Cancelled bookings

Hello,

Due to the COVID-19 developments, guests are understandably cancelling their reservations. What I don’t understand, however, is the manner in which PeerSpace is handling the money they collect due to cancellation.

In one case, the guest cancelled in time, and PeerSpace collected 50 percent of the money she paid because the guest decided to postpone her booking. However, PeerSpace did not pay me any of the collected funds.

In another case, the guest cancelled less than 24 hours prior to his event. I received an email from PeerSpace that the guest cancelled. The cancellation occurred before PeerSpace changed its cancellation policy. When I checked the booking online, it was completely deleted. I contacted PeerSpace via email, and so far all I received was boilerplate explanations about their new cancellation policy. I asked that they call me for more effective communication, but I was told “at this time we are unable to communicate by phone.”

Now, PeerSpace is cancelling bookings on its own. According to a message I received from them yesterday, they are cancelling bookings through March 27th. Yet, they are offering to the guest to cancel a booking on April 16th!

PeerSpace is offering “Peerspace Credit for the full booking total that they may use to rebook on a future date.” However, if PeerSpace is retaining any funds from guests, I think it’s only fair that they pay us our share. Money collected from guests on our behalf must be paid to us.

Please let me know what your thoughts are,
Maria

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Yes, this same thing just happened to me today. I don’t know if peerspace or
the guest canceled but the booking is canceled and Peerspace is giving
them a credit for future booking. This is outrageous! I’ve held this booking for 2 months now and have turned down others that came to me directly, that I know I could have rescheduled easily. Why is peerspace keeping the money? I should still receive full payment for this booking. I’m so pissed right now. And btw, I have no problem rescheduling my guests booking for anytime later in the year. I’m angry that it appears peerspace is holding the money.

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In addition, if I am to understand properly, if Peerspace is giving credit for a future booking, it does not necessarily mean a future booking from the same host they are canceling on.

Yes how peerspace is handling this is absolutely outrageous. Peerspace owners if you are reading this… you have left your hosts and supposed partners high and dry, keeping hold of money that we were relying on and was rightfully ours. Majority of your hosts are small businesses who rely on this money to survive and pay the rent for all the venues that makes your company money. We will remember the companies who actually reached out with concern to us and worked on ways to help us and those who made our situations even worse. Shame on you!!!

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Has anyone checked yet how the other platforms are handling this? I’ve only had conversations going on Peerspace about potential bookings (of course all those shoots postponed), no booking at this time.

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The way Peerspace is handling this is absolutely disgusting !!

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Attila, thank you for your post and bringing this to us other hosts’ attentions. Do you have the direct link to Peerspace’s new cancellation policy due to COVID-19?

All- Thanks for bearing with us. This has been a very trying time for Peerspace and its employees. I’m sure you can relate as all small businesses are having the same issues right now. One result has been that our communication to the community has suffered over the last week or so. We are trying to rectify that.

As more areas of the country move to shelter-in-place, we are seeing a huge increase in cancellations. We believe this will only continue.

Our first priority for any potential cancellation is for the guest to rebook with you at a later date. We strongly encourage you and your guest to rebook to a future date, even if it is a placeholder date while they firm up their plans. You can do this via the website now. If we have cancelled an upcoming booking in error, please let us know and we will reinstate it or re-book it on your behalf for a future date.

If the guest is unsure of their future plans, we will issue them a credit towards a future purchase on Peerspace. This keeps these dollars within the system so that they can go to a Peerspace host in the future.

As always, hosts are paid out once an event occurs. This is true of Peerspace as well – we only take our fees when the event occurs. Until then we don’t book any revenue.

Lastly, as a reminder, when a guest receives a full refund, Peerspace takes no fees from the transaction.

I hope this clarifies things. Thanks again for bearing with us. We will do our best to provide updates as the COVID-19 situation evolves. I hope everyone is safe and healthy.

Eric Shoup
CEO Peerspace

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My Dear Mr. Shoup…Fortunately, I have no bookings that are affected by the COVID-19 situation. That being said, if I did have cancellations due to this pandemic, I would certainly not tolerate my guests receiving a credit for a future booking unless that is what they are agreeing to. I find it outrageous that, at a time when we are in the middle of losing lives, and jobs, and more financial downside coming, that Peerspace, and you, Mr. Shoup are posturing in such an insensitive manner. Unless I am misunderstanding your policy, I smell greed in the Peerspace air.

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Yes, Peerspace is doing a very poor job handling this. In most cases, I’ve had to beg for my guests to be refunded. I have hosts having baby showers and bridal showers that, understandably, don’t want or need a future Peerspace credit. They deserve a refund and Peerspace refuses to give them one. To be a responsible business owner, I’ve provided refunds to those guests but I am literally losing money. Even if I get the payout for their booking, I’m paying the 15% fee Peerspace charges the guest and the 15% fee they take from me and I never see either. I’ve been very happy with Peerspace so far but their handling of this seems very strange and like an attempt to keep all the money they can and kind of screw everyone else in the process.

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Dear Mr. Shoup,

First, I wanted to thank PeerSpace for allowing us to list our venues. For the most part, it has been a satisfying experience. Now, however, that the economy is crumbling into pieces, and especially the event/venue rental business, the way PeerSpace operates is placed under a microscope.

I’ve been trying to piece together the legal framework of PeerSpace’s operations. As I understand it, and please correct me if I’m wrong, PeerSpace is both an agent and an escrow company. It is an agent because it is collecting a percentage of the booking fees, and it is an escrow company, because it holds the money in its bank account until it is disbursed.

As an agent, it appears to represent both the hosts and the guests. This, of course, could lead to a conflict of interest, as I believe it has recently due to the coronavirus situation.

First, I believe it is improper for PeerSpace to change its cancellation policy in favor of the guests without consulting the hosts. As hosts, we have relied on PeerSpace’s stated cancellation policy - less than 7 days, 50 percent refund to the guest; less than 24 hours, no refund. I do not remember seeing anywhere that due to an Act of God (earthquake, epidemic etc.), PeerSpace reserves the right to change the cancellation policy without any notice.

A booking essentially is a contract between the hosts and the guests, facilitated by PeerSpace as the agent. Because PeerSpace is acting as an agent/escrow company for the hosts, PeerSpace has a fiduciary duty towards the hosts. Therefore, it cannot unilaterally decide overnight that it will change its cancellation policy.

In one of my cases I mentioned previously, the guest cancelled his booking less than 24 hours prior to the event, and before PeerSpace even published its new cancellation policy. Despite numerous emails to PeerSpace, as of today I am still in the dark as to what PeerSpace decided to do with this specific booking. As I mentioned previously, the booking completely disappeared from my message board. And I still don’t know whether PeerSpace refunded the guest’s money or gave him :“PeerSpace credit.” If the former, based on what published policy? If the latter, again, based on what published policy?

Because the guest cancelled less than 24 hours prior to the booking, as the host, I was entitled to my share of the amount he deposited. I don’t believe PeerSpace had the right to decide the fate of this money without first consulting me, and I respectfully request an explanation and possibly a payout, if warranted.

As far as PeerSpace’s new policy about cancelling bookings on its own, again, I think it is violating its fiduciary duties to hosts and essentially amending contracts retroactively without notice. First, it appears PeerSpace contacted the guests without any advance notice to the hosts and offered them to cancel for PeerSpace credit, instead of facilitating alternative arrangements between the hosts and the guests. How is it possible for PeerSpace to communicate with the guests outside of PeerSpace only to penalize hosts for doing the same? *

I specifically have two bookings that still say “cancel pending,” cancellations that were initiated by PeerSpace immediately after it sent out an email that it will be instituting yet another cancellation policy. One booking was for March 21st, and the guest never cancelled. Therefore, PeerSpace should be sending me a payout. As of today, I have yet to receive an answer from customer service regarding this booking.

As far as the second “cancel pending” booking, it is scheduled on April 16th, Although it’s not even covered by the time frame announced by PeerSpace’s email (March 27th), yet apparently PeerSpace contacted the guest with the PeerSpace credit offer. Again, I have yet to receive a response to my inquiry from PeerSpace to clarify the status of this booking.

I am sure PeerSpace is hard-hit by the coronavirus situation, just as us hosts are. But we embarked on this business venture together, and one should not try to take any unfair advantage over the other, or at least give the appearance of impropriety, in these challenging times.

As hosts, I believe, we deserve a better explanation, accountability, transparency and fairness from PeerSpace to restore confidence to our business relationship.

Thank you,
Maria

  • Not too long ago, PeerSpace took away my power host designation because I dealt with a guest outside of the PeerSpace app (I collected $100 overtime from the guest because I thought PeerSpace neglected to do so). They stripped me of this designation without notifying me, even though I was in communication with them and ultimately refunded the guest’s money. Luckily, once I brought this issue to their attention, they restored it. This is how seriously they handled one transgression. It is important that they are playing by the same strict rules when it comes to dealings with the guests.
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“Our top priority is the health and well-being of our community and we remain committed to supporting you in this time of uncertainty.”

I find this laughable.

Their top priority is their own bottom line.

If they truly cared about the guests, they’d refund their money (or release the hold or whatever). Many of these guests are now about to be put into financial hardship, and might really need those funds.

If they insist on credit only, then it should be because they are trying support the hosts on their platform. Therefore, the credit should be only with the original host, unless that host goes out of business.

Peerspace is screwing both hosts and guests.

It’s so frustrating, because I tried every event service when I started, and Peerspace is the only one that got me results. Because of what they offer for their 15%, and because I don’t have my own contract, and like that they handle the money and insurance, I have even been sending guests that I found through my own efforts to PS to book.

I feel this shortsighted and selfish emergency policy is seriously tarnishing PS’s brand. I hope not too much damage is done to their trustability, as I don’t have a good alternative.

Maybe Peerspace is better to answer this, but I believe they put a hold on the CC for the funds, and don’t actually hold the funds in their own account?

Hi Eric

I am glad you chimed in because I am new at peer space and when I saw your top hosts complaining about how you are handling money, I got seriously concerned about the legitimacy of your organization.

As an Air BNB and Home Away host, the cancellation policies, payout, and refund process is very transparent. And they do not hold money for the possibility of a future booking in order to “Keep Cash in the System”.

I would hope that Peer Space is liquid enough to cover such Force Majors as COVID and would not need to rely on Holding other people’s money.

Please understand that in my view, your holding other people’s money for the purposes of your business does not release that cash for the businesses of your guests or your hosts. You are earning income based on your investment and savings schemes and not to mention other financial loopholes you have discovered and are enriching yourselves by holding this cash.

Your hosts, can also HOLD the cash by receiving it now and reserving the space on the calendar. To ask people to reserve a “ghost” space on the future unknown calendar with cash to leverage that hold is absolutely unacceptable to me.

Please explain how you plan to share your interest earnings on this cash with your hosts.

My guest wants a full refund and they are within the cancellation period to get a full refund. Their event is not going to be rescheduled and they have no plans to use Peerspace. They are not being given a choice for full refund. Only credit or rebook. How do they cancel for a full refund?

All set, responded to your email!