Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Vancouver, CA
Level 2
1,331 Views

I'm a new host, I just posted my listing very end of May and booked up very quickly. My 3rd booking was a family of 4 with 2 and 4 yr old kids for 8 days. They were nice enough but they cooked curry morning, noon, and night, asked to check in early (I couldn't accommodate) and asked to check out late at 11:15 (check out time 11 am) when they knew I was leaving for a special event at 12 (So, basically I was forced to accommodate them). Afterwards I realized why they didn't want me there when they left. NOTE: I don't charge a cleaning fee and I have house rules in writing asking guests to do their part to ensure I can continue to avoid charging a fee, also ditto for damage deposit. They burnt out 4 pots that I basically had to throw away. Bloodstains all over a white satin duvet cover and the sheet protecting it. Tiny curry fingerprints on cream coloured curtains. Damages to the kitchen counter and scratches on the butcherblock bar top (where I provided placemats and coasters with a sign to please use them). A week later (after I wrote the review) I found they had rinsed some dirty dishes and put them away wet under some clean dishes. Also the smell of curry took an entire week to air out. There's more, but I'll stop there. The one and only good thing I can say is that they wrote me a fabulous review. As a new host I felt forced to write a good review back, and I even marked them as "recommend", which I now realize I should never have done, and wish I could change. I immediately changed my settings to "not suitable for children". I also considered removing the instant booking, although I haven't done so because I feel like this is the reason I am so well booked. It took me 2 entire days to clean the suite after they left. However, I've had 5 groups of people after this "bad egg" booking and they've all been wonderful, leaving the suite so immaculate it takes me under an hour to clean (it's 2 bdrm+den+full kitchen). Any comments or similar experiences out there? Any tips on how I can avoid this happening to me again?

11 Replies

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

I am not sure why you felt 'forced' to leave a good review. You should have left an honest one and marked them down for cleanliness. As you know reviews are left blind so guests have no idea what you are writing before its published. I would have claimed for the ruined pots. 

 

In terms of check out I always speak to guests at least the day before about their arrangements, so there can be no confusion.

 

If you allow cooking with unrestricted access to your kitchen then you can't really complain about guests taking advantage of it and cooking food from their country.

 

I have a restriction against cooking strong smelling food such as curry and fish and I agree with guests what time they are using the kitchen so we can work around each other.

 

I am sorry you had difficult guests, but from every experience we learn and bad guests are much rarer than these forums might lead you to believe. I have only had one bad guest in nearly four years hosting and hundreds of guests.

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Klamath Falls, OR
Level 3

Connie266 I hear your pain being new you learn to make a few changes when I started last June I was open to everything after a few guests I made a few changes.  Like no cooking in my kitchen I do quite a bit of catering and I need my kitchen plus everything is black which will stain if not cleaned properly.  So no cooking is working for me (they can use the microwave). The other issue is checking in time, I never put a deadline to checking in until recently check in is between 4 and 10pm but last night I had a midnight caller that just parked in the driveway and not following instructions on to please ring the doorbell and I will let him in.  Oh no he looked for a key under the mat and couldn't find one so went to a hotel.  This is 4th of July week so the money I was to make with him is gone.  I sure hope the rest of the holiday weekend gets better.  But I really enjoy hosting it's easy and meeting new people is a plus you just have to keep making changes to make your hosting as easy as possible.  Good luck.  Val 

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Klamath Falls, OR
Level 3

Heck I forgot to reply to the being honest about your guest reviews I did the same when I first started and a guest didn't go by the house rules I won't ever do that again because we need to tell the truth to help out the next host.  Val

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Vancouver, CA
Level 2

Thank you Val, it's good to know I'm not alone. I think once you've been a Superhost for awhile and know alot more, you forget what it's like to be a newbie. I'm getting better and smarter with every single booking and still very thankful to be so well booked, so quickly. Right now I have the most amazing family staying and all except the one booking have actually been excellent guests. I would write that review a whole lot differently now, just 3 weeks later. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of the July 4th guest, that really sucks when they don't follow explicit instructions.

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Ohrid, Macedonia (FYROM)
Level 10

@Connie249 as @Helen3 said, why did you feel pressured? You had no reason to. You can't allow to be pressured about anything, whether it is a review, check out / check in, or any other requests guests may have. Someone opened a thread just yesterday about the how they were surprised when they accepted guests with good reviews and they turned out to be a mess.. those are these kind of guests that hosts feel pressured into leaving good reviews. I hope you will write honest reviews in the future, there is only so much we can do to help each other. 

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
North Tonawanda, NY
Level 10

After oh 3 bookings nearly in a row who cooked curry in our apartment we now have NO cooking curry in our house rules.  So far so good!  No more stinky curry and yes the cleaning was ridiculous after all of them.  Only one warranted a bad review for multiple avoidable and disrespectful issues however I did not mention the smell as it was not in the house rules at that time.

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Vancouver, CA
Level 2

Hey Thomas, I also have added in no cooking of pungent foods as well as deep frying anything, but especially fish. The suite I do AirBnB in is on the ground level and I live on the main level but the odours travel up. I love curry & fried fish myself but I don't cook these things everyday 3 times a day. I'm now only in my 2nd full month of hosting and I'm still learning but other than that one bad experience, I've been very lucky. Good luck in the future and thanks for commiserating with me 🙂

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
La Quinta, CA
Level 10

@Connie249   You have 14 days to write a review so it is best for you to have a complete review of the condition of the unit before you write a review, especially if the guests stay for more than 3-4 days.  Then you can be honest in your review and be a contributing host member of the community.

 

These guests are not new to Air BNB as I see their reviews, which are fairly positive.  Either they acted differently for the other hosts orthe other hosts were not being totally honest.

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

Level 2

Please, please always write an honest review for guests, otherwise you're doing an injustice for other hosts, & they'll accept these guests not knowing the disaster they're about to encounter.  I understand being new & not wanting to make a wrong move, but you probably wish you had known about them before you booked them.

 

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Seattle, WA
Level 1

I weave out these guests, by 

1. Having large deposit $500 minimum. 

2. Having higher rental rate, filters out the public that can have bad manners. 

3. Always charge for extra services they ask. Late check out early check in, costs. $$$ never add for free. 

4. Always charge housekeeping, to keep updating your supply because things will get lost, damaged or accidently thrown away here and there $20- 

5. Clipboard with all written "check out instructions" I ask my guests to strip the beds so I know what needs to be cleaned- next to the key area or the welcome table. 

Re: Feeling forced to write good reviews...

in
Seattle, WA
Level 1

I weave out these guests, by 

1. Having large deposit $500 minimum. 

2. Having higher rental rate, filters out the public that can have bad manners. 

3. Always charge for extra services they ask. Late check out early check in, costs. $$$ never add for free. 

4. Always charge housekeeping, to keep updating your supply because things will get lost, damaged or accidently thrown away here and there $20- 

5. Clipboard with all written "check out instructions" I ask my guests to strip the beds so I know what needs to be cleaned- next to the key area or the welcome table. 

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