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Minor pricing issue: guests appear to have booked below my going rate

I just received a 4 night reservation request for two people, which I accepted a few hours ago. Then I realised that the rate given isn’t the correct one. It says

Rs. 2147 x 4 nights

But my rate is 2300 per night for people. It’s a base rate of 1950 + 350 for an additional person. I haven’t changed it for a while. I do have a base discount to Rs 1750 for June, but this reservation is from July 1 to July 5. In any case, a base price of 1750 would presumably have meant 2100, not 2147. I also have a 5% weekly discount, but that doesn’t kick in here either.

The url http://towerroom.net redirects to my listing.

This is obviously a minor issue, but minor issues can turn into bigger ones, and I like to know what is going on here. I think I have the relevant information is publicly available on my listing, but feel free to ask. Specifically, the 4 night stay at the beginning of July is publicly visible. If you guys don’t see anything wrong, I’ll contact airbnb.

Did you have different pricing for some of the days? Airbnb averages the amount for the booking. So if you have a higher rate for a weekend than a weekday the amount is averaged between the two prices.

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Not as far as I’m aware. I’ll go and take a second look - I might have accidentally clicked on something.

No, I see a setting for “Weekend pricing”, but it’s blank. Is it possible to custom-price days in some other way that I’m not aware of?

Its probably because they are paying in a different currency?

For me it says £20 (1990) a night for 1 and £24 (2390) for 2.

Yes, you can click on a wednesday for example and change the price.

For me it’s in US dollars

Unlikely. As a comparison, someone from France made a reservation on 10th June, also for 4 nights. The numbers look like:

2296 x 4 nights	    ₹9186

(In another place, it’s 2297.) I would expect some variation, but not that much. If nobody can see anything wrong, I’ll contact Airbnb.

Here’s how you can change prices on individual days

Hi @brook2adks,

Yes, that’s how I changed the prices for June.

I know some countries the host has VAT taken out automatically.

Does your country do things like that?

Yes, Airbnb takes out some taxes, but it adds it on top. At any rate, that’s my understanding. See my comment above about the French reservation. This was on 10th June. I certainly haven’t changed anything at my end since then. Maybe Airbnb did?

No clue. Just contact Airbnb. Nothing like this has happened to me.

Ok, will do. Thanks.

So, an update from Airbnb:

Hi Faheem,

Thank you for your email. My name is Evan and I am more than happy to help you today. I tried to call you earlier but I could not get through to you.

I have looked into this for you to see if I could help clear things up for you Faheem. I found that your base price is currently 1950R with an additional
guest fee of 350R per night. This is your rate going forward. However, your calendar at the time of booking had the first three nights at the same price
as your June rate. Here is the price breakdown of this reservation:

1750R for 07/01/2016
1750R for 07/02/2016
1750R for 07/03/2016
1947R for 07/04/2016
1400R for Extra Guest Fees
8597R Total not including Guest exchange rate
x 3% Host service fee = 8317R Host Payout

I hope this clears things up for you Faheem. It just seems that the first three dates of July you charged your June price. However, your calendar is up
to date now at 1950R with an additional guest fee of 350R per night.

Except that I’m fairly sure (but not 100% sure, obviously) that I only made those changes for June. That was certainly my intention.

But how can one prove it, short of taking a snapshot of the screen every time I make a temporary change? And it’s not clear Airbnb would accept such a screenshot as proof, anyway. I guess the moral of the story is that one needs to be very careful when making temporary changes. Otherwise Airbnb will be sure to blame problems on you. Has anyone one else had similar experiences?

ADDENDUM: I wrote the following to Airbnb:

However, I’m pretty sure that I only made changes to the price for June.
However, how can one prove this one way or another? I see no record of
this pricing on my calendar now.

It occurs to me that a good way of preventing these kinds of issues would
be to email hosts confirmation of changes they have made, particularly
changes directly related to money, like pricing. Banks routinely do this.
Airbnb does not. I think a multi-billion dollar company like Airbnb
should be able to do something like this.

Is there some “official” place I could suggest this change?

Does anyone else think this would be a good idea?

So, a followup. Airbnb responded:

Hi Faheem,

Thank you for your email. I hope that you are keeping well.

I am glad that I was able to clear things up for you Faheem.

It is dedicated host’s such as yourself Faheem that make Airbnb truly unique and successful. Thank you for your cooperation and thank you for being a
valued member of our community. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to help. Otherwise we will close out this case from
my-side for the time being. Have a great day and I wish you all the best Faheem. Happy hosting.

Best wishes,

It’s good to know that you can reply on your service provider to completely ignore you when you need their help. So, I wrote back as follows (see below).

If anyone is thinking I’m making a big fuss about Rs 600 (slightly under USD 10) it’s not about the money - it is about having a proper record of what happened, and about communication. Airbnb certainly takes enough money. The least they can do is keep proper records. And I’m not sure how i can keep records from my end about some elses site.

Also, I’m wondering whether it would be better to just avoid custom pricing, if there is no way of proving what the prices were after the event. My prices are low enough as they are, anyway.

Thank you for all the good wishes, Evan. However, you didn’t actually
address anything I wrote in my last email. Let me try again, this time
being more explicit.

  1. I’m fairly sure that I reduced my price from Rs. 1950 to 1750 only for
    days in June. Can you (i.e. Airbnb) prove that my price was Rs 1750 for
    the first three days in July? More generally, is any record of these
    prices kept anywhere to avoid misunderstandings/disputes afterwards?
  1. I also suggested that Airbnb email changes made to the listing to
    the host as a record. I asked where I could officially suggest
    that. You didn’t respond.
  1. You wrote:
 "our calendar is up to date now at 1950R with an additional guest fee
 of 350R per night"

I don’t understand what you meant by this - it isn’t clear to me. I
asked for a clarification. Again, you didn’t respond.

  1. I also wrote in an earlier email:
Also, seeing that this is the first time I've heard directly from
Airbnb, as opposed to bots, I'll like to take the opportunity to
ask where I should direct queries. First, if I want to email
someone, what email address should I use? At the moment, I have a
minor issue where Airbnb appears to have used the wrong price in
my most recent reservation, and I want to ask about that.
And it seems that Airbnb does not have a local Indian number for
Airbnb hosts to call, though I think it should. It presumably
makes enough money from Indian hosts. However, given that this is
the case, should I call the United States if I want to talk to
someone?

These (imo) very reasonable questions were also not responded to. Customer service in India in large part consists of ignoring the customer. Is the
United States also adopting this as a model?

I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, but, on your end, does your calendar include those three days when looking at June (In US I just have July 1 & 2 on my June calendar). In other words, you may have thought you were blocking just the June days, but inadvertently included those ‘tag-along’ days, the days of July that are included on that square of June?

I don’t know if I’m saying this correctly. It just seems like something I would do.

Hi @dcmooney,

Yes, it does include these three days when looking at June. Though I don’t know why Airbnb would display calendars differently for different places.

And yes, that’s the first thing that occurred to me. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t set any days in July to Rs. 1750. I’m remember quite clearly clicking my way through the days in June. I 'm generally quite careful, and have got more so as I grow older. And living in the howling vortex of primeval chaos that is India has only exacerbated those tendencies.

Having said that, as I’m sure Airbnb would be the first to argue, it’s a priori more likely that I (a mere human) made an error than Airbnb’s automation did.

But the important thing is that because Airbnb hasn’t preserved the information, there is no way to determine whose error it was. I think records are very good things, and take them seriously. Airbnb, at least in some departments, clearly does not.

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Agreed.

My Wimdu calendar starts on Monday, Airbnb starts on Sunday, at least here. I always assumed it was a European thing… ???

Hi @dcmooney,

I see. I wasn’t aware there were conventions about such things, and honestly, I’d never given it any thought.

It’s a bit of a bother when I’m comparing my calendars to make sure I’ve got it all lined up.

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