Author Topic: airbnb refund....for homesickness???  (Read 3311 times)

LadyStache in Baja

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airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« on: September 22, 2015, 08:21:31 PM »
My guest has been here for just a few days, says he loves the apartment, the place, it's not "us", it's just that he misses his kids and isn't getting the work done he thought he would get done, being away from them.  And he's just been doing fun stuff, like hitting up all the beaches by bicycles, but that's not what he came here to do, and if he's going to do fun stuff, then he'd rather do it with his kids.

So the kids are coming this upcoming Friday, and leaving on Sunday and he's supposed to stay a whole week after that, but he wants to leave on Sunday when they do, and asked for some sort of refund, although he totally understands if we say no.

He's so nice!  I mean I really really like the guy!  I just don't get why he would even put me in this position, considering that it's totally not my fault that he's not making the most of his time away from the kids and in fact misses them.
Contractually, you have to cancel 1 week ahead of time to get 50% back. 
So, funny thing is that I already spent 85% of the money he deposited.  So the max refund i could give is 15%.  I think I'm going to go ahead and do it, just for public relations purposes. 

What do you guys think?  Do you have experience with this?  Am I being too soft?

iamlindoro

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 09:55:32 PM »
I admire your compassion-- frankly, I probably would not refund anything.  I would gently explain that had he not attempted to cancel, you could have easily filled the property for the following week, but that now it is simply too late to do so.  As a result, and in accordance with your stated cancellation policy, you are unable to offer a refund.

Anyway, that's what I would do, but I couldn't fault you for doing otherwise.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 11:22:33 AM »
iamlindoro- Thanks for your reply.  That's sweet of you to admire my "compassion", however I think its actually something more like "fear of being perceived a bitch", or being an adamant people-pleaser.

I'm pretty sure you're right.  That's the right answer!  This is a business, we've got lots of our dollars tied up in our property and we depend on it to make a living.  We have a cancellation policy in writing, so that should just be the end of it. 

Anybody else have any suggestions?  I also thought of offering him a week's credit towards a future vacation....

cjl98

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 12:55:37 PM »
I had something like this happen too.  The guest booked for 3 weeks and left after 2.5 weeks.  We got an email the day after she left saying she loved the house but wanted to go back home. We didn't offer a partial refund nor did she ask.  Personally I could never imagine leaving early and wasting over $500 for the nights not stayed.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 01:54:43 PM »
cjl98 Would you have refunded had they asked? 

I asked on an airbnb forum, and a couple have mentioned Modifying the reservation to open up the dates, and then IF someone else books those dates, to go ahead and refund the overlapped days.

That sounds like a reasonable solution.

Josiecat

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 03:19:52 PM »
I think I would refund.  Good will goes a long way.  If he leaves on good terms he may return to your property, or tell others about it. 

Paul der Krake

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 03:24:04 PM »
I asked on an airbnb forum, and a couple have mentioned Modifying the reservation to open up the dates, and then IF someone else books those dates, to go ahead and refund the overlapped days.
That's a great solution. Do that.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 06:13:07 PM »
Josiecat yes!  I agree about goodwill, which is why I even thought about refunding in the first place!  The legal answer is no, but the moral one is up for grabs. 

Thanks for taking the time to respond and help me work through this.  More hosts answers on the airbnb forum have been pouring in all day and they're all adamantly against refunding, except for two that mention refunding if and only if someone books his dates.

So I think I'll do that.  It seems fairest to both of us, and hopefully he'll see the effort on my part and leave a good review!

babysteps

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2015, 09:17:41 AM »
one more thought - you could issue a certificate good toward future stay (as opposed to cash refund).  Again, IF the nights are booked by others.

If you issue a certificate, you might want to denominate it in $, not in # of nights, and/or put an expiration date on it; also, "not transferable"...and whatever other caveats an issuer typically includes.

clarkfan1979

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Re: airbnb refund....for homesickness???
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2015, 01:21:36 PM »
I will echo two of the above suggestions. Only give a cash refund if you can rent it out during his reservation time. Full or partial depending on how many days overlap. Two, you could give him a voucher to use in the future on another trip. In addition, I would only let me use the voucher during a time that it will likely be empty and not used. If he uses the voucher during a high demand period in which it would have been rented by paying customers, then you are out money again.