There’s never a dull moment …
I got an email message from my property manager saying that the gas was cut off at four units. The gas company had found a leak. This was around 5pm. The soonest it would be back on would be the next day, in the afternoon. So about 24 hours.
I quickly sized up the calendar: who are the guests, how long are they staying, and how much of a relationship have I built up with them? As it turned out, there were
- Dimitrii, from Russia, almost at the end of his 40-matthew stay
- Randolph, almost at the end of a 10-day stay
- Isabelle, just arrived for a 3-day stay
I swung into action trying to mitigate the situation. The gas got turned on yesterday afternoon, and Dimitrii and Matthew check out in a few hours. I guess I’ll find out in a few days if it worked. Here’s what I did:
Step 1: contact them immediately, tell them simply and directly what happened. A minimum of blah, blah, blah, just get straight to the point:
there has been a major emergency. There was a gas leak somewhere, and the gas company has notified us that they cut the gas. They said they should be able to get it back on tomorrow.
I understand that this is a serious inconvenience. Please let me know how you want to handle it. I see two possibilities: you can check out today, and I will give you a full refund for the remainder of your stay, or you can remain, and in this case I will give you a full refund for today and tomorrow.
I know this isn’t what you wanted to happen on your vacation, and I apologize for the situation.
I stated the problem, offered some options, and let them decide.
Step 2: And then I thought to myself, “I’m going to refund today and tomorrow anyways, so maybe I should just go ahead and do it now. If they decide to check out today, then I can refund the rest in a second transaction.
So I did it. Click, click, click, and two days refunded to all three guests.
Step 3: Sit tight, wait, hope the guests don’t freak out, and hope the gas company gets the gas back online tomorrow afternoon as promised.
A couple of hours later I got this response:
Thank you for the prompt notice and for handling it so professionally. I was in business meetings until late this afternoon and did not receive the message until this evening. So long as the house is safe (the gas is off) I’ll stay this evening and check out in the morning.
I am in town monthly and will absolutely book with you again if the unit is available! It has been a pleasant stay.
Meanwhile, Isabelle, who had just checked in, was less happy. She said she wanted to check out and get a full refund. Fine, I told her to cancel, and I would give her the refund. Ten minutes later, that was resolved. Fortunately, it seems that if a guest cancels, they can’t write a review.
Dimitrii wrote back to say that he was satisified with the refund. So now I’m just waiting to see what kind of reviews I get …
And here’s an update. Reviews from Randolph and Dmitrii …
This was a wonderful stay. The office desk and neighborhood close to downtown were just what I needed for my business trip and the amenities are great. Matthew was professional and responsive. I recommend this Airbnb and will be sure to book again.
Great calm place. Very close to I-95 and it gives great mobility – you can access to far point of Miami Beach for 30 min and any destination in Fort Lauderdale within 15 min. Although apartment has a lot of space. And you can be sure that if you will need anything – you will get immediate reaction. I never got it so fast before. So Matthew wish you to have guest 30 days/month )