WEIGH WHAT YOU SAY AND WAIT FOR A REPLY
I just had a guest write me a slightly panicked message about one of her reunion group being unable to make the trip due to illness and inquired about our cancellation policy. Mind you – the reservation was for 2 DAYS AWAY. The trap many would fall into, would be to give a panicked reply giving an overall message of ‘Hell no’. Don’t match the guests off kilter attitude in these cases.
Rather, give some level-headed guidance and throw in a concession as well. First, I said I was sorry about the health of one of the group of 5 and then laid out our Airbnb strict cancellation policy and that it meant a forfeit of the entire amount since it was less than a week away. BUT, I offered to override our policy and allow a 50% refund. This was a very logical and well intentioned guest. She replied that she understood my position and would get back to me. Now, some guests can be nasty and try to pull the ‘extenuating circumstances’ card and get out of the whole deal without any forfeit of cash. This guest was genuine and worried about the sick member of the vacation crew.
After her gentle reply that she understood and would get back to me, I gave her a slight nudge saying that the 50% offer was good until noon so we could try to market the property on such short notice to another party. A couple hours later, she replied that the (healthy) members of the group were going to come any way with the hopes that the infirmed party would be able to join at some point. Everyone wins in this case. I kept my booking, the guest lost no dollars and the trip is on! Think about it, if out the gate, if I was nasty and said ‘hell no’ – that would have set the rest of the play up for disaster, ill will, bad blood, whatever. Don’t go negative. Take the high road and let the situation sort itself out. It’s not worth raising your blood pressure and that of the guest.
Be a psychologist not an antagonist.