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After over 100 guests and 4.92 stars avg reviews, I had a young couple staying for a week, on the morning of their checkout I got a msg at 8am (checkout was at 10am) that someone came into the house while they were sleeping and took a bunch of stuff (nothing sentimental, it was sun glasses, 2 expensive headphones, a go pro camera, etc…no phones or laptops, total value was $900).
From what it seems, they left the bathroom window open and the thieves entered through there.
I live in a small town where things like this usually never happen since everybody knows everybody, what is strange is that thieves would enter a house with people in it and the people in it didn’t hear anything, they claimed the thieves even opened the fridge but they went to sleep at 9pm and didn’t hear anything…
Here is what I did:
I notified Airbnb of the happening (the guests also did before they even contacted me)
I came right after I got the message, within 5 minutes I was there.
Took them to the police to file a report and helped them with the language.
Told them that if the insurance doesn’t refund them I would personally send them the money.
The security measures I took for next time (although there is 1% chance of even this time happening, again really small beach town, no large scale crime)
Ordered a new “ring alarm system” from amazon to install in the house.
Considering installing cameras although I am not convinced yet since it gives a feeling of insecurity and no privacy.
Unfortunately this sucks and I feel bad for them and I committed to pay for their staff if the insurance doesn’t pay them…today I woke up and they left a great positive written review, but a 2 star in stars because of the “value” section.
This ever happened to some of you? how would you act? what do you think of guest leaving a 2 star review when knowing that this is not my fault either, things happen and he is guaranteed to get 100% of his stuff back? ( I feel kind of cheated by the guest, I went above and beyond IMO and even committed to lose money on their booking to pay for their stolen stuff)
To be honest, it’s their fault their stuff was stolen since they left the window open. I’m such a New Yorker that I would even question if they really got robbed. How do you know they had expensive headsets, etc. Did they provide receipts? I would not reimburse them unless I was 100% sure they were robbed. I would go and check the window and walls to see if there are any indentations on the window frame or scuff marks on the wall. If a 150 lb. person climbed through a small bathroom window, there should be some visual evidence.
You need exterior cameras, for sure! And you then disclose them—and the fact that they are all exterior only—in your listing!
Also, what about a lock that allows each window to open enough for ventilation but not enough for a person to enter? I don’t know how secure they are, but they have to help. There are several types for different kinds of windows.
Why would you do that? I don’t understand at all. You didn’t rob them or cause the theft, so I don’t get it at all.
In fact, do you know they were really robbed?
When they claim on their insurance, they’ll have to provide receipts for the goods and, if they can, photographs. If they can’t, and the insurance company decides that their claim isn’t valid, I don’t understand why you’d pay them?
I could improve the “security” of the windows (put bars) so no one came come through there when they are open, but the design of the house (on a tropical location and beach) is that of “openness” so big windows, big sliding doors to the gallery, etc… I think this theft is a 0.1% of a chance in happening, will consider doing something with the windows if it ever happens again as it would destroy the feeling of the property (and value proposition)
Neighbors also got robbed the same night so makes the story more credible.
I am still ok with doing it but I understand most people wouldn’t , my GF also disagrees with me.
The thinking is that I don’t want people to feel shitty from their holiday after they saved for a year ,etc, and also want to keep getting only top reviews for future guests (although this didn’t work out well)
Yet another example of a host being held to ransom for reasons of good reviews.
This is why people have insurance, so that their goods are protected. They can claim on their travel insurance or their home insurance if it includes out-of-home stuff.
Their insurance company is composed of professionals who will deal with their claim and decide whether it’s a valid claim. If they decide that it’s odd that expensive items were stolen but other expensive items (that would be highly inconvenient if lost) weren’t, then they may decide that it’s a fraudulent claim.
So when you say that you’ll fork out if their insurance doesn’t, it just doesn’t make sense.
I agree 100%, this is because we are dependent on a monopoly that will l only grow no matter how nice they are (like Uber ,etc) …I prefer to lose on one booking then who knows how the algorithm will rank my property after a bad review, or a claim of “things were stolen on that house” on my profile.
I hope they refund them, they said they were confident they would get refunded (even before I offered to refund them).
I hope you’ve changed your mind about compensating the guest after they gave you a 2-star review.
Also, keep in mind the guest might get compensated by some insurance and still ask for compensation from you. How would you know whether or not they already received compensation? I know your intentions were good, but telling the guest you would personally compensate them was poor judgement.
I 10000% changed my mind after the review, but will still do it since I committed to it.
I thought of them sending me a copy of the insurance claim and denial in the case they claim the insurance doesn’t pay them, but tbh haven’t thought this through 100% since all happened when they had 2 hours to take a taxi and catch a plane, it was just a thing of the moment when I felt really bad.
Next time thanks to the forum I will think of other options and have more experience
I’m not following your logic here. Relying on what monopoly?
What did the police say at the scene? I was very impressed recently when a simple case of a bloke tampering with a car door handle (not stealing the car) led to DNA testing - very efficient. Did they do this? Fingerprints?
Did the police just take a report? or did they come to the site to investigate
This is only good for when it is activated. I have an alarm system in my guest house, but its more trouble to have it used when guests are there. I only use my alarm when the guest house (and my house) are empty. I’d suggest that the investment of exterior cameras would be a better option … you’d have some record of any intruders, as well as keep track of guests.
As Warner Wolf used to say “Let’s got to the videotape!”