Big Bear Lake, CA Level 9
Hi all, I had 4 guests who stayed last night only. About 45 mins before check-out this morning, I get a notification that the power has gone out. This is because a huge wind storm knocked down power lines nearby. Shortly after, the guests message me and say that they loved my house but the power outage affected their ability to enjoy the amenities. They are requesting a "partial refund" because of this.
This is my first AirBnB. I just recently launched it and have had stellar reviews thus far, so I really don't want to jeopardize that so early on. Though, I also feel as if these guests are just using this occurrence as an excuse to ask for a refund.
Any suggestions on how to handle the situation? Much appreciated!!
@Alec152 hard no to ANY refund. They are not going to be happy with a few pennies, why give anything. Do not negotiate with terrorists. Remember that they can still leave you a negative review. Remember that you can leave them a negative review. You will encounter one unhappy guest one of these days and its ok. Also, if they mention anything about leaving you a bad review if you do not refund, that review will be grounds for removal.
One trick is to try to drag out the discussion past the review time. I have never tried that one but it could be a strategy. Ask them what amount they had in mind, answer every few days, tell them you are going to call airbnb to seek guidance and after two weeks say no go as far as refund
What a petty guest!
"No Refunds" It's not your fault beyond your control,
We live on an island it happens often here nobody has ever asked me for a refund.
Add this to your house rules
There will be no refunds given for unfavorable weather, interruption of utilities due to weather or minor maintenance problems. Travel insurance from your own carrier is recommended.
@Alec152 I'd be saying that's a hard NO from me. A power outage has nothing to do with you, and these guests are being unreasonable. in the final 45mins they should have been packing up, and perhaps they lost the chance to have a cup of coffee. They are making a mountain out of molehill here. At the most i'd offer them $5pp to go and have a coffee locally. or divide the nightly rate/24 and refund 1 hours of time. I've had this happen, the power went out briefly, tripped the water pump which wouldn't restart, and guests were without water for an hour until I could resolve it. They shrugged it off and got on with their life. No one asked for a refund.
They are using this as an excuse, and they'll probably leave a bad review, but what will they say: power went out, host wouldn't refund. pfft. that'll make them look unreasonable.
In fact if I were you I'd mention in the review this behaviour, to warn future hosts: the power went out for 45mins on morning of departure and guests requested a refund for this "inconvenience".
Thank you for the reply! I completely agree with you here.
I am going to issue a refund, but only for the time that was ACTUALLY lost during their stay 🙂
@Alec152 Give them the review they deserve, 'high maintenance, not well suited to renting an entire space on the short term rental platform'. And remember, whatever refund you give them will not prevent them from leaving a bad review. We also have the disclaimer on weather/utilities.