Or, I could have titled this, **bleep**** if you do and **bleep**** if you don't! Airbnb has an option when setting my nightly price to offer a 10% discount to people booking with the understanding that there are no refunds. As I use a form of "smart pricing", (Beyond Pricing), I never know exactly what my house has booked out at until I see the Instant Booking or someone sends a message asking to book. Point being, I don't know who has taken advantage of the 10% discount as all I see on my end is the end price.
At the beginning of the month, I had a guest book my home for one person, (for 5 days), however, mentioned that his family of 6 would be coming. Although my house rules state no children under 12,--there were three. Even though I wasn't very happy that he had booked my house for 1 instead of 6, and there were 3 children under the age of 12, I told him I would adjust the number of people and send him a change request. At that time he complained bitterly about the difference in cost and asked if I would give a discount for military. I immediately gave him a discount of $100 and waived the fee for 1 guest as well. AFTER doing this, he started asking questions about children, suggesting that he thought children were free as per Airbnb. His exact words, "..we were told, and under the impression that, children under 18 did not count as 'paid guests'." I told him I had never heard of such a thing. His response was to let me know that actually, there were 8 or 9 people coming. At that time, my house was only setup for 6 guests; 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. It was also about this time that I realized he had booked my house using the 10% discount and therefore was not eligible for any refund if he cancelled.
I was very frustrated,--the guest had booked at a 10% discount, I had already discounted another $100, plus an additional $95. I don't know why I did this,--but I offered to open up another room and bathroom in my house,--giving them 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and,--oh, by the way, I only charged him for 6 people,--so three people stayed for free. Exactly what he wanted. I was exhausted after working hard to finish up the additional bedroom/bathroom.
He kept asking for more and pushing me to cancel, however, I told him I thought I had been more than fair. He finally agreed. After going out of my way to accommodate him, giving the 10% discount, $100 price reduction and allowing 3 people to stay for free,--guess who left me my FIRST EVER 3 star review for value?!?? You guessed it!!! I couldn't believe it! And, although I have NEVER had any guest(s) do this,--ALL travel sized toiletries that I provide for my guests were taken as well as every single snack including the display boxes! Go figure!
Anyway,--today I just had another guest instant book my home for 1 person, (4 days), even though 8 are coming. I told her no problem, I would send her a change adjustment request. When I did, she said it was just too expensive and she would be cancelling. I said, okay,--except, she couldn't cancel as she too had booked my home with the no cancellation, 10% discount. She then complained to me that she would not be getting all of her money back. (Keep in mind she only booked for 1 person instead of 8 for four days). She refused my change request and any attempts to work anything out. Guess who called me and asked me to cancel the reservation so that a full refund can be given to the guest? Yes, you guessed it,--an Airbnb CS person. I have explicitly stated in my listing,--please if you are a first time Airbnb'r READ my booking requirements. Can someone please help me understand WHY Airbnb encourages me to offer a 10%, no cancellation discount,--but then turns around and asks me to refund every penny? I don't get it!
I am afraid NOT to do it, as the one time I had to ask 9 guests to leave my home, (https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/Bad-Guests-Too-Bad-For-Hosts/m-p/1041282#), I did not get any bookings for the following SIX weeks. Although Airbnb insisted they weren't penalizing me,--I have never gone 6 weeks with no bookings unless my listing was paused.
If I don't agree to cancelling and refunding my guest and my guest does not cancel,--then what? If they showed up, I can let 8 people stay for the price of one, or ask the additional 7 people to leave as per my house rules. Either way, I imagine I won't be getting a 5-star review!
So,--once again,--the host loses out. I feel worn out after wasting hours texting via the Airbnb app and talking to Airbnb CS. I have finally changed my instant booking settings to only accept guests with positive reviews from other hosts. I'm hopeful if they have successfully used Airbnb before, they will be able to enter the correct number of guests, read house rules, etc. However, I know that's not foolproof either.
I know I've said it before but I'll say it again,--it's no wonder Airbnb is offering me $350 if I can convince someone else to become an Airbnb host. I'm guessing the attrition rate must be fairly high. If only Airbnb would treat their hosts as well as they do their guests..........
So sorry to hear about this-- it sounds to me like you bent over backwards to try to accomodate this unreasonable guest, and were duly punished and will continue to have back pain for some time.
Next time, call CS and cancel as soon as the guest informs you they are far outside your rules / what you promised. That was saying they were bringing more guests than book, then more than allowed, and then the feign of saying under 18 was free.
You had 3 red flags. At one, call and exercise a free cancel.
@Julieanna0 Why did you let it get this this point? I would have canceled around the introduction of children and/or the request for an additional discount. In the future, I suspect you will be better able to say "no." Nicely of course, since you seem like a very generous and nice person.
Once airbnb called me for a similar reason and said that they will also refund the airbnb agency fee to the guest.
Guest had no reason to cancel....
Guess what I was the one who refunded the guest and airbnb did not refund their fee.
I felt soooooo.......#=$$///$/^&$/€^$%€£((*^^$=%^$×÷_€^^
@Julieanna0 You are being too nice. When a nice person meets a bad person, it is very easy to get hurt.
If you still have instant booking on, you can add requirements of previous good reviews and government Id verifications. Adding those will not affect your listing search ranking.
If if you want your listings to be ranked high, updating your listing daily with a small change and sometimes using the price tip will help.
@Julieanna0 You already know that people who haggle for discounts and extras are going to be bad guests and give a poor review, I'm sure. This also is evidence that my guess on airbnb's 10% discount no cancellation was really a 10% discount, and that cancellations would be given, I would suggest if you already haven't done it, to turn off this discount feature.
@Julieanna0 This also is evidence that my guess on airbnb's 10% discount no cancellation was really a 10% discount, and that cancellations would be given, I would suggest if you already haven't done it, to turn off this discount feature.
Good point. I still don't see the benefit to a host to offer this discount since AirBNB cancels/refunds at will.