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Unhappy Guests, yes

Maybe I’ve read too many horror stories here but I feel uncomfortable with the current situation. A six night guest/couple messaged me on the platform saying ‘We have been having a hard time sleeping at night because the Aircon is so loud. My husband especially really suffered tonight. I am not sure what can be done about this as having it off and keeping a window open doesn’t do anything, it’s way too hot. Any recommendations?’

The a/c is a four month old window unit which does a fine job of cooling the 500 sq ft apartment. No one has mentioned it as an issue before.

I replied with, ‘I’m sorry to hear this. Be sure that the a/c fan is set to the lowest speed and the unit to ECO so the fan does not run constantly. With outside night temperatures in the mid to low 60s the a/c should rarely turn on. I hope this helps!’

Maybe my suggestion will take care of the problem, but my concern is what to expect next, such as a refund request, how to handle it, etc.

Thoughts?

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Are you sure it hasn’t frozen up? We had this happen once this summer. The guest was really warm when they arrived and turned it down super-low and then left. It was so low that the inside iced up and then wouldn’t cool at all. If your guests are heat sensitive, it’s possible that they have done the same thing. Are you close enough to go and have a look?

Maybe offer them an extra fan or something too? They are already unhappy but it’s fortunate that they have told you they are uncomfortable as it gives you a chance to make them feel better.

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At least offer to go there and check the A/C. Maybe there is a real problem that is causing a rattle or whine something. It may even be a simple fix. If it’s a real problem, it also may be that discovering it before it gets worse might save you some money on the repair.

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My apartment is attached to my house. One of the first things I did was to check it from the outside as they are not in at the moment. It’s not frozen, it sounds normal at least from that point of view.

I just returned from picking up a box fan and placed it at their front door. The bedroom has a 52" ceiling fan.

Really? That surprises me a bit, but never mind that. As Brian says, have you been to ascertain what the problem is?

A couple of years ago we had a guest who said that the AC had not worked at all during his first night. We got blokes round and, as @JJD says, it was iced.

But whatever the problem is, you need to get it sorted as soon as you can. AC is a vital amenity. (Here in Florida, anyway).

If you sort out the problem for your guests, they will be delighted, you’ll get a great review and they’ll become repeat guests or refer you to people they know. Remember that any complaint is an opportunity.

If they ask for a refund, and I don’t really see why they should if everything else is fine, then refer them to Airbnb. That’s who charged them so that’s who they must deal with.

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Thanks, that is what I was asking about.

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This is brilliant CYA, BTW. If they are prepping to request a refund, you’ve indicated: 1) that you responded appropriately to their concern, and 2) with nighttime temperatures in the 60s, there is really no need for a/c, especially now that you’ve provided a second fan for air circulation.

Hopefully, they won’t ask for a refund, but if they do, I’d be inclined to ask the Air CSR if these folks have a habit of making (frivolous) complaints…:thinking:

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Exactly this, who are these people who cannot open a window when its in the 60’s outside? Where in the world is your listing at? It is 26 degrees outside right now and I am in California! The mountains…

RR

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As someone who is sensitive to noise and light when I’m trying to sleep, what others may consider not to be disturbing, or as “white noise”, which actually helps them sleep, I can tell you isn’t some objective thing. However, as I’m well aware of the fact that I like it silent and dark when sleep, I always travel with earplugs and a a small floppy pillow to cover my eyes.
I definitely agree that to have the AC on when it’s 60 degrees outside is absurd. WTF is wrong with people? Can you imagine being stranded in some life or death situation with someone who can’t handle it being a degree or two colder or hotter than what they consider perfect?

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Offer the guests earplugs @skai

I love this, If I could embroider it on a pillow I would. But I would not leave a decorative pillow in my listing…

RR

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My husband and I are both uncomfortable with windows open and temps in the 60s at night. Our bedroom has four windows, but they’re small (mid-century modern house), and they are on the two sides of the house that get the least air circulation.

Temp preferences are very individual, as are noise and light preferences.

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Touche. I’m always colder than most people- If it’s below 70, I don’t even feel like getting out from under the covers in the morning.

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And never is all of that in your control when traveling. I tell my kids to be a good traveler you have to roll with it, things are not always in our control. If Mr. fussy guest needs quite then he should bring earplugs.

RR

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Exactly. Adaptability is a requirement for happy travelling. As is not expecting others to cater to your specific preferences. I may keep the temperature in my home at one that is comfortable for myself, but I wouldn’t be blasting the heat or AC in someone else’s home, even if I paid for the room. If I stay with someone else, I’ll put on more clothes, or take some off if their comfort temp doesn’t align with mine. When I stay at my daughter’s, who hates to be too hot and keeps her house in the summer at what I consider Arctic temperatures, I just keep my bedroom door closed, close the AC vents and open the window in there. And wear a sweater in the rest of the house, which she, of course, thinks is hysterical, that I would find it cold.

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Most of the time when I worry about a guest it’s nothing. But these guests have actually already complained so there might be something to it. Last year when a guest mentioned that the space heater had a rattle I got rid of it and put a space heater that mounts to the wall and has no fan. I got one complaint last year about a rattle on the window AC and I guess I figured it out well enough that no one complained this season. However, there is no such thing as the perfect vacation. Either there will be noises or bugs or a power outage or a neighbor slaming doors or something.

I think your reply was great and by providing a fan you are being proactive.

Also, I’m a windows open kind of person but don’t forget that many folks are afraid of sleeping with windows open and telling them there is nothing to be afraid of is pointless.

Finally, no refunds unless the AC is truly not functioning.

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I detest window AC units; they’re always noisy, no matter what you do. Personally I travel with ear plugs. But you should run down to your local Walgreens, CVS or pharmacia and buy your guests a box of foam earplugs for under $3.00. That should solve the problem.

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I considered it briefly, but thought it would be taken wrong. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Thinking on the a/c usage aspect, I used this area for 10+ years as an office/presentation area know that it is naturally cool as it’s on a slab.

The guest and I have messaged back and forth, she’s going to apply a number of my suggestions including setting the a/c unit so that the fan is on only when the unit is cooling.

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I just have them in a little zip lock bag in the bathroom along with cotton balls and q-tips, which I point out to guests when orienting them to their space. No need to make any big deal about them, they’re just there if a guest needs them for any reason- barking dogs, someone playing loud music, traffic, whatever.

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Some people may not be used to a window unit vs central ac. I invested in a super quiet ac for the bedroom. I did a bit of research and selected this unit. Compared to other units I have, it’s very quiet and cools well and not overly expensive. https://www.walmart.com/ip/0WGE1AE9LZU9

In regards to your request, you should make sure your listing says that you offer window Air Conditioning units.

Here’s what I put in my listing to make it clear.

Heating/Cooling - The heating thermostat is not located in your unit but we are happy to turn up the heat (within reason), Send a request via the Airbnb messaging system. There are extra blankets in most of the closets. In the winter, we heat the home at a temperature of 70 degrees during the day and 68 during the evening. During the warmer weather, the king bedroom and the daybed room have window air conditioner units put in once temperatures consistently are in the mid 70s or higher at night and removed once temperatures are consistently in the 60s or lower at night. The king bedroom and the kitchenette also have ceiling fans and a portable fan is located in the room with the daybed.

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If they are away again, I would recommend you go in and check the unit. Then take a video of the unit running to capture the “noise”. There are mobile apps that are noise meters, and you can document the decibels, also via video. If they try to get a refund, at least you’ll have ammunition.

BTW- I have severe allergies and when I rented a house last spring I had to run the a/c to get the air moving since there was no way I could be exposed to spring pollens via an open window. It was in the 70’s or 80’s each day and into the 60’s at night. Even w/o allergies I would never sleep with a window open in a single level home - too easy for someone to pop off a screen and climb into the house.

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