This is the first time we have had this request. New ABB guest coming this summer is bringing 2 kids ages 5 and 7. They have asked us to provide babysitters for them. The message was:
"We are excited to bring our family to your cottage. Please note we will need a babysitter on the night of XX and we appreciate you arranging that."
This is not something we do, and we don't have kids so we wouldn't even know where to begin. There is nothing in our listing to indicate that this is a service we offer. This potential babysitter is also a person accessing the space that we don't know (which I am sure happens,) but these are young kids in our place alone with a stranger. Its definitely got potential for issues.
I have thought about referring them to a service like care.com but I am sure it will be blocked by ABB messaging. I am about to write back and say "Unfortunately we don't offer this service. Sorry for any confusion. Be sure to check out our listing and house rules if you have further questions about what we provide." But part of me just wants to ask for the reservation to be canceled. There are no local hosts who offer babysitting as an amenity-- I did a search for their days-- so I can't recommend someone else. What would you do?
"More than happy to answer any question regarding the accommodation, directions to and from. But unfortunately not able to advise on other issues. Terribly sorry about this."
Our "job" ist hosting. Sometimes we go beyond that.
But this guest sounds kind of demanding: He definitely has the wrong expectations.
Child care is such a sensitive issue, I would never get involved into that.
@Till-and-Jutta0 I totally agree. Because the guest is new to the platform, maybe they just don't understand this is not something that is routinely offered. I have absolutely no desire to be rated on my ability to find a babysitter they like and think is competent.
Yeah we just got roped into this Laura, guest turned up with 2 undeclared guests which we ended up having to babysit for hours on end.
They were gorgeous kids, so bright and we enjoyed interacting with them because it replaces our grandies who are 1,000's of Kms away but, that is not the point, they could have been juvenile monsters, and it was not our duty to look after them!
They were really nice guests so I handled it this way. I gave them a good review....
But in the private note to the guest I made this comment .......
There are nice ways and there are angry ways to get your point across and I have always tried to choose the nice way!
@Robin4 that is very sweet of you and I am glad you were able to work it out with these guests. Unfortunately we aren't on site and can't spend time watching the guest's children, nor do we know anyone who we would recommend to do so. We are child free (and frankly have a hard enough time finding a good petsitter) so we aren't set up to have the remotest clue of who would be trustworthy for someone's children.
My gut says this will be a problem guest. On what planet would someone presume that’s a service? I would have a problem with an unrecognized person in the home. What if the person is negligent in some manner? How might this affect you? Is this a whole house situation or a space within your home?
@Laura2592Got it, I checked out your listing. Adorable!
I agree that you should not be apologetic at all in your wording. I don’t offer manicures to my guests, but would never apologize for not doing so. It has nothing to do with anything in the listing. Just be clear and polite that you don’t offer said service. End of story.
If that doesn’t do the trick, then get Airbnb to cancel, I would be totally uncomfortable with this situation.
Babysitting is a legally risky business.
I wouldn't get involved, other than to refer them to a licenced child care service. Wash your hands of that straight away.
@Laura2592 I would not apologize for confusion, since no where in your listing do you mention this is a service you offer. I would politely but firmly tell them this isn’t a service you advertise as offering, and are not comfortable with any subsequent arrangements they may make themselves. As you say “young kids in our place alone with a stranger” is something you can’t accommodate. Get Airbnb to cancel the booking.
I'd want to cancel, too, @Laura2592 , but it might be okay?
I'm finding more and more people who are booking and trying to book here are used to all-inclusives in other countries, and COVID has stuck them with a staycation. They have some laughable (to me) expectations, but often just a note sets things straight.
If your "we don't offer this service" note doesn't work, then you'll want to cancel for sure. Loads of potential trouble.
"While we don't have a lot of request for baby sitters, this would be a great opportunity for me to reach out to one of my neighbors down the street, who, admittedly has been a complete mystery! Ever sense we bought the property that's all we have heard about; the the only time anyone sees him is at night and he roams the area in a clown costume! So he must like kids! And maybe just misunderstood, you know the way people like to talk. I think some of out other guest must have been chatty with the other neighbors because they said they saw a man coming out of the crawl space in a clown costume, but why on earth would someone do that, and some guest will use any opportunity to get a refund or extra services not in the listing. But if you are fine trusting your kids to complete strangers I'm dying to learn more about him! I'll go ahead and put a note in his mail box, (its so cute, shaped like a little coffin!) and tell him to just drop by anytime you are here. Of course if you change your mind and want to cancel that's fine too!"
@Laura2592 haha sorry couldn't resist! 🙂
This is kind of a tough one.
1) Message back, "Thanks for asking, however we are only licensed and insured for no more than a single family where children have to accompanied with their parents at all times. We don't live close by, and don't know of any other baby sitters. Once again I appreciate you asking but in this day and age we have to comply the terms of our business license and insurance policy." And just not worry about it. It usually works out and you get a great review anyway.
2) Contact Airbnb and have them cancel.
3) Cancel it yourself and schedule any maintenance and repairs.
I'm guessing you will just need to set the boundaries with a simple message and it will all be fine.