Post by High Priestess on Oct 14, 2016 3:08:35 GMT
I recently had a guest who booked a 4 day stay, who requested to alter it to 3 days.
I accepted her alternation with the reduced price as she was making the change sufficiently far in advance that I thought it was fair. But then a few days after altering the reservation to 3 days, she cancelled the entire reservation, and got a 50% refund. If she'd kept it at 4 days and then cancelled the 4 day reservation I'd have been paid about $120. Because she had alterred it to 3 days prior to cancelling, I was paid only $90 after her cancellation and may not be able to rebook the dates.
So, I reasoned that she possibly knew when she made the alteration that she was going to cancel , and only did the alteration so that she'd get more of a refund on the whole cancellation.
This is why, for the most part, when a guest wants to shorten their reservation, I don't accept their alteration which includes the reduced price. Rather I submit an alteration to them which includes the new dates, but keeps the same total price as they originally booked at. Then, I tell them that if I can rebook the dates they are not going to use, I can refund them. BUt it's better to not let them get the refund unless you are sure you can rebook the dates -- particularly if they submit a reservation alteration to shorten the stay, intentionally attempting to exploit the system and get a larger overall refund when they cancel.
This is extremely helpful Deborah and I'm going to use that approach next time I a guest submitting an alteration for a shorter stay. I recently got caught in that with the guests who are here now. They notified me before they arrived, of an "urgent family issue", asking if I could work with them to shorten the stay. I let them know that for a cancellation of any days this close to booking the policy will be only a 50% refund for those days. Then they submitted an alteration request. I fell for the family issue excuse - which was nothing more than that the family wanted them to stay longer at the family's home (I have been under the weather and vulnerable), and so I accepted the alteration, and while they are lovely people, I was not able to re-book those days this late in the year, so I lost that money. If i would have done what you explain here, I would have been able to confidently decline the request for an alteration with a note saying exactly what you described, submit my own alteration with the un-needed days charged at 50% and have them opened up on the calendar. Did I get that right?
I think that because I am still reeling from the experience where 4 girls cancelled on me the night before check-in because one of them decided last minute that they should have booked a place with two rooms instead, but lied about the reason, resulting in Airbnb issuing a full refund against my will, I am a bit jittery about the whole matter. Airbnb also assisted the girls on that same night in finding a different bnb with two rooms instead of the one they booked here (I found that review about them recently), yet Airbnb still would not believe me that the cancellation was made under false pretenses EVEN THOUGH the message thread showed that to be case "I'm so sorry Grace, it was inconsiderate of us to change our minds at the last minute". The proof was right there, but the decision had been made. If this ever happens again I will fight so much harder than I did.
As we all know, this is the new era of guests being able to call nearly all the shots, with the new cancellation policy that officially goes into effect Saturday I believe.
If i would have done what you explain here, I would have been able to confidently decline the request for an alteration with a note saying exactly what you described, submit my own alteration with the un-needed days charged at 50% and have them opened up on the calendar. Did I get that right?
Yes, that would be the way to do it, Grace. You would decline their alteration request, which reduces the price to only those dates remaining, and then submit your own alteration to them, which has the total that you agreed upon -- the cost of the days remaining, plus a 50% charge per day for the days which have been removed from the reservation.
Now at this point, however, as we anticipate the changes to the strict cancellation policy by Airbnb, these changes will result in a guest being able to get a 50% refund of any unused days, if they cancel their stay during the reservation itself. Since I dont' believe those changes are fair to hosts, I most certainly will not volunteer any information about these new aspects of the cancellation policy to my guests. If they find this info, okay, but if they dont' know this, I wont' tell them.
That said, I don't actually get many guests who cancel a reservation mid-stay, or who shorten their reservation at the last minute, while they're at my house. But going forward, if a guest cancels mid-stay and gets a 50% refund, if I can rebook the dates I will not refund the guest beyond that 50%. The extra income all goes to me, to make up for other losses likely to be caused by the imposition of changes to the strict cancellation policy that I haven't agreed to.
We all live and learn, and I'm Over being Ms Nice Guy.
I have refunded room charges for their dumbest reasons such as choosing wrong island, didn't read the front page of the listing stating SHARED BATH, etc.
Years ago, I would promise to refund if I could re-book, but no more.
This is a business, and it ain't Wal Mart with a 90 day refund policy.
If you can use a computer enough to book a room, fail to read the listing, or come up with any made up excuse they are currently able to conjure up; too bad.
Sad, that people's selfish behavior does have an affect on how we have to tweek, dumb down, spend so much time hearing and reading their pleas, and move forward with our hosting style towards future guests.
I did a check on some of our local hotels with next day and 30 day out reservations, made no difference, NO REFUND, period. Thus, why should we?
April, I had three reservations that just didn't show up. No word, nothing, I just let it stand, as I don't have a crystal ball to know when they actually are going to arrive, thus leaving all the lights on, etc., until sunrise.
That was lovely for me not to have to change over the room....Yee-haw for Host Holidays!
Others have cancelled and written family matters or whatever, but never asked for any portion of refund. I just ignore them and don't even bother a wish you well in the future.
I will continue to offer 100% refund to those like the host I mentioned who asked about the shared bath and if there were coffee pots in each room.
Airbnb didn't side with me with their knowledge of him blatantly stating he did not read the house rules prior to booking, couldn't afford to loose $100, and would see me as reserved.
I shall always continue to refuse ..... make them cancel.....give em full refund, when it's obvious they already have a cranky or resentful vibe stupit glued to their shoulder.
I will not open my home to such, plus the potential affect on my other guests.
Still haven't heard word from airbnb yet regarding the "Potential Fraud Review", nor my payout. In my account, booking still stands like she's here.
In the book "the Airbnb Story", Brian stated to the writer that he anticipates STR to only account for 50% of their revenue in the near future.
Perhaps I'd better find a high priced web designer soon, as somehow us hosts seem to constantly become more and more at the bottom of their list of priorities.
Post by High Priestess on Jun 1, 2017 23:07:36 GMT
Thanks for sharing your morning story, Rhonda. Yes, I think it is better for hosts to not succomb to pressures to refund the guest for a cancellation. Good for guests to learn to buy travel insurance and good idea for Airbnb to suggest that guests buy travel insurance, or even offer to sell it to guests! Perhaps an extra 5-10% or so (proportional to total reservation price) can easily be added to each reservation and the guest would then be assured of being able to get a full refund FROM AIRBNB (not from the host) in the event of a cancellation.
On Friday morning I get a IB for Sunday to Tuesday, from a girl with French profile saying to be living in Dubai and booking for an Ibrahima from Senegal. Wanting to find partners for his humanitarian association in Paris, on a holiday weekend. Landing at 7 am, so at my place at 10 am and he needs help as he does not know a thing about Paris. She would like to talk by phone about it. Not on my bill for sure. So I write herback, third party booking not allowed, ibrahima has to create a profile and we shift the booking or she adds him to her profile if it's her friend. Checkin at 5pm, I provide some tourist info, but I'm no guide for lost souls. (Spiritual guide for 80 Euros on a high Christian holiday, no less. ) Looking forward to read you quickly. She calls back, did not know, blabla, will do blabla. I keep her a bit on the line, feel her writhing a bit over the fee. Tell her to confirm in writing. She complies. At 2 pm I ask for progress. She says she created the profile, cannot switch the booking. I call airbnb. Long call, interrupted. She calls back and switches to a colleague, after another long wait to explain . Normally their interest is always to save a booking. Not this time. The lady is not at her first essay. Airbnb strongly suggests to cancel and is doubtful about booking with the guy. Empty unverified profile. They ask if they can refund the girl. Good riddance. Please do, even if she is already in the no-refund delay. They insist I would not be covered amd what she sees on the profile makes her insist it's not a good idea to keep the booking. They will write to her. No need that I write. At that point I spent more of my paid office hours on the whole thing than the booking is worth. Airbnb insists: no penalty and we will open the days immediately. I joke, that we better leave them blocked, it's the second cancellation for the same days. I ignore a message from the girl about the cancellation: Is this normal? An hour later, I get a booking from Ibrahima. Obviously created by the girl, profile in Dubai. Id not verified. Guy photo lets me think "dead soul". Could be boring. Or a former child soldier or a future suicid bomber. If I had to bet, I'd say child soldier who stuck to it till 35 and is now 45. No thanks. Declined with explanation that the profile is faulty and not verified and I suppose I would not be covered as I know the history and airbnb excluded insurance cover for the first booking. The girl answers back from his profile, that she understands. It's definitely her style. I'll have to check what happens to those profiles. On that, I blocked the weekend and enjoyed free time.
Post by High Priestess on Jun 7, 2017 14:14:51 GMT
Helga -- you escaped a potential retired child soldier guest? A while back we had a discussion on photos and how they can sometimes tell us things that we probably wouldn't know about a guest any other way...and which may tell us we dont' want to take that guest. I showed photos of convicted criminals I found online -- you said you would probably have accepted them -- but at last you found one you didn't want to take?