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First guests, first night... and we have a leak!!

 
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MulesMarinair



Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:56 am    Post subject: First guests, first night... and we have a leak!! Reply with quote

Just as we are thinking everything was ship shape, the guests had arrived and handover had gone well...
After a year of scrapping woodchip off walls and renovating...
At 2130 last night just after we had said “well, that was a lot of hard work but it’s some achievement...” we got a phone call.
Leak in the kitchen from under the sink and it’s quite substantial.

I think a little part of me was crushed.

Anyway, guests were fine. “These things happen”. They were very patient, more so with me and my apologising and flapping than having stood vigil over a leaking hot water pipe.

I think the issue was we upgraded the counter and sink a few weeks back and this was the first time having hot water through the pipes properly, so the joint must have expanded and slightly loosened. Anyway between the call and turning the bolt a quarter turn, I was on road him by 2300. So not too long of an inconvenience now that I type it out.

Anyway, I feel the right thing to do is make it up to them in some way. But to what degree?

They are going cycling today so I could shout the three of them some cream teas somewhere along the route. It would be nice but not OTT as a gesture.
Am conscious of already having hijacked their first night, so don’t want to “arrange” part of their remaining time with us.

How would experienced folk react to something like this?
Things like it do “happen” but I’m not sure about letting it go unpassed.

Thanks
MM
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Cymraes



Joined: 07 Jul 2015
Posts: 428
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on the first guests

I'd probably drop round a nice bottle of something and then leave them to it Smile
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LotBoy47



Joined: 31 Jan 2019
Posts: 68
Location: SW France

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cymraes wrote:
Congrats on the first guests

I'd probably drop round a nice bottle of something and then leave them to it Smile


Seconded. Don’t go overboard, a £/€ 5 bottle of wine will be a perfect “really sorry about last night” gesture.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 6084
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LotBoy47 wrote:
Cymraes wrote:
Congrats on the first guests

I'd probably drop round a nice bottle of something and then leave them to it Smile


Seconded. Don’t go overboard, a £/€ 5 bottle of wine will be a perfect “really sorry about last night” gesture.


I’d go with the bottle idea, but I dream of being able to pay £5 in the UK for something that isn’t drain cleaner, which would be adding insult to injury!
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Sanchisimo



Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 134
Location: Andalucía, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the other posters - they just probably want to get on with their holiday. Things will always happen with properties and I think the vast majority of people understand this.
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MulesMarinair



Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks
I’ll go with the bottle idea
I think it’s just a confidence thing with it being the first booking.
In our mind it’s a disaster but in reality it’s just one of those unforeseen things and we’ve fixed it


Thanks for the support - it really helps

MM
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Moliere



Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 4716
Location: Magalas, Languedoc

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greenbarn wrote:


I’d go with the bottle idea, but I dream of being able to pay £5 in the UK for something that isn’t drain cleaner, which would be adding insult to injury!


Indeed, and it's about to get so much worse. (Says he, quaffing a glass of quite excellent pink at 3 euros a litre from a local vigneron Cool )

Mols
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MulesMarinair



Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gah...Now the broadband is on the blink.

Plusnet have confirmed it's an issue for BT Openreach and the local green box... so really outside of our control..

But being a Friday afternoon, unlikely to be rectified before Mon or Tues, after they have gone home.

Stuff does go wrong and things like this do happen. Difficult not to take it personally though. But it really is just lousy timing.

Between the leak and this, I'm hoping that things don't come in 3's

Or 4's...!
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chipiechoo



Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Posts: 149
Location: SW France

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feel for you, early days are a nightmare and we had plenty.
You have to get to know your property and know thow everything works, it all pans out fairly quickly with every problem but, you do get more relaxed about it as time goes on. Don't stress, if you acknowledge this is all new to you and you will do whatever is within your power to resolve the issue people are very understanding.
Have to tell you that our very first guests from 13 years ago returned 3 times, then bought locally and are now our closet friends.
Tomorrow is another day and may it be better than yesterday!
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2244
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sympathy! Early days often turn up issues like the sink - we had a few teething issues too but guests were very understanding and said that it was offset by staying in somewhere so clearly newly renovated with everything brand new, I'm sure yours will feel the same. A bottle is fine Smile

The broadband is bad luck, it happens here from time to time so I have a portable 3g modem as a backup. They cost very little and you can top up their sim cards as you would a phone. In general the PAYG ones don't have enough for streaming movies, but fine for general internet access (weather, local research, social media etc) . People have been very grateful that I've had it and it's turned a potential source of problems - of course you can't help BT's issues but people who are grumpy will find fault more easily - into something they have really appreciated. Well worth having one.

If you don't have time to get it before they go, I still would mention to them that you've ordered it. I have found people to be very understanding if they can see you are trying your best to solve the problem and they are not being ignored.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 6084
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MulesMarinair wrote:

Stuff does go wrong and things like this do happen. Difficult not to take it personally though. But it really is just lousy timing.



It’s a Tee-shirt I think most of us have worn at some point! We take it personally because we care, but it’s easy to lose sight of how far our responsibility can stretch - and it doesn’t include BT and other external service providers, or the weather gods, etc etc.
The things that are our responsibility we do our utmost to sort asap - your plumbing leak for example. Most guests will recognise that things go wrong, and appreciate a genuine effort to put things right.

You’ve done the best you can.

Thinking ahead, depending on how you feel about the guests, you could consider a follow up along the lines of “Thank you for being our first guests, and sorry for the teething problems. We’d love to have you return and would like to offer you x% off a future booking”; make the offer time restricted, say within the next 12 months. If they take you up on it, it’s no more than a marketing cost to you and you’re establishing a possible ongoing repeat and recommendations; if they don’t take you up on it, you’ve made a genuine gesture and you haven’t lost anything.

Others may well have alternative suggestions - many ways to skin the same cat!
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MulesMarinair



Joined: 17 Sep 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. They’ve been a big help in putting things in perspective and giving us confidence that we’ve done things right.

Well, things did come in 3’s...
got a call this evening to say the leak was back. I went back up with wine and sponge cake in hand (had them to handover anyway).
Tried to address same as last time. No stemming it though. Something else was giving way at the joint now, maybe when I moved the pipes trying to fix it.

Didn’t dwell on it - I told them that I knew my limits when it comes to DIY - At that point it was time to stop messing and to get a pro in so called in the plumber, who was there in less than 10 minutes at 7pm on his Saturday night.
All done and fixed by 1930.

Disappointed that it happened and they had to call again, but didn’t think twice about a quick assertive decision to get a professional in when it wasn’t just a DIY job any more.

My only regret is not engaging more from a conversation perspective while waiting for tank to drain or watching plumber. Was chatting and tried to keep it going but was a bit pre-occupied.

Thanks all again for the support.

Hope that your weekends are enjoyable (and uneventful!)

MM
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2244
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you've handled it well and I would I think take up Greenbarn's suggestion of an email thanking them for their patience and a discount on a future stay.

We once had a leak in one of the rooms with some guests who had already been pretty high maintenance. We were away so I asked our manager to make up our place and move them into there, with cake and wine. I was expecting a bad review from this as they had seemed very fussy and the leak was actually onto the bed, waking them in the night, no fun for anyone. They left a really good review and didn't mention the leak at all, just said that we'd dealt with issues speedily and well.

I really do think if you're seen to be responding well, it can often be seen as a positive and hopefully these guests see it that way! Smile
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