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Airbnb cancellation policy: warning for owners
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Jonathan



Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 77
Location: Warwickshire

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martha wrote:
Another one here who will only use them for off-peak weeks. The risk is just colossal otherwise. When we rent out the smaller chalet in a few year's time we'll probably have to use them more which is a gloomy prospect.

Particularly galling as in a case like this, the guest can insure and claim (as noted by you!) but not the hosts!


I have been using them here in the UK for two years and never had a problem.

Jonathan
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 746
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

e-richard wrote:
COYS wrote:
..And a frankly ludicrous service fee on many mid to high end listings

But why does that affect you? If guests want to pay it, then they pay it.

Its not as if the fee is only applied to some listings like yours and not to your competitors. Its a level playing field.


Level playing field I agree & it doesn't affect me per-se, other than making my property significantly more expensive to rent & maybe alienating some holidaymakers.
I don't know, but I feel it's better suited to shorter stay & the budget conscious which is why so many still only open up sticky gaps or limited weeks.
Good luck to those that can make it work, but for now I'm not one of 'em.
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Bordering



Joined: 20 Apr 2014
Posts: 85
Location: Languedoc, France

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hundreds of bookings and very few problems. It feels like a machine though - the relationship with direct bookers is quite different, and almost always better.

Interesting that people will pay 15% more without protest. Suggests there’s scope to increase prices on direct leads and improve margins.

Also, very seldom mentioned here, their policies are subtly ratcheted ever tighter. Good potential subject for an ongoing thread here, for anyone brave enough.
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la vache!



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 11068

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bordering wrote:


Interesting that people will pay 15% more without protest. Suggests there’s scope to increase prices on direct leads and improve margins.

But most people don't know they are paying 15% - at least my guests never realised until I told the ones who wanted to return that it would be cheaper booking with me direct!
Another one who has never had a problem with AirBnB bookings or guests.
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2201
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, most of the time it works fine! But there's no protection possible against situations like this, which in my view are what the guest's travel insurance is for, and cannot be insured against by the owner.

That's what is so bad about this situation. If this happened with one of my direct bookings, they would claim on their insurance. But if it's via AirBnB, the poor owner gets nothing and no insurance is even needed by the guests! It's appalling.

It's good that it doesn't happen often. But it can, and with a property that sleeps ten, my chances of a last minute booking are effectively zero. I would lose over ten grand if someone pulled this trick on a two week peak season booking. It's just not worth the risk.

For smaller properties I think the greater level of bookings outweighs the possible disadvantages but I still would never put peak weeks on there. You have no protection at all for cancellations like this.

But again it's all down to what works for each person and property, everyone's setup and situation is different Smile

I wish they would have fairer cancellation policies because I think the site functions well for the user, I use it all the time when we travel. Just situations like this that throw problems into sharp relief.
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Codliveroil



Joined: 09 Jan 2015
Posts: 132
Location: Algarve

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martha, I wrote a very nice letter to them suggesting some changes for those that don't run a 600 room hotel. I posted it and it ended up on their community forum! Which is more than useless. Does anyone have an email address where a human may receive it?
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gozokerry



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 157
Location: Gozo,Malta

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Codliveroil wrote:
Martha, I wrote a very nice letter to them suggesting some changes for those that don't run a 600 room hotel. I posted it and it ended up on their community forum! Which is more than useless. Does anyone have an email address where a human may receive it?


We have always had a response from their support email for a specific problem.

AB do need to address this situation, as others have said the traveler should have travel insurance, and should be compensated this way if something happens to prevent them going on holiday.
We have seen a rise in potential guests (probably after reading article on ''how to get the best deal on ABNB '') trying to work the system, applying for discounts, booking for a long stay at a reduced price then changing to a shorter period for the same price etc. Not sure what checks are in place in AB but a too favourable cancellation policy to the guest opens the doors to abuse.

AB are fairly pro-active and quick on their feet, lets hope they refine their model.
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bobbie diamonds



Joined: 10 May 2016
Posts: 10
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pilou64 wrote:
Jonathan, I also have a strict policy with Airbnb, but airbnb overruled it. Airbnb is the boss and when you put your property on their site, you automatically you agree with Airbnb's policy.

So be carefull. For example you rent out a nice villa and somebody books it for 3 weeks in August, with 1 mail from Airbnb you can loose 3 weeks. Impossible to find another holidaymaker just a few hours before their holiday.

People can take advantage of that: cancel for medical reason and book a very advantageous last minute somewhere else!!! Just a paper from your doctor and that is it. 100% refund from Airbnb!!

Btw, the strict policy (without illness, death etc) with Airbnb is not strict at all! So Airbnb is only for really low season. I learned my lesson!


Odd, I had a cancellation only yesterday 24 hours before for a 1 week booking. A medical appointment was the reason, but because I have a strict cancellation policy AirBnB told me I will still receive my money, no issues. I can only speak for myself but I've had no issues in the cancellation department, they have been great. In fact I have taken my property off Holiday Lettings because of a cancellation issue, I now only advertise with AirBnB.
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Ben McNevis



Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Scotland (for) The Brave

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Snowmageddon must have produced a raft of "extenuating circumstances" cancellations.

We've had one today. The booking was fortunately only a 3-night, for early next week but the guests had to cancel because their flight has been cancelled.

We have cautiously entered the world of ABB, starting last year allowing only full weeks (with very little interest). This year, we expanded to allow short breaks and interest is quite strong. But I'm not sure we'll stay with them.

My main gripe about this is that with most travel insurance policies, cancellation of public transport is a risk that is covered, so the guests needn't have lost out. We would have refunded the cleaning fee plus a bit more, and the remainder, they would have to claim for. But ABB doesn't give them the chance to do that. They are 100% refunded.

I wonder what small claims would make of it?
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1625
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ben McNevis wrote:
The Snowmageddon must have produced a raft of "extenuating circumstances" cancellations.

We've had one today. The booking was fortunately only a 3-night, for early next week but the guests had to cancel because their flight has been cancelled.

We have cautiously entered the world of ABB, starting last year allowing only full weeks (with very little interest). This year, we expanded to allow short breaks and interest is quite strong. But I'm not sure we'll stay with them.

My main gripe about this is that with most travel insurance policies, cancellation of public transport is a risk that is covered, so the guests needn't have lost out. We would have refunded the cleaning fee plus a bit more, and the remainder, they would have to claim for. But ABB doesn't give them the chance to do that. They are 100% refunded.

I wonder what small claims would make of it?


I wonder if the insurance companies do give any refund claim if booked via Airbnb?
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casasantoestevo



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 3960
Location: O Saviñao, Galicia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I wonder if the insurance companies do give any refund claim if booked via Airbnb?

Travel insurance will normally have exclusions to cover for weather and war.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4944
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

casasantoestevo wrote:
Travel insurance will normally have exclusions to cover for weather and war.

One can probably exchange the words "weather and war" for thousands of other words Crying or Very sad

Insurance companies have a truly poor reputation, which, on further thought is why Airbnb are actually very smart and offer the traveller a true no quibble, very easy money back guarantee on last minute cancellations.

And the really clever bit is that Airbnb don't even have to pay for this. The owners do Rolling Eyes
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 543
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a cancellation on the day of arrival and was still paid (I refunded the cleaning fee myself). I assume guests need to appeal to AirBnb for a refund and not everyone would do that

My main gripe with AirBnb is that is that I see it as having brought lower rents locally - especially for short breaks.

I have spent years edging my prices up but may now have to reduce them. Probably only way I have a chance of securing bookings from Spring through to Autumn is to use my winter rates!!

However if I do want to make a last minute reduction AirBnb is probably the listing where I am most likely to get a response. I only list 3 months ahead.
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ianh100



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 514
Location: Sherborne Dorset

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rosebud,

Have you looked at the actual cost for a complete reservation at some of the local competition? I see low headline rates but it is usually before the cleaning fee and sometimes just for 1 adult. By the time you add all of the extras the costs for others are often higher than me.
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oasiscouple



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 374
Location: Gironde and Port Leucate, France

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slightly off topic as I haven't yet been caught out by a last minute cancellation with ABB.

Last year, after many years renting out my whole house during the summer and moving to a camp site, I decided to stay put and just do B&B all year round with one bedroom in a separate wing of the house, and accept short stays.

I placed adverts with ABB and BdotC, my prices being 20% higher on BdotC to cover their commission. Last year my bookings were 20% ABB, 10% other (e.g. walkers & cyclists on the Chemin de Compostelle) and finally 70% BdotC.

This year, 11 bookings so far, all from BdotC despite the higher cost to guests.

Just thought my experience might be of interest.
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