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About living one year in the sharing economy…

Day 134: "This is terrible!"

"Have you had any bad experiences so far?" This is one of the most common question I get. It's almost as if people are waiting for something bad to happen. But no. (Except for some weird call about baby sitting and a not so pleasant experience at a nudist beach in Biarritz (remind me to write about that later), which had nothing to do with the sharing economy at all)

Yes, one guest broke one glass. But she bought six new ones - and was an awesome guest in every other aspect! So far car sharing, lending out things, having couchsurfers and Airbnb guests, have worked perfectly without any problems what so ever.

Until yesterday.

There was a Swiss couple coming to my place in the evening. In town to visit their daughter who study here. And honestly, I didn't get a good feeling from the start. They didn't seem comfortable. But I showed them around, gave them the key and took them to their bedroom. This is when the real trouble begins.

"Oh no, I can't stay here. This is terrible!", starts the woman. 

Yes, there is a renovation going on. The windows are covered in plastic and can't be opened. It doesn't look pretty. But no one have had anyproblems with it so far. I even had one guest the other week who just booked two more days a week from now. But apparently opening the windows was very important for this Swiss couple. Sure, I'd prefer it was possible, but what can I do?

Well, to be fair, I could have told them about this. Maybe I should have? I just feel that it doesn't change a lot. The room is still nice, no one have thought it's a problem before, I can't do anything about it, and after all 500 kronor for two persons per night is still pretty cheap.

Anyhow, this woman looked desperate, like if she already could not breathe in the room. "We can't sleep here! We don't want to pay for this." But you've already paid, I explained. If you're not satisfied you have to see if Airbnb can give your money back.

That's my initial reaction. Until I realized that they will be able to rate me. Getting good ratings is very important. Just one bad review could affect the possibility of getting other guests. So I decided to change my tactics. "Ok, I'm sorry you feel this way. What would be a good solution for you?"

In the end we agreed that they would stay one night, instead of three. And that I would pay them the money back in cash for the other two nights. I loose some money, and won't be able to get any new guests for those two nights. But I'm hoping to get at least a decent review. I think I deserve one now. That's more important. And besides, I don't want to have someone sleeping in my home who hates it here. I felt relieved when they left and hope they find something else.