Refund and bad review

Level 2
Liverpool, United Kingdom

Refund and bad review

Looking for some advise here please . 


A guest booked 4 nights . Checked in . After one day at the flat I messaged as I do with all guests to find out if all is well and they said all is well . 


After two days in the flat they send us a message they need to check out immediately and want us to get the keys asap. Reason : the mattress is giving them both a back ache . 


They left within half hour of this entire communication. Later they sent me a note asking for refund for the unused days. I told them about our refund policy ( no refund if cancellation occurs within 5 days prior to booking ) Then he started getting a bit nasty telling us there were tissues under the bed , no lamp shade on the light, bottles under the sofa , smoke alarm wasnt working and that we were keeping them in unsafe conditions . ( all of which were lies ) No cleanliness issues , smoke alarm is a legal requirement in this country , so we always keep a check on them etc . 


Then he started telling us he will give us a bad review , unless we refund him. After which point i havnt responded to him. 


Ideas from experienced hosts please , on how to carry forward with such a guest from here onwards. 


I dont plan to write a bad review for them purely because I dont want to get into this crap. I know he will kill my stats with the worst review of the type . Should i respond ? or just let it be ? 

10 Replies 10
Level 2
College Park, MD

It was suggested to me that you should contact Airbnb directly, which i did. The guests I had issues with (first ever in hundreds of guests) just left me a review and I'm pretty sure it's heinous and I can't bring myself to even read it now. I did refund 1 night of her stay despite her taking pictures of my private entrance and porch areas (which are under construction at this time). She didn't say anything until 24 hours after leaving and I feel pretty emotional about this. It's my home afterall. 


I'd suggest that you contact Airbnb. And follow their instructions if that works for you. You can say no. And yes, you may get a bad review but you can also review the guest and note exactly what you've posted here.

Level 10
Copenhagen, Denmark

It's simple. Don't refund him. He threatened you and that's the deal breaker.

Normally partial refund is a no brainer in some situations but its always your call and decision.


If the guest tries to extort you, you have to be strong and NOT REFUND ANYTHING!

And then you contact Airbnb and let them know asap!

This is unacceptable behaviour!


So sorry you had to endure this but be firm and strong and don't let people harrass or threaten you!


And for all of you who consider a partial or full refund, guests like this one will always leave a bad review nevertheless so you might as well not lose your entire earnings over it.


All the best and let us know with updates....

Level 1
Kailua, HI

Agreed and please report scammers to help other hosts from having the same problem with them 

Level 2
Liverpool, United Kingdom

Thanks so much , I will keep you guys updated . 

Level 10
Seattle, WA

I may be going against the grain of many hosts here.

Although disappointed, i usually refund unused days.

If they don't want to be there, why have them there?

They're unhappy, you're unhappy.

My policy extends only to guests who have come in good faith -

Those who tried my place and have not tried to get ALL of their days refunded.

To show good faith, guests also must cancel timely, so that I have a chance to rebook.

Level 2
Liverpool, United Kingdom

Hi Paul, thanks for the note . When someone cancels at this short notice , there are little or no chances of getting the days booked. This is the reason why I kept the policy of no refund if cancellation occurs within 5 days leading to the check in date. 


It is a very clear policy , stated on my listing . 


I personally think the guest is just trying to create issues out of nothing to force me into a refund . Which I do not agree with. I have a detailed listing , Pictures reflect the flat correctly ( pictures were taken and approved by Airbnb photographer ) , several reviews state they found the flat exactly as advertised . 


If the guest had some serious issue about the mattress , they could have told me to find a solution e.g a mattress topper that I may have provided them as a one time solution only because I like to keep my guest comfortable . But they didnt choose to communicate , instead simply asked to leave and later coming up with all sorts of excuses ! 


Even if I refund them at my loss , I walk away with a loss of earning, loss of confidence , bad review , low stats , no return clientele in any case ! so might as well just use this situation as a learning curve to handle any future difficult guests 

Level 10
Limerick, Ireland

Hello @Samia8,


I would decline any refund request and let the guest involve Airbnb if they wish.

Was the communication where he starting saying that he'd leave a bad review unless you refunded him, in Airbnb messages?

If so then you should contact Airbnb customer service and point this out to them as soon as possible to get your side of the story in first. You should also flag the messages by clicking on the little flag icon next to them.

It's unpredictable how Airbnb will habdle a situation when the guest involves them but if his extortion message is visible to them you can ask them to remove any review he does leave.





Level 3
Bristol, PA

Perfect!  The Guest is an idiot, on top of being a terrible guest.  Review Extortion is a clear violation of Air T&Cs - you WILL be able to get it removed. 

Before calling them, record all your account data, and future bookings, and take screen shots of his communication.  Then call Air - this is one of the only times when they usually side with a host without arguing with more than one CS Agent. 

Keep the money and later give THEM all 1 stars - but don't mention the review extortion.  See how they like it!


Level 2
Liverpool, United Kingdom

Yes , its all in the Airbnb message system where he said this twice . 


Just out of curiosity , When and at what stage can a guest involve the airbnb assistance? and the same question for the host side too ? 


Do both sides have to wait until the 14 day wait for the review is over or can do it early on too? 

Level 10
Limerick, Ireland

Hello @Samia8,

Either side can phone or get in contact with Airbnb by other means at any time.


You should do so to bring his extortion attempt to their notice. This may mean that they don't refund him should he contact them asking for one.


Type "contact airbnb" in the "Search the community" box at the top of these pages where you posted this question.

Click on the "Contact Airbnb: A Community Help Guide" suggestion when it appears. You may have to scroll the suggeations. It has phone numbers and Twitter and Facebook contact details.

I've used the Twitter one successfully. It may take them a few hours to respond but they've always done so.



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