Sorry this is so long, but if I am to describe the situation I cannot get it much shorter.
My initial thought was to give a refund for the night not stayed but guest lied and was so nasty I am now inclined not to give any refund. How would other hosts handle the situation?
I contacted Airbnb immediately for advice, and was told a caseworker would be in touch, but that it would take a while.
The events leading to this were as follows:
Booking request received from guest with the possibility of arrival after midnight. Booking accepted with proviso that if arrival was outside normal hours that it would be self check in via an electronic keypad. Travel directions map, along with self check lock code and instructions, were sent to guest within 24 hours of booking along with request to notify us if any change to eta or any questions. Guest promptly acknowledged receipt with a simple "Thank you” On the day of their anticipated arrival I sent them a welcome message with the assumption that they would be arriving late that night. Later that day I received message to the effect that they were on the road and did not have or did not understand the check in. I resent those docs twice by email and private. Later I had a phone call, again asking for code, which I gave again and followed up with another message. Just to be sure that they would have easy access I unlocked the door to unit and sent message to that effect. On arrival they did not appear to have an access problem. I met them the next morning and asked how everything was and was told everything was great. My wife met later and was told how comfortable the bed was and how well they slept. The events thus far may appear trivial and of no consequence, but read on and you will see why I have included this part.
We did not meet up again until the morning following at about 6.15 when I was walking on patio near to the entrance to the guest suite as I noticed that the entrance gate had been propped open, and saw the guest standing by the door. I greeted her, and did I ever get an earful! They had packed up the car (hence the open gate) and were in the process of leaving. They complained that they had been unable to sleep as the air conditioning was not working and that they had measured the room temperature at 100F, and also there was no hot water, and therefore had to endure a cold shower. I said, ”May I come in”, but got no answer. I continued through the door and turned the hot water faucet on and felt the water which was running hot and told guest that it felt plenty hot to me, feel it for yourself – no response, so I repeated the invitation and guest reluctantly put her hand under the running faucet. I then said, “Well, is that not hot?” but no answer. I then said that I could not understand what was going on as the air felt cool right then, but offered to investigate further as their allegation had taken me by surprise. I asked if that had been the case earlier in the night, why did they not come and get me either by calling out or ringing door bell and the answer was that they did not want to disturb anyone. I replied to the effect that if the room was uninhabitable then they should have notified me immediately as I would have taken care of the problem either by fixing it or offering alternative accommodation. (A private guest room at the other end of the house which was available and was linked to the other a/c system, for example). They told me it was very unprofessional behavior to rent a room out under those circumstances and that they would be giving a bad review and wanted a refund for the full stay. Guest told me that they had suffered a lot of stress and that there was a medical condition involved and something about their oxygen cylinder not working. Also that I was very unprofessional as I asked them earlier, when they were on their way, why they had waited a week to tell me they could not open the instructions I had sent. With that they turned and left, but at least wished me a nice day!
After they had gone I later found that they had sent me an email that night notifying me that the a/c and hot water were not working, and that, at about the same time as I had greeted them at about 6 15 that morning, they had sent another email telling me not to contact them, and accusing me of deliberately turning off the a/c and water, and demanding a full refund.
I have investigated this complaint, bearing in mind that I have no way of knowing what the temperature really was in the room between say midnight and 6 am. What I know for a fact is that the room was comfortably cool at 6.15 am and that the water ran hot. Weather info show that the low temp that night was 79, so IF the ac was not working that is what the room would have been, and not 100 or anywhere close. When I told guest that the room felt cool to me I asked him what his thermometer read at that time …no answer. The a/c system and hotwater heater did NOT malfunction, nor was there a power cut and had a circuit breaker flipped it would still have remained that way. Do I think that the guest was lying in order to get a refund? Most definitely, YES.
As a superhost with over 100 reviews we have only had one other bad review and that also was relating to a guest who claimed a refund for the remainder of time not stayed while citing reasons of tv not working and queen bed not a queen, both of which were lies and Airbnb denied refund. Funny that they were living 15 miles away from this other guest. An amazing coincidence, along with the fact that they were both hosts but with no reviews, but it must be just that, as if we were being set up guest would have complained after the first night.