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Currently have 5 guests, here for work, fairly new to AirBnB. Yesterday the central air conditioning went out. The high temperature yesterday was 91 degrees—unseasonably hot for the first of June here, but these guests are mostly from Texas and used to the heat. Idk what time the A/C went out, but they didn’t notify me until 5:30 pm. I didn’t see the message until 6:40 (I was in a meeting with no phones allowed). I immediately went to the house and got there about 30 minutes later. I looked at the issue (the smart thermostat was offline and we thought initially that’s why the A/C wasn’t operating) and determined I needed help. I called out my handyman, he arrives within 10 minutes. He initially thought he could fix it but after about 30 minutes, he cried uncle and I called out out HVAC company.
The entire HVAC system is a Trane (well known, quality brand) and was installed less than a year ago. The HVAC guy who installed the system arrived about 8:45 pm and had it fixed and going by 9:30. It turned out to be a bad common wire on our Honeywell smart thermostat (less than 2 years old).
By the time the system was back to running, it was 80 degrees on the first floor and probably 3-4 degrees warmer on the second floor where most of the guests were working.
I checked with them this morning and they said the house was cooled off and they were all comfortable and everything was fine. They thanked me for taking care of it “so efficiently and quickly” so I think they are happy.
Would you offer anything for the inconvenience and discomfort, even though it was only a matter of 4 hours from the time they first messaged until the issue was solved?
Absolutely not. Throwing money at guests for minor inconveniences sets a really bad precedent. Aren’t hosts always complaining about guests who expect refunds for anything that isn’t perfect? If hosts offer “compensation” for these things, it just perpetuates this attitude.
Had the AC been out all night, making the place hot enough that it prevented them from sleeping, a discount might be in order, but as it is, they reported a problem, you dealt with it asap, they thanked you for your prompt attention, it’s over.
And honestly, 80 degrees may be uncomfortable for many people, but it’s not some unbearable temp that is going to cause heat stroke or anything. Plenty of people live in climates where that is a normal temperature for a good part of the year and survive just fine with no AC at all.
Any home can have things that go on the blink with no warning. Reasonable people understand that and if they are paying guests, if it only takes a few hours to rectify, they shouldn’t expect compensation. And these guests’ response sounds like they don’t.
In reverse order - I keep my HVAC at 80 degrees during the day unless guests are here and ask for it to be cooler. I lower it to 75 at night. It keeps the FL humidity at bay during the day and allows for a comfortable night’s sleep. My 75 gets the guest room to 72.
No, don’t offer compensation. It didn’t go out at night or anything @muddy referred to. Maybe a bottle of wine or a case of La Croix water? IDK what, if anything, they’re drinking.
Please don’t mention compensation unless they do. It’s normal house stuff and hotel stuff.
Nah, definitely wouldn’t offer compensation. I might just drop off a bottle of cold rose to say thanks for their patience and understanding but only if they seemed like great guests I’d want to host again lol
I don’t actually understand people who travel to areas where they find the climate miserably hot. Sure, if there’s AC in the house, they can be comfortable indoors, but as soon as they step out the door, they’ll hate it.
And it can’t be good for people, healthwise, to set AC to Arctic temps and then go outside where it is 90 degrees with 90% humidity, and vice versa.
Every summer when I go up to Canada, I am freezing inside every store and the cashiers are wearing sweaters. Canadians moan and complain when the winter drags on into late spring, then as soon as the weather turns warm, instead of being thrilled, they complain about how hot it is, and they make the inside temperature feel like the winter they were complaining about. I really don’t get it.
This is not a monetary compensation situation. A thoughtful thank-you gift would be more appreciated.
@KKC pointed out something important in that one bottle of wine is not enough for 5 people. And @casailinglady mentioned water, which is also a good idea.
What if you got a couple of bottles of wine, nothing expensive, (one white, one rose) and two bottles of literes water, put them in some ice and dropped them off? If that’s too much trouble, the ice is not necessary, just drop off the wine and water. And a cute note, saying that you appreciate their patience.
I don’t know about the compensation/gift issue but wish to comment that it’s unbelievably great that you not only were so on top of everything (which we all aspire to be) BUT ALSO got your HVAC guy and handyman so quickly. From notification to fix it was just four hours?! With two different service guys. That’s kind of AMAZING!
I wonder if you might have paid a premium to do so, and it was good you did. I hope you gave your service tech and handyman a BIG THANK YOU, exceptional review, something expressing how much you and your five guests appreciated their super-promptness, your handyman’s professionalism to evaluate what he could/couldn’t do and the responsiveness of the HVAC guy to come right away and accurately and quickly diagnose the problem and fix it immediately. What a team you have!
This does not always happen, not at all. I hope you feel pretty good about yourself and your team.
I know you can’t pass up an opportunity to criticize my comments, which in this case wasn’t “negative” at all, just a suggestion, and you knew exactly what I meant, no need to be pedantic about being a wine connoissseur.
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! They are here for work—one guy is from near here and the other four are from Texas where it is even hotter. I’m thinking I will buy two bottles of wine (a white and a red), some Holl’s chocolates (local handmade Swiss chocolate makers, very good stuff) and some pepperoni rolls (a local, only in WV item) from our local bakery.
I think if a host is providing something extra as a way to express “Sorry for the inconvenience”, it’s the thought that counts, and will be seen as such, rather than guests being disgruntled because they may not consume or use that item.
No matter what you give them, someone may not want it. Some people don’t eat wheat or gluten, so croissants wouldn’t be eaten. I wouldn’t drink orange juice. A friend of mine not only doesn’t drink coffee, she hates the smell of it. Some people don’t eat sweets, so chocolates wouldn’t be useful.
I think it’s hard to come up with anything that would be universally appreciated, beyond that the host was being nice by offering something extra. And if it’s something packaged, or a bottle of wine and they wouldn’t consume it themselves, they can always take it with them and gift it to someone who will use it.
I usually send a pizza if it’s a dinner time failure. When our dishwasher broke I bought them a set of disposables. If they can’t cook a breakfast I drop off a variety of breakfast sandwiches. I will cream cakes are good for after the fact in hot weather as an apology gesture. Refunds and financial compensation are for unfixable situations or protracted failures.
so last week we went down to our farm and hubby and I stayed for a week in our guest suite in our house, to make sure all was ok in the room (discovered it’s really plain looking when you are lying in bed, so i’m on the hunt for some big artwork). we moved out on Friday and got the suite ready for the weekend booking. It’s been raining all week long… and Sunday night our lovely young guests pop in to tell us there’s a drip coming from the ceiling. aargh!!! they were on their way out to dinner, so we went down, moved the bed out of the way and lit the fire in the second room for them (room was already made up, but it’s a queen bed, not king, otherwise same). We popped a bottle of wine with a note saying “thanks for your understanding” and all was well, got a great review too.
I agree with others, things happen and if you can resolve it quickly, with minimal fuss and a cheery attitude all reasonable people will understand. And wine always helps.
We are in a wine region, so of course wine is a no-brainer here but this is also very true: