Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10
767 Views

We had some snow and a weekend cancellation. After a few other attempts at booking by new guests we could not guarantee that we could do our cleaning turnover due to the weather so we refused the booking and blocked the calendar for this weekend. Lo and behold my plumber who has been totally slammed offered to come on Friday and do some pretty disruptive repairs that would mean its best for our place to be empty over the weekend and into next week. Perfect. We have been trying to get him forever so this was great timing. Calendar was blocked accordingly yesterday-- AND the weekend was blocked because we refused a reservation.

 

Except that an hour ago a guest booked blocked dates. Puzzled I apologized and explained. Guest asked if I could change my plans to accommodate her and I explained that we would possibly not have hot water when she stayed and didn't want to risk it. I asked her to cancel. She is refusing on the grounds that it "dings her account" and she would not get  her money back. She sent me a screen shot that appears below and basically says the host has to cancel. Uh, okay. News to me.

 

So I call Airbnb and ask for help/has anything changed/how was this guest able to book? We have a flexible policy so she should get all her money back. The rep confirms that there is no penalty for the guest. Has anyone heard of this? What is going on? Are they trying to force people to lose SH status as a new thing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot_20201217-171018_Airbnb.jpg

19 Replies

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

And now...Airbnb is saying that if they cancel I will get a penalty? I refused a reservation from the 18th through the 20th saying my space was not available. My calendar was manually blocked for the refusal until the 20th with a day after for cleaning protocol (the 21st which mean the 22 was the first day open and we have a 2 night minimum and a check in on the 24th so it could not have booked.) The new reservation is for the 20th-22nd. We never have back to back guests and always have 1-2 days set up between. I looked at our after our declination of the request to book to make sure the dates were blocked. They were. How is this even possible? And why do I have to get a penalty if I don't take this reservation?

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Laura2592,

I suggest calling back, and fingers crossed, you can speak with someone who has a better understanding of how things are supposed to work.  Hopefully, they will handle the cancellation without penalizing either you or the guest.

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Debra300I did and after 3 phone calls and 1.5 hours I was able to get the reservation canceled penalty free. You basically have to be Clarence Darrow to get anything done. All those debate team trophies in high school came in handy for something other than convincing my husband to take out the trash 🙂

 

But seriously-- guests do not get penalized. I want to know why this one thought they would. And where does that screen shot come from? Is there a movement to force hosts to cancel?

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Hi @Laura2592,

 

I'm really sorry to hear about that, but I'm glad it was all sorted in the end 😊

Thanks a lot for the updates and let us know if you have any other concerns.

 

Thanks,

Liv

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Liv With all due respect, there is still a concern, and that is the ongoing number of glitches related to IB. This is not a new issue. This forum is littered with similar posts, going way back. It's certainly why I ceased using IB myself. Hosts shouldn't have to be taken by surprise and have an annoyed guest to deal with, find creative workarounds, spend hours of time fixing an oops (a lot of it spent in communication with CS reps who are quite frankly clueless a lot of the time, adding to the frustration). Airbnb needs to just get this under control, once and for all.

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Florence, Canada
Level 10

I had blocked dates booked once, too, @Laura2592 . What a pain. No advice beyond what you already did. I can tell you the long-term side effect of that having happened is CONSTANTLY checking the calendar to make sure the blocks are still in place. I was obsessive about it in the months before a family wedding was going to happen here. Ugh. 

I'm writing because I do know the answer to where that screenshot came from. The guest chose "host wants me to cancel" from the cancellation-reasons dropdown. That's when that screen shows up. 

The guest wasn't going to be penalized. It was just that they booked a date that looked open to them, cancelled because you told them to, and entered the correct information.

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

@Laura2592 

 

A host must cancel if not able to accommodate a booked reservation, and guest will receive full refund. Penalties will apply for the host. Airbnb is just following the rules, not taking into account there probably was a system error (as you explained) which caused somebody could book on blocked dates.

 

This will be a tough case, as you now have to proof an error occured in the calender.

Which is rather impossibe...

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Emiel1yes I understand. But I was able to prevail by sending copious screen shots. Luckily Airbnb time stamps everything when they send a message.

 

This is truly a calendar glitch. The days were blocked. I saw them blocked with my own eyes while awake, alert, sober and reasonably coherent. It scares the bejeezus out of me that this could happen and may happen again.

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Laura2592 Regarding the guest "penality." I think the guest means this:

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-17 at 7.07.11 PM.png

If a guest cancels too many times (over 3) in one year the service fees will not be refunded. So the guest does not want that "mark" on her account. Maybe she cancels quite a bit?

 

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

Maybe she does cancel a lot. I hadn't thought of that.

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Laura2592  Did Airbnb have an explanation as to how someone was able to book blocked dates?  

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Mark116no they tried to say that the dates were not blocked (they were) and push back that I was just not wanting to host this person. The solution offered initially was that I needed to give them a receipt for the plumbing repairs that had the date listed that I could not host. I asked "which date? the date this person wants to check in? A date during her stay? The date she checks out?" and they could not figure out what would be the exonerating information. Plus I was told I would have penalties until they saw this receipt with a date they couldn't decide on and once they got it, my penalties would disappear. In the meantime my search placement would tank and my listing would suffer. So not an ideal solution

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Laura2592 I get that glitches are real, but I'm not sure that the buffer setting kicks in on blocked days, those may only apply on real stays

Re: Guest is able to book blocked days. Airbnb says hosts have to cancel now?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Kelly149I think there is something to that. I had a situation once before where a guest canceled a stay and someone was able to book a check in on the day the other guest was leaving. Because our cleaning requires 24 hours between guests now, we never have a check in and check out on the same day. Luckily that guest was understanding and moved their check in to the next day. There is definitely something very glitchy that happens to the calendar when a guest cancels. Typically we leave those dates open and more often than not someone else grabs them. But there have been some funky things with waiting periods that should normally be there.

Join the conversation