(Disclaimer - this happened before 'Corona-Rona'., or whatever they want to call it nowadays)
I am quite the fan of Airbnb really in many respects, but with one notable exception; the capricious application of their EC policy is my main beef. An interesting example of how absurd it could be capriciously applied.
Two people book my place, I hold the time slot for 1.5 years, at a time when I am booked solid 1.5 years ahead. Three months before coming they add a second couple, cool. A mere month before coming they add a 3rd couple, but soon right after I get a message from Airbnb that the reservation has been cancelled with full refund for all because one person in the 3rd couple recently added can't make it, because she needs a knee operation. What a coincidence, or how slick. They send the 'medical proof' to back their claim and the lazy whomever at Airbnb that handled the case did their thing without further thought.
To be fair, in the past Airbnb always has consulted me first in any and all cancellations, and always have given me the opportunity to 'help' with the logic of the situation and work something out with the guest to everyone's satisfaction. Not this time. In essence, the adding of a 'third party', after the fact, gave license to the whole group getting out of the reservation and be fully refunded.
From that day forward, I started thinking in a whole new way how to play the game. All events do have an object lesson.
@Fred13 If you hold a 1.5yrs time slot bookings you should have a strict policy and would suggest you to decrease the guests down to 2-3, all other afters will have to pay a fee. I don't find it a big argument, it is all under your hands in the back office. But as I guess it was the chance to say ciao to your colleagues ok, go ahead. To be honest I even don't know where Belize is, but I think is a pretty lonely place apart locals, what did you do before? Start socializing with them and teach your knowledge, if you still have one available. cheers 😉
I am on Super Strict 60 with Airbnb. Right now first two are the base price, each additional guests $100 per night. All Central American countries do have a substantial ex-pat populations and of course their populations double for 6 months during tourist season with foreigners - keeps things lively.
@Fred13 OMG you were busy lately, I am curious to see new pictures with all these upgrades, it sounds very interesting.
Admit Fred, you are happy when someone cancels so you can enjoy the island for yourself 😄
The thing is that I am like AAA, on the go always thinking ideas and implementing them, but now I go the island and I am so relaxed, I get only 25% of what I need to get done - ok the island is finally 'there'.
@Fred13 Airbnb has always failed its host in this regard. I have a similar story and the EC policy did not even apply . . . Guest tells me the day before arrival that their party of 4 increased to a party of 6. I have a 4 person max and never want to take over 4 since there is technically nowhere for guests 5 and 6 to sleep. But the guest did not want to cancel. I called Airbnb and my two options were a.) let the party of 6 stay with an additional person fee or b.) Airbnb would cancel on my behalf and I would receive no payment for the holiday weekend. So the guest can hold my calendar hostage for months and then get a free refund because they are not willing to follow my house rules.
Before covid-19, I though EC was just another excuse for Airbnb to give refunds to guests for things people should have TRAVEL INSURANCE for (death in family, injury or other emergency medical issues). Now I grudgingly acknowledge that yes there can be instances where EC is needed but I still think the EC oversteps. Also I definitely feel Airbnb need to do a better job at securing evidence and clearly defining criteria for guests/hosts to be eligible for EC.
And regardless, guests need to be held more accountable for their decisions. Airbnb should stop making it so easy for GUESTS to *game* the system.
My thoughts precisely @Jessica-and-Henry0 . While hosts are being held responsible 100% to do everything right and 'by the Airbnb book', the same degree of accountability should be applied toward guests. After all they are not children.
@Fred13 it only let me give you one thumbs up. I will be off to create a couple other IDs so I can give you more.
Overall, judging by my occupancy rate compared to the number of requests I get for refunds, I would not be able to stomach anything less than strict and do not have to do
@Inna22 🙂 The EC issue is a serious issue with hosts, was before this latest virus event; it is serving to keep their hosts on pins & needles. Airbnb needs to now approach the subject of Travel Insurance seriously, as their competitors do (i.e. VRBO). No better time for them to think of ways to lessen the three areas that create the conflict with their hosts: EC, review system and Host Guarantee.
@Fred13 , I think the Insurance idea is probably the best answer, I just wouldnt want Airbnb to be the insurer, they have enough to work on and fix already. That would change the game for everyone and allow the different types of traveler to pick what works for them and hosts choices wouldn't need to be overridden. Im guessing that insurance might be a bit pricey right now due to Covid but within a short time of an inoculation being available should go back to reasonable. The funny part is I would probably still keep the flex option so guests could foresee more savings as another reason to choose us over others.