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Guest's Friend Threatening Bad Review Before Even Arriving


#1

Long story short, one of our family’s properties is an extremely popular Palm Springs home. We were booked out almost a year in advance.

The guest who booked wanted to cancel due to her pregnancy (I’ve never been pregnant, but I imagine you would plan your travel accordingly). Our cancellation policy is strict and she didn’t read. I suggested she move her reservation to a later date so that she would not lose her deposit $. She apparently chose to move it to her 8th month of pregnancy… no idea why.

Flash forward to their check-in tomorrow afternoon. Our onsite concierge informs us that the guest who booked will NOT be there. Just her friends. So it is now a third party booking. The guest refers our concierge to one of her friends.

Her friend then proceeds to tell our concierge, quite rudely, that she has already PREPARED her negative review because they tried to cancel months earlier due to the noise rules (incorrect). Palm Springs has THE strictest STR regulation in the country. It is citywide and beyond our control. However, we do always volunteer to move our guests to a home that better fits their needs. Some homes may be more remote or have additional sound insulation. This guest did not request this.

So now I am prepared to call Airbnb tomorrow and have this third party booking moved to another home. I do not feel like sitting around hosting a bunch of lying, negative Nancy’s who may possibly purposely disobey the noise rules out of pure hostility. Again, the original guest is 8 months pregnant and will surely appreciate her friend deliberately making trouble for her (since the friend isn’t the one who will be contacted via Airbnb).

Our home is beautiful and despite the city noise rules, people have a GREAT time. It’s such a shame they will never get to experience it. Our home is a private property and you do not get to threaten our home and still expect to be served. I would usually say some people are better suited for hotels, except I don’t know if some hotels would really put up with this either.


#2

AT this point you should have done a “Not comfortable with this guest” cancellation and been done with it.


#3

How fortunate these sure to be terrible guests have made it easy for you to get their reservation cancelled!


#4

Don’t let these vindictive buggers into your beautiful home, they have turned up with a grudge. Cancel, don’t move, or they’ll just take the grudge with them


#5

Ring cs to cancel and double check some numpty in the office is not going to give them a refund.


#6

Do you think she is threatening a bad review in order to get you to cancel?


#7

If you have any of these threats in writing (email, text, on the airbnb platform) we suggest letting customer service know right away. We’ve learned it’s better for both parties to have Airbnb cancel or reassign a guest like this than to allow an unhappy guest stay at your place. Your credibility and reputation is worth thousands of more future dollars than the immediate gain from accepting this booking.


#8

It sounds like the friend only threatened the concierge verbally. But how did she do that? Is she already in town? She called on the phone? If this is only verbal and nothing is in writing Airbnb isn’t going to back you up so I’d be in touch via platform ASAP with the absent guest and try to get her to acknowledge the friend and she won’t be there etc. Then contact Airbnb

Is this an Airbnb booking or a pay part now, part later thing?

Apparently some people don’t plan preganancies and so when they book a year in advance and then get preggers it affects things. Others don’t know how sick they will be or develop complications later. In hindsight it looks like you should have canceled at first opportunity so you’d have time to rebook and not deal with this nonsense.


#9

Just do not let them in, the 3rd party person did not book guest never showed up… I am a host in Riverside County as well and I am required to get a copy of ID of the guest who books. No ID no keys…

I would call Air and tell them in advance that you will not be allowing a 3rd party booking per Airs TOS

RR


#10

With hindsight, yes, I probably would have chosen to go with the cancel and refund. But what is the point of a cancellation policy otherwise?

Technically, the guest booked in February. And the originally booking before we moved it to August was for June. So if she’s 7-8 months pregnant now, I don’t actually know how the timeline works out. It doesn’t seem like it would be a surprise. But correct me if I’m wrong.


#11

When Airbnb won’t back you up, there isn’t one.

No idea. All I know is that I don’t trust Airbnb to not call pregnancy at any stage an extenuating circumstance.


#12

Briefly considered that but no, I don’t think so.

Quick update: We spoke with Airbnb and the original guest who booked. She was deeply embarrassed for her friend’s behavior. Apparently, no one else in the group knew the friend was communicating this way either. So this one girl was about to get her entire group of girl friends kicked out of our home. Instead, they kicked HER out! And it’s resolved.


#13

I love a happy ending.


#14

Dear AFineHouse,
I understand your frustration, but since you have multiple properties and no problem renting this one, wouldn’t it have been easier to refund her deposit and save yourself all the aggravation?
Sometimes it’s better to take the bullet and be the “good guy.” Just sayin’.


#15

Totally. In retrospect, I would have gone this route. Lesson learned.


#16

Hello @AFineHouse, but with IB we are allowed to make 3 cancelation per year under " I’m not comfortable with" , I don’t think is fair to burn one of the three chances per year, when we have not been responsible for a third party booking, and I think it is airbnb who has to intervene and reassure the platform’s terms of service. I’m with a similar problem, not a pregnant woman, just a mom doing a reservation for her daughter and friend, the person who made the “third party booking” insists in all possible ways to convince me to receive his daughter and friend, even his daughter has contacted me outside the platform. And airbnb is not doing anything to solve the situation, letting my calendar remain blocked by this reservation, since the person does not cancel.
With IB all cancellation after those three allowed , receive a penalty of 100 euros and and count against statistics.


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