Guest not feeling comfortable, when asked what I can do to make them feel comfortable, they say nothing. ( ? )

Hello Fellow Forum Members!!
I am kind of new to the forum.

I do read (lurk) a lot of the posts to get good advice on hosting. I have been in AirBnb since 2013, so I’m not a newbie to hosting nor to the various types of guests out there.

This week we welcomed a third party guest for 11 days, parents of the person booking.

On check-in everything seemed to be fine. They arrived super late and I just managed to check them in before falling into bed.

Then I get a call from Airbnb the next morning telling me the guests want to leave. I asked why, and this is when it starts to get strange and ultimately annoying.

I host a one bedroom apt space in my house on the garden level, almost basement but not, as there is a basement as well, the listing is here:

It is an old brick row house brownstone in Brooklyn. Pre 1900’s old but still trying to charm us and the world.

The rental space I s not fancy, but in the NYC market it’s a very good bargain. It is big, has loads of amenities, and is private. Now this is what AB told me the guest are complaining about

• The guests do not feel comfortable in the space - I really don’t know what to do about that. I did ask.
• The floors creak - we have wooden floors.
• The mattress is hard and they can’t sleep - the mattress is a memory foam on a full/queen sized platform/slatted bedframe. Again there is nothing I could remedy about any of these things.
• They also complained that it was dark. It’s a row house so light is limited but we do have electricity.
We have been having thunderstorms here and it is very gray outside, no sunlight, and we are expecting the rains from Hurricane Florence in a few days. So no one has been getting very many sunny days here in Brooklyn.

Now, I asked “what I could do to make them comfortable?”, the response from Airbnb is that they said there was nothing.

There is nothing I can do.

So, I am told they want to leave and want the remainder of their stay refunded. I have a strict refund policy. No refunds seven day prior, but 100% anytime before.

So I said sure, they can cancel the reservation and let me know when they will be checking out, so that I can do so, get the keys and wish them well.

Airbnb wants ME to cancel and offer a refund. I told them that since there is nothing wrong with the space nor the hosting, that it is the guests who need to cancel, and there will be no refund as per the policy the guests agreed to when they booked the space.

Then they asked me if I am sure? Why wouldn’t I be sure ten seconds after saying it? I feel very manipulated by Airbnb, but I stuck to my guns—no refund.

I told them that until the guests leave they will be treated as if they were guests which they still are. This was Friday morning. The guests were out all day and I returned home from work late, so I never saw them that day nor yesterday (Saturday) morning. They were out again on Saturday when I went downstairs to say hello and ask how they were doing.

Now this is where it gets good. The guests text and asked to see me just before I was about to go out. I see them and they try to manipulate me, to get me to refund the rest of the stay. I told them that they agreed to a cancellation policy which I am sticking to; as their reason for wanting to leave has nothing to do with my hosting, the booked rental, and apparently me, since I asked them personally “what can I do to make your stay more comfortable and would encourage you to stay?”.

The guest reply that there is nothing I can do.

So I breathe and reiterate that they need to speak to Airbnb as this no longer has anything to do with my job as their host.
The guest then replies that they stayed in an AirBnB before and it was really nice and my place isn’t.
I reply that since this is my home, and I do not know where they stayed before, there is no comparison, and the listing photos are true to what they see here and there is nothing I can do to make the place like the one they stayed in before.

I again told them to speak to Airbnb about their wanting to leave. As I cannot help them further. That they can continue to stay the length of their booking, but if not, then to let me know when they will check out so that I can say goodbye and thank them.

Do you think I am being harsh with them? I don’t think I am, but the Customer Service person made it seem like it’s my fault they are unhappy when he concedes that I have done nothing wrong.
I am really done with these guests at the moment, as I prepared extra hard since they were staying so long.

What say you forum. Asking for advice from here on in. Thanks!!!

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Hi Carol-anne,
Oh dear, third party booking has bitten you on the arse :frowning:
I blame the parents!
I think you should hang in there, you’re being very fair. The guests should take it up with the person who booked their holiday, and Airbnb.
They’re asking a bit much to want every booking to be like their first. What’s not to like about memory foam? Had they seen the pics, or was it just booked for them, and they were given the address?


Where are they from? If they’re not city folks, they might not like the neighborhood. I grew up in Brookkyn and I think it’s amazing but when I meet people many seem to think it’s a bad neighorhood because they’re used to the suburbs. I have a feeling that your guests feel uncomfortable with the appearance of the neighborhood. That’s not your fault, it’s theirs for being closed minded. They should have booked something Upstate in the countryside or Long Island in the suburbs.


I think you are being completely fair with these guests. None of their issues are your fault, and you are providing exactly what your listing promised.


The guests are being very rude about your home, it looks lovely to me. You disclosed it was a period property so they should not complain about sqeaky floorboards, they should rent a characterless new build instead.
The mattress is a matter of personal taste, unless it was dirty or worn out guests need to be flexible. One thing which might help would be a thick sumptuous mattress topper.
They are complaining about lack of light in a terraced house? Houses of that era tend to have big tall windows to compensate. It sounds as though they are disappointed with the weather and season - not your fault. (Blimey in the UK we used to have back to back houses with no yard and windows only at the front lol).
Do not cancel. Do not allow these guests to use you as their travel insurance or a punchbag for their mistakes.
Big fat thumbs down for these guests! One star for communication for not reading the listing, being rude and not giving reasons for being ‘uncomfortable’.


What’s interesting here is that Airbnb are supporting guests who were third party,


You have done nothing wrong and everything right.
3rd party booking.
I looked at your listing. From your personal photo I see that you are a beautiful “person of color”.
Are the guests also “of color” ?.. If they are not, I would also question if this is discriminatory behavior on their part, and I would point out that possibility to ABB.
Stick to your guns.


I have had Airbnb Customer Support play hardball with me for guest refunds when there is nothing that I did incorrectly too. The latest was when someone booked my suite to take sexy photos on my 4 poster bed. I told the person per house rule that he has to provide photo ids of all folks in the suite and that I am not given him copyright permission to photograph my suite. (I have since added no photography, commercial use, etc to my house rules. ) Airbnb kept trying 3 times) to get me to agree to a refund. Each time I wrote back that I believed he was breaking Airbnb rules but they said “Wouldn’t I want to encourage to book again I the future.” I just kept replying that I respectfully decline to refund guest. Eventually Airbnb stopped asking.


Make sure you give these guests a negative review: Cannot recommend third-party Guests (parents of account holder XX) who had issues with my listing but would not discuss them with me, but which were ultimately meaningless.

I had the same thing happen a month or so back – guests decide they don’t want to stay and Air tried to “guilt” me into giving a refund even though I have Strict. I told the CS Rep “No! I have Strict for a reason, and this is it. If the guests want to cancel, CS can cancel them, I certainly won’t.”

Upshot was CS cancelled them, we got paid for guests we didn’t have to serve, and I got to negatively review “entitled” guests who thought they could manipulate us as hosts.


I asked and they seem to have views the listing.

They are from Barbados, but people know the difference. They said they have been to NYC several times

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Airbnb seems to want to have their cake and eat it too. They don’t want to seem like the bad guy by telling the guest that it’s up to me.


They are also people of colour and were very nice in the beginning. I don’t know if it’s me, but I have been every kind of nice to them.

That’s horrible! Why does Airbnb do this. We are the ones dealing with the guests every whim and they want us to just hand over money because they don’t like their booking choices. I am so emotionally tired at this point.


Your place looks great and a tremendous bargain for the area. If they saw the listing prior to arrival they should have no complaint. I see from your reviews that this isn’t the first time you’ve accepted third party bookings. Like @jaquo I find Airbnb’s approach interesting because I think they could just refund anyway and say you were in violation of policy. They do want to have their cake and eat it as well.

I would stick to my policy and say no refund but I won’t be shocked if you get stuck with no money and a bad review. The only thing that will make them comfortable is a refund. Do come back and let us know what happens.


I have again been on the phone with Airbnb customer service who want me to refund the guests. I got so upset. On the one had Ait is telling me I have broken none of their rules or policies, but then are asking me to be fair to the guests.

If the guests want to leave then that’s fine, but Air is trying to penalize me and telling me I can rebook the days. This is after the guest has blocked the booking for weeks now. I tend to get bookings in advance and I have two days on either end so that I can clean the space before each guest. So no I won’t get the days rebooked.
Why are they asking me to be fair to the guests and unfair to me? It’s the guests decision to leave.

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Quit wasting your time on the phone with them. Tell the guests they are welcome to leave but there will be no refund. Let air do whatever they will do.

Why? Because they see the guest as their customer, not you. They have more hosts than guests and aren’t really very interested in keeping you happy.


Your place looks lovely, and these guests are being ridiculous!! I would not offer a refund. However, I looked through your reviews and there was one other that mentioned how dark it was. If these people say the same thing, then that would be almost 10% of your guests felt it worth mentioning. This makes me think perhaps you should say something more directly about it in your listing. You don’t want to risk getting dinged in your reviews. Just say no to 3rd party bookings!


I am happy to know that it is not a discrimination situation.
It is NOT YOU… it is them, and they are not telling you why.


Thanks for your suggestion! I will do that. It’s a row house so the middle rooms don’t get that much light.

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