Experienced host here who, in a lapse of judgement, made a big mistake and am now so frustrated with myself I just need a sympathetic, understanding ear. Sigh. The background:
A little over a week ago, I receive a VRBO inquiry for a 7-day booking in high season. The guest writes a personal note about how she and her husband spent two weeks on honeymoon at my cabin (before I bought it) and then proceeds to tell me at length how wonderful it was. Life changing, life affirming, and so on. It’s now their ten year anniversary and they’d like to bring their two young girls back to celebrate. However - big surprise! - they’re wondering if there’s “any possibility to negotiate the price or some of the extra fees” to make it more affordable for them since they booked direct from owner before and the nightly rate was significantly less. Well yes of course it was…it’s been ten years and a pandemic and skyrocketing inflation and so on! Anyhow, I tell her to look on AirBnB because the fees are less there and my rates are also less since I try to drive traffic to AirBnB, my preferred booking site. So then she writes me on AirBnB and says “I found you!” and asks again if we could negotiate. So in a moment of terrible judgement, I get on the phone with her and everything is all sweet and kind and I tell her this is a complete exception to my rule, but that I’ll let them book offline if they send me a check and sign a rental agreement and abide by the same cancellation policy as AirBnB. They think about it, she comes back and tells me it’s a yes for 6 days instead of 7 and we have another phone conversation and she starts sending me pics of the honeymoon from 10 years ago and tells me how wonderful the world is, etc. So I dig out the rental agreement I had a lawyer draw up a few years ago but never used, and I spend some time customizing it and send it to her. At this point I’m probably about an hour and a half total invested in this nonsense with the communication, negotiation, nicey nice chat, contract updating, etc. This was 4 days ago and suddenly this guest who was texting and calling me like I was her best friend has gone completely silent. I finally write and ask if she got my email and text and…silence. Ugh. (By the way, I’m not worried about this being a scam because of her knowledge of certain details of the cabin and canyon and her reviews on both booking sites).
I know I’ll get over this in no time and who cares in the grand scheme of things - there’s no damage to me, nor my cabin, nor to my sanity with these guests, but damn it sure is frustrating to make a concession and then find yourself dealing with people like this. Okay, thanks for listening. Lesson fully learned. Ha ha.