Today, I found out I want to be !!!South Korean!!! while travelling with Airbnb. Because I will get a special VIP treatment just simply based on my country of origin. I will get a 30 day cancellation grace period, instead of 48h like everyone else in the world.  How is even possible that Airbnb owners are accepting this?.  I am truly concerned about this discriminatory approach towards non-South Korean guests, so  I am going to keep investigating to find out if Airbnb's legal team is at least sensing that this is a nonsense with huge potential to become a democratic disaster within the Airbnb community. This Airbnb decision is in essence discriminatory in two ways. How do you think I feel about being non-South Korean, and having a different treatment when it comes to respect hosts cancellation policies? Secondly, how do you think I will feel about accepting reservations from South Koreans moving forward?

 

I am a US citizen, originally born in Spain. I am  a Miami-based host since  the beginning of Airbnb's existence. The majority of the time, I feel very lucky to have a business partner like Airbnb. But today I feel cheated, abused by the power of the giant, and discriminated for being non-South Korean. Today, it was the first time that a South Korean guest of me cancels, and gets a full refund (despite the fact I have a strict cancellation policy).

I did not receive any "warning" or pop-up message informing me that this South Korean guest has a VIP 30 day cancellation policy, that overrides my " strict cancellation" policy. I did not accept anything electronically, except for the reservation itself. If I had received that 30 day pop-up notice, I would have declined it in a heartbeat.  Why would I accept a 30 day cancellation policy guest when my cancellation is strict? It does not make sense. 

I contacted Airbnb customer service to request the 50% refund I was entitled. And for the first time I heard about the South Korean special treatment. Wait a minute!  I live in Miami. The reservation is for a US stay. How do you apply a South Korean policy here in the land of freedom and equality? The Airbnb ambassadors keep repeating the same song (They are super sweet, though). But the problem is that I did not receive any pop-up message, I did not accept this special policy for this South Korean VIP guest,  I did not click on any link, and did not authorize the full refund.

So.... I am requesting electronic proof that I truly received this pop-up message, and that I electronically click on the ACCEPT bottom.  If Airbnb ambassadors can provide this proof, my mistake! I will drop my claim. But if they don't, I am going to keep asking them to honor my cancellation policy. 

Last thing they told me is that they can not do that. They claimed they do not have the means to send me any digital proof besides the reservation acceptance itself, of course.

Can someone out there (inside or outside Airbnb, hosts who experienced similar cases, IT geniuses of the world, virtual investigators, anyone... ) send me some insight if my request of receiving digital proof of my "electronical acceptance" (of this VIP South Korean 30 day cancellation policy) is feasible? Is it reasonable?

Thanks so much in advance. 

Ana "from Spain, US citizen, unfortunately not South-Korean while traveling with Airbnb"

21 Replies

Re: South Korean discriminatory Cancellation Policy! I want to be South Korean while traveling with Airbnb.

in
LA, CA
Level 10

I Love that south Korea looks out for its citizens when they travel abroad. If you dont want the Korean guests send them to me ill take them.

Re: South Korean discriminatory Cancellation Policy! I want to be South Korean while traveling with Airbnb.

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

This is a frightening proposition. So, I could only imagine the case that if the guest is from 'certifiable' California, a host regardless of anywhere else they are is compelled to adhere to the laws of 'certifiable' California when dealing with CA guests because that is their place of origin? Reminds me of some species of salmons, imprinted by the waters they were born in.

 

This has crazy written all over it, when one considers how this special treatment could be extended (and of course abused) into other quarters. Talking about the guests visiting other places but carrying and adhering to a different set of 'home' rules  - the worse type of 'tourist'.

 

/Back after 10 days of visiting the States (the great state of Florida).

 

 

 

 

Re: South Korean discriminatory Cancellation Policy! I want to be South Korean while traveling with Airbnb.

in
LA, CA
Level 10

@Fred13  She didnt have to accept the guest... NO ONE IS FORCING HER!!!   Its  not as crazy as it sounds. Korea is looking out for its guests abroad. Any country that looks out for its citizens abroad is a great thing.

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**[Personal remarks removed in line with - Community Center Guidelines]

Re: South Korean discriminatory Cancellation Policy! I want to be South Korean while traveling with Airbnb.

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

@Nina75 The original poster is sharing a new-found 'discovery' which is - when someone from one particular country (in this case Korea) and books via Airbnb they have  an additional right simply because where they are from, regardless of where they are going to. Well isn't that interesting.   

  So in essence in this case, the host is in a state of limbo for 30 days vs 48hrs (which is a already a source of contention) when someone happens to book from Korea.  In 6 years of hosting (600+ guests and some from Korea) I never encountered such an exception, maybe this is new.   

   If this is so, this is in addition to Airbnb's Extraordinary Circumstances whose capricious application already keeps every Airbnb host very nervous; and  certainly for those hosts on IB (like myself) who can't refuse a reservation just because it comes from a particular country, last I heard. 

  

@Ana1693 Thanks for bringing this up, the more we know a wiser host we could be.

 

Re: South Korean discriminatory Cancellation Policy! I want to be South Korean while traveling with Airbnb.

in
LA, CA
Level 10

@Fred13  Its been like that for years. You just never noticed it. It makes me question if you've really had guests from Korea.

Re: South Korean discriminatory Cancellation Policy! I want to be South Korean while traveling with Airbnb.

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

To be exact two, one from Seoul and one from the Daegu area some time ago. My wife usually deals with reservations; never mentioned it nor can't remembers if she got a prompt.

 

The whole scenario is so absurd I am sure Airbnb wont get into such an odd arrangement again in the future.

 

You don't see it that way, I do; maybe because we come from totally different 'planets'.

 

 

Re: South Korean discriminatory Cancellation Policy! I want to be South Korean while traveling with Airbnb.

in
Miami, FL
Level 2

Yes Nina, I was totally forced to accept this Guest's special Cancellation Policy;  because I did NOT get a pop-up message informing me about this special VIP trearment (30 day cancellation policy vs 48h) that the Host needs to ACCEPT as well. It was a technical glitch. That was my whole request at the end of my post. 

I guess you didn't read it all. And you missed the part that I am a Latino immigrant.

You must be very confused if you assumed I voted to Trump. A Latino female immigrant! Furthermore,  I respect all backgrounds, religions, and political believes as long as they don't affect my little hosting business. 

 

PS. You can tell from my post, English is not my native language. 

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