I have two guests arriving on the 7th of June for 3 nights. I just got notice that my electricity will most likely be turned off from 9am to 6pm on the 8th of June for upgrade work in the area. Eeek…what should I do?
And suggestions about how to deal with this would be great. I’ve never had an issue like this before.
Don’t worry about it. We get this often - but with no warning. (We’ve also had the water off for hours, the internet down, the cable TV service interrupted…)
Just tell your guests as soon as you can so that they can plan their day. Provide whatever you need to to ensure that they aren’t inconvenienced. At the same time, give the guests a gift card to a value that won’t cut in too much to your profits (depending on how long they are staying and how much your nightly rate is).
For instances such as this, I give a $50 gift card to a restaurant chain (so that they can use it in other places if they like) but you might prefer a $10 Starbucks card or something.
Give the guests a printed sheet of great things to do in the neighbourhood, preferably that are free of charge - exhibitions at the local art gallery, what’s on at the museum, local attractions, free festivals, craft fairs, artwalks, whatever. Try to make it a list of things that they can’t just find out from Google.
Add info of places that have free wifi.
If you know of any special interests they have, then tailor the list. If they are bringing children, add children’s activities. Ditto dogs.
Put books, magazines and board games in the rental and point them out to the guests to occupy them if necessary.
Point out the benefits of unplugging …
Thanks for your reply and ideas. I’m guessing, as they are coming on holiday to explore the area for only three nights, that they will be out most of the day. Was just concerned about them having to shower and have breakfast all before 9am. Which may be fine, but may be a little early for some people. There is a little shop just down the road that serves coffee etc so they hopefully won’t be too inconvenienced.
That’s a great idea to give them a voucher or gift card.
I like your last (unplugging) comment!
A rare area of disagreement here with Jaquo. I don’t like chain restaurants and I don’t want a gift card for one. It has limited value for me because I don’t want to use it and probably wouldn’t. So if I’m in your town I want to go to a locally owned restaurant or coffee shop. Of course others, maybe most guests, would love a chain restaurant. So I would tell the guests you got notice of the possible outage and then gauge their reaction. They might even say “Oh it doens’t matter we are going to up and out early, going on the ferry to the island.” Then maybe you could give them a snack basket to take on the ferry so they don’t pay for overpriced snacks there.
I had guests here for 11 days. The internet went out one day and I told them I would refund for each day it was out if it persisted. They insisted that a refund wasn’t necessary. On their last night I left a bottle of wine with a note onthe table outside their door. They had been great guests, didn’t ask for laundry to be done, took out their own trash and so on. I had seen them drinking a dry red wine at that same table so I knew it would be a welcome gift.
While I agree with what is said I would certainly also give the guest the option to cancel w/o penalty. Many would disagree but some would find the inconvenience of no electricity too much to handle especially for that length of time. Last fall the city was laying new water lines in our area so the water would be turned off for 4-6 hours a day periodically and unfortunately with only a few hours notice. I gave all my guests the option of cancelling and fortunately none did but everyone of them commented that the advance notice was appreciated so they could adjust their schedules and understood we gave them as much notice as possible.
I wouldn’t mention it to the guests. If you do, its certain they’ll cancel and or throw a fit. In my experience, these kinds of interruptions are usually not as big of a deal as people like to make them and its easier to just roll with it. If this happened to me and I was a guest, I’d just go down the street to the coffee shop for an hour if I really need to charge my phone or whatever. Not a big deal!
The reason I go for chain restaurants are:
a) There is one pretty nearby and it’s a lovely walk to get there
b) The chances are that if the guests are from the States (or even other countries in the case of some chains) they can use them in their home town or when they’re travelling again
c) If they don’t like the chain (for instance, a gift card to a steak house would be no use to us - we don’t eat meat) then the guests can give the card to someone else as a gift
I do see your point though - chain restaurants are usually less-than-interesting. But it’s the thought that counts.
Tell your guests about it. It’s not your fault. They might want to be reimbursed for 1 night or they might want to stay in a hotel. I had this happened, but in my case it was a water emergency, a pipe broke in the street and needed to be fixed.
So my guests couldn’t shower to go to a wedding. they immediately called ABB CS who found them a hotel and I had to reimburse them for 1 night.
I had this happen two times.
Both times I’ve written them and informed them and that I was sorry for the inconvenience.
I politely told them that they could cancel with a full refund but people are mostly understanding and my guests only thanked me for the info and kept their reservation.
They also left 5 star reviews.
If it’s not a big deal then why would you lie and be dishonest about it? I really don’t understand your logic here.
These are paying guests. They should of course be informed so they can act accordingly.
Yea, I had thought a local coffee shop or restaurant. I’m in a fairly small town so that would be more appropriate. I emailed the guest and told them about it, about it being a possibility. Her reply was ‘hopefully it won’t happen but keep me posted’. I can’t really do that as we probably won’t know until the day if it happens or not! Anyway, that’s for the reply, we’ll see what happens.
They have notice now that it may happen. It’s the middle day of their stay so not sure it would suit to cancel. I really think they’ll be out for the day, it’s more having to get ready and out before 9am that I thought might be an issue.
I’d rather give people notice. As it’s not my fault there’s not a lot I can do but forewarn. And hopefully it won’t be a big deal…to some it might be. Hopefully not to them.
Except there’s no hotel close by…If they cancel it’d be for the three days as it’s the middle of their stay. I doubt they will as no hotels near by. Hopefully it either be turned off or won’t be a big issue if it is. Pain in the arse these last minute outages etc!
That’s good to hear. Fingers crossed it goes ok this time
If it does get turned off, you probably should reimburse them for that day.
I wouldn’t - unless the power company reimbursed me
We are in PG&E territory. We received written notification that power will be cut for multiple days due to windy dry conditions. They stated that they will try to notify us a few hours in advance of an emergency shut off. That means no power, no water (well). I typed up a notification: That if power out for longer than 2 hours, they have the choice to move to a motel. I will contact airbnb, to request a refund for them. I will not personally give them a refund, money or gift cards. That is they decide to stay, I will not request a refund.
I feel that as soon as I am notified I will notify the guest. Hopefully before they arrive. Then I call airbnb, cancel and get them a refund. This is something we will be dealing with all summer.
I offer them a 50% refund for the day. I do that for any major inconvenience … sure, it’s not my fault but it’s not their fault either. Some lovely guests don’t accept it but are pleased it was offered.