Perhaps it’s not a scam, but I almost refunded someone before their stay. About 3 days ago, we got an instant booking for a 28-day stay starting next week (today is Friday). Today, the guest requested to cancel, and according to my flexible cancelation policy, guests can cancel up to 24 hours before check-in, which is perfectly fine for us. We get a lot of same-day bookings and we’re not in this for the money.
Unbeknownst to us until today, Airbnb’s long-term stay policy, 28 days or more, guests pay the entire amount which is not automatically refunded upon cancelation. The guest asked if I followed this policy. To be reasonable, and honestly, I’m not always sure I want someone staying with me for 28+ days, agreed to honor our the flexible cancelation policy and refund her the money.
But here’s where the scam can get real. The guest asked for a refund, but I have nothing to **re-**fund. Airbnb holds payments in escrow until the day after check-in. So I suspect, the potential scammer is hoping an unsuspecting host goes ahead and initiates a refund, sending money the host has not received from the guest yet to the guest.
Anyway, I did not do this, I will wait until after the funds are released into my bank account before I refund anything.
Has anyone else run into this? I didn’t know Airbnb over-road hosts’ chosen cancelation policies for stays longer than 28 days. Is this to protect the host? Or to just make hosts like me crazy with having to make more calls to Airbnb asking for clarity?