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I have a stay for this weekend, 2 nights, 7 women in their 50s (our house is in wine country). Our house sleeps 7 and we have a strict no extra visitors policy (mostly for liability reasons but also because we don’t want parties, damage, extra garbage, etc etc.; the usual stuff). I sent out my regular welcome email today, with the typical ‘You’re confirmed for 7 guests, we don’t allow extras’ etc. The guest reached out and said they have an 8th person desperately wanting to join their trip (coincidental timing). At first it was a “no worries if not!” but now she’s gotten a bit pushy and wants to discuss on the phone. I told her even if the 8th guest came into town, they wouldn’t be able to hang out on the property. Strict? Yes, but…
Anyway, I told her I’d be available all day tomorrow, to which she responded that she’d like to talk now. But it’s 7pm where I’m at and my husband and I are about to sit down to dinner. I haven’t responded.
So, what would you do in this situation? At this point I’m almost thinking about having ABB cancel her because she’s wanting extra guests and I’m worried about retaliation if I say no
When you say sleeps 7, where would an 8th sleep? Do you have a high extra person charge? On one hand it’s a holiday weekend so you might rebook. On the other hand, I don’t see that much difference between 7 and 8…if they are honest and pay. I’m surprised they didn’t just show up with 8 and play dumb.
OTOH, it smell a bit suspicious and I hate people who try to pressure us about OUR things. So I’d also be tempted to cancel.
Me too! My husband and I have been going back and forth. His original stance was let them bring the 8th. They offered to bring an air mattress and I could charge them extra (we charge $25/night for the 7th).
But yes, it comes back to the pushiness. If they’re this pushy about exceeding our occupancy limit, what other issues might they cause? Maybe none, but maybe not. Sigh…
I’d message, and say “I need to keep all conversations on the app for our mutual protection. I understand if our place no longer meets your needs and you want to cancel. If you decide to keep the reservation we can make a one time exception to our strict policy. The additional charge will be xx total and I will send an alteration request. You will need to accept within 24 hours.” Just keep it neutral and professional. When I travel with my group of 50 something friends we are great guests, even when consuming generous portions of wine. I’d rather have a group of women than a family with kids stay at my “home that sleeps 7.”
Honestly? They don’t seem to be a “party-threat” so I’d say, “Absolutely, I totally understand. I’ll send you a Change Request for the fee and when you click “Accept” you’ll be all set. We’re looking forward to your stay!”
Sorry, but I can’t see any reason to be strict in this situation. However I understand that you may have your own reasons.
In situations like this, I see an opportunity to wow my guests with my hospitality before they even arrive and it makes my job a lot easier.
At this point, I agree, you are in a different situation. My response would have been the initial response; however, I may also have balked for some reason and I wouldn’t want this woman insisting on a phone call. That does seem pushy. If you are going to say “no” you are probably better off cancelling. If you want to go ahead and say “yes” I think you can smooth it out. Blame it on insurance issues, being nervous about that kind of thing. Make it an extra-big favor you’re doing for her, if you want to save it. If you don’t, I bet you can get it cancelled, especially if you highlight that she’s insisting on talking on the phone (that’s off-platform!).
Edit to add: AVOID the phone call. Do not talk to her on the phone. Tell you’re having dinner. With your mother-in-law. Whatever you have to say but get this all done either way via the message stream.
I would make an exception if it was me and let them figure out sleeping arrangements. Your examples of problems with extra guests don’t seem to be high probabilities with this group over two days. Possible poor review if you stay firm.
Thanks for the advice all. I offered to accept the 8th guest for the same fee as our 7th guest ($25/night), said I’d like to keep conversations on the app, etc. Said they’d also need to figure out bedding/provide an air mattress as well as a pool towel if they plan on using the spa. Appreciate this group and extra perspectives as always <3
We get plenty of “girlfriend groups” and wedding goers; sometimes a person who originally couldn’t go gets the right work schedule or other green light to join. I decided I’d flex to one more than my max occupancy (still within legal occupancy), but any more than that means they’ll need to split the group into a second place, or cancel altogether.
For the few guests in a pinch who have an extra joining, they’ve been extremely thankful for the option, especially in peak season when other lodging is hard to come by. I hope your guest is pleased!
I hope your guests ended up being happy bunnies! It was good of you to offer to take that 8th person and hopefully the fact that you’ve gone out of your way to help them out will be reflected in the review you leave.
Maybe you can use this as a benchmark for (any) future requests, although the type of group you are hosting will no doubt influence your decision (in this case it sounds like the group were just keen on getting together and wanted to accommodate their “last minute” friend).
I would disagree. I’ve seen some major wine country “party threat” behavior from groups of 50 to 60 somethings. Often, they’re the worst at falling down, tossing cookies, and generally running amok. The 85 year old folks who stayed with me this year were drunk every day by 11am. I spent the entire visit terrified they’d fall down a step to the pool or crack a head in the tub.
The push-back bothers me, too. $25 for the 7th person isn’t enough IMHO. I’d say #8 should be $75 per night (averaging out the low cost of the 7th person) and send that adjustment.
Be nice, use the nice words here "Our max is 7 because of the sofa bed. I realize you’re willing to add a blow up bed, but it’s still… " whatever.
Is she being nice pushy or asshole pushy? Because if she’s called and you’ve spoken (because written words lose tone and attitude) and she just really wants the friend and is sweet, then work it out.
Or say “insurance won’t let me” and be done with it.
Had a request for Xmas week for 8 people that only booked for 6 adults. I got a message that the wanted 2 seperate beds for a 3 and 5 year old. Looked at the booking… no mention of children. Sent back a message with what the bedding configuration is and mentioned that there were no mention of children on the booking. The answer … the children are small and are free like hotels…ahhhh NO! Used the max people allowed and insurance to get them canceled. The entitlement always floors me!
I tried this first and they asked if they could purchase an extra insurance rider. I’m still not totally convinced it was a last minute thing, but rather they read my welcome letter which says “if we catch you with extra guests we may cancel your stay without refund”. A LOT of people lately (even seemingly well meaning ones) don’t seem to see the issue with their reservation not matching the number of guests that actually arrive! Hence, why I put it in my welcome letter. My husband things we should also communicate this during the initial 48 hour window as well and give those a chance to cancel.
Anyway, it’s been done. I didn’t feel justified charging more for the 8th person than the 7th since this person won’t be getting a bed.
Oh, I also learned that some of them are lawyers (which maybe explains the pushiness?), and they offered to write something up that says they’d be liable for damages. At the end of the day I guess they were just desperate to find somewhere. It was “nice pushy” but I still didn’t really like it.
Forgot to say, this is my concern as well. At our other AirBNB in TX we book 98% bachelorette parties and once had a group of 40something moms and they were more messy than any of the bachelorette parties. My [very cool] neighbor had to call us because they vomited on our driveway (maybe 3 feet from the hose face palm) and just left it! They were even more messy than the 40something bachelor party we hosted!
they asked if they could purchase an extra insurance rider. I’m still not totally convinced it was a last minute thing, but rather they read my welcome letter which says “if we catch you with extra guests we may cancel your stay without refund”.
I also learned that some of them are lawyers (which maybe explains the pushiness?), and they offered to write something up that says they’d be liable for damages.
If it weren’t for it being this coming weekend, I would cancel.
Regardless, I would ABSOLUTELY take photos of everything with a time/date stamps and email them to myself. A quick video is also a good idea.
Oh - and the 8th person needs to pay, without question. You are running a business.
Make sure they acknowledge IN WRITING that they are responsible for their own bed/linen/towel arrangements - since this falls entirely outside your 7 person limit.
I hope that you do get 5 stars but I would not be surprised if they screw you over on this.
It is never fun when a guest gets pushy. I know it’s aggravating when the guests want to disregard our rules and go by their own rules…,however, canceling and losing the money is a not fun either. I hope they respect your home.
I have found that the very few times I made an exception, I was sorry I did. That being said…my exception is for 21 and over. For some reason folks think that kids don’t count in that! I even go on to say in the description, “sorry, no kids.” I’m trying to sell my home and just don’t want to put up with the hassle of kids I can’t correct! I get all the time, “ I know you said no kids, but my (daughter/son/13 year old) is “very well behaved.” Yeah right!