Bad Review From Guest due to no refund

Bad Review From Guest due to no refund

Hi Fellow Guests,

I was looking to see if I could get some advice from other hosts. My wife and I are new to hosting and we just had our first bad guest experience. We had been working with this guest since late 2023 to help provide him accomodations when he came to North Carolina. After working and re-scheduling him a few times, he booked two separate stays, one for end of April and one for beginning of May. Our property has always had a firm cancellation policy. He ended up reaching out on April 23rd, telling me he had to cancel and to refund him. I told him I intended to honor the listings cancellation policy, but I ended up refunding his cleaning deposit as a gesture of goodwill since he had another booking with us and I didn't want any bad blood. However, he ended up doing the same thing with the second reservation, reaching out just days before the 10 day booking and asked for me to move him to later in the month. After reviewing the cost impacts, I determined I would lose money by shifting his dates (as many of those weekdays would go unbooked). He was not happy. It turns out he decided to show up for the second reservation, I think just so it wasn't a waste of money- which I totally get, but then he left me a bad review that I believe is largely based on my not rescheduling or providing a refund. What should I do?


Please let me know!




7 Replies 7
Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Oh dear the best thing you could have done is to  leave an honest review of this guest to warn future hosts. I wonder why you didn't  @Ryan3688 

this guest had red flags once he wanted to keep changing his dates . 

to be honest his review doesn't really make his concerns clear so you wouldn't have any grounds for getting it removed . 


Level 10
Charleston, SC


Were you able to rebook any of the nights for the first cancelation? I always refund guest if I can rebook the nights. 

You can also give guest this option that you will refund if you can rebook the nights, minus fees. 

There is always risk of bad review if guest tries to cancel and ends up saying anyway. They can even request to shorten trip after they check in. That's why I have 5 night max. I can rebook nights so that's what I do. 

It's hit or miss but you can try and have the review removed as retaliatory and not relevant for future guest. 

Sorry this happened to you. 

If guest didn't have any issues during their stay,  I'm not sure how you could have mentioned they requested to alter their reservation in a review?

"Future host be warned, guest sent message asking if he could alter his reservation!"

Reality is that wouldn't be relevant and host are just at a disadvantage in this situation. 

If I offered longer stays I would include in first message the cancellation policy and deadline for full refund. 


Level 10
Buckeye, AZ

I had a similar experience a guest  left a negative review of something that did happen but was fully disclosed that mmmmy rules for my rental.  I posted a response to his review, that I fully acknowledged he was not happy with my fully disclosed rule but his choice to not honor the rule also caused me harm.  Very politte because he has every right to not like my rules but also politely pointing out he broke a rule that I have to protect me.   Future Guests have mentioned my polite reminder of his responsibility in his discomfort reminded them also of not only honoring my rules but my not having    the rule in place would have been a negative for them.  Also I too from the negative review I should not get rid of my rule but  how to present it in a less negative manto the next Guest that also creates a situation that requires I enforce my rule.  If 1 person does it then I also look at me what do I need to change to handle the  same    situation but lower the negative feelings of the rule  breaking Guest.

Level 9
Redondo Beach, CA



Hi Liz,

How unfortunate & avoidable. How? Just read his 21 reviews and reviews about him and his sibling as hosts. He has a long history on airbnb and had glaring red flags from his reviews given by fellow host going back to 2015. I personally would never have booked him to start with after reading what others reported. He's a player,both him and his brother know what to say to get the host to give discounts or remove fees altogether. He also doesn't follow any rules. They do what they want, knowing how to take advantage of people. 


Some of his faux pas include:

●Bringing unauthorized guests. Not once but twice,mentioned in 2 different reviews. Host having trouble collecting the fee for the unauthorized guest he had come later,after he checked in.

● Host refunded his cleaning fee(at guests request)to avoid problems trying to appease him because he said he found 'a hair' (yes A hair.)

Cha-ching,that will be 150$ They regret that. 

●He's is also host,or was. He doesn't have his property listed here. One review from his guest said- "Filthy, wouldn't stay again & had to put her sandles on to enter the room." Another guest described his rental as a "bachelor pad" (standards)


 The most recent scathing review in 2022 by a host was very long & detailed. Sample- "X and his group left our apartment in filth and disarray. Our property manager Mr X. sent us 25 pictures showing how filthy the apartment was left.The guest left filthy dishes in the kitchen sink,toilet papers on the floor,did not empty their trash,damaged a door...(That's just the 1st paragraph) it's a whopper of a review. Everything you needed to know was right there. 


What to do?

When someone inquires, the first thing I do is check out their profile & reviews. If they have reviews, I can see what the hosts says about them,and what the guest says about the host,and how they rated them. This information is valuable and can save you many headaches and money. There is not much you can do now but chalk this up to lesson learned.


From now on use the resources airbnb provides to make a sound decision. This guest should have been a hard pass. I feel for you. We have all had to learn how to protect ourselves & property.


Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

Great post @Dee32 I'm always shocked when hosts don't check out previous reviews when considering bookings 

Community Manager
Community Manager
Port Moody, Canada

Hello @Ryan3688, this is indeed a challenging situation.


Our wonderful Hosts have provided valuable suggestions and perspectives. Have you had the chance to review them?


Please let us know how everything turned out.



Please follow the Community Guidelines // Por favor consulta las Normas de la comunidad

Hi @Ryan3688 

First thing I would do is write a short, factual, non-emotional response to this bad review. There are those that try to manipulate the system and especially target new Hosts. You'll find as long as the "New" callout is on the listing, it's like announcing the fact that you are new Hosts that can be taken advantage of by those who have manipulated the system in the past to get free stays. Some will book a place to hold dates, and if they find another listing they like better, will cancel your booking and try to scam a refund. 


I hope you documented all the back and forth with this guest on the Airbnb messaging system? Do not be tricked into communicating with a guest via phone or text. Unscrupulous guests will try and do this. You need to document their attempts at manipulating the situation for a refund. Do not respond to a text or voice call and simply respond to the text that all guest/host communication needs to be documented on the Airbnb messaging system. If they continue to try, send an Airbnb message to them recounting what they said and that communication needs to stay on the Airbnb platform. You can just say in the message something like:


"We received your message about wishing to cancel your reservation and receive a full refund. When you booked, our Firm cancellation policy is clearly disclosed  by Airbnb to guests. Unfortunately, your request to cancel is outside the free cancellation window disclosed at booking. If you cancel the reservation, and we are able to re-book those dates, we would be happy to provide a courtesy refund (minus Airbnb fees). If we need to re-book at a lower price, we will refund you that amount."


In your public review, I would simply state what happened and that he tried to get a full refund for a booking that had a firm cancellation policy (clearly noted prior to booking) and then wrote a bad review when you weren't able to do that. 


Then I would attempt to get the review removed as retaliatory (if you have all the messages on the platform). Airbnb can see the messages then.