No water at night = voluntary compensation?

This is a first for me and I’m not sure if it warrants voluntary compensation on my part, or simply a profuse apology…

My guests (4 of them in my self-contained condo) checked in around 8pm after a long drive, and immediately started showering because they “can’t go to sleep without showering” - the guests are Chinese, perhaps this is a cultural thing? Unfortunately the building had some sort of mechanical failure that meant there was no water from around 10PM until the next morning. When the water failed the guest called and texted me repeatedly expecting me to do something about the situation, and even looked into booking a hotel for the night (the closest one was full so that went nowhere). Without my knowledge, they ended up talking to the building concierge and then showering in the building’s gym change room; under normal circumstances Airbnb guests are not permitted to use building amenities but I’m guessing the concierge took pity on them. Everything was fixed for the next morning, and the rest of their stay went smoothly (aside from a false fire alarm the next day).

They have just checked out and seem understanding, but I don’t want to get slammed by a bad review. Do you think I should offer some sort of compensation, or just let sleeping dogs lie? FYI I’m a superhost with an overall 5.0 rating and 124 reviews, so one bad one won’t really hurt me it will just be embarassing.

I dunno. Learn from my mistake… when guests claimed there were bugs in the apartment, I had no choice but to believe them. I ran around trying to compensate… buying new linens, cleaning the apartment again, offering to put out traps. AND offering to refund one night, they still slammed me in a review. I think they wanted even more off, which was ridiculous. So if you are going to refund based on the mistaken idea that they still won’t slam you, good luck. You will probably get the bad review anyway.

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If it were me, I would offer some compensation for the inconvenience to they experienced.

By the way, I know plenty of Americans (my husband included) who can’t go to sleep without showering.

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I would offer some compensation for that night as well.

Also, just to add my 2 cents, when I’m on vacation, I often shower in the evening rather than the morning, and I know plenty of people who do the same. It’s not that unusual.

This woman stayed at my place for 2-3 nights, at a time when I was to go out of town urgently.

On the second day she messaged to complain the WiFi had gotten too slow, and messaged a few times about it. I said I was raising an issue with the ISP etc, although it probably just needed a modem restart. Being away, I had no means to do that and couldn’t get anyone go in and do it for me (the modem is in a part I’d locked out of guests’ access.)

Ultimately I couldn’t get it fixed by the time she left. This was a difficult guest - she’d already made a fuss of having to read through the self check-in directions and other things before even arriving.

I offered a small refund with a profuse apology.

I never heard from her again, it looked like she didn’t even accept my refund via Airbnb resolution, she never wrote me a review and we left it at that.

Only after I landed I discovered she had indeed accepted that token amount.

If you only want to offer compensation to avoid a bad review, then don’t.
If they did not like it, then you will get a bad review, no matter how much you offer.


That’s a good point. I’m also concerned that if I do offer compensation it will open the floodgates for them to say it’s not enough. In this case I think the college aged kid who booked was feeling pressure because his parents and grandmother were used to being in a hotel where there are staff to give more personal service. He seemed okay at the end of the trip so hopefully he’ll just forget to leave a review entirely. :slight_smile:

We always do voluntary compensation in times of inconveniences out of our control. We had some unexpected construction going on outside our building early in the morning. We credited our guests without them even complaining. I know I would like that if the situation were reversed, so I always do it. Put yourself in their shoes.


Some people on this forum have suggestion something like a voucher for breakfast. Hotels often do that instead of giving a refund. As you mention, the compensation might not be considered enough, but a gift can show your thoughtfulness.

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Breakfast would have been a good idea, but since they’ve already left town I don’t think that would work. What’s a good guideline for offering compensation? They paid $540CAD for two nights which is on the higher end for my city in the summer but not extremely expensive; a hotel room would have been more. For what it’s worth I made an exception to my three night minimum for them, basically doing them a favour and allowing them to stay with me in the first place.

I wonder if the whole “compensation thing” is something cultural.

Because I am a bit surprised, I would never cross my mind to ask a host to compensate for something beyond his control.
And also I cannot think of this happening to any friends or family.
Because what is next, would we expect a hosts to compensate if there is bad weather during the stay of a guest??

And to be honest, the only guests ever mentioning compensation, were some americans. They said that it would be nice if we would have given compensation, because they stayed a night less, because they missed a flight.

I agree with Chris – I would never expect a host to voluntarily compensate for something beyond your control. Thanks to the concierge they got showered.

Don’t try to buy a good review, it’ll come back to bite you, as Kona found out.

Wait until they ask. I don’t think it will change the review they had planned to leave you. They were able to shower in the gym, so they did get use of water. Stuff happens. Even though it was not ideal. Personally I would wait for them to ask for a refund and then think it over. Think how rotten you will feel if you give a bunch of money back and get a bad review anyway. It’s a crappy feeling, I can attest.

Update: Haven’t a peep since they checked out… no review, nothing. Perhaps it was not as big of a deal as it was made out to be.