couldn't get a response. I opened a case as well and called multiple times. Dispatchers simply told me there is nothing they can do and they will mark the case urgent. Nothing happens after a week. I decided to cancel the reservation as I want to open those dates for rental asap. After the cancelation, Airbnb still blocks those days and claims it is to avoid future conflict. There is no way to unblock them. I am beyond frustration. I was always impressed by Airbnb's customer support but this experience is a nightmare. Anyone else has a similar problem recently?
@Haiyan7 If the host cancels then they are fined and the dates are blocked from future bookings. As a super host I am surprised you do not know this.
Unless the guest had good reason to cancel then I am afraid he would lose the service fees even if you allowed him to get a refund of your fees. That's just the way the platform works as booking platforms argue they have earned their fees by facilitating the booking.
I am not aware that the dates are blocked if the host cancels a reservation. I have never canceled a reservation in my years as a host, that’s probably part of the reason I am a super host. My frustration is on the lack of response from Airbnb. The guest has been waiting for a response from Airbnb for more than ten days and is holding off the cancelation and I am losing my opportunity to rent those dates. When I spoke to Airbnb dispatcher team, they acknowledged how embarrassing the situation is but apparently they don’t plan to do anything to improve it.
I have a moderate cancellation policy which would allow him to get a full refund up to 14 days. The guest is dragging his feet because of Airbnb's lacking response and I am losing my chance to rent those days.
@Haiyan7 I suggest you spend some time reading through all the Help articles for hosts on the Airbnb main site. If you had, you would have known what happens when a host cancels a reservation.
It doesn't sound like you've read much on the site or even on your hosting account- if you had, you would have also known that you would lose your Superhost status for a cancellation, as that is evident on the Superhost qualification page.
Also, a moderate policy doesn't mean the guest can get a full refund if they cancel up to 14 days before check-in. With a moderate policy guests get a full refund if they cancel up to 5 days before the check-in date.
When a host cancels, besides other penalties, the canceled dates are blocked so no one can book them. Never cancel a reservation yourself. Get the guest to do it. You can always offer to refund them IF you are able to rebook the dates, and only refund AFTER you’ve received the payout for the cancelled reservation.
Why did the guest need to ‘drag his feet’? If he was still within the refund eligibility period according to your cancellation policy, he could have cancelled the reservation without needing to speak to Airbnb. Btw, it’s very rare for a guest to ever get their service fee back from Airbnb
Thanks for everyone's response. I certainly learned a lot from this accident. I want to clarify that the cancellation does not affect my super host status nor is there any other penalty, due to the fact that I have never canceled a reservation in my years as a host. My frustration is about the lack of response from Airbnb and I wonder if anyone is experiencing a similar situation with Airbnb customer support. I worry about the overall support from Airbnb and it makes me seriously thinking if I should stay on this platform.
@Haiyan7 Glad to hear you skated a pass on the cancellation penalties, but why are your dates blocked still? "After the cancelation, Airbnb still blocks those days" The reason they gave you sounds dubious and makes no sense. To answer your question, yes, EVERYONE is experiencing completely dismal service from Airbnb. I highly doubt it will improve.
@Haiyan7 I think you are missing the point somewhat. The guest doesn't need a response from Airbnb to cancel the booking. All they need to do is going to into the booking confirmation and hit the cancel button.
@Haiyan7 why are you as a host getting involved with this cancellation when it is the guests responsibility to make the cancellation and then be refunded in line with the policy they booked under. Why did you open a case with Airbnb and what does it relate to.
As an experienced Superhost you will know the guest won't get a full refund. Airbnb always keeps the service fee.
Just confirm to the guest if he wants to cancel (you haven't said why) he needs to do so by going into his booking confirmation and hitting the cancel button and his cancellation will be processed under the moderate policy he booked under (unless it relates to their EC policy on Covid).
Yes Haiyan, I too was almost caught out by this ploy.
You would be fairly typical for this sort of ‘catch’. Just an otherwise loyal Airbnb Host who has no axe to grind and is happy trusting your trading partner to not screw you over. Eventually all hosts get stung this way or another, more often its the ‘accepting’ of a guest initiated cancellation. Who wouldn’t ‘accept’ their cancellation request for some legitimate reason? Only a host ready to be made a fool of and taken advantage of will do that. ‘Accepting’ makes the cancellation the hosts' responsibility. Add to that the host takes the penalties, the host gets charged a cancellation fee, the host gets a SuperHost penalty if it applies, if it doesn’t - achievement of SH takes so much longer whilst your averages work themselves out.. and the guest will be refunded. Just because you wanted to ACCEPT the guests legitimate cancellation.
Accepting or Declining a cancellation is just devious, and there is no explanation of the consequences of the two options when selecting the options. During Covid EC cancellations, another twist was added to thwart hosts further.
You need to be astute in any action you take on the Airbnb platform. Nothing is straightforward. Ever.
You do not specify whether your cancellation was Covid related, or not. Nor any date of cancellation. Nor any date of booking. Without that information no advice can be satisfactorily be provided unless the hosts giving it have crystal balls or they want to chastise you for not knowing the Terms Inside Out.
Ignore ALL the previous advice wanting you to revise the Terms. This is completely useless and the cancellation you made is not your fault.
In marketing this cancellation procedure of "Hosts can cancel for free" It should be remembered that nothing comes for free. Obviously, the marketing didn’t mention calendars remaining blocked - the negatives never are, especially here.
You may not have intended a Covid cancellation, but the system is set so that you cannot avoid a Covid cancellation. Why does this matter? It matters, because a cancellation during an the Covid Extenuating Circumstances policy has a different cancellation procedure than normal and penalties attached to it vary. This is how it has changed over the last few months:
- Up to April 30th, Hosts could cancel “penalty free”, you wouldn’t have your SuperHost status affected, or have your calendar blocked.
- Up to May 15th Hosts could cancel “penalty free”, and “charge free”, you wouldn’t have your SuperHost status affected, or have your calendar blocked
- Up to July 31st Airbnb were advising Hosts that they could cancel guests “for free”, and not have their SuperHost status affected. (Calendars were blocked).
- Today, Up until September 15th… You have no other cancellation option other than a ‘Covid’ cancellation, but you do have the option of keeping your calendar open or blocking it.
- After September 15th (at the moment) the regular cancellation options and penalties return.
You see, your cancellation dates are important, and for other reasons so too the dates of your booking, as to what terms apply.
Since your guest had already made an application to Customer Services for a cancellation, you would think it sensible that you might be able to help things along -wouldn’t you? Alas not.
If you wanted to cancel NOW up until September 15th. This is your cancellation option:
No other option apart from a Covid "incident in your area” cancellation.
After September 15th. These are your options:
The regular cancellation options you would expect.
You may have wanted to cancel because “My guest needs to cancel” but you were possibly never even offered that type of cancellation. You were naturally trying to be helpful and it backfired. Not getting involved as other hosts have mentioned would have perhaps been the best course of action, but when you need your calendar clearing for a stalling cancellation, then there is another urgency in getting that cancellation concluded.
I will doubt very much that you even thought about screenshotting your cancellation options or process? Such is the distrust on this platform, learning to copy every screen as you go along would be beneficial for you. Not just in your last experience, but in future ones too.
There is a high possibility, like many hosts before - you have simply been taken advantage of and cancellation fees, refund amounts, plus any penalties - will be heading your way. This for no other reason than to switch any burden onto the host.
@Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 Thank you so much for the detailed information, advice, and sympathy you are showing. I cannot say enough how much it is appreciated. I was somewhat shocked by some previous responses. I was merely doing the guest a favor by interfering with Airbnb. This is a reasonable guest whose travel plan changed, needed to cancel the trip, and didn't understand how cancellation works. I don't think it is fair for Airbnb to ignore his case for 10 days. Obviously I learned a lesson from my mistake. The platform is so complicated that guests and hosts can easily fall into traps (or design flaws). That's why I think customer support is so important so that we don't feel being punished for our mistakes. But I guess that's not what Airbnb is thinking.