We pride ourselves on always doing our best for our guests. We did everything we could to help Maya.
Alternative beautiful accommodation was paid for by us and Maya was taken to see and choose another alternative accommodation as well as Maya being given a full refund. Unfortunately, when Maya became abusive and the demands escalated to us paying for all the alternative accommodation for their stay and a full refund and restaurant meals, we urgently contacted Airbnb who said we had gone above and beyond as good hosts and suggested cancelling Maya’s booking-which Airbnb immediately did. Airbnb also said we didn’t need to communicate with Maya anymore. Airbnb explained that it’s Airbnb’s job to find alternative accommodation when an emergency occurs, such as our heating breaking down.
We would like to take the opportunity here to say in more detail what happened. We were all prepared for Maya’s arrival, having done our usual checks, having sent Maya extensive information to enjoy her stay as well as helping Maya plan her stay. However, on the day of Maya’s arrival our heating system broke down.
As soon as we discovered the heating system was broken, we tried to get the heating company to come urgently that day, but the soonest they could come was the next morning. Trying to do the right thing (and not knowing all we needed to do was contact Airbnb) we contacted Maya immediately and explained we were doing the best we could and organised and paid for beautiful alternative accommodation close by. We also organised her and her family’s restaurant bookings and the restaurant staff to bring a candle and sing happy birthday to a member in Maya’s group whose birthday it was. One of Maya’s group was celiac, so we checked the restaurant could look after that as well. We felt terrible the heating had broken down, but we were doing everything possible. We coordinated with Maya to ensure that her holiday went as well as possible under the circumstances.
The next morning the heating technician arrived late and my husband was onsite in the cold winter weather with a bad flu trying to ensure the technician fixed the heating. While they were trying to fix it the technician explained it would be highly unlikely we could fix the heating that day. I sent Maya a message updating her (we had been successfully communicating via messaging and phone with all the details of Maya’s stay up to that point) and was waiting to hear if the system could be fixed when Maya arrived at our country house from her previous nights’ accommodation we had found and paid for, for her.
Maya was angry and said we were unprofessional as she did not receive my message updating the situation. She complained there was limited phone connectivity in the Tuscan country side. She asked that I immediately, within the hour find her alternative accommodation as she was not happy with the accommodation we had organised the previous night. We phoned all the places we knew in the area that might meet Maya’s criteria and found a lovely historic Tuscan castle estate with cottages.
Maya then wanted my husband to drive them to look at the accommodation which was more expensive than what they had booked with us. We were willing to pay for the accommodation, but I heard that Maya was still angry and dissatisfied and that they had suggested we pay for all her family’s accommodation during her stay and give a full refund of her booking as well as paying for their restaurant that night. I phoned Maya to best understand what to do and she was angry and abusive; screaming, swearing and insulting, and amongst other things complaining I was not humble enough. Maya also complained that our meet and greet person had also not picked up her groceries ( a service that we offer when we can as complimentary) however there was in any case our complimentary fruit and wine that Maya refused and Maya also rudely refused to take the complimentary groceries we delivered to her. It was when Maya angrily disconnected the phone on us, we immediately contacted Airbnb for advice.
Having a guest like Maya certainly makes one think twice about hosting, particularly when you genuinely try to ensure guests are happy and go to great lengths to achieve that. Fortunately for us, things rarely go wrong, but if they do in the future, it’s now great to know we can call on Airbnb to help out.