My current guest is leaving tomorrow and I just realized he booked only until today.
Being very money conscioutious and from a thirld world country -and having taken a bit of my food from the house- I suspect it might have not been a mistake, which bothers me a bit as I am extremely welcoming and my room is already very low priced.
How to deal with it?
I want to avoid a full escalation before speaking to him but I also want to avoid a negative review if our conversation doesn’t go well and/or he refuses to pay the additional day.
I am especially concerned about a possible bad review since they are so difficult to deal with on Airbnb.
Send a booking alteration request via Airbnb and explain to the guest he’s made a mistake with his booking. What time is your check out? I would definitely tell your guest the booking alteration needs to be accepted asap, ideally before check out. Then call Airbnb, explain the situation and ask them to chase up with your guest.
It shouldn’t be a big deal assuming you’re polite and in control. This could be an honest oversight rather than an attempt to defraud you.
Thank you Zandra, great suggestion which I just followed to a T.
He’s out of the house now, sent him an alteration request and a polite message via Aribnb platform that “we did a mistake with the days and I sent him a new request with the new dates”.
And just got off the phone with Airbnb.
Basically they say he has to accept within today or the offer expires. If he doesn’t accept but is still in the house I have to contact them again.
If he doesn’t accept and doesn’t pay and leaves a bad review it’s possible -though not guaranteed- to delete that review. My understanding is that at that point you have fair chances of having that review amended/deleted.
If he accepts and pays up but still leaves a bad review Airbnb says they would still review the case but I think at that point changing it would be much more difficult as technically the guest is not in the wrong anymore.
Of course my main concern and most my questions were about the review, and the woman on the phone told me “you shouldn’t be scared of asking for the money out of fear of a bad review”, which is true, but unluckily a bad review could cost much more than day’s worth of fees.
This is pretty simple. You message him on the air system and say 'just a friendly reminder that checkout time is xx time today. You mentioned interest in staying an additional night. I am so glad you are enjoying your stay enough to want to stay longer. As of now, the room is available, so please let me know by xx time if you would like to update your booking, and I will be happy to make the arrangements. ’
Hi Jackulas, it’s also a valid option, especially the whole idea of messaging before actually sending a payment request.
I can see also the wording working for some people, but I personally don’t like it as it’s a typical “fake friendly” approach that a corporation would use.
I wouldn’t like someone to tell me “glad you are enjoying your stay enough to want to stay longer” while it’s obvious to both of you that they meant it all along to stay longer -whether it was or on purpose or by mistake-.
Sorry but can you explain further? I don’t understand who made the mistake here, But whoever made the error, he can’t stay for longer than his booking. Is he refusing to leave?
Yes, he did the mistake -if it’s indeed a mistake- and you could say I also did a mistake to not to double check the dates.
Basically while speaking about his travel plans and how long it would take for the washing to dry he said several times he would leave the 12th.
I took for granted he had booked till the 12th and never checked (middle March I’m giving the room to a long term tenant outside Airbnb and this is the last booking, so I’m not caring too much about the dates).
Then this morning -the 11th here- I get a message from Airbnb to leave a review for the guest. And that’s when I double checked and realized he had booked one day less. He was already outside the house by then.
He is not technically refusing to leave and I am ok with him staying for a day longer. Provided he pays for it and won’t try to get his revenge by leaving a bad review beacause I’m asking for what’s fair, of course.
This is not fake friendly. This is business. This is getting him to acknowledge tacitly in writing that he is having a positive experience, which will strengthen your case should it come to a dispute about an unfair negative review out of retaliation for your not granting him a free night. See? Get it? My words are always chosen very carefully.
Unfortunately the way people are you need to stay ahead of them and cut them off at the pass or they will take advantage of you.
Jack, I respect that.
And I agree with many people you HAVE TO be like that.
And you have to know how to play that game, and with those kind of people, your message if well crafted.
But not everybody needs -or deserves- that treatement.
I’m not taking the moral high stand here, but I choose -choose- to treat everyone else in a different and more open and kinder way.
And when in doubt, I go for the latter first.
I’ve had a couple of situations like this where I worried for nothing. It’s never been an extra day it’s an extra person or a pet fee and they always accepted the change or Airbnb paid me for it. That said, I wouldn’t want someone staying whose reservation had ended because I don’t trust Airbnb to help me. I hope all the worry was for nothing. Update us please when he accepts.
OK, it’s done and all good.
The guest accepted and left an overall 5 star review (and 4 star on communication and 3 star on check in as he changed dates from first message to booking and, I got confused and was late at check in time. Then gave him a top Italian wine to make up for it).
I was especially worried about reviews as I don’t have many yet and an older non English speaking German man left a 3 star review some time ago with a 2 stars in communication because my German is terrible and I (by mistake) kept addressing him with the more friendly “you” (“du”) while your’e supposed to use the more informal “you” (“sie”) with older people you don’t know well (now average is 4.5 for communication , 4.6 for check in and overall average is at 4.7).
If I had to guess, for what it matters now, I’d say 70% chance it was an honest oversight.
Two things to mention if you’re in the same situation:
as I sent him the correct booking period I couldn’t change the total amount and since it was weekend the price for the last day was higher than what he got when booking. I wanted to manually adjust it lower just to avoid any possible issue but I couldn’t.
Indeed the guest noticed and asked me how come. I explained him it was due to the weekend and I tried to make it lower but couldn’t. He nodded and didn’t look very happy about it but still accepted it.
The guest also asked if I wanted cash or via Airbnb. I suppose many (most?) guests would ask you the same.
I’ll be honest with you: part fo me preferred cash as that would have covered me better in case of a negative review and I could have given him a small discout on the weekend pricing to rebuild relationship.
I told him up to him and when he asked again I said “ok, let’s do via Airbnb then” as I thought it was better for him, not for me.
Something you can think of beforehand if you’re in a similar situation.
Thank you all for all the suggestions guys, much much appreciated, I will keep checking this forum and contributing.
I would only take payment via AirBNB to ensure their protection holds.