Unauthorized Refund

Hello, I was hoping you can help me know how to handle this situation. We host remotely and our co-host authorized $130 refund without our permission. Our Guest asked for a $200 refund sense our jacuzzi which is not even listed as an amenity was broken. We told our co-host that we would be willing to offer a $50 refund but the guests involved Airbnb and talked to our co-host instead of us and he authorized $130 refund without asking us. Should we take the difference between $50 and $130 out of his pay?

I would. And put the co-host on notice as well.

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Definitely. And make sure that you get a new co host who has strictly defined rules and regulations.

For hosts who are considering using a co host, it would be valuable to know how you found this person and what experience he had (or claimed to have) with Airbnb.

Also, for future hosts reading this, I don’t know why a host, or even a co host, would give any refund for an amenity that’s not even listed. Bizarre.

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Definitely take this out of his pay, then find someone who doesn’t take matters into their own hands without consulting with you.

If your jacuzzi wasn’t listed as an amenity, the guests shouldn’t have been looking at it anyway to notice it was broken.

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Hmmm…difficult to answer w/o all the facts. Was that the only issue or were there others, did your co-host say they refunded $130.00? Was the reservation changed in any way? Did your co-host admit to authorization? My first step would be to contact your co-host and have a heart to heart talk. If this is the first mis-step for your co-host then I would use it as a learning tool. If not then definitely take it out of their pay.

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Thanks for your response. I did check w the co host about this and he says he did not authorize the refund. Since I’m not able to see his end of the conversation from my end I had him send screen shots. Airbnb was basically saying they could authorize 50% refund since jacuzzi was a amenity at time of booking (but was removed as an amenity when we found out it was broken) but would lower it to 30%. co host said no since he arranged for use of a jacuzzi at a nice hotel nearby and even drove him over BUT Airbnb processed the refund anyway! What would you do? Thanks

How do you pay the co-host? Hourly rate? %of rental collected? Flat rate? If % of rental collected, he’s already taken a hit for a % of the refund. Or will soon from a future booking.

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When the facts are stated, things become clear, not the co hosts fault and nothing you can do about it, amenity was missing.

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Let it go.

Sorry but you have to provide promised amenities.

Sounds like he went above and beyond and should get a bonus.

You can protest with Airbnb. How much is your time worth?

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This is also a great learning tool…if you loose an amenity for any reason and remove it from your listing you need to contact any guests who made a prior reservation and advise them of the change. if something breaks during their stay be prepared to compensate the guest for the missing amenity and get it fixed right away. Usually the guest will accept a lot less if you address upfront and apologize…usually…not always though.

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Thanks cindy. This was our very 1st guest so I thought we were good sinc e we removed it as an amenity as soon as we heard it was broken. It’s a community jacuzzi so we were at the mercy of the HOA getting it fixed. Jacuzzi is fixed now but we aren’t going to list it as an amenity again in case another issue arises

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So the jacuzzi was there when the guests booked but not during their stay - in which case the guests should have been informed of this as soon as it was no longer available. If amenities are shown on a listing they must be available when the guest stays. You can’t just remove it from the listing and hope that people who have booked already won’t notice.

Also, I don’t agree with the situation with the co host being a learning experience as these issues should be threshed out when a co host is first employed.

If he didn’t authorise the refund, and you didn’t, then there’s no point in asking here as your problem is with Airbnb but it seems strange that they randomly agreed to a large refund without permission. I’d definitely argue that with them.

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@Ann_Drais I respectfully suggest that, as you just started hosting, you should experience hosting “first hand” by being near the site of the property and dealing with guests instead of being far away. There is a “learning curve” and ideally you should experience the day to day of being a host before you place the responsibility in a third party’s hands.

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:thinking:

I’ve booked Airbnb’s and had this come up. That’s no big deal for me as a guest. I didn’t ask for a refund. I know better now though and I always ask if the spa is working before I book or at the time of booking. Spa’s can break down or be closed by health inspectors at any moment though so that’s just a part of life. For my hot tub, I have an amenity limitation checked on the house rules page and it says “ASK me about the hot tub if you want to use it.” That way I can balance the chemicals and make sure its up to temp etc.

I’d have to agree that it would be difficult to learn hosting without that experience. Not impossible, but difficult. You’d really have to learn to trust and listen to your front line host.

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You can’t just delete the amenity and hope they won’t notice. That’s unfair. They should have been notified as soon as possible. I would be extremely disappointed too and 100% would involve Airbnb if not satisfied with the result from the host.

Imagine you were thrilled to be going on vacation and when you arrived, there was no air conditioning. You may have even specifically included this in your search filter. I do this specifically for hot tubs all the time. In fact, most sensible people would filter ‘AC’ before ‘hot tubs’. But not me. :joy:

This isnt the cohosts mistake. You have to eat this one, I’m afraid. It was the right thing to offer adequate compensation to the guests.

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Me too and 9/10 the hot tub doesn’t work even if you confirm beforehand. I’m so used to it by now I just roll with it. As an Airbnb host though, I really try not to complain and be ‘that guy’ and tells you how to run your Airbnb because I do it this way at mine. There are 101 other things I can do on vacation so I’ll find something if I can’t use the hot tub.

At my place though I realize there aren’t really a whole lot of other things to do necessarily so I try to make sure the hot tub is 100% ready to go with a drink cooler and bluetooth speaker set. If the hot tub breaks, I remove the amenity and listing photos immediately. I just save the listing photos/captions and re-upload them once its fixed.

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And where are you again? :wink:

I’ve never had an issue with the hot tub not working. I am so easy to please on holiday but if there’s a way to put me out, it’s when a ‘good time’ amenity (like a hot tub which you can have hours of fun in, unlike AC, for example!) goes sideways.

It’s totally understandable if there was a random breakdown or sudden inconvenience. This happens to everyone. And I sympathize when that happens. I feel guilty if my internet is randomly spotty for a guest!

However, the host had ample time to give the guests a courtesy heads up in this case. That, at least, gives the guest a chance to book elsewhere if they like. A discount could have been offered out of the gate and avoided this aftermath entirely.

I might still ding the co host for not properly informing the guests at the time that it broke so they could have determined if they wanted to cancel or not. Teaching point for you and the cohost if you use it as such.

Ikr. Only 5% of Airbnb’s offer hot tubs in my area as an amenity and they have on average a $20 per night higher rate.

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