What to say about a guest who didn't read, elected not to stay, but didn't cancel?

Just had a guest decide not to stay. Not the first time, and won’t be the last, but usually they then cancel and we get the chance to either offer them a refund (if they have been reasonable about it) or not (if they have not - which does happen). But these guests didn’t do anything at all, and since they did not cancel I did not have an opportunity to re-book their cabin, so not only do I now not feel inclined to offer them any refund, but I also now have the opportunity to write a review.

Here’s the situation in more detail: We live 30km out of town, on some rough dirt roads. We advise guests that we are remote, off-tarmac and off-grid, and that in current conditions they will generally need a 4WD. This particular guest had said they had an AWD (All Wheel Drive) so since the roads have been ok recently we said they should be fine. Mistake! They failed to tell us their AWD had low profile tyres. Very low profile tyres - like perhaps an inch of visible rubber. I would not drive with such tyres even on ordinary country roads, let alone on dirt. I pointed out to them that we do advise guests that our roads are not suitable for low profile tyres - it specifically says this our blurb, since we have had several similar incidents previously - but they apparently missed that warning, and I didn’t think to ask.

So … end result is that they drive almost the full 30km - they got within 500m of our place - and then walked the remainder to tell us they were not willing to drive their car any further. I told them that they would be fine over the last 500 metres, but clearly the experience had left them completely shattered. I also told them that since they had come so far they should at least stay one night to relax, and I offered to drive them to their cabin and return them to their car next morning if they chose to leave. They discussed it but decided to leave immediately - without even looking at the cabin.

I expected they would then cancel their booking, and I would have been prepared to refund them part of their booking cost (charging them for one night only) but they did not do so. So now I have the opportunity to review them. But should I? And if so, what to say? Here is what I am currently thinking:

“XXXX booked without reading our listing details, and decided part way here that their vehicle was not suitable for the conditions and decided not to continue with their trip.”

Or I could simply not review them.

Anybody have any advice?

1 Like

I’d wait a couple days to see if they contact you before deciding.

I wouldn’t review them unless they reviewed me first. It’s doubtful that they’re happy guests so if they leave a review it will probably be one that you don’t want. When you review a guest it tends to cue them to review you. I’d leave it alone and hope they don’t review you.


If they didn’t show up or showed up and didn’t stay, you have no “refund” to offer them. You haven’t been paid by Airbnb.

I never offer anyone a refund.

I do whatever review I have to and explain in my comment that they didn’t stay.

As I recall, we had a guest that didn’t show up (song and dance)no cancels, we got paid and neither of us could review. During the day he was supposedly arriving there was communication between he, us and Air.

Well, we haven’t been paid yet, but our account shows we are due to be paid in a few days, and there has been no contact from either them or AirBnB, so I guess I will just leave it and see what happens. I have decided it’s probably best not to review them at all. If they drop a negative review on us at the very last minute, I should still get a chance to respond.

i’d sit tight and wait it out, IF you want to leave a review then do so on the final day. It’s not your fault that city numpties think their pretend AWD can actually go off-road. :sweat_smile: (I recall a very amusing day on Moreton Is, watching a bunch of not-real 4WDs getting bogged as they got off the barge and hit the soft sand), or that they didn’t read the listing.