Twice in one week we've had guests attempt to book accommodation displayed as 'Available' when it isn't.
a) By Instant Book and succeeded - to be cancelled by us, then acknowledged as a system failure after a week delay by CS.
b) By enquiry, and us informing the guest that the Airbnb booking system is broken.
The first 3 CS reps were all told the facts, none of them have done anything about it (obviously) - so the problem still exists.
Don't believe that when you can't get through to Customer Services they're dealing with new important enquiries. They're not. They're dealing with the same old problems multiple hosts are having issues with. The easiest solution: Fix the problem.
The Airbnb system is not applying any 'buffer' you apply in your settings and attempting to book same day change overs. If you want to do this and ignore any Covid cleaning procedure, then that would be fine for you, and your choice. Most likely, you won't have any buffer set. If you're just wanting to keep at least a day available before and after any booking then the system is not working.
A 'workaround' is to block out strategic days in your calendar to prevent this happening.
This might be a deliberate strategy by Airbnb to increase bookings in what is known in the retail trade as "channel stuffing", but it might just be another "Glitch". Whatever it is, when a booking system doesn't work. It does needs fixing, and I'm not volunteering to inform CS, because I have better things to do.
I just manually block 1 day before/after when someone books! Never even attempted the fangled technology... subliminally did not trust self or system.... With 3 rooms, I can rotate......
I also manually block 1 day after someone books for cleaning. That way I am not rushed and the cabin has time to air out.
@Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 That's been happening to me, too. I am supposed to have a day before and a day after each reservation blocked automatically.
It used to work. It's not working now. I've had two requests for a check-in on the 13th after a check-out on the 12th.
I had to go into my calendar and manually set the dates to "unavailable".
We have automatic calendar blocking for one night due to Covid restrictions. That seems to be overriding the regular settings.
Mine seems to be working but Im not sure what I did differently @Michelle53 , I actually instituted it before the new cleaning program via the "Block 1 night before and after each reservation" in the availability widget. So far, so good and I might add, its made things a lot less hectic in our home when we have 3 clean-outs at once! I do hope they fix it if its acting wonky, its no fun and we shouldn't have to explain to a potential guest that the mother-ship screwed up. Host safely, JR
Last week, like @Melodie-And-John0 I updated the reservation preferences to 2 days before and after bookings on the availability settings. This week I opted-out of the enhanced cleaning protocol, and did not choose the alternate 72 hour booking buffer. Both changes have been consistently reflected on the calendar and the description.
Here's my calendar for July.
I have these settings checked (long-time settings, pre-Covid) :-
2 days advance notice
1 day before and 1 day after blocked
Airbnb has made all dates up through July 31st unavailable for one night bookings, but available for two or more nights. That did not make all the dates automatically blocked, as you can see. But I had to go in and manually make the 13th and 14th unavailable (strikes through the days)
We have not changed anything with our settings buffer, it has been in place since the listing was made active. If you check our calendar on the host side it shows the buffer in place, and did before we actually had a booking and the enquiry. On the guest side the buffer isn't shown. Consequently, with a 3 night availability in the calendar a guest can book a check-in on the same day a guest checks out, and force the same arrangement when they themselves check out.
With @Michelle53 having this happen to her, merely seeing the host side calendar reflecting the buffer doesn't necessarily mean it is actually active.
The booking buffer ends July 31. I learned this the hard way. It’s a bit messy. Your listing show you have this extra precaution on place but it doesn’t state it’s only through July. False advertising. I have been trying to get a reservation canceled for over a week. The new CS policy is to escalate everything. The reps that answer can not help you. They are basically just taking notes. The chat feature goes unanswered because of Covid. They have policy in place. If the customer cancels in order to get a full refund they have to say they are comfortable with the host. If the host cancels it in order to avoid getting marked down you need to provide documentation. My issue is I am now breaking my county health directive and I can’t get Airbnb to help with the refund.
I have had the same issues as well. For some reason my settings would reset and I will have to go back in and set everything back up. I had people that was able to book a house when they shouldnt have been able too. The last time a person booked my house for two days at midnight for the next day, arriving on the same day someone checked out and leaving on the same day someone checked in. I wasnt able to cancel myself because it was so close to the start of the day, I was told I had to call CS in order to cancel but couldnt get hold of anybody(now that I think about it CS never did get with me about that) Wasn't able to get hold of the guest until an hour before check in. Told him there was a mistake and I couldnt accommodate his stay but he hit me up about him and his pregnant wife not having anyplace to stay so I worked a deal to where he would check in 4 hours late and I would bring in an extra person to get the house ready which meant I wouldnt be making anything on the stay. Then after he arrived I realized that the guest who was checking in after them had requested an early check in and I agreed which left me one hour to clean in between guest. I ended up telling the guy if he left that day I would give him a full refund basically giving him a free nights stay, which he jumped all over. So basically I spent $150 to clean the house and didnt make no money on the deal.
So here's what happened after my illegitimate booking due to Airbnb's platform failure :
Firstly the CS 'specialist' - the one after the one who initially takes your 'Traveller chat' told me my settings allowed this to happen and it was all my fault, and the guest was legitimately entitled under my settings to enquire about a booking*. Since we were actually discussing a booking being placed and paid for here, that wasn't the conversation I needed to have. That day, I hadn't crawled out from under a stone! I told them, they were wrong, and that whilst my settings would 'allow' the guest to enquire, they clearly do not allow the guest to 'book'. This was day 1.
*Learn from CS strategy here... when faced with a decision you're not sure about, type " I just need to check some details here, please bear with me" then go and affirm the details in the T&C's and don't be pressurised.
Being fully aware that I couldn't accommodate the new guest under the circumstances, out of courtesy, I needed to inform him that he needed to book elsewhere and why. So after apologising to the guest on behalf of Airbnb and sending him the Chat I had with CS, within seconds he cancelled. That, I thought was a little odd. I suspected that maybe CS had cancelled and arranged something with the guest - but no. The guest immediately cancelled as it was well within the 48 hour free cancellation window and went elsewhere. So there, I was off the hook.
5 days later, I received a notification from CS that, "we noticed the guest cancelled, all sorted, great - is there anything else we can help you with?" Of course there was... Firstly, an apology was required from Airbnb for their platform problem, (because, it wasn't the host's problem here) and secondly, the guest deserved some sort of compensation for any inconvenience and stress he had encountered. Apparently it was the CS Agents shift end (!) - so it needed to be sorted out in a couple of days time.... It was. An apology was made and a compensation payment of £19 ($25) was offered. I know this because I followed up with the guest. The guest said " We've not accepted, because we don't know how much we want yet..."
So there, @Airbnb is the problem you have caused and it is costing you money. This is what your software and platform problems do. Hopefully, any host reading this will relate to how they get treated by CS Agents and rather than accept what they say, they will challenge the judgement and work directly with the guests to help arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.
I have considered this; Unless the host was an Instant Book SuperHost and needed to cancel on a guest for any reason, the host would be facing penalties. Those penalties are as follows;
The Airbnb guidance on this is (abbreviated) as follows:
Cancellations disrupt guests' plans and impact confidence in the Airbnb community. We enforce host cancellation penalties help to prevent cancellations from occurring and further promote transparency in our marketplace.
A fee will be deducted from your first payout after a cancellation. The amount deducted will depend on when you accepted the reservation and how soon before check-in you cancelled it:
Your calendar will stay blocked, and you won't be able to accept another reservation for the same dates of the cancelled reservation.
If you cancel before the day of check-in, an automated review will be posted to your listing's profile indicating that you cancelled one of your reservations. These reviews can't be removed, but you can always write a public response to clarify why you needed to cancel.
If you cancel 3 or more reservations within a year, we may deactivate your listing.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.
Exceptions for Instant Book reservations
You can cancel Instant Book reservations penalty-free under certain circumstances. Learn more.
My evaluation is this:
Airbnb, you value a guest cancellation compensation at £19 ($25). That is HALF the monetary value of what you expect a host at the minimum value should pay. I would quite happily pay that £19 to cancel a guest - without the additional imposed penalties - because those imposed penalties are beyond double the value apportioned by Airbnb to the severity of the cancellation and have further penalties added.
Why are hosts being penalised in the way that they are?