I may have posted about this guest already. However I just got an update from CS that maybe important to everyone.
Guest stayed for two weeks in April. Three days before departure washer leaked through the ceiling on top of kitchen counter. I came over, wiped the counter, emptied the washer and immediately provided the guest access to an apartment next-door with another washer and dryer. Her original one was a stackable in a tiny corner inside a bathroom. The new one was a side-by-side with a table for folding clothes a couch and a TV in a big living room. She had full unlimited access to that space for the duration of her stay and I know she utilized all of it. We could tell when we came to clean after she moved out. I also offered her a free daily laundry service. The repair man came out in about an hour and it was determined that I need a new machine. I immediately purchased one but the guest asked that it were delivered after she moved out. I totally understand how this could be a disruption plus she probably didn’t want other people in the house with the Covid raging at the time. Having said that, she had full access to washer and dryer in an upgraded space plus an option for free daily laundry service. Long story short, about a month after she moved out I received an email from support asking to give her a partial or full refund due to this inconvenience. I think the inconvenience was minuscule, particularly since it was such a long stay. She was accommodated above and beyond. Her stay was $60 per night in a three bedroom 2.5 bath with yard and parking downtown Chicago. How much cheaper can it get? (those were desperate times). I refused it. I pointed out that the water was cleaned up immediately, there was no disruption in her ability to use a washer dryer. After two months of back-and-forth they told me that while that was true, there was also smell. There was no smell after she moved out and there was nothing to smell. It was clean water that was drained and cleaned up immediately, Very little of it, no mold. I had no smell complaints from anyone after her nor smelled anything myself. I pointed out to customer service that the guest has to bring the issue up to me first and give me an opportunity to remedy. Yesterday I got an email from CS that the light of Covid, they’re waiving a requirement for the guest to bring up the issue to the host first. That waiver is not in the terms and conditions. I feel like customer service now just makes stuff up as they go to support whatever outcome they desire for the guest.
@Debra300 here it is. Now that I read it again, I am not even sure that this was what she was trying to say
Hi Inna, due to the light of CoVid circumstance where the spread of infection has to stop. Cleanliness has been the highest priority.
There should be no issues that hinders the guest from completing their stay. We are aware that these issues can be easily be managed by hosts hence, due to the fact that there was a perception that you will be notified by Airbnb and give ample time to rectify them, makes us host slack off on their responsibility.
For you to be fully aware of our Guest refund guidelines wherein guest can already direct their travel issues to us without notifying you first hand.
I inferred the poorly written message to mean that you thought Airbnb would notify you, and give you an opportunity to rectify an issue before giving a refund to the guest, that ample time would lead hosts to slack off on timely remediation. The next paragraph is stating that guests already had the capability to lodge issues directly to Airbnb without prior notification to hosts.
BUT, it doesn't address Airbnb's responsibility to notify hosts about reported issues, or providing some time limit to fix it before a refund is given.
@Debra300 yes, I now think that is what the rep is trying to say. At first I thought she was trying to say that the guest does not need to let me know because they do not have to let me in due to Covid. However the official terms still state that the guest has to give host opportunity to remedy. This is from the terms:
Conditions for making a Claim
...you must use reasonable efforts to try to remedy the circumstances of the Travel Issue with the Host...
Can you just keep saying no? Again and again until they get tired of asking? I don't think it's possible to make sense of their ever-changing narrative so I wouldn't address specifics at all. It's like playing whack-a-mole.
I have the following posted in my House Rules:
“Manager will use its best efforts to ensure that all equipment within the unit is in good working order, although neither Manager nor Owner guarantees that any equipment will not break down during your stay, and therefore such a breakdown does not constitute a breach of this Agreement or give Guest any right to any refund or rental adjustments made for any such mechanical failure. In the event of a breakdown, Manager will use its best efforts to remedy the situation as soon as possible after notification of the breakdown.“
I have heard that Airbnb honors situations wherein hosts have this type of verbiage in their House Rules. No guarantees, as I don’t know if Airbnb is always consistent, but I do recommend including something like this in your House Rules.
@Inna22 Did Airbnb ultimately grant the guest a partial refund without your consent? And if so, what % of your payout was it?
This is not the first time we've seen reports of this practice in recent weeks - I think another host had 50% of his payout refunded after checkout because the guest didn't find the WiFi good enough. (Not that I want to get onto that topic again).
The troublesome thing here is that hosts have no motivation to resolve even truly legitimate issues for guests that occur early in their stay, if it's established that guests can still get a deduction after the fact for so-called inconveniences. Given the deeply discounted rates many are offering at the moment, that could mean completing the booking costs more to the host than kicking out and refunding the guest for unused nights at the first complaint.
It would be useful to have some indication from Airbnb here on why hosts shouldn't insist that a guest vacate the premises the moment they seem dissatisfied with something.
@Andrew0 she requested I agreed to 20% off three nights. I was going to come back with "she stayed for something 20 thousand minutes and it dripped for five so she gets 14 cents" but I was worried she would get really confused and decide I agreed to something I did not. We are still going back and forth. Oddly, it appears she is waiting for my approval.
@Inna22 Thanks for sharing. It's inexcusable, first of all, that Airbnb is letting CS reps whose English proficiency is so poor that you would receive such a nearly unintelligible message. The line about slacking off on your responsibility is just insulting.
It appears that Airbnb now considers hosts to be entirely at fault for absolutely everything and that you can never rely on getting paid for any booking.
I want to wring that ungrateful guest's neck. What a nasty piece of work she is.
@Sarah977 I am the last one to complain about someone else's English. I am pretty sure I have posted messages here I could not even decipher myself. However for someone in customer service this is completely inexcusable.