We had a family emergency and i had to go to the hospital via ambulance. I had pulled my back moving patio furniture to pressure wash the deck of our country home.
The guests arrived earlier than check in and my 15 year old was finishing cleaning.
She didn't do a perfect job - but the dishes were done, a little wipe was needed in fridge and stove.
A bit of dust in the bathroom and a bin of new toilet paper needed to be put in the cabinet.
They are requesting $295 refund for one night of a 2 night stay.
I'd offer $100 discount plus $50 cleaning refund, but I'm not sure the difference of $145 is worth my time to hold my ground.
The place is beautiful, the linens were clean (she was putting pillow cases on the last bed when they arrived).
They are there now. Please chime in on what you would do.
The wife was so freaked she couldn't understand the stove element dials.
Just bad first impression?
What would you do?
We know they will leave a poor review. However, if I'm honest, they were pretty heartless.
Hello. You had a similar post a year ago about another guest requesting a refund at your suite. It may have influenced how you feel now. Treat this separately.
I believe as hosts it is essential for all our businesses to try and keep guests satisfied. Future guests will read their reviews and make their decisions accordingly. Guests have high hopes for their travels and when they are justifiably disappointed hosts need to step into their shoes and try and see it from their viewpoint.
From your post it sounds like the kitchen and bathroom were work in progress, and we all know these are the areas guests most expect to be spotlessly clean.
Personally I would speak to them, empathise, agree that because of the emergency the cleaning routine was incomplete and you're very sorry. You think a full night's refund is perhaps a bit onerous, but if they think that is fair then you'll give it. Maybe they'll reduce their request, maybe it is justified.
If you work it out with them there is no need to take a bad review. They may write that there was a cleaning issue due to an emergency but it was resolved promptly. We all know things go wrong when we travel, its how they are rectified we remember. Reach out to them, try and resolve it so you're happy and they're happy. Good luck.
thanks for your reply. the previous post was for a different city property that doesn't include outdoor spaces. I offered them the refund and an extra night, as i cannot drive back. Ironically due to back pain in incurred trying to make it perfect. Most guests are amazing, my previous guest dropped off medication to me and left the place spotless. it all balances out but this was a first. thanks for chiming in
@TamaraAndSteve0 How early did the guests arrive? This would be key to how much if anything I would refund. People who show up before the stated check in time should not be complaining if things are not ready. And, if you think they will give a bad review anyway, then I'd be inclined to in no way give an entire refund of the night. Maybe refund the cleaning fee.
@TamaraAndSteve0 plenty of hotels in the world feel quite comfortable to tell people to wait outside until the proper time arrives. These people sound awful!
Give your daughter a hug from all of us and rest well.
"Bill and Betty arrived prior to our checkin time and then were offended that we weren't finished cleaning. They rebuffed attempts to continue cleaning but did say we could discount their stay for the trouble. Not a group I'd like to have back again."
do you think the asking for a discount bit could get the review tossed??
@Kelly149 I'd be a bit more specific so that it's obvious what jerks these people were. Something like "I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, having injured myself when moving furniture during the cleaning for these guests. My teenage daughter, who is quite competent, was tasked with finishing the cleaning, but the guests arrived prior to check-in time, so she hadn't quite finished. In spite of my daughter explaining the unforeseen circumstances to these guests and trying to rush to finish, they preferred to ignore the stated check-in time, enter the unit and then complain about the fact that it wasn't ready for guests yet, even going so far as to request their first night be fully refunded, when we had already offered to refund the cleaning fee. Not guests I would welcome back."
@TamaraAndSteve0 Your daughter has our sympathy. Airbnb host is now probably something she'll never have on her list of possible careers 😞
Thanks for the support.
If all guests were like this, i wouldn't host.
We have a gorgeous home. My daughter didn't have the experience to tell them to wait. Good life lesson in boundaries. 99% of people would have been much kinder. I also found out the mom grabbed a beer, headed to the lake and my daughter was left with her 2 young (5,7 year olds?) kids. Even when i was leaving, one child was unattended in our driveway - thank goodness we have a back up camera and i could go super slow. The kid liked us and waved goodbye.
At the end of the day, its not about money (i chose to give them the deep discount and offered another night - as i am still unable to drive). Hopefully they could relax in our forest sanctuary and the birdsong cheered them up.
'heartless' and 'avoid' might appear on my review.
I did call airbnb so they have something on file.
Thanks everyone, it's really helpful to have other hosts chime in, as right now I'm on my own and everyone is all a little 'off' because it's not normal time. Much appreciated
@TamaraAndSteve0 Of course a 15 year old would have a hard time telling adults who were determined to check-in that they couldn't yet, even if she had been aware that that was the correct way to proceed. I would never expect that of a 15 year old- it could have left her open to all sorts of verbal abuse. Even adult hosts have a hard time sometimes being firm with guests.
I just hope that your magnanimous act of refunding leads them to leave a good review, but with people like this, it's doubtful. Abandoning the little kids, assuming your daughter would look after them, or not being concerned that they could get themselves into an unsafe situation in an unknown environment says a lot about these folks.
I would offer a sincere apology for the missed cleaning details and refund of the cleaning fee but not a penny more. The place was otherwise as promised and it sounds like they're just trying to push the boundary and see how much they can get.
If you're so inclined, maybe offer a bottle of wine or a small basket of goodies as an additional apology. Do not be held hostage to a bad review. A reasonable person would accept that and be done. An unreasonable person will leave a bad review no matter what you do to try and make amends.
Things may not have been perfect and your explanation alone should have been enough for a reasonable guest. Demanding a free night is not reasonable. No matter what you offer or even if you pay their ransom, they'll still hang you in the review. To that review you will have the right to reply which would be your explanation here, which would be fair.
As @Suzanne302 said, offer a refund of only the cleaning fee as a concession for the parts 'not up to your usual standard because of your hospitalisation' through the Airbnb message centre (making sure her demand for a nights refund exists there too, as this could be construed as an incentive to provide a false review according to its excess). If it doesn't exist, make sure you include it in your message...
Tell the guest, this is what you're going to do and send the message.
"Dear Guest, I'm very sorry that you feel it necessary to request a whole nights accommodation fee of $295 for some cleaning issues which were easy to resolve. This is not up to our usual standards due to a family emergency as you know. I would be happy to refund you the cleaning fee to resolve this issue, so if you please reply your acceptance and I will implement the refund through the Airbnb resolution centre. Thanks, Tamara & Steve."
From what little I've heard, I don't like this crowd, @TamaraAndSteve0. Cleaning fee, yep, give it to them, anything else? It would be a no from me. You'd effectively be paying them for a decent review. And they might just stab you in the back too.
I hope your back is better by now, @TamaraAndSteve0 . Did you have a chance to notify the guest of the issue prior to their arrival and prepare for the "in progress" state of preparations? Like the other hosts, I am not inclined to recommend much refund and since they did not decline to stay, Air BNB wouldn't see reason to refund either. You have a wonderful post and beam home and great reviews. Never become hostage to a potential bad review. Let your sense of fairness and willing to see the issue from the guest's perspective be your guide. Let us know what happens!