Be careful when requesting money from guests

Im writing this post in hope to warn hosts who use the function “request money from guest”. When you request money for either damages or extra services there is a big difference between “the guest agreed to pay” and actually paying.

Always check your payouts for that extra money.

The story: reservation for 26/01 and requested £50 from them for a security deposit. I get an email straight away from airbnb saying the guest agreed to pay and they will transfer the funds in 5-7 business days.

27/01 I got paid the reservation funds on my paypal but not the extra £50. I check my payouts and it was still in upcoming for 27/01 so I thought I’d wait. Meanwhile everything was fine at the property and I was about to send the security deposit back to the guests. Thankfully I was smart and said I’ll wait until the money actually reach me and then send it back.

28/01: still no £50 and no message from the guest to request it either. So I sent a message to customer service to check what is going on

Safe to say the guest is never going to pay so if it was extra services or something I’d be out of pocket!!!

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Thats the email I got

Why are you asking for extra money as a security deposit? Why isn’t it included in the original booking? If I got your request, I wouldn’t pay it either as I would have no guarantee that I would receive my money back. I am surprised that your listing hasn’t been closed down due to your actions.

Because there is no option to actually hold a deposit. I collected it like this for a whole year with no problems. I been to many apartments from airbnb or bookingcom that requested a cash deposit so theres no difference really. Obviously customer support knows about it :slight_smile:

If a host requires a security deposit, the guest doesn’t pay the deposit when they make the reservation. Instead, the guest will be charged if a host makes a claim on their security deposit. So you do not actually get the security deposit, ABB has authorization to pay a claim and charge their Credit Card in the amount you specified and then transfer than amount back to you.

We have a similar experience. Two times we asked a small amount from guests for damages they did. Two times the guests agreed to pay. But although one has been months ago and the other weeks ago, the payments still show as “upcoming payments” and nothing has entered into our bank account.

It’s even worse: With the second resolution case, the guest in fact first asked us to pay us directly in our bank account. To me it appeared more work than just paying through AirBnB, so I asked him to pay through AirBnB. I sent him my resolution claim and he accepted. Then I received a message that AirBnB had trouble collecting, so I asked the guest to pay directly. (Since I still needed to write his review and he had visited us with his lover I had some leverage :smiling_imp::rofl:.) The money was in our bank account the next day, but then I faced the problem that I couldn’t cancel the payment through AirBnB anymore, so I told the guest that I would send him back his money the moment we received it from AirBnB. A few days later the guest said that the payment through AirBnB had gone through and if I could return him the money. Now weeks later we still haven’t received that payment.

So @Gem20, good topic ! And to all, take care with payments of resolution cases.

Can you not cancel it once the Guest has accepted (although not paid)?

Apparently not, once the guest accepts, there’s no way of canceling the payment. Or at least, I didn’t find it and I looked very thoroughly.

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I agree. I would never pay a “deposit” this way.