We had an ABB guest who is supposed to stay with us for 7 days and wanted to cancel her reservation for the last 3 days after she moved in for four days. We could not refund her for the remainder 3 days according to the cancellation policy we published on ABB. In order to get her refund, the guest made a false claim to ABB saying our internet did not work, and she needed to move out. ABB refunded her for the 3 days based on what the guest's story. When we found it out 2 days after, and told ABB that the guest's claim was false, and we have proof for it. ABB case manager said it was too late, and she already made a final decision to refund the guest based on what the guest said, and we can not change or appeal her decision, and we can not talk to her supervisor either. She sounded like she has the absolute power to make decisions for me with or without my agreement. Does anyone know if there is way to appeal for the case manager's wrongful decisions?
I think this is totally wrong. In this way anybody can claim refunds over fabricated claims. And since when is having Internet a reason to cancel a reservation and claiming a refund? Whats next? The speed of the Internet maybe?
Yes, "what's next" is what I'm afraid of too, especially when the case manager made her decision based on one side of the story and the decision is final.
This has happened to me two times now!
Where guests have made false claims and Airbnb have refunded them, in one case overriding my strict cancellation policy.
The only things that I can think of are to:
1) Send a physical letter to Airbnb's HQ - send it registered so that you know it's been received.
2) Tweet/FB message, but then it's public and you may not want that.
3) Let it go - it was a bad decision on their part, but factor in how much time and aggro it will cost you to recover three days revenue. Next time (hopefully there will not be a next time) you can offer to alter the booking to let the guest out early and then hope to re-book the lost days.
I'm disappointed that the case manager took her decision so lightly, and ABB has no formal process in place to check on her decisions. Given the agreement we have signed with ABB, it probably will be an uphill battle. I will discuss with my partners to see what steps are doable to us given we have so much to do at year end. If time allows, we may have to take all the steps suggested here to see how far we can go as it affects so many hosts.
Although it may not be fair, I believe Airbnb has the final say and it cannot be appealed. I remember when a person was ranting on here before and posted all his emails with Airbnb, he was awarded with a certain amount and it did say that the decision was final and could not be appealed. There is also the agreement that we are all held to. I believe the below section might cover your situation.
"In certain circumstances, Airbnb may decide, in its sole discretion, that it is necessary or desirable to cancel a confirmed booking made via the Site, Application and Services. This may be for reasons set forth in Airbnb's Extenuating Circumstances policy or for any other reason. Airbnb Payments may also determine, in its sole discretion, to refund to the Guest part or all of the amounts charged to the Guest in accordance with the Guest Refund Policy. You agree that Airbnb and the relevant Guest or Host will not have any liability for such cancellations or refunds.
If, as a Host, your Guest cancels a confirmed booking or Airbnb decides that it is necessary to cancel a confirmed booking, and Airbnb issues a refund to the Guest in accordance with the Guest Refund Policy or other applicable cancellation policies, you agree that in the event you have already been paid Airbnb shall be entitled to recover the amount of any such Guest refund from you, including by subtracting such refund amount out from any future Accommodation Fees due to you."
I think you might have to eat this one but I would be sure to mention it in the review of this guest as I am sure they will repeat this with other hosts.
If you have evidence that your internet was working during the guest's stay, I'd keep on hassling Airbnb until the third escalation. The way it usually works with most CX resolutions (and Airbnb is no different) is:
Initial message - "Thanks for reaching out, sorry there's nothing we can do."
2nd escalation - "There's nothing we can do and here's why, but sunshine and puppies and you're awesome, bye."
3rd escalation - "OK alright already, here's your money."
Submit your hard evidence in the second escalation and expect that you won't get any results until the third.
I had a guest claim my house wasn't as advertised, and I contacted AirBnB immediately to be pro-active. The case manager, Nancy O., said I was in the right, and called the guest to tell them so. Something the guests said apparently triggered a reaction out of Nancy, and she decided to refund them half their payment without returning to touch base with me. When I contested this decision, citing her own admission that my house WAS accurately advertised, she admitted she had changed her mind, apologized, then said she wouldn't withdraw the money from my account, just refund them due to a misunderstanding. That does not make sense to me, and looks a lot like sweeping a self-created mess under the proverbial rug.
In the meantime, the same guest refused to check out on time, then wrote a hostile review about my house that went against AirBnB review regulations (95% of my reviews are 5-star). I was billed a substantial amount by my cleaning service due to the amount of time the cleaning staff had to wait for this guest to pack up and leave, so I submitted this bill to AirBnB. Guess what Nancy did? She decided NOT to penalize the guest for failing to check-out on time, and left me stuck with the bill, even though there was substantial evidence, including admission from the guest that he checked out late by several hours, and a detailed invoice.
Nancy's reasoning? That the amount the guest was originally refunded (which I contested but wasn't allowed to discuss due to a "final decision") and which she'd stated I was NOT required to pay, was almost the same amount as the bill I was handed by my cleaning service. So, this would even things up. Again, I've never heard of a business doing anything remotely like this. She also stated in writing that she would remove the guest's hostile review, but when I checked my listing a few days later, I saw that it had not been removed, and I spent about two hours on the phone with various AirBnB agents working to have the review removed--and it finally was, but only because Nancy O. had put in writing that she would actually do it, and I was able to prove to AirBnB the inconsistency. At one point I even received a response in writing from another AirBnB agent stating that while he agreed with Nancy's decisionmaking, he did not think the case(s) had been handled well, and that he would forward my concerns to a different manager.
When I pointed out that this all seemed inconsistent and unprofessional (a sustainable business doesn't robs Peter to pay Paul, and a sustainable business does have a process for holding its employees accountable), and I asked to speak to Nancy's supervisor, Nancy herself closed the case and stated the matter would no longer be subject to discussion. Nice escape strategy, Nancy.
Usually I am a defendant of AirBnB customer service, but now I am considering contacting the Better Business Bureau.
I am having the same situation now.
A "guest from hell" was originally going to book a 6-month stay; then, the day before, changed it to a 16-night. She asked for the same reduced rate as when she was doing the long-term stay (warning sign).
My mom was visiting when the guest arrived, and looked at me and said she *immediately* could tell this guest was going to be high-maintance/trouble.
The guest immediately started complaining that it was cold in her room. (I keep it 68-70 degrees in the house). I brought her, no kidding, ten blankets. She continued complaining about a "draft." I spent hours dead-bolting the window and covering it in a towel. My mom and I both went up to the room to check, and it was very warm. We observed no draft, before or after.
She then wanted to keep her door open, because she thought she'd be warmer. I told her that would be fine, but that I do have a dog, and my pup would likely come upstairs to visit her if she did so. She then requested I buy a doggie gate. And also buy plastic and curtains to put over the windows. I politely declined and told her that's not how I run my house.
I checked in repeatedly during the rest of her stay, and she didn't appear to have any issues. The guest went home for Thanksgiving, and said she'd let me know when she was back. I saw her again on Monday, and she was moving her things. She said the apartment she'd be moving into was available early, so she was just moving some things over.
Later that night, I returned home to see the door to her room was open. I messaged her, and did go upstairs, worried my dog would be up there. The room was totally empty -- the bed was stripped of all sheets, the mug and water glass missing, nothing anywhere. I messaged the guest in a panic -- had we been robbed?! Where were the sheets?! Was she leaving early?!
Without messaging me, she'd decided to move to her new place early, for good. She said it would be easier to get into a work rhythm there, with her commute. I said totally fine. I did explain, unprompted (she didn't ask) that I had a strict cancellation policy -- clearly stated on my listing page -- and that I couldn't offer refunds unless there was an extenuating circumstance or issue motivating a guest to leave, etc. I told her, since she chose to leave of her own accord, no refund would be possible, and thanks for staying. I also told her, if she chose not to cancel, I'd leave her room as-is until the end of her stay period; and it obviously wouldn't be available to other guests to book.
Flash forward to Thursday, day of her check-out:
I receive a message from a case manager saying the guest wants to adjust the dates of her stay to a Monday check-out, to be refunded for the other nights. I patiently explained that I have a strict cancellation policy, and can't do this. I also messaged the guest, asked what was up, and politely explained this. The case manager totally got it and closed the case.
Flash forward to Saturday:
Got a message from a *new* case worker saying the guest was requesting a full refund. Wouldn't say why.
I responded and explained that this seemed like an error -- the previous case was closed, and I was in the right. Plus, the guest had expressed no issues, other than being cold, which we resolved.
I sent several messages checking in, with the case worker AND with the guest ... and no response. Finally, I wrote back, and said I assumed the case was close.
Flash forward to today:
Just got a message from the caseworker saying she'd refunded the guest $120, and that I had committed serious cleanliness and temperature infractions. This was the FIRST time I heard about guest complaints, and they were vague. The caseworker said the guest had documented them. The issues included: being cold -- though the caseworker noted I had bolted the window shut, and brought the guest 10 blankets; there being a dead bug on the windowsill (?!); and stained bedding.
My linens are BRAND new, super fancy, and cleaned after each guest stay. This guest stripped the bed after she chose to leave, and I think there are a few small stains on the bed's futon-topper -- which I inherited -- and the pillows, which are vintage. They're perfectly clean. But, most of all, they're covered up by the sheets and blankets and pillow-cases normally. This ABSOLUTELY would not have impacted the guest's stay. This is totally and obviously someone fishing for a refund.
I'm livid. I've been on the phone with AirBnB for 2.5 hours already this morning and have been disconnected and not called back each time. The case worker won't respond. This guest is clearly scamming; and, what's worse, I was *told* by a case worker, when I called in about her fishy "I'm so cold!" complaints, that this is likely what was happening.
Is there anything I can do?! I've written back multiple times saying I want to speak with a supervisor and/or a new case manager. Nobody seems to help. It's an impenetrable and disgusting labyrinthe.
As a SuperHost, and after ALL the work and time I spent trying to make sure this super-high maintenance guest was comfortable, I feel so abused and disgusted.
So disappointed in this community. It's all gone south over the last 6 months. Guests have become terrible. This used to be such a good community.
I am actively trying to appeal this, so if anyone has any advice, please do let me know.
I am concerned not just for me, but for all the other hosts and SuperHosts who fall victim
to this sort of scamming; and to AirBnB's terrible customer service and case management
policy, and their impenetrable lines of "communication."
Seriously so, so disgusted. This is gross. How is this how they run their business?
On OUR backs!!!