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Bad Guest Breaks Rules, Then Cancels

A guest who booked months ago checked in 20 minutes before the scheduled check-in time and had a second guest with him when his reservation said 1 guest.

He said the check-in system was terrible, and I explained that the door code will not work before the check-in time. I told him that early check-in was not allowed, and he apologized and said he didn’t realize the time.

I also requested that he call Airbnb and add his wife to the reservation per our house rules. He messaged back and said he added her. I thanked him, and insisted that everything was fine.

But hours went by and nobody from Airbnb called. So I called Airbnb and they said the guest never called to make a change. Looks like he lied, so I told Airbnb to follow up with the guest and make the change.

When Airbnb called me back they said the guest protested the $5/night increase and claimed his wife and him should count as a single guest. But eventually he agreed and said everything was okay.

This morning they cancelled the reservation and left without a word. I messaged them, asking if everything was okay, and there was no answer. I can only assume that they were mad about being forced to add a second guest to the reservation.

Has this ever happened to anyone else?

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No - but I don’t have an extra guest fee. Have you considered putting your nightly fee up by $5 and saving yourself the hassle?

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Out of about 700 guests I’ve had one problematic guy (he gave me a hard time about the pet fee and other things online, was nice to my face, checked in, then canceled.) Since that’s one out of 700+ I’m not going to change my policies or practices. I did get $60 for my trouble and minimal cleaning had to be done for the 15 minutes he was in the room.

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I’ve considered adding the $5 in, but I think that would drive off single guest business traveler stays (50%-60% of our guests). Our place is a major metropolitan budget accommodation, with most stays around $40 per night. Can’t leave money sitting on the table, especially in winter, but you can’t drive off booking either.

Guests not adding everyone is also pretty rare.

I would tend to agree with you if your extra guest fee was more than $5. Mine is $20 for any over 1 with a max of 11, 5, 3 and 2, depending on the listing. I do think the guys argument that he and his wife should count as 1 person was ridiculous.

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Or extremely Co-Dependent at the least :rofl:

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We charge an extra guest fee per person after 1 guest (up to 4). I usually catch the number of guests right after they book. If they only book for “1 guest” and don’t specifically say “it’s just me” or something like that, then I ask them if indeed they are traveling solo. When they tell me they aren’t, I tell them I will send them a change request adding the other guest(s) and that the price will change a bit but that they can choose to accept or decline. No one has ever bailed on me, they just accept. Most send an apology for not adding the guest ahead of time.

I also have in my House Manual regarding our pricing system, noting that it’s really about giving a discount to smaller groups and please let me know if your guest count changes…about 4 or 5 different guests have contacted me when they were adding a guest. A couple times I’ve accepted the extra money through the Resolution Center and a couple of times I’ve told them not to worry about this time (those were both times that a person added someone unexpectedly and were honest and said they would pay but were already paying such an inflated rate that I let it go out of hospitality). One guest left me some cash on the kitchen table :slight_smile:

Because I look for it at the time of booking, I haven’t really had trouble with guests trying to “sneak” additional guests and have also probably been lucky.

I have gotten complete cooperation with the extra guest fees but I think two things help that: It’s pretty much the norm in my market and I also present it as a discount-scheme as opposed to an extra fee.

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How much is the extra guest fee and how long are those bookings usually?

I also look for it at time if booking but guess I have been unlucky as it is quite common for my guests…

What is your wording? I wonder if adding that would help. I am lately getting Airbnb just telling me I’m SOL and not paying me even the regular additional guest fee ($20) let alone the unauthorized fee ($50), claiming that they are allowed to have as many “visitors” as they want for free, regardless of whether they stay overnight or even 10 of the 14 nights, even when my house rules state there are no visits allows h less I am provided their first and last name and they are paid for prior to arrival. Such BS! I, too, sometimes let them have the guests at half price or even free when they are honest about it and respectful guests altogether because I so despise the disrespectful ones!

It depends on the unit and the season but is generally $15 to $20 per extra guest. The bookings are typically 1 to 6 nights.

I forget what your set-up is…are you there on the property with them? I make it clear in my listing that our apartment is in the same house. I mention it again on their check-in instructions (in a nice way “we’re right upstairs and will give you privacy but are always happy to help…”).

Most of the time it is a separate whole house but I also have a private room and private bathroom in my house.

Absolutely the best way to go, with pricing and everything else. So many hosts are concerned with what they need. (I need guest count or IDs or check in at a certain time, etc.) and guests don’t care about that. So even if it is selfish if you can make it seem like it’s about the guest it works better.

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Hosts need to be very aware that as soon as they ask a guest to pay more money, for any reason, there is an increased risk for the host. It just triggers bad behavior in some guests, whether or not the guest had intended to cheat the host. The result might be a cancellation, a bad review, damage, theft, or even a fraudulent claim that gets the host banned from Airbnb.

As a host, you have to weigh those things against asking the guest for money. It’s sad that hosts have to make decisions that negatively impact their business simply because Airbnb’s system of deposits, reviews, and claims of discrimination, safety, and other ToS violations are all based on hearsay that is interpreted by under-payed customer service agents.

I don’t have the same kind of listing or location, but for $5/day, I know that would not have asked the guest to modify the reservation. My deepest respect goes out to you and all hosts that don’t let guests cheat/bully/extort them because I know it makes a better community for all of us.

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My advice: Always follow up any reservation with dates of checkin and checkout, amount of nights and number of people.
This way at least they can’t say they didn’t know. In your case I would also add “Checkin from X:XXpm onwards” and maybe “Please confirm having received this message.”

I’m also one of those who believe that a couple costs us more (breakfast, towels, linens, wear and tear, water, electrical energy and mental energy :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) and therefor they should pay more than one guest. In my ideal world, 2 guests should pay 50% more than 1 guest, but for the moment we are closer to 20 - 25%. Even so, I do think single travelers appreciate our effort and most couples understand paying a bit more.

And the risk get’s even bigger when they booked with a non-refundable rate, you have to ask money for a second person and all of a sudden the guest starts saying: “I thought I booked a whole apartment. Is it a room?” :neutral_face::smirk::scream::scream::scream: We still took the risk this week :expressionless:, we’ll see how it goes when it’s review time. We did give them the daily omelet with turkey strips they asked for :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes: to try to keep them happy :smiley:. We did however not give into changing their bedlinen every day :smiling_imp:.

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This guest knew what he was doing. He felt like coming early without saying anything and thought it wouldn’t matter. He thought paying $15 extra was stupid, and nobody would notice because it’s a private suite. He was wrong.

He didn’t like being held accountable for breaking the rules and lied to my face about fixing the issue instead of asking for what he wanted. He has definitely done this to other hosts and he’ll think twice next time before doing it again.

I’m always tolerant and willing to work with guests, but they have to ask when they want special treatment, they don’t get to come into my house and make the rules.

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Hosts also need to be aware that this very much depends on the reason you are asking for more money and the kind of rental you have. I’ve asked for more money 100s of times. Twice for damages, the rest for a second person fee or pet fee. Of course the pet fee has to asked for later and that it clear in the listing. I’ve only had 2 people who questioned the pet fee. Neither of them ended up staying and neither left a bad review. The other dozens have been no problem.

So in my small sample (I don’t know maybe a third between 200-300) the risk of problems because the guest doesn’t want to pay up has been very low. The risk to my total bottom line I believe would be higher.

If that’s 10% of your daily rate it’s significant.

Disclosure: I have lots of one night guests in a small room limit of 2 guests and pets allowed with $15 a night fee. No minimum number or nights, no cleaning fee.

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I think that part of this is that people today are very often scared that they’re being ripped off. Some people would say that it’s ‘sensibly cautious’, some would say that they’re just wusses.

But I’ve been asked many times if there are any hidden fees, if there’s anything extra they’ll have to pay and I’ve even had a guest who thought they’d have to pay for the guest treats I leave for every arrival.

People are so accustomed to things having tax added, or a service charge, or whatever that they are nervous in case of any additions.

We’ve had a few topics here though about whether low prices tends to attract worse guests. I’ve always been on the ‘yes’ side.

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I just tell them that more money is owed and that have the free choice to accept the increase or to decline it (if it’s prior to the stay). I’ve never had anyone decline the extra charge. And I’ve never received a bad review. Surely, it must be like anything else, it is in how you do it.

If guests are out there bullying hosts to avoid paying fees then it is only because they have gotten away with it before or believe that they will for some reason and that’s why it’s so important that we all handle it professionally but still handle it somehow.

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