I’m trying to do things differently. My fear of bad reviews has lead me to suck up a lot of blatant rule breaking & associated consequences (ruined items, extra cleaning & expenses) in the past. But, totally inspired by this forum, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf.
Tonight I had someone checkin that seemed great in communications so I didn’t even check the security camera to verify guest count. 3 hrs post-checkin I got a message asking to swap 1 person out who “cancelled” with someone else the guest invited in their place. I reply “no problem, give the name of the new person & the 1 who “cancelled”. They reply with a family of 4 (mom/dad/4 yr old & infant) they have squeezed into our upscale, all white, master bedroom & they’ll use our pack’n play they didn’t reserve for the infant they didn’t book. Note: our capacity is 6 persons. They are now at 8. They could not have even booked this new configuration via AirBnb. And our listing says “unsuitable for kids 2-12” (we legally can’t turn them away but come on…it’s super not childproofed, light decor, glass, etc).
Oh, and no persons are allowed on the property who aren’t part of the reservation & they threw in they wanted to have someone over as well as going from 5 to 8 people for no additional charge.
I wanted to just say no to all of it but (1) this is all after the fact and (2) it’s Friday night! I reminded them of the House Rules they’d seen & agreed to more than once, said yes to all they wanted but that I’d have to charge them according to our Policies (but that I’d give them a discount). Mostly I was put off by the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” approach they took. But I guess that is better than 100% sneaking, although I’d have still found out eventually (@ChristineAZ - this exactly why I need cameras out front)
Also, we are on septic & we limit for a reason (also clearly stated in the rules). The guest says he thought he was paying for rooms, not guests (seriously!!?! I’m not even going to comment). They figured the septic would be fine. What!?! Is this your house? I know the number of people, days & what was done in the stays just prior to yours…it’s not your place to make that decision. Ugh!
He even said he was a host (turns out not AirBnB but another set of rentals - so he knows better). So, I send over a discounted bill & say it’s payable immediately if they wish to stay (that was scary/hard to do…won’t lie!).
I also called AirBnB to tell them I may need to cancel this reservation, just in case. After payment request was sent, the guest replies they will go back to the original reservation & the family will find a hotel. I reply - “to be clear you are now 4 persons” & I name them. Oh, no, they say. The person who “cancelled” will stay and the family of 4 will swap & take his hotel room. So much for all that fake drama.
So, they are still there (supposedly 5 overnight persons and 1 visitor once the family packs up and leaves), I cancelled my payment request and I guess we’ll see what kind a lowball review I get & how many people actually end up hanging out when it’s all over. I won’t check until after the stay at this point.
I felt like I was playing chess. I had to ask all the right questions to get the full truth. Tricksy! I did thank them for contacting us & asked if they’d please tell us what part of our House Rules/Policies were unclear that may have led to this situation (no reply).
So, did I do it right? What did you do if you’ve had this happen & what do you think the consequences will be? BTW, I always want to be “tough” but I’ve only had super egregious behavior early on when “kicking people out” wasn’t even on my radar. Now, yeah, I would. But I would not feel good about any of it.