We got a reservation from a son for his father. His messages clearly indicate that he won’t be staying himself, and that it will only be his father. So it’s a third party reservation. I’m not automatically against this, because sometimes guests are just not tech savvy to handle all the AirBnB . So I asked our standard questions to the son: Arrival (flight, bus, time)? And dietary restrictions for breakfast? The son basically answered: Here is his phone number, call with my dad.
This was a bridge too far for me, because it only indicated that communication between father and son is problematic, and the father without a doubt doesn’t know what he’s getting into. I also don’t think that it’s our job to be calling his father. So we felt uncomfortable and decided we wanted to have this reservation canceled.
So knowing the advice most on this forum always give, I called AirBnB. The guy on the phone totally understood, but instead of just canceling he send it to a case manager.
Is this normal?
Now I’m having this conversation with a case manager through messaging:
Raquel: … Thank you. So, feel free to correct me, but, as far as I understood, you don’t feel comfortable with the fact that your guest, who booked the reservation , will not honor the reservation. His father will go in his behalf.
Me: (Explanation) + Can you handle the cancelation of this reservation, assuring that there will be no repercussions for us?
Raquel: I will contact your guest and will return to you as soon as possible.
Raquel: If, eventually, I need to cancel in your guest behalf, can you consider any kind of refund, please?
Me: If you free up our calendar today, we don’t mind refunding 100%, of course as long as it doesn’t cost us anything. I think we are on flexible, so my guess is, he gets a refund anyway.
(I WILL UPDATE LATER)
Is this the normal process? It looks like they’re doubting canceling . All this while it’s clearly against their own policies. Why does she need to contact the guest? Why does she ask me about the refund when we are on flexible?
Raquel: Thank you so much.
Me: Raquel, just to make thing clear: The son Henry never had the intention to stay. He made the reservation for his father. But most likely his father is totally clueless.
Raquel: Yes, I understand. I am already in contact with him.
Meanwhile the son sends me a photo of him and his father, starts explaining that his father isn’t good with apps, and kind of asks if we can accept the third party booking.
AKWARD ! So basically now AirBnB wants us to accept third party bookings?
ME: Hi Raquel, As you can notice in the messages, this guest has started communicating with me again. I guess that this is in response to your communication with him. Please clarify for me if you (AirBnB) are now pushing me to accept a 3rd party booking against Airbnb Terms of Service?
To be honest, I am a bit surprised by this course of events.
RAQUEL: Hello, As I told you before, I am in contact with your guest, in order to inform him that Airbnb does not allow 3rd party booking and that he needs to cancel. Because transparency and trust are crucial to ensure a secure Airbnb experience, it is not possible to book on behalf of someone else. Third-party bookings are in violation of our Terms of Service, and as a result we cannot ensure protection under said Terms of Service, cancellation and refund policies, and other safeguards. Please keep in mind that we never encourage 3rd party booking or any kind of reservation that can make you feel uncomfortable as a host.
RAQUEL: I can assure you that I am here to help you.
ME: Glad to get that confirmed. Thank you. Now would it be possible to clear our calendar?
Also, to be honest, I would rather not have this guest, even if you guide him to making his own account. I hope you understand that this is getting off on the wrong foot, and that we don’t want to be faced with an unsatisfied guest to begin with.
Thank you so much Raquel.
Is it normal that she is asking the guest to cancel, instead of just cancelling herself?