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We booked an AirBnB for the holiday, about $150/night, a normal rate in Colorado. When we checked in, the heat was off. It had been well below zero the day before; the internal temperature of the house was 45-50 degrees. Electric baseboard radiant heat.
I called the host who told me to turn up the 4 thermostats and that “it heats up fast.” No darling it does not heat up fast. Everything in the house is 45-50 degrees and all of that mass has to be heated up before comfort is possible.
So we took off for an hour and a half waiting for our place to heat up.
Look, folks, if you’re going to do unexpected things like that, disclose it in your listing.
Essentially the house was not ready for check in and I could have called AirBnB and gotten a refund for that first night. Of course we were tired and it was after dark and we might not have found any alternative housing.
I didn’t call but now I wish I had called. Unless you do, hosts don’t care. I did note this is my review which has 5, 4, and 3 stars on various parts.
As I’ve said elsewhere, I am done with AirBnB as a guest. Too many hosts do not care enough, all they want is the money. I am not that kind of host and you probably aren’t, either, as you’re on this forum, but we may be in the minority.
And I can well imagine more and more of these poorly run listings as Airbnb keeps soliciting new hosts, making it sound like easy money, making it sound like anyone and his dog can host, instead of it being a job, like any other, which requires a skill set, a certain mentality, knowledge of what constitutes hospitality, and a lot of hard work.
They now have a program where they are actively encouraging long term tenants of places run by big property management companies and mega investors to sublet on Airbnb.
Yes, and what are the tenants going to do when the guests stop up the plumbing, or damage things? Are they going to pay for str insurance? No, they’re going to call the landlord and expect him to fix it.
The one I stayed in was the Outer Banks, NC. Cute little place but the heater/AC was high enough on the wall that I had to get on one of the padded bar stools to see what the settings were and it was confusing. Since I didn’t get it right the first night there was a portable heater that was digital, no instructions and I wasn’t going to leave that on all night, so it was cold, not 45, but took hours to warm it up the next day. Host took till the next day to respond and by then I had them all figured out.
This was the beginning of the freeze in the East otherwise it might not have been so bad.
They had all good reviews, so I’m definitely more negative on this one.
I left a day early because the situation where I live was going to be bad. Did I ask for money back? Absolutely not!
For us hosts who DO care and make sure that check in is trouble-free, the next time a guest looks for lodging, that bad host will not be ‘in the running’… but we will. If guests write honest reviews saying things like “the temperature upon arriving was 45 degrees and it took hours to warm up the place” future guests will benefit from the review - and look for hosts like us, who have good reviews and a good host (bowing slightly lol).
Seriously - when folks look for lodging based on price rather than quality, bad hosts stay in business…
With my two most recent experiences, which weren’t super positive I looked at their reviews to not see anything negative. So why am I the outlier?
Think my best Air experiences were in France, probably stayed in 10 places because I was there 2 months. Most hosts were really kind and I still remember the ones that went out of their way, picking me up at the train, having me for meals.
I don’t care what the price point is, it shouldn’t be cold in the rental in winter, in a place known to be cold in winter especially. I don’t even know why you mentioned price. The OP stated that the price was a “normal rate,” whatever that means. I also don’t know what kind of rental it was but $150 a night doesn’t seem “low priced” to me and I’m familiar with the region.
There’s nothing essentially wrong with booking a place based on a low price, and not all budget-priced places are run by bad hosts. There are guests who don’t care about fancy digs, they have little $ to spend and just need a clean, comfortable place to sleep and shower.
The issue, as with all listings really, is when the guest’s expectations don’t match what is on offer.
And while there certainly there are bad hosts who do not provide what they offer, or somehow think it’s okay to have guests check in to a freezing cold place, they don’t all have cheap listings.
Compared to Airbnb averages, my place is low priced. But I pride myself on offering not just clean and comfortable, but also nice. And I add extra touches that someone might not expect at the price point. I’ve never felt it was causing me to attract the wrong kind of guest. I do think price, along with other factors, may contribute to less than stellar guests and I’m not in favor of the proverbial “race to the bottom.” But every time I hear this kind of social class thesis that links price to problems, it makes my teeth itch.
I use a ecobee wifi thermostat so even if I am not there I ensure my guests arrive to a warm or cool house. The hosts who are cheap, don’t want to pre heat or cool are not doing the power bill any favors because a cold guest will set the heat as high as it can go to warm up. Not efficient at all, unhappy guests.
There are so many hosts who have no business in this business.
Same here and it has always really irritated me when hosts equate low prices with a dump or say it attracts low quality guests. I have gotten such great guests, never a bad one I wouldn’t host again. Not one has ever complained about anything, and they’ve all left 5* reviews ( aside from the few who didn’t bother to leave a review). And contrary to what people seem to think, guests looking for budget-priced accommodation aren’t “cheap”. My guests have brought me gifts, bought me bottles of wine and other treats, taken me out for dinner.
We provide heat turned on previous and a/c also as appropriate before guests arrival. Most of the time neither would be needed or expected because we are in a temperate clime. With all the freezing going on across the Us right now I can’t imagine it’s not forefront in a successful hosts preparations.
I’ve arrived at ski cabins that are truly chilly, (before Air days) and you wouldn’t even consider taking off your jacket or taking a hot shower because it was so cold.
In extreme temperatures: when very cold in winter ( or I see someone coming from a warm place) and when it’s really hot in summer) I just ask guests what temperature they’d like to greet them on check-in and am sometimes surprised.
It just takes a minute to ask and then the temperature is set how they’d like from the get-go.