Airbnb gave refund to guest after stay - just like that!

Hello hosts

I’ve been host for some years now and never had issues with any guest - before now.

I have a nice house in the village which was rented for 4 nights by a familly from south europe. After the self check late in the evening I got a message from guest that

  1. she didnt like the smell of the place,
  2. some of the matresses had stains (I always provide fresh and clean bedsheets and covers)
  3. on the exterior of one window there was a spider.

I apologized to the guest for the place not meeting their standard - and told her but the house was cleaned before arrival and they had fresh bedsheets etc.
I really could not do much and else and offered the guest to check out and I will not charge.

After this I didnt hear anything neither from the guest or (airbnb). 2 days later I was at the house and saw the guest was enjoying and kids were playing.

At day 4 when the guest had checked out i wrote a polite message and thanked for the stay. And now the guest starts again - with the same complain and wants compensation and refund! I was confused and politely refused.

The guest got Airbnd involved and 2 hours later Airbnb had refunded 30% to the guest.

I have complained to Airbnb and now getting all kinds of standard replies from airbnb. They are not listning any of my arguments. Even I was told that 10 people at Airbnb had reviewed the case and refund was ok (that is really amazing that 10 people at airbnb can look at a case within 2 hours - unless its BS).

My arguments are

  1. The house was not dirty and minor stains on a matress is unavoidable. This is why you have bedsheets (Listen I have stayed in 5 star hotels which had stains)

  2. According to Airbnb own rules and regulations the guest must contact Airbnb within 72 hours (3 days) to report any issue from the time of discovery.
    In this case the guest waited to after check out - on day 4.

  3. If the house was really in such a bad condition - One would expect a guest to contact Airbnb immediately - and not wait 4 days.

  4. I have asked Airbnb about where in their requirements it is listed that there can not be stains on a matress.

I feel like I just had a guest who came to my “restaurant” and started complaining about the place. But dont want to leave -and stays and eat, drink and enjoy. And when the bill comes starts complaining again that nothing was good and the food was bad and dont want to pay :slight_smile:

I would appreciate any input and guidance from other hosts. Is it just me who’s totally out of touch with reality ?

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We use mattress covers that are zipped closed around our unstained mattresses. After you replace the stained mattress (and no, sorry, saying that a hotel you stayed at had stains does not absolve YOU from providing quality) put a covering on the mattress so that if something stains the covering, you can clean or replace it.

Was the smell from the mattress? If not, where is the smell coming from?


Stains are from earlier guest spilling coffe etc, but not something like dirty dirty.
We are not talking about urine or poo poo.

There is no smell in the house… and the smell of a village is different from a city smell.

No, you’re not out of touch with reality. You’ve just been lucky enough to not have had guests who are intent on scamming for a refund until now.

There are so many stories like this that it was bound to come your way eventually. I wouldn’t waste any more energy on it.

A zip up mattress cover will help with two things 1. to keep nosey guests away from the mattress 2. avoid anything else staining the mattress.

Also, an enzyme cleaner, I use a brand called BacOut by Biokleen but there are many brands, will remove the coffee stain.


You aren’t going to admit any fault. Airbnb is going to give refunds for sub standard accommodation if a guest complains and has evidence.

This is irrelevant.

I have a bad feeling about this thread. I hope I’m wrong.


And a note on BacOut, which is an amazing product. If it does not get the stain out at first – in my experience it often does not – you wait for it to dry and spray again. Just keep doing that until the stain goes away. It works on any organic stain, but not on stains like ink.

You got classic refund scammer guests, unfortunately. And in my opinion, complaining about a spider on the outside of a window is proof of insanity.

But as for the mattress stains- you just put a sheet over a bare mattress? As others have pointed out, you need a waterproof cover and a soft mattress pad. Guests should never be able to see a bare mattress and stains on any elements of the bed are big turn-offs, making the place seem unclean.

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nothing bad about south europe - have had several visitors earlier without any issues just wanted to mention that it is not US

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What helps the most is too soak it from both sides and then alternate dabbing it out from each side. On occasion there is a “shadow” left behind. And the liquid oxiclean will remove that shadow. With Bac out + liquid oxiclean I am able to remove 100% of 99% of stains.

Except for inks that are organic material, which is most common in brightly colored inks, like reds and highlighters. It’s always worth a try to use the bacout because it’s hard to tell what ink it is by only looking it.

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Also I’ve had stains removed by Out brand White Brite that other products didn’t work on.

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You really want to put mattress covers on all your mattresses, not just for stains but dust mites and bed bugs. We use these:


I’m not familiar with that one, thank you. Other than bacout and liquid oxi, the other things in my stain removal arsenal are: Dawn dish liquid (for the makeup and fake tan that doesn’t come out with the others), hairspray (for tattoo ink) and Amodex (@HostAirbnbVRBO , this is what will remove inorganic oil-based ink like from ballpoint pens).


I have a question: Did AirBnB charge you for the guest’s refund? Or does AirBnB just take that money out of its own profits?

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Of course Airbnb takes the refunds out of the host’s payouts, by deducting it from future payouts.

The only time I am aware that they sometimes take it from their own coffers is if the host is miraculously successful in fighting it and convincing Airbnb that a refund was given in error.

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This is why I joined this forum. I am trying to get hosts together to do a large protest of Airbnb to get their attention. They crap all over the hosts, the ones responsible for the guests having somewhere to stay! It’s unfair and ridiculous. I have had something similar happen but in my case it was construction that was completely out of our control. I can’t stop the city from working in the area. We ended up having to provide a full refund because airbnb did not hold to their commitment of not allowing a review that was due to something out of our control when we had provided an amazing experience. Our airbnb is way above and beyond and still these things happen with zero support from airbnb. I would love to get all of you together somehow and get something going. If we don’t all work together to make changes airbnb will continue to take advantage of all of us. The easy answer is to use other platforms, which we do but at the moment airbnb owns the search engines. Anyone reading wanting to get something going, please message me!

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I think a lot of us have felt this way at different times. In my case, I always realize that the number of hosts on this forum is minuscule, in comparison to the number of hosts overall.

I know we’d like to have the power of a lot of voices to tackle the various problems we experience, but I don’t think it’s possible with this group or any other. Even if we all had a unified voice—one complaint—we’d still be a negligible number of hosts.

And of course we don’t all have a unified voice. We have dozens, hundreds of different complaints.

I applaud your idea but don’t think it’s possible.

Well if the family complained on day 4- it appears the refund was given in error

Not sure why you addressed your comment to me, as I never said anything about these guests having a legitimate refund case. In fact, I said they sound like classic scammers.