Wow, do I have a story to tell!
I have always said, as a host, never cancel a confirmed guest reservation….I now have to add something to that! Never allow an Airbnb employee to cancel a confirmed guest reservation either!
My current guest booked to stay for one night....last night! On arrival after looking around the cottage he asked if it were possible to extend that stay and extra night. I said…..”As it turns out, tomorrow night is one of only two free nights I have this month and provided you attended to the booking through Airbnb I am happy for that to happen”! He said he would attend to it right away. That was at 2.45pm yesterday afternoon. At 6.00pm I got an Instant Book reservation for tonight from a German tourist with his wife and two small children…….. the night the current guest said he was booking right away at 2.45pm! He was here on the property so I told him what had happened and I said….”I can’t cancel a confirmed reservation, hadn’t you got around to attending, to the booking?”
He said it was all taken care of and he was arranging it with Airbnb support. I next got a phone call from an Airbnb support employee who told me he was currently attending to an extension for my current guest, had noticed the IB come through to my account and he would perform a neutral cancellation for the IB booking.
I told the Airbnb employee I would not cancel a confirmed guest booking and I would not sanction Airbnb to do it on my behalf. He assured me he would relocate the IB and that my existing guests new reservation was confirmed…..Can you follow all of this?
I responded to the employee with this message....
Today I got a follow-up message......
You can see from these screenshots….all done and dusted!......WRONG!
This evening at 6.02pm I had the IB guest who had been relocated by Airbnb turn up for his confirmed reservation. He has a tired wife and two stroppy kids in the car and this ‘guest’ is not happy being told he does not in actual fact have a booking for tonight, it had been cancelled by Airbnb. He stated…… not as far as he was concerned, he had paid his money and his booking was confirmed.
What had happened, they are from Germany and he does not have an Australian card in his phone, but his wife does. Yesterday he did the reservation and payment via his wife’s phone but all the Airbnb information was being sent back to his phone and not being received. I do find this a little strange because if the booking was done on his wifes phone, that phone must also have the Airbnb app on it and should have received Airbnb messages to their account!!
I felt so bad but, I felt soooooo cross that I had allowed this to happen, I had allowed this lovely family’s reservation to be cancelled. I got them out of the car and I let her use our kitchen and our food to prepare something for the children to eat. Frantic calls to the Airbnb support person were answered but the response was a startled representative and he was clearly struggling to conjure up a solution for this issue. I suggested if worst came to worst I could put this family up in a spare room in the main house and I did have highchairs, toys and 2 cots to sleep the children, as well as a relatively good queen bed for the adults, and I offered to cook them a meal, as it was now going on 7.00pm!
The guest was cross, but could understand and we frantically looked for another listing in the area that could take them on such short notice. A place was found, they hopped in their car and we did part on reasonable terms, but it has taught me a lesson.
There is absolutely no scenario where I will cancel or allow anyone associated with Airbnb to cancel a confirmed guest reservation.
As @Marzena says here on the forum….’the only person you can trust is yourself’!!