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Cancelled a booking and now host is threatening me, what else can I do?


#1

I booked a stay in London recently. There were no details about the check-in and out times. After booking, the host made it clear that they were firm. Due to our flight times, I realized that this wasn’t going to work out for us as we would have 5 hours in the city with our suitcases and no where to go. When I cancelled the booking, the host became irate. Now he has sent me this message:

“Any other decent guest would have first tried to make a further arrangement before cancelling you chose not to do that and nobody is threatening you however we all of your personal details have now been posted and shared onto several hosts communities forums so when you next attempt to book here and on other host sites your name and details will be flagged immediately as an unreliable and poor mannered guest given your disgraceful attitude and manners as thankfully hosts share much of their experiences with guests who behave in this way to protect ourselves from this kind of loss and abuse of the platform”

He had a moderate cancellation policy, which allowed me to cancel up to 5 days before my start date. I have given 23 days!

Does anyone have any guidance for me about how to handle this? I’ve booked with AirBnB before with no issues. So I’m just flabbergasted! I have reported it to AirBnB, but it sounds like he’s spread my personal information all over the place :frowning:

Thanks for the help!


#2

Just ignore it. Shake it off. You were within your rights if you cancelled 23 days in advance.


#3

Unfortunately an example of the unprofessionalism you will most likely run into at some point when working with untrained people. Remember, they haven’t been to hospitality school, and are accountable to no one. Even airbnb are unlikely to do anything, and it’s a pity you are left quite powerless to get your name unsullied - if it was more than a threat that is. You can be sure that had you booked a hotel, you could have at least dropped off your luggage, and waited at a restaurant or cafe, and the possibility of an early check in (but certainly not to be relied upon without paying).

Fortunately for the future, there are a couple of ways to avoid coming across as uncaring from your side, and upsetting your host. First, if you were expecting him to make the room available 5 hours earlier without being prepared to pay at least half a day (if it was even possible due to the room being available), then this does make it seem that you are unaware that this is a person with a life, whose home you were staying in. This is quite an imposition that would have made him change his schedule dramatically to try to accommodate, yet you expected it without offering anything in return it would seem. Very few hosts would be willing to meet your demand here. Sometimes they may let you leave baggage if possible, but if guests are still checking out, sometimes it just isn’t possible. An hour early is the most I allow for check ins - please remember you want a clean room or apartment - would you expect him to give it to you right after the last guests leave with no time to clean? I consider those that ask for such large requests and wanting to put their issues on me without considering how to make their own arrangements for the day the kinds of guests I prefer not to host. They turn out to be inconsiderate, and unable to see anything outside of their own needs or issues. Did you consider the host and what it meant for him? I didn’t hear mention of it. You didn’t owe him to continue with the booking, but my guess is that you showed nothing but concern for yourself, and this caused a bad rapport. Still he’s clearly a reactive host who must be getting tired of dealing with guests that seem to think a small business owner should be able to accommodate requests hotels won’t, just because they can ‘ask the man at the top’. This kind of grizzled host with demanding guests would have been a bad fit anyway.

As a world traveler myself, I know that arrivals in Europe are almost invariably in the early morning, with at least 6-8 hours to check in. There are many ways to handle this without making someone else feel like they have to take care of you ( I am a female, and have traveled since my early 20’s). You can leave luggage at any train station - they have lockers for this, and there are lots of places that are wonderful to kill time. In fact, it’s the best thing you can do to ensure your jet lag isn’t so bad the next few days. Stay up the first day and have a solid sleep that night, and your body clock adjusts much better than if you get in and try to have a nap. Arrival time at 3pm (which is probably what it was) is totally fine for this.

I have a feeling you might have issues however you imagine you are going to get straight into lodgings from a morning flight - especially seeing you don’t intend to pay. Hopefully you’ll find some poor airbnb owner who is willing to bend over backwards for you. They’ll wise up though.

Signed, someone who has dealt with guests that expect things from hosts they know you can’t get from a hotel.


#4

Sandy, you’re making a lot of assumptions about our travel plans and my interaction with the host that just aren’t the case. I was not a demanding guest. I never asked him to change his times, I was never rude or inconsiderate.

There was no check-in or out time in the listing. My fault completely for not checking with them first. I own that completely. I will never ever book again without verifying this in advance.

We are not arriving with 6-8 hours to check in, but rather 2 hours. The arrival time of 3pm, we could work with. Yes, we arrive a few hours prior to check in, but I told the host it was no problem that we would just take our time leaving the airport, have lunch nearby in the neighborhood, no issue at all.

The problem arose with check-out, which is at 9 am, quite early I think. Our flight is not until 5pm. I asked the host for suggestions on this issue and he told me the time was not flexible and he couldn’t recommend anything to me. I wasn’t demanding in any way. I didn’t ask for him to change the time, or to hold our bags for the day, but just to give his advice to us on what to do with our bags. He refused to assist. This started sending up red flags to me because in his listing he said he was happy to offer advice on the area, on transportation, any questions we had, he would help. Had he mentioned the possibility of keeping the place for longer and paying for extra time, as you mentioned, I would have happily done it. But he refused to even discuss any options or advice at all.

The more we looked into the problem of what to do with our luggage, the more I realized that another option would be better for us. I checked the cancellation policy and it was set for moderate, allowing cancellations for up to 5 days out. Well, I would never wait that long. That would be putting a host in a really tight spot, I know that so I cancelled immediately with 23 days left. It wasn’t done lightly or on a whim. I’m sorry for inconveniencing him and told him so. But I didn’t feel comfortable with the arrangement. And by the way, I had booked at 25 days out, so he only lost 2 days of listing time.

He became irate and frankly irrational. At first he threatened to post the private information if I didn’t reconfirm my reservation. I explained that this wasn’t going to work out. Then he said that he had posted the information in various host sites to make sure that no one would work with such a despicable person ever again. He sent me close to 20 crazy messages today, calling me all sorts of names and threatening me.

I have never encountered anything like this before. We have lived in Europe for several years and have stayed in rentals, homes, hotels, b&b’s and have never come across anyone like this. That’s why I posted here. I wanted to see if anyone else had had a similar issue or advice on how to handle it. I don’t need someone to bend over backwards for me, that’s ridiculous. I never implied that to the host or in my original post here either. But I do expect for hosts not to go ballistic when a guest cancels a reservation over 3 weeks prior to the arrival, which much longer than their minimum, and not to plaster their personal information online either.


#6

The host needs to change his policy to strict if a cancellation within the terms of the booking sends his knickers into this much of a twist. . If he has it on moderate, well then he SIMPLY doesn’t have a leg to stand on if you cancel! Period! His loss!

Further, 9AM check out seems crazy early. I wouldn’t love that either. Because the reservation was only active two days, before you cancelled, I don’t see the problem. I’ve had guests cancel with less notice than that, and I’m on strict. Plans change, whatevers happen.

Regarding his behavior since your cancellation, it’s over the top to post your personal info online as a bad guest. If you’d done some of the things my BAD guests have done, well maybe. But not even then. My worse bad guest got her scathing review from me on the site and I am content with that. No one will ever rent to her again on AirBnB and I am happy with that as a result.

I’d say he is coming close to harassing you with 20 messages? What’s up with that? Good thing you DID cancel! Why would you want to stay with a kook like this anyway. Your cancellation was the right thing to do.

As for the harassment, let Air know about it. That’s wrong and should not be allowed.


#8

This is simple. Report the nut to Air Bnb and offer to provide evidence to them. This kind of behaviour is completely out of line and they should not be allowed to host. Whatever you do, don’t engage with him.

Air Bnb hosts need to roll with punches like anyone else in a service industry does. You followed the rules. Could you have confirmed the arrangement before you booked? Sure but we all make mistakes. I’ve been frustrated by guests silly questions in the past but often there is a reason for it. It might be a language issue, a technology issue or they just aren’t that smart. :smile: A bit of empathy is required and old fashioned hospitality.


#9

[quote=“Sandy, post:7, topic:803, full:true”]All listings MUST list the check in and check out times to list the property. It is under the ‘terms’ section which you should always look over before committing to a booking.
[/quote]

My check in and check out times don’t specify any time. They are set as flexible.


#10

His listing has no Terms section at all, and there is no mention of times anywhere in the listing. I suggested that he add it and he said it wasn’t necessary because everyone uses similar times.


#11

Well, I hoped you’ve managed to contact airbnb. That really takes the cake. I have heard of that check out time in the UK and in other Airbnb’s in Europe. But I can’t imagine being chucked out of a room that early. It’s something that absolutely should be mentioned in the terms. No wonder he’s getting shirty. You’re obviously not the first person to have taken issue with this stringent policy. I hope airbnb does something about it. I don’t believe they will though. So long as they’re making money, they don’t usually rock the boat anywhere it seems.


#12

Tish, most hosts know the arrival and departure times of international flights (as in international flights usually leave Montreal in the evening, arrive in the afternoon). I had a couple from California that wanted to book two days and then leave at noon (my latest check-out), but their flight wasn’t until 9/10 that evening. So I told them that had I not had guests coming that day, I would have gladly accommodated them for longer, but since I had ppl coming in around 5, I couldn’t let them stay past 12 PM. They wanted to book anyway, but I refused. The Montreal airport isn’t big and check in doesn’t typically take long. I get to the airport 1 1/2 hours before departure for an international flight and that’s plenty of time. I told them this and suggested that they could leave at 7 PM safely, so they would be out and about for 7 hours. I suggested that they find another Airbnb place (there are plenty in my neighbourhood) that would be able to accommodate them. I didn’t feel comfortable with the timing, even though the inconvenience wouldn’t be mine. I think that as hosts we need to take the initiative and explain potential problems to guests. (I was also worried that this couple might not vacate in time.)

This host sounds a bit nutty. I would keep all the emails and keep forwarding them to Airbnb, perhaps numbering them in the subject line. I would also let the host know you are doing this. You might also mention that if the abuse continues, you may call the police, since you feel harassed. Cyber harassment is still harassment. Airbnb will take that seriously, I would think.


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