Guest makes trivial complaint, demands full refund Sept 21, 2015 4:33:56 GMT
Post by High Priestess on Sept 21, 2015 4:33:56 GMT
Refund demand to avoid a bad review....
Thanks so much for the add... This is a great forum but was hard to find. It's full of great advice and help.
I've been hosting for a few months and it's been going very well for the most part. I have a basement guest apartment at my house on the California coast with its own private entrance, so we are on site but guests have their privacy.
I've only had one real problems so far and I would like to know if you think I should have handled it better.
The guest and his girlfriend came for two nights, over a weekend in late July, peak summer season where we are. I was in the UK visiting family and had been very upfront with the guest about this, exchanging many messages prior to his arrival. My husband was home handling guests in my absence and I handled bookings and communication via email and the Airbnb site.
The guest sent me a message at 9PM on Sunday night, his final night at our place, to say he had slept badly due to "damp bedding" the night before and asking that we change the bedding for him before he arrived home a couple of hours later. He had been out all day, hours away from where we live visiting central California. My husband was already in bed at this point and I was still asleep in the UK, so by the time I got the message it was almost midnight in LA, and too late to call my guest. I immediately emailed him apologizing profusely and explaining about the mattress pad heaters and extra blankets that were available. I also asked him why he had not said anything sooner that day, when it would have been easy to fix the problem. He could have talked directly to my husband, left a note on the door upstairs, emailed me hours earlier, even called me in the UK.
The next morning on checkout day my husband got the message and was horrified. The guest was an LA local and had to work that day, so he went down at 8AM to the apartment to apologize and to offer breakfast and coffee in our own house to make up for the bad night's sleep, which the guest declined. He left a couple of hours later and all seemed okay, but a few hours later he emailed me and said he had a miserable stay and wanted a full refund or would post a bad review on the site. He was angry my husband disturbed him in the morning as well. I was a bit shaken by all this so called Airbnb for advice and they said I did not owe a refund and that the guest was in violation of the extortion policy by demanding a refund to avoid a bad review.
I wanted to be a good host and to make my guest happy so I offered him a 50% refund instead and reminded him I also got to write a review of him. He refused my offer, and also the offer to have Airbnb mediate, and felt he had abided by my house rules so there could be nothing bad I could say about him.
Needless to state, he wrote his review, I wrote mine, and I also rebutted his complaints and explained how I had tried to make it up to him. Airbnb felt he was trying to get a free weekend out of us. I was unhappy he chose to wait until late evening to voice his concern and to demand instant remediation. I have no idea if the sheets were damp. my husband swore they were not and there was no grounds for complaint. We try to run a very professional guest apartment aim for a hotel like experience. The guest's review wasn't great and he said he didn't feel his stay was worth the money. He dinged me with a 2 star rating. He spent less than 36 hours at our place and was away all day on his only full day there touring elsewhere, so I get that he didn't feel he got value, but don't understand why he would have booked our place and then driven hours away for the day when he could have done that from his own home.
I haven't experienced anything like that before, or since. It wasn't ideal with me being away, but my husband was fully capable of handling things and I was very honest with the guests at the time that I would not personally be there to greet them.
How reasonable is it to expect the host to be on call to problem solve late into the evening? Even if I had been home, what if I had been out at the theater or at a party, and didn't get home before the guest did at midnight? We live on site so try to be available to our guests if necessary but this was our first "difficult" customer so it was a bit intimidating, not knowing how to approach it.
do you know for sure that there was some problem, or was the guest making it all up? I have never heard of a "damp bedding " issue and this sounds like a fairy tale to me. I mean if you don't have a leak raining water down on the guest bed, how will it ever get damp? And I trust you didn't wash the linens and then put them on the bed, all wet.
There will be difficult guests who CANNOT be satisfied, no matter what you do, in fact guests who may be quite determined not to be satisfied. That is the psychology of some people and if you are going to be doing hosting this is something you need to know. I dont' know for sure if this person was that type but it sounds like it from what you write.
The guest was FAR too late in asking for correction to such a problem. Even if quite bizarrely the bedding was "damp" the previous night, then by 9pm the next night it is not likely to still be damp. You are in California in July, not in INdia during the Monsoon season. Beds aren't damp here. WE are in a drought for goodness sakes' .
To me this guy sounds like quite a fraudster. I would ask him what he means by "damp bedding' and require him to explain, and express my doubts, and then ask him why he waited 24 hrs to let me know about it.
The guy seems quite out of line. Dont' worry yourself over it or what you could have done -- just move on, looking for the future guests to be better.
Hosts should be available really at any hour for a dire emergency, (but this was not) and for important issues, hosts should be avialble soon, but since he delayed 24 hrs telling you then he cannot reasonably ask you to hop to right away. His delay justifies you taking your time to respond.