Room cancellation after looking at the room


I am new to this post. I am writing this to seek some advice or pointers. Lately, I am facing this big problem where guest checks in go in the room and then say that the room is not clean or they don't like the room.If our manager asks to upgrade the room or ask to give some discount then the guest wants to get a full refund. If we insist on cancellation policy they become abusive and write bad reviews like nasty reviews. My manager takes photos of the room and doesn't see any problems in the room. We have newly renovated rooms. Please advise what should I do in that situation. And if the guest do damage in the room and we charge for incidentals they do the same thing.

thanks in advance

Aaltje B.

Hi Sannservices$

You can never prevent that people pull back, but make your policy strict and take lots and lots of photo's that will give the future guests a good idea.

And cleanliness should never be a topic of discussion. That everything is spotless and shines is a must even if it is one star or five stars.

I can remember being in a hotel somewhere in the Middle East. I was offered a "special - price" especially for us :) Well the sheets were not in order, they had been used by someone else. They were syntetic (ooo yack!) and the floor wasn't free from insects. It was horrible.

If I would have known it before, I wouldn't have done it.

Well this was 20 yeras back now, with no regulations, no internet, no photo's and...we were young too.

Now things have changed and people get lots of rooms to choose from.

To be in the top ten, your place has to stand out. Not for being not clean, I understand it is your honour to have it all presented very clean.

How to stand out: have nice coloured bedspreads and white spotless clean sheets and pillow covers are always admired, help with the luggage, good information about what to do / restaurants, cold water at arrival, a small chat, a big smile and everyone is happy. My listing has only one bed. I have done my best to create a very comfortable bed. And people love it. Never had one complaint. Aahh well, one time. I think she ate a lemon that morning, haha. I will add a picture of the bed. Can you show a picture of the beds in your hotel, please?


Aaltje B.

Joe's Lookout …

Sannservices, am sorry for you it cannot be a nice thing to deal with. Sounds to me like your presentation (online) of the property and your physical presentation (what the place looks like and feels like) might differ somewhat and that guests like it enough to book it but not enough to stay.

No need to be upset about that, this is all helpful feedback for your business. I would look back at when this happened and write down the feedback they gave and act upon it. If you have bad reviews for cleaning, you might need to clean more and address the specific concerns. I would even mention in description that you have new cleaning contractors. Because most guests won't stay in a place that has been rated as dirty. Secondly, when you have guests from all over, their standards of what is clean might differ from the property owners' or yours. So, can you get some other people to come and have a look and give you feedback (some locals). Are your pictures too nice? Do they actually represent the rooms?

Best of luck to you. And keep going


That happens because modern guests have created a sweet cheap escape out of review system. They use any trick to stay for free and harrass with bad review. You see, they don't even want a discount, but full refund!

Because many guests have already cheated many properties in the world. They travel for free and post nice pictures on Instagram, in bikini in Thailand and a la expensive business suit in Dubai. Later on they laugh at "studfsddd" manager, who got scared of classic: Not clean! I will write a bad review! I will complain to Booking/Airbnb/police.

Classetter is confused what's going on? They clean well! They take pictures of it! They even offer discount which simply translates to us, hosts - pay for your guest. And your doctor later for damaged health.

Dear hosts, let this message serve as warning. I hope we can unite our efforts to fight scammers, not guests.

"If we insist on cancellation policy they become abusive and write bad reviews like nasty reviews."

You need to sit down with your managers and decide what's your strategy. Cancelation on Booking is 2 party process. You can't cancel on behalf of guest. He must agree to your cancelation request.

If you keep your strict cancelation policy, then negative reviews definitely will follow. Can you survive in business with a lot of bad reviews?

Another strategy is to have flexible policy in order to avoid being blamed for any money. This is not complete solution to avoid scammers, but will lessen them and give you a chance to guest agree to cancel.

Another and very important. No stay, no bad review!!! (on Airbnb its possible, on Booking its not!.. Despite everyone complaining about review system).

Find a way to undetify what is the exact goal of your client. True, some people can be obsessed with hygiene thinking they are at home and not at 2 star hotel for a sweet price. But they are few. If person makes your manager feel going crazy, if he complains too much, demands too much, harrasses and even uses verbal abuse... Just step away and think - is his real intent a free stay? Why he didn't accept discount? Why MONEY is the end goal of all his issues raised?

If you think Money and free stay is his "problem", reply to him in his own language, that he will understand. Yes, talk about money. Tell him that:
Not following hotel policies are the basis to charge...
Booking might charge penalties, because you report "misconduct"..
You will see how he is disappearing fast while making a cancelation, so you can accept next client. Just make sure that you really do not owe him anything, so he will not come back.

Joe's Lookout …

Katerina I have never had such a situation. Is this particular to certain type of accommodation? I do hear colleagues on AIRBNB say that some guests will always complain about cleanliness. The only 'retort' is they will send someone to clean it again, and the guests usually say 'no I will clean it myself' but they don't get abusive.


Airbnb entertains any kind of complaint. Its enough to send pictures with signs of dirt even if they are downloaded from Internet and no traces that's in your property.

Moreover, the request is sent AFTER the guest stay. All you see it that running rat left your place early morning (when you cant come as the guest is inside, and your pictures and even official documents will not be entertained).

Security deposit funds of one million is another trick, because you will never be given any money for damage, because filing request in real life is impossible. You must:

1) ask the guest to return the money BEFORE any request to Airbnb. Will that take time, you think?

2) must do not have any other guest NEXT after suspect thief. Quite impossible, right?

3) if you have reservations after the thief and you will cancel them, you will be charged 100 dollars EACH reservation. And Airbnb will close your account if you have more than 3 cancelations.

So, you will never receive any money for the damages! Unless you are a problematic property and have reservation once in a blue moon. And stars shined upon on you: thief said "yes, I stole" and Airbnb robot said "Yes, I believe"...


Type of accommodation matters, but not completely a guarantee.

Scammers do not go to 5 stars hotels as they have so much security, and staff, and strict rules that will be hard to cheat. For instance, it's hard to check in into 5 star hotel without leaving big security deposit and having your face on cameras.

2-3 stars is the best for scammers and especially private apartments as usually its one person involved, the owner. Or even cleaner, who can't fight properly as its not his property.

Number of reviews does not matter. If you have few reviews, Airbnb will not believe any of your comments, since you are "newbie". Many reviews are beneficial to the scammer too as the host will be scared to damage his good record.

Guest houses might experience less scammers, because the owner or even a few are around. Another "problem" for the scammers, many guest houses are located in secured communities and in small cities, where people might know all neighbors and local police.

Location matters. My place is 600m away from airport. Just scam and go. Country matters. All drug users, criminals and other problematic people just love Thailand, Philippines and other "3rd world countries".

All the above is for money and free stay. When it comes to stealing and physical fights, you will experience them a lot if you are the owner of the hostel.


"The only 'retort' is they will send someone to clean it again, and the guests usually say 'no I will clean it myself' but they don't get abusive."

These are normal guests. Scammers will contact Airbnb or Booking secretly from you just before midnight. Hoping that you are sleeping. So, they will have a sort of record. And very early morning they are gone after staying for free, as they get refund immediately! You will not even have time to collect the evidence especially if that's official documents.


"At this point, the guest will probably stay at the listing tonight, as it is already late to find a different place to stay. However, I need to inform you that we need to resolve this situation by tomorrow, otherwise the reservation will end and the guest will be refunded for 50% of the first night and 100% of the remaining nights.

We will reach out to you tomorrow morning once again, in order to resolve this situation and find the best solution for both you and the guest."

They have contacted me at MIDNIGHT, saying that the guest will stay, I will be deprived from payment (50%) and tomorrow they find the BEST solution for BOTH of you"


When I asked why they kept me awake whole night while the guest was comfortably sleeping at my own expense, they said I must be always available!!!


They wrote:

"According to our Terms of service, the host should always be available throughout the guest's stay, in case situations like this occur.

Read more on our Hosting Standards:

My reply:

"I don't see in the rules that I must be available at 1am for Airbnb staff. It is radical difference between the guest and the Airbnb staff. Please, show me where did I agreed to be contacted by Airbnb staff at 1 am in the morning."

By this time I have wrote them 5(!) requests asking where did I allow them to bother me at midnight, but they simply ignored them.

Joe's Lookout …

WOW. What a situation! Thanks for the heads up. It has happened to me, only once mind you, years ago I let out a luxury home for thousands fo euros, for a month, and the family came and said the house was dirty. I got the director of a competing real estate agency to come and check on it and he found it to be spic and span. So in the end the family had to admit that they were city dwellers that found the location too remote and the house too rustic (it was by the sea) and built in the 60s. They paid half the rent and I didn't recover the rest. These days things would be different and we have platforms like Booking to show the property and the location etc (though I am learning that guests don't read...)

So I think it can happen that sometimes people use cleanliness as an excuse when they don't like the place and want to leave. But I wasn't aware of the scam in this situation. How are owners responding to the scam?


Early morning they wrote that they abandoned the "hot water issue" after I asked them to give me few hours to get official documents from our building engineers to prove that we have hot water.

When my staff came at 9am, the complaining guest was gone... Leaving the room in a bed condition, with towels and bedsheets on the floors and a lot of empty bottles of alcohol in trash can.

All I received from Airbnb is "warning for cleanliness", money deducted from my account and harrassing me to delete my account. After that they ignored all my messages.


"They paid half the rent and I didn't recover the rest."

How were you able to do that? I am sure, if that's in the court, the judge will say that 50% is good compromise. May be Airbnb uses 50% thinking its a compromise, but in fact it's not. The mortgage and running expenses are higher. Not to mention damages such destroyed property and bad reviews.

At least Booking doesn't intervene with any "half half". Its either there is a Booking or there is not (canceled).

It happened to me that the guest canceled his booking right after he checked in after midnight. Again thinking that we will not notice or will be sleeping. But young guy sent me stupid jokes like asking to give him view of the city and free breakfast. When my unit is located on the ground floor and we don't have any breakfast...

After I checked his background, he is a guy from Saudi, who just travels the world by scamming hotel owners. He sent to my househelper the screenshot of his bill charges to hotel in Oman, and she was so frustrated not understanding that's hotel in Oman that was just about to give him money back.

Be careful, you can't cancel one way if you are a host on Booking. But the guest can.

As for Airbnb it's the biggest problem. I already could sense that yesterday guest was problematic because she started with complaints before even to check in. Such as demanding early check in for free is also common in scammers. Of course, she didn't cancel. She waited for midnight to scam me.

Now, what will happen if I am the one to cancel? $100 penalty and closure of account after 3 cancelations.


I am also thinking about longterm bookings (and your story also). It's extremely risky to allow long-term stays, especially on Airbnb. Anyone can complain about "cleanliness" or basically about a bad host and get full refund.

Also Airbnb staff are not professional host. They are low paid long distance workers of young age and light head. They have only idea how to get their salary on time and have no idea how the host feels paying for mortgage, staff, doing his best to accommodate strangers with unknown background. The question is who pays???