Guest Cancels Reservation Day of Check-In and is Still Allowed to Leave a Review-Terrible Practice

Status changed to: New

If a guest cancels their reservation day of check-in, after check-in hours without ever staying, AirBnB allows them to review the host/listing.  This seems very counter intuitive...and in reality it is.  If a guest does NOT stay, cancels their reservation without any notification to the host or co-host or even to AirBnB....what gives this guest the right, the knowledge, the tools to review a host and their accomodation?  I am stunned that this is AirBnB policy?  This is absolutely not fair to the host and to other guests who read reviews as a guide to find a host/accomodation that they feel comfortable with.   If you read about a restaurant online, made a reservation for dinner, cancelled the reservation/never ate at the restaurant ever but then reviewed the restaurant as if you had....ummmm would that be lying?  Would it be inaccurate?  Would it be misleading?  YES!!!!  So how can a guest cancel without any communication to the Host or AirBnB and write a review and vice versa---  PLEASE AirBnB revisit this policy immediately, it does not allow an honest review of host/accomodation or guest and is very misleading to the AirBnB community.

Christina236 in
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 3

There is also the chance that, if the guest feels that they should get a refund and doesn't (regardless of the fact that they would have been aware of the cancellation policy at the time of the booking), that this will motivate them to leave a nasty review in revenge. 

Cindy203 in
South Beloit, IL
Level 4

This also happened to us. His reason for cancelling were silly. He had hoped to use our place as party city. I was unhappy and told him. He got refund, I lost 2 weeks in booking and he gave me this long winded horrible review and he had only been here for 10 minutes before cancelling. Very upsetting, I went down from a perfect 5 star rating. I believe very unfair of Airbnb to post his review and to take away my points.

Rachel13 in
Morzine, France
Level 5

This sounds an awful policy and I find it incredible that people are allowed to leave reviews on the day of arrival if they cancel! Come on Airbnb, sort this out!

Cynthia50 in
Prince Edward, Canada
Level 3

we received a 1 star  rating from a person that we fully refunded their money and they did not even see our place. How did that work?

Cynthia50 in
Prince Edward, Canada
Level 3

me again, they gave us a 2 star rating.

Lyndsey2 in
Stonington, CT
Level 10
I recently had a situation where a friend accidentally made a reservation under my profile (I had left myself logged in on the computer). We informed Airbnb immediately of the mistake and the reservation was cancelled with no penalty to me or the host. BUT, a couple days later, I received a message asking me to review the host! I had never even spoken to him. And I can assume he received the same message about me. I think that if Airbnb customer service is involved, the customer service agents should have the ability to turn off the option to review, in appropriate circumstances.
Dee96 in
Silver Spring, MD
Level 2

I agree with all of you.  If a guest cancels and never experience the stay,  then they should not be permitted to leave a review.  A couple of things I did in my earlier days,  I changed my policy to strict and although I recieve emails to downgrade it to flexible policy....uh heck to the naw!!!  The guests has up to three weeks to cancel with no penalty and recieves a full refund;however, when they decide to cancel 1-2 weeks prior to arrival,  I will still recieve 50% of the refund for a two week cancellation and 100% of the refund for a one week cancellation.  Now grant you, there are certain circustances in which a person may have to cancel...and I understand but I let the guest contact Airbnb and get cancellation of the reservation so there is a third party involved.  Secondly,  in my listing as stated that I do not accept alterations in reservations.   When I first started Airbnb as a host 4 years ago,  I was new and running into these same type of issues, I had folks wanting to pay for the days that they actually stayed and get reimburse for the days they decided not to stay for they made other accommodations somewhere else.  I refunded their money and found I owed Airbnb due to performing alterations in reservations.    So I had to have people come and stay for free to clear up the negative balance in my Airbnb account.  With the advice of a really fantastic Airbnb personnel who provided great training and tips back in the day,  I have not had these issues since then.  


Two Tips:


Upgrade your hosting policy from flexible /moderate to strict-  Weeds out riff-raff and you get folks who actually serious about staying with you.


Do not perform "Alterations in Reservations"  and put it in your listing-  Reduces the scammers...trying to get over.  Now keep in mind if someone's parent died or an event occurs that is extremely traumatic, have the guest contact Airbnb immeditatelt to have the reservation cancel.  As a host,  and I do not mean to sound insensitive at all, please refrain from involving yourself directly.  Please provide the direct number or call Airbnb perhaps for them, but after that,  let the guests take it from there.  So it shows that your are being helpful but not super involve.  I mean be caring and genuine.  In other words, do not perform an alteration requests or cancel the reservation as the host.  Wait, and recieve guidance from Airbnb directly before taking action into your own hands.   (This protects your review and it provides a win for the guests).  I want the guest to be happy at least on this realm in spite of what may be going on in their world.  In the end the guest will cancel and Airbnb will refund their money without you losing anything on the reservation and your stats will not be affected for your strict policy states 100% of the reservation if it is cancel by guest or and in many cases the Airbnb admin will refund them their money without the money coming out of your pocket.  I cannot guarantee it, but it has work the couple of times when there was a crazy circumstance by a couple of guests.  I still recieved raving reviews due to my assistance with the matter.  All I did was care, make them a cup of tea and dialed Airbnb phone number for them and followed up with the guests to ensure that they were okay or at least better :)


Ensure that all communication is transmitted through the Airbnb app as much as possible.  Sometimes our U.S. guests and on rare occassions international guests will transmit messages through regular texting, please ask them to use the Airbnb app or put this in your listing that all communication and correspondence must go through the Airbnb app.   This is your recordkeeping system or archive of messages between the guest and you.  Airbnb will review these records,  it has saved my butt with confused guests not undertanding how Airbnb operates such as performing an alteration in reservation.


Lastly,  I place in my instant booking section, please contact me first if there are any further questions before booking.  In addition,  I ask my guests through if they are not instant booking, if they read all of my rules and understand, if not please seek clarity.  In addition, Airbnb will ask the same thing... if the guest says yes in both cases.  Then it is understood they have no further questions prior to booking.  So if something goes down, the guest cannot state that they did not know.


Now there will be general questions, of things to do in the city....etc.... and other questions similar in nature. However, regarding the listing and booking....this portion of the program is done. 


Listen guys,  I am still evolving and learning and please do not mistaken me like I have this Airbnb thingy figured out, just been around a little while and wanted to share what works for me.  I understand everyone's situation is different.  So by no I trying to share what you ought to do or vice versa.  I am sure you all are handling things in the manner of what is best for you.  I just did not want to sit on information which may be helpful to others possibly.  Thank you for reading.






Nev0 in
Manhattan Beach, CA
Level 4

The policy stinks.  What I found even more upsetting of my guest who is a "HOST!" herself and she clearly abused the system and I was the brunt of that abuse...she came without suitcases, spent less than 10 minutes in my little condo, came back to the front desk who gives my keys out and stated "it's hot" and "we are leaving" then left and proceeded to cancel the reservation, never contact ME OR AirBnB OR my co-Host who lives 1 minute away.  My Co-Host was immediately contacted by the front desk but the guest had refused to stay-My Cohost came over within minutes and turned on the AC which worked perfectly.  The guest immediately gave a rating when it allowed after she cancelled? and she left an overall rating of "1" BUT she gave 5 Stars for 4 of the sub categories of "clean" "Communication" "Value" "Location"  and she gave a 4 for "Accuracy" asked for her $ back.    How can Overall be a "1" and everything that makes up that rating be a "5"?      This was all communicated to AirBnB and they still let the review stand BUT I refused to refund this dispicable guest.  I am sure the guest got a credit from AirBnB or something as she challenged my refusal and I find this Guest/Host dispicable.  She also caused my SuperHost rating to drop to 79 so I lost it last quarter but should get it back this assessment- however- that loss of status could cost me business.  I average 113 guests a year and I had "5" star reviews the day of her checkin and the night after her check in.  It was obvious that this dispicable human being lied.   AirBnB is not a "hotel" situation-it is about creating relationships because Guests are invited into very intimate spaces of a Host's life- if a guest who is a host cannot reach out to her host, co-host, or Airbnb and she is allowed to "lie" on a review to get $ AirBnB sets a standard that will only allow more abuse.  I am just so happy that 99% of my Hosting experiences have been honest beautiful people and I definitely let each one of them know that.  I won't let one bad apple ruin all of the hard work we put into hosting but I sure wish AirBnB would have backed me on this.   

Mandy76 in
Washougal, WA
Level 2

I have a request to review a guest who canceled on the first day without checking in, though I am pretty sure they drove up, looked around and drove away again and then lied about it.

I really don't mind that they did this. I was almost grateful as it was a woman by herself with her two dogs, booked in over new years eve and I was very concerned that our isolated, rural location would be a bit odd for this occasion.

Obviously, this person will now also have the option to review us and, like everyone else, I don't think this is fair. And it's also so black and white; if someone cancels they don't review and we don't review them, it's very simple. AirBnB need to get a move on and fix this.


What should I do, write a review, so that at least there is something there if they also write one? Or wait and write public response if she does write one herself?

Nev0 in
Manhattan Beach, CA
Level 4

I would wait to see if she reviews you.  It's just a really unfair thing AirBnB by no means reflects an accurate guest experience or hosting experience but instead invites unfair critiques of each other by both the guest and host under less than desireable circumstances.    Boo on AirBnB on this issue.  Best to you and many terrific positive hosting experiences in 2018!

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