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Extremely Angry Guest

This is my first post on this site. I’ve been a host for about a year.

A woman came today. Her English is not good (she’s also a little older) and it’s clear in the description that the only communicative language is English.

She had awful difficulty finding my place. In a message I provided 4 methods of finding the place: the address (this is Cambodia, so often drivers have a hard time with addresses), a google maps link, specific GPS coordinates, and the location of the nearby biggest mall in the city where I told people I would walk and meet them.

She showed up visibly enraged. I told her I would refund all her money if she cancelled. She agreed, but was so angry when using her phone that she kept pressing buttons and exiting out. She also had a hard time understanding the automessage because it was in English (Cambodia directs you to a US number).

She became further angry and left the house. This is after insulting me personally and swearing repeatedly in French (and English). I don’t feel like this is my fault. Now I have to either go through the expensive process of cancelling her booking or possibly taking her terrible review and then probably having to refund the money anyway. The room is also booked out for the time she was supposed to be here (and I am flooded with guests, who I might add, leave 95% positive reviews). Is there any way to avoid this? The profit margins in Cambodia are really low.

What is your cancellation policy? I would not refund a guest ANYTHING if they behaved this way. It is not your fault if someone cannot find your place after giving them so much information. The guest should have made sure they understood before they left. If you have lots of good reviews, I would just eat this potential bad one. You can explain in your response to it if you like, that “you are very sorry the guests language issues made it hard for her to find you…” But refund? Nope. Not your fault.

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^^^ Very good advice, especially the point to make sure to mention that the language ‘barrier’ was at the crux of the matter. Everyone can identify with that.

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right right right, do NOT do the cancellation. But contact airbnb and let them know what happened.

Sounds like a miserable experience!!! Her review will stand out - as unreasonable. And she DID find you, right?

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Never ever cancel a reservation unless it is completely avoidable for a personal reason.

If she wants to back out, it’s on her to cancel. You provided exactly what she paid for. Properties are clearly shown on a map. If she didn’t feel confident in being able to make it to your location, that should have been solved on her end before trying to access your house.

Did she have any reviews? If you click on her name, has she left reviews for others?

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Where abouts in Cambodia are you? I never had a problem with drivers finding addresses for me when I was there. Cambodia is one of my favourite places.

You wouldn’t want her in your place anyway. Although we once had a guest turn up hot, angry and flustered. Hubby calmed her down with a cold drink and she ended up being great otherwise we were in for a lonf 10 days

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Result:
[EMAIL]
Hi Mike!

Marie-Aimée again. I hope you’re fine :slight_smile:

I tried to contact you yesterday about the reservation with Michele. Without answer from you, I have just adjusted you to refund your guest (because I saw that you proposed that in the message thread).

You can see the adjustment in your transaction history.

Please if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact. I remain at your disposal Mike :slight_smile:

Have a very nice day :slight_smile:

Marie A

[TRANSACTION RESULTS]

04/14/2016 Cancellation Fee Cancellation of reservation 4JDM3M ($100)
04/14/2016 Adjustment Mar 10 - 16, 2016 4JDM3M
XXXXXX XXXXXXX
By Balcony-AC/priv bath-Fun Expats ($88)

So airbnb gave me 1 day to reply during the biggest holiday. Then automatically charged me for her entire amount and a $100 cancellation fee. I feel extremely cheated. Do I have any recourse?

don’t worry, all old people are like that, avoid to accept the booking of old woman or old man then you have less trouble.

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@Chen_Susanne - what exactly do you consider ‘old’?

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Yes… I would like to know if my ripe old age qualifies to be on the NO list? :smile:

@konacoconutz - I strongly suspect that I am much older than you are :slight_smile:

Last weekend I had guests who looked to be about seventeen years old - they were lovely. Recently I had guests for two weeks who were probably fifty years older - they were definitely in their seventies and were complete sweethearts. And I’ve had everything in between. There’s no way (to me) that age is a factor in determining whether guests will be wonderful or not. Plus, age-ism should be against the law :wink:

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Yes kona you are ‘old’, and I am ‘young’. So we are indeed on separate lists. :sunglasses:

Seriously speaking, I can’t detect a pattern on the age thing yet, if one better to have than the other; perhaps when you are cool when you are young, you are cool for life.

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Update: Airbnb refunded the 100 fee and 2 days out of her stay. I was OK with that. Can’t say anything bad. The customer service agent was really nice in the end.

As far as ageism… I will say that this would have been the 4th person over 50 that’s stayed with me.

I couldn’t prove it, but I suspected one of bringing a prostitute. All 3 left the lock off the door multiple times which is a huge issue.

I would hate to be part of anything that discriminates for any reason, but I’m pretty hesitant at this point.

Har har… Well… I was watching a documentary on the 60s last night and dang, I can honestly say, I remember a good deal of that stuff. Even though I was a kid at the time. So yup. I’m old… but you know what? it is cool to say you have really lived through all that stuff from the turbulent '60s and it’s not just history book lessons to you. :wink:

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@kona, I was 15 years old when the Beatles ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ came out in 1963. Just pulling your leg. I loved our time, in many ways we lived during the most exciting of times! We bracketed the Beatles and the Internet revolution, what more excitement can one ask in one’s lifetime…

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No, no, I need to refute the above! I really am old (as I have to keep reminding myself …) and I am Truly Lovely. And if you would like to invite me to a few days in Cambodia or a lovely Hawaiian beach cottage I could prove it to you …

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We sound like a couple of old biddies rocking away, but you are right… we got to see such a wide range of decades–and all the music, culture and politics that went along with them!

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You should consider changing to “strict” cancellation policy. There is no reason why you should take the hit if someone shows up angry and wants to cancel. It is often impossible to find another guest to take the rest of the reservation.

Most of our guests have been wonderful and very considerate, but it is the two exceptions that made us change to strict. First we had one book for 15 days when we started (very exciting first long booking!) and even asked us if we had a queen bed instead of a double (we were able to accommodate since we were setting up a new room). Then a few days into their stay they say they found a place to live in the neighborhood want want to cancel immediately for a full refund for 11 days noting our flexible cancellation policy! They seemed to have this planned all along without any regard to what financial consequences would befall us. After that we changed to strict.

Then we had a no-show recently. The girlfriend made the booking then wanted to cancel a few days before the trip because her boyfriend decided to come along and stay on the North Shore. I apologized explaining that we couldn’t possibly find a new guest on such short notice. So she said “OK see you Monday”. They didn’t show. But the night before the original check out time, they asked “When do we have to check out by?” Which was really weird at that point. “There must be some mistake as you never checked in. Check out is at 11am (it was about 10pm at night by that point), so I don’t quite understand you – are you planning on coming in the morning and checking out by 11am?”

Right after that I called AirBnB and told them that the guest never checked in and so I did not want a review from them because they did not stay and they did not cancel. I got a new person I think so she just took down my message. In the morning I got an email from AirBnB saying that they canceled the reservation. It was so strange, the whole experience. But I think that they were sore about paying for the reservation and not getting anything for it (so they wanted to come on the last day and use the shower?? or something, but didn’t think it through because they would have needed to book an extra day to do that. So strange. Anyway, glad I had strict cancellation policy. If we provide a service and follow the rules, we shouldn’t have to take losses for people changing their minds, getting angry, etc.

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I think this sucks. When she booked she’d have seen your place on a map & you gave her 4 ways to get there. The language barrier is definitely an issue but you’d have thought she’d have been relieved when she arrived & then chilled out a bit. I do feel air bnb leans heavily in the guests favour on everything.

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