Power outages at Guest House

11 Replies

Looking for advice from hosts on this. One of our listings is rural (next to our ranch house) and we have experienced a few    power outages recently due to lightning storms. Ranging from 1 hr to overnight in one case. Guests have been staying with us in these cases and the reactions have been varied. A younger AIRBnB couple was clearly irked, and even though I took them a flashlight and offered water or food, they were clearly unhappy even though it affected only a couple hrs of their 3 night stay. Another older woman and older couple were quite different...they could have cared less, kinda thought it was fun....We're the same - just sit on the porch, drink beer and watch the sky light up...

I don't offer partial refunds without being asked and it didn't come up, so no bad reviews or anything, I just want to take good care of guests. I have a generator but didn't want to run extension cords all over just for a short outage. I am looking into wiring in a transfer switch and generator for the guest house so that would take care of this in the future...just curious if others have had this come up?

Sounds like a generator and auto transfer switch is the way to go for future issues.

I had an outage recently. The only way I knew was a neighbor called me to ask if my power was out too. I am an hour away, but he knows I have cameras and other wifi smart equipment.  

I checked with my guests and they had already called the power company and were getting text alerts on the status of the repair. They knew there was nothing I could do so they didn't even contact me.

I did follow up with them once I new power was back on. The outage lasted a couple hours so they just went down to the dock and enjoyed the lake.

Everybody is different and you have to read the individual to see what if any compensation you might want to offer based on the situation.

I still got a 5 star review. 

Thanks John....The young couple who was irritated didn't leave any review at all so I guess that's better than a bad one. They seemed to think that I could go climb a pole and repair the transformer or something......

Put it in your listing 

“Power goes out occasionally. Come unplug”

if you’re concerned with moving a current guest you MUST do this through the platform. Take a screen shot of the power outage on the electric companies website and send it as proof. Theres more too it than that but Sandhu and Underwood invited me to the bar   

I've never had a power outage, but have had frozen pipes when it gets below zero and lots of wind.  I can thaw them out with a propane fired torpedo heater directed into the crawlspace.  Also use the heater in my garage before working out in the winter time.  Also built a wood fired hot tub heater, but that's another story.

Originally posted by @Luke Carl :

Put it in your listing 

“Power goes out occasionally. Come unplug”

Now I like that...turning a negative into a positive.

Seriously though, don't you think I would lose a lot of bookings?

This has only happened during the past month, some weird storms coming through.

Originally posted by @Theresa Harris :

If the outage is caused by weather, there isn't much you can do.  Make sure they have a flashlight or battery operated lantern for light.

Yes...I am a prepper sorta guy so I have everything needed. Some people don't like scary darkness though....

We have a house in Yarnell, about 35 mi. from Prescott, so I know about power outages in those mountains.  The storms can be intense and frequent in the summer.  Luckily we have a gas stove, so we can still cook when the power goes out.  I think the transfer switch for your guests is a good idea.  
At Tahoe, power failures can be an issue.  I replaced 3 hard wired smoke detectors with 10 year battery smoke / CO detectors.  I installed 3 power failure light fixtures where the old smokes had been.  They look and work great. (The building inspector highly approved of this). I have 6 battery powered lanterns in a marked kitchen cabinet, which I test every time I go there.  I have a Mag light on a bracket in the kitchen, next to the fire extinguishers.  Outside, most of the security lights are solar powered LED lights, which don't care if the power is on or off.   One thing I DON'T have are candles, which are a fire hazard.  If I find some left by guests, I dispose of them.  Same with candle holders - none are on property.  I have a gas BBQ and a gas cooktop.  I also have a backup power supply for the modem, mainly to keep the telephone line working, so the fire alarm can always send an alarm during a power failure.  

I have no idea what to do about mountain power outages, but my takeaway from this post is that "I don't offer partial refunds without being asked."  That seems like a tidbit that I can put in my playbook.

Having a "policy" makes life so much easier.  I make a decision every time and have definitely given refunds only to receive a bad review.

Originally posted by @Bill Cereske :
I also have a backup power supply for the modem, mainly to keep the telephone line working, so the fire alarm can always send an alarm during a power failure.  

 I like this idea, I have these for my own home but never thought of using one at my rentals.