I am alternately ticked off and slightly panicked.
I am a Super Host and have been renting out my garden retreat house since October of last year. All 5-star reviews and no huge problems (unless you count the guests that Airbnb kicked out for me because they were drunk and partying at 4:00 am with 12 people when they reserved for FOUR people and the people who left the doors open and left in a bird who pooped all over and the guests who sewed the sheet to the blanket!!??!!).
Last weekend, a group came in for a small wedding. Three kids, 6 adults. More than I usually take,but I made an exception since the children were small and would sleep in Pack N Play portable cribs.
They arrived Thursday night, but the people who rented (family of 4) suddenly decided not to stay at the house, but stay at a friend’s house to dog sit. OK, I guess, although I have a rule that only the person who rented is allowed to open the house and get the official tour with regulations.
Another women arrived two hours later than expected while I waited for her. I puttered around the house, cleaning some spots in the carpet in the Master Bedroom…freshened up the house a bit, etc.
Since it was now after dark I had the porch lights on, When she came in, a small moth came with her. I couldn’t catch it, but knew it would be OK and I could find it later. No big deal, right? Hmmm.
The next morning, I had a text from her saying that there were a “large number of bugs - big bugs” in the master bedroom and she couldn;'t sleep so she went to another room to sleep.
I was horrified. Exterminator had been there only two days previous to their arrival. I quickly called them and they made an emergency call to treat the entire house spraying the baseboards. The spray was “green” and non-toxic to humans. I emailed to tell her the problem was solved, but NO…
Now she was upset about the bug spray and wouldn’t sleep in the house with her 16-month old baby, who was arriving that night. So I called a local hotel and got them a room. She declined, saying that she would stay with friends.
I asked if any of the guests would be staying there and offered to refund the original person who booked the house (if no one would be sleeping there). She said two women would be staying there. OK, they are adults, no problems with bug spray. I didn’t hear another word from them.
Until today when I got an irate call from the husband of the original booker/guest who did not stay at the house asking me repeatedly “What would you consider a fair price for last weekend?”
Um…the price was listed on my site…they paid about $1100 including taxes (I got about $875). He kept saying that only two women stayed there and I explained I don’t rent per person, but by the entire house. And reminded him that it was his choice NOT to stay at the house but instead to dog sit for friends. “That has no bearing on this problem!” he bellowed!
Huh? He accused me of having roaches in the house (not true - if anything looked like a roach it was a Palmetto bug which looks awful and is brown, but drops in from the trees - nothing to do with filth or dirt. (Ask anyone from the South about them, they are gross but a fact of life). Remember that I had been in the room cleaning right before she arrived. No bugs. Nada. None. Not that bugs can’t show themselves later but still…
He threatened me with a bad review about my bug infestation (HUH???) and said he would take it up with Airbnb. I called them immediately and told them a longer version of the story I am posting here. They said his review would not be counted because he didn’t even stay at my house. That’s a relief since I don’t want to lose my Super Host status (but heck, I tried everything to please these people and nothing worked!). I understand that not staying at the house was an inconvenience, but it was their choice to stay. He claimed the other two women stayed because they felt they had no other options. Not true. Airbnb will find you another place to stay if you just call them.
Anyway…it is upsetting and I am not blaming the guests (except that jerky guy who called me today). I don’t like bugs of any kind, which is why I have a monthly treatment to ensure they aren’t present at the house. And there probably was one bug or two…but not a “large number” of bugs. No… that is an exaggeration.
When I try to take care of the problem urgently and immediately and then get dinged even for THAT, I am at a loss as to what I could have done differently. I even offered a refund for Pete’s sake…but that was before they used all three bathrooms, slept in all the beds and used every room in the house. Nope. My cleaning fees and water bills need to be covered and I am not gonna refund them after the fact.
Thanks for letting me vent. I just wanted other folks who understand this frustration to hear it!