Hi Michael, this is a great question, mainly because there's no policy or set steps to do that will be dictated by Outdoorsy or CoachNet. So in the end, this is actually a question to ask right back at yourself! You're renting your vehicle, this is a business and your renters are your customers... what do you think the situation dictates for your business? Here's some suggestions for what I would do:
1- Put yourself in your renters shoes for that exact breakdown in Utah... what would you expect of your rental company or Outdoorsy owner? Ask yourself what you would be satisfied with when it comes to:
-help getting home
-expenses covered or not
-making up for the disappointment that the vacation is essentially "ruined"
-communication and correspondence
-what to do with the owner's vehicle
2- Consider what the implications are of not making this renter feel as if you empathize and did everything you could to make the situation right
-will they post on social media about it?
-will they report you to the Better Business Bureau or Outdoorsy (or both)?
-will they sue to recover expenses and even perceived losses?
-will they give you a 1-star rating on your Outdoorsy page and describe the situation in full detail ensuring any future renters who read your listing decide to look elsewhere?
Now, as a business, you can protect yourself with legal language and liability contracts etc. so that none of this is out of pocket, they signed off on it and they are SOL and must deal with it on their own, yada yada yada.
But I would highly recommend building a policy around liability from accidents and injuries, not against breakdowns and vehicle failures that leave them stranded and wasn't their fault. I would do anything and everything I could to make the situation right including:
- Ensure the vehicle is in top-working condition (if not, don't rent it)
- Have an emergency fund available to assist with anything not covered by Outdoorsy / CoachNet (i.e. expenses for returning home, returning the vehicle)
- Refunding the trip's cost and/or offering a free extension to the vacation
In the end, your rental families are entrusting their cherished vacations/memories to you and your vehicle. If that trust is betrayed, and it's no one's fault, I personally would err on the side of doing everything I could to making it right for them. That's just good business.
Hope that helps!
The Leamon Party Bus