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Today I'm a guest - NO AIR - ADVICE PLEASE

Hi Everyone

Brought my family of 5 off for a quick getaway to enjoy some time relaxing before the rush of the school year really heats up -

Place was advertised as having A/C but the main floor/living area has NO A/C, only one window opens, no screens on doors. Temp is only 80 but the air is very stuffy and it’s very uncomfortable. Husband is sitting at dinner sweating. Booked house for 2 nights (we are on night one).

Plan was to cook a big breakfast in the morning and relax playing games before heading off for hiking and river swimming, then back to the house for dinner, relaxing, then heading home. But the thought of trying to cook in the hot area is - like, forget it.

Bedrooms have very noisy window units.

Should I expect a refund to be able to get a refund for our second night since house was listed as havig A/C but first floor doesn’t? It has a thermostat for a/c but host says “there is no central air at this time” What a bummer - our family is super busy and we rarely can grab time during the school year to get away together. Even if we get our money back we’ve lost the time.

Many thanks

Yes, if you leave a night early and check-out in the morning I think a reasonable host ought to refund the 2nd night. You ought to check-in with her first, however, which technically gives her a chance to remediate the situation, even if it means bringing window units to the first floor.

Advertising Central AC and not having it is a big deal in my book – I wouldn’t expect my guests to stay if my AC went out and I had to temporarily install window units.

Thanks, Chicago - it’s a bit emotional since we are all exhausted and so had looked forward to having a little break together.

I should also add - only one window on the main floor opens and there are no screens on the doors. Otherwise we’d be happy to just open up the house.

AND the forecast is 90 for tomorrow.

HERE’S what I just wrote to the host - I’d call her but there’s no good cell coverage - were out in the country…

Hi Host - Your place has so many nice qualities and we all enjoyed our time on the river, met some nice folks, etc. The kids were especially tickled with the nice bathrobes, and the everything upstairs is just so nice. The kitchen is nicely equipped and the kids also love the interesting decor on the first floor.

However, no A/C on the first floor is big problem. My husband was sweating all through dinner.

Our plan for the morning was to cook a big breakfast and then relax and play games in the morning, before heading out for a swim and some hiking, but that won’t work without A/C because it’s just to warm, so we’d like to check out early.

However, everyone also really wants to go to the river for a swim, but we can’t do that if we can’t shower. That would mean not checking out until 1:00.

So while we are asking for you to change our reservation so we can check out tomorrow and have our second night refunded, we are also asking for a late check-out. Which seems cheeky, but on the other hand, if there was a/c on the first floor we’d be more than happy to stay. It was so stifling this afternoon it was driving me crazy - we just kept fiddling with the thermostat to get the air on so we could breath, and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t coming on. So we just left to go swimming.

Do you have an idea of how we can solve this amicably?

Thanks

Guest

Hi DC,

Wow, such a pity to have a situation like this. I guess the host thought that because they have some AC it was worth listing, but I guess they should have clarified to save the confusion. If I can give any help, perhaps running all the AC’s with the bedroom doors open will cool the downstairs. Cool air sinks. At least to help you out right now in the present stinky heat.

I would say that if you are hoping for a refund it would probably be better to vacate on checkout time. I think asking that of a host that will already be likely quite shocked and upset by your disapproval, may feel a bit like rubbing salt in the wounds. I do know you feel you are owed more than you got with the home though, and that is the reason you thought it appropriate. I’m just thinking how the host might feel, and that it might cause a sticking point with the refund process. I think to make a case for a refund that sounds as if you are so uncomfortable with the place you just have to leave, it may come across as not so desperate if you’re asking to also stay longer.

Most houses in our area (including my own) don’t have AC because they are historic, and most of us try to avoid doing anything that requires changing our homes a lot, such as putting an AC system would do because we like to keep our homes as original as possible. I can’t even think how they might achieve it in our home (or the cost :0 ) . We all use window AC’s, and mainly just in the bedrooms. Our home is quite large, and even above 90 degree heat and insane humidity right now, we keep it cool the way I mentioned. We never need to sweat It. The lack of windows sounds irritating (especially if it cools in the evening and there is a breeze), but opening them up in this weather during the day is often worse.

I hope it works out!

Thanks, Sandy - she has communicated that this has never been a problem before so she doesn’t see a need for a refund. The house was at least 85 this afternoon.

I’m actually ok with out a/c - the problem is there are no screens on the doors and only 1 window opens.

The worst was this afternoon - it was so hot outside and we had trouble with the alarm and entry codes - so were out in the screaming hot sun with spotty phone coverage to get it resolved - then we went in and could hardly breath - there’s a thermostat so just kept hitting the buttons trying to get some air on - turns out the a/c isn’t even operational …but we didn’t find that out for another two hours - we just left the house.

You are right that asking for a refund and a late check-out was a bit much, but it would be the only way to salvage a bit of our little getaway - she’s repeated over and over how flexible she is - so thought she’d understand.

Hope you’re well up there in the Hudson Valley - beautiful place - my Pop grew up in Upper Nyack - we love driving up that Hwy (9?) especially the Storm King Hwy.

You know, Sandy, the host says she’s never had a complaint before.

Maybe that’s what other guests do - leave the upstairs units running all day an that cools the house.

Silly me, trying to be a good guest, I’m turning them off when I leave the room!

Keeping them on my salvage this situation…thanks

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Yeah! That’s a great drive.

Awesome DC! Try it. If you crank them all up, within an hour or two you will be feeling uber cool!

Lol, I bet you’re right, they probably do! But honestly, guests up from NYC spend all day out in the stinking heat, and I can’t believe it. I’m too old for that. They’re climbing mountains in the midday sun, 97 percent humidity. I’m upstairs, AC on haha. Some people honestly don’t seem to mind.

You can 100% expect a refund.i would even call Airbnb and tell them the story.
They are very particular about accuracy of listings.
As a guest I got refund twice because listing was inaccurate.
First time it was wrong check in time. I asked if we can leave luggage until 2 p.m.( that was listed check in time), and the host replied , no, and that check in time at 4 p.m… I prompted her to look at her own listing, but she replied that her other guests already asked her if they can stay till 2 and she needs to clean.
So, I called Airbnb and I was refunded for my 5 nights immediately.
I still don’t get it why she acted like this, because n her calendar I coud see the day before our arrival was not reserved.
Second time it was location. Listing said: near subway and then 10 minutes to the center. in fact it was 15 minutes walk to subway and then 20 minutes to city center. I specifically picked this listing based on this convenience of being close to subway, because I like t come home during the day, rest before I had out for the evening. 15 min.walk ment for me an additional 1 hour of walking a day in addition to all the site seeing . Pulse 20 min.metro ride was way too long and waiste of time. The host was impossible to communicate with, it took her 4-5 hours to answer, soi just called Airbnb and they refunded me within 1 hour, but they told me we sould leave immediately. We were heading out anyway.

Thanks, Yana. I did go through airbnb and she then did give me a refund.

Her listing also says we can walk to the nearest ‘swimming hole’. While this is technically true it’s a narrow winding country road with no shoulder and the cars FLY by here so fast it’s scary. I would no more take my kids on that walk than I would have them in the car without seat belts. But I wouldn’t pick at that, or even the tiny ants crawling around the kitchen or the mildew smell wafting up through the vents. But 85 degrees without even an open window, while trying to cook, eat, and play games, is to much even for me.

AND being told, in response to my complaint, that ‘no one has ever complained before’ - so what, then it’s my problem??? That’s just not a good feeling.

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You have nothing to do with “no one complained” , what important is that YOU complained. And she is misleading her guests by first offering AC and then guests have to face with a fact that there is none. In my opinion it’s just a plain lie.
I could never understood why hosts are doing it. My major issue with my stays were lies about location. When I listed my property, I checked everything I mention on google maps. Input miles and how many minutes to the beach, airport, cruise port and so on.
In my travelling many times I asked before booking how far from center, how far from train station. And many times I was answered: it’s just 10 min, when in fact it was half an hour. " The bus is just around the corner" when in fact a bus is a good 10 minutes walk. I don’t know may be they don’t see the difference between walking few times a day 10 Minutes to and from the bus, but I as experienced traveler know how those minutes accumulate into hours off my vacation time. That’s why I asked!! Getting misinformed like that many times I was even more specific: exactly how many minutes a bus stop away. And then a host would disclose: o, it’s just 10 minutes:).
Glad you got your refund

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I would also put a review on her explaining what you had to deal with. I did, because it s really not fair to travelers to misinform them like this. You only came for couple of days and had to deal with all of these. For me it’s always was very frustrating.

I recently had a guest tell us that she was hot at night - this was only after us asking her about the temperatures, not because she complained - and she said it’s because she has thyroid issues. However, we went into action - my husband immediately went into the room to check the vents, we turned the house fan on so there would be more air flowing into the room, we offered a second fan and a clean, lighter set of sheets. And yes, she was the first to ever have mentioned it being warm in the room. But no, that fact wasn’t enough for us to blow her off and make it like it was her problem.

Live and learn…live and learn.

Yeah, distances are huge when using public transportation. Unfortunately I had a guy just review our place saying that we are within walking distance to the metro when in fact it is a 20 minute walk…so I have to make sure future bookings don’t think that’s true!

I know, some people are tireless walkers. I think listings need to be very specific . To say that swimming is a short walk away but in fact you can’t even walk there because there is no where to walk, it’s a dangerous curvy road with cars flying by is very misleading.
Once I had a couple who said the room is a bit hot for them. I turned my AC down a bit but upstairs it got really cold so we took extra blanket. Once I had a girl who had anemia issue and she was too cold all the time. I turned AC up for her but she still complained about being cold. I had other guests so I offered her to find a different accomodation as I would not let my house heat up that much. At least I was trying to be accommodating.

I am wondering what was the reason that AC was not available in the house on a first floor? Was it a permanent thing or she just turned it off?

I agree yana! Distance is so subjective unless specific. I list exact mileage to the things around my area.

So sorry your mini vaca was ruined dc. How disappointing :confused: it saddens me to hear stories like this since it reflects on all of us.

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I would be pissed and I would leave. Ac is no 1 on my list when I’m on vacation! You are on vacation and want to feel good!

Glad it had a happy ending for you DC! Do you think this is a case of the review process not working? I know you would have read reviews of the place before choosing it for such a special occasion. I once stayed at an airbnb (first and last time), and they didn’t mention the neighbor who played unbelievably loud techno at all hours that practically shook the walls. No one else had mentioned it in reviews either, but then, it was in a cool area in Brooklyn for youngsters, so I just imagined they were probably all making a racket too. We spent one night with pounding heads until a late hour, and I think I made a brief mention in my review about it (but maybe I didn’t!). I’ll have to check. She was very nice and accommodating as a host otherwise, and I didn’t want to be a hassle or effect her business.

Edited to add: just read my review and it was glowing. Perhaps the other apts were airbnb’s too, so it’s not always the case? I’ve checked and everyone else has been happy in their stay and no mention of the noise, and not just young people either, families with kids! Is it the airbnb review phenomenon where people are too uncomfortable to be honest (she is super nice so it’s hard to say anything you think might hurt someone’s business when they’re so kind in messages etc), or was the guy who seemed to live next door and the other guy next to us just cranking the music while we were there? We’ll never know!

I would think 20 minutes is walking distance but hubby would think it is too far. So we do need to be more specific in our listings.

Yes, Shanghai - it was my guest in a review that said it was close - so now I have to be sure I’m extra clear so other lookers reading the review don’t misunderstand. I am 2/10 of a mile to the bus stop, so that is walkable in my book.

But today I measured the distance from the property to the diner that she listed as ‘within walking distance’ and it is 1.5 miles down that same winding road with no shoulder. Now that’s a comfortable distance if your goal is a nice 3 mile hike - but not a casual stroll, and not one you’d take with kids, which to me is ‘within walking distance’.

I have no idea about her prior guests. She only has 10 reviews.

This is the thing - and a lesson for all of us hosts - she never said “I’m sorry”. One message said “No one has ever complained before” the next message said “All of my reviews have been glowing” which gave me the idea that she was saying “this is not my problem, it is yours”.

It was 83 degrees at 10:30 pm

After several exchanges she explained that she was trying to say that she didn’t have any idea there would be a problem, since she hadn’t heard of it before, or she would have had it fixed. She didn’t want me to think that she was aware of the problem and had let it go - that she would have fixed it had she known.

She never explained why the central a/c wasn’t working, just that it wasn’t. However, there was a mildew smell so I imagine she got water in her basement and had to turn the system off. That’s just my guess.

It was funny, I asked her a few times about when check-in is and she was so vague, just asking me, “well when do you want to check in?” so I guess her communication style is very indirect.

So to all us hosts - first words, I think, should be “I’m so sorry you’re uncomfortable, I’ll do what I can to fix it”

Thanks for everyone’s support. I was very tired and didn’t know if I was overacting or not. We did have a lovely day today - we sat on the front porch for breakfast and had a breeze -

but oh! You’ll love this, my kids were on the front steps eating and I wanted to take a photo, so put my hand on the railing for support as I stepped over them (this is West Virginia, everything is steep) and the whole thing gave way - I was about 10 steps up - thank God almighty I didn’t go tumbling off the side…

I don’t want to leave on a negative note, though - there were many lovely things about the house - it it hadn’t been for the a/c we would have been happy. It was a cute little town and I love that airbnb makes it possible for her to bring some tourist dollars into this tiny town that would never support a hotel - AND gives guests like us access to a house in the country within a short drive of a lovely ‘swimming hole’ where we drifted on a beautiful river.

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