I'm writing here today to ask other hosts what they do about scammers. About once a year someone will book and then look very hard and long for a little piece of dirt or a spider or something and take a photo making it look way horrible then it is and send it to airbnb and demand their money back. Does anyone else ever experience this? Most of my guests are terrific but gee whiz sometimes you just can't please someone. They demand money back for the stupidest of things. What are some of your experiences?
Refunds are governed by the Guest Refund Policy. You should know it backwards and forwards since many CS agents don't, and you'll need to refer to it to advocate for yourself.
The guest needs to raise an issue within 24 hours of discovering it. If the issue isn't raised DURING the stay, they don't have much of a leg to stand on in terms of refunds after the fact.
If someone, during their stay, starts down this path I'll give the benefit of the doubt it's an honest complaint. If they find a bug or dust bunny under the bed, offer to re-clean. If they refuse, that says a lot.
If they keep pushing for a refund after you've addressed the issue, I'd choose to call Airbnb at that point and ask that they're re-homed, as evidently what we offer isn't a good fit for the guest. It's kind of a power move, since you're calling the guest on their BS and forcing them to interrupt their stay to find another place. The guest will be refunded any un-stayed nights, so be prepared for that.
If you keep playing the game, address/fix each issue to the best of your abilities as they arise. Each time refer back to the guest refund policy. Is this something that constitutes a guest travel issue? If yes, did they give you a chance to resolve it before involving Airbnb?
I've personally not dealt with someone doing this (finding tiny things to claim refund about), although I did have one guest attempt to cancel on arrival because the place was too small (she hadn't read anything). Knowing and referring to the guest refund policy saved my bacon. Air upheld my refusal to refund her stay.
This doesnt mean anything... discounts and refunds are taken on a case by case basis and it depends on the CSR agent that they reach as to whether or not money is given back. AirBnb will go against their own policies all the time.
I've heard that, too, but fortunately hasn't been my personal experience.
The one time it came into play the CS agent was able to see that the guest hadn't followed the terms of the guest refund policy, her complaints lacked merit, and issued no refund. (The guest left for a hotel, then cancelled and asked for a refund.)
Thank you for this information. I had a guest that stayed in one of my listings and upon leaving demanded $500. He escalated the claim that same night. He did not contact me during his stay and issues such as grandma getting a parking ticket were not my fault. After his making up lies and two weeks of back and forth with the Airbnb team they decided that I owe him $150. He did not meet any of the criteria on the page you suggested.
By the way, they offered to take the money out of future bookings. The listing had to be taken down because of neighbor complaints.
Most of our guests are fantastic and I have truly enjoyed hosting them. Sometimes we get a very tall guest who complains that he/she have to angle their heads to see the TV above the fireplace and we should get different furniture (there are two other tvs in the house). Sometimes we get someone who wants gourmet cookware (ours is new, from Amazon, but not Sur le Tab). Sometimes we get a guest who doesn't like a piece of furniture or rug and will leave us a note about their preference. Sometimes we get guests who say its hot outside in August. Or that there are bugs and critters on our wooded lot. And indeed these are true, but none of the above constitutes a failure on our parts as hosts. We love our little house, which was built in 1850 and has its quirks. Its very affordably priced per night for our area. So I always try to find a way to politely redirect. If we truly miss something I am happy to refund some of the cost of the stay commensurate with what we missed. But there are certain things I have no control over.
I used to struggle with such guests and took it very personal however it may help to have in your mind that in general 2% of people in general, not just guests but customers or consumers in multiple industries are problematic. No matter how great your place is, it is likely that 1 out of 50 people will be an issue. That is if you have a great place. If it is so so, the number gets higher. I know from experience of hosting multiple listings and also through my other businesses. 2-5% is the general rule of thumb. If you can manage to keep it below 2%, that is great!
Good example, my wife had a guest ask to cancel their 3 week trip because there was a minor tear in the window screen. Even though she offered to have it fixed the same day, they still wanted to leave. So we let them so they can now go get a hotel at almost twice the cost which will surely not be as nice.
often times, I also find the guests who traveled from a far distance (in this case these guests were Australian which is half way around the world), there are more issues and it has more to do with the fact that they had a long journey, are grumpy and maybe tired due to jet leg and take it out on you for extremely minor things.
Hi Nina... ive been hosting for 7 years and yes that is a problem... Especialy if they think that you are a new host or if they think that you are a pushover. Its very annoying.
Last week I had AirBnb give a lady a $300 discount (1 day free) because the toilet had an issue that I had to fix. It was 1 hr over check in time fixing the toilet and AirBnb gave her 1 day free because she complained. I was late for her check-in time. You would think that people would be grateful. Nope Airbnb felt she was entitled to a free night!
I had a lady from Apple Computer complain that she felt unsafe and wanted a full refund AFTER her stay. The AirBnb CSR was trying to bully me into giving her a refund. I ended up giving her her cleaning fee back just to appease the CSR agent from Bullying me.
I had a lady see a piece of paper in the front yard and a little bit of rust on my stainless steel trash can and she demanded a day for free. I ended up kicking her out on pure principle.
I call them "NITPICKERS"...
I had a guest go behind the washing machine in search of a free vacation. You have to fight them.
Yes happens all the time, and I feel that its getting worse.
Deny, deny, deny.s
Obfuscate, play dumb, attack.
"I was wondering why you were collecting spiders in the yard the other day.... "
"I thought that the pictures I took on checkin day showed that that was cleaned and tidied..."
Fight fire with fire
The most important and useful way to stop scammers is to stop the game.
"I'm sorry the place is not up to your needs. You are welcome to leave. thank you"
Shuts 'em up everytime.