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We having been hosting at our duplex since late November. We just recently decided to Airbnb our lower unit as well. We are looking to put up cameras as soon as we can, as they seem imperative.
So the lower unit was booked with 4 guests coming together from out-of-town. They were fine the first night. (I drove my to check at 11:30pm) The 2nd night we get a frantic message from the upstairs guest that is checking in late. (I had no previous communication with her, as she didn’t respond to any of my messages about check in or info about the apartment.) It is 10:30pm, she said her and her group just arrived and that the lower unit is blaring music and that they shouted at her husband in the parking lot and she feels unsafe. (She couldn’t tell me what was said though.) For all I know they shouted because they couldn’t hear over the music and didn’t know what she wanted.
So I immediately message back that my husband is on his way. We live 8 min away. He talks to the downstairs people. It is St. Patrick’s Day night. It is a big deal in Columbus. They are getting ready to go out and have fun at the local breweries. (I get playing loud music to get ready, I also get having a long drive and wanting to sleep.) They immediately apologize and turn it down.
Meanwhile, the upstairs lady is all upset and says they cannot possibly stay because they fear retaliation. She says she expects a full refund. I tell her that the issue was handled and that we would follow up to make sure no more loud music was played. (Which we did and it wasn’t.) She claimed that her 13 year old was scared and crying and they couldn’t deal with the situation. They abruptly rushed out of there and left a window open and the door unlocked. Even leaving a bag of clothes behind.
The messaging goes on and she won’t cancel so we could re-book (she was scheduled for 3 nights). (When we have had people cancel for accident or illness, we were able to re-book and then gave a full refund even though it was last minute.) I said I would leave it up to Airbnb. I didn’t think it was particularly fair to expect a full refund, yet not cancel and tell us that she was going to leave a nasty review.
So finally several days go by and Airbnb can’t get a hold of her and cancel her on the last day. The full amount gets sent to our account.
Here is my dilemma. I don’t feel comfortable taking the full amount, as we didn’t host. What should I refund? She purposely wouldn’t cancel so we could re-book. I know she was trying to screw us. Plus, she probably will still post a nasty review. (She was from WI and seemed very anti the downstairs guests who were not the same ethnicity.) She also had gone to college here, so another guess was that she found friends or family to stay with and was looking for an excuse to bail on the Airbnb unit without repercussion.
You certainly did host, and you went out of your way to resolve their problems. This sounds like unreasonable behaviour, particularly if she threatened you on the review front too, whilst refusing to cancel. Wanting a refund but refusing to cancel is just odd, and speaks to dysfunctional behaviour. I’ve had couples cancel after their arrival, blaming something like a cat allergy or that we live here too. Then it becomes clear that one half of the partnership never wanted to stay in the first place anyway, has a hissy fit and sabotages the weekend or whatever for the other.
You will have the chance to review them first, and I for one wouldn’t want to host her; a def thumbs down from me. Her communication was 1*, given she didn’t answer your messages before a late check-in or respond to Airbnb re cancelling for three nights. Cleanliness? Well, left the entrance door unlocked, left a window open and a bag of clothes behind. What are you supposed to do with these???
Be careful what you say in your review. Please, run it by the experts here before you post it. I believe there are some restrictions on what you can say about the extortion attempt or your review could get taken down. I’m not sure though, but I’m sure other hosts in this forum know those rules and can help you.