Guest modification request

Hi hosts!
We had a guest check in yesterday and her booking is for 15 days. She has informed us today that everything is great but she wants to check out on the 8th Jan, 12 days earlier than anticipated. Our cleaner specifically booked her holiday around this guest so if this guest does check out, it will be difficult (but not impossible) to clean and get new bookings. It is a $1700 difference. I have spoken to Airbnb who have said if there are no issues with our place (which we don’t believe there are), we don’t have to accept the alteration request. I have asked the guest why she wants to check out and am waiting to hear back.

Assuming it’s just a change of plans, would you refund the guest? I am leaning towards no (or only refunding what we get back in new bookings if any) but the karma side of me thinks we should refund her.

Thanks!

I wouldn’t accept an alteration request (assuming you have a strict cancellation policy).

Just explain to the guest you can’t accept an alteration request as you held the dates for her in good faith. Say if she has decided she needs to cut short her stay, that she should cancel the booking and if you get a replacement booking, you would be happy to consider a request for a refund for days that may get rebooked.

Do emphasise this is not something you need to offer under your policy .

I am not one for believing in ‘karma’ .

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Thanks Helsi- this is essentially the approach we have taken!

We heard back from the guest who said she is uncomfortable because its a bit dark and her kids can’t settle and they can hear the neighbours? The listing makes it clear that we have dark bricks (and this is the first time anyone has said that) and it’s also very clear we are in an apartment building and I am dubious she can hear anyone else given it’s a very well built old building. She has also said twice that everything was perfect at check-in and that she would give us a positive review so she can’t really argue anything is wrong with it!

Airbnb has confirmed twice now we don’t have to give her a refund at all so we have gone back and explained our cleaner limitations and also that if we do get replacement bookings we will refund her that value but otherwise she doesn’t get a refund.

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NO alteration request. Absolutely NO REFUND! Not even if you re-book the period.

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Exactly what KenH has said to you. They took your days and must pay for them and even if you DO get a booking, tough noogies. Also, keep the days blocked and take a paid vacation from hosting!

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“My kids can’t settle and it is too dark and the screaming noises are keeping me awake at night”. Is it the Haunted House at Disneyland? Really, some people.

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Thanks everyone for your responses! @JamJerrupSunset when I first read your message I got chills as I thought this is what our guest had actually written :joy:

By way of update, we had a lot of back and forth with airbnb and the guest on Sunday- quick summary of events

  • we went back to guest and said “sorry we wont accept, bills to pay etc. Airbnb agrees with us”
  • guest came back and said “you have a flexible cancellation policy, we don’t need a reason, i will call airbnb now”
  • then kept sending us more and more messages "dryer too noisy, windows dont open properly etc
  • we called airbnb and said “we have a flexible cancellation policy”- they said “it doesnt matter, they want to modify” I said “airbnb will tell them they can just cancel” they said “no they wont”
  • 10 mins later- guest cancels. Under our policy, this means she has to pay for one more night but has to leave immediately
  • airbnb contact her and say you have to leave immediately
  • she says “oh no that was an accident, please reinstate my booking”
  • we say “we aren’t comfortable having her in our place” but in the end gave up and proposed the following: 1) reinstate her booking, then she can put in an amendment request to leave on the 8th (12 days early), and we will agree to this with her paying for one extra night (eg checks out on Tuesday, pays until Wednesday)- which is what she would have to do if she cancelled
  • then we get an email from airbnb saying “we haven’t been able to collect additional funds from guest please note if we can’t get them, we arent liable for this…” (side note this is a ridiculous airbnb policy)
  • call airbnb they investigate and finally get her to pay
  • guest finally agreed but because she had weekly discount, one night extra ended up being more like two nights haha
  • guest checks out today
  • we got a new booking for less time but almost as much money so now we are only slightly out of pocket. We still have a whole weekend available which I am confident we will book

A few preemptive comments

  • Yes flexible cancellation let us down in this instance but we will keep it. We have almost full occupancy and our competition does not (and has moderate or strict cancellation). In two years, we had very few cancellations and believe its worth keeping
  • I know we could have kicked her out on the street but that wasn’t going to achieve anything and this way, we got her to pay until wednesday- kicking her out otherwise, means we would only get paid until Monday

The end :slight_smile:

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It looks like you handled it well.