I have a bar top in my kitchen with seat/stools, and have indicated my place has a "Dedicated workspace," as it has lots of outlets, and is totally cleared for ease of use, plus the stools.
I always ask guests before booking to confirm they've read everything, make sure it's the right fit, my place is weird, do they have questions, etc.
A couple rented my place recently for 9 days, they got there, and we have a different understanding of "Dedicated workspace."
I've had a lot of work from home couples before and no complaints, also I emphasize my place is quirky / weird and see again, you really need to review the place to make sure it's for you. I've "lost" a lot of bookings by emphasizing my places quirks, which is good! I don't want people to have a bad fit.
Anyway, current guests now want a near total refund (refunded for 8 out of 9 nights) because we disagree on what constitutes a "Dedicated workspace," even though I have a strict cancel policy.
I had said I could possibly meet them part way with a refund for nights that get rebooked, and they just ignored that and said I should refund everything - she has back problems so can't work at a not-desk.")
I guess my sentiment is dedicated workspace is definitely not synonymous with "desk" and my pictures indicated my place clearly had no desk.
That said I'd love to see what other people think, how they define workspace / what they may do in this situation.
I also have an unconventional "dedicated workspace" which is a built-in concrete counter/shelf/desk in the guest room. Never had a guest complain. Sometimes they'll bring their laptop to the outside terrace dining table and work there, which is fine with me.
Considering that you are so clear with guests about your quirky space, and making sure they have thoroughly read through the listing info, these guests are being jerks. If the workspace "hurt her back" then why did they stay for all 9 days? Why couldn't they have tried to set up a space that would be comfortable for her, like a TV tray as a desk and a chair? These guys are scammers.
The most I'd offer is 10%, if anything. And when things aren't right for guests, lets not call reimbursing them something a refund- I read that all the time, but for anything like this that the host reduces the price because of, I'd prefer to hear it referred to as a discount. A "refund" should mean the place is totally unacceptable so the guest leaves, i.e. they don't stay at all or have to cut the stay short.
To their credit, they did bring this issue up immediately, after having already found a new place, so only "stayed" one day (but haven't cancelled yet).
They say they're also hosts and have 12+ good reviews, so I figured they knew enough to you know like look closely at the pictures.
I offered to give them a partial refund for days that get rebooked, as I've had pretty decent booking rates and it's the holidays but they just ignored that.
I do really wish airbnb defined "workspace" a little better, but I'd say a counter top with stools isn't really a stretch of a definition, it may not be a "good" one - but that's why you look at the pictures / read the description / ask questions.
Dictionary definition of ‘dedicated’
1. devoted to a task or purpose.
2. exclusively allocated to or intended for a particular purpose.
I think you’ll see that the guests have a valid point and that your property does not have a dedicated workspace. This is something I look for as I work remotely also, and it’s important that it fits the description. Hope it got resolved ok @Mary1211
I mean it's a bar top, but it's not the kitchen counters. There is plenty of counter space in the kitchen, I've had other guests make the bar top their dedicated workspace.
It doesn't really have any particular dedicated purpose, and it doesn't need to function for anything else so it's not like one would ever have to clear it off to do other essential functions.
That's sad I had a desk from the basement I could have brought up had the guest expressed confusion. I've also updated the photos and indicated that this is what I mean by dedicated workspace.
A bar top w/ stools would not be considered a *dedicated workspace* for me. My definition of a dedicated workspace would be first and foremost a proper chair that is comfortable enough to sit on without moving for at least 3+ hrs while working on one's laptop, along with some sort of desk that has a somewhat decent desk-chair height ratio. I could understand if you had simply said that the kitchen bar table+stool could double as a work area, but calling that space a *dedicated workspace* would be very inaccurate, imo.
But then again, if you had photos with descriptions calling your kitchen bar table *the dedicated workspace* it would be the guest's fault for not checking the listing details and making sure your listing met their specific needs.
While I think the guests could have done a better job checking your listing details (especially considering one has back problems), I would have to agree with them that what you provide could not be seen as a *dedicated workspace*. I would not call my kitchen table a dedicated workspace even though there are plenty of outlets, the chairs are actually quite comfy and I often end up using that space to work from home when I need to spread out.
@Jessica-and-Henry0 We consider our dining room table as a 'dedicated workspace' there is a large flat wood surface on which to put a laptop or other devices, a table is about the same height as a desk, outlets in the dining area and the chairs are upholstered. Would you consider this is NOT a dedicated work space? I might have to rethink this, but we've had plenty of guests who worked in the apartment using the table and no one ever complained.
ETA...this prompted me to go into amenities where I found a bunch of new options and so I added 'table' to the dedicated workspace amenity, but I see it also has an option for a monitor and a desk chair.
IMO, having a large kitchen/dining room table that can DOUBLE as a decent and comfortable work space is not the same as having a "dedicated" work space. While people may have different definitions of what a dedicated work space should/could be...... along with what I mentioned above, it would need to be desk/table space that is used as a work space and work space only - not a large table that has to be cleared to eat meals.
But even if I thought the dining room table isn't really what I would consider a *dedicated* work space, if it met my needs functionally then I probably wouldn't complain either 😀
Hrrrm updated thoughts - it did just strike me that the guests were scammers possibly
or there was something else they don't like
but are using something "more objective" to get a refund
like it turned out their other place opened up early or something
I just realized I have a desk in my basement I could bring up
I was looking at folding desks/tables on Amazon for possible future guests and was like
"A. Wait a minute, I already have a desk in my basement I could have easily brought up.
B. This could have easily been resolved with a trip to Target, and they didn't go that route."
It's not like desks are a private bathroom that isn't actually private or saying there's parking and by that I mean a garage that is 10 blocks away in a dodgy part of town.
Anyway I did send a note, they checked in 4 hours early, I was like "This could have been resolved before check in even commenced and I wish you had communicated the issue and given me a chance to resolve it."
So we'll see - They threatened to go to AirBnB Customer Service and at this point it's like "Ok, go ahead. This was resolvable before check in even started, and you didn't give me a chance to."
What I don't understand is why they didn't cancel after the first night- you told them you'd refund if you filled the dates, but obviously you can't fill them if they are still blocked.
I've never had a situation like this, but I have a friend who hosts who has. Her attitude is just to say, fine, we'll get the reservation cancelled and I'll refund you. It's preferable to her to just be rid of guests like this without having to continue the drama.
Yeah the reservation is now 3 days in - they still haven't actually cancelled. I've told them 3 times now I can meet them partial refund via rebooking but they just don't even respond to that.
It's not that bad all all - just annoying. But I've had lots of good experiences with airbnb in situations like this (Guest doesn't communicate need). One guest was upset my house wasn't vegan. Another was upset that I didn't have early luggage drop off. AirBnB actually deleted the review for that guest, because she was complaining about things that were clearly outlined in the listing/house rules, so I'm not too worried, and it is like 1300 bucks (which is normal for a weekly rental but I'm less likely to get rebooked the longer they don't cancel).
I would just send the guests a message (more like an ultimatum) thru the Airbnb messenger that unless they officially cancel the booking from the Airbnb system, it doesn't matter than they didn't stay - the space is booked by them and the calendar is blocked so no refund will be made.
You read my mind - I sent them a message about an hour ago that I really can't do anything, including using the space myself, so long as it stands. Like it's still standing and they'll be entering the 4th day of the res tomorrow. Her tone is getting very unsufferable thou, "We had to make a snap judgement," "It must feel really good getting 2k for doing nothing, but this money is important to us" etc. I'm still being friendly, but also firm that this was all resolvable and completely their own choice.
What's bizarre is that you say they are hosts themselves, yet they seemingly don't understand that you can't rebook the space, thereby creating an opportunity for them to receive a larger refund, if the dates are blocked? I can't see any advantage to them in not cancelling, and I wonder why they do. I doesn't make any sense.
Yeah I just double-checked her profile, she's indeed a super host with over 60 reviews.
I'm baffled at how ignorant she seems to be as to how this all goes, thinking all the money she paid goes to me, Not canceling the reservation, not trying to see if the host can make accommodations before the actual booking even started, etc