We just had guests check out and we’re afraid of getting a bad review. She booked for one person and in my initial questions let slip that there may be three people. Our place has one bed and a sofabed but I don’t leave bedding out for the sofabed unless there are more than two people. I told her (and it says in the listing) that there is a $25 fee for each person over two, per night. She then said there would probably be only two. They checked in late but clearly three people were staying there, we saw them coming and going. I sent her a note asking if there were three people and she wouldn’t respond. They stayed two nights and the morning they were to check out I received a message from her that they were disgusted, had video and were leaving. We went back to our guest house immediately as we keep it impeccable and couldn’t figure out what could possibly be the problem. She said the place was crawling with ants. We went inside and there were about ten sugar ants where they had left a bunch of food and donuts out on the counter. She was going on and on that she was disgusted and wanted to be compensated. We have only been doing Airbnb for ten months and have a 4.93 rating. We were terrified that she was going to give us a bad review so we refunded them a nights stay. No extra charge for the extra person staying there and to add insult to injury they left our place filthy. The toilet was backed up, there were grease smears on the furniture, dings in the wall from their luggage and bits of marijuana and ashes in the living area. I would love to be able to warn other hosts about these people as they are clearly scamming the system and horrible guests. But, I don’t want to leave any review because then they will be prompted to leave one and I’m worried they are going to give us a low rating. We spray the perimeter of the guest house regularly for any bugs and we clean it to the baseboards every time someone checks out. It’s immaculate. I could leave a warning review for other hosts that they break house rules (not paying for extra guest) and left our place filthy at the two week cut off time but they had some people come over during their stay that looked pretty rough (drug dealers?) We don’t want retaliation on our house either. It’s just frustrating that we were taken advantage of and clearly scammed via bullying... they know a bad review can cost us thousands in lost bookings. What if there was an Airbnb bad guest database that we could search before accepting bookings that is separate from the Airbnb guest profile? The review system isn’t working if we are being held hostage by these awful “guests”. Do any of you still leave bad reviews or do you just not leave one if you don’t have anything nice to say and hope that the guest doesn’t either?
@Ellie & Scott Hindsight is a wonderful thing- had this happened to me, I would not have asked if 3 people were staying there, as you clearly saw them coming and going. I'd have said "Hi XX, you booked for 2 people, and said when questioned about this that there would "probably" be only 2. However we clearly can see that there are actually 3 people staying, so we will be sending you an alteration to the booking promptly to pay for the extra guest. Should this not be agreeable to you, you are welcome to cancel the rest of the reservation and find alternative accomodation."
And I would never refund a guest because of their own shenanigans, refunds are appropriate if something about the place isn't in working order, thereby inconveniencing the guests, not in order to supposedly ward off a bad review.
I doubt if there would be physical retaliation simply for a bad review- drug dealers have more profitable things to do with their time than vandalize your home on the request of a disgruntled friend or acquaintance. But of course your personal safety is paramount and only you can judge the risks of that.
I would just leave a brief review at the 11th hour, like "House rules broken, place left in a very dirty state, not recommended" with appropriate star ratings.
If she does post a review, it will be an obvious outlier among your many good reviews, and you can always leave a response to whatever she writes. "Yes, of course there would be ants attracted to all the sugary food we found left out uncovered on the greasy countertop."
@Sarah977 This strange notion has taken hold here that if the host just waits until day 14 to submit their review, they might avoid the guest being prompted to write one. But Airbnb auto-emails the guest at least 3 times with prompts to write a review, one way or other. So that's two weeks of waiting on pins and needles for no good reason.
If there are no unresolved payment or damage disputes, I think the best time to post a review is the day you feel you've regained your cool and you're ready to write a concise, honest account of the issues that would be pertinent for other hosts. And in anticipation of a retaliation review, also have ready a response statement addressed to prospective guests, in the tone and manner that shows your style of hospitality.
@Andrew0 Yes, for sure the guests get prompts to write a review, just like hosts do. But I think some guests, especially those who have reason to think the host might review them poorly, might ignore those prompts, hoping the host won't leave a review (the same as host waiting until last minute), and only snap into action when they get the notice that the host has left a review. Even good guests might ignore the prompts, thinking, Oh, I'll do it later, then they forget, but once they see host has left review, they are immediately curious to see it, so they write one.
I write reviews within a few days of guests leaving, while they are fresh in my mind, but I've never had a guest who I feared would leave some awful review. And I find that if the guest hasn't already left a review, after I submit mine, they tend to leave one themselves within a few hours.
@Sarah977 Hosts are naturally invested in their reviews and ratings, since their hard work and livelihood are involved. But guests who break rules, trash apartments, and disrespect their hosts obviously don't give a flying frog about whether you review them. I can't relate to these people personally, but I just don't see them giving it enough thought to deliberately run out the clock. If they want to write a revenge review, they're gonna do it. And if they just want to move on to the next victim and forget about it, they'll do that.
Far too much time is wasted trying to game the motives of terrible people. And the worst thing is that the hosts who hold off on writing their guest reviews often chicken out or forget to post in time, and the guest winds up getting away with everything and becoming an even worse problem for the next host.
It does our community a big disservice when people reward despicable behavior purely out of fear of some unkind words on the internet. #fightthefear
@Andrew0 For sure I'd think the truly vindictive types would rush to leave a review, but I don't have any personal experience with that. And I stopped trying to figure out the motives of others, be they nasty or nice people, a long time ago :-)
A lot of people it seems, both hosts and guests, are way too emotionally invested in this review nonsense. It's just business.
One disadvantage to a host waiting until day 13.5 to leave a review of a bad guest is that the guest then is afforded all that time to book and wreak havoc at other listings without those hosts having the benefit of the bad review on which to base a decline.
I can understand new hosts with no or very few reviews waiting to review in hopes that the guest won't, but established hosts with a string of great reviews have little to worry about, as a brief, professional response to an obviously outlier review should make things clear to prospective guests, even if the string of great reviews hasn't convinced them. And has others have said, do you really want a guest who'd give credence to one crap review out of 50 good ones?
Thanks for posting this. I just had a guest leave who booked for one person and then invited someone else to stay with him in the suite. There is damage to the bed frame and it looked like they had been burning something (we have a no flame policy in our space). The guest left the room really dirty, had moved the furniture, didn't flush the toilet at all during the week and looked like he had peed in the bathtub. The furniture was rearranged - not that that is a huge deal, but I would have expected them to put it back.
The bed frame is not new but clearly damaged like they had tied things to the bed with scrapes and scuffs on three sides and knocked the corner off the bed leg. I took pictures of the damage and am not sure how to fix it before the next guest checks in.
I realize there are cultural norms with guests coming from different parts of the world, but do you let Airbnb know when something like this happens? I would not recommend the guest at all - he was a challenging communicator and not clean.
Do I just give him a review that reflects that he didn't treat our home respectfully?
@Pauline471 What you are describing doesn't seem to me like anything to do with cultural norms. I've never heard of any cultures where peeing in the bathtub is normal behavior, nor is causing damage to the furnishings or ignoring your no-flame policy, or any other house rule. Sounds like there was a bit of sexual kink involved in the bed damage- maybe attaching handcuffs or chains, who knows.
There are some guests new to the platform who are unaware that they aren't allowed to just have someone else come stay over. I had a guest like that- she was very sweet and sprung her boyfriend on me the morning after she arrived (they didn't arrive together). It was quite obvious that she wasn't trying to get away with something- she openly introduced him to me and simply assumed that if she rented a place, she could share it with someone else if she wished. As she was otherwise a good guest, and her boyfriend was also very nice, and they were both squishing into the single bed, I just charged her a bit more for utilities and let her know that I wouldn't give her a bad review for it, but that she should always book for the correct number of people in the future.(In my case, I actually only host solo guests, so she really should have booked a place suitable for two)
I would send this guest a bill for damages. He will likely decline to pay, then you can escalate to Airbnb resolution center. They should be made aware that he isn't a suitable guest.
Leave your review of him til the 11th hour, unless he reviews first. If he doesn't leave a review up to then, hopefully he won't have time to leave a retaliatory review because of the damage claim.
I think it's kind of not fair that host cannot warning others hosts or giving a real statement as its transparent and open for guest to see and that comment will come back and hurt us all. I really think Airbnb should step up and have the option of "private note for host(s)" only so we could be more aware of what might have happened.
Or at least, the public comment is transparent, but stars for guest is not or some hints that other hosts can see that something is not right.
@Pat5552 The reviews you as a host leave for guests don't come back to hurt us all. They assist other hosts. It's the unwarranted bad reviews guests leave that hurt hosts.
And the star ratings you give a guest are not visible to the guest, only to other hosts. Guests can only see the written review you have left for them.
@Pat5552 What you should be more scared of is past reviews for guests who want to book with you that aren't honest and make you think the guest will be okay when in fact they were terrible guests and the hosts were scared to say that.
No, guests can't see the stars you leave them. And they can't read your review of them until both reviews are submitted, or, if the guest doesn't leave a review, your review of them will be posted 14 days after check-out. And then it is too late for the guest to leave a review at all. So they can't write a bad review of you just because you left a bad one for them- they can't see it until it is publicly posted.
Reviews don't have to be either completely good or completely bad. There is usually something positive you can find to say about a guest (unless they were just awful people all around) while mentioning the things that made them less than desirable. "XX was a good communicator during the booking process and pre-arrival, and quite friendly. However, his failure to thoroughly read the listing description and understand what he was booking and to follow house rules made hosting him quite a challenge. More attention on this guest's part in the future as to the type of listing he is booking, as well as showing respect for house rules, would lead to a better host/guest experience."
Writing a review along those lines lets other hosts know the downsides, lets the guest know what areas he needs to improve in to be a welcome guest, and hopefully tells the guest that you are being fair, in that you also recognized his good qualities.
If a guest is just really bad, though, don't try to sugar-coat it- no one wants a guest who has uncaringly made another host's life miserable.
And if a guest has been truly awful, wait a few days or a week to write a review if you're feeling mad or upset about it. That gives you time to get over it a bit and not be tempted to leave an emotional review- instead you can compose your thoughts and just write something brief and factual.
I have had experiences where twice as many guests come as were reported. Worst case, I have a maximum of six guests and 12 young men showed up for a bachelor party. I have had so many experiences like this recently that I am ready to stop using Airbnb. Too many disrespectful people.
Dear @Suzanne129 :-)
When I started hosting I didn't have any houserules as I assumed people would be nice, respectful etc. I realized some aren't and some simply don't understand how to be an airbnb guest and what is expected. Make sure to write as a houserule, that only registret guests are allowed on the premises. Be nice but firm. Ask the guest when they book how many people will stay. I have made a direction guide were I repeat the houserules in the end : I write : As this is my home kindly respect bla bla bla.
Search this community for houserules and make sure to only communicate through airbnb message board as if you need help from Airbnb they can read your communication - that is very important. No communication outside airbnb message board. What I have learned is to be firm and make rules - set bounderies :-).