Trying to cancel incoming guest that smells like trouble

Maybe. I’m in Australia, but I don’t often speak with an Australian :smile: I usually speak with their Phillipines call centre

Hi @faheem

So would love an update. What did Airbnb say?

Hi @Helsi,

Thanks for the followup. I haven’t heard back yet. It’s around 2.20 pm on Tuesday March 19th now. I’ve got a bunch of other stuff to do, but if I don’t hear back in a few hours I’ll (a) send a followup message (b) try calling the US number if see if anyone responds sensibly.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. I might follow up with the guest, but haven’t yet. Actually, in light of all the helpful discussion here, I’m inclined to post a possible reply here for comments first.

When you called them @faheem , they should have assigned a case manager and sent you a follow up email which you can respond to.

Quite honestly although I know you are busy, I wouldn’t keep leaving it, as the longer you leave it the more upset your guest will be when their booking (hopefully) gets cancelled by Airbnb.

Give the US number a call, if you weren’t emailed following your conversation yesterday. You will feel much better when you get this situation resolved.


Good points @Helsi.

@faheem, a thought – when you cancel via Air give them a couple of nearby listings, same price point, as suggestions for the denied guest.

I had a similar situation of a maddeningly disorganized guest with 2 accounts and who needed HOURS of handholding for a straightforward 3-day reservation and was also IMO paranoid.

When I called Air to say I had to bail on her in part because a seriously ill guest being treated at our famed hospital needed to extend (TRUE) and I could not accommodate the difficult prospective guest, I gave Air two nearby listings in the same price range to have her stay at.

(She stayed at a third place and gave them a lousy review, what a surprise, not.)

As far as I know, they did not assign a case manager. They did send me a message via the Airbnb Messaging center. I just pinged that thread, and wrote that I was going to call the US customer service number.

According to Airbnb resolution center and contact information with phone numbers

there are separate numbers for superhosts, as follows:

For Superhosts (they will verify you):
North America: +1-647-945-9627 +1.888.326.5753

Does anyone know if this is still current? I think the 888 number should be free with Skype, but I’m not sure. The 647 number looks like a regular US number, and would not be free.

Thanks for the concern. @Helsi. :slight_smile: I suspect the guest will be unhappy no matter what happens.

And @PuppyLover, other people have suggested pointing him to some other listings. But the guy isn’t 2 years old - I shouldn’t have to hold his hand. And I have no idea what kind of listings he’d prefer. I’ll ask the CS person (assuming I manage to speak to someone) whether it would be appropriate to suggest other listings.

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Hi folks,

So, just to wrap up this thread, I just got a call from someone who said her name was Denver (from the Philippines). I wonder if that is a code name or something. Are people actually called Denver? I was going to call the US customer service number, but hadn’t yet.

She was reasonably helpful, though rather long-winded and also seemed to have reading comprehension difficulties. She initially seems to have thought that I had a problem with the regular check out time. Which, of course, I didn’t. I explained that the guest wanted to check out at 10.30 pm (or later) on the day of checkout, and when I told him he couldn’t, was uncooperative and argumentative.

She then asked me what I suggested. I thought it a bit odd she didn’t suggest cancellation herself, but then said that I wanted Airbnb to cancel, but wanted to be clear that I would not be penalized. And I also asked her to confirm that she would be cancelling it right away.

She confirmed she would cancel penalty free, and also do so immediately. She said she would be “educating” the guest on check-in/checkout times etc. Good luck with that.

Oddly, she then suggested that I should switch to a Strict cancellation policy. Which was unexpected. And I’m not sure why she said that.

Anyway, this conversation happened around 20 minutes ago, but I haven’t heard anything. I hope she doesn’t change her mind.

And I wrote in a message on that thread that she should pre-arrange a call with me. But that didn’t happen - she just called.

UPDATE: I got a message from the rep, and the reservation has now been cancelled. I checked - it’s gone from the calendar.

The message she wrote suggested that I could leave a review for the guest, which seems weird, since he didn’t stay. But perhaps she was confused. The exact wording is:

You can leave a review to them for the next hosts will be much aware of this guest and to prevent this from happening again.


So she said she would be cancelling?

I had a situation in December where I got an email saying someone had booked but their payment hadn’t gone through and that I was on the hook for the payment. In other words, if I let them stay and no payment ever came through I wouldn’t get paid. (@Xena had the same thing recently) The same email said in highlighted red text that I could cancel. So I called to cancel. It took two calls, both to people who did not seem to have English as their first language, and about two hours to get it canceled. Since it was a reservation for the next day I was keen to get it done ASAP. This was not so much to my benefit but so the guest would know they had not secured lodging for the night. Airbnb was insistent that they needed to reach the guest before actually canceling. Luckily you have some time before the stay but don’t be shocked if there is still yet some delay.

Hi @KKC,

Yes, she said she would cancel, and the reservation has now been cancelled. Sorry, I wrote the preceding host in something of a hurry, just before dinner. I probably should not have posted it without reviewing it carefully, but I was feeling a bit fed up with this annoying and time-wasting episode, and wanted it gone from my radar as soon as possible. Hosting is often not a delght, but this sort of thing really pushes the envelope.

Thanks for the heads-up. Indeed, one should not count ones chickens. And in practice people are often unreliable.

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A most fair comment.

BUT … I was unclear on my point … YOU will LOOK GOOD and NICE and LOLLIPOPS and RAINBOWS to the AirBNB CX person.

Lovely to hear you got rid of this PITA guest.

With this outcome, I hope next time you will be more confident to just pick up the phone and call AirBnB. Although there’s a lot to complain about, sometimes they do take the host’s side :tada::tada::tada:.


Possibly, but does that matter? And should I care?

  1. Maybe
  2. Not necessarily

but …

sometimes one uses tactics and strategies to deal with organizations in hopes they are worth the effort down the road. (i.e., friendly notes by CSX on your file for the day when the excrement hits the fan)

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Hi @GutHend,

I think Airbnb is generally unreliable, and in general it’s best to deal with the guests directly. But in this case, I felt I didn’t really have a choice. And nobody here really thought any differently. I’m not sure about a next time. I hope the next time, if there is a next time, won’t be soon.

Hmm, I wonder if that would make any difference. Anyway, the rep didn’t bring up the issue of rebooking, and I didn’t offer to help. And as I said earlier, I don’t think this was something to which I could usefully make a contribution even if I cared. Which I don’t.

BTW, nobody confirmed whether those US Superhost numbers work. I’d appreciate a confirmation in case of a “next time”.

Anyway, let’s see if anyone books for this coming week, now that it’s open.

Oh @faheem

I am so pleased for you. What a relief not to deal with this ‘guest’ anymore. Did you know you can now block guests on Airbnb from contacting you? You may want to do this, so he can’t contact you there again and take up any more of your time.

I know that it doesn’t work for everyone, but I find yoga has been an enormous stress reliever for me and helps me sleep.

Sending you positive thoughts for your future guests.

And I think you were right in your initial analysis - this guest was trouble from the start with his unreasonable demands and multiple messages. Trust your instinct and decline those people who waste your time and emotional energy.

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Gracias Some thoughts-

Cut off the back and forth stop discussion.

Ask Airbnb help they can help this guy find another accommodation?

Cancel the reservation you don’t want him in your home after that!

Beware in the future of clients arriving middle of night we don’t accept night arrivals for this reason and charge extra if we do accept.

The initial requests (arriving at 1 am? And not paying the night?). should have alerted you I suppose you won’t make the same mistake twice!

Good luck!

Probably, we do have a bit of an advantage, but you don’t need to sound scared. Just say you’re concerned about your security since it’s a shared space. I find that works.

My cat is a Bengal Cat (part Asian Leopard Cat so looks like a mini leopard) and she’s hypoallergenic. And a rescue, so we did #adoptdontshop on a purebred.

@lililou1 @faheem has already mentioned in an earlier post that Airbnb cancelled the booking :slight_smile:

That’s priceless! I don’t use IB because I want to make sure they understand 1) there is a cat; 2) no smoking, no drugs; 3) there is a cat and she owns the place. I’m sorry George and Princess Sophie are gone. They certainly take our hearts.

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