I recently had to write my first negative review for a guest. I honestly never wanted to have to do this, and struggled with the decision because the guest was a fellow host and did communicate well.
I will I’ll try to make this as short as possible.
Basically the guest (group) did not follow any of our check-out instructions, and the opposite of what we asked was done. I always let our guests know where to find our check out policy and ask them to please look it over.
We ask for guests to place used towels in the hamper, the used towels were left on the couch.
We ask guests to take out their garbage and recycling, there were piles of boxes and garbage left in our kitchen.
We ask guests to leave the AC and fans running, everything was turned off.
I could go on and on but I will spare you the rest.
The guest also had an extra person stay. Our house is small and we make it very clear that we have a 4 person max, and local laws only allow 2 people per bedroom. The guest did not mention anything about having 1 more person, which made me feel as though it was being hidden from me. If they would have asked, I probably would have said no problem since it was a 1 night stay.
Review time comes and I decide to wait to review. After thinking it though all day I decided to leave the review I believe was warranted.
I basically said that I expected a lot more from our guest because they were a fellow host but was shocked because they failed to do any of what we ask. I also said I was mostly disappointed in what appeared to be the lack of respect for our home, and that I was just honestly bummed.
Our guest sees the review and is very mad because they do not feel like they did anything wrong. They basically gave excuses like “what’s the cleaning fee for” and “how do you expect me to remember to read the check out policy from a message you send a few days before our stay”
Now I am feeling guilty, like I did something wrong. I never wanted to have to write a negative review for our guests, especially to another host. But I do believe that the condition our house was left in warranted it.
Also now the guest won’t stop messaging me about it.
Has anyone dealt with something similar? I hate feeling guilty about this!
@Jordyn6 You did nothing wrong, do not feel the slightest bit guilty. These guests were disrespectful in many ways and there's no reasonable excuse for it, except the AC and fans part- many hosts specifically ask guests to turn those things off when they leave, I've not heard of hosts asking that they be left on, although I certainly would, as right now it's hot and humid where I live and things get musty right away if those things are turned off. So if that was the only transgression, I'd find it understandable, but it's just one thing in a long list of not respecting your clear instructions, and sneaking in an extra guest is never acceptable behavior.
You did other hosts a favor by leaving an honest review.
Of course no one likes to get a bad review (or have to write one), but it's to be expected that people like this can't fathom why anything they do is wrong. That's the MO of entitled people. That this guest is also a host is immaterial, there are all kinds of people out there and being a host is no guarantee of being a good guest, although the natural inclination is to assume they will be.
Do not respond to this person's messages and block them from contacting you again. (I believe you click on the flag in one of the messages and follow the prompts. There's not a lot of choices, so if your reason isn't there, just check one, then explain in the written section why you are blocking). If she tries to call or text you, block her number and you could also call Airbnb and tell them that she is harrassing you.
Then try to put this person out of your mind- have a glass of wine and relax :-)
@Jordyn6 From what you mentioned, the only big problem is that they had an extra guest without notifying you.
As @Sarah977 mentioned, to save energy it is normally the case to ask guest turning off any the AC and fans when checking out. Here you required something the opposite.
I have had much worse guests than them. You are not wrong to write honest reviews. Just need to be a little flexible for minor things.
@Alice595 Jordy said they didn't follow any of the check-out procedures, brought in an extra guest and that she could "go on and on" about all the disrespectful ways they behaved. One or two minor things can and usually should be overlooked, but I'd not agree that the extra guest was "the only big problem." Seems to me their entire comportment was the problem.
And the follow-up, that this guest has been harrassing the host with messages just because she was called out honestly on her behavior, and her comment to Jordyn “how do you expect me to remember to read the check out policy from a message you send a few days before our stay?” when this guest is a host herself tells me a lot about this guest's attitude.
@Sarah977 and @Jordyn6 to add in my comments, just bringing in an extra guest would deserve a negative review. The rest of things mentioned really could be overlooked. I am not sure what additional on and on things are. If they are more important than those checkout instructions, I would expect they were shared in the post instead of the checkout issue.
The extra guest is a serious issue (for me at least) because not knowing who is staying on your property brings liability and security issues.
The other issues I can't decide from what has been presented, it depends on the level of detail and problem. (Sometimes there are just too many problems, because the guest isn't bothering).
While we all might get upset about negative reviews, angry messaging as a result is generally not appropriate, and from an experienced host, likely reflects that there was indeed a problem here.
Happy (future) Hosting.
Thanks for the responses!
Just to be clear- when I say “I could go on and on” I just mean that the guest not not follow any of the check out instructions and actually did the opposite of what we ask. Not that there are many, just the usual things (Which I believe I mentioned above)
it was very clear that they did not even bother to glance at our check out policy.
We have many guests fail to do a few things we ask, and I always let it go because I totally get it. No ones perfect and I appreciate any effort a guest makes to leave our home in good condition. But when someone makes no attempt to even read our check out policy, as a host, and brings in an extra guest without notify us? That’s when I have to say something.
@Jordyn6 meh, absolve yourself of guilt. This host/guest will have no problem booking in the future and they weren't a good guest. You've reviewed and that's the end of it. I'd go thru the process of blocking them so that they quit messaging.
hosts often fall into the category of "all hosts should do what I would do" and "I'm a good person and know what I'm doing so it doesn't matter if I read any of this other host's materials"
unfortunately this is a common thing, hopefully your next guests will do better at your adorable cottage.
I have learned that many guests do not take the time to read the house rules! Its boring and they just want to enjoy their vacation. So personally, I am looking for answers on how to get guests to read the house rules. Had your guest read the house rules, they wouldn't have been so shocked when you gave them a bad review. I explain two days before check-in that our house is NOT a Hotel or a resort. It is our private home and we appreciate and expect guests to treat it as it was there own, and not a rented hotel room. The host who you guested obviously treated your home like it was a hotel and saw your cleaning fee as a sign he can leave it as messy as he wants since he paid the fee. This is a selfish guest in my opinion and earned the bad review you gave him. I find it hard to believe he would be a good host as well. Lose your guilt, you did the right thing.
I am a host with multiple listings and I have seen it all and much much much worse then this.
While all of this seems aggregating, you have to also try to have a thicker skin to the minor things that don't need to raise your blood pressure.
You should remember that when people are on vacation, they won't always take the time to read through the manual entirely or go back and check your welcome message because they honestly had other things going on in their head. That is understandable especially for little things like the A/C. At the end of the day, you don't want to waste good energy on small things because in the long run it will deplete you. So maybe your bill is an extra $2 more this month because they left the A/C on after they left, big deal, most past the little things. I have people who damage things like mugs, plates, coffee makers, etc and i don't bother wasting my valuable time or energy to go after something that is worth a few dollars. I try to make that money back in other ways rather then chasing a nickle.
The only thing I would have cared about is the extra guest and that was the only thing worth mentioning in the review. That alone would be enough for me as a host to not accept such a guest in my listings.
@Sean433 While I agree with what you say about not sweating the small stuff, I actually read through a lot of Jordyn's reviews, both those she has been given by guests and those she has written for guests. She has a history of leaving really nice reviews for her guests, as well as receiving good reviews. So it's obvious to me that she's not the type of host who nit-picks every little thing a guest might do wrong or annoyingly. My reading of her post here, as well as the review she left for the guest indictes that they didn't just neglect to take out the garbage or something- they actually walked away leaving a very disrespectful mess behind them.
@Jordyn6I have heard that Airbnb hosts are seldom good guests. For me, the extra guest is a big thing. Damp towels on the furniture and leaving trash in the kitchen are also bad. I wonder how this "host" would react if a guest did these things at his listing? Always leave an honest review, no matter who it is for.