One of the funniest inquiries I have received so far


This is a guest who has 8x five-star reviews. He has probably stayed at a few more places than that.

It seems like other hosts have trained him to think that non-refundable means you can cancel whenever you want. I thank other hosts for doing that. Guests book non-refundable rate with me and then expect me to provide a refund for random excuses. I usually give them a refund of $0 and can sometimes get booked again for those dates.

I just raised the price on him and enjoyed reading his message about how I need to give him the earlier price.


How about answering:

Dear Xxxxx: If you book the non refundable option you can cancel your reservation at any time. If you do so you will not get a refund because – in exchange for a 10% discount – you elected to make your reservation on a non-refundable basis. I hope this explanation clears things up.


yep, that’s why I stopped offering that option. It was happening too often. also other platforms like BDC actually encourage guests to book now, don’t worry you can cancel later is the message. :roll_eyes:


Here’s what I get all the time:
Our title is “Serene, spacious, staffed villa”
Line 2 of our bullet-point description is “Fully staffed around the clock”
The first line on the booking message is “The villa is staffed”

And yesterday someone booked, then contacted me when signing the contract that forces them to initial the clause that there is staff at the villa and said “Before I sign the contract, let me understand this - you have staff at the villa?”


The way I look at it is I calc the min price I’m willing to accept and add 11% to it and set it up as my price. So that way I’m not losing anything if someone books a non-refundable stay. I make 11% more if someone books a refundable stay.

While your explanation is spot on, I don’t think this type of guest will get it. Same for the guest PitonView mentioned.

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I was being facetious


well, unless of course you get involved in a protracted conversation with clueless guest about why they don’t get a refund, then they are wasting your time. And some people here will say that is loss of income. I suppose if you have auto answers set up it’s not too taxing, but I got tired of having to be fake-nice to selfish dimwits.


I have removed every opportunity for a discount from every platform.
And neither will I approve discount requests.
Limited market here with few choices and still getting booked.
Over leaving money on the table!


I got one last night for tomorrow through Saturday: “Is this property a self-check-in property?” We charge an extra-person fee and one of her reviews said she had extra guests at 4 am. Hmmm, wonder if she was going to sneak in extra people and not pay for them.

I told her the housekeeper meets her and we have staff nearby basically around-the-clock. Haven’t heard anything from her since then.


I did that a couple of times and learned here not to do that. I simply say refunds are handled by Airbnb, so please contact them. The guest probably spends an hour on hold trying to talk to Airbnb. Airbnb calls me, I don’t answer their call, then they send a long message why I should refund the guest and I write back “No Refund”. The agent is happy that the ticket is closed so quickly. They don’t care whether the guest gets a refund, they just want to close the ticket asap to improve their metric.

I don’t really offer any real discounts. It just looks that way. I mark up the price first before reducing it using the discount. What ends up in my bank account is the same, with an opportunity to force the guest to choose a more restrictive cancellation policy. The profit from an occasional cancellation is a nice boost in this tough economy.


I very seldom get requests for discounted stays but got one last night that had me shaking my head. It’s peak season here now, I haven’t had an empty night in almost a month and only have this weekend open because family had to cancel at the last minute.

My room is going for a minimum of $145 a night. I get a booking request yesterday afternoon saying they would like to arrive late Friday evening (i assumed early morning hours) and only pay for Saturday and Sunday. Then asked if I would do it for $75 a night. Wow.


I try to have fun with them… I say yes, I can give you a discount. Then send a special offer for a higher rate.

Then they complain, then I say I will send them the revised rate tomorrow… and so on.

Gotta have fun when you can :wink:


I had a doozie recently too.

They asked – this is before booking, so the right time to ask – for a late checkout.

‘How late?’ I asked.

[It always amazes me when folks ask for a’ late’ checkout or ‘early’ check-in without specifying any time.]

Our checkout is by 10 am.

They weren’t sure of the exact time, but said ‘probably late afternoon or early evening.’

That was a ‘no’.


I read a post from a guest who had had some issue with the place she’d booked, I can’t remember what the issue was, but in the course of her story she mentioned,“I requested early check-in, as I always do…”.

Is this just a thing now, that guests read on online blogs- “Always ask for early check-in and late check-out so you get the most bang for your buck”?

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I often get requests for early checkins and if I can accommodate I will gladly. If the checkin is too early and I have guests that haven’t checked out, I allow them to stop by and pick up beach chairs and towels if they would like and also let them leave their car and walk to the beach. Never had an issue.

At 4:30 local time and Sunday night is booked already:
“We’re five minutes away from you. Would you rent out tonight until Monday for 20% of your nightly rate?”

DH told me to say “expletive NO” but I simply said “no, we’re at our lowest rate already”


Ooohhhh dang that must have been hard to restrain yourself. Such an insulting offer is where I’d be tempted to use @house_plants ’ MO and start having fun. “I would be happy to provide this last-minute booking and cancel the existing booking for 2000% of our normal rate!”

But yeah that’s where it’s really annoying that you have to reply to keep up your response rate. Then again, you only have to respond within 24 hours, right? So you could wait 23 hours and then just respond, “No”


I suspect these people are stranded after the tropical storm that hit us last night, so I responded quickly. I feel for them, but their offer doesn’t even cover the cost of utilities and cleaning.


Debthecat raises for me an important point, we are are on a few booking sites and there is a creeping approach where the sites offer discounts above and beyond what we originally signed-up for, then on top of that, offer discounts on top of existing discounts. Ouch. We find ourselves having to be ever more careful, as this is great business for the booking site offering ‘great deals’ on someone else’s margins. We probably all get the ‘times are tough’ situation so people want a ‘deal’ but we are not a charity. Some of the sites and Booking.Com is the worst are impervious to feedback when asked to give the host more notice and control. My particular bugbear is the stacking of discounts - if one goes into a store for the say ‘15% off offer’ that is it - no other offers apply - with a number of booking sites it is becoming ‘fill your boots’ with every and any discount as the host is taking the pain. So yes, carefully manage discounts as one can quickly lose control of one’s ability to turn a modest profit.

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If you sign up for all the genius discounts that you are pressured into on B.con - it can total 48% with their commission.
That is a massive loss!
No discounts, still getting bookings, very small market and 2 direct bookings through my website today!