I have always been under the impression, if a guest cancels a confirmed reservation after the grace period, Airbnb would refund to the guest what the host would have received but, they will retain the service fee!
It looks like what I thought is not even close to it!
Last night I had a guest cancel a November reservation for 2 nights that they had made 3 days ago on the 13th October! I was surprised by the amount of the refund the guest is getting back from Airbnb so, I did a dummy run to see what a guest who books at this point in time pays and this is what it amounts to....
When I checked the message details for this reservation I expected to see (as Airbnb had told me in line with my Flexible cancellation policy the guest would be fully refunded) that the guest would get back $180.00.
Have a look at what Airbnb are refunding the guest!!!
Am I missing something here? It looks to me like Airbnb are retaining $90.00 from this guest as service charges for handling this booking that only lasted in place for 3 days.
It looks to me like Airbnb have charged this guest a service fee of 41%.
Can anyone else shed any light on this outrageous charge?
@Robin4 The guest should actually get back $195, as they should be refunded the cleaning fee as well. And on the refund screenshot, it says they were charged 0 for service fee, when if they cancelled more than 48 hours after, Airbnb would have retained that.
Seems like a glitch to me. Have the guests contacted you? They should contact Airbnb about this, it's obviously not right.
@Alice595 Not possible in this case Alice, the booking was only made 3 days ago and the 'pay less up front' option would not have been offered to them.
My personal rationale is that the guest had an outstanding amount on file of $105 and Airbnb have deducted that from the returned amount. That is the only logical explanation I can put to it!
With this in mind I contacted the guest and suggested they ring Airbnb for clarification as to why so much of their payment has been withheld. The last thing I need is the guest thinking I am pocketing their money while Airbnb reaps the reward. I wanted to make the guest fully aware that we hosts do not have anything to do with the money side of things until after the guest arrives. She was thankful for that because at that point this was her perception.....that I was being a greedy host and taking advantage of her.
I then contacted CX to ask for an explanation (which I have not been given) and the support person I spoke to could, or would, not offer me a reason for this refund amount. I did raise your point Alice that the guest is entitled to 3 penalty free cancellations per year.....had they used those up? I was trying to work out if they owed Airbnb money, but, once again no explanation was forthcoming.
I then said to support I wanted them to personally explain to the guest why 41% of their payment has not been returned because, the guest is considering I am guilty of some sort of shady behaviour, and I wanted them to apologise on Airbnb's behalf and inform the guest that the host has had no part in this withholding!
This was the first really unsatisfactory dealing I have had with support. I hope I hit a nerve somewhere and they decide to do the right thing!
@Sarah977 Thanks Sarah, you are of course right, the cleaning fee should also have been refunded!
@Robin4 I am not sure why the two payments option were not available to your guest. The booking was made on 10/14 for some time to check in in November. There are enough time for the option of two payments.
But if the guest told you that he had made a full payment, that is a different story.
@Alice595 Yeah sorry Alice you are right, the cut off time for pay less up front is I think, two weeks.
The only other scenario I could think of is, they may have used a coupon when they booked as part payment but this turned out not to be the case.
I did however have another call from CX and spoke with a very competent agent called Desiree and she assured me the guest had been refunded in full including the service fees so, it has sorted itself out. All I need to hear now is from the guest to confirm that they have received a full refund.
Maybe Airbnb are not as greedy as I was beginning to think!
@Sarah977 I believe that a guest has three times cancellations per year(?) with no service charges. The service charge could all be in the first payment. But I am not sure about that.
My my recent trip had two payments as well. The first payment is more than the second. The second payment is due one week or so before check-in date.
Not sure I have understood the whole payment story.
But it’s again Airbnb. Very generous with other’s money.
This “argent” which belongs to them. Their account, not ours. Do what they want with it.
I discovered such this year. When a guest claimed for extenuating circumstances. In my back.
As a fact, Airbnb, despite high fees on both sides, does not cover hosts with insurance. Even when host’s policy is strict. A scandal.
But, of course, they retain their own fees ; from guests. In any “circumstance”.
Now, when guests cancel, wish a refund… I pedagogically explain. Please, check first your credit card insurance, your insurance policy if any… Then, try to find the best solution.
Most of all, I explain guests how it works with Airbnb. Which makes us feel guilty if we do not refund… but will anyway keep fees…
Airbnb, by all means, does not want guests and hosts to exchange about what they receive from them respectively. Easy to understand.
In your case, you are right to defend your guests. You paid back.
So, must not look unfair.
Bien à vous.