Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10
1,667 Views

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?


Case Manager 1.png

I responded to the employee with this message....

 

Case Manager 2.png

 Today I got a follow-up message......

Case Manager 3.png

 

 

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’!!

 

Cheers.....Rob

27 Replies

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

@Robin4 You caught me red handed - now you know why I'm in favour of hand-on approach and double-checking. 😉

Now seriously, what can we do to make sure the business goes smoothly? Airbnb reps seem to be scattered all around the world, other members report here being served by someone somewhere in the land of cheap labour. Quality is plummeting, expectations rocketing... 

// "The only person you can trust is yourself"

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Marzena4

This is the first issue I have had that has required Airbnb support and I guess, in fairness, the agent thought he had done his job and arranged a solution for this guest. He wasn't to know the guest was not using his Airbnb registered phone.

I just felt terrible that the guest was here and it was me that was letting him down. They were all tired and I could not let them enter the cottage!

I should have stood my ground when the agent asked for my permission to do a neutral cancellation, I should have said no, the IB reservation is binding. This wasn't like a pre-approval where you can block your calendar from other requests, if I had blocked the calendar nobody could have booked, so it was just an unfortunate situation but I tell you Marzena, I will learn from it!

 

Cheers.....Rob

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

@Robin4Interesting series of events. It is up to each host to make sure the right moves are being done for them, if it is not, make your own decision and leave nothing up to anyone else.

 

Just lately, after 4 years, I finally had to call Airbnb, concerning a payment fraud issue, otherwise they would never would have heard from me. Even with this issue, it turned out to be an unnecessary stupid series of events (and costs) that could have been been prevented weeks ago when I first raised the alarm. This time I was a bit more emphatic, and told the CS person to get off their desk and walk over to security immediately, unless they wanted to be part of a continuing fraud - they did, security called. Issue being addressed. When the 'game is afoot', it is no time for foolish moves (aka mistakes).

 

P.S. The CS person turned out to be exceptionally sharp and pro-active.

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

But what to do if you happen to deal with a semi-bot rep?

// "The only person you can trust is yourself"

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

Ask to speak to someone else.

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
SF, CA
Level 10

@Robin4@Marzena4@Fred13, are all here at once.

This is like watching the All-Star game.

 

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

It's called "hosts' intuition" 😉

// "The only person you can trust is yourself"

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Robin4 I think your second guest is somewhat at fault in their trouble -- guests must stay in contact with their host. They paid enough attention to find your address, they should have maintained communication with the message thread. We are not hotels with front desk staff, communication must go two ways.

 

I do think also that I would have either adjusted the reservation for the first guest (preferring a 2 night over a 1 night reservation) immediately rather than expecting them to do it for themselves OR upon discovering that they had not completed their end then would have allowed the new reservation to stand. IB does mean that First Come is First Served.

 

I would like to see ABB add a "confirm" button on a reservation that shows that a host has seen the res, that they agree that the guest has met booking conditions and that all is well and confirmed. I will not be holding my breath....

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Kelly149 @Fred13 @Matthew285 @Marzena4

Hi Kelly, things are always a bit more complicated than they seem, and I did have to simplify that story a litle bit. The guest that was here, was here as the result of an Airbnb issue with his previous accomodation. I was recommended by the CS person he was dealing with and Airbnb had given him a coupon for his next stay, which he wanted to use for this additional night.

The other thing was, I wanted to give him a special offer for his second night. I wanted to do this because I was trying to rebuild his confidence in Airbnb, which had taken a bit of a dent.

We did discuss the options of how to go about incorporating this second night into the stay.....but it was he who had to work the system, not me......which is why I did not just add a night. We both agreed it was better to do it with another booking!

Your bit about the confirm button, is spot on Kelly...thgis last couple of days has really taught me a lot.

 

I am going to do a feedback item on this. The major problem with Aiurbnb support is, it operates like a series of islands rather than a country!

Individual case managers are appointed, and case managers are human, they work, maybe, 10 hour shifts and then close their cases for the day and go home! The world does not stop until they come back on duty again. With every issue there should be a seemless trail from one skilled manager to another! The board should show at any time...open cases. closed cases, and support should operate as a team, not as a series of diferent thinking individuals.

Anyway I am going to go into that after I get some meals cooked for today......

Thanks Kelly.

 

Cheers.....Rob

 

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Robin4 you're right that the system of 'this guy keeps the case forever' is absurd. I hope you are able to make some inroads with CS on that front.

So sorry that CS worked against you rather than for you.

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Daylesford, Australia
Level 10

@Robin4, any single issue can have several managers attached, I had an issue where guests didn't check out, left the phone in the accom so couldn't be contacted (turns out they forgot which day they were leaving) and I had new guests due in 2,5 hours. I had THREE managers trying to sort it out, because each time I rang them for an update I got a new one, added to the last. This was very strange but worked out in the end.

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Robin4 next time if your current guest wants to extend his stay just block a day and let him pay in cash. Simple and secure 🙂

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0

Sorry Branka, I would never do that, Airbnb have brought this business to me and I would never try to go behind their back. Airbnb are entitled to their cut and I will always work with the system.

 

Cheers.....Rob

Re: Have I got a story to tell you. Never allow anyone to cancel a guest reservation

in
Kraków, Poland
Level 10

@Robin4 But you can always invoice your guests for other services not advertised by Airbnb, like entertainment... 😉

// "The only person you can trust is yourself"
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