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Air conditioner broke - Refund $?

Hello! My first post here … so go easy on me - hope y’all are safe and well during these weird times.

I rent my Pool House out (NW Arkansas) as an Airbnb when I’m not using it and we had our first problem occur while an Airbnb guest was staying there … the air conditioner quit working! It’s fixed now, guess it was a fluke lightening accident. Luckily the guest was understanding!

I was raised in the south and southern hospitality really is a thing, so since the air was out their first night (They only stayed for 2, also it gets down to 78-80 here at night) I refunded the guest their whole booking amount ($1500, my fault, not them) and let them finish out their stay because that’s what I think is the right thing to do, not saying it is, I bet i could’ve refunded just the first night and them be happy since it was fixed before their 2nd night, just felt like it wasn’t their fault and it was the right thing to do, they didn’t expect to be miserable night one.

I just run the Airbnb on the side to give mom something to do (she cleans, loves leaving flowers for guests, doing the shampoos etc in the bathroom, it’s always been her dream for a bed and breakfast.) Im not married at all, so for me “happy mom = happy life” I’m happy with my decision.

I really just wanted to see what you would do in this spot? Is a full refund warranted?

Just curious. Appreciate all the responses. Jack

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I would have bought them dinner at a local place, maybe a bottle of wine but not refund $1500 for the AC out one day. They may mention the air was out in the review anyway, or even worse mention the full refund and set expectations for the next guest.

RR

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Holy sh*t! A pool house in NW Arkansas rents for $750/night?

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Thanks for the response! She actually left a 5 star review, one of the best reviews we have actually, no mention of the refund or any of the problems so lucked out there. Will keep in mind for the future, really do appreciate it

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Welcome to the forum

She got what I assume is a great place, at $0, and southern hospitality of you and your mother. I’d hope she’d leave a good review.

First: I congratulate you on customer service
Second: I think you might have gone overboard by refunding the full amount. I posted awhile ago about what I did when the water heater broke (see below) In your situation I might have offered one night (the night without air).

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Hey Brian! I had the same thought myself … never thought in my wildest dreams that it would work this well haha. I could’ve been booked ALL summer … I’m not instant book so I left it up and declined everyone who tried to reserve it … I didn’t allow guests because I wanted my family and friends to have a little peaceful “escape” from covid if they wanted … it got used a bunch.

If you want to see it I’d PM the link to ya if i can figure out how.

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Where’s Arkansas, I wanna buy a rental there now!

:wink:

JF

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@jackj813 Refunding guests for minor inconveniences sets a really bad precedent. Hosts already have to deal with scamming guests who demand refunds for trivial things or made-up things. Every time a host does this they reinforce an expectation in guests’ minds that they should have money throw at them for anything.

I agree with @RiverRock- a dinner voucher, a bottle of wine, or some other “I’m sorry about that” token would have been the appropriate way to deal with this.

If it were a matter of you having fallen down on the job or been remiss somehow, or the AC being out for their entire stay, it might be different, but this sounds like something that was out of your control.

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I had to LOL. I’m going to assume that it’s a house with a pool at that price, not what I think of as a “pool house.” But if in fact it’s a “pool house” then @KenH had better raise his prices for this coming winter because it’s gonna be cray cray.

No way. Based on my 5 years on this forum I think I’m one of the more generous regular posters here in terms of holding myself accountable and in offering refunds. But no, that’s way too much.

I stayed in a multimillion $$ mansion in Costa Rica that was around $750 a night and the power went out one night in 2/3rd of the house. No ac, dinner by candlelight, no lights on the pool, no internet. But I got no refund and gave a top review because I had a fabulous time and everything else was top shelf quality.

Without knowing you, your rental or anything, one night at most is what I’d give. Just the one night it was out and that’s way more than what most would do.

Welcome to the forum.

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When my A/C went out on check in day, alerted guests, contacted another local host who could take their reservation and offered a full refund of my booking if they went elsewhere, or fans if they stayed with me. It was warm but not outrageously hot. The guests were quite easygoing, fortunately, and wanted to keep their reservation with me. I did a partial refund, not even an entire night.
For 2 water outages of a couple hours and the electricity going off for a short time, I did a wine and local treats basket.

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Just saying—Airbnb will refund 50% of the rental for each day without an amenity if the guest reports it. Happened to me 20 hours no A/c 50% night refund. It’s in the TOS.

Keep in mind what you have in you amenities that may be Covid19 affected like pool or hot tub. Remove them from your amenities list or fully disclose well in advance of the stay.

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Oh I agree that if an amenity is non-functional for any significant period of time, a refund might be in order. The OP here said the AC was out overnight only, if I understood correctly. And that the guests were easygoing about it.

I think if guests are adaptable and take things in stride which aren’t due to some negligence on the host’s part, we shouldn’t jump to offer a refund, because that’s really how all guests should be- guests like that are obviously happier people- they came to enjoy themselves, and they aren’t about to let some minor glitch “ruin” their holiday. In fact, they might look back on a holiday as more memorable, in a good way, because there was some unexpected adversity- “Hey, remember that night we stayed at the Airbnb in XX and the power went out so we played board games by candlelight and laughed our heads off? That was so much fun!”

It’s the flip side of a host being easy-going and overlooking minor digressions, or being a fusspot who wants everything done “just so” and complaining about the fact that the guest left some toothpaste splatters on the shared bathroom counter or a couple of unwashed breakfast dishes in the sink on check-out day.

If a guest makes it obvious that they are fussed about something not working as it should, or if it’s an amenity that is pretty crucial and not working for an entire day, or is really a inconvenience, then offering some refund, (pre-empting a complaint and refund demand to Airbnb or letting them stew about it and leave a bad review) would seem the smart way to go.

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Uhh… check their politics first. It’s not Bill Clinton’s Arkansas any more.

Ah, it’s like that is it…

I’ll say no more.

:zipper_mouth_face:

JF

Yup! Definitely gonna look at septupling my rates!!

–Ken

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I had a guest cook/burn food without turning on the vent fan then set off the smoke detector. When I was there to pull the battery out and TURNED ON VENT fan, opened some windows and doors she was going on about how this was ruining her stay. When she checked out I asked her for her email address so I could send her a discount code for her or a friend. That is the carrot, guests are not likely to leave a bad review and screw themselves out of a 3rd night free in the future.

RR

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I was actually a guest in Arkansas in the early summer, and this happened to us! The AC was out for three of our seven days, and it was SO HOT in the house. We were all uncomfortable, didn’t want to cook but couldn’t go out due to the virus, and had to deal with repairmen in and out for two days who didn’t wear masks. We did request some money back, and I think it was fair. The host refunded those three nights, and we were definitely mollified. We left a very nice review, of course.

I like this, particularly if you didn’t actually do so :grin:

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ummm…
Unplanned Pacific Gas & Electric power outages last summer. No refund.
AC went out three weeks ago for about 9 hours. No refund.
Boil water notice for 3 days cus same PG&E cut a local water line. No refund.
Smell of propane all morning - asked guests to depart until sourced. No refund.
Clogged shower drain- two others avail to use. No refund.

I do apologize profusely and then let it go. I’ve yet to have guests demand anything…

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Sounds like you had sane And understanding guests who realized sometimes things just happen that are out of the hosts control. Excellent

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