Reservation cancelled, guest unaware?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10
365 Views

I got a message a few days ago saying my reservation for the coming week had been cancelled by the guest. Usually when a guest cancels you get a message as to why. It actually worked out well as we were going to struggle to do set up in between stops on our own travel, so though it was a financial loss, it was more convenient. We didn't put the dates back up. 

 

I get an urgent message the day before the stay was scheduled saying that the guest wants to know what happened and why the reservation was cancelled-- that they were not the initiators of that request. It started out a little accusatory as though maybe we had cancelled as hosts. I sent a screenshot of what we got and suggested that the guest call Airbnb. Turns out there was an issue with payment going through. We are STILL fighting for an unpaid stay from December with a similar billing problem. This seemed very familiar-- younger couple, credit card problems, etc. The guest says that they had no notification that their stay had been summarily dismissed and that searching email and messages yielded no notification from Airbnb. There was a flurry of messages and asking if we could still please honor the stay. We hadn't engaged our cleaners and are still stung by not being paid from the similarly situated December stay so we declined. The guest was unhappy. 

 

So has this happened to anyone else either as a guest or a host? I know that Airbnb did not inform us when our previous guests did not complete payment so I appreciate that they did so this time around.  But it sounds like they neglected to tell the guests that their stay was off....

4 Replies

Re: Reservation cancelled, guest unaware?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

Hi @Laura2592 I hope you are well!

 

I had the exact same issue with a stay taking place over Xmas. All fine, and then the stay was suddenly cancelled a few weeks before the guests were due to arrive.

 

I automate all my messaging- and when a guest cancels a stay an automated message goes out to them to say I'm sorry they've cancelled, and if they'd like to book a stay in the future to get in touch.

 

5 mins after the message went out the guest messaged in a panic saying they didn't cancel, and they didn't know what happened- it turned out they had chosen the split payment method and the second payment didn't go through, so the booking was automatically cancelled!

 

Absolutely no information from Airbnb to the guest before that happened- and if they didn't get the automated message from me they wouldn't have known- and I suppose would have turned up for their stay...all a bit scary.

 

They managed to resolve the issue and re-book, but it could have been a disaster.

 

Paul.

Re: Reservation cancelled, guest unaware?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

Sounds like split payments are risky.

What do you use to automate messaging?

Re: Reservation cancelled, guest unaware?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

More room for things to go wrong I suppose @Kenneth12 

 

I use a third party site called Host Tools (used to be called Superhost Tools)

 

Re: Reservation cancelled, guest unaware?

in
Australia
Level 10

@Laura2592 

Yes the same has happened to me when  i was  very new.

I really resented being sent the message "we're sorry to let you know that XXXX has cancellled" because naturally I thought that xxx HAD cancelled - I had no clue it was a payment issue.  Similar to you  I got a very  VERY hostile phone call from the guest - as the booking was  for a public holiday weekend it was rebooked almost instantly and she wanted me to cancel the new booking and honour hers as it was :not her fault". ( she DID get messages from airbnb saying she didn't have sufficient funds, but she ignored them, because in fact she did have sufficent funds - so still a airbnb stuff up, but a different version).

I had a hell of a day that day actually  - abusive phone call from the first guest - I told her if the new booking cancelled for whatever reason I would get back to her immediately.  Then a phone call from CS asking me "what I could do to make things right for XXX" as though the problem were someone all MY  fault, not theirs. Then I coped a string of abuse from the new guest because I pointed out what was already stated in my listing  and the house rules- no pets inside. Vitriolic messages and spleen and he cancelled and reported me apparently  (  and he had and continues to have stunning reviews and 5 stars).  Rang back the first guest, she swore at me and hung up in my ear.   I blocked the dates and very nearly took the listing down.

WHY they can't send an automated message that is accurate "we're sorry to let you know we've had to cancel xxx's booking" eludes me.

The whole automated thing is utterly broken from what I can see.

Once - just once in 18 months -  I sent a request for money that a guest accepted.  I was not paid but I kept getting messages being assured it was being followed up by CS. It wasn't.  When I finally rang, I was told it was really MY fault it wasn't followed up - I should have let them know to follow it up. For a variety of reasons, I told them to cancel the request.  They let the guest know. I got an email stating the case was closed.   7 weeks later I get an alert saying they have collected the money from XXX.  I get a very hostile phone call from the guest. He wants his money back.  airbnb have taken it but I haven't got it yet.  He rings them, he's assured its all a mistake, it will be cancelled.  I wake up this morning to another message saying i'll have the money soon.  More hours on the phone. For nothing.

The incompetence is truly staggering

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