After 6+ years I had my first refund experience in late-April during Covid-19. The internet was "slow" but I have proof it was used throughout their stay. I attempted to get my ISP to resolve the issue, but they were not answering calls or live chat - due to Covid-19 of course. At the end of the booking, Airbnb reduced my payout by 50%!!!! How in the world is slow Wifi worth a 50% refund on a booking?!?!
I am a Superhost hosting for over 6 years. I have fought our city council on 2 occasions over the years, building local coalitions of hosts, to prevent short-term rentals from being outlawed here. But at this point, I have zero loyalty to Airbnb. I'll make money from my existing booking and investigate re-platforming to another service. I cannot risk the financial impact of another arbitrary refund, or worse.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, if you stay at a Marriott and complain of slow internet would you expect to see a cash refund? The policy is poorly thought out, and executed in an arbitrary and capricious manner.
To put it another way, what is my motivation to allow a guest to continue staying during a booking if they raise a complaint? With the threat of losing 50% of my income if Airbnb decides to cut my payout later, I'm in a better place to simply cancel the booking than risk losing 1/2 of my rate.
Airbnb chose not to resolve my issue in chat for over 6 weeks, and a call today resulted in a scolding on how the 'rules' worked. This company is hot garbage.
I had a guest a couple of years ago try to obtain a refund because the internet wasn't working. The internet WAS working, this "man" didn't reset the router which I TOLD him several times to do since the router is inside of the Airbnb unit and I don't have access to it (and I don't enter the unit ever when a guest is there)! It's ridiculous to even request a complete refund due to just internet. They still had a place to stay, right? I ended up giving him $20 back, and that's it.
You got lucky but with this policy every host will eventually get screwed. It's happening more and more as guests are aware they can easily stay almost for free if they find something to complain about.
When an important amenity is not up to par, a refund is often considered, but 50% is definitely excessive if all other amenities are used. I don't see a review that reflects your negative experience with this guest and wonder why that would be. I am wondering how Air BNB got involved and what type of communication you had with the guest around this issue. If the guest had to have functioning wifi to conduct business remotely rather than wanting to stream a movie, that would make a difference in terms of impact of the problem with the wifi.
@Linda108One thing I have quickly learned from my first post here, is that there is an abundance of what-aboutism and victim blaming. If you, and others here, contend that having a "slow wifi" issue that could not be quickly resolved due to a global pandemic is a reasonable reason to cut a hosts payout by 50%, you are not arguing in good faith.
No - the guest did not leave a review.
Yes - Airbnb got involved as was described in my post. They pre-emptively cut my rate by 50% without asking, and refused to pay me my rate because of "slow wifi" - stating it as policy.
If I go to a Hilton and the wifi is slow so I cannot work in the manner I expected, are they going to discount my rate by 50%? Absolutely not. The argument is outrageous.
Totally agree @Tom2678 Out of interest what is deemed to be "slow internet"? What problems were they having? Could it have been their device that was the problem? And what gives Airbnb the right to determine what a slow internet problem is? How can a guest prove it? This does raise a lot of questions. Personally I'd make a complaint and fight them over it.
@Robbie54 Apparently there was some intermittent issues, so you would get as low as under 1mbps at times, but others was 3-4mbps. Typically, with our 'country internet' we get about 8/8mbps. Sometimes more, rarely less. It's the fastest we can get there, with DSL at 1.5mbps as the only other option.
Was there a slowdown? Yes. Did they keep using the internet for 3 days? Yes.
I don't blame the guest for being frustrated or moving on. I doubt they even asked for a refund. It was apparent that Airbnb simply decided to cut the rate as part of their process.
I did complain about it immediately. Started a support chat immediately after the deduction was applied. Aitbnb went in circles for 6 weeks, so finally I called and the phone agent was incredibly defensive, argumentative, and determined to prove that they were right and I was wrong. Thus, I posted here for the first time to warn others.
It can't be stated often or loudly enough. Airbnb can and will take up to 50% of your payout if a guest complains about things that cannot be proven in absolutes. I firmly recommend that hosts detail everything about their amenities in their listing to protect themselves from future claims, because Airbnb is judge+jury and as long as they prefer to believe guests over SuperHosts, it's a dangerous situation.
By what yardstick do you measure a slow Wi-Fi single? if your entertainment systems requires Wi-Fi and its constantly buffering; then you could make an insinuation that the Wi-Fi is indeed slow, on the basis that this was part of the Host package (note I did not say Airbnb package).
But if the guest is use to a 1 gigabit Wi-Fi connection (an M.I.T. type of person) anything less then that will be slow.
What i find amusing is that a good number of host think that there running their own business, particularly when a third party "Airbnb" can arbitrarily decide to refund 50% of the host fee with ZERO COMMUMICATION
50% reduction is nonsense.
I would recommend to all host to periodically do a speed test on you Wi-Fi signal to make sure that your service provider has not "throttled back" your download speed.
50% refund?! Unbelievable!
If you haven't done so already, update your listing to reflect what is a realistic speed for your internet so guests are forewarned and can opt to bring their own hotspot if desired.
What's so funny? Also claiming your wifi is always 83Mbit is disingenuous as fluctuations in speed occur many times during peak hours.
@Tom2678 50% is quite alarming. I fear the scammers who lurk in boards like this are already hatching a plot to get half price stays by complaining about the internet.
In my opinion Airbnb was wrong to issue a refund after the stay was completed, but frustratingly, the last update to the Guest Refund Policy does give them a loophole to do this. If a guest complains about an essential amenity early in the stay, and you're not able to get it immediately fixed, it's ultimately better to offer them a full refund on condition that they vacate the property. Those who complete their stay but still demand refunds afterward deserve an appropriate review.