Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10
1,241 Views

So I just booked my family's Christmas vacation: we're staying at a farm in Wisconsin. I have three dogs, and we're staying for 3 nights (it's a bit of a road trip, and we will be staying at other places on the way there and back). I was a good guest and reviewed the entire listing, photos and rules to make sure there was nothing in there excluding having multiple dogs, or size of dogs. I also checked with the host that it was okay and got the response was yes, more than welcome. Fab! Booking completed.

 

After the booking was completed, I had access to the house manual. It says that dogs are welcome, but they are subject to a $10/night per dog extra charge, which is a total of $90 USD over and above what I've paid. This wasn't mentioned anywhere in the listing, nor was it mentioned when I asked about bringing dogs to the property.

 

So what would you do?

 

1) Challenge the fee because it wasn't disclosed?

2) Cancel the reservation and find somewhere else to stay?

3) Pretend I didn't see it and plead ignorance? He may not ask for it.

4) Just pay the fee?

5) Something else?

Tags (3)
14 Replies

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Alexandra316 silly that the host didn't mention it when you gave them an entry point by asking.

 

Is the place somewhere that you'd still like to stay even including the $90?

 

Yes, you have a range of options. Only you know what it seems like would work for this particular host and your familly.  He may be one of those Hosts who doesn't realize that the House Manual isn't seen until after a booking? Does the listing seem like he'd be amenable to a discussion or would you be setting yourself up for a hostile stay or a bad review?

 

(I pay waaaay more than this to board our dog at home so $10/day/dog seems pretty reasonable, but if you have better options then no harm in changing course.)

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Kelly149 Yeah, you have a point regarding the cost of pet sitting. We pay a lot of money for a pet sitter when we go away and a family member isn't available to watch them. Even a weekend is hundreds.

 

The issue with trying to take three largish dogs anywhere is that it's very tough to find suitable accommodation. There were a few other places in the vicinity, but they all had things about them that I didn't like: they allowed smoking inside, or they insisted that dogs needed to be crated, or there was no indoor bathroom (not great in Wisconsin in December), etc. I'm trying to find a place to stop in Chicago, and it's extremely tough to find a hotel or Airbnb that's downtown and will accept 3 dogs. I really wanted the Staypinapple, but they have a hard and fast limit of 2.

 

The host does seem fairly chill... maybe I'll just have the discussion. The place is extremely casual. I should probably just suck it up - take the good with the bad, and all that. Just wish it had been disclosed before booking.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Alexandra316 there are plenty of hosts who think that the House Manual is shown to guests so they may not know that they're springing this on you!

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Kelly149 Possible, but this guy has like 400 reviews, so I would think someone would have said something by now. Maybe he's forgotten it's there too and just doesn't charge people.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Las Vegas, NV
Level 4

Contact Airbnb to have the details reviewed that were disclosed to you when you booked the reservation. If it is found that the pet fee was not disclosed, it would be considered a host cancellation if the host is not willing to waive the fee however if it was disclosed at the time of booking, it would be a guest cancellation if you were looking to cancel.

 

I hope everything works out for you!

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Andrea2893 Thanks! I hope so too.

 

I'm still within the 48-hour free cancellation window, so if I cancel now I won't have to pay anyways. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Alexandra316  In discussion with the host about this, I'd point out that the pet fee needs to be mentioned in the listing, not sprung on the guest after booking. Maybe on this basis, offer to pay half and ask that a vacuum cleaner be available so you can vacuum up pet hair? 

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Sarah977 I like it... $45 seems a lot more reasonable. At $90, it's actually more than adding another night to the stay.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Quilcene, WA
Level 10

@Alexandra316  Since you’re within the 48 hour window you haven’t been harmed here. I would decide whether the revised cost is worth it to you or not, and if so pay it and if not cancel. In parallel I would make sure the host understands they need that fee to be listed in their house rules that guests must acknowledge before booking. From a host’s point of view Airbnb makes pet fees logistically very difficult for hosts and asking for discounts right off the bat is not putting your best foot forward. FWIW my pet fee is $20/pet/night.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Lisa723 I agree that Airbnb makes the pet fee super awkward for hosts. 50%+ of my guests are travelling with pets, and I have chosen not to charge a fee because I don't like the way Airbnb makes us handle it, and because I want people to disclose pets rather than try to hide it. As a person who travels with pets, I also know it's a challenge, and I want to make it as easy for people to bring their furry family members. I don't charge people extra to bring their children: I'm not penalizing them for bringing their pets.

 

Theoretically, I don't have an issue with people charging a pet fee, if they feel that's what they want to do. I do have an issue with not disclosing it in advance of booking.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Lisa723  I wouldn't classify this as asking for a discount right off the bat. The issue is that it wasn't disclosed anywhere in the listing info, which is easy enough to mention somewhere. So I'd call that non-transparent.

On the other hand, as @Alexandra316 is used to travelling with her dogs, even though she doesn't charge a pet fee herself, she surely knows that many hosts do, so it might have been something worthwhile clarifying with the host before booking.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Sarah977 If someone asked about bringing a pet and there was a charge, would you not expect the host to say, "Yes, no problem, I do have a pet fee so I'll add that on your pricing" or similar? I'd say this is non-transparent, regardless of what way you slice it.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Alexandra316  Yes. Doubly non-transparent. Not mentioned in the listing and failed to mention when you provided him with a clear opening to let you know about it. Sorry, I forgot that part where you did tell him you'd be bringing the dogs.

Re: Undisclosed Extra Pet Fee - Would you pay it?

in
Quilcene, WA
Level 10

@Alexandra316  I get that. You asked what others would do. In your shoes, especially given the difficulty finding a place that meets your needs, I would personally be more interested in a mutually amicable stay than either $90 or the principle of the matter. I would assume the host wasn’t intentionally trying to trick me, especially since the fee was clear within your 48 hour grace period. But I’m not trying to talk you into anything. (And FWIW our pet fee isn’t an attempt to penalize pet owners— on the contrary it’s an attempt not to penalize non-pet-owners for the extra cleaning and wear and tear caused by pets.)

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