We have been having a great summer with our guests. I don’t really know why but it seems much less stressful than last year, likely because most our reservations are longer this year where last year we did a lot of 1 or 2 night stays.
I wanted to share our experience with Airbnb yesterday stepping in and doing something we didn’t expect in response to a lunatic guest who booked and then canceled a few weeks later.
Back in May we received a request for August and the guy seemed like he didn’t understand how to use Airbnb so after several modifications to his reservation, all seemed good and we didn’t hear from him again until this week.
Apparently he was a fan of ours on our farm facebook page and he wanted to stay on our farm which is why he decided to book on Airbnb. We didn’t realize this when we accepted his reservation but it wouldn’t have mattered either way.
A few weeks back I was doing maintenance on one of our beehives and my husband shared a photo me took of me onto our FB page and this guest saw it and flipped out because he doesn’t like honey bees.
Long story short, in our listing we explain that we have bees, and we ask that the entire listing is read before putting in a booking request. The guest used our bees as an excuse to get out of the request so he canceled, and then demanded the additional 50% be refunded to him. He states that he has PTSD, and can only type with 1 finger, and is on a limited income, and many, many other excuses. I told him that he wasted our time and requested that he reach out to Airbnb to request the additional 50% refund because we wanted to be done with him and didn’t feel like fighting with him about it.
Several email exchanges went back and forth and finally the guy emailed and threatened to slander my business online if I didn’t refund him. My attorney husband replied and told him that as he can’t follow simple instruction we will refund him, and that if he ever contacted us again, or slandered our business we would come after him to the fullest extent of the law.
We realized we could have refunded him manually after the fact but this is the first time we ever had to do this, and Airbnb never paid us as it was August when the reservation was due. But we figured out how to process the refund for the additional 50% so we did it and then called Airbnb to ask them to block the guy from contacting us again and they were wonderful. They basically told us that we shouldn’t have refunded him and guests are not allowed to threaten hosts for refunds. He told me how to report the guy through the message he sent me and said that Trust and Security would follow up. 20 minutes later he called me back and said that he read through everything the guy said and Airbnb was reimbursing us for the money we refunded to the customer.
I was happy with the customer service even though it wasn’t about the money. Airbnb stepped up to correct it and now I know for the future how to if this happens again. I don’t know if Airbnb banned the guy or just blocked communication between us but when I click on his name icon it no longer shows “7 verifications” when it did yesterday before I called Airbnb. I am very happy this guy never ended up coming to our farm, and have since also banned him from our FB fan page.