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My first ever cancellation. They reserved to stay over new years at my extra apartment in the city, and mentioned they knew of my travel blog (which lists information about the city) and that they were using it for reference for their journey.
They were fine and polite and checked in without any problem earlier today, said my instructions were easy to understand, and then suddenly now at 7pm they are saying they have to cancel because they are allergic to the “pet dander”.
This is the red flag because, although I have two pets, they live with me and my boyfriend in a big house outside of the city. I post about my pets online all the time, most people who read my blog know I have them, but they have NEVER been to my spare apartment. I don’t keep any of my clothes or personal belongings there so it isn’t like allergens are clinging to the fabrics or anything. The spare apartment is for work in the city, no animals allowed, and I find it hard to believe that’s the actual reason why they cancelled.
But it’s only a few hours into their stay and they want to stay at a hotel instead. Do I refund them? I likely won’t get another booking over new years with such short notice. I think my cancellation policy was the moderate one, so I guess they’ll end up paying for tonight or something…
But their excuse is totally phony, and I’m wondering what you reckon the real deal is?
Most likely a better opportunity to party somewhere else came up. If they were really concerned about pet dander and read from your blog about pets, then they would have raised this issue before arrival.
I absolutely would not refund and I would get on the phone with Air and prewarn them about this little scam. Explain the blog situation and tell Air that is the only reason these people even know about your pets.
I know Air was not allowing existing hosts to switch to strict if they had already chosen moderate…not sure if they will allow them. But please consider switching to strict. There is no reason to have someone block off your calendar and then cancel five days before arrival. Those types need to be staying at a hotel. You have only one room/apartment to sell to the public. Hotels have hundreds of rooms. A one room hotel would never allow someone to block off their dates and cancel last minute.
After double-checking my cancellation policy I decided to take the somewhat-high road and politely tell her to complete the cancellation procedure on her side.
The end result was that she got about $50 back and I still get paid about $200.
I guess I’ll take it, but considering I usually get great reviews I am left wondering what it was that they didn’t like about the room. (It’s definitely spacious and nicer than a hotel room of the same price-range, oh well.)
i’ve had people walk away with ten (10) days on their reservation because I didn’t have a TV and this was not his idea of Hawaii!!! Oh yeah?. Good riddance, and my mortgage company thanks you for that seriously nice chunk of change I didn’t have to work for. Never let the guest talk you into canceling. You’ll get punished by Air, a note that YOU canceled left on your review page, your calendar blocked, and I believe you also get dinged a monetary fine now. Let them walk. You keep their cash and don’t feel guilty. It’s their choice to leave!
Kona, I’m wondering. Why is it that you suggest waiting until the last minute to write a review? Is it because a bad review allows a guest to respond? I wrote a very simple, but to the point review of the fellow who locked himself out by locking the foyer door. The point was that I told him it was a keyless entry and so no keys had to change hands. I know that he probably locked the door absent-mindedly, but still, it cost me my entire earnings on that booking, so I said something along the lines of, “We had a problem that was resolved eventually. That said, I would not host this guest again.” I also marked him down on communication. I’m wondering now if I should have waited, although, of course, the point is moot now. Maybe for the next time I have a difficult guest. (I AM getting the lock changed.)
Reeny, this was actually originally a helpful suggestion by an Air rep. I had had the guest from hell, and she was encouraging me to leave a review so other hosts would be aware. When I told her I feared it would prompt a bad one in return, she suggested this.
You see, even though you cannot read the other review for 14 days, it’s reasonable to assume that if the experience was not a smooth one, then you leaving a review first will prompt them into writing their own bad one of you. My guest from hell did not leave a review. She knew I was not happy with her. She probably thought I wanted to forget about her, but alas, no doubt she was surprised to see the world’s most scathing review left for her at 11:59 pm on the last day of the review period in the guest time zone. I wrote it ahead of time, copy and pasted into the review window and used all 500 words allowed to tell it like it was and could have used 500 more. No one will ever rent to that disrespectful, drunken dumb bunny on Airbnb again. I made sure.
I would never refund them. Don’t even give it another thought. People do strange things all the time, but rules are rules. That’s why we have them because there are so many varieties of situations and personalities, that no one would be able to run a business if it was not for some system.