What to do if something breaks before guest arrival?

Hi everyone,

I’m a brand new host and have a guest arriving tonight. We just had our home repainted and only learned about an hour before the guest arrival time that our painters sealed the cable wire into the wall, which means the WiFi we provide won’t be available.

The rental is for two weeks, and we can send someone tomorrow morning to open the wall, remove the wire, and get the internet up and running.

I get this is a guest inconvenience, but I assume they’d rather have that inconvenience than go without internet or TV (we have a smart TV with Netflix and Hulu, so it won’t play anything without internet). Any advice on how to handle?

Thanks so much.

Look out! Having an unavailable advertised amenities can result in the guest getting a full refund. Make sure they know of the issue and agree before they arrive…possibly offer a small refund for 1 night. You do not want a low star review so early in your hosting adventure.


Have you contacted the guest to explain the situation and ask what their preference is?


Fortunately this guest booked with us personally, so they can’t review me on AirBnb. Unfortunately, they’re not the most easygoing people.

I recently stayed in a place where we had no running water during the day for three days of our six-day stay, and didn’t complain, even though we were told that it would only be two days (right before arrival). The city had shut the guy’s water off.

Do you recommend telling them in advance? They haven’t arrived yet but their check-in time has passed, so I assume they’re on their way. I was going to talk to them about it when they got there.

100%. And be as apologetic as you can and tell’em it’ll be fixed tomorrow.

Up side is that as a direct booking you won’t suffer review wise, but maybe for their repeat business.



Thanks. I just asked our property manager to call, since they’ll schedule with the guest what time to come fix it. They will go as early as tomorrow or whenever works for the guest.

For future reference, this is always the best practice, right? Let them know, apologize, and fix ASAP?

That’s what I figured but I was torn because I was kind of hoping we could get someone in before they arrived… but with it being so close I don’t want someone to check in with a handyman there!

I had a similar issue. I contacted the guest and explained the situation. They were very understanding and left for the day when the repairman came. As a thank you, I refunded them a one night stay. They were pleased with the refund of one night and gave me a five star review.


Forgot to mention that as regards internet access, we have a backup in place just in case we have an issue.

Our internet, at times, can be unreliable. If for any reason it’s down we can fire up the mobile adapter and at least our guests won’t suffer a loss of amenity.

We can buy a data SIM here for €20 or so and it comes with about 50Gb of data. Not an ideal solution, but a solution nonetheless.



Why is everyone always so eager to hand over their money? It seems some kind of new business trend, people giving away money whenever possible.

Don’t give them a refund! Keep your money.
They are still staying, and using all other amenities.

You can give them a small gift, a local wine or some chocolate, or a discount on their next stay, but do not give them money.


If they are checked out of their last place and on your doorstep when you tell them about a missing amenity then I think it’s fair to compensate them for the number of days that amenity is not available. If they knew in advance this amenity was on the fritz, and chose to come anyway, then apologies and a bottle of wine should be ok.


That’s why you shouldn’t wait until they are in your doorstep to tell them!


Are you not more concerned with guests complaining about the smell of paint, caulk, etc.?

I think this happens more on ABB then with other businesses, we are all so platform dependent that we want to be sure nothing can happen to our Airbnb accounts, so we go above and beyond what is expected…I’m definitely guilty of giving a few night of refunds that I should have not but I did because I am dependent on their 5 star reviews.

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Buy a sim card and a simple huawei tethering device from amazon, this should be enough for most people.

Contact the guest immediately on platform and explain. I might finesse it a bit (“we wanted you to have a freshly painted space”).

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If that’s the case, and you really are, then it’s important to make sure that you do something about the situation pretty quickly. Airbnb is great, I love it, but it’s not the only way to get business. Any business that is entirely dependent on one platform doesn’t seem to be a business with a very firm footing.

As this is an older topic, I’m wondering what the outcome was?


My management company told the guest that the internet would be out until they could arrive the next morning to remove the wire from the wall.

The guest never replied to his message, and when they went over to the house the next morning, the guest wasn’t there, so they fixed the problem and left.

The guest never showed up and we haven’t heard from them since. They were supposed to be there for two weeks. Since it was a non-AirBnb request, there’s no review process, so we just let it go.

Weird, right?


I would estimate about 90% of my business is from Airbnb, rest from Booking.

I still didn’t add my property to VRBO, TripAdvisor, etc because although they accept properties from my country, they don’t send wires like airbnb so it is more problematic to get paid with them, but will soon give it a try again.

What is the percentage of rentals you get from Airbnb? what other platforms do you recommend?

I only use Airbnb and I’ve never used other platforms so I can’t recommend any of them.

But a lot of my clients come from non-internet sources, others from my own site and social media so if anything happened to Airbnb, I could easily ramp up the other promotions.

And when I say ‘if anything happened to Airbnb’ I think it’s important to remember too that we are living in very curious times so I’m determined not to rely all the time on the internet as a whole. It’s okay, I don’t think that the internet is going anywhere any time soon but nevertheless I find it important to encourage repeat guests and referrals and other free ways of getting business.

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