Huge AirBNB Cancellation Charge

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stats99
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Huge AirBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by stats99 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am

I need the community's input. My son, in college, out of state, secured an internship for the Summer. On April 1, he booked a reservation on Airbnb For June 2nd through mid August in a city where the internship will take place, also out of state. From the website we saw there was a 48 hour Airbnb cancellation policy.

2 hours after booking he realized a house rules issue with the original reservation and cancelled it. Mind you 2 hours later.

The full period charge was over $3,000, placed on a credit card. It turns out that Airbnb is keeping $1,200 of that as a cancellation fee!! So there is now a $1,200 transaction showing on the credit card.

We called to complain and pointed out the 48 hour policy. Airbnb indicated that for "long term" rentals there is a 1 month penalty fee. They had to give us directions on the website to find this wording. It was not evident on the website nor when the reservation was made. So Airbnb will keep the $1,200.They said we could try and get the Host to waive the fee, but the host is adamant and will not waive.

Note the resevation is more than 60 days in advance. The Host will surely be able to re-rent. My son cancelled in 2 hours. AirBNB now says, sorry, "them the rules".

Anyone with any thoughts?

Thanks!

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fortfun
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by fortfun » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:34 am

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am
I need the community's input. My son, in college, out of state, secured an internship for the Summer. On April 1, he booked a reservation on Airbnb For June 2nd through mid August in a city where the internship will take place, also out of state. From the website we saw there was a 48 hour Airbnb cancellation policy.

2 hours after booking he realized a house rules issue with the original reservation and cancelled it. Mind you 2 hours later.

The full period charge was over $3,000, placed on a credit card. It turns out that Airbnb is keeping $1,200 of that as a cancellation fee!! So there is now a $1,200 transaction showing on the credit card.

We called to complain and pointed out the 48 hour policy. Airbnb indicated that for "long term" rentals there is a 1 month penalty fee. They had to give us directions on the website to find this wording. It was not evident on the website nor when the reservation was made. So Airbnb will keep the $1,200.They said we could try and get the Host to waive the fee, but the host is adamant and will not waive.

Note the resevation is more than 60 days in advance. The Host will surely be able to re-rent. My son cancelled in 2 hours. AirBNB now says, sorry, "them the rules".

Anyone with any thoughts?

Thanks!
That sucks. I've had bad experiences with AirBandB also and will never use them again. This will not help you now, but Booking.com is my primary go to--they have the most generous cancellation policy and amazing customer service. They would certainly return your money in this situation. If I can't find anything on Booking, I will use VRBO as a reluctant second choice. Good luck getting your money back--sorry that happened.

bob60014
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by bob60014 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:39 am

Reading the owners fine print regarding cancellations is a must, especially for long term stays.

dbr
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by dbr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:39 am

My thought when reading these sorts of things on various sites on the internet is that one should be very, very careful about AirBNB, VBRO and other operations of this kind.

You might want to read here for some advice how to approach organizations for mercy with these things: https://www.elliott.org/

Bruce T
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by Bruce T » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:47 am

that's pretty unfortunate (and seems a bit excessive and unfair)...
1. which state is the property located in? there may be state laws that provide a grace period for cancelling a lease.
2. after exhausting one-on-one possibilities with the host, consider a Better Business Bureau complaint.
Good luck,
Bruce

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ResearchMed
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:53 am

IF you think the wording is misleading, or somehow hidden without weird searching, then make a screen save of that ASAP.

Then contact the charge card company.
(Amex tends to be very customer friendly when appropriate.)

Good luck.

RM
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fortfun
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by fortfun » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:02 am

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am
I need the community's input. My son, in college, out of state, secured an internship for the Summer. On April 1, he booked a reservation on Airbnb For June 2nd through mid August in a city where the internship will take place, also out of state. From the website we saw there was a 48 hour Airbnb cancellation policy.

2 hours after booking he realized a house rules issue with the original reservation and cancelled it. Mind you 2 hours later.

The full period charge was over $3,000, placed on a credit card. It turns out that Airbnb is keeping $1,200 of that as a cancellation fee!! So there is now a $1,200 transaction showing on the credit card.

We called to complain and pointed out the 48 hour policy. Airbnb indicated that for "long term" rentals there is a 1 month penalty fee. They had to give us directions on the website to find this wording. It was not evident on the website nor when the reservation was made. So Airbnb will keep the $1,200.They said we could try and get the Host to waive the fee, but the host is adamant and will not waive.

Note the resevation is more than 60 days in advance. The Host will surely be able to re-rent. My son cancelled in 2 hours. AirBNB now says, sorry, "them the rules".

Anyone with any thoughts?

Thanks!
As a last resort, you might research the county/city where this property is located and see if it is even legal. For example, in my county, it is not. In this case, you could consider legal action and say that you needed to cancel because this property wasn't even allowed in this county, city, HOA, etc. I suspect half of AirBandBs operate illegally against local laws, HOAs, etc. I don't think the property owner would want to have this legal matter shared with local authorities/HOA/AirBandB. You might be able to locate the exact address by doing some reverse image searches, etc. You might even be able to bluff the owner with this information, if you say you've located the address, county, city, HOA, etc.
Last edited by fortfun on Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

michaeljc70
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:11 am

As unfair as it is, given that it is on their website (even if not easy to find), unfortunately you probably won't get anywhere with getting the money back. You can dispute the credit card charge and see if they give in. One of my big issues with Airbnb is the cancellation fees are extremely one sided. Often an owner can cancel at the last minute completely ruining your trip and you get nothing.

Bruce T
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by Bruce T » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:16 am

Here is another idea ... see the AirBNB policy here:
https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/136 ... servations
It says you can change the reservation if it's more than 30 days out without host approval. Instead of cancelling, perhaps you can (or could have) reduced the reservation period to 1 day ... it might be too late for that now in your case if the cancellation has already occurred, bu tin any event, it seems you could possibly use that policy statement in your discussions w/ AirBnB or the host to your benefit.
The policy referenced above is clearly intended to include long term periods (i.e. references cases of more than 30 days remaining).
Best,
Bruce

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curiouskitty
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by curiouskitty » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:57 am

The Airbnb website does make it explicit that there will be no refund even within the first day for long term rentals. Its like when you put a security deposit and first month down on a Craigslist place. You're not getting your deposit back most the time if you change your mind afterwards.

They do allow cancellations within 48 hours (usually with no charge unless you do it all the time) for most rentals less than a month unless they are labeled "Super Strict 30/60 days".

I hate to say it but your son did agree to pay. Your best chance of weaseling out of it would be to see if the booking falls under e.g. California law which allows cancellations for accidental bookings within 24 hours or so.

Here is the page that makes it very clear what the refund policy is for long term: https://www.airbnb.com/home/cancellatio ... #long-term
If the guest books a long term reservation and decides to cancel the reservation before the start date, the first month of the reservation is paid to the host in full and not refunded to the guest.

rts58
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by rts58 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:06 pm

Did you try reaching out to the host directly? They may be willing to accept the cancellation, if you explain to them what happened. If not, it's worth putting it in the review of the property.

fru-gal
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by fru-gal » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:07 pm

I would see if you get anywhere with your credit card company. I am not sure the BBB will be useful, since I don't imagine AirBNB cares what they think and I don't know how they could ding the host.

I am really aggravated by websites hiding important stuff. I donated a car to a charity via a vehicle donation company and only after the fact found out that the latter keeps 30% of anything the car sold for. As far as I can tell, that is nowhere on their website.

Topic Author
stats99
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by stats99 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:31 pm

OP here. Thanks to all replies. Some good information.

Just to clarify, although some listings do indeed show the Long Term Cancellation policy on the listing, this Host did NOT show that. In fact. under the policies section of the listing was only the "strict" 48 hour cancellation terms. We have a screen print. It was based on reviewing the policy on the actual listing that he felt he could cancel within that period.

Only after we called did AirBNB point us to a location in their general website.

Thanks again!

MotoTrojan
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by MotoTrojan » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:34 pm

A concise and well written 1 star review is in this hosts future I hope.

harrychan
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by harrychan » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:40 pm

I had something similar dealing with Airbnb host. Luckily, Airbnb sided with me and gave me credit for what the host didn't refund me. In your case, I would file a dispute with the credit card issuer and see who they side with.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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JonnyDVM
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by JonnyDVM » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:51 pm

One star review for host. File a dispute with the specific details well documented (time booked, time cancelled) along with the 48 hr cancellation policy you saw on the website.

I would also file a complaint with the BBB of whatever state this is describing the hidden cancellation policy.

They are effectively trying to steal $1200 imo. If my credit card company wasnt willing to go to to bat for me on something as egregious as this, I would cancel the card immediately. They would have proven themselves worthless.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

Winston19
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by Winston19 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:04 pm

JonnyDVM wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:51 pm
One star review for host. File a dispute with the specific details well documented (time booked, time cancelled) along with the 48 hr cancellation policy you saw on the website.

I would also file a complaint with the BBB of whatever state this is describing the hidden cancellation policy.

They are effectively trying to steal $1200 imo. If my credit card company wasnt willing to go to to bat for me on something as egregious as this, I would cancel the card immediately. They would have proven themselves worthless.
I am not sure but I don't think that you can leave a review unless you actually stay at the listing.

scottgekko
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by scottgekko » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:15 pm

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:31 pm
OP here. Thanks to all replies. Some good information.

Just to clarify, although some listings do indeed show the Long Term Cancellation policy on the listing, this Host did NOT show that. In fact. under the policies section of the listing was only the "strict" 48 hour cancellation terms. We have a screen print. It was based on reviewing the policy on the actual listing that he felt he could cancel within that period.

Only after we called did AirBNB point us to a location in their general website.

Thanks again!
Yeah - that would certainly rub me the wrong way. How would the ordinary consumer know that there are multiple cancellation policies and how to know which one applies and when. If the actual listing says 48 hours, I would've assumed that to be accurate as well and not thought to go find another policy. It's just bad business to 'get' consumers with technicalities. Also, if the host rents out the unit anyway during that time period he basically doubles up.

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leeks
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by leeks » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:17 pm

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:31 pm
OP here. Thanks to all replies. Some good information.

Just to clarify, although some listings do indeed show the Long Term Cancellation policy on the listing, this Host did NOT show that. In fact. under the policies section of the listing was only the "strict" 48 hour cancellation terms. We have a screen print. It was based on reviewing the policy on the actual listing that he felt he could cancel within that period.

Only after we called did AirBNB point us to a location in their general website.

Thanks again!
In this case I would fight it, the policy visible when booking should be honored. A credit card chargeback seems the way to go if AirBnB will not resolve.

I think Virginia has a truth in advertising law that would apply, not sure if other states have something similar.

Iridium
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by Iridium » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:29 pm

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am
2 hours after booking he realized a house rules issue with the original reservation and cancelled it. Mind you 2 hours later.
Is the house rule legal in the state? If the problem is that they won't rent to someone under a certain age, there is a very good chance that is an illegal policy, especially in a long term rental which falls under a lot more intense fair housing rules. If the house rule is illegal, undo your cancellation with AirBnB and ignore the rule. If they give you flack, point out that you only cancelled because of the illegal posted rule.

Aside from the legalities, my general sense of fair play is to move on if someone doesn't want me. But if they want to force me to pay a month's rent by going by the letter of the agreement, that is just inviting you to return the favor.

dbr
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by dbr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:42 pm

My thought is that your son agreed to terms and conditions that referred to the not evident material. It is highly likely that the credit card company will come back with a response that the charge was justified if you attempt a charge back. The BBB is going to be useless. If you really think that there is a fraudulent misrepresentation on the website and feel that you have documentation to prove it you can try suing in small claims court.

I think the best approach is start a writing campaign to customer service at AirBNB and ask for consideration due to the house rules issue making clear that it was his mistake but it was an honest mistake. If you get a negative response go up the management ladder at AirBNB. It is not as if your son did not want to rent the property and would have absent the conditions. It might matter what the conditions are. If it were, for example, a prohibition on something your son can't control such as his age, then you have a stronger case for consideration. You can also try pointing out again that the policy was not clearly evident on the immediate web pages but avoid accusing anyone of anything.

edudumb
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:45 pm

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:31 pm
OP here. Thanks to all replies. Some good information.

Just to clarify, although some listings do indeed show the Long Term Cancellation policy on the listing, this Host did NOT show that. In fact. under the policies section of the listing was only the "strict" 48 hour cancellation terms. We have a screen print. It was based on reviewing the policy on the actual listing that he felt he could cancel within that period.

Only after we called did AirBNB point us to a location in their general website.

Thanks again!
I'm an Airbnb host. Airbnb lets us choose our cancellation policy (strict, flexible, etc), and the 48-hour cancellation policy was introduced and enforced by Airbnb itself some time ago. Airbnb hosts don't have a say about the 48-hr policy. The cancellation policy is shown on the listing page, and we don't get to "show" it or not.

Trader Joe
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by Trader Joe » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:46 pm

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am
I need the community's input. My son, in college, out of state, secured an internship for the Summer. On April 1, he booked a reservation on Airbnb For June 2nd through mid August in a city where the internship will take place, also out of state. From the website we saw there was a 48 hour Airbnb cancellation policy.

2 hours after booking he realized a house rules issue with the original reservation and cancelled it. Mind you 2 hours later.

The full period charge was over $3,000, placed on a credit card. It turns out that Airbnb is keeping $1,200 of that as a cancellation fee!! So there is now a $1,200 transaction showing on the credit card.

We called to complain and pointed out the 48 hour policy. Airbnb indicated that for "long term" rentals there is a 1 month penalty fee. They had to give us directions on the website to find this wording. It was not evident on the website nor when the reservation was made. So Airbnb will keep the $1,200.They said we could try and get the Host to waive the fee, but the host is adamant and will not waive.

Note the resevation is more than 60 days in advance. The Host will surely be able to re-rent. My son cancelled in 2 hours. AirBNB now says, sorry, "them the rules".

Anyone with any thoughts?

Thanks!
He cancelled. He will need to pay his bill.

michaeljc70
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:49 pm

Trader Joe wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:46 pm
stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am
I need the community's input. My son, in college, out of state, secured an internship for the Summer. On April 1, he booked a reservation on Airbnb For June 2nd through mid August in a city where the internship will take place, also out of state. From the website we saw there was a 48 hour Airbnb cancellation policy.

2 hours after booking he realized a house rules issue with the original reservation and cancelled it. Mind you 2 hours later.

The full period charge was over $3,000, placed on a credit card. It turns out that Airbnb is keeping $1,200 of that as a cancellation fee!! So there is now a $1,200 transaction showing on the credit card.

We called to complain and pointed out the 48 hour policy. Airbnb indicated that for "long term" rentals there is a 1 month penalty fee. They had to give us directions on the website to find this wording. It was not evident on the website nor when the reservation was made. So Airbnb will keep the $1,200.They said we could try and get the Host to waive the fee, but the host is adamant and will not waive.

Note the resevation is more than 60 days in advance. The Host will surely be able to re-rent. My son cancelled in 2 hours. AirBNB now says, sorry, "them the rules".

Anyone with any thoughts?

Thanks!
He cancelled. He will need to pay his bill.
I am curious what was disclosed when he hit "cancel". I assume it told him what he would lose before cancelling and need to be confirmed.

edudumb
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:52 pm

scottgekko wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:15 pm
stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:31 pm
OP here. Thanks to all replies. Some good information.

Just to clarify, although some listings do indeed show the Long Term Cancellation policy on the listing, this Host did NOT show that. In fact. under the policies section of the listing was only the "strict" 48 hour cancellation terms. We have a screen print. It was based on reviewing the policy on the actual listing that he felt he could cancel within that period.

Only after we called did AirBNB point us to a location in their general website.

Thanks again!
Yeah - that would certainly rub me the wrong way. How would the ordinary consumer know that there are multiple cancellation policies and how to know which one applies and when. If the actual listing says 48 hours, I would've assumed that to be accurate as well and not thought to go find another policy. It's just bad business to 'get' consumers with technicalities. Also, if the host rents out the unit anyway during that time period he basically doubles up.
The cancellation policies are listed on the listing page, and hosts get to choose which cancellation policy (designed by Airbnb) to use. Before Airbnb introduced the 48-hour cancellation policy (I think a year or so ago), hosts choosing strict policies could keep all the rents (minus Airbnb fees) even if guests canceled just 1 minute after booking when it's not long-term booking (if long-term, then hosts get to keep the 1st month's rent).

dbr
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by dbr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:02 pm

edudumb wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:45 pm
stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:31 pm
OP here. Thanks to all replies. Some good information.

Just to clarify, although some listings do indeed show the Long Term Cancellation policy on the listing, this Host did NOT show that. In fact. under the policies section of the listing was only the "strict" 48 hour cancellation terms. We have a screen print. It was based on reviewing the policy on the actual listing that he felt he could cancel within that period.

Only after we called did AirBNB point us to a location in their general website.

Thanks again!
I'm an Airbnb host. Airbnb lets us choose our cancellation policy (strict, flexible, etc), and the 48-hour cancellation policy was introduced and enforced by Airbnb itself some time ago. Airbnb hosts don't have a say about the 48-hr policy. The cancellation policy is shown on the listing page, and we don't get to "show" it or not.
Are you saying the one month rents penalty on long term rentals was shown on the listing page even though the OP seems to be claiming that that particular condition is not shown there and has to be found elsewhere? I just looked at an AirBNB listing to see what the cancellation policy information looks like and in fact you have to follow two links to get full information. But, what is shown on the listing page is the type of cancellation policy and the links correctly correlate to the type. I put a four day rental in for a property and they showed flexible cancellation policy. When I put in a four month stay that switched to long term policy with the thirty day forfeit. So that seems clear and straightforward.

So, why did the OP see the strict policy listed and then have the long term policy applied? I think if the case can be proved what was actually seen on a screen shot an written appeal to AirBNB would have to be honored. I wonder what that property would show if the reservation were attempted now?
Last edited by dbr on Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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4nursebee
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by 4nursebee » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:06 pm

Sounds like a good reason to read the rules first. A fair number of Airbnb reservation requests come from people that seem to fail to undergo any legit effort. Kind of a point and click generation?

For example, one of our listings clearly says in the title the words "shared bath"
Someone tried to make a reservation request and asked us if the reservation included a private bathroom.

We have also had folks try to reserve our listing for an event that was taking place several states away.

Others ask questions about how far we are from specific towns despite Airbnb having maps of listing locations.


We have had hotels not refund money when stays were altered because we paid a rate that did not include such flexibility.

As hosts, we have always refunded everything we got if things did not work out.

caveat emptor
4nursebee

edudumb
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:15 pm

dbr wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:02 pm
edudumb wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:45 pm
stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:31 pm
OP here. Thanks to all replies. Some good information.

Just to clarify, although some listings do indeed show the Long Term Cancellation policy on the listing, this Host did NOT show that. In fact. under the policies section of the listing was only the "strict" 48 hour cancellation terms. We have a screen print. It was based on reviewing the policy on the actual listing that he felt he could cancel within that period.

Only after we called did AirBNB point us to a location in their general website.

Thanks again!
I'm an Airbnb host. Airbnb lets us choose our cancellation policy (strict, flexible, etc), and the 48-hour cancellation policy was introduced and enforced by Airbnb itself some time ago. Airbnb hosts don't have a say about the 48-hr policy. The cancellation policy is shown on the listing page, and we don't get to "show" it or not.
Are you saying the one month rents penalty on long term rentals was shown on the listing page even though the OP seems to be claiming that that particular condition is not shown there and has to be found elsewhere? I just looked at an AirBNB listing to see what the cancellation policy information looks like and in fact you have to follow two links to get full information. In all fairness the links are clearly presented and correctly coordinated to the type of cancellation policy including long term which is the one that forfeits the first 30 days rent. In my opinion the presentation of the information is clear and straightforward, but I am an experienced web user and do a lot of arranging of my own travel and accommodations. I can see how a naive user could have missed these conditions, but frankly I also agree it was his own lack of diligence or lack of experience in how to do business on the web.
OP said that "this Host did NOT show that." So I was saying that hosts don't have a choice. The cancellation policy (flexible, strict etc) which is at the discretion of the host is shown on the listing page, but the details (terms and such) are on the general Airbnb page (I think it's a click away). The 48-hr cancellation policy is introduced and mandated by Airbnb, but Airbnb decides that it applies to only short-term rentals (whether the cancellation policy hosts set is flexible or strict).

I can understand that the OP is upset. But, I really don't see how it is any of host's fault. Host has no obligation to release the 1st month rents according to the terms.

There are only a very few things that OP can do to get the money back:
1) If the first day you go to the place, and the place isn't like what it's listed, you can complain and you probably can get the money back. But now OP cancelled the reservation, that option is gone.
2) OP can only get the address of the place after making the reservation. Use the address, go to the county's page and check the zoning and regulations. If OP finds anything violating the zoning regulations (for e.g., single-fam house but with multiple room listings at the same address), then you may make a case.
3) What is the housing rule issue that bothers OP? But most housing rules are written on the listing page before you make the reservation, some detailed rules may appear only after, but what issue is it?

edudumb
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:22 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:06 pm
Sounds like a good reason to read the rules first. A fair number of Airbnb reservation requests come from people that seem to fail to undergo any legit effort. Kind of a point and click generation?

For example, one of our listings clearly says in the title the words "shared bath"
Someone tried to make a reservation request and asked us if the reservation included a private bathroom.

We have also had folks try to reserve our listing for an event that was taking place several states away.

Others ask questions about how far we are from specific towns despite Airbnb having maps of listing locations.


We have had hotels not refund money when stays were altered because we paid a rate that did not include such flexibility.

As hosts, we have always refunded everything we got if things did not work out.

caveat emptor
We list private rooms (with shared bath), and many guests would think that they're getting a whole house (nothing shared). That's also a common reason for cancellation. People just don't read, but sometimes I can understand it. Some guests book Airbnb on their phones on the road, and they just don't have time to read everything.

dbr
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by dbr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:29 pm

edudumb wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:15 pm

OP said that "this Host did NOT show that." So I was saying that hosts don't have a choice. The cancellation policy (flexible, strict etc) which is at the discretion of the host is shown on the listing page, but the details (terms and such) are on the general Airbnb page (I think it's a click away). The 48-hr cancellation policy is introduced and mandated by Airbnb, but Airbnb decides that it applies to only short-term rentals (whether the cancellation policy hosts set is flexible or strict).

I can understand that the OP is upset. But, I really don't see how it is any of host's fault. Host has no obligation to release the 1st month rents according to the terms.

I agree. If the host said the policy was "strict" then it can't be there is a 30 day forfeit. If the policy stated was "long term" then there is a 30 day forfeit. None of this is about the host. The question is how did the OP see "strict" and the terms turn out to be "long term." It all comes down to demonstration of what was in fact on the listing page. Also there is the question of what is meant by AirBNB showing the OP some other page of terms and conditions. There is no other page aside from the links that detail the listed terms.

There are only a very few things that OP can do to get the money back:
1) If the first day you go to the place, and the place isn't like what it's listed, you can complain and you probably can get the money back. But now OP cancelled the reservation, that option is gone.
2) OP can only get the address of the place after making the reservation. Use the address, go to the county's page and check the zoning and regulations. If OP finds anything violating the zoning regulations (for e.g., single-fam house but with multiple room listings at the same address), then you may make a case.
3) What is the housing rule issue that bothers OP? But most housing rules are written on the listing page before you make the reservation, some detailed rules may appear only after, but what issue is it?

I guess if it is really true that the listing page said one thing and that can be proved and AirBNB tries to enforce something else, then that would be the leverage. I wonder what is on the listing page now if one puts in dates for a long term rental. Is it possible the host changed the policy between the reservation and the cancellation? Is there not a written confirmation of the reservation that lists the cancellation policy?

dbr
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by dbr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:34 pm

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am
I need the community's input. My son, in college, out of state, secured an internship for the Summer. On April 1, he booked a reservation on Airbnb For June 2nd through mid August in a city where the internship will take place, also out of state. From the website we saw there was a 48 hour Airbnb cancellation policy.

2 hours after booking he realized a house rules issue with the original reservation and cancelled it. Mind you 2 hours later.

The full period charge was over $3,000, placed on a credit card. It turns out that Airbnb is keeping $1,200 of that as a cancellation fee!! So there is now a $1,200 transaction showing on the credit card.

We called to complain and pointed out the 48 hour policy. Airbnb indicated that for "long term" rentals there is a 1 month penalty fee. They had to give us directions on the website to find this wording. It was not evident on the website nor when the reservation was made. So Airbnb will keep the $1,200.They said we could try and get the Host to waive the fee, but the host is adamant and will not waive.

Note the resevation is more than 60 days in advance. The Host will surely be able to re-rent. My son cancelled in 2 hours. AirBNB now says, sorry, "them the rules".

Anyone with any thoughts?

Thanks!
Did your son not get a written confirmation of the reservation with the cancellation policy stated on it? That would seem to be the one single determinative piece of evidence. After some exchanges here it would seem that all that is needed is email or a web page confirmation from AirBNB that the reservation is under the terms "Strict" cancellation policy. Almost always reservations for accomodations include a specific listing of terms of cancellation. If what he got has a cancellation policy written on it of "Long Term" then there is a problem. Note that I have been able to see that the cancellation policy shown for a listing will change according to the dates requested. It is easy to be looking at a page when it does not have the dates entered that actually apply to a specific reservation.
Last edited by dbr on Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

edudumb
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:39 pm

dbr wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:29 pm
edudumb wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:15 pm

OP said that "this Host did NOT show that." So I was saying that hosts don't have a choice. The cancellation policy (flexible, strict etc) which is at the discretion of the host is shown on the listing page, but the details (terms and such) are on the general Airbnb page (I think it's a click away). The 48-hr cancellation policy is introduced and mandated by Airbnb, but Airbnb decides that it applies to only short-term rentals (whether the cancellation policy hosts set is flexible or strict).

I can understand that the OP is upset. But, I really don't see how it is any of host's fault. Host has no obligation to release the 1st month rents according to the terms.

I agree. If the host said the policy was "strict" then it can't be there is a 30 day forfeit. If the policy stated was "long term" then there is a 30 day forfeit. None of this is about the host. The question is how did the OP see "strict" and the terms turn out to be "long term." It all comes down to demonstration of what was in fact on the listing page. Also there is the question of what is meant by AirBNB showing the OP some other page of terms and conditions. There is no other page aside from the links that detail the listed terms.

There are only a very few things that OP can do to get the money back:
1) If the first day you go to the place, and the place isn't like what it's listed, you can complain and you probably can get the money back. But now OP cancelled the reservation, that option is gone.
2) OP can only get the address of the place after making the reservation. Use the address, go to the county's page and check the zoning and regulations. If OP finds anything violating the zoning regulations (for e.g., single-fam house but with multiple room listings at the same address), then you may make a case.
3) What is the housing rule issue that bothers OP? But most housing rules are written on the listing page before you make the reservation, some detailed rules may appear only after, but what issue is it?

I guess if it is really true that the listing page said one thing and that can be proved and AirBNB tries to enforce something else, then that would be the leverage. I wonder what is on the listing page now if one puts in dates for a long term rental. Is it possible the host changed the policy between the reservation and the cancellation? Is there not a written confirmation of the reservation that lists the cancellation policy?
The cancellation policies that most hosts can choose are: Flexible, Moderate, and Strict. It's shown on the listing (hosts can't hide it). On the listing page, the cancellation policy is briefly described, but if you want to know the exact terms, then you need to go to another page.

Whether it's long-term or not depends on what dates the guest puts in, i.e. whether it's 28 days or more. The 48-hr cancel policy doesn't apply to long-term reservations (hosts don't have a say).

The host can change the cancellation policy anytime, but I think it's fixed for a reservation when the reservation is made.

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8foot7
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by 8foot7 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:41 pm

Dispute the charge. If there is this much confusion about it then that’s on Airbnb to refund after two hours. This wasn’t weeks later.

If dispute fails, then write out a letter to the HOA of the place and send it to the Airbnb host - “I’d like to work something out with you but I also feel a duty to let the governing body of your unit know that I was very dissatisfied as a short term renter of your unit with your policy, so I’m prepared to send this letter to your HOA, but if you can relieve my dissatisfaction then I won’t have any reason to send it”

dbr
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by dbr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:44 pm

edudumb wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:39 pm


The host can change the cancellation policy anytime, but I think it's fixed for a reservation when the reservation is made.
I made another post which brings up the point that what has to be seen is what was on the reservation confirmation. It is very easy to look at web pages where something such as the dates of reservation is different from what was actually entered as the reservation.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:49 pm

This may be strictly the OP's son's fault, but the complete contempt with which the organization and the host treat their customers is Exhibit A as to why I've largely stopped using VRBO or Airbnb. Enormous cleaning fees and use fees etc that are not obvious on the initial page remind me of how airlines used to treat customers before Congress mandated showing the all in price in the search results.

While possibly more expensive, though often not, I am more comfortable with a hotel as I know Hilton and Marriott will treat me with a modicum of decency even if I make an honest mistake. I'd also consider a hostel before a VRBO. I just don't trust those organizations one bit.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by Saving$ » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:20 pm

In many states and municipalities, it is illegal to collect double rent. Landlords that do this often owe the tenant double or triple damages.

I reread your initial post, but AirBnB wording is important.

So if the unit is in an area with that regulation and if the wording truly is that if you cancel, they keep the first month's rent, that unit should not be available for anyone else to rent during that first month. If the unit is available, and you have exhausted all of the above ideas, have someone with a different last name make a one night reservation at the beginning of your sons term (be sure there is 48 hour cancellation). Then contact the host and allow them to give your son the one month rent back or your son will take them to small claims court for collecting double rent. He is going to be in that area anyway for 3 months.
Then cancel the one night reservation within 48 hours.

However, if the wording is that a cancellation results in them keeping an amount equal to one month's rent as a cancellation fee, then it may be a different situation, but may still be worth pursing.

If the amount they are keeping was a deposit, ignore the above. Deposits can be forfeited for cancelling.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by curiouskitty » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:29 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:49 pm
This may be strictly the OP's son's fault, but the complete contempt with which the organization and the host treat their customers is Exhibit A as to why I've largely stopped using VRBO or Airbnb
Hmm seems strange. Airbnb is a marketplace with hosts and guests. They have created clear policies and made a page that shows examples of when you can cancel under each policy and what if anything you’ll pay. If Airbnb did not enforce this policy, then they would owe the host money according to the terms. Since there are people who want money on both sides, the only reasonable outcome from Airbnb itself is to enforce the policy.

As someone upthread noted, hotels charge for no shows or cancellations all the time. It all comes down to whether you booked a cheaper non-refundable rate (there may not be a choice). I consider needing to commit to not cancel a one night hotel stay to get a decent price to be pretty lame. Airbnb tends to have nicer policies (for example allowing 48 hours to cancel whereas most hotel sites give 24 hours) but for long term stays the rules are different. Very few people are going to stay in a Hilton for thirty days so a more accurate comparison would be Craigslist where you will never get a refund except by human decency.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:34 pm

curiouskitty wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:29 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:49 pm
This may be strictly the OP's son's fault, but the complete contempt with which the organization and the host treat their customers is Exhibit A as to why I've largely stopped using VRBO or Airbnb
Hmm seems strange. Airbnb is a marketplace with hosts and guests. They have created clear policies and made a page that shows examples of when you can cancel under each policy and what if anything you’ll pay. If Airbnb did not enforce this policy, then they would owe the host money according to the terms. Since there are people who want money on both sides, the only reasonable outcome from Airbnb itself is to enforce the policy.

As someone upthread noted, hotels charge for no shows or cancellations all the time. It all comes down to whether you booked a cheaper non-refundable rate (there may not be a choice). I consider needing to commit to not cancel a one night hotel stay to get a decent price to be pretty lame. Airbnb tends to have nicer policies (for example allowing 48 hours to cancel whereas most hotel sites give 24 hours) but for long term stays the rules are different. Very few people are going to stay in a Hilton for thirty days so a more accurate comparison would be Craigslist where you will never get a refund except by human decency.
+1 I totally agree

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leeks
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by leeks » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:47 pm

could try contacting:

Aisling Hassell
Global Head of Customer Experience
888 Brannan St. Floor 4
San Francisco, CA 94117
aisling.hassell@airbnb.com

contact info from: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/airbnb/

A well-intentioned customer who read about a 48-hour cancellation policy and was reasonably expecting it applied to his reservation should not be punished for cancelling 2 hours later. Something is wrong here. I don't care if it is noted in the details on other pages several clicks away that a different and worse policy would actually apply due to the length of stay. Whether it is truly enforceable as a legal contract or not, it is bad customer relations and bad for company image. They should resolve so in this situation customer should get money back.

I would think most hosts would just refund anyway - even if they didn't technically have to - for a situation like this. But if the host won't, the company should, if they care about their brand. They should probably just have a 48-hour cancellation for all far-in-advance reservations even if they are for long-term stays. Or they need a special pop-up box at booking that spells out the cancellation policy clearly and makes you check the box right before entering payment info - if it was not obvious to this customer it is probably not obvious to others. They can improve.

If attempting a credit card chargeback does not solve the issue, I would escalate as necessary. Show them the Bogleheads discussion so they know it is damaging their image among a desirable pool of potential customers and hosts!

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:54 pm

curiouskitty wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:29 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:49 pm
This may be strictly the OP's son's fault, but the complete contempt with which the organization and the host treat their customers is Exhibit A as to why I've largely stopped using VRBO or Airbnb
Hmm seems strange. Airbnb is a marketplace with hosts and guests. They have created clear policies and made a page that shows examples of when you can cancel under each policy and what if anything you’ll pay. If Airbnb did not enforce this policy, then they would owe the host money according to the terms. Since there are people who want money on both sides, the only reasonable outcome from Airbnb itself is to enforce the policy.

As someone upthread noted, hotels charge for no shows or cancellations all the time. It all comes down to whether you booked a cheaper non-refundable rate (there may not be a choice). I consider needing to commit to not cancel a one night hotel stay to get a decent price to be pretty lame. Airbnb tends to have nicer policies (for example allowing 48 hours to cancel whereas most hotel sites give 24 hours) but for long term stays the rules are different. Very few people are going to stay in a Hilton for thirty days so a more accurate comparison would be Craigslist where you will never get a refund except by human decency.
Nevertheless, a reasonableness factor is involved. The Airbnb platform is clearly being unreasonable even if the policy is clearly stated and legal. I don't do business with companies that treat me with such contempt. In contrast the Hilton and Marriott policies are reasonable, and they have occasionally gone beyond those policies under extenuating circumstances. In this case, what damage has Airbnb or the host suffered by an attempt to cancel a reservation more than two months away less than 2 hours after it was made? They are entitled to their policies but a self respecting consumer should think twice before doing business with them.

If OP exhausts all other avenues and facts are as stated, I would engage in a social media campaign of public shaming, negative reviews of the host, etc. Rights go both ways.

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fortfun
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by fortfun » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:59 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:54 pm
curiouskitty wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:29 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:49 pm
This may be strictly the OP's son's fault, but the complete contempt with which the organization and the host treat their customers is Exhibit A as to why I've largely stopped using VRBO or Airbnb
Hmm seems strange. Airbnb is a marketplace with hosts and guests. They have created clear policies and made a page that shows examples of when you can cancel under each policy and what if anything you’ll pay. If Airbnb did not enforce this policy, then they would owe the host money according to the terms. Since there are people who want money on both sides, the only reasonable outcome from Airbnb itself is to enforce the policy.

As someone upthread noted, hotels charge for no shows or cancellations all the time. It all comes down to whether you booked a cheaper non-refundable rate (there may not be a choice). I consider needing to commit to not cancel a one night hotel stay to get a decent price to be pretty lame. Airbnb tends to have nicer policies (for example allowing 48 hours to cancel whereas most hotel sites give 24 hours) but for long term stays the rules are different. Very few people are going to stay in a Hilton for thirty days so a more accurate comparison would be Craigslist where you will never get a refund except by human decency.
Nevertheless, a reasonableness factor is involved. The Airbnb platform is clearly being unreasonable even if the policy is clearly stated and legal. I don't do business with companies that treat me with such contempt. In contrast the Hilton and Marriott policies are reasonable, and they have occasionally gone beyond those policies under extenuating circumstances. In this case, what damage has Airbnb or the host suffered by an attempt to cancel a reservation more than two months away less than 2 hours after it was made? They are entitled to their policies but a self respecting consumer should think twice before doing business with them.

If OP exhausts all other avenues and facts are as stated, I would engage in a social media campaign of public shaming, negative reviews of the host, etc. Rights go both ways.
+1 letsgobobby

edudumb
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:17 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:54 pm
curiouskitty wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:29 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:49 pm
This may be strictly the OP's son's fault, but the complete contempt with which the organization and the host treat their customers is Exhibit A as to why I've largely stopped using VRBO or Airbnb
Hmm seems strange. Airbnb is a marketplace with hosts and guests. They have created clear policies and made a page that shows examples of when you can cancel under each policy and what if anything you’ll pay. If Airbnb did not enforce this policy, then they would owe the host money according to the terms. Since there are people who want money on both sides, the only reasonable outcome from Airbnb itself is to enforce the policy.

As someone upthread noted, hotels charge for no shows or cancellations all the time. It all comes down to whether you booked a cheaper non-refundable rate (there may not be a choice). I consider needing to commit to not cancel a one night hotel stay to get a decent price to be pretty lame. Airbnb tends to have nicer policies (for example allowing 48 hours to cancel whereas most hotel sites give 24 hours) but for long term stays the rules are different. Very few people are going to stay in a Hilton for thirty days so a more accurate comparison would be Craigslist where you will never get a refund except by human decency.
Nevertheless, a reasonableness factor is involved. The Airbnb platform is clearly being unreasonable even if the policy is clearly stated and legal. I don't do business with companies that treat me with such contempt. In contrast the Hilton and Marriott policies are reasonable, and they have occasionally gone beyond those policies under extenuating circumstances. In this case, what damage has Airbnb or the host suffered by an attempt to cancel a reservation more than two months away less than 2 hours after it was made? They are entitled to their policies but a self respecting consumer should think twice before doing business with them.

If OP exhausts all other avenues and facts are as stated, I would engage in a social media campaign of public shaming, negative reviews of the host, etc. Rights go both ways.
I really don't think the comparison with Hilton/ Marriott is fair.

When a hotel room is booked, the guest is promised a room (of a certain type), but the guest doesn't know which room (out of the hundreds on the hotel property) he's getting. Hotels have great flexibility to move guests around.

When an Airbnb room is booked, the guest is promised the same room listed. Airbnb hosts don't have the same flexibility, and therefore most don't offer the same "reasonable" cancellation policies.

In OP's case, his son cancelled 2 hrs after, and I agree that it doesn't do any damage to the host. Again, in the past, before the 48-hr cancel policy was in place, no refunds would happen whether a guest cancelled it one minute or one month later. Airbnb introduced the 48-hr cancel policy, and I don't know why it didn't apply to long-term stays. But the policy is there, and the host is promised the money. It's not fair for the host to release the money if he doesn't want to. Airbnb can pay OP back, but it'll come out of Airbnb's pocket.

You have to put into perspectives that a lot of guests cancel their reservations for a lot of nonsense reasons. As a host, I always tell people to make up their mind before they make the reservation. If they cancel, no refunds (within Airbnb's policies), but I sometimes offer them a discount should they book my place in the future. In OP's case, the host has no incentives to offer anything given OP's son will never stay at the place in the future.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by jjface » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:47 pm

The policy states:

"Each listing and reservation on our site will clearly state the cancellation policy. Guests may cancel and review any penalties by viewing their travel plans and then clicking ‘Cancel’ on the appropriate reservation. "

If the long term rental cancellation policy was not on the listing/reservation (you said you have a screenshot showing it showed the 48hr cancellation) or the penalty was not shown when you clicked cancel then airbnb or your cc company should help you out.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by Jags4186 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:57 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:41 pm
Dispute the charge. If there is this much confusion about it then that’s on Airbnb to refund after two hours. This wasn’t weeks later.

If dispute fails, then write out a letter to the HOA of the place and send it to the Airbnb host - “I’d like to work something out with you but I also feel a duty to let the governing body of your unit know that I was very dissatisfied as a short term renter of your unit with your policy, so I’m prepared to send this letter to your HOA, but if you can relieve my dissatisfaction then I won’t have any reason to send it”
The HOA won’t care. The CC company will likely not let you skate on a $1200 charge.

Unless there is blatant false advertising I suspect the OP is boned.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by jpsfranks » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:10 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:57 pm
The HOA won’t care. The CC company will likely not let you skate on a $1200 charge.

Unless there is blatant false advertising I suspect the OP is boned.
I'm not sure how important the amount is here to whether a chargeback will be successful. When I was handling merchant payments in a previous life chargebacks came with a $20 penalty to the merchant, which is likely around the fees that the CC company would have collected on this transaction anyway. The credit card companies collect something either way.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:16 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:57 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:41 pm
Dispute the charge. If there is this much confusion about it then that’s on Airbnb to refund after two hours. This wasn’t weeks later.

If dispute fails, then write out a letter to the HOA of the place and send it to the Airbnb host - “I’d like to work something out with you but I also feel a duty to let the governing body of your unit know that I was very dissatisfied as a short term renter of your unit with your policy, so I’m prepared to send this letter to your HOA, but if you can relieve my dissatisfaction then I won’t have any reason to send it”
The HOA won’t care. The CC company will likely not let you skate on a $1200 charge.

Unless there is blatant false advertising I suspect the OP is boned.
One guest booked my 3-bed apartment for some adults and one kid for a week or so. They canceled it right after they arrived. Their reason for the cancellation was that we didn't provide coffee filter (we forgot to fill up but would have bought them a whole pack if they asked) in our coffee machine. They said that in our listing we said our kitchen was fully-equipped, and that having a coffee machine without coffee filter did not make sense to them. They said they came to throw a birthday party for the kid, and now without a fully-equipped kitchen they had to cancel the party. They asked for a full refund, and we refused. They contacted Airbnb saying that our place wasn't as listed, and Airbnb refused to refund. They contacted CC company citing that we didn't provide the service, not sure what the CC company did but we weren't contacted.

I guess that Airbnb deals with many of this on a daily basis, and so does the CC company. Not that the OP is similar to the guest I mentioned, but perhaps in Airbnb/ CC company's eyes, there's no difference.

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Kenkat
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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by Kenkat » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:17 pm

With negative publicity on a high volume site such as this, I’d say the AirBNB brand has already suffered more than $1,200 of damage. Are you listening AirBNB? You should be...

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by IMO » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:48 pm

stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am

Note the reservation is more than 60 days in advance. The Host will surely be able to re-rent. My son cancelled in 2 hours. AirBNB now says, sorry, "them the rules".

Anyone with any thoughts?

Thanks!
What's interesting, is if this was a rental done via Craigslist for example, the owner/landlord would have to make a reasonable effort to re-rent the rental property at a similar and fair market price. Should the rental property not find a suitable property, then the owner/landlord would have a reasonable case to keep the "deposit".

I do wonder if one were to take the owner/landlord to small claims court, would the judge agree that essentially the AirBNB contract is a lease, and thus the owner/landlord would have to make reasonable effort (ie. re-list it on AirBNB) and show that he/she was unable to actually re-rent the property. Problem is it isn't really feasible to take the person to small claims court in some distant location far from home.

I think the only way this type of policy would be changed is if there were some sort of class action suit against AirBNB regarding this policy. In reality, that won't happen.

But for OP, perhaps you can "threaten" the AirBNB owner that you will be taking him/her to small claims court on the issue. Specifying, that if the person does not show relisting of the property and attempt to re-rent the property you will be attempting to show that the owner/landlord of this AirBNB "lease" basically violated typical rental policies/laws. This may make the person re-consider relisting the property and deciding that he/she should morally refund you funds should the property re-rent and he/she did not have any actual damages.

This is coming from a landlord.

We recently had a situation occur where a rental via something like booking.com did not allow us to cancel a reservation due to an injury and attempt to re-rent the condo for an extended weekend. Basic thought was try to re-list the rental and if it doesn't re-rent then no problem, we feel were are responsible for paying for the rental. No ethics/morals from the other side. Ended up not letting them know we were cancelling because no way in hell was I going to let them re-rent the place and get double rent.

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Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by edudumb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:00 pm

IMO wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:48 pm
stats99 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am

Note the reservation is more than 60 days in advance. The Host will surely be able to re-rent. My son cancelled in 2 hours. AirBNB now says, sorry, "them the rules".

Anyone with any thoughts?

Thanks!
What's interesting, is if this was a rental done via Craigslist for example, the owner/landlord would have to make a reasonable effort to re-rent the rental property at a similar and fair market price. Should the rental property not find a suitable property, then the owner/landlord would have a reasonable case to keep the "deposit".

I do wonder if one were to take the owner/landlord to small claims court, would the judge agree that essentially the AirBNB contract is a lease, and thus the owner/landlord would have to make reasonable effort (ie. re-list it on AirBNB) and show that he/she was unable to actually re-rent the property. Problem is it isn't really feasible to take the person to small claims court in some distant location far from home.

I think the only way this type of policy would be changed is if there were some sort of class action suit against AirBNB regarding this policy. In reality, that won't happen.

But for OP, perhaps you can "threaten" the AirBNB owner that you will be taking him/her to small claims court on the issue. Specifying, that if the person does not show relisting of the property and attempt to re-rent the property you will be attempting to show that the owner/landlord of this AirBNB "lease" basically violated typical rental policies/laws. This may make the person re-consider relisting the property and deciding that he/she should morally refund you funds should the property re-rent and he/she did not have any actual damages.

This is coming from a landlord.

We recently had a situation occur where a rental via something like booking.com did not allow us to cancel a reservation due to an injury and attempt to re-rent the condo for an extended weekend. Basic thought was try to re-list the rental and if it doesn't re-rent then no problem, we feel were are responsible for paying for the rental. No ethics/morals from the other side. Ended up not letting them know we were cancelling because no way in hell was I going to let them re-rent the place and get double rent.
Either Airbnb called the 1st month rent a rent, and blocked the host's calendar so the host would not be able to have new reservation during the paid period. Or, I think Airbnb called it a penalty, and the host is still allowed to take in new guests during the paid period.

multiham
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:28 am

Re: Huge AIrBNB Cancellation Charge

Post by multiham » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:11 pm

Two thoughts from me.

First, I have always stayed at hotels for business and vacation. I was just starting to look at AirBNB for our family vacation this summer since so many people talk about it. I can tell you that after this story, I have removed them from my consideration set. I'm sure that they don't care about losing 1 potential customer, but if enough people have bad experiences, it will hurt them.

For years, I owned a condo in a beach town in Maryland. Used to rent out our condo during the summer. We had a large management company handle our rentals for a % of the weekly rent. They also had a non-cancellation policy unless you purchased trip cancellation insurance. I can tell you that I personally refunded the rent in a couple of situations where the renters cancelled within a week or 2 of renting AND there was still time to find another renter. In all cases, I was also able to get the management company to refund their fee to the renters making them whole. I didn't have to do this, but I know that I would like to be treated the same way and these renters meant no harm to me.

I had one other situation where someone cancelled two weeks prior to the rental period. According to policy, I could have kept their $'s. Instead, I told them if I could rent the unit for the same price, I would refund their money. If I had to rent at a lower price, I would have refunded them the amount that I rented the place for. If I couldn't rent it, then there was nothing I could do.

Pretty said that AirBNB is willing to lose a customer and deal with the bad comments the renter will make to friends and family over $1200.

Locked