Wow…this is the first time ever I’ve had a litigation threat from an Airbnb guest. I’m shook up. I’ve been hosting for over 2 years ad I never had an incident like this.
First, these guests book at the last minute. Right before she booked (I have instant book), she messaged me and said “I sent you 3 messages but did not receive a reply”. That’s BS, I do not have any record of her messages, and I called Airbnb to see if there was something in their end, but there was nothing.
Their reservation just said 2 adults. She then messages me saying “she’s on a short getaway with her children”. She mentions nothing about her children until then. I ask her about her children and she tells me their are two of them, ages 11 and 14. Ok no problem. I an accomodate them.
She arrives with her husband and the two kids. She mentions “I did not know this was a shared environment”. Duh…what do they think a “private room” listing is and I also mention in my listing I live on the property. She also asks if anybody else will be there with us…I said no just me and my dog. I also made it good and clear that I have 1 dog who lives in the house.
She says “I don’t think this will be a suitable place for us”, she says I have the 2 kids, it’s too far away from where our destination is, we have so much luggage, blah blah blah.
Without a warning, they up and left and texted me “this place is not suitable. How do we get a refund”. I have a strict cancellation policy. Unless they had some real emergency there are no refunds.
I called Airbnb about the issue and told it as it is. I knew there was something fishy about this guest and she would call in and probably twist the story around to get a refund.
She told Airbnb she was concerned about the “cleanliness of the house”. OK…I am in the process of selling my home (I may list it next month so I am stopping reservations starting Aug. 1) so there are a few boxes in the living room by the door (which is not the entry door). This living room used to be a garage but 2 owners ago, they turned it into another living room. and I have things on the dining room table which I am selling using the Facebook marketplace. Sure my living room looks a little bit like a storefront but I am selling my house soon. Otherwise the common areas are still clean; they are well dusted and vacuumed. Some boxes should not impact the cleanliness.
I always kept my place clean and the majority of stars for cleanliness are 5’s, and just a few 4’s.
This “uncleanliness” crack may be her plotting and scheming to get a refund.
The upstairs guest rooms are still spik n’ span clean. I dont have any stuff up there. The guests did’t even look at the upstairs.
So after a sort of long phone call with Airbnb, (that’s when they told me about the guest reporting the house as “unclean”) and checking this guest’s messages, they can see she rushed into booking and did not pay attention to the listing details or the cancellation policy.
Airbnb saw I messaged her (before her arrival) saying my dog and I live on the property and you will have your own private space (as stated in the listing). The guest did not object to me and my dog in the house in any messages.
About an hour after the guest leaves, she sends me 2 messages saying “they said you are responsible for the refund”. and then “do not let this turn into a litigation”.
I called Airbnb back telling what she said…Airbnb said clearly I am under no obligation to give a refund. If I was truly responsible for the refund…first they would have said so and would have processed it right away.
I asked Airbnb if I should send a screenshot of the text messages but they said there is no need to. If the guests wants to escalate this, it’s a bit of a process, I will have to have a chance to tell my side of the story before it proceeds.
To my knowledge I did not see the guest take photos of my house. If she took some when I wasn’t looking, she probably took a photo of the boxes…but that should not contribute much to uncleanliness.
The guest was to stay for 3 nights, which would have been around $200 (payable to me after the fees and all that) I do not charge a cleaning fee nor any type of deposit. If she wants to file litigation for $200 or so…wouldn’t it cost her much more than that for attorney’s fees, etc? could that be just a threat to make me refund her? to me it sounds like she does’t want to be at fault for not reading the listing.
I should also mention this this person is new to airbnb…it says she’s been a member since 2016 but I don’t see any reviews on her.