We have a property in Mesa, Arizon that is very busy and popular. We offer the option to heat the pool and spa all year. In the summer we offer this option at a significantly reduced rate since most guests do not find a need to heat the pool when it is 100+ degrees outside, but many do want the option to heat up the spa during the evenings.
We had a couple stay for 10 days in May, they checked out Sunday May 27th at which time our property manager did her walk through and found that the propane tank that supplies the pool and spa heater was down to 28%, which means that these guests used excessive amounts of propane during their stay, which is not typical in May (they must have been heating the pool to 100+ degrees to use that much propane in that heat). At most during the warmer seasons guests consume approx. 20% of the propane supply. So needless to say we were shocked to find that we would require a delivery ASAP, which normally isn't a problem, except this was Memorial Day week end!!
The next guests checked in at 5pm on Memorial Day (Monday 28th) at which point our property manager informed them that the propane was low but that they could still safely use the spa heater until we could arrange a delivery for the next day.
The next day, Tuesday morning, I was on the phone at 8am making arrangements to have a delivery made that afternoon by 2pm. I spoke to the guest, told him that the propane would be delivered before the end of the day, which it was, I have the delivery ticket dated Tuesday, May 29th, 2012!
I just received this guest's review - although he gave us a 5/5 and had nice things to say, he did state that they were unable to use the spa for the duration of their stay because the propane tank was empty!
I don't want to respond to his review until I have a chance to figure out how to delicately tell him he is mistaken. I have considered sending him an e-mail telling him privately. But that doesn't change the fact the the review will go onto my listing within 7 days. I am wondering if I can have the review suspended or deleted?
It sounds like a misunderstanding between your guest and the property manager; you really can't be 100% sure what your manager told him. Or perhaps the guest was out when the delivery came and he didn't realize the tank was now full.
I think I would bury my frustration and just write a gracious apology and indicate how this won't happen again --
I'm so glad you loved our house and had a great time. I apologize for the mixup over the propane tank -- the guests just before you used twice as much as usual and we couldn't refill the tank over the three-day weekend. When the tank was refilled on Tuesday, we should have called you right away instead of assuming you'd noticed the delivery truck. I've talked to my property manager and he'll be checking the propane level more frequently so this doesn't happen again.
They gave you five stars -- and this will be a very believable five stars because it was not a 100% perfect review. And you will get points for taking responsibility and fixing the problem.
Carol, your suggested response was beautifully worded! Great way to put a positive spin on the guests' comment. Nancyb, the renter gave you 5 stars and mentioned the spa/propane issue so he must have had a great experience despite the slip-up. By using Carol's approach to show that you're proactive to problems, it makes you look good. Don't duck and run from reviews that are honest--your response is an opportunity to shine It's the reviews from people who are untruthful or meanspirited that you need to worry about.
After some thought, I have answered the review with a gracious, positive spin - below is my response:
We are once again very happy to hear that our home was well enjoyed and met all expectations. I'm sure our home and it's surroundings were the perfect setting for a nice relaxing Memorial Day week getaway in the sun and heat. Unfortunately, due to a delivery issue with our contracted propane supplier, the scheduled delivery was in fact 24 hours late. We do regret the inevitable delivery delay, but it should not have affected the use of the spa after the first evening of this stay.