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They are trying to send you on a guilt trip. Politely and firmly state your case then end all messages. You can be sure they know exactly what the position is and are trying to force your hand. Resist and if it helps, think about the consequences for your family as its often instinctively easier to defend your loved ones rather than yourself. We are, after all, in a dire situation with the possibility of losing our businesses and livelihoods. Will these guests be on hand to help you out from the goodness of their hearts when that happens? I think not. If you read the huge number of messages on the BDC guest forum, the majority of guests who are complaining about this just really have not thought this through and are taking a ‘them and us’ stance. Its just not helpful to revert to that blinkered attitude and to think of hosts as enemy aliens unaffected by this situation.
I agree regarding non refund of non-refundable bookings. Travel insurance is available to purchase if a guest so wishes to do so. If he/she does not purchase it then the onus should not (and I will add - will not) fall to this particular host. This virus is affecting us all and therefore understanding HAS to flow in both directions between guest and host and the moral high-ground can also be taken by the host. We have families to feed and bills to pay and it is irrelevant what size of outfit we run.
I have been in one position of multiple calls from Booking.com in relation to one guest last week who wished to cancel free of charge but I politely refused each time and it was apparent that the legal agreement is still in place for non-refundable bookings. It is indeed only an ‘expectation’ by Booking.com and not a reversal of the legal terms and conditions which would really land them in hot water!
I have just received my first threat of ‘shaming’ me on social media by a guest from the USA. Unfortunately for him, I do not, nor ever will, respond well to bully’s and he has gone through an unpleasant but always polite, exercise in discovering this.
ps; I should add that said guest’s booking was for July.