New Cancellation Policy and Process

#1

Hi host community!

Peerspace’s mission is to create a delightful experience for both hosts and guests booking for many different activities. As Peerspace has grown, our original cancellation policy created in 2014 is no longer living up to this mission. Guests expect a smoother cancellation process and the option to choose a space that features a cancellation policy that works for their activity.

We are excited to announce a complete overhaul of the Peerspace cancelation policy and process designed to provide more clarity and ease of use. We realize that each space is different, so we have created four policies for you to choose from. Please visit your “Listings” page, read the policy descriptions carefully, and select the one that best fits with your space. We’ve also updated the cancellation grace period to be better aligned with industry standards and guest expectations.

Your selected policy will apply to all new confirmed bookings beginning March 25th. To reduce guest confusion, your selected policy will be clearly displayed on your listing page and at checkout. Cancellations for these bookings will now be automated through the Peerspace platform. This means that when a guest cancels, we will automatically process the cancellation and any applicable refunds and payouts. We will notify hosts of the cancellation and display a summary in your inbox.

As always, our support team is available to you for any questions or circumstances that require help. Thank you for hosting on Peerspace.

Best,
Rony

3 Likes
#2

Hi- Thanks for doing this. My feeling and experience in other industries says, less is more. It seems that the option of Flexible really puts hosts at a disadvantage and booking the listings is how we all earn a living… On the one hand it favors the client being able to hold, shop around and cancel at the last minute cutting out possible other bookings for the host,( no way to secure a replacement booking at the last minute) let alone that booking is not in any way dependable for the host. Also, the host may have to link with other vendors, services and/or requirements by guests and spend a lot of time back and forth answering questions to accommodate the guest potentially without compensation after booking. It also seems to favor the option to be listed higher up on Peerspace? I’d love to see that option eliminated because it puts the host in a negative position. It’s kind of similar to the idea of vastly underpricing as it undervalues the cost of doing business in any business and forces many people out of business in the long run. Just my .02 I’d love to hear other host’s feedback.

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#3

I agree. Frankly, I think the strict” option is the most reasonable.

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#4

Trish, I couldn’t agree more. I’m going to compose my thoughts and post a thorough response to Rony but at first pass, this new cancellation policy appears to be a travesty and several steps in the wrong direction. Even the mislabeled ‘very strict’ is wildly unfair to hosts. Looking forward to see other hosts reactions.

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#5

I agree with all the people saying that this new policy is not good for hosts. Since hosts always had the option to override the cancellation policy, there is no need for adding this option.

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#6

Agreed. I do about four gigs a month. The first thing that comes to my mind is,… the old cancellation policy was just fine. It didn’t need to be updated or changed. The new options don’t add any value to the hosts and property owners. Further, when you have four different options, the cancellation policies are now not standardized across your local market. Causing hosts to now compete on cancellation policies, based on, who is willing to compromise and drop their pants the most. What was the point? The four options have nothing attractive to offer hosts. In regards to all the business we are bringing in for you as your partners, “Thanks”?

I just set mine at “strict”. It was the only option I could really choose. We are your partners bringing you the business, not flaky renters. Take care of your hosts, stop babysitting renters. Classic case of tinkering with something that didn’t need to be fixed. :roll_eyes:

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#7

I don’t understand why we only get 50% whilst peerspace gets their full fee. Doesn’t seem fair. Also who can book their space in 24 hours. All of the cancellation policies give guests 24 hours before event to cancel. A flexible cancellation would be a weeks notice. People know a week in advance if their event is good to go. If they cancel within a week then they’re not committed. Who wants to hold a space for flaky guests?

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#8

This is unfortunate. It’s consistent with Peerspace policies that favor guests while devaluing what the host offers. I assume this is what your business model supports and hosts are stuck with it if they want to use your marketing platform.

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#9

I agree fully with everything other hosts have said.
Considering the choices, I am setting mine to very strict.

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#10

If Peerspace actually paid us up front for bookings – or at least a deposit – to reflect how the venue industry actually works, then the cancellation policy wouldn’t be such a huge issue. I mean yes, the new one sucks, but it also sucks to book out a space for a flaky guests be it 120 days from now or 4 weeks from now. Paying us to reserve the space (and refund when applicable and logical) to align with the deposits we are ALL getting from traditional “in real life” bookings, is a necessary step.

Paying post-event, much like this cancellation policy, increases our opportunity cost as venues by a ton. No thanks.

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#11

First, I want to say that we love working with Peerspace and they have done a lot of great things to not just make our business grow but also make it easier to manage.

But we think this new cancellation policy is a bad idea and could create significant problems for the hosts.

The 48 hour grace period for cancellations is particularly troubling. It basically gives the guests a free pass to put a space on hold. The guest should not be putting in a booking request unless they are 100% sure they are committed to booking it. I don’t see any reason or need to offer a grace period for them to back out, and at no cost to them. And because our Peerspace calendar automatically shows a day that is already booked as unavailable there would be no way to know if someone else was interested in booking that day before it was cancelled.

Many of our clients book our space less than a week in advance, so in theory, they could cancel the booking just 1 or 2 days before the event at no cost to them and it would be very unlikely that someone else would book the studio just 1 or 2 days in advance. That seems very unfair to the host.

It is much clearer and easier for both the guests and the hosts for Peerspace to have just one cancellation policy rather than having each space choose a different one. Hosts can always offer to be more lenient in specific circumstances or if the guest asks, which is how it works now.

I think Peerspace needs to give this new Cancellation Policy more consideration and get more feedback from the hosts before moving forward.

Thanks,
Angela

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#12

Hi Rony-

I also agree with the other hosts who do not find this a benefit at all. As hosts, we need to be very organized businesses, who also expect our guests to be organized and businesslike in their dealings with us.

Another host mentioned in this thread that the new policy is pro-guest and anti- host… I agree and here is why:

Normalizing and indeed encouraging “Flexible” as a choice (with Peerspace going so far as to suggest that “hosts will get more bookings” or “look more attractive” to guests) Is absurd. Instead - it will train guests to think it’s ok to flake out on a commitment/contract at short notice. Designating yourself as a host who gives permission to guests —with a “sure it’s ok to change your mind last minute” Flexible label is going to attract the Unsure, change-mind Guest who is really the last one I want booking my space.

Also the core organizing center of Peerspace for Hosts is our calendar. Hosts rely on, and fill in a known schedule. We exclude other bookings when we commit our spaces and time to one guest- so we can lose out on another booking if that one guest cancels. As it stands, Peerspace Calendar blocks out/ makes unavailable to other guests any “booked” space— so that’s going to be an issue for replacing the 24 hour flake guest who cancels, when you could have had a solid, serious guest instead.

So… Hosts have the option to designate ourselves as “Strict”… but really, strict is actually to me, “normal”. Normal is what we’ve always had at Peerspace until now: make a contract, keep a contract. Break it and you pay for that. Simple. “Strict” makes us look like we hosts are problematic sticklers and it’s not a pleasant label from the point of sales and retail attractiveness. So I don’t want to look or be Strict.

I chose “Moderate” but I don’t like it, and it’s not exactly sexy either. I feel Moderate says “Well yeah, I know you really want this space, and I am are going to take it off the market for this time you’ve booked, but you don’t really have to commit until 7 days before”

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#13

Peggy, great thoughts here. Allowing guests to cancel without protecting hosts is counter to fair, standard business practices and not how venue bookings work in the real world (or on other booking platforms). I can only speculate that Peerspace feels that this VERY pro-guest cancellation policy* will provide a strong enough competitive advantage in attracting guests that it will outweigh the negative impact on hosts’ enthusiasm for booking guests through this platform.

Finally. if you feel that ‘Moderate’ isn’t going to be good for your business, I would strongly encourage you to elect ‘Strict’ or even ‘Very Strict.’ My sense is that allowing guests to cancel with no penalty on short notice is going to result in a lot of lost revenue for hosts.

Best of luck up in NorCal!

  • I use the term ‘cancellation policy’ loosely as 3/4 of the options hosts are forced to select from effectively allow guests to hold a space indefinitely without committing to actually going through with their booking. A guest could block an entire weekend six months out and their only downside is tying up the amount charged to their credit card (that can be almost fully refunded should the decide not to go through with the booking).
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#14

Hi Everyone! I agree with the hosts here. I am new to Peerspace and I have to say the renters don’t need anymore encouragement to cancel! When I rent my venue on my own. Most pay me up front at booking on small rentals of $500 or less. On A booking of about $1500 or more I offer terms of 50% to hold a date and the balance due 21 days before the event. I offer no refunds. I will work with them on changing a date if they communicate with me at least 21 days prior. I don’t get cancellations.

I can’t imagine in what world allowing a cancellation with 24 hours notice is reasonable. I also agree with others here that setting us up to compete for the most lienant cancellation policy is unfair. Peerspace should have taken a poll and come up with one policy for all. I think the one that was in place was fine.

While I’m on a roll. I love when people book site unseen for simple usuage rental. Many ask to see the space for a cheap $400 or less booking. I think the renter should have to pay a small fee of $25 for a site visit. I have had too many no shows and people who take up my time, tell me they want the space, take pictures etc then they let the offer expire with no communication.

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#15

I keep jumping back on this thread to add something only to see that it has already been stated. A telling sign if there ever was one - this does not benefit hosts.

I keep wanning between ‘strict’ and ‘very strict’ as they seem to be the only choices without glaring loopholes.
At the end of the day I guess it boils down to what kind of guests I want in terms of people who will follow through or not and those who are just shopping around or come across something they like better.

Is this possible? —> can hosts choose ‘strict’ or ‘very strict’ and add something to their listing that assures potential guests that they are willing to bend under certain circumstances in regards to a refund (if they have little choice but to cancel). That way guests who are not just ‘shopping around’ but know that sometimes there can be no choice but to cancel feel secure that if something beyond their control prevents them from following through not all is lost.

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#16

This might answer my question:

#17

“Guests expect a smoother cancellation process and the option to choose a space that features a cancellation policy that works for their activity.” -
Rony_C Founder, Chief Product Officer @Peerspace

I have been in video production for more than 25 years. Renting studios and stages and eventually owning my own venue. Through all those years, a booking has always been a booking!!! However, the leadership at Peerspace has taken it upon themselves to change an industry standard and REDEFINE what a booking is. This hubris not only incentivizes Guests to expect more and more giveaways and leniency but creates moral hazard; and to add insult to injury, PS is dumping the consequences of this burden on the Hosts!!

I get it, Guests will come and go over time and most will only book once. So PS has to attract more and more Guest enrollments and thinks it can do so by yielding to Guest’s capricious whims and inexperience. Hosts, on the other hand, are the CONSTANT in this business model and for now, not as likely to go away. PS knows this and also knows that a committed host will go out of her/his way to deliver an exceptional venue space and provide a great client experience. So PS has already chosen where it plans to put its priorities.

However, not providing better Host support is short-sighted and will cost PS in the long run once viable competitors step forward and Hosts lose their feeling of loyalty for the Peerspace platform. If this happens, Guests will eventually be able to rent THE SAME PRODUCT anywhere.

When I book a client into my space, I make a commitment to that client. I know that the client (aka Guest) will be sending out invitations, production schedules, booking crew members, making commitments to their vendors and clients and incurring costs. So I make a commitment to the client by turning away all other inquiries, holds, and requests for bookings; be it 24-hours or 120 days in advance. I expect the same commitment from my clients (Guests).

I am going to have to do a lot of thinking about how this new Cancellation Policy will affect my business, but my first thought is that I will no longer book Guests more than 30-days in advance as I simply cannot risk turning away other direct requests for my venue knowing that a Peerspace Guest can break the commitment at any time 30+days out. This would leave me with nothing on the calendar because I would have already turned away other direct single and multi-day rental requests that would have crossed that cancelled PS client date.

A hold is a hold, a booking is a booking and a commitment is a commitment!

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#18

The Peerspace Cancellation Policy states that Hosts are subject to potential fines and costs for any cancellations that Hosts initiate. Yet Guests are free to cancel on short notice without repercussion.


https://www.peerspace.com/legal/terms/cancellation-policy

"#### Cancellations by Hosts or Vendors

Any Host- or Vendor-initiated cancellations will be fully refunded to the Guest (including any Fees paid). The Host or Vendor canceling the Booking will be responsible for losses incurred by Peerspace or the Guest associated with any cancellation, and all scheduled payouts for that Booking will be canceled. In addition, Peerspace may issue Fines to Hosts and Vendors for cancellations."

"#### Fines for Host-Initiated Cancellations

A Host may be responsible for costs, expenses, and other losses, and be subject to Fines, if they make unexcused cancellations. A Host may be subject to the following as a result of an unexcused Host-Initiated Cancellation:

*Displacement costs for Guests;
*A Fine of the greater of $100 or 15% of the total price of the Booking.
*Delisting of the Host’s Space if the Hosts cancels multiple Bookings within a six-month period;
*Modifying the listing page description to include publicly available information about previous cancellations, or suspension or termination of your Account.
*Hosts that have earned “Power Host” designation will forfeit that designation and any associated benefits after 1 cancellation for no less than 6-months."

“Peerspace may, but is not obligated to, waive costs, expenses and Fines for Host-initiated cancellations under the following circumstances:”

**“Peerspace determines that a Booking was accidentally accepted by a Host, so long as the Host canceled within 2 hours of confirmation;”

GUESTS HAVE 24-HOURS TO CANCEL an “accidental” BOOKING, but HOSTS ONLY HAVE 2-HOURS.

BTW Peerspace keeps 100% of all their fees no matter who cancels.



8 Likes
#19

Totally agree! Most of these options puts the host at a greater disadvantage and doesn’t really offer a fair middle ground between “Moderate” & “Strict”. Especially this “48 hour grace period without penalty” which seems the most unfair if the booking is within 14 days. If someone books my space, this means I have to turn away other requests. Then if they decide to cancel (and within this “48 hour grace period” without penalty), I would loose their booking as well as any other requests that I’ve already had to turn away. I use Peerspace to supplement my photo studio business gaining several extra bookings each month.
I would prefer: No grace period if the booking is within 14 days.
I would prefer an option between “Moderate” & “Strict” such as:
Cancellations made up to 14 days from the start time will receive a full refund.
Cancellations made between 14-7 days from the start time will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations made within 7 days from the start time are liable for the full rental fee.

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#20

This is bad business and not in line with the standard. Going to end up loosing more business as people cancel more and more.

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