Guest Booking with no Payment Method

I’m so upset and I’m not looking for advice. This is just a warning for others.

I accepted a guest for a long-term booking and immediately got a pop-up saying something like “oops there’s no payment method Nisha has 24 hours to book or else she will lose this booking. In the mean time these dates are blocked”. I immediately panicked because she requested to “view” the apt before paying [after I hit the accept buttom]. Whenever people ask to view before-hand I automatically deny them because it’s usually a waste of time. I also pre-approved another person for a similar amount of money and I knew that he would get a message saying the dates are taken.

SO I called Airbnb and I was told “oh well she seems new, she’ll probably book” “don’t worry about canceling”. I felt uneasy, but I went with it. This morning the other pre-approved guest books another room and I receive a notification about it. Just now this girl Nisha writes to me saying she’ll stay at her friend’s place and wait until the request expires.

I flagged her message and I wrote that her account should be flagged. This is so ANNOYING guests shouldn’t be able to hold rooms for any amount of time if they aren’t putting money on the line. There should be a penalty for doing this kind of thing.

I know the bnb person helping was well-meaning, but jeez was that bad advice!

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Thank you for the warning. Was there any discussion if Air would be willing to unblock the dates so that the pre-approved guest could book if he wished?

I agree that Air should not be allowing anyone to block off dates! That is supposed to be the entire purpose of a “reservation request” - guest has put money on the line and is ready for you to accept the reservation.

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I have had this happen twice. That blasted PENDING across my calendar during the high season is infuriating. As it happens, both of them did book and it all ended well. However there was a time when three people wanted the same dates, and the already verified folks couldn’t book. Nerve wracking!

I’ve flagged her and I keep trying to find the right combination of questions to get in contact with a person. I hate how hard it is to get in contact with someone and I’m at work so I’ll have to call in a few. Meanwhile she’s arguing with me telling me I shouldn’t be upset. I tried explaining: it’s like buying a dress with a bad check. It’s so misleading!!! ugggghhhh

Wow 2x, this is not ok! I would feel better about being in limbo if I knew their account could face future penalty charges or be shut down for doing this on purpose.

I am sure guests don’t understand how inconvenient it is, they think they’re the only ones looking at the room. This girl wrote “it has only been a few hours, not days” HA the domino effect is crazy.

I think you are blaming the wrong party here. This is AirBNB’s choice to hold the dates while the guest has time to submit verifications and payment information. The guest has done nothing wrong. They are following AirBNB’s rules which allows for someone to make a booking request during this interlude.

I don’t understand why you are flagging someone who might very well be a guest in your home.

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You are overreacting. This happens to me a lot. Sometimes it’s because the guest’s fraud alert goes on because they are booking something like a trip to Hawaii and they have not alerted their credit card company. If they are new to the platform, they might be needing to upload verification. Also, before you panicked you could have read the advice, that yes, the guest has 24 hours to fix the issue but also “you may decline” this guest. Why didn’t you just decline? You flagged her? Your guest isn’t a crook, but you seem pretty paranoid.

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It wasn’t just a request. I’m not sure what it looks like on their end, but she pretty much booked [not requesting a pre-approval]. It just didn’t go through because her payment method was faulty. She then tried to negotiate seeing my apt first and asked me for my address after I denied that request.

I have been following the details of a few scams and one is to use fake/stolen credit card numbers. People think they will receive payment and it never goes through.

I am upset with the guest for booking with no money, and also Airbnb for even allowing such a thing to happen. She will never be a guest in my home. That’s a fact.

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She can’t book without a credit card. It’s not possible. Asking to see your place first is a newbie mistake. You can easily DECLINE any guest you want. You should have declined when you got the message that payment was pending. That’s an option, you know.

I called and I was told that a higher up person would have to cancel. She put me on hold and then pushed me to just wait it out. The Airbnb rep gave me the impression that I would have to have them do it since canceling on my own would count against me.

As far as her booking with a credit card. She did, it just didn’t work or have any money on it. I’m not sure how scam artists do what they do, but this is not the first time I’ve heard of guests using fake numbers to hold rooms and never pay. She asked to see my place AFTER I accepted her. We had already chatted a bit and I thought she was a normal guest. As soon as I hit accept she started to back out and flip flop between “I’ll confirm payment” and “what is your exact address?”

But… until the payment is confirmed, the system won’t allow for exchange of addresses or personal info. It would get blocked.

Once a guest is a confirmed booking, and have paid you have to give them your exact address.

Honestly, I don’t think she was trying to scam you. The last two bookings i’ve had had brief holds on their payment going through.

Why do you want to cancel? Are you sure this isn’t just a case of a newbie and a learning curve?

Yeah the rep did say she can’t see my address, which is why she was asking for it. I was alarmed in either case because my dates were held up and my other guest had already booked another room. This tactic for booking was irritating to deal with.

I don’t know what she was trying to do, but she was holding up my listing while looking at her other options. It’s not like this was a brief hold and now I have a new guest arriving. She was already making it clear she was still deciding while causing my calendar to be blocked.

I’m sure she is a newbie, but I did wait and this lead to a loss of guests I had previously pre-approved.

*** this is when I realized I was screwed***

“Hello ehv5002, interestingly enough one of my friends have offered for me to stay with them until 20th of this month. So I’m gonna need a place from then and I’m looking for places closer to Columbia. So, for now I’m gonna let this get cancelled and if I need to I will rebook later.”

We did solve everything in the end. I wish there was a way to prevent this. Especially the auto email to other pre-approved guests.

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Lesson learned… but in your panic, you may have missed that you DID have the opportunity to opt out. When you got the notice that “There is a problem with the payment,” it tells you they will have 24 hours to correct it. Alternatively, you may also DECLINE this guest." I’m paraphrasing but bottom line is that you don’t have to take them if their credit card did not go through.

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Interesting! I didn’t see that line. And all buttons used the word “cancel”. Bnb did a good job of not letting me know that i could cancel with no penalty.