Guest checks out day early and demands refund for entire stay, for untrue reasons

Sorry this is so long, but if I am to describe the situation I cannot get it much shorter.

My initial thought was to give a refund for the night not stayed but guest lied and was so nasty I am now inclined not to give any refund. How would other hosts handle the situation?

I contacted Airbnb immediately for advice, and was told a caseworker would be in touch, but that it would take a while.

The events leading to this were as follows:

Booking request received from guest with the possibility of arrival after midnight. Booking accepted with proviso that if arrival was outside normal hours that it would be self check in via an electronic keypad. Travel directions map, along with self check lock code and instructions, were sent to guest within 24 hours of booking along with request to notify us if any change to eta or any questions. Guest promptly acknowledged receipt with a simple "Thank you” On the day of their anticipated arrival I sent them a welcome message with the assumption that they would be arriving late that night. Later that day I received message to the effect that they were on the road and did not have or did not understand the check in. I resent those docs twice by email and private. Later I had a phone call, again asking for code, which I gave again and followed up with another message. Just to be sure that they would have easy access I unlocked the door to unit and sent message to that effect. On arrival they did not appear to have an access problem. I met them the next morning and asked how everything was and was told everything was great. My wife met later and was told how comfortable the bed was and how well they slept. The events thus far may appear trivial and of no consequence, but read on and you will see why I have included this part.

We did not meet up again until the morning following at about 6.15 when I was walking on patio near to the entrance to the guest suite as I noticed that the entrance gate had been propped open, and saw the guest standing by the door. I greeted her, and did I ever get an earful! They had packed up the car (hence the open gate) and were in the process of leaving. They complained that they had been unable to sleep as the air conditioning was not working and that they had measured the room temperature at 100F, and also there was no hot water, and therefore had to endure a cold shower. I said, ”May I come in”, but got no answer. I continued through the door and turned the hot water faucet on and felt the water which was running hot and told guest that it felt plenty hot to me, feel it for yourself – no response, so I repeated the invitation and guest reluctantly put her hand under the running faucet. I then said, “Well, is that not hot?” but no answer. I then said that I could not understand what was going on as the air felt cool right then, but offered to investigate further as their allegation had taken me by surprise. I asked if that had been the case earlier in the night, why did they not come and get me either by calling out or ringing door bell and the answer was that they did not want to disturb anyone. I replied to the effect that if the room was uninhabitable then they should have notified me immediately as I would have taken care of the problem either by fixing it or offering alternative accommodation. (A private guest room at the other end of the house which was available and was linked to the other a/c system, for example). They told me it was very unprofessional behavior to rent a room out under those circumstances and that they would be giving a bad review and wanted a refund for the full stay. Guest told me that they had suffered a lot of stress and that there was a medical condition involved and something about their oxygen cylinder not working. Also that I was very unprofessional as I asked them earlier, when they were on their way, why they had waited a week to tell me they could not open the instructions I had sent. With that they turned and left, but at least wished me a nice day!

After they had gone I later found that they had sent me an email that night notifying me that the a/c and hot water were not working, and that, at about the same time as I had greeted them at about 6 15 that morning, they had sent another email telling me not to contact them, and accusing me of deliberately turning off the a/c and water, and demanding a full refund.

I have investigated this complaint, bearing in mind that I have no way of knowing what the temperature really was in the room between say midnight and 6 am. What I know for a fact is that the room was comfortably cool at 6.15 am and that the water ran hot. Weather info show that the low temp that night was 79, so IF the ac was not working that is what the room would have been, and not 100 or anywhere close. When I told guest that the room felt cool to me I asked him what his thermometer read at that time …no answer. The a/c system and hotwater heater did NOT malfunction, nor was there a power cut and had a circuit breaker flipped it would still have remained that way. Do I think that the guest was lying in order to get a refund? Most definitely, YES.

As a superhost with over 100 reviews we have only had one other bad review and that also was relating to a guest who claimed a refund for the remainder of time not stayed while citing reasons of tv not working and queen bed not a queen, both of which were lies and Airbnb denied refund. Funny that they were living 15 miles away from this other guest. An amazing coincidence, along with the fact that they were both hosts but with no reviews, but it must be just that, as if we were being set up guest would have complained after the first night.


Just say no, do not let CS bully you into a refund. I would tell CS that they threatened you with a bad review if you did not refund them and ask them to block reviews.

Good luck



Have you contacted CS? What was their reaction?

Maybe try to be more concise just say guests were did not follow check in rules, did not communicate well, did not inform you of problems they encountered so you could fix or show them how the AC and hot water worked.

Also sounds like these people are just psychos I would be glad they are gone. I agree do not reimburse them anything.

If you get a bad review from them take your time post it here for help from everyone in formulating a really good reply. Make sure the reply is short factual an non emotional.

It won’t hurt you at all I’m sure other guests realise some people are dishonest, one bad review with a good reply from you next to your 100 other reviews will be fine.


These guests sound like they were deliberately finding fault in order to get a refund @RIGSBY

They are going to write you a poor review whether or not you refund them. And from what you say there was no reason to.

I would get in early with your views. Write to them via Airbnb confirm your surprise to hear that they aircon and hot water was not working at 6.00 a.m. as when you met them 15 minutes later both the air conditioning and hot water were working fine (which they acknowledged themselves).

Say you were also sorry to hear they felt they had experienced problems with the hot water and air conditioning the night before.

You wonder as experienced hosts themselves why they didn’t follow the Airbnb process and contact you to notify you that there problems then and there, as you would have been happy to come over immediately to see what you could do to help.

Then I would call Airbnb and flag with them that when you saw the guest the morning after check in, they said the hot water and air cond wasn’t working all night, which surprised you as it was working when you went in to check at 6.15 and they didn’t flag any problems at all on check in the night before.

If the guest claims a refund refuse the claim (hopefully you got photos of the air cond working at 06.15)

Leave them an honest review and mark them down to three stars for communication so they can’t IB with other hosts.

If you want to draft your review and post here - we are happy to provide input.


It sounds as if all communication about the “issues” were in email and in person- therefore not on the platform and really not verifiable. Whether you give a refund or not they will likely leave a bad review so personally I’d keep the money. You looked at their problems as soon as you were made aware and didn’t have evidence of truth. Definitely speak to CS but again- Id keep the cash and let them go on their merry way. You get to leave them a poor review as well.


Sorry you got horrible guests. By all means do not refund these bullies!

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Of course you can give them an honest review. The issue is that they themselves are not honest.

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To clarify - I had phoned CS Airbnb after they left and explained what happened. It sounded like CS were taking notes. They told me that it would be noted on my account in the event guests request refund. Following this after having seen and read their emails that had been sent during the night, I wrote Airbnb at their Help/Twitter page informing them that I had now received a written refund demand along with instruction not to contact them and sought their advice on whether I should ignore their their “do not contact” instruction when the Airbnb policy, as I understood it, was to respond within 24 hours. I received a response that the matter was being referred to a caseworker who would be contacting me.
At this point I have heard nothing further and my time to review guest will expire tomorrow. The proposed review is as follows:
"We cannot recommend this guest who wanted a refund for entire stay claiming that we had turned off air con and water heater as retribution for them having not read check in code instructions for which they claimed were too busy to read. They claimed room was measured at 100 F and hot water was turned off. A/C was working fine and outside temp was under 80 and water was hot at all times. When I checked room at 6.15 am everything was working properly and they were very annoyed when I turned faucet on and invited them to feel water, which was hot. If their claims had any merit surely they would have alerted us to the situation as we were asleep in same house? One would think that would have constituted an emergency worthy of at least knocking on door or ringing bell rather than sending “paper trail message” while we were asleep. Had they done so we would have either fixed problem, if it existed, or offered alternative accommodation in our private guest suite. We are not an hotel so do not have night staff on duty to monitor computer messages and instead rely on guests personally alerting us to any emergency, be it fire, flood, or a/c. "

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Too long. "Cannot recommend guest. Made complaints regarding air conditioning and water heater and demanded refund. No issues were found during inspection with guest present. Guest failed to read/ adhere to check in procedure and house rules.


MissSwan, excellent! May I suggest an edit?

Cannot recommend guest. Guest failed to read/ adhere to check in procedure and house rules. Made false complaints regarding air conditioning and water heater and demanded refund, despite inspection with guest present showing claims to be false.


Communication of lies for me puts it to a 1.

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To Miss Swan & Rolf,
Thank you, your point is well taken as I agree it is too long. The main point should be to warn other hosts which is that, if there is an emergency it is not reasonable to withhold that info and not give host chance to rectify. In this case we know why they did not notify us as we cannot fix something that wasn’t broken to begin with. We think the reasons were that they came to attend a party the day after arrival, and something happened on that day causing them to want to leave early. On their arrival they had followed the instructions and parked in the correct spot on driveway and following morning had been out and returned also to same spot. On returning from party they had parked on gravel close to entry gate and had loaded up car before I had the confrontation when they were leaving room with small bag. I believe that they did not intend seeing us and that was why they had emailed the note at about that time. They were obviously very upset that I was able to see for myself that there was no problem.

I have shortened the review as follows:
After day two, guests demanded full refund on grounds that we had turned off air con and water heater which, upon inspection, were working properly upon their departure at 6.15 am. They became very agitated when faucet was turned on and they were invited to feel the hot water. Had they told us at the time we would have offered them another room if we were unable to identify “problem”. They had also failed to follow the after hours check in procedure of which they had been notified of at least 4x. and were annoyed that they had difficulty in understanding lock code, so we had left door unlocked for their arrival, and they made issue of this after the hot water demo.

Still too long maybe?

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Update – I went with the review as suggested by Miss Swan & Rolf. Now both reviews are public our guest gave us a 1star review as follows:

Public feedback Warning! Warning! Warning! Host was hostile and arguementive, turned off A/C and NO hot water for showers. NOT recommended.

This resulted in dropping our star rating from 4.9 to 4.8. It is obvious that they are being malicious and vindictive by giving 1 star when after the first night telling us how nice everything was. It is probably a waste of time asking Airbnb to delete the review. I do not see why I should be bullied into giving a full refund under threat of a bad review and still have no regrets as there is no guarantee that they would give us an honest review. That amounts to extortion! I think I should send a rebuttal particularly as that review will likely be at the top of list as our location is out of season for July& August.

Unfortunately I doubt Air will do anything about the review. I just had a bad review and the guest did mention" no refund so I’m writing a bad review "and Air would not remove it. I wouldn’t worry too much as other guests can see this is a one off review compared to all of your other great ones.

Unless they asked for a refund in exchange for a review on platform where Airbnb staff can see it then unfortunately you’re out of luck

Not necessarily true. If it was texted or messaged another way a screenshot showing that it came from the guest’s phone number will possibly suffice.

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Some have been able to do that and others have not. Seems to depend on which customer service agent you got and what kind of mood that they are in

Further update. We were fortunate in having another booking the day following that review, for which we received a great 5star review which will now be the first review seen by potential guests.
That, along with all the other 5 star reviews, takes the credibility from their review.

I had prepared a rebuttal but have not yet sent it which reads : “After 1st night told us how nice everything was, and what a good location. After 2nd night tried to sneak out at 6.15 am after having sent email demanding full refund for entitre stay. I happened to be up and saw guest finish loading and asked is everything was ok. Claims room temp 100 and no hot water together with dirty rooms and bad location. Room temp felt cool and when I turned water on it was hotI Asked why they had not contacted me to report their complaint upon returning for the night with reply that they had sent an email. (After we had retired for the night) .”

Maybe it might be better if I did not send it in the hope that most guests will figure that theirs was a phony revue?

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Yep. Replying makes the issue more visible to prospective guests. Ignore. Good riddance. Onward and upward

PI had a very similar situation, guest said there was bugs in the room and the linens were dirty. I personally drive 2 hours each way to clean and make my condo ready for guests. She demanded a refund. I called the Airbnb customer service told them the situation, I could not drive the 2 hours to the condo immediately. She wanted a full refund I refused. I told the guest to contact the resolution center. They issued a refund then contacted me and proceeded like I never called them. The whole thing was handled badly. I had a 5 star review before and after this guest. I lost a week of rental and she was allowed to give me a bad review. Now my rating has suffered. Not happy with any of it. Andrea