Guest has to Cancel and I Shouldered the Cancellation Fee

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I am first time host and new to Airbnb, so I am still learning how to navigate the Airbnb system and their app. I accidentally posted two listings for one unit, which I thought would just promote my property. I received a booking from my first guest on August 22nd, which would have booked the guest from August 24th until September 8th.

I received another booking from a second guest. I was wondering why I received another booking, because the dates the first guest booked should already be blocked from my calendar. The second guest was still able to book my property. I called the second guest to explain that my place was already booked, and that I have no other property that I can offer her. The best way that I thought at that moment was for her to cancel the booking.

When she did, I received a message or email from the second guest requesting to cancel her booking. I thought I should click the cancel button which is displayed in the email from Airbnb because it said that I needed to respond to it within 24 hours. Not thinking that I would be charged the entire amount that the second guest booked, I cancelled her reservations, without knowing what would happen.

I just feel discourage from this incident. I feel that I have been ripped off by Airbnb. My second guest had to cancel her reservation five days before her arrival which I thought was more than ample time but I’m the one who is going to pay or be fined the entire amount she booked. Now tell me if that is fair.

I bought new towels and bed sheets, and cleaned and prepared my property for my guest. I provide the best service and amenities for my guest. However, with one mistake that I request my guest cancel her reservation and respond to it, I had to pay more than 60% of my total income this August. Is that fair?

Airbnb will get 60% of my total income from my property. What is left for me? I will pay my condo monthly dues, electric, and water. What is left of my pay out for august is not even enough to cover these bills. I just think it’s not fair for first timer hosts to be fine with losing such an amount. That is a lot more than my payout. If we give our clients a full refund as long as they cancel 24 hours or more before their check in, then why don’t we also do that and be considerate of hosts, especially first timer hosts?

It wasn’t my fault that I received a double booking. So why fine me? I don’t feel good about this. I’m afraid to continue listing my property here on Airbnb. I spent more money just to host and I’m getting less than what I’m supposed to earn. Airbnb gets more money.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .

2 Comments

  1. Double booking is a big NO NO in any hosting platforms. You should’ve read the t&c of the platform first before creating your profile.

  2. You say “it wasn’t my fault that I received a double booking”. It actually was your fault because you had one property but created two separate listings for it and did not close the other listing out when the first listing was booked. A similar scenario would have occurred if you had advertised it yourself or through other agents.

    You also say you “accidentally posted two listings for one unit, which I thought would just promote my property”. You contradict yourself if the same sentence where you say it was created accidentally yet in the same breath say you thought by creating two listing it would promote your property. So there was intent to create the second listing. It was not an accident.

    Double bookings are always a big problem for accommodation providers. Many booking agents require the host with a double booking to find alternative accommodation of an equivalent standard, price and area for the guest, even the host paying any difference in price. Reputable hotels will also find the double booked guest alternative accommodation and pay the transport of the guest to the alternative accommodation.

    When you accept a booking, you enter into a legally binding contract with the guest and/or their agent to supply the guest with what you offered. If you cannot fulfil your obligations of the contract there are penalties for breaking the contact. You’ve found AirBnB have punitive damages. It may not be fair but that is the contract you accepted when you became an AirBnB supplier. You should have familiarised yourself with the contract before accepting its terms.

    Why should you be treated any differently to any other provider on the AirBnB platform just because you’re a first time host? If an air traffic controller allowed two planes to collide then said “oh, it’s my first day on the job” do you think everyone is going to say “oh, that’s all right then, don’t worry about it”?

    You have entered into a business operation. It is not a hobby. It is a business. It is your responsibility to learn that business and familiarise yourself to its rules and regulations. You did not know your job of knowing the process of cancelling a booking. So familiarise yourself with the contract you have with AirBnB to supply accommodation. If you do not agree with the terms of that supply then do not accept their contract. If you don’t learn your job you will find out the hard way as has happened. You say “I cancelled her reservations (sic), without knowing what would happen” so there you are.

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