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Do you allow cancellations outside your policy?

This is my first time posting, I have found this site great so far!
We have a rental at the beach and have a guest who booked for one night THIS Friday, they made the booking Monday of this week. She just messaged me and asked if she could cancel the reservation and if they promise to book again in the future would we allow a refund even though our policy is Moderate and states within 5 days there is no refund.
The reason for cancelling…they were hoping for sunshine and the weather is starting to look unfavorable.

I am new to hosting, only for a couple months with little issues so far and only had one guy who cancelled in time to get a refund (cause I wouldn’t allow his lab outside our no pet policy).
I am unsure what to do, if I let them cancel I have no guarantee they will book again and I am out the money. If I dont let them cancel I risk getting bad feedback for this. Do I let them cancel if they book another date before they cancel this Friday.

Anyone been in this situation? How did you handle it?

Ridiculous. No sunshine? The policy is there for a reason. Use it. Buyers are liars. I hate to say it but it’s true. If there was an illness or family crisis, that’s one thing. Politely remind them you have but one room, not 1,000 like a hotel and this is a business. And then tell them to kiss your azz where the sunshine…don’t shine.:smile:

I kid. I kid.

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IslandNeuk - Lady is absolutely correct. If the weather was so important to them, they should have booked with someone with a flexible policy. Besides, it’s only Wednesday - who knows what tomorrow will bring, much less Friday?! I’ve had an outdoor birthday party planned for 12 6 year olds with thunderstorms predicted for the entire morning as late as midnight the night before. The day was glorious - one of the prettiest days of the year.

The very well may book again - and possibly cancel again!!

@IslandNeuk I agree with the others! Do not refund. Its one thing if there was death/emergency but no sunshine is not a feasible excuse. This is their mistake and poor planning, why did they book Monday for Friday(?) I’m pretty sure 5 day forecasts predicted Fridays weather on Monday.

After having two people try to cancel (one being successful) in as many days, I moved my policy to strict now…so if they book again at least they can’t cancel with a full refund.

@LadyChristina I love your response…where the sun doesn’t shine! Thanks for your help!!

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@azreala I thought the same thing, I live in the same area she lives in (a lot of our bookings are city people wanting to head out to the coast for the weekend and we live in the city too) and I knew the forecast!

@IslandNeuk we have all our properties on ‘Strict’ and we have had zero issues getting bookings. I highly recommend this approach. We have had a rash of cancellations bc people booked the wrong date for a music festival (um, hello Google). The first one I felt bad for and refunded, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th(!!!) I said tough sh*t. They got 1/2 their money back and very good life lesson. @konacoconutz so wisely said if we don’t uphold our own cancellations policies, who will.

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@azreala my fear is I dont give her a refund and she doesn’t cancel and she leaves me bad feedback for something that is not my fault. It sucks they can do that when its them trying to break the rules. That would hurt me since I am new to this and only have 10 reviews on my cottage.
the guy who cancelled because a month after he booked asked if we could change our no pet policy really irked me, but this is just insane.

Nah, don’t let the fear get to you. If they dink you for not kissing their tushie you can add a response to their review and calmly add a retort.

“Unfortunately this guest chose to cancel due to lack of cancer causing sunshine and got her panties all waded up when I upheld airbnb’s policy of no refunds due to stupid, idiotic reasons. Amazingly, this guest did not adhere to the old adage that the weatherman is “always wrong”, and the weather was just divine the days of her stay. To celebrate the lovely shining sun, I invited the new guests who replaced her to lounge around our pool and served margaritas and steaks using the funds that she had paid for her booking. A great time was had by all”. :blush:

@IslandNeuk We have only had the request for a refund after someone has cancelled, so no risk of a bad review. I agree with the others, even if you get a bad review, you should not refund. You can always respond to the review and say they wanted to cancel 2 days before arrival.

I told her no, lets see what she comes back with…thank you all! I don’t personally know other hosts and its nice to be able to come here and have people who can relate to me. I mentioned the request to my mom and she said “well I dont blame her” and I told her “yeah but I would be the one loosing money after I set up the house for her and everything!” lol

She replied, she will “keep our reservation as it wouldn’t make any sense to cancel with no refund.” well it makes no sense for me to refund you cause you cant check the weather! I just know this will be a bad review. She was really nice in her previous messages and now lost all that. Oh well…Nothing I can do now

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@IslandNeuk Just a thought but maybe buy some cheap board games, dvds, etc. and go out of your way too point these things out, as things to do if the weather is poor?

We have these in our Barcelona and Wine Country houses as the weather can sometime be touch and go and you wouldn’t believe how many time’s people mention them in reviews. Another thing my DH insisted on in BCN was an Xbox, I almost left him in the middle of the electro domestic shoppe, but it has proved a big review booster.

@azreala we actually have this really need wood table thing in the living room, it has 5 drawers that come out and each drawer is a different game…Its really neat and I get a lot of comments on it. We have cards and some other small games. I am trying to find more on the sale sites in town. lol
I need to get some movies, we have Netflix that they can use as well. I never thought of a game system, I will have to hunt for a good sale on one!

@IslandNeuk I never thought of the game system either! It was my DH and I thought he was nuts, but as we get lots of families its perfect for ‘down time’. It also acts as a DVD player, bonus!

I’m not sure where in the world you are, but I got a bunch of board games during the after Xmas sales here in the US at Home Goods, Target, etc.

@azreala We have a lot of good resale sites out here I will be scouring for a game system! We have two Wii systems but I doubt either of my kids will give theirs up since they use it for movies on netflix lol

I am in Texas, I never thought of Home Goods for games, I love that store. I can do a lot of damage there! Thanks for the suggestions =)

@IslandNeuk Homegoods is SO easy to do damage in! I’m addicted even though I’m pretty sure their everyday prices aren’t cheaper than Ikea/Internet shopping, but their clearance section is the best!!

From experience I can only say NO. Do not change your policy. It is not your fault these people made the booking without understanding your cancellation policy, and you are certainly not responsible for the weather! I have my policy set at strict because over my first year of Air I had so many people muck me about. I listened to advice from more experienced hosts, and they all said unless there was a death in the family, (proof required), you do not give refunds or change your stated policy :slight_smile:

@Kerensa_Baker I didnt allow her to cancel and the best thing happened, the weather was WONDERFUL! Sunny, cool, and beautiful! haha! I have had three people cancel (or try to) within a month which made me change mine to strict to. I had “too expensive” (AFTER BOOKING!) “not allowing dogs” (even tho it CLEARLY says it in my listing and “bad weather”. Its insane the reasons they cancel! So yeah, I am just sticking to strict and can refund on a case by case basis.

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