Doing the right thing re rapid cancellations

I wouldn’t do that myself. I prefer to say I will refund them if I manage to rebook the dates. That way, it’s up to my discretion to refund them partially or in full. If I rebooked all the dates, I would refund them in full, but I might not refund them anything if I only rebooked some of their dates.

I had a guest book a month ahead of time, and she had asked a lot of questions. She wasn’t a pain or anything, she was friendly, polite and not clueless, but it had taken up quite a bit of my time messaging back and forth with her. Then she cancelled, after my moderate policy kicked in. And her excuse for cancelling was lame- she was staying in a town a day’s drive from here, where her mom lived, and said she had to stay to help her mom pack up and move. I thought she could have figured that out more than 3 days before her check-in.

She had a week-long booking, and I did rebook 3 days of it. But since it was the middle of my high season, where I would have most likely filled all those dates if she’d cancelled 10 days before, and since with my moderate policy I had only gotten paid for the first night, and 50% of the remaining nights, considering as well as the time I had spent messaging with her, I didn’t feel like refunding her anything, and didn’t.

If I had told her I’d refund her any of the dates I was able to rebook, and she turned out to be one of those cancelling guests who keeps an eye on your calendar and messages you if she sees them blocked, asking when she’ll get her refund, it would have been an unpleasant situation to have to tell her why she wasn’t getting any refund.

Telling a guest instead that you’ll refund if you can rebook the dates, means if they see that some of their dates were rebooked, and contact you for a refund, you can just say, " Well, all the dates your booking blocked didn’t get rebooked, and I don’t give refunds in that case."

@muddy : you have your answer… As a host, I have made small mistakes and Airbnb has made me pay for them.

But I agree with you that it brings Airbnb a bad name.

Airbnb has brought this issue on themselves. The way they treat hosts makes hosts become very careful.

Airbnb has taught me to watch out for myself, because the guests and Airbnb support are out there to screw me.

The only people suffering in the system are the good hosts and good guests. The bad hosts and bad guests are the one abusing the system and still getting away with it.

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No, that isn’t an answer that makes sense to me. Just because Airbnb doesn’t have my back, or I might have had to deal with a bad or scammer guest doesn’t mean I have to decide to treat others without compassion. No skin off my nose to give a refund if a guest books in error and wants to cancel 5 minutes later. The chances that I missed getting another booking in those 5 minutes is incredibly slim weighed against the value of cutting someone a little slack, who may end up booking with me in the future.

I just had a guest for 10 days who had altered her dates 3 times, changing the start date back and forth by a day. I could have refused to do so, but I didn’t.

I thought she was pretty flakey doing that, but it turned out that it was because the retreat center she was coming to work at had told her they had a room for her, then said, oh no, we got another retreat guest, so they need the room, then changed it on her again. Of course, none of that was my affair, and she even contacted me the day before she was due to check in, saying it looks like she can stay where she is for 1 more night (she didn’t ask for a refund for the night she had booked but didn’t stay).

She turned out to be a lovely person, who was actually from my old stomping grounds in Canada, and we knew some of the same people from there. She made dinner for both of us one night, complete with a bottle of wine. She left her room and bathroom super clean, with a lovely thank you card propped up on the desk.

And as she comes down here to work every year, she may end up being a repeat guest. Her booking here would have taken on a different tone had I gotten snarky about all her date alterations.

I do realize, though, that homesharing is quite different from hosting an entire plae where you don’t ever hang out with the guests.

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This becomes a slippery slope because different people can use different standards for fairness and compassion.

I chose to protect myself and stick by the rules.

Many will say that sticking by the rules is fair even if it is not compassionate. Sometimes I’m on the receiving end and will try to get compassion but I have to accept the cost of making errors.

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