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Refund - should I?

Hello

I have just received a request for a refund for a guest who wants to cancel their trip on Tuesday 29th September. This request falls outside my cancellation policy.

I have responded saying that I cannot make a full refund but that if I re-let the property I will give her a refund.

She has replied to that message saying she would like a refund for the first night (of 3) and then anything else that comes from re-booking.

Because things have been so tough of late I am disinclined to do this. But, I wonder if I am being mean?

Thank you

Gillian

Have you offered to move the booking?

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Are you running a business or a charity? Your policy is your policy. SHE needs to cancel, not you.

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Your offer is more than fair.

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What he said ^^^^^^^^^^

RR

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I would not refund - yet. My policy is to refund IF the house re-books and then ONLY after that stay completes AND I am paid for that stay. That keeps a crafty guest from having a friend book, and then cancel themselves. I have had to defend this position to Airbnb when a guest calls and whines, but the last CS rep told me that I was being more than fair (gee, thanks?)

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NO refund. You aren’t a charity. The Guest understands the policy and it trying to guilt you into giving money back.

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Just for clarity—under your cancellation policy, the guest is not entitled to any refund? If yes, your offer is more than fair.

I like @Caelleai ‘s idea to wait for rebooked day payment received before processing the refund. I hadn’t considered the rebooked guest cancelling but some guests are very savvy to gaming the system.

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That’s a good idea, but not appropriate on this occasion as the guests are 2 friends who were meeting up before going back to uni. Apparently one of them is flying in from abroad and has had to cancel her flight and rearrange it as they are now not coming, because of Covid, and so this has incurred additional expense.

Airbnb have refunded £195, because of extenuating circumstances, and the guest is now requesting a further £100. Airbnb have messaged me to ask if I would like to refund it as they can do so quickly! I find this a tad annoying as the guests aren’t too scared to go back to uni, but aren’t prepared to come down to a rural location and be in a self contained cottage.

This! Your offer was reasonable. Agree 100% with @Caelleai - wait until you have been PAID by Air for the rebooking before actually giving the cancelled guest anything. And that is assuming that you actually get rebooked at all.

Even if you do get rebooked, there is no obligation for you to actually refund anything. Consider it money you earn to offset being screwed over by Air at some point.

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Oh … so Air has already screwed you over, and now they want you to agree that lose more money?

Uh … that’s a hard no.

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It really annoys me - I bring in a fair amount of money for Airbnb - and these guests are new to Airbnb yet Airbnb would rather I came off worse… sickening.

Since when does Airbnb give partial refunds for extenuating circumstances? Something’s fishy here. What is your cancellation policy? If it’s moderate, then I’m thinking the guests were refunded their 50% and no extenuating circumstances were ever requested.

Regardless, if Airbnb has already given them a partial refund, it means the guest has already cancelled and the guest can’t give you a review (they can review you if they cancel less than 24 hours before check-in). You have no incentive to refund more, and if you decide to, do not provide any refund before the guest’s originally-scheduled check-out.

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Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your help in this.

Update. This saga continues. I told my guest that I would refund further money (in addition to what Airbnb have refunded) if and when the property lets.
I then had a message from Airbnb saying the guest had requested further refund and would I pay her, or if not give my reasons for declining. I explained, comprehensively, why I would not at the moment, but will if the property lets.
Airbnb accepted this and decided in my favour.
Then the guest messages me again, saying my property had booked. I wrote back saying it had, and when I received money from Airbnb I would make a refund.
She has put in a formal request to Airbnb again, wanting the money now. I have declined it and gone through the rigmarole again of saying why I was refusing at the moment.
I said I was feeling bullied by this (non) guest and was looking for their support. I am fed up that they keep allowing her to request this funding and am concerned she will put something on facebook or another social media platform that is negative.
As we all do, I work incredibly hard to give my guests a good experience, and am feeling hugely let down by Airbnb.

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Do not refund until after you’ve been paid any money due to you by this guest AND this guest’s original check-out date has passed. This is the only way you can be certain to have this guest’s money and money for all re-booked nights. Never ever authorize a refund of money you haven’t even received. Don’t feel bullied. Stand your ground. Simply tell the guest when you will issue the refund. If the guests continues to ask, just provide the same response again.

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I would simply block any messages or requests from her. If she needs to communicate, it needs to be with Air, not you.

@gw14G If you haven’t already, you could explain to her that hosts only get paid by Airbnb for bookings 24 hours after a guest checks in (Most guests don’t know this- they think once they pay, the host has their money) so you have nothing to refund at this point until you get paid for the booking that filled her dates.

Then disengage, because there is really nothing more to say.

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The saga continues only because you allowed it to do so. Air EC’d you and did a partial refund. They asked for more - you should have simply said no and moved on. You then engaged with the guest and made an unnecessary offer, etc.

Sorry, but you have created your own problem here.

Never count on Air for anything. They will absolutely screw you 90% of the time, especially when they had already USED EC - the message should be clear how Guest Centric they are.

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I have never done - or even understood - this. I know that all hosts are different but a guest cancelling means that I have to re-advertise the property and all the re-booking malarkey that comes with the new guests.

Therefore, the guests who cancelled have caused me extra work even though they knew (or should have known) the cancellation policy. Any guests pestering for a refund get referred to Airbnb, as it is the company that has their money, not me.

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