Airbnb agrees to cancel a booking at my request with no penalty or loss of status

My listing is marked as a private room to book.
My headline reads Great House.
It also says " Welcome to my century old home"
My description says " you will be sharing my three bedroom house with myself , and if the other room is booked, with other guests.
My FAQ section says : “Do you live there?” answer : Yes, it is my home
My FAQ section also says : “Will the second room be booked by someone when we are there?” answer : Possibly
My pictures show what is obviously a house.

So, I ask potential clients a few weeks ago " Have you read the entire listing and are you fine with the house rules?" to which they answer yes, so I confirm their booking.

Fast forward to last night, one week before check in :
The clients send me a message to ask me if there is a coffee machine in the apartment.
I reply : There is a automatic filter coffee machine and a coffee press , but you do realise this is not an apartement. It is a room in a home
They reply : So the apartment will have…
I reply “It is not an apartment”

They phone me :
They: We thought it was an apartment
Me : No, no. It is a room in a home. It is clearly indicated in the listing
They : Well how may rooms are there?
Me : That’s in the listing too, there are two rooms. But you were looking for an apartment.
They : Yeah but I guess it’ll have to do. Its too late. Is the other room booked?
Me : yes
They : By one or two people ? Who are they?
Me : I don’t know. I’ll have to check and call you back

So, I hang up and can’t help but think that if these guests (who confirmed that they read my listing but didn’t and thought they were getting a one-bedroom apartment for $67 a night ) actually do check in, there is a high probability unmet expectations, less than glowing reviews and possible disastrous results. They havn’t arrived yet, and already, they are disapointed. Also , I have no gaurantee how they will behave with my other Airbnb guests will whom they will be forced to share the house. Also, what other things have they “missed” in my listing that might lead to problems?

So i decide to call Airbnb , explain that the guests have booked the wrong type of accomodation, that they confirmed that they read the full listing but did not, and ask that the reservation be cancelled, the guests refunded, and that it be done without my getting a fine, without losing my Superhost status, and without any negative implications whatsover for me. They agree and cancel the reservation and see if they can help the guests find other accomodation.

I also block their phone number on my phone, not wanting to discuss the issue further or argue about my cancelling their reservation

Today they sent me an Airbnb message (can’t I block someone from doing that?) I read the first few lines where they ask about “my attitude”. I stop reading and archive the message, telling myself that I don’t want to discuss the issue with them, don’t want to be perturbed, and that they are fully responsible for this unpleasant situation for both of us.

But I can’t help feeling kind of bad for them and wondering if I did the right thing. (I’m a sensitive guy)


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Well they obviously didn’t read the listing so I think you did the right thing. I wouldn’t give it another thought to be honest.


First, I am really glad to hear that Airbnb stood behind you in this situation.

In regards to guests not reading the listing, I wish I had some kind of answer. It seems like all the hosts on this board are plagued by this issue. Remember that it’s not because of something YOU did, it’s because of something THEY did…

You cannot waste time feeling sorry for idiots who blunder through life paying no attention to what they are doing. In the past these types had a real purpose - sabre tooth tigers have to eat too - but in modern times they cause nothing but trouble to those around them. You have to minimize your exposure to troublesome people. Cancelling this person and ignoring their self-aggrandizing message is the smartest, best thing you can do.


Agreed - you did the right thing. They were already wasting your time, and they hadn’t even walked through the front door. They will be fine - they just have to grow a pair - OF EYES!


I agree that it was their mistake. However it would have been more courteous of you to write a short final message letting them know that you were canceling the booking and your reasons. We would not be so impolite with our guests, even though we were not at fault.


Along the lines of :

Hello, and my apologies for not writing sooner as I have been busy with the guests that are here now.

As you were advised by Airbnb , I decided to cancel your reservation based on the following reasons :

  • I only accept reservations from guests who have read my listing fully and for whom what I am offering meets their needs
  • I asked you early in our exchange of messages if you had read the full listing and you replied yes. My listing mentions several times that it is a room being offered in a private home in which I live.
  • I believe that you unfortunately did not read the listing and therefore booked accomodations which do not meet your expectations (ie : an apartment)
  • The risks involved in having clients, who are already dissapointed even before arriving ,sharing my home with myself and other Airbnb guests are not risks that I am willing to take and it might additionally have a negative impact on my reviews.
  • Not having read the listing might lead to other issues surfacing during your stay that might and I do not want to take that risk

I am sincerely sorry that this uncomfortable situation for both of resulted in your having to make other arrangements. I do hope that you have managed to do so, and will nontheless enjoy your stay in Halifax.



I believe that would have been more than adequate. Even though they don’t deserve it, politeness is always good karma.


Thank you.
It is not too late. I will send the message now.

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Let me put it this way-

I have to go to Missouri in the next few months. I’m thinking about using Airbnb instead of the hotel as it’s less expensive. So therefore I am looking over listings and I am reading them carefully to make sure that whatever accommodation I book is going to be a good fit for me and the host. It’s not your fault that these people were careless. This is a business and you did the right thing. Especially when you know that they’re not really going to be happy with the space that they’re getting or maybe they would be but it would likely turn out badly because it wasn’t what they wanted and it wasn’t what you advertised so the expectations are not going to be a match. I think you were well within your rights to do what you did and I don’t really feel sorry for them. I think that you were very principled and also you did the right thing for your business and your sanity.


Where are you looking in Missouri (asks a St Louis, MO host) :slight_smile:

@Halifaxy, I think you made the right call in canceling. Let us know what kind of response you get back. I’m going to remember that for future reference if I start getting weird requests before arrival from people who obviously haven’t read the listing.


Yes, you did the right thing. But I understand, those things get to me also. I wish I could quit worrying or feeling bad when these things happen but I don’t have that gene. I’m sorry / glad I’m not the only one.


Yep, you done right. Even Mr. Sensitivity needs a hard edge once in awhile.

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I think it’s an ADD case:). That was too much for even most ignorant guests.
I like your response. Don’t think it will teach them though because as I said there is more than just not paying attention

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I will not be reading or following up on any responses I might get from them.

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I think they were being Aholey and you did the right and proper thing. Thanks for posting a nice positive story.

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I’m going to Springfield. :frowning: