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Last Minute Booking, Wants Out After 30 minutes In

I get a last minute request for a seven day stay. This couple flew 4000 miles to vacation/celebrate an anniversary but their planned place to stay apparently was a pit. So they located my place, ‘can we book you now?’

I needed an hour to finish the last bits of prep and did so in 30. Sweated like a pig doing so.

They arrive, all is good, I give the tour and am feeling good about booking the place and helping out a couple in a jam.

20 minutes after I leave them, a message from them requests a quick chat. OK, turns out they are changing their mind and will stay in the friend’s problematic condo.

They were in the suite for 30 minutes, made a mess of the bed and now they want out of their commitment.

The softie in me said, I’ll refund all less the cleaning fee if YOU cancel.

Just now, I hear back that the cancellation will only provide a refund that is a small portion of the fee.


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OMG! WTF! No refund except what your cancellation policy allows. This couple is unbelievable. There’s no way I’d accommodate them any further.

I’m assuming they booked you through AirBnB? So, of course, if you don’t give them everything they want they’ll probably leave you a bad review! Grrrrr…guests can be maddening. Even if you bend over and give them everything they want, they may still leave you a bad review anyway .

Did they say why they changed their mind?


Jerks. Really tempting not to refund them anything, but at least charge them the cleaning fee and one or 2 nights.

No good deed goes unpunished. I would never knock myself out like that to try to accommodate total strangers with some supposed last minute “crisis”. If the room was already clean and prepared and sitting there unbooked, and I didn’t have any other personal plans, sure, come on over.

More often than not, people who expect you to be willing to accommodate them on almost no notice, whether it’s for a room rental, or some client who wants you to put all your other jobs or orders on the back burner to do a “rush job” for them, are self-absorbed, entitled, and have no real appreciation for other people’s time.


I had a conversation with a guest regarding an instant book within my 48 strict cancelation policy. I told her that I would refund her. She canceled and Airbnb didn’t refund and there was no option in the automated system for me to do the additional refund. In the past I have sometimes been contacted asking if I wished to grant more. I contacted Airbnb and first got robotically referred to their FAQs. Finally I got a person who bounced the issue to someone else. Fortunately the second person straightened everything out and let the guest know. Then I got “thank you” gift from Airbnb for granting the refund - a free online Airbnb experience. I would have been happy with a one step process.


NO REFUND! Softie you got scammed! What is your cancellation policy? Set it to Strict and stick with it. They owe you for the week!!! Bugger any theoretically bad review you might get.


Nope, no refund. What selfish people! I’d reiterate your in person conversation on the AirBnB platform so it’s all documented. Then explain to them that with AirBnB’s extra covid protocols you still have to schedule a full cleaning and disinfecting of their room, but can let them know if days are rebooked for a partial refund. Perhaps this would incentivize them not to push the subject further and make you look reasonable/generous.

The scam seems to be make a big booking, come in and have sex, and then demand 100% refund under threat (implied) of a bad review.

Pros: free bed for an hour

Cons: none

Same day bookings are usually locals and are nothing but trouble…


Not your problem. If they left on the same day as they checked in, I guess you don’t have their money yet? So any conversations about refunds should be with Airbnb and not you. Hosts have enough to do without having to worry about refunds. We pay our fees to Airbnb, so they can deal with it.


The softie in you should not charge them less than 1 night’s stay plus the cleaning fee. It’s what a hotel would do.

The cancellation MUST occur in order for you to have the possibility to get rebooked, and yes, they have to do it. Airbnb will want to keep their fees after check-in, so if you plan to refund, then make sure the guest understands you have no control over refunding anything not paid to you, including fees and taxes.


The guest initiated the cancellation, I asked for the cleaning fee and the one night which was made unavailable by their reservation.

The last thing I wanted was a unhappy guest in my place for a week. I’m OK with it. Thanks for the input.


I think you’ll still have the opportunity to review them, please do so! Other hosts should know about their behavior.


Cleaning fee & one night rent.

You got scammed, in my humble opinion. They wanted to have a quickie and used the system against you.

NO refund. Period. Take the $$ for all 7 days. If they leave you a bad review, try to get it removed and leave your own BAD review for them.

Keep it all. Or at least 1/2 the stay. Forget offering re-booking. f’ them.


This sounds like a great outcome. I don’t love the hassle for you, but it doesn’t feel like you were unreasonably ripped off or anything. Good luck with the reviews (and, yeah, I hope you review these folks honestly, both the problem and the resolution).

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And you’re aware of this particular scam because…




No refund. It will be a lesson for them. They made you sweat like a pig to accommodate them, messed the bed and now they changed their mind! Hell no! No refund. I’m a softie too but sometimes we have to put our foot down.

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1 night plus cleaning fee is entirely fair.

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Scammed? I think not. I got paid for one night and the cleaning fee. They stayed 20 minutes and were gone. There are many hosts that rent out for one night.

And the suggestion that they traveled 4,000 miles each way and risked losing a $2k rental fee for a quickie. Uh, no.


Ah, but that’s the edge about it…




The tale they told you could very well be an elaborate Scam.

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