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What Kind of Compensation to Offer Guest

I’m another one who would NOT refund anything. The guests blocked up the toilet, you didn’t! Not once – TWICE! Causing YOU extra work and hassle; not them.

As @jaquo said, there should have been a plunger in the listing.

Yeah, definitely bottles of wine and fruit trays usually. The only thing I’ve had outright refunded was parking fees. But I’ve received credits for free stays, upgrades to bigger suites and dinner vouchers or gifts from the lobby - I have an awesome robe from a place who had trouble quieting some loud people out on the terrace right next to my room (I had a call time of 4:30am so I was pretty peeved).

And @jaquo, there is a plunger in the listing.

The toilet had to be snaked. The plunger wasn’t enough, the poor guy tried.

Sorry, I wasn’t saying that there wasn’t one. I said:

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Sorry, @Ken implied there wasn’t one. I was just sort of CCing you cause you had brought it up earlier :wink:

No problem at all. :slight_smile:

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I’ve been given a full refund 2x at hotels I’ve stayed in when I encountered problems.

  1. very noisy AC unit
  2. a very loud party
    Both instances made it difficult to sleep

I was only providing feedback upon checkout when asked “how was your stay”. Both refunds were unsolicited, however I’m a top tier status at this hotel chain so there is a level of service that I get afforded.


I just remembered. A boutique place in L.A. did actually give me a full refund. There was construction with jackhammers outside my window. Doh.

Otherwise, it’s usually free nights for another time.

But the Chateau put me in a hillside suite with full kitchen, bedrooms, etc cause my room smelled musty!

I’ve definitely gotten better perks at higher priced properties. But even Hilton has given me free nights.


You have a problem in one room, they put you in another room. Airbnb’s like those of most hosts on this forum don’t have that option which is why a refund is the appropriate response. The more I think of it the more I’d be annoyed if I paid full price for a room with a toilet that didn’t work (unless I knew it was my fault).

I got some bonus member points for a Best Western I stayed at in Chicago. There was loud noise outside my window from a street fair that was being cleaned up after 10pm. It wasn’t the hotel’s fault per se. I suggested they install better windows. And moving me wasn’t an option as the hotel was completely full due to the Bruce Springsteen concert at nearby Wrigley that weekend.

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Exactly. If I had been able to just move them to one of the 2-bedrooms, that would have been an upgrade and a solution all in one and no refund would have been offered.

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A plumber told me that the new types of toilets with low cisterns are nowhere near as efficient as the older style which have the cisterns a little higher up the wall.

I agree with SNC, refund one night. The guest will be appreciative and hopefully won’t mention the toilet incident in their review.

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This is what i would do. Wine fixes things




I agree with the one night and cleaning fee. Alternatively you could offer them and the guests might graciously decline - I’m a dreamer.

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I strongly disagree, stuff happens and it was handled. A bottle of wine, maybe a gift certificate but no refund. I doubt the guest is expecting a refund, and if they are that is a result of hosts refunding too much for too little. No refund.

Also, why the hell refund the cleaning fee the place is going to require extra cleaning and the guests may well have been at fault.


We had a clogged toilet at an Airbnb I rented in Feb. There were 4 of us and had no issues for the first 2 days. The last morning when I flushed the toilet it almost overflowed. We used the provided plunger and after a few plunges it cleared out and flushed.

After some sleuthing amongst my party, it turns out that someone had been flushing tampons all weekend. I grew up on a septic system where you never flushed tampons; she was a city girl and never knew that women didn’t flush them. It was also a lightbulb moment as to why she has so many plumbing issues at her home w/ 3 daughters.

In my 1912 STR we have some antique plumbing and my house rules state that if it doesn’t come out of the human body or isn’t TP, then don’t flush it down the toilet. I provide sealing sanitary bags in each bathroom.

I suspect it’s a guests’ fault, but perhaps not your current guest. I no longer charge a separate cleaning fee, but a good will gesture would be nice. The fact that you responded immediately is a big plus for you.

I keep 1 or 2 $50 Visa gift cards on hand for last minute gifts. I would drop off a generic gift card that they can use for a meal or cocktails and give them a credit on their next stay.

I’m sure they were very satisfied with the refunds you gave them. On to the next stay…


Yes, it was handled but not like it normally would be. Not like it should be. Prior to Covid, my husband would have gone and snaked it right away to make absolutely sure that it wouldn’t happen again (and thus it likely wouldn’t have).

However, because of Covid, we handled it differently. And that is where my guilt comes from. Instead of my husband going down and fixing it the first time it happened, the guest offered to plunge it and clean up the water himself and we let him (it was worth a shot to avoid unnecessary exposure to these strangers from out of state). So, it happened again the next morning. This time the guest was unable to clear it with a plunger. He mentioned that he plunged for 10 minutes (even if he is exaggerating, that’s a long time to plunge). He also mentioned that this time it was “really gross”.

So, I feel like my guest had to do a dirty job twice before we did the correct thing - my husband went and snaked it for them to solve the issue. And I do 100% believe that it was the guests’ fault, but that ultimately it is still our responsibility to fix it right away. And we didn’t fix it right away because of wanting to avoid possible covid exposure. Personally, I feel okay about losing one night and the cleaning fee to take the chance of my husband possibly not having to go in there and expose himself during a stay. Either way, they paid such a premium for the days that we are still coming out of it okay.

My guests get a bottle of wine when they check-in, so I’m not sure it would be useful to give another for a 3-day stay. Maybe, I don’t know. Not knowing if they even drink, I didn’t want to count on it.

@Suntory recommended a bottle of champagne. We considered leaving them one because we have a fancy ice bucket so the presentation is very nice. After reading all of the advice, I decided against the champagne and only did the one night refund - a bit of balancing I guess.

I really appreciate everyone giving me advice! It’s priceless and I’m so lucky to be part of such a helpful and generous group. In another situation, I might likely end up doing this differently but just had to go with what felt right for this particular guest. This is the first refund of any type that I have ever given and after 300+ stays, I still feel lucky.


I would say they are lucky you did not charge them.

We shall have to agree to disagree on this one:)


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No refund. If your toilet doesn’t have issues like this before these guests, then it’s a guest issue. I have a friend whose young son’s bowel movements have broken 3 toilets (no details needed, but the kid’s output is a menace).

$25 to the Cheesecake Factory or coffee shop nearby. But some folks do things that are above and beyond the capabilities of even modern plumbing.

Gross :poop:

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