Tips on writing this negative review

Level 2
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Hi there,

 

We have a beautiful tiny house which has been doing really well as a 'romantic getaway' since we moved to Airbnb in the autumn. However, last weekend we had some pretty terrible guests and I wondered if anyone has any good advice about how and when I should should write their review?

 

They arrived early and sent a message asking if they could go in - I sent them a lovely, 'Welcome! No problem, have a lovely holiday.' We heard nothing more and just assumed they wanted privacy.

 

However, when they had left we found our tiny house covered in bright pink sticky stains - this was all over the linen (white duvet cover, sheets and pillow slips), and two of the fluffy white towels were soaked in it. They had stripped the bed and rolled the linen in a ball on floor (I'm guessing to hide all the enormous pink marks). They had also turned one of the comfy seat covers upside down and when I turned it back there was a pretty disgusting yellow stain on it which looked and smelt like urine. The floor was sticky underfoot and when I picked up one of the kitchenette chairs it was sticky to touch. In the shower room they had run out of toilet paper (despite being left two large rolls) and were using make-up remover pads despite a clear notice explaining that we are not on mains drains and this can break the system.

 

Outside under the veranda the hot tub water had been half emptied and the water was grey with lumps of something disgusting in it (we suspect vomit). The blue hot tub towels smelt awful (we wonder if they used them to try to clean up).

 

Having said all this, they had clearly tried to tidy the mess, had done the washing up and left on time. There was also no damage to any equipment and incredibly, thanks to various stain removing products, I have managed to get the linen clean and the cushion cover is stain free (if a little shrunken).

 

My guess is that our guests were very young girls - probably students and, judging by the number of bottles of strawberry Sours, Prosecco, Schnapps and cans in the bin, were on a weekend binge. 

 

My question to you all is this: What is the best way to write a balanced review which doesn't sound like a rant? And how should I rate them on the star system? The girl who booked has had one previous review which was 5 Stars.

 

I would really appreciate some advice from you more experienced Airbnb-ers!

 

Obviously, I will not be having them back!!

 

Thank you very much,

 

Jane

🙂

 

 

Tags (2)
15 Replies

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Jane3526   I notice that the listings for your beautiful cottages don't include any specific notes about what cleaning expectations you have for guests at checkout. So the problem was not exactly that the guests were violating your rules or misbehaving, but rather that they did a poor job of cleaning up after themselves. The cause of their mess may well be excessive drinking, but any mention of that would get your review removed, so it's best to keep that to yourself.

 

It's never a good idea to publish an account of all the little issues you had with the laundry (which, in this case, sound unpleasant but no different from what hotel housekeepers field several times a day). Instead, you can just say "More than the expected cleaning was required," and leave it at that. If you gave clear instructions for waste disposal that weren't followed (i.e. the makeup pads), a brief reference to that might be relevant. 

 

Honestly, you'll be extremely lucky if this is the worst experience you have with a whole-house rental. Punctual checkout, no unregistered guests, no permanent damage, and some effort to clean up (though unsuccessful) are all qualities that put these guests far from the "terrible" end of the Airbnb spectrum. 

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

Level 2

Thank you Andrew, that’s really helpful. I want to be reasonable but to warn other hosts that they are by no means 5 Star guests. 
Just out of interest, what would you recommend as a sensible cleaning note to guests? Obviously we expect there to be accidents etc (previous guests stained the bed linen with dye from a bikini but it was an accident and we told them not to worry etc..) but vomit in the hot tub and urine on the soft chairs is clearly not acceptable 😕
Also, what star grading would you give to guests like this?

Thank you again- you are being really helpful!

Jane

😊

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Jane3526  Star ratings aren't nearly as consequential for guests as they are for hosts, so it's not worth worrying about too much. I'd definitely dock a couple stars for cleanliness, but they sound fine on the other categories. 

 

The presumptive vomit and urine incidents were almost certainly accidental, rather than malicious, and accidents are going to happen whether we find them acceptable or not. It must have been like a scene out of one of those gross-out 90s comedies when one of the girls got sick in the jacuzzi; even with the best of intentions, I don't think even most sober people would have any idea how to fix that situation.

 

The usual cleaning notes are instructions for easy things to do before checkout: what to do with used dishes, where to dispose of trash, where to leave towels. If you have additional expectations (such as cleaning floors) it should be explicit in the listing, as that's a deal-breaker for guests who want a swift departure. You might add that guests are requested to inform the host of any damage or stains immediately, as sometimes their attempt at fixing the problem actually makes it worse. 

 

 

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

Level 2

Thanks, that's brilliant. Yes, I'm not to too bothered about the washing up and floors etc... but I think I will definitely add a note about the stains or breakages, that makes good sense. I can see that having a guest trying to fix something is not a good scenario.

 

Haha... yes, we are all laughing about it now... straight out of a 90s comedy  - like a girls' remake of 'Men Behaving Badly'! (the boys in our family were extremely 'impressed' with their alcohol intake!). I will take your advice and dock 2 stars for cleanliness.

 

Thanks again, I'm feeling much happier about it all now!

 

 

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Hello @Jane3526 

 

What sort of vetting questions do you ask of your guests to ensure they are a good fit with your property?

 

What sort of checkout instructions do you leave for your guests around how your place should be left?

In terms of the review mention the positives such as prompt check out and mention that it took much longer than usual to clean after this guests stay because of staining to bed linen, towels and furniture. If you wouldn't host them again say so. Mark them down for cleanliness.

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

Level 2

Thank you Helen! 

I usually ask them if they are coming for a special occasion and if they have any dietary requirements etc. Most of our guests have been great but I am beginning to realise that I am a bit too trusting and need to build in a few more protections!!

I do have a very clear note about the drainage (strictly only toilet paper down the loo!!) because we are very rural and have a biodisc drainage system which is brilliant but very, very costly if it goes wrong! This is possibly one of the worst things someone could do because it would put our house and the other holiday let out of action.

I also have very clear notices of dos and don't for the hot tub but they don't include anything specific about human waste or vomit (yuck!!). Should I do that?

Thank you very much, I really appraise you taking the time to message me!

Jane

🙂

 

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

Level 2

*appreciate 

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Jane3526 "Most of our guests have been great but I am beginning to realise that I am a bit too trusting and need to build in a few more protections!!"

 

The majority of guests will  be just fine. It's wise to be on alert though. Don't get too complacent. Watch for red flags, and screen your guests not just for how you can provide a great stay (i.e. asking about special dietary needs) but for potential trouble. Don't be afraid to decline certain bookings. Set yourself up to attract the best and avoid the worst. 

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

in
Canada
Level 10

@Jane3526  One line I have used in reviews is “Guests may not be well-suited for a non-host occupied AIRBNB and may be better suited to a hotel.” 

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

Level 2

Ah, that’s brilliant - I think I will say exactly that.

Thank you very much!! 😊

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Normen0 I'm not sure any host would want them, but it does send the message that one may want to think twice.

@Jane3526 

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Jane3526 I hope you don't mind me changing the subject but I see you have two listings that cover the same place. This is a great idea for the low season but if I were you I would block the 1 bed listing during the Summer months and only release the block if the whole property hasn't booked. With linked calendars blocking one listing does not block the other which is handy for listings like yours.

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

Level 2

Thank you!! 😄

Re: Tips on writing this negative review

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Jane3526 I don't think they should get any credit for trying to tidy, given the way they treated your space. The hot tub being that contaminated would require a complete drain, clean and refill, which is costly. The fact it was half empty put it at great risk of costly pump damage. They put the septic system at risk as well. You’re just very lucky neither the hot tub nor septic were put out of commission. All that, the rest of the mess (and showing up early without asking) shows a complete lack of respect (and sound judgement).  I absolutely would not want to host the guest. Please review appropriately and honestly and don’t sugar coat it. Future hosts can make their own decision to host or not, but the facts will help. Refer to the review guidelines when composing your review. 

https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/2673/airbnbs-review-policy

 

(Edit, posted the wrong link the first time)

 

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