I have maintained a STRICT cancellation policy for the last two years and been perfectly happy with it and no or negligible cancellations. Foolishly I decided to support Airbnb with this BETA test, as I was prety certain that for my property and type of bookings people wouldn't choose to pay more anyway. I was right and nobody has.
The problem now is that someone HAS cancelled, who did NOT pay any form of surcharge (they only paid my standard STRICT rates) and yet they have been given a full refund on a booking that is for this weekend (i.e. they were due to arrive today; they cancelled late Weds night on 2nd Jan).
When raising this error with Airbnb two different support agents on two different ocassions have looked at their screens and said it's because my property is FLEXIBLE. Only when I have insisted that they look at what a customer sees and what I see on my listing did they THEN see that it is STRICT. The bottom line here is that this 'BETA has been badly coded and quite simply is not working as intended.
Nearly two days on now and I'm still fighting with Airbnb to complete their 'investigation' (it's blindingly obvious!) and confirm to me that they will be paying me what I am due in accordance with my unchanged STRICT cancellation policy - that is 100% of the booking value.
My advice and WARNING therefore to other hosts is that if you have also mistakenly tried to support Airbnb with this BETA test - please turn it off and pull out now, before you also get caught up in this nightmare!
thx for sharing your experience
I never understood the whole thing.... this 7% is ment to go to the host ... or to Airbnb? Who will lose the payment if the guest cancels? The host or Airbnb? Is it like travel insurance? What about extenuating circumstances?
It is not clear.. or did I miss something ?
Good question Branka & Silvia! I understood it as the host.... but when you stop and think about it, it's a ridiculous offer (and I'm feeling really stupid for trying to support Airbnb with this particular beta test!), because you are NEVER going to get enough non-cancelling guests opting to pay more, in order to cover the loss that would be incurred from just ONE guest that cancels! It's a totally stupid concept and I'm an idiot for trying to help them to see that; especially as they can't even get the coding right in the first place and then don't simply look at the irrefutable proof before their eyes, but go off on some sort of 'investigation', that takes MUCH longer than their promised timescales.
thx for sharing your experience
What about extenuating circumstances?
Extenuating circumstances is STILL on the table for guests to use. I see absolutely NO reason to play in this sandbox. It is just another ruse to get us to reduce our prices. [I wonder if the Guest AirBNB is lowered as well?]
Lovely to meet you. My name is Lizzie and I am the Community Manager here in the Community Center.
Thank you for sharing your feedback on your experience with this beta pricing option. It is great to hear you wanted to try it and see if this option is suitable for your way of hosting. I have spoken with the team to clarify a few points you have raised here, which I hope will be useful to you and others.
Opting in for the beta pricing option, means that your cancellation policy for this booking would have gone from a Strict (which you had previously set) to a Flexible policy. The way the premium pricing option works, means that if your guest doesn't cancel you receive an extra 7% premium on to your booking payment, as your guest unfortunately cancelled their booking on this occasion (and a Flexible cancellation policy is in place), they have been refunded in full which means that you do not receive the 7%.
I acknowledge that there are a few things to get your head around for these beta pricing options and we would recommend all hosts to assess whether this type of payment option is suitable for their way of hosting.
We hope this help to provide more clarity.
I am away from the Community Center until Jan 10th, looking forward to speaking with you when I return. :)
Missed the CC Month of Celebration in December? Catch up here. Thanks to everyone who took part.
Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides.
So, it's a better deal for hosts to get 7% extra if the guest comes, but NOTHING if the guest cancels??? That sounds like the worst idea ever
Marketing: Hey, let's try out this new thing where a guest pays more if they keep their reservation, but gets to keep all their money if they cancel last minute! WooHoo! Brilliant!!
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who was thinking WTF?!?!? when I saw the terms of the beta test.
Who cares about the 7% premium - hosts get NOTHING (not "if" but) "when" the guest cancels.
And I assume that ABB will take their service fee from guests regardless so ABB has nothing to loose from last minute cancellations.
I cannot uncheck that "flexible" BETA button for the 7% extra. It does NOT go away no matter how many times I click it. What must I do to get rid of this thing?
We are suddenly getting wrong sort of guests enquiring for our place. Airbnb is allowing guests with only a cellphone verification. This is wrong.
UPDATE: Found the solution. Change to Moderate, save, then change back to Strict. The Flexible button is unchecked. Do NOT check it again,
Hello to this wonderful community, and thank you Alan for starting this thread!
I too thought I miss be reading this incorrectly as how could this possibly make sense. If you have set a strict cancellation policy it is usually because you have had guests cancel at the last minute and leave you in the poo.
The only hosts that this BETA works in favour of are those that already use a flexible cancellation policy. For these hosts it could be a bonus, otherwise it is completely nonsensical.
I ticked the box to support Airbnb too, and then I could not untick it once I realised it really was as silly as I thought it couldn't possibly be. Like Layna, I changed the setting completely to moderate, logged out and then in again and changed it back to strict. Not without being caught out though, albeit once.
If there was a way to make it cheaper to use Airbnb, I would be interested. However, this doesn't seem to be the best idea. I am sure there will be more ideas ahead, hopefully better ones.
As it stands, it is approx 20% to Airbnb on my bookings. It used to be less, but crept up. So if it can creep back down again guests won't have to pay so much.
I would definitely be having cancellations with this system, I went on Moderate briefly and was cancelled on at last minute. Strict all the way now!
I have been hosting for 4 or 5 years now and never had a guest cancel. I have had 4 guests cancel since I signed up for this beta thing believing I would maximize my profits. I have not noticed a boost to my funds, and I have lost a lot in time and money for the bookings that were cancelled (e.g., I pay for a cleaner but cannot get the cleaning fee I already paid out back). It was super dumb on Airbnb's and my part, and I have lost a lot of money as a result. I wish this was never an option and I think Airbnb should be paying hosts for the damage that has been done to their businesses as the result of whoever thought this was a good idea. Also, I believe it is something that should either have a warning or be recalled immediately. I have legitimately lost over $400 in bookings because of this beta test. I hope I rightfully removed it and am thankful for those of you who listed how to do it properly. Thanks for leading this thread as well Alan.
Thank you Amanda, Sandra, Diana and everyone else who previously added to this thread.
I'm pleased to see it getting a little more traction now, as I feel this BETA is extremely dangerous to hosts and needs to be seen to fail and be withdrawn very soon.
I'm please to report that after a huge amount of effort I did get Airbnb to pay me for the erroneously cancelled booking in early January. despite Lizzie's rather disingenuous (even semi-insulting) post as a representative of Airbnb. I had made it clear in my original post that the guest in question had NOT opted for paying more as the payout that was showing (and eventually received from Airbnb) was at my NORMAL rates and NOT at a 7% enhanced rate.
What I find the MOST worrying/annoying, (even disgusting) is that to this very day the suggestion that I adopt this stupid beta remains AT ALL TIMES in the 'ways to earn more' tips to right of my calanders! This is dispite me dismissing it with the 'no thanks' button repeatedly! It is clear that Airbnb are pushing this policy option VERY HARD. Quite apart from the problem that I have personally experienced with this option, it should NOT keep being pushed at someone who has declined it repeatedly. It is simply wrong and lessens the (limited) value of all other 'tips'!
I encourage all hosts who have experienced problems with this policy to make nuisances of themselves, don't go away, be persistent, be insistent, only by enough noise and Airbnb suffering costs, does it appear that they will then listen and get rid of this nonsense!