Yes, either way it merits a call.
In fact get this: I had a cancellation (which I always welcome, my rare break times), because of ‘unable to get a Visa in time’; the guest said “I realize I am unfortunately within the 30 days time frame and not entitled to the 2nd 50%, but would you consider refunded it”. I checked their listing and said 7-days! They were on 30 days originally. The upshot is I refunded them gladly, I used the 3 days to make some cool looking colored pavers for the island between buildings, which was dying to do. Everyone happy.
No, I don’t think Airbnb is trying to be slick, just make things more uniform as they get bigger and bigger, and yes strange things tend to happen in the process.