Polite Airbnb CS rep: Bless his heart

I think every customer service rep at Airbnb should be hosts too. What do you think?

Here’s why:

Guest checked in Tuesday at SC Beach condo. Horrible rain & unseasonable chilly weather every day since and expected to continue to her checkout date. She asked me what the policy was if she left early.

My response: " I understand about the rain. I’m sure you are disappointed.

This is from the Airbnb Moderate Cancellation policy: If the guest arrives and decides to leave early, 50% of the accommodation fees for the nights not spent 24 hours after the cancellation occurs are refunded.

To read more, go to Airbnb help & search Moderate Cancellation"

I called Airbnb customer service to ask if she would lose the 10% weekly stay discount if she stays 4 nights. In other words will I receive the full rate for the nights she stays plus partial rent for nights not stayed.

Very polite young man said, “this isn’t a cancellation, it is an alteration request. The rate they pay is whatever you want the alteration request to be…”

Me: “I understand the confusion. Yes, I would offer them an alteration request if they were going to check-in in 2 weeks. They are in the unit now and may want to cancel the remainder of their nights so it fits the example given in the moderate cancellation policy. Will their rate revert to the full rate for the nights stayed, if they cancel?”

Him, " Hmmmm no, this is an alteration request. They can’t cancel a reservation after they arrive. May I help you offer them a change to their reservation?"

Me, “No. They haven’t decided what they want to do. I’m asking them to work directly through Airbnb on this.”

Him, “I’m happy to help you send them an alteration request. They don’t have to accept it.”

ARGGGGG–he couldn’t answer my question and then didn’t understand this is a cancellation!!!

Hey, for those of us who want a 3rd or 4th job, I wonder if we could market ourselves to Airbnb to be work from home Customer Service Reps who “get it”?


Airbnb try to get cancellations resolved through alteration requests. This is because it is less work for them and usually goes in the guests financial favour thereby making Air look good. Shame Air don’t use their own cash to pacify guests. Therefore hosts would be of no use as reps as we wouldn’t be ‘impartial’ or enhance their business model.
I had a similar situation recently. Air don’t always present the maths clearly, but it looked like the cancellation did revert to a daily rate rather than weekly. Surely that’s only fair, particularly as we’re losing money from the cancellation anyway. I have put my listing back to strict. It’s not economic for me to have guests cancelling on a whim.


I think they should be knowledgeable about Airbnb policies; being a host is not that relevant. I see hosts posting here who don’t know Airbnb policies and some are longstanding, well respected hosts. There are even contradictory things in the TOS so even a through familiarity with that might not be enough.

As for this particular CSR, I don’t know what to say. When someone says a stay can’t be cancelled, one must wonder right there. I think I’d be tempted to just say thanks, hang up and call again, hoping for a different agent.

I wish every host would also be required to use Airbnb as a guest periodically but that’s not practical either.

Amen to that! My personal preference is that a new person cannot become a host unless they’ve spent X nights in Y different listings…

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This is good conversation and perspectives I had not considered.

I’ve never used Airbnb as a guest. When I bought my beach condo, I knew it would several years before I could go any other place for a vacation. It is/was a financial stretch even with rentals. In hindsight, I think being a guest before I hosted would have saved me some pain and I would have looked at my rental from a different perspective. Unfortunately, I had to learn some difficult lessons.

By the way for folks who don’t know Southeastern USA speak, “Bless his heart” is rarely a good thing. In some circumstances, it can be used as an expression of sympathy. Usually it is the polite way of saying, “this person is as dumb as a brick” or as some of my cousins say “he ain’t got no sense”.


I would translate it as ‘at least he is trying’, does imply he may not be the brightest on the block.

Which may well be the case here.


In England this is often just shortened to stating what they have said or done then adding “.Bless.” It can also imply: “Dumb as a bag of spanners”.


Chapter 2:

Guest cancelled, I received this from Airbnb CS: …I am messaging you today on behalf of your guest…As you both agreed upon I have altered her reservation to end on the 19th. This has processed a refund for her, and an adjustment of $276.45 for you…

Me: …a partial refund is the intention I believe amount is too large.The original reservation 5/15-22. @ $95 a night. Moderate cancellation policy. Cancelled today 5/20 Full $95 rate for today 5/21 1/2 rate $47.50 refund due…

The CS: You are correct, let me remedy this situation, It was processed incorrectlyA reimbursement on $230 is coming back to you, with a sincere apology on my part…

@Jess1 said Airbnb likes to use the alteration route first.

Just amazing…at least the CS was gracious about making the change.


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