Guest booked in January. 7 nights in July. Cancelled 1st June and demanded a full refund because they decided house rules are ‘too restrictive.’ She received 50% refund.
Reminded her that she agreed to them at point of booking, and she had confirmed in message thread she was fine with all details.
I agreed IF I got a replacement booking I’d refund her the 50%. As a goodwill gesture.
Airbnb message me yesterday stating
’as you have a replacement booking, as per your message to guest, can we process the promised refund?’
No! The ‘replacement’ booking Airbnb mention is only for 3 days. This heavy pressure and manipulation has to stop.
i told the agent straight , I do not appreciate her misleading & misinformed messages. It is not a replacement booking with only 3 out of 7 nights booked.
And as I’m so tired of guests & airbnb playing these games, I am no longer prepared to offer anything more than a partial refund. So they get a refund for the 3 days I’ve so far rebooked. That’s it. Airbnb can refund the balance if they are so keen to placate this guest. I messaged guest suggesting she reads the whole listing next time. Done with her, extremely rude and entitled from the start.
These type of guests need to start acting more responsibly. Read the listings. Airbnb need to stop facilitating this behaviour & respect a hosts cancellation polices. Maybe if enough hosts just say ‘no’ each time we feel manipulated or pressured by CS, *maybe* they will rethink these tactics?
My ‘list’ was very tongue-in-cheek. I luckily don’t need a break from hosting. It’s fine. My reviews are great. I like *most* of my guests. We have no problems. My issue is with Airbnb. The failure to support hard working hosts. That’s what my original post was referring too. But it’s all good.
@David6 this think some time happend to host like us especailly the booking from a new AIRBNB member which is unclear about the rules or event not care about the space description before decided to book the place. They find the location and photo. To me this problems cannot be solve buy a host and guest, but it can be solve from Airbnb by #1 strickly on the cancellation policy implementation #2 educate the cancellation policy to every new Airbnb member. Some guest just tend to get a complementary stay then we cannot give a right solutions to them and they will said "Your solutions is not right" I just need a refund. Some how Airbnb have to be fair between host and guest
Ive has amazing luck hosting other hosts, and in fact some have become return guests and friends.
....and here are “entitled” hosts, just like there are “entitled” guests.
It really comes down to communication as @Robin and others share, but I add another dimension because I’ve spent a lot of time on this and it’s made a huge difference for my experience:
Write your listing narrative to the guest you want to host. Yes be thorough. Yes be firm with your house rules. Yes...choose your words, narrative style, and imagery to speak directly to the kind of person you want. DESIGN it to meet your needs and attract the guests you want just as you design so beautifully in other areas : )
Another aspect that Airbnb controls with your Plus listing is the photography.
I have a photographic resume which includes fine art, portrait, nature, landscape, real estate, and filming photography. I understand the whole “HD” look and have shot real estate using this approach... but it’s totally contrived, staged, distorted, and often misleading, especially when you walk in and it looks different...even if it’s that you changed the sofa pillows or your lighting isn’t over the top, and it doesn’t look like a museum.
I shot my listing without all the fancy lenses and techniques purposely, to show the true character, to wow my well chosen guests with the actual beauty that far surpasses the photos when they walk in, and so they know what they’re getting isn’t The Ritz....because it’s not, and I don’t want those kind of guests.
I look at those photoshopped images and cringe because I know every host that’s paid for them will get dinged at review time when it’s not as perfect as it looks.
Im glad you stood your ground about the cancellation. I’ve done it as well and with a clearly written “strict” policy and minimum days for each booking, I always confirm understanding in a message, and if they start out asking me to bend my rules it’s an immediate decline.
Other than the Airbnb glitches I love doing this, and a large part of why is because I’ve learned along the way...from this awesome community, and my own trial and error.
Our experience matters too, because if we start to resent this, that also communicates, and a day off now and then allows me to stay in the space as a guest so I can enjoy it and see where I want to get creative again.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve proof read and tweaked my narrative trying to look through the eyes of the guests I want, and how much it’s helped.
Great advice @Susan1028
It may sound awful, but I need to be honest. I’m just in this for the money. That’s the truth. To work the airbnb ‘system’ - with all the restrictions & limitations - and to do that I need to attract ALL guests.
Its a big risk, but am fine with the consequences .
Several times had to fight Airbnb, but
Basically if a huge problem occurred I’d email some of the heads of Airbnb. No response; I’d take further action. So that is only way I can feel in control of my business. Basically I will - and have - done everything to protect my investment.
We need to individually stand up to Airbnb. I never accept their first response. I ask for a manager, for my case to be escalated. I hit the email for the seniors, they intervene and 95% of time I get the positive outcome. If this changes, I’ll alter my line of defence...
@Robin4 What could you do when you got a request with words you don't like to see? If it is booking inquiry, you could try to deter the guest from booking. But if it is a booking request, you can only reject very small number of them. I believe that your listing could be removed by Airbnb if your acceptance rate is less than 80%, not to mention that your superhost status in danger with more strict requirements.
Did you try to persuade the guest to withdraw their booking requests if you felt that they would not be good guests?
Sorry for the time delay in getting back to you Alice, I am running around like a headless chook at the moment trying to keep the cottage fit for guests each day and trying to keep the household together. My time here on the CC is going to have to be a bit limited for the near future I am afraid.
Words, words, I understand what you are saying Alice, a request comes in with nothing specific that you can nail but, you just don't feel comfortable with it. It sounds agressive! I find a way to defuse that aggresiveness!
I do get a considerable number like that but when this happens I am always super pleasant but I don't let them get an advantage over me.
That instance of wanting to check-in at 12.30pm to prepare for a wedding. I could easily have said...."No problem, I will get my skates on and I will have the cottage ready for you"! Most guests leave around 9.30-10.00am, but that is not the point! The point is they want to push what I offer to suit themselves. In an instance like that I say..."I like to be as flexible as I can but I rarely know in advance when a guest will leave and although I nominate 11.00am as a check-out time, I am not going to hammer on the door and push them out at 11 o'clock! I cannot gurantee you a check-in time at 12.30, I can only guarantee something I can absolutely deliver. I don't want to lead you up the garden path but maybe another host in the area who does not have a booking the previous night will better suit your needs"!
I haven't said no to them Alice, I have said....... we do this my way, not yours! At that point they will back down and say..."Oh, that's fine when will it be convenient" And Alice their manner changes immediately ...they ask me instead of telling me why they need to get in early to which I will say..."I can have the cottage ready for you at 1.15pm if that's OK for you"!
I have found Alice if I am firm on one point they will buckle when it comes to other things....I have set the ground rules. I think I have only ever declined outright maybe 4 requests but I have a number of times suggested that other accommodation might suit them better.
They will only play games if you let them!
I do exactly that @Alice595 and it’s not inaccurate. If they’re still attached to the booking request for my place before it expires they can’t book another, which is why I try to weed out the ones I don’t want as quickly as possible....and they don’t get penalized for a withdraw like we do for a decline.
So, I let them know ASAP so they can “book one of the other wonderful listings available for thier dates that will better suit thier needs and preferences”
Its the work-around that’s worked best for me.
Robin, I have been a host for just a little over a year, I too have gotten really good at judging folks by the introductory message, it tells me everything I neeed to know, and I click on the accept button as quick as possible. So far I have been really lucky. I stopped IB and that made my life better. But only yesterday I had a strange booking request. The guest was not so much interested in being a guest as she was at coming for one day to improving the the pictures of my place. I declines right away. Best of luck David with your issues.
I've read a few of these types of hassling by CS . It seems to me that abnb needs to change what the offer us as hosts. If they say we can choose our cancelation policy then they should support our decisions. If they're not going to respect our choice then be up front about it and remove the option.
@Beth80 Agree totally. The problem is Airbnb pledge one thing, and in reality it’s just a blatant mistruth.
Take the host guarantee. The chances of Airbnb actually paying out, seems to be as likely as you spotting a dinosaur at breakfast at the bottom of your garden. #PicturesOrItNeverHappened
I’ve been to Mexico, never your area. Loved it. But @Sarah977 I think the reason you are so successful, is your listing is ‘what you see is what you get.’
No photoshopped images. Blantantly honest description. Actually, I bet you undersell, as the setting seems spectacular. You mention all the ‘shortcomings.’
It’s a brilliant way to market a listing be honest. I think non IB works perfectly as guests are looking for that special ‘one-off the beaten track location.’
When I travel I search for just that. In Morroco I changed my dates just to be able to stay here: https://abnb.me/uzdfAXGAmX
a tiny tower like house with amazing views.
In London, I’m one of a thousand ‘pure white minimalistic apartments’ with a ‘token’ statement chair, thinking we are all so different, haha. Literally 100 identikit places just down the road. So I NEED IB to make up for my lacklustre interior skills :)
@David6 Thanks for the compliments, and yes, what I offer does appeal only to a specific kind of guest and as you could see from reading my listing, I actually market specifically towards the type of guests who will be a good fit. However, if I used IB, I would definitely be getting bookings that aren't a good fit, that only booked it for the price. Young and not getting that it's not the kind of place where you can come home stumbling drunk at 3 AM and loudly bang up the stairs with the hottie you just picked up at the bar. Because this is known as a party town. By requiring Requests, I can be assured that the guest has read the listing info, and "gets" it. I've definitely had inappropriate Inquiries, and manage to get them to go away without having to Decline.
Yes, I'm probably underselling, but I get the type of guests I want, not a lowlife among them, so I want to keep the price point as is. I have raised it by a couple of bucks a year to cover rising costs of amenities. And all my guests have said it's great value, which leads to good reviews, to the point that I offered to refund 1 night to 2 separate and lovely guest bookings who had each booked 10 days, but were a day late due to overbooked flights, and they totally refused, saying it wasn't my fault and no way.
I also have my place at the same price every day of the year, regardless of holidays, events, and high or low season, offer no discounts, don't use smart pricing. I'm sure I could up the price during Xmas/New Year and Easter break, but I really like this hosting business to be as simple as possible. So I avoid things other hosts have hassles with, like guests confused or complaining about why the price shows higher when they enter dates, forgetting to change prices for busy times of year, or Airbnb screwing up the pricing, etc.And because I only host solo travelers, there's never an issue with guests not booking for the correct number of people.
I do get what you are saying about the competition where you are and why you need to use IB to stay in the game. I honestly wouldn't want to host in that type of market, myself. I'd find it too stressful.
Come visit sometime!
Like you I don't do IB, but don't find it stressful, nominally in the same market as David.
However, it's most unlikely that I'd ever feel in competition with David because we're in different parts of the city.
Indeed, the sheer volume of listings in London, paradoxically, determines that for the past few years I've almost exclusively been contacted byGuests with a specific reason to be in my neighbourhood, and a preference for the original Airbnb ideal of home environment. Moreover, one that is far from the thousand ‘pure white minimalistic apartments’. It's the colours that attract as dozens of guests have told me.