Rebooking and Refund Policy - example of guest abuse?

Level 2
Phoenix, AZ

Rebooking and Refund Policy - example of guest abuse?

Would like to get community input on an unfortunate situation we had with a guest recently. 

Guest booked the non-refundable option for 10% discount vs our normal moderate cancellation policy for a week stay during the highest rates of the season. 


Guest arrived in the late afternoon during a major thunderstorm passing the area and checked in and from security footage it appears the husband does not like the place and would prefer to be elsewhere. Husband goes on hunt for issues and correctly claims the outdoor BBQ area is no longer clean as the major rain has dumped dirt from the tree above it during the rain the evening before their checkin. 

Guest decides to leave the property immediately and book a hotel instead. Guest messages us that they have left as the listing has an unusable outdoor area and smells moldy inside (complete fabrication).  They later in messages talk down mold to home smelled wet and musty.  Guest asks for a full refund and refuses to allow us to remediate any concern of the outdoor BBQ as they have already booked a hotel and left. 

Guest reaches out to support and provides pictures of dirty BBQ sink and claim the BBQ is filthy. They also provide pictures of leaves on patio outside and cardboard boxes in the driveway trash area that are awaiting city services pickup later that week. That is the extent of the evidence they provide for the listing being unclean. no photos of the inside are provided or mentioned as the indoors being unclean as it was not. 

Airbnb support gets involved and initially rules in our favor that the guest has not given us an attempt to resolve the outdoor BBQ. Since we cleaned the BBQ by 8am the next morning they rule the guest is allowed 10% refund on their first night stay and that this is the final decision.  No refund is required beyond that. 

5 hours later the decision is changed by support that the guest is entitled to a full refund under the Rebooking and Refund Policy.  Support states the listing is not habitable due to uncleanliness and health hazard.  Support will not provide specific details as to what evidence supports the claim and points us to the policy articles and terms articles and closes the case.  All attempts to communicate with Airbnb are simply links to policy articles with no specifics for our case provided. 

In the support chat we make it clear the guest left the property without giving us the opportunity to rectify the outdoor BBQ area and provide photos of all the property showing how clean it is. Further, we have a video walk through of the listing showing the cleanliness of the listing in complete detail the morning after the guest checked out when we went to investigate what the issue is and resolve the BBQ area getting dirty due to the major storm.  We ask support if we can upload this video and they say they will provide an email to send it to but close the case before allowing us to do so.

Support further ignores our claims that the guest chose to rebook to a hotel before even giving us an opportunity to resolve the outdoor BBQ kitchen island being dirty and does not address this concern to use. The FAQ on the Rebooking and Refund policy clearly states the guest has to give the host an opportunity to rectify the issue and that for a full refund the issue has to be a major issue. 

I'm at a loss guys. I don't understand what we should have done differently here as we were not given an opportunity to address the unclean BBQ area from the storm and were not given the opportunity to provide evidence. I don't understand how this policy can be interpreted this way and how unfortunately easy it seems to be for a guest to in our opinion just abuse it with fraudulent outlandish statements such as mold. I have no clue how this policy was used as a determination when they have not provided us with any specifics. 

How should we go about this?

1 Reply 1
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Raz1209 Its either a Twitter approach, a small claims court approach, or hope the moderators here send it back for Airbnb to have another look.