This is a question from a story I recall reading on a former Airbnb group, some time ago.
In that story, the host, call her Pamela, conveyed that she had a couple staying with her, call them Greg and Ellen, for a stay of about a week. After two days into their one week stay, Greg told Pamela that he and Ellen were going to go stay with relatives instead, and said it was a little too noisy at Pamela's house for them, and then asked for a refund. Pamela's household was that of a busy family with kids, who tended to get up early in the morning, yet she had stated that clearly in her listing, so that guests would be able to asssess if her home was a good fit for them. She had noticed that Greg and Ellen had gotten up each day later in the morning than her family did.
Pamela asked the host community whether she should give a refund to Greg and Ellen. She expressed being afraid of getting a bad review from them if she didn't, and having her star ratings compromised as a result of a bad review/ratings.
What do you think Pamela should do?
NO! I state as honestly as I see it what I am offering and if they decide after a two days to stay with a relative it tells me that it wasn't offered before the trip and so they booked Airbnb and now they arrive and for whatever reason the relative now offers and they want to save the money. I also selected the Strict Policy on refunds. Now if you say you are walking distance to the beach and that walk turns out to be a 5 mile hike then yes the guest should be refunded for not getting what was represented, but this host made clear that it is a family home and the family is up early and has kids so must also require quiet from kids bedtime on, so this couple was not thinking when they booked this because it clearly was not a match, but it was the guests mistake, not the host misrepresenting or doing something horrible, so why should the host pay the price for their poor choice?
The way REVIEWS are now handled a host should not have a concern that their decision, as long as it is fair and justified in their POV should have any negative effect on them n reviews... because you have the option to respond to the review and show the reader why you made that choice. Now as far as STARS go, yes, it's likely they will give you low star ratings and it will hurt you, but not much if your other reviews reflect your usually happy guests, and giving the guest the refund isn't necessarily going to inspire them to give you 5-stars... they will still likely give you low stars.
Hi Judalon! Nice to see you here. I met you at Airbnb Open last year in San Francisco, at the Dinner that Never Came. Glenn was there - I've been thinking of him!