A different approach to refund (VRBO)

So moments after I told the housekeepers NOT to come and clean the cabins from the weekends guests and paid them anyways I got a email for a one nighter in May (VRBO) asking to cancel with 100% refund. VRBO is not requiring hosts to refund at this time, my policy is strict.

This is how I responded:

I can, but I would like to ask you to consider either paying it all or take less than 100% if you can. I just called off the housekeepers and told them not to clean the cabins from this weekend and I paid them because they need the money regardless. I run a small business and the bank will not wait for the mortgage payments, bookings are not coming in. I ask you to ask yourself, can I afford to let this go? You did book a non refundable rate and so you must have considered the risk of that. I will leave the amount of refund up to you. Please advise.

Thank you

I will report back what the guest decides

Just to be clear I will refund, I just refunded in full a direct booking for this Friday but I thought I would give this guest some perspective and see how it shakes out.



The guest replied he would be happy to accept a 50% refund.



I’ve tried this with a few guests and my concerns have fallen on deaf ears. Unfortunately now that Airbnb is encouraging people to cancel with full refunds, everyone is jumping at the chance to get their money back. I wonder how many realize the impact this is having.


Excellent news. I suspect it’s easier with a one night stay vs several hundreds or thousands of dollars at risk.

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I ended up with a $98 payout, it does not look like VRBO refunded their fee the total was 217


That’s cool. I’d love to see how that plays out with a few hundred guests, and across a wide range of payout/refund amounts.

If only I had a few hundred bookings…