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Double booking nightmare

I realize this topic has several threads but wanted to add my horrific experience double booking a STR. I had booked a guest in my island cottage for a 2 week stay. The single woman had been a guest previously and had contacted me directly for another stay. She booked almost a year in advance. Although I made a notation of the booking on my phone, it never made it onto my calendar. I own several properties and had convinced myself that I was properly documenting guests, and was on top of everything. 9 months later, a male friend asked me about my cottage and my calendar showed a vacancy so I agreed to rent for that slot. While I was out of the country on a trip, my 1st guest arrived at my cottage on a Saturday and accessed cottage with a previously supplied key. She happily settled in. My friends arrived the next night at 11 PM. He entered the dark cottage with a key I had supplied. The poor women woke up with a strange man entering her living room. She leaped out of bed in terror, tripped, and fell, badly fracturing her her leg. My horrified male friend ran to her assistance and called the ambulance to transport her to the hospital. Several frantic phone calls/emails finally reached me and I was remotely able to arrange housing for my male friend. The poor woman had to have family members come to the island to retrieve her after her operation to have pins installed in her shattered leg. I rushed back ASAP and called the injured guest recuperating at her home.
Results: Knowing this situation was an Injury lawyers dream case, I immediately offered to pay all medical expenses, and threw in a free 2 week stay the following summer. The gracious women accepted my offer and didn’t hire a lawyer. WHEW. My male friend rightly called me an idiot but also accepted a free booking of his choice.
Lesson: You can never be too careful about the paperwork. Sloppy book keeping can has catastrophic results.

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HOLY S***! What a nightmare indeed. Thanks so much for being willing to share your story in the hopes it will help someone else. Most people would be too embarrassed. So my hat’s off to you for owning up and trying to make right in more ways than one.

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What a nightmare! I’m glad you took responsibility and worked out an excellent solution with both guests. A tremendous lesson learned.

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Are you paying this out of pocket, or do you have STR insurance that will cover it?

Either way I would say she is blessed…

A BROKEN leg… OMG…what a nice lady! Most guests I think would see mega $’s!

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I initially submitted a claim through my STR insurance ( my Insurance Agent was NOT impressed with me as I admitted the whole tale ) but fortunately , the poor injured women said her health insurance would cover her care. She ended up needing extensive Physical therapy after the operation further increasing costs. I was extremely lucky getting a pass from her. I considered the lost rent a super bargain considering everything. I dodged a bullet on this one, and learned a huge lesson. The whole unfortunate incident earned me a deserved “idiot “ reputation amongst my family. It gets occasionally mentioned at family gatherings.

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How long ago was this?

Date of incident: June 2018. She returned for her “ free “ 2 weeks this past June, and has booked a stay for 2020. She mentioned her family had pressured her to hire an attorney but she refused , what an angel !

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You did, and knowing how litigious folks are on your side of “the pond”, it could have been an extremely expensive bullet.

I’ll bet, but hey you should hear what folks say about me at family gatherings, at least the ones I still get invited to.

:smile:

JF

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You dodged a bullet but you also did right by her. Too often we see hosts here trying to pin the blame on everything but their mistake.

If I were you, that woman would get a free stay every year for as long as I owned the rental.

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It might be a good idea to list on Houfy for your direct bookers and all return guests. They sync calendars. I agree with everyone you really did get an angel guest. Thanks for telling your story!

But only an iCal synch, still allows for double bookings given the lag between synchs.

JF

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I think Houfy syncs every 4 hours, Airbnb is 3 hours and verbo is 5 or 6.

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Ok, we use a CM so have immediate synch but anecdotal evidence suggests that relying on an iCal synch is just asking for a problem, especially in respect of Airbnb.

JF

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In the olden days of the B & B I used (wait for it) a highly efficient system. It was called a diary. That was used for running a 5-guest place.

Today, despite having just about every bit of technology known to mankind, I use the same system. Admittedly, it’s only for three (usually back-to-back) Airbnb apartments but it works.

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It is always a helpful backup!! :slight_smile:

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It’s the phone that’s the helpful backup :wink:

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Must be generational, we have the online shit, but the bedding gets done by an A4 page on the fridge, which gets updated with every booking.

The cleaning, i.e. me, just does what one is told, usually on the basis of the exalted sheet of A4.

JF

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We use a giant paper calendar. And the reservation printouts from Air, GH and Houfy, which get put in proper order etc. Our str is (easy) one only. I’d go crazy if not for sync. Someday I might have to decline somebody if it they are not synced in time, but I have learned to live with that possibility. As a new host I worried about opposing bookings, but now I am more relaxed.

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