First ever guest, all my fault and I am devastated! Checked in last night, then they went to dinner ( I have disclosed exterior camera and also she told me). When they get back, the key code lock didn’t work it froze up or something! This has never happened in the 6 months of work on the house but of course it happened last night. Anyway I drove over and got them in with a key, which I left with her in case it is weird again. They had to wait about 10 minutes on the porch in the cold! But it was habdled. And then this morning…Apparently my credit card auto pay got messed up and the city SHUT THE WATER OFF! I am mortified and of course it happened today of all days. If it had just been yesterday I would have got it sorted before they got here! Anyway my fault, I just apologized profusely and gave them a couple gallons of bottled water and I refunded them for last night and I told them I would pay for breakfast and the city told me it would go back on today so hopefully it is back by the time they finish breakfast. And if it’s not on by tonight I will get them a hotel if there is anything at all available in town. They were really nice about it and said they appreciated that I’m trying to fix it but . Anyway…open to suggestions of what else I can / should do. This might be a sign I’m not cut out for this…
Of course you are! Shit happens and that’s ok!! It’s only obvious it will happen on your first day of hosting
I think you handled it very nice and in a professional way. What else could you do? Personally, I’d wave their whole stay (as I’ve done before on major f*** ups) and move on to the next. Don’t let this one experience traumatize you, learn from it and move on to the next making sure it will never happen again.
It’s all good, really. Even they are nice about it. Just make it right and we’re looking forward to hear about your second guest experience
They are staying 2 more nights, hopefully this is the last issue! Now I feel bad I didn’t offer to refund the whole stay. I obviously will if the water isn’t on by this afternoon. and will get them a hotel for free. I just feel awful. Such a nice little family with little kids and I know if I were them a hotel would be a pain cuz then the kids don’t get their own rooms, compared to my listing with separate bedrooms.
Kids? No water? Locks won’t work? Sounds like real life!
I would offer to send over a catered meal. Perhaps a lasagna, salad, and fresh bread from a local shop, with a bottle of San Pellegrino and some fruit. If the water doesn’t come back on, then a hotel.
This is a good time for good old fashioned diplomacy. I would ask them what else you might do to make them comfortable with their stay. Since you are already willing to take a loss you have nothing to lose and it empowers the guest. I used this tactic for years to get my design clients to pay a past due bill and it always worked out. It’s awful that you had this as a first experience but I think one day you’ll laugh about it. Hang in there!
This too shall pass.
Things could always be worse. I had some guests staying when a deer got hit on the road at the bottom of the drive while they were sitting out on the front patio enjoying the evening. Of course it didn’t die and it laid their struggling. I had to call the Sheriff out to shoot it then I loaded it up in the tractor bucket and took it out back for the scavengers to clean up. It was lovely.
Oh my gosh that is crazy! Ha ok well I have to just tell myself at least a deer didn’t die in front of them lol.
In addition to breakfast? I sent them to the fanciest place in town for brunch, hopefully that turns things around and I’m paying so I hope they enjoy it! And maybe the water will be back on by the time they get back…fingers crossed.
Just so frustrated it had to happen today of all days. 6 months and nothing but get our first guest and boom!
dont worry jane, these things happen, i have stayed in hotels with no electricity, one no heating and another with a ghost. genuine people will see you have made an effort to make up for a few mishaps
I missed this detail. That is sufficient, assuming the water comes back on today.
I’ve had this problem multiple times with my digital lock and I can’t determine definitively what the issue is. Some ideas are that the door doesn’t get fully closed so the bolt doesn’t fully extend into the hole. If it isn’t fully extended/locked it doesn’t unlock either. Another issue is that they enter the code but don’t hit the lock icon button. Or who knows what. After they enter the code 5 times it locks them out for 60 seconds.
Whatever the problem it only seems to occur after I’ve gone to bed. I’ve now gotten to where I leave the door unlocked into their space if they are arriving after I’ve gone to sleep. I think you should consider hiding a key onsite in a key box as a back up. Or get a smart lock that you can unlock remotely.
As for the rest my approach would be “sorry, you’re my first guests, obviously I have some kinks to work out.” I don’t think you have to refund the entire stay. If the water gets turned on today I don’t think you need to offer anything else.
Let me share my story of beginning with the peer to peer economy, which was in home dog boarding. (Long so if busy or easily bored just click away now.) My first booking was for a family with 3 dogs but they canceled last minute with a lie about the husband being deployed. Turns out I knew someone who knew them and found out they were lying and had been having marital problems. They contacted me a month later asking if I knew anyone who was looking to adopt dogs. I think they were going to dump their dogs on me and chickened out. First dog to ever arrive was aggressive and attacked all three of the large female dogs here my two and a friend’s dog, drawing blood on her. Luckily that dog was only here one night, 36 hours. I netted 12.50 for that. The third booking I got was a nice dog who stayed twice. However after two months she also asked if I knew anyone who would take her dog. Meanwhile I also had a client with 2 dogs who thankfully was normal and not problematic. But you can see that with 3 out of 4 problems in the first 6 weeks that I was having serious doubts.
A baptism by fire is never fun but it will help you work out problems and anticipate new ones quickly. Frankly not one thing is learned from a problem free booking.
Water is back on. They were without from whenever they woke up this morning until they got back from breakfsst- about 5 hours.
I’m on a well so if the power goes out so does the water.
I always let guests know up front “no power, no water.” I do keep a dozen gallon jugs of water on hand for just such an occasion and I let them know. Power doesn’t go out here that often but it can so I try to be prepared.
Oh no that is terrible. Poor doggos! I guess in the scheme of things 5 hours without water but enjoying a nice free breakfast and a 10 minute wait to get in is not so bad. Plus a free night is nice…Hopefully they will see it that way. They have been very forgiving about everything to my face anyway. Hopefully everything goes smoothly from now on.
And yes, 100% going to make sure to hide a key on the property.
If I could get a free night and a free breakfast I would definitely stand outside in the cold for 10 minutes and do without water for 5 hours.
So sorry! Among first guests (a cancer patient), the toilet backed up. Another set of guests were locked out at 2 am when the key box rusted and they couldn’t get in. This happens. Just have Plan B and Plan C in place at all times.
Well what was their attitude about it?
I once refunded a whole night during Christmas week, bought new linens and recleaned because guests found millipedes in the house. They wanted more money off and left a terrible review and one star.
So just to warn you the bad review may still be coming even if you booked them a fancy brunch and refunded the whole stay. People suck sometimes.
Make sure they know they are the first guests. I have read reviews that say something to the effect of “hopefully they work out the kinks”
Better for future guests to assume things have improved.
My 2 cents