Landed in Milwaukee about 90 minutes ago to another guest request (in Chicago) to adjust the thermostat for whole building for him because he wants it warmer in his room. Attempting to do so, Wifi looks offline. Either Comcast out or a breaker is flipped, possibily affecting furnace.
Ask guest to check what Wifi networks are showing and check breaker box. Reply (from an aspiring doctor who has been a bit entitled despite a low season discount rate than is 1/3rd our summer pricing) is "I don't know, and I'm not comfortable checking fuses."
No replies to direct follow-up and questions about the furnace running; it's currently down to 67F in the house and 30 outside, so will probably reach about 55F inside by mid-day tomorrow if the heat is off. I can send someone by to check, but I pay for than and not having the info I need is frustrating -- so would be paying $40 to have someone go by and flip a breaker because this guy won't try.
As it is past my jetlagged bedtime, "any thoughts" or "how would you handle this?"
P.S. This also means that security / surveillance is out, since I have failed to maintain redundant / failover / backup networking ...
@Kenneth being a doctor has nothing to do with one’s ability or interest in checking fuses. He doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want to. Perhaps give him a call in the am and ask to help you out by checking it? Otherwise, sorry to say, it’s your problem.
I'm sorry, it's not a fuse, it's a breaker, he's not a doctor, but he wants to be, I've flipped breakers in ABBs at least a dozen times-- half the times, it was my fault-- and I expect guests and other normal, adult human beings to perform basic home tasks like washing their dishes and flipping the breakers back when they plug hair dryers and high amperage appliances in -- and to take note of the fact that their advancement in any program related to U Chicago is partially related to my judgment of them and their character.
Any guest who requires a call from me, is a problem guest. I have my own professional responsibilities and schedule. And any physician who can't change a fuse? Well, take you a gander at what we're about to do to the entitled professional elites in Mexico, why don't you?
[Content hidden] I'm pretty close to throwing current entitled brat out.
Ken, mate they are going to happen, I am afraid this is just part of life. You have to take technology out of their hands
In my working life I installed air conditioners....I was a mechanical services contractor.
I installed the airconditioning units in a retirement village......135 split system units.
I had a call the day before Christmas from one of these residential unit holders that the Air conditioning did not work! I asked if they had checked on all the setting readings on the thermostat and they assured me in an annoyed way they had set everything correctly....the air conditioning did not work! Last thing I needed on Christmas eve was a drive of 50 Kms to sort out an issue....but I did it!
I arrived and as soon as I went to the air conditioning control panel I noticed they had it set on heating instead of cooling.....which in December in Australia just doesn't work!
I pushed the button to cooling and proceeded to write out an invoice. The guy got quite upset...he said, "But you didn't do anything"!
I said "yeah, but I had to drive 50Kms to do nothing, you asured me all the settings were correct, here is your invoice"!
Ken, mate, when you host you are going to have to deal with dickhe*ds in life. Fortunately they don't come along often, just shrug your shoulders mate, and get on with being that great host that you are!
Move on.....next guest please!!!!
In this case at the moment, I can't over-emphasize Huma's thread about checking out guest reviews for others. Had I done so, I'd have had some warning-- thank goodness AirReview is working properly again now.
Unfortunately, in this case, the guy is dodgy. That means not only do I have to worry about what's going on immediately, but I have to worry about what he might do-- with cameras down-- which he may have done-- which he may have done intentionally.
So do I skip showering and head to the 8am train here in 40 minutes? Or wait for someone to check it out at 1pm?
If I need to throw the guy out two day early, should I be on that train now?
P.S. We don't get to issue invoices to guests when they do stuff like this, do we? that affects the economics of this game.
I did not even see this part at first. There is absolutely no reason to take this tone with me and to insult my family. Your behavior is inappropriate. I do not want to make conclusions about how you talk to your guests from this and it is none of my business, but you need to keep your comments about me and my family to yourself on a public forum. Just do not engage with me please if you are not able to contain yourself. I will make sure not to reply to your threads going forward and ask for the same in return. Thank you
@Inna: and frankly, this does not seem to be the first time you have responded defensively and hyperbolically to a post mentioning physicians.
The purpose of this forum, notwithstanding the neglect of its admins and the general incompetence of ABB, is to help hosts work through and resolve situations.
With little time, I have to decide whether I'm grabbing the morning train, researching the guy further, calling my neighborhood watch chair, or taking other action.
The fact that this guest claims to be a med student now in a program at UChicago (unconfirmed) is incidental to what's going on here. And in fact, that is now in question, though it could be true-- it could be a convenient story to legitimize-- or the guy could be someone else entirely, that the person he claims to be.
If a guest fails to wash dishes, yes, it is my problem too. But it is a guest problem which needs to be resolved, potentially with the guest.
At this point, the above included, this guests' story doesn't add up. Their behavior has been unusual. They have, for instance, told me that they are from northern Minnesota, and then requested that they provide me with a bike to commute to campus during winter-- yes, some Minnesotans do that, but in this case, they clearly did not want to do so once they saw the weather.
A review of ABB history suggests a category which I call "ABBsurfer" or such, a person using ABB for temporary housing as if it were Couchsurfing.
All of these raise yellow or red flags for me, and constitute a situation which I indeed have to respond to, like it or not-- and I don't, because the 90 minutes of sleep I lost over this is worth more than the reservation price-- but are not about the literal issues of heating and etc above.
A guest that lies about fundamentals, is a guest I can't trust. A guest that fails to respond, is a guest I have to worry about-- especially with my security system offline.
In such a situation, I also have to think about how I'm conducting business here, and how to avoid such amazinging negative and time-consuming incidents in the future.
Otherwise and in that vein, @Huma has a nice thread going about reading guests' reviews about others. AIrReview wasn't working for me when this guest booked, but now that I've read the odd reviews this guest left for prior hosts, I certainly would have had a problem "yellow flags" had I done so before.
I will try to respond without making it look combative, which is not my goal at all but I talk in a very direct way so it does not look good on paper. Yes, you have posted about a physician once before (or at least I read and responded once)- I guess you get them because of your location. You were the one who brought it into the mix both times. I do not recall anyone else mentioning a guest's profession in their posts. This occupation appears to contribute to your expectations of these people and both times I disagreed with that. I honestly think you should take it out of the equation when figuring out what to do. You did not mention the guests’ red flags (or at least I did not read it that way), but you did mention the physician part. Therefore, I can could only assume it was relevant.
I feel you- on my recent trip overseas I spent an entire night dealing with electrical issue at my house and had to "get up" (never really went down) and continue on with family activates.
My advice to your remains the same, even if this person is a renown fuse specialist in town to give a lecture on this subject- give him a call and ask him to do what needs to be done. He would be doing you a pure favor though
@Kenneth what have you sorted out??
random thoughts --- abb pricing almost always only works out if you yourself are on the ground and available to deal with guest issues (security, heating, nonsense requests...). Once you include an off-season discount and the need to involve a paid friend, co-host, handyman, etc then all the profit/loss calculations go south. I think that probably is true for all of us.
In this exact situation (where you can't see what they guy carries out the door if you ask him to leave early) I would probably send someone by to check the furnace & the wifi. Really nothing else you can do until you know the answer to that question.
The upside is that if you don't like what you find then you have an Extenuating Circumstances reason to cut this guy loose. "I'm so sorry, seems that the furnace is having a problem, you'll need to cut short your stay and we'll refund the rest of your unspent nights. Safe travels!!"
Btw, I once had abb guests (seemingly adult people who lived in houses and should have known how the world works...), tripped a breaker in the kitchen, didn't ask me about it, didn't turn the breaker (which was very visible just by the front entry door), just unplugged all the appliances and moved them to the other side of the kitchen -- how was that easier?!? You just can't expect people to arrive with reasonable good sense, it just isn't always the case.
the problem with tripped breakers is.. It tripped for a reason so something is overloaded or shorting. Typically electric heaters and hair dryers are great for doing this, especially when used together.
I got so sick of people ignoring my hint that running everything together would result in black out that I rewired the electric heater so it will only do 700w.
Also beware of microwaves - they need their own circuit...
@Pete: wonky guest uses ABB for cheap temporary housing, host having not noticed how low pricing engine had gone.
Wonky guest demands toaster. Wonky guest plugs microwave, toaster and kettle into same circuit. Wonky guest turns all on at once. Wonky guest does not report problem for 24 hours. Problem that wonky guest reports is "I'm cold, turn up the heat."
@K... oh, the mention isn't working again. See wonky description below.
I had a UChicago student who helps me stop by. (Could have asked our neighborhood association chair or a fellow host in the area, "but...")
Seems guy had rummaged through moving boxes on back porch and found an old toaster which "didn't work." (He asked for a toaster... I figured we needed a new one and had one delivered from Amazon...) ...
Anyway, either he was persistent with the old/broken toaster or the new one and flipped a breaker; did not report. 24 hours later, with the WiFi offline (I have a redundant connection but it failed, will rework) the thermostat defaulted to an alternate schedule, which was a little cooler than the custom schedule.
Email from guest, who happens to be from a warmer than average climate (but lied about where he was from, perhaps for understandable reasons-- though I wouldn't discrimate, he could have that worry): "My room is cold". (At 67F!).
Skipping a few beats, this guy said if I didn't like him violating House Rules, I could cancel from my side and give him a refund.
I'm on-site at this point as are others; it's better to have an in-person chat with our neighborhood association chair and have her and her ex-husband who lives across the street, keep an eye-- and of course, we have extensive perimeter video.
Finally, this was an instant booking, which we use; as I've explained elsewhere, one of many lessons here, was that if I'd pulled up this guys' reviews for others, I'd have cancelled or at least, adjusted.
Finally finally, for my area at least, guests at less than $30/night seem to yield problems, including people who are not honest about whom they are, for one reason or another. As much as I'd like to expect people to arrive with reasonable good sense ...
Ken, I don't want to be seen to stray off the topic of this thread unduly, but mate, we are all dying to know.....what happened with that floor you 'fell through' in Germany. Did ABB charge you? Did they tell the host to get nicked? Did anyone report the floor as unsafe?
I have lost track of the thread now! would love to know.
@Robin: That wasn't in Germany FWIW.
ABB team in local country gave host $100, which is in relative purchasing power terms about 8x as valuable as $100 in Germany.
ABB team in US gave me $100 to offset.
Someone at T&S emailed me a claim form for some reason and told me I could file.
No one really seemed to address the safety issue, which is sad... did I just channel DJT's language?
I figured I was done at that point. Unless you can see a point in pursuing ... I mean, I could give the General Counsel a run for his money, but since ABB didn't net charge me anything, I wouldn't have the same grounds.
I do hope you do the decent thing and apologise to her.
You do seem to have more than your fair share of guest problems and I am wondering if this is in part due to how you manage your listings/vet your guests.
If you had a local co-host it would have been a simple matter for them to have dropped by. If you are going to be travelling for work and combine it with hosting, you can't expect to do so without having someone local on hand to help out with guest issues when things go wrong.