I am relatively new to Airbnb, we have a 2 bed 2 bath unit we let out and have had great reviews. The most recent guest has left a day early saying they had a bad night’s sleep from noise in another unit. Given we haven’t had an issue in the past, I kept an open line of communication with the guest and she hadn’t complained in the days leading up, shuld I offer a refund for the night they didn’t use?
No.Airbnb clearly states that guests should give hosts a chance to resolve issues before leaving. (Have you had a look at Airbnb Help Centre and the community guides on Aribnb Community Centre)
Having said that you haven’t given us much information to go on. What sort of noise? Was it one off?
Do you know the tenants/owners in that unit? Do you normally live there? You might want to consider some sort of discount for the night in question depending on the situation.
Thanks for your feedback. We live in the same complex, almost next door to the unit we rent out. We know the people above now, we went and introduced ourselves once the guest informed us they were going. The noise was just the sound of people running up and down the stairs in the appartment above, it sounds like a hollow roof cavity. The guest hasn’t asked for a refund, it was more a moral question. If we knew of an issue and did nothing to resolve it I wouldnt need to ask, we were just wondering what the norm was with some more experienced hosts than us.
Don’t refund. Sometimes the place is just not a good match for the people. To me it sounds like your guests were very sensitive to noise and didn’t keep that in mind when booking the place, nor did they do anything to help themselves (like using earplugs). As long as the noise is on a normal level and house rules are not being broken, there’s nothing host can do, IMHO.
I agree. Don’t refund especially if he hasn’t asked.
Refund or not there is another consideration…maybe other guests just didn’t want to hurt your feelings by mentioning the noise. As a guest I probably wouldn’t, knowing you can’t do anything about it. Before hosting, I didn’t realize how important even private feedback would be. Now, as a host, I hope there aren’t issues I should be made aware of…would like to know in a kind, private manner though!
Once in a while we have noisy dogs in our neighborhood. I provide an inexpensive white noise machine and explain in my check in that there is occasional noise from outside and they may want to use it. I don’t expect guests to travel with earplugs. It is kept in a drawer to emphasize I don’t really expect there to be a problem but it is available just in case. I have not found it plugged in so I don’t think it has been used. The cost was $40 on Amazon (= one night stay for me.)
I’ve heard this mentioned a few times on the forum. I might look into that option with some neighbours occasionally having parties. Thanks for the tip!
That’s a great tip, Thanks. I didn’t know such things existed
We provide disposable earplugs for our guests. They are a popular amenity.
@EllenN. Are you willing to share a link to the earplugs that you offer?
Of course. Here is the link. We keep them in the guest room. My husband put a sign on the jar that says, “It is easier to wear earplugs than to silence the world.”.
Good to know - I never would have thought of the disposable ones.
I provide both ear plugs and an ambient sound machine for each bedroom. I explain that it is a quiet neighborhood but they may hear an occasional dog bark.
I appreciate that people have these things, but honestly, let’s ask ourselves. Are we going a little too far for guests? A dog barking, really?
Think of the hotels you have stayed in. I can think of the last few. One had trains rolling by in Seoul, another had doors slamming in hallways in Tokyo, another had traffic and a few gunshots in the distance in Prague, another in DC had city noise, yet another had bicycles rolling by in Kyoto.
If I had been bothered by any of these noises, I would have gone to the drug store and got my own ear plugs. None of these hotels offered earplugs as an amenity.
I think we have all contributed to babying guests which in turn has enabled them to be nit picky about noise. Airbnb is supposed to be about living local. In the early days of Air, everything was way more easygoing between hosts and guests. There was not this tension that everything about their stay be made perfect. And ambient noises that are a natural everyday part of the area be canceled out.
This is not a criticism of anyone providing ear plugs. It’s simply an observation of how far we have come from the original intention of Air.
Fair call, I guess I can definitely be guilty of getting too carried away. Although I do find most of my guests don’t want local interaction, most just want to be left alone. I make an open invitation at the time of booking and have found in the 6 weeks I’ve operated the guest house, only I person has been open for a tour of my city. Maybe the standards are of people booking on Air is changing, is this something you guys have experienced also? Just to change the discussion point.
Im not arguing in favor of more interaction, I’m arguing in favor of less babying of guests, which has proliferated in recent years.
Maybe we get Airbnb to allow hosts to offer two categories of listing:
- Basic or Essential Accommodation
- Premium or Elaborate Personal Assistance (EPA!),
with an extra price tag for the second one.
Hosts can choose to offer both or either.
Oh, and hosts can ‘automatically’ upgrade a basic-booker to premium if the guest gets fussy and demanding.
Just an idea.
Astaire!!! What have I told you about putting all of our confidential business plans online for the world to see!!!
It’s the Reverse Popularity trick. Put an idea up, if too many folk strike it down, it’s probably good.
I stayed recently at a hotel in Edmonton by the train tracks. Was surprised by the packaged set of ear plugs on each night stand. Made me worry about how much noise to expect !!
I provide individually packaged earplug sets in my concierge basket in case guests forget theirs. They don’t cost much and these little extras contribute to the positive reviews in my case.