Credit for a partial amenity?

Hi!

So our Airbnb is in a city with ridiculous weekday street parking restrictions. Just last Christmas we were able to rent an off-street parking space (about 3 blocks from the house) for use by our guests. We do not charge extra for this parking space and we did not increase our prices when we got the space.

Things have been working out great until this past week where I had a 7 night guest contact me on 2 separate occasions to say an unauthorized vehicle was in the space. I immediate advised him to find street parking and provided quick tips for navigating the street restrictions. I then worked with the owner of the parking spot to have the unauthorized vehicles towed. Both incidents were late at night and the guest had already settled his car somewhere else by then so I don’t believe the guest waited it out or went back to check on the towing.

The guest was very understanding but did express frustration which is also understandable. No one is more frustrated than me about this since it has never happened before and I have zero control over random things that happen in the city.

Question: should I offer any kind of monetary compensation to the guest? Again, the space didn’t cost him anything but the space does come as an amenity and twice during the week he was unable to use that amenity and had to deal with the street parking nonsense. I just thought this might be a nice thing to do. And then… selfishly… I’d hope that doing something like this might make him go a little softer on my review :disappointed:

Would love your thoughts!

I suppose this is dependent on which type of guest you got. You may have understanding guests but at the same time - if they are writing a factual review and mention what did happen to them, the monetary compensation was ‘for nothing’ so to speak.

Like you said, this situation was out of your control and of course these things happen at the worst times of the day - when a quick remedy cannot be found.

I think it would be the same as if I offered air conditioning and we’d have a power outage for several hours whenever a guest might need it. Your guest tried to access the parking spot just at the time someone illegally parked there. It was not supposed to be like that - but it happened.

I don’t think money would help here, unless you have discussed this clearly with the guest and he agreed to not mention it in the review.

Just my 2 cents.

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No.

This is explicitly forbidden and will get you thrown off the site:

" * Members of the Airbnb community may not coerce, intimidate, extort, threaten, incentivize or manipulate another person in an attempt to influence a review, like promising compensation in exchange for a positive review or threatening consequences in the event of a negative review.

  • Reviews may not be provided or withheld in exchange for something of value—like a discount, refund, reciprocal review, or promise not to take negative action against the reviewer. They also may not be used as an attempt to mislead or deceive Airbnb or another person. For example, guests should not write biased or inauthentic reviews as a form of retaliation against a Host who enforces a policy or rule."
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I’m not asking him to do it, I’m sure a number of hosts and guest have done this and found an amicable solution, just as much as Airbnb is ‘valuing’ us hosts (or superhosts) by not being of any help either when we need it.

…is not a reason to advise someone to consider to commit a breach of TOS.

I wouldn’t offer money - you provided solutions for parking and instructions, apologized, had the cars towed, and the space was usable for the rest of the booking.

These things happen. If the guest writes about it, you can reply with “it’s a private spot and we had the illegally parked car towed ASAP and told the guest about other parking areas in the meantime.”

I have a friend in San Diego who owns a home in a nice neighborhood. People are always parking in front of her driveway, blocking her access to her own driveway and home. She’s tried everything - red lines, signs, and has the towing company on speed dial. Nothing helps.

Put it behind you and if it happens again, offer a $25 gift card to someplace they like if you feel the need.

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I don’t think there’s a need to offer compensation but it might be a kind gesture to offer them a nice bottle of wine for the inconvenience.

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I don’t believe in throwing money at guests for some small inconvenience that was out of a host’s control and that the host did everything they could to mitigate.

I think just acknowledging that you are sorry it happened is fine. If you want to bring them some chocolates or some nice pastries as a gesture of goodwill, that serms like plenty. Unless the guest is a nasty person, they aren’t going to give you a bad review because if it, and if they mention it in the review (which doesn’t make it a “bad” review), and doesn’t explain why they were unable to park in front of the house, you can clarify with a response.

I have a theory about how a host deals with things like this and guest psychology. If the host acts like a minor inconvenience is a big deal, that they are scared of a bad review, and makes up for it with $, the guest is more likely to leave a bad review.

Like if a guest freaks out because they saw a palmetto bug in an area where they are endemic and ubiquitous, if the host responds matter-of-factly, “Oh yes, they are all over this area and other places in the world with similar climates. They don’t breed indoors, they just fly in sometimes through an open window or door. They don’t bite or sting. There’s a can of insecticide under the sink if you find one in the house”, the guest is more likely to take it in stride.

If the host says, “Oh, goodness, I’m so sorry, I’ll call pest control right away”, and gives the guest some discount, the guest is more likely to leave a review complaining of “bugs”, because the host has planted the notion that it’s a big deal.

2 Likes

I like this logic (about how to react as the host) but I’m too late to apply it to this incident, unfortunately. I had apologized profusely and explained that this had never happened before (which is true), that we take our guests’ experiences very seriously, and that we were committed to figuring out a better way to make clear that towing is enforced for unauthorized vehicles (there’s already a sign for that but :woman_shrugging:t2:)

I did NOT, and will not, provide any monetary compensation per the feedback I’ve received about this (thank you all!)

FWIW the guy came across as a pretty decent person in my chat interactions and his family wrote a really lovely note in our guest book saying how much they loved our house (they checked out today). So fingers crossed. My gut says there won’t be anything scathing :crossed_fingers: