I had a guest on the weekend that didn’t do the check-in and left me with a bad review.
She booked my house 5 months ago for this past weekend (very high season). Twelve hours before check in time she sent me a message saying the the forecast was predicting heavy rain for the weekend and she wanted to cancel the reservation and be refunded due to her fear of the dirt road being dangerous.
My cancellation policy is strict and I had already paid someone to clean the house for her. Despite that I offered her to cancel the reservation and I would try lowering my price to get last minute guests for the weekend, thus refunding her on the amount of the new reservation. She rejected it and said she would try to go to the house in the next day.
She ended up not making it to the house due to mud in the road. Although my gatekeepers informed me that many other residents of the condominium did. So the access road might have been bad but not impossible.
She gave me a lot of 1-2 stars and wrote this comment:
“This property looks amazing and I am sure that if we were able to travel to it, we would have a great time. Lucas has prepared a very helpful guide but be careful when booking this property during the rainy season. We were unable to access the property as the 10km dirt road had turned to mud when we arrived. We had told Lucas our concerns about accessing the property but he ignored them and offered no real assistance. He only told us to cancel, knowing that he doesn’t offer any refund. Given these circumstances, Lucas should be more flexible with his cancellation policy. It cost us a lot of money to book last minute accommodation back in Belo Horizonte and we spent over two hours driving in torrential rain which felt very unsafe at the time.”
How would you reply for this?
I am a Superhost with more than 60 bookings and never had a bad review before.
Speak to Airbnb first. You will be able to prove through Airbnb messaging that you offered to cancel and give her a full refund. That being the case, they should remove the review - as this is not a truthful account of her experience.
She’s reviewing your cancellation policy, not the property or the host. If Airbnb won’t remove it maybe it will help the next guest realize that you have a strict policy. We are not travel insurance providers. Someone can’t hold on to your single property for months and then expect a refund last minute. I wouldn’t reply though.
I offered a refund only if I got a new last minute booking for the dates she reserved… I told her she could cancel the reservation quickly and I would lower my prices aiming last minute requests.
It seems most guests ignore the cancellation policy they have agreed upon when reserving an accommodation.
She never made it and wrote that? I really am not a fan of being able to review after a cancellation. That said, I’m about to do the same for a guest who canceled on me over high peak time, my two peak weeks of the year.
I will be stating the facts though.
Super annoying that she left that, but they probably cannot remove it. I honestly would not respond to it.
Is it possible that other residents had a type of car that allows access, and that she didn’t? Do you mention anything in your listing about the road being muddy after heavy rain and that a specific vehicle is necessary?
Just trying to point out that she may indeed have reason to complain.
Yes… I woke up today with a notification that she wrote me a review. Wasn’t expecting that. Called Airbnb and to explain the situation, the no-show and asked them to delete her review (I still didn’t know the content of it). They told me that it must be publicised. Later If I didn’t agree with the content I could request removal.
She never cancelled the reservation. She just didn’t show up, neither friday nor saturday.
I don’t know what kind of car she rented to go there. But she said it was a small Ford. Though I am sure that other residents have similar cars.
My neighbour goes with an antique VW Beetle for many many years, under sun or rain, never had a problem. I think she might be unexperienced with mud roads and thus overreacted.
I mention the dirt road on my listing but not the risks of rain.
Gut, how are you, glad to see you back here!
No… I guess she never requested that to Airbnb.
My cancellation policy is strict and she didn’t cancel the reservation.
What I proposed her is that I could refund her on the amount of a new reservation if she would cancel it immediately so I could lower my prices and try a last minute request.
Well at least you got paid. Too bad about the mud!
Should you ever face this problem again, maybe you can propose to arrange for transport with a driver. Of course paid for by the guest.
@konacoconutz I’m fine thanks. Not BnB’ing for the moment, but busy with other things . We hope to have the BnB up and running again by March. Fingers crossed !
Old VW Beetles can go ANYWHERE. My Dad purchased one in 1965. He still has it. At the time, we lived in Boone, NC in the Appalachain mountains of NC, USA. Steep roads. Rarely plowed for snow. His beetle managed to get Mom, him, & me down the mountain to the University when there was huge snow drifts. (the elementary school was on the Appalachain State University Campus so we all went to school together!)
When they can start! Ask me how I know. Ah, my first car. It was so much excitement, only to be thrown down into a hell that needed cash to return from.
I hear you! I learned to drive in that '65 VW bug. I’ve pushed that straight-drive down many a hill to start it back in my youth!
I had a BF with one and we did the push start more times than I can count!
engine in the rear! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Recommend a 4x4 during rainy season. You might loose one or the other booking, but avoid the hassle.