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Guest cancels and then threatens to sue me!


#1

This is a FlipKey/Travel Advisory experience but is worthy of noting since it speaks to some of the misconceptions that are occurring related to the share economy and vacation rental market. We had a confirmed booking through FlipKey for 3 nights over New Years for 4 guests. I accepted the booking without really going over it carefully and the guest wrote asking why there were two cleaning fees. When I reviewed the booking there were indeed two cleaning fees but the booking didn’t charge for the extra guests over two which added $50.00 to the booking. I politely informed the guest that though they were overcharged for cleaning they were not charged for the extra guests. Fast forward to a rash of vitriolic emails saying she never heard of charging for extra guests and upon further review of my listing she noticed I charge a pet fee and since she is bringing her two dogs that would add another $100.00 and I was hiding my fees and overcharging and it would cost close to $200 a night and she could get a hotel for that and on and on. I politely responded that my waterfront apartment was probably not a good fit for her and she was welcome to cancel. She did BUT then accused me of declining her reservation and going to sue me for her cancellation fee. Here is why I am writing this - why is it assumed that a vacation rental is cheaper than a hotel - of course it may be the same price or more BUT you get a whole facility as in my case two bedrooms, full kitchen with stainless steel and granite and a view to die for !!! I charge for extra guest because 4 people are four times more work than two. Fortunately FlipKey backed me up though they did write to me and say since you declined this guest you should return the cancellation fee which my email thread showed that was not true. Anyway lesson learned and I am hoping NOT to have guests through FlipKey since they never work out. By the way I use vacation rentals all the time and pay much more than I would staying in a hotel but again get the comfort and access to beautiful places - thanks for listening!


#2

Just unbelievable! Even if you are stuck with a cancellation fee, it would be well worth getting rid of this guest. Just another example of the bad quality of guest sent to us by FrickKey. Helen, if you haven’t already, read the thread posted here a couple of days ago called “Hooray. FlipKey suspended my account!” Hosts have had nightmare after nightmare with this platform.

Sorry you had this happen but I think you are well rid of this guest. You might want to consider dumping FlopKey. I only have mine active to attract attention and then I try to get them to book with me on Air. :slight_smile:


#3

OK…you did not decline the guest as you told her she is free to cancel. It sounds like you are on commission and FK will not pay you until 24 hrs. after guest was supposed to stay…correct??

If so I would not send the woman any money at this point. She could do a credit card charge back and you will never get paid any money. Then you have sent this woman money you haven’t received yourself. Can’t FK just give her back her money?

BTW- I absolutely agree with you on the whole vacation rental should be cheaper than a hotel thing. I have never understood why homes are cheaper to rent than hotels. So this guest entered in 4 guests and FK system didn’t pick up on the additional fees? Or guest just entered in 2 and then said in the message that there would be 4? I had one guest purposely enter in 3 guests and it was really six. He was all pissed about his additional guest fees but I told him that at the time he booked he told me there would only be 3 people and if he would have entered in the correct number then he would have clearly seen the extra charges. He tried to put it back on me that
I advertise as sleeping 6…yeah I do. But I know he purposely tried to enter in fewer people to get around that.


#4

In my case when I rent out only a room, guests expect cheaper accommodation because they are staying with owners. There is less privacy, and lack of facilities like pool, gym, etc. Nevertheless , guests also on top of almost half the price of what they would pay in a hotel, expect to use kitchen to full extent and do their laundry.
When we rented the whole house I expected It to cost more than hotel, not less , considering the advantages with kitchen, and full privacy. It makes no sense why would anyone expect to pay less for the house that for a hotel room.
How would she rent a hotel with 2 dogs. Even if she found a decent hotel that accepts pets, she would not be able to leave them in a room and she would need to take them everywhere with her.


#5

Actually I had a confirmed booking and she had paid and I have a moderate cancellation policy as recommended by FlipKey. I was sent the fee within 24 hours of the cancellation. The potential guest sent me a treatening email saying something like pay me ALL my money back because it is going to cost you so much more in attorney fees and on and on. At that point I called FlipKey and asked where I stand and they said that they had informed the guest of the cancellation policy before she cancelled so I felt much better about the situation. Thanks for your comment.


#6

The dog situation was really funny since she never mentioned she was bringing 2 dogs - the listing indicated to check with owner concerning pets! Yes do not know many dog friendly hotels!


#7

Konacoconutz - I did read your post about FlipKey and have exactly the same experience in terms of guests and I think part of the problem is the platform and their fees are high- the guests that have inquired to stay I usually try to get them to use another on line booking service.


#8

[quote=“HelenSpinelli, post:7, topic:2495”]to use another on line booking service.
[/quote]

How have you worded this to avoid their traps of trigger words?


#9

Cabinhost: Actually they had put in 4 guests but FlipKey didn’t pick up the extra fee BUT she had not entered about the pets and I have a pet fee as well. FlipKey just changed their dashboard and it didn’t get better that is for sure! FlipKey did give her funds back but less my cancellation fee and their booking fee. I would have worked with her on the extra fees BUT she was so nasty and was accusing me of all sorts fraud that I was totally grateful when she cancelled!


#10

This is why you are well rid of her.


#11

I usually say I am on other on line booking services with the same the same title (Amazing RiverHouse Waterfront Apartment) and then I will spell out vacation rental by owner or Airbnb - but spell it air B and B - something like that since they usually block out actual competitors names.


#12

I’ve been blocked when I used the words find me by the same name on that other site, the one you breathe. They are getting smarter about us going around them.


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