Traveler inquiries that make me wonder

In an effort too keep things light and also share some experiences I’ve started a thread for traveler inquiries that make me wonder if they are:

  1. Serious 2. Scams 3. Clueless 4. Guests you don’t want

Why does their inquiry say one guest? Well some people don’t speak English very well. They are clueless and don’t understand how it works. If you rent to them make sure they are VERY CLEAR on the rules. Have a dialogue back and forth to make sure they understand clearly.

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I’m guessing it’s because they didn’t pay attention when they did the search or perhaps it may be a scam - i just don’t know. I normally respond to inquiries politely and thank them but i just got a bad vibe. I responded that all payments would need to go through Airbnb system and adhere to their policies.

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That’s the best you can do. As soon as I get a request like this that hints they don’t have enough money for lodgings, I don’t want to go for it. People typically have money they want it for, I mean, who plans a holiday they can’t afford? People that are dead broke don’t go on holiday. What they really want is to spend the least they can on the best possible places to stay, and spend the rest on good food and booze. So it’s not that they don’t have it, they just don’t want to spend it on you if they can help it. I usually say, there are plenty of places within your budget within the area if they start crying poor. That’s stops them trying to bargain with me, because they quickly realize it doesn’t make sense, and that I don’t care.


the other thing that concerns me is that they are so broke they will turn into squatter or may take part in irresponsible behavior that my ultimately affect me.

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Many guests do not know how Airbnb works. Today, in the morning, when I served my breakfast for guests, they asked me, if they can pay with cash for that night they stayed at my suite. I even did not understand what they want. And they explained to me that they prefer to give to me some cash and their credit card is not charged. I told them that they paid already for a night stay and all payments go through the Airbnb.

They might be not broke at all. It’s not clear if they are negotiating or they offered to pay you part now and the rest later. As Marina said, new people sometimes don’t even understand how the system works.
I had people negotiating with me before and they were returning and actually very good guests.
Many people think that Airbnb is just like a hotel. You reserve with your credit card and then can pay cash.
I had people who reserved one day and then desided to stay another 3 paying me cash.

It sounds like they are used to renting home where you put 50% down now and then pay the remainder so many days prior to arrival.

Agree… some like VRBO work this way.

I just got this from guests that bargained with me the last time, asking for total prices if they stayed these dates etc, instead of just putting their dates in on the room they wanted (which I’m sure they had already done anyway, as that’s how they would have found me). Now they want to come back and are doing the same dog and pony show. Last time, despite knowing when booking that I don’t share the kitchen, they just had to use a refrigerator for their two day stay as the vegan girlfriend couldn’t do without her vege juices or something. Rather than risk the kitchen being taken over, we carried a little fridge into the room for them. Never again, because although they left a glowing review, we still got some nice advice that we should have vegan snacks for vegans for breakfast. After the stay, the boyfriend said the girlfriend just loved the sheets and wanted help finding them. It isn’t easy, so I wrote two large emails helping her to find the kind of thing she slept in at my home, but afterwards, I got no response. Nothing. So that was great. It doesn’t take much to say thanks, or got it. Heres the latest comms:

hi sandy, i know this is last minute but i wanted to know if you had anything available for kim and i to come up on labor day weekend. we would arrive friday afternoon and leave on sunday. p.s. is the pool open? thanks, jesse

I’m sure they could see with their own eyeballs, but I replied we have room and the pool is open. They can go ahead and book.

Then this, something I get very often:
sounds great. can i ask what the price is for the two nights we want. we would not be arriving until dinner time on friday.

It sounds like that because they think they are arriving at six instead of my arrival time of 4pm, that some kind of discount is in order, and the refusal to use the actual booking procedure that they know how to use from having booked with me before, and someone before me, and a couple more since, proves it.

I actually found these people to be a little irritating, so I’m not going to respond to that. If they choose to make a real booking, I’ll probably deny. I really don’t like people that try to haggle with me over the price of my home, and especially when they do it in this really weird way of going about it. I get this so often it’s ridiculous, and it’s not from newbies necessarily either. It’s people saying 'oh, I don’t really want to pay that much, but I don’t really want to say it, can you pick up on the hint that I want to bargain with you over it? Of course I never do, but I resent being put in this position. They invariably make the most self centered, demanding and picky guests.

In case anyone is wondering, the sisters did not respond or book this morning - how strange :grinning:

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Not strange! Typical! If I don’t have a booking within several hours of an inquiry I forget them. Figure they had found somewhere else.

OMG. I am an idiot. I ended up accepting the guests above, despite everything I said, and remembering the neuroticism that was so irritating. I went and read their review, and it was so glowing, that when I tersely answered ‘I can’t see final prices, you will have to make a booking request’ and they did, I felt obligated. Well, a couple of days later, and two days before arriving, I get this:

Hello Sandy,

This is K - I’m at work and J called and asked that I login and send you a message. He has been having some heart complications that are reoccuring - today he is experiencing some more issues and is nervous to go away. He called his doctor and is trying to get in.

Is there anyway we can let you know by tonight if we need to cancel this weekend?

We truly love coming and had a great time at your place last year so if you cannot refund the amount - could you hold it for us to come up another time in the fall?

We will defintely be in touch with you by this evening - we will see how he feels before making a definite decision.

I hope you understand and that you are doing well.
Take care,

Are they kidding? They booked one of my best rooms so no one else can, and now they have changed their minds (or the guy is having a panic attack), and they want to not be penalized for it. I won’t fill the room now, yet they expect to block my room during fall, the most popular season! I haven’t responded yet. I don’t even know what the hell to say to that. I don’t believe he is having a heart attack, I think they are waiting to hear if they will lose their money before making a decision if he is having a heart attack or not. Seen It before. I don’t want these people in my house. They’ll either be pissed because they didn’t manipulate me into giving them what they wanted, or putting on some weird neurotic performance. It was bad enough last time. Ugh. What a mistake.

So I offered them a full refund if they cancel immediately. I gave them 1 hour to do so, so they didn’t keep umming and ahhhing for the rest of the day. Or pull a cancel tomorrow. I don’t want them in my home. They are stressful, and $300 is not worth the stress and annoyance. They will not be welcome back. After their efforts at trying to book behind airs back to begin with, I don’t believe for an instant that they aren’t trying to play me because they changed their mind about coming away this weekend, but even still I don’t want to risk them coming because I said I would’nt refund. I didn’t want them coming in the first place!


I want to hear how this turns out. I’m like you and just don’t give anyone the benefit of the doubt anymore. Guests are always trying to pull something over. I really don’t understand why Airbnb does not sell travel insurance. I think it is ridiculous that they can override cancellation policies at their discretion. Airbnb needs to step up and refund if they are going to allow people to cancel due to deaths in the family, medical needs, etc.

I’m so sick of hearing about how guests just don’t get the fact that they are blocking the calendar so no one else can book. I just don’t get it that they want to be able to make up their minds by this evening. I wonder if they found a cheaper place to rent and are waiting to hear back if this place is available. And they hope in the mean time that you will just allow them to use dates for the future, all the while they blocked a room that could have rented for Labor Day Weekend.

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You won’t believe it. The boyfriend that was rendered mute by his heart condition, and had to have his girlfriend plea on his behalf just half an hour before wrote back thrilled with the mention of the refund and is looking forward to visiting another time. I was shocked.

Hi sandy, this is j this time. I just cancelled the reservation. Thank you so much for understanding. I am waiting to hear from my doctor. Looking forward to visiting again soon.

Then, I noticed something. The boyfriend usually signs his name with a dash before it like -J, and the girlfriends message was signed like that. My forensic linguistics hat went on, and I noticed that J also only ever uses one space between sentences - so had the girlfriend in her note. They also spelled Dr the same way, it’s a word with lots of different ways to write, capitals, abbreviations etc. So the boyfriend wrote to me, pretending to be the girlfriend worried about the boyfriend who was in distress over his heart trouble and not well enough to write. Of course this has even more ‘pulling the heart strings’ impact than if he just wrote saying he was thinking of going to the doctor because he was feeling a bit off and was worried about his ticker. People can be shamelessly manipulative. Personally, if I had reoccurring heart complications, I’d be off to the hospital. Hearts aren’t something you mess around with.

I called air. They said that despite my promise to refund, he was going to have to provide actual proof of his extenuating circumstances, which means a doctors certificate detailing heart checkup before I actually do it. Great! He’s going to get a shock! The problem is, he is just as likely to go to the doctor and pretend he has a heart problem just to save himself the money, so long as his insurance is cheap enough to make it worthwhile. When my refund didn’t come straight through, I suddenly got this:

Sorry to bug u and thanks again. Airbnb said that one of us has to contact the resolution center for the refund. Should I do that or do u do it since u normally have a strict return policy? I can’t thank u enough. We will be back for sure!

He certainly will not be back. I don’t even know what to say. Any advice? I feel like ignoring him and lettin him figure it out himself.

Hmmm…never dealt with a refund. Will it count as a cancellation against you if you are the one to initiate the resolution?

I am very surprised that Air is saying that he would still need to provide extenuating circumstances. I thought others here say Air usually tries to beg the owner into refunding even when it is not warranted?

That would be funny if you said the refund was based on extenuating circumstances and you assumed that was what they were trying to say about getting into the doctor. I bet all of a sudden they would come and feel better. You can always say if the extenuating circumstances doesn’t work then you will refund if the room gets re-rented. I know you said you don’t even want them there though. Were you thinking of going the extenuating circumstances route? You know he is going to say “but you didn’t mention anything about that - we are going to come then if we can’t get the money back.”

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That’s a good idea Cabin. Perhaps I’ll say that. But it’s really infuriating, because airbnb has taken a really proactive role already on the guests behalf no less! They have told me that they are waiting for the paperwork from the guests to prove extenuating circumstances, and if they do, they will give the money from my account back themselves. Oh well. At lest they aren’t coming. The part that infuriates me is that I know that it isn’t real by the fake message Jesse wrote from his girlfriend (it is now very clear he wrote it), his miraculous recovery and ability to write after my saying I will refund, and the fact that they are waiting on a possible doctors appointment.

I’m sorry, but if you are concerned about a reoccurring heart issue, you get yourself to the hospital. Being essential for life, hearts aren’t something you book a doc’s appt for. You get to emergency. Bogus I cry! How easy is it for him to get his money back by going to the doctor and saying ‘oh, check my heart doc’, and the doc puts the stethoscope on and says, sounds fine buddy, here’s some Xanax. Here’s a cert to say I checked your heart. Bang! Extenuating circumstances proves he went to doc for heart!

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This sounds bogus. I would not refund that without a doctor’s note, or some proof. Let them cancel it, don’t you take the hit Sandy!

It’s just a story!!! I would have let them cancel and take the hit. If you are on Air, you can’t do what they asked and “hold it” for next year. It’s a croc of sh*t, and they are “taking the piss” on you!

I have heard all sorts of stories and have fallen for them like the dumb bunny I am. I just don’t refund now. They are welcome to cancel and I keep half (or all, depending on how close it is…)

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