I just had a really stressful encounter with a guest. I keep my thermostat at 65 during the night and 70-72 during the day when people are home. This guest apparently wants a room at about 85 (that's about what it was one evening when the troubles first began) so that she can walk around in short shorts and a tank top and flip flops (in January) and bought a space heater to heat the room. This 1500 watt space heater occasionally trips the circuit breaker (a common occurrence according to a brief Google search), especially if another guest is using a high wattage appliance, such as a European hair dryer.
Last night, the circuit breaker tripped again and so I asked her to not run her heater for the rest of the evening. This morning she was full of outrage because she woke up cold and I had told her the thermostat was at 72 (which it was) but when she got up it wasn't (because the program is set to reduce it to 65 at 11 pm). She accused me of lacking integrity. I told her calmly I was very interested in making sure she was comfortable but the heater was tripping the breaker and that running the heater a lot makes it uncomfortable for me. She was outraged that I had asked *her* to turn off *her* heater and I explained that the other guests had told me that they were not running theirs. Nothing mollified her. She would not let me finish anything I tried to tell her. I tried to suggest that one compromise when one person is warm and the other is cold is for the person who is cold to dress more warmly, but she interrupted me to say "that the person who's cold do all the compromising". She then made some snide remark about my cat hissing at her and that I was not caring for the cats adequately. (I recently purchased the house and they were still adapting and skittish about coming in the house from the garage where their beds, food, and litter boxes are.)
My voice eventually probably got a little tense as well. Though I tried to continue explaining that she should try wearing pajamas, that we could set the thermostat a bit higher, and go from there. She remained outraged and showed me a page she'd Googled where they claimed the average setting for a thermostat was 70 to 75. I asked her what they said about night time temperatures and she looked confused and didn't answer. Then she stormed off to work. I sent her a link to another site that clearly says "72 is what people tend to prefer but we recommend trying to get to 68, and night time temperatures are best between 62 and 66." She sent me this reply:
"You can find anything to Justify your actions!!!! I am Not going to waste anymore of My Time Arguing with You!!!! Tell me your plans and I will react as I set Fit!!!!!"
I replied "I think it's probably best if you find another place. I've contacted Airbnb to see how we work out the logistics."
She wants to change the reservation to end today. Airbnb told me that changing the reservation is up to me. That without my consent the reservation will continue until the currently booked date. I am asking for a week's notice to have time to allow someone else to book the room.
How do you all deal with confrontations such as these? This is a new house I am just setting up. I've had dozens of guests at my other house where the thermostat is set at 65 to 68 during the day and 60 at night, and none of them have complained and I have super host status. This new house does feel colder and when the first complaints came in I set the thermostat higher. But I find it really baffling that someone would walk around in light cotton tank top, shorts, and flip flops in January and complain about the cold. Or that extra blankets and wearing pajamas is an outrageous suggestion because she might feel a bit of chilly air if she has to get out of bed in the middle of the night.
I understand people vary in which temperature range they feel comfortable, but when multiple people are living in the house, I would think that grown ass adults would understand the need for compromise.
Anyway, thoughts and reactions would be appreciated.
I understand your aggravation. From your account, this guest seems a tad bit unreasonable.
Maybe offer this guest a heated blanket to use instead of the space heater?
Throw the climate-change card at them.
Sit back, eat popcorn.
Sadly some people don't grasp what energy costs, or how robust some electrical systems aren't.
For example in the UK westcountry many of us pay far more for our water than energy every year.
But I have travelled to places where I felt that if I put the AC on they would be losing money.
Your guest seems unreasonable. I agree with @Maia29 about the heated blanket. People in AK are smart with energy.
@Chelly0 I would not have engaged in such a lengthy back and forth with a guest nor " I am asking for a week's notice to have time to allow someone else to book the room. "
I would have simply told her that the house temperature is set to normal range, that she booked a shared home listing, which means that all guests' and the host's comfort has to be considered and that if she wants to prance around dressed for summer and have control over the house temperature, she is better suited for an entire place listing. Then I would immediately contact Airbnb and end the rest of her booking. I wouldn't be able to stand a minute of this person being in my house.
@Chelly0 My rule of thumb is address the complaint, but if they keep it up, having been told that there is nothing more you can do to accommodate their desires, tell them that somewhere else would be more suitable to their needs, especially if longer than a 3 night reservation. btw: I used to have 1500w space heaters to supplement heating on extremely cold nights, but because of breaker flips, safety issues and irresponsible guests I replaced them with Stadler heaters (1’200w, 2’000w - no breaker flips, or surge protector needed), built-in safety features, automatic turn on/off to maintain temp. and avoid over-heating, and so powerful that guests who ask for additional heat always tell me how amazing the heater is that they turn it off after an hour. As far as I have noticed it is not an energy guzzler.
Uugghh.. poor you!
The only issues I have had with guests who insist on having the heater on full blast for hours (when I am melting in shorts and t-shirt) are the ones who arrive straight from the tropics and find our summers very cold. In that case, I just have to grin and bear it (and cringe in anticipation of the next power bill!)
But THAT guest..!?
PS - if I were the cat, I would hiss at her too!
I would recommend that in the future, you include your temperature setting in the post and make it clearly visible. Most people will not have a problem with a lower temperature at night, but for those who have higher temperature needs, at least they have the opportunity to see that maybe this place isn't a good fit for them if it doesn't meet their temperature needs.
On the flip side, 65 is a little too low for most people even though that might be a perfect setting for you. You may want to consider setting this to 68 or 69 at a minimum and you could dress less at night if that makes you feel a little too hot. This helps reach a middle ground with, at least, most people.
I think both parties have the opportunity to reach a reasonable middle ground by dressing up or down depending on what is comfortable for you. As for this particular guest, 85 is insane if you ask me, you could become a baked cake by the time you wake up in the morning with that temperature.
Actually, 68 is what I prefer during the day and 60 - 62 at night because I wear long sleeves, pants, and socks during the day and warm pajamas and a thick comforter at night. This guest actually took the blankets I gave her off her bed and probably slept naked. Dressing up or down according to the temperature just seems like an easy, comfortable solution. I don't want anyone to be uncomfortable. Other guests were opening their windows at night because they were also too warm. I'd be willing to turn up the thermostat if it was really the only way she could be comfortable, but I guess I was a bit taken aback that she was outraged at the suggestion to put on some clothes (even though I said it as nicely as I could).
I have very clear House Rules in order to prevent abuse of resources (water, electricity, schedule...). I ask for extra money depending on the use they do. At the arriving i explain all those details (and their reasons) while I show them the house. Of course there is always people trying to cheat. So, if i feel they are abusing I message them through the Abnb mailbox.
« I keep my thermostat at 65 during the night and 70-72 during the day when people are home. This guest apparently wants a room at about 85 »
Franckly, why don’t you just say :
just because someone asks you something doesn't mean you have to say yes.
Without explanation or apology.
« No, it is not possible » is my favorite refusal and it works quite well.
Your temperatures (65 at night and 71 at day are very comfortable as WHO (World Health Organization) recommends :
- 67 during the day,
- 61 during the night
- 72 for bathroom.
In France, 85 degrees are illegal.
This was an interesting read particularly all the helpful comments. Here in the Alpine Village of Hakuba we have a similar problem. People from hot countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore somehow expect the settings to be in the 89 Fahrenheit range and walk around the house barefoot. Since the heating here is Kerosene stove with fan, we run through the fuel like water. Ever since the Fukushima disaster we've all had to be energy conscious. I'm going to post a few remarks on our house description and make sure people know we are living in a climate that hits 5 Fahrenheit so put some socks and a sweater on while you're watching Netflix! Thanks y'all for all your suggestions and good luck Chelly0 with your new venture,
most people are nice, look out for 0 reviews. ( Although one time I was 0 review)
Try not to let the confrontation ever get there. This is the tack I take with difficult guests.
Let’s please remember Airbnb is a unique community where you are a welcomed guest into MY home. This is the way we do things here. You are most welcome to enjoy our surrounds the way we do, or I invite you to find an alternative setting for your stay, more in keeping with the comforts you desire.
End of discussion. Dont try to reason with entitled know-it-all’s. It never ends well. The bottom line is, this is your HOME. If they want a hotel experience, stay in a hotel.
Best advice I was ever given and I swear by it.