Writing a negative guest review.

Writing a negative guest review.

We have had, for the most part wonderful guests, in the first seven months of hosting. However, it was not as expected with our most recent guests. They  came from Peru to meet their long time friends. They stayed for the weekend, bringing their young children for their first visit to Walt Disney World. In the beginning their communication through Airbnb was slow, but eventually we were able to learn more about them. We knew they were excited to travel to the United States and to visit their friends here. Though they arrived later than expected (12:30 a.m.) and had to call unable to locate the house (having driven past), they settled in.

 

However, as pleasant as they were, we cannot give them a positive review. Through our last email (via Airbnb) on the morning of departure, we thanked them for coming, and included a reminder reiterating some of the house rules 1) to please put wet towels in the hamper, 2) take out the trash to the cans. About 10 a.m. they called to ask if they could stay later. We explained we had other guests coming, and had arranged cleaning to take place (us, but didn't say so). We allowed them to stay 3 extra hours. We aren't certain, but they may have expected hotel cleaning services. While there was no physical damages, our Guest House was a cluttered mess. We fully understand having a 3 year old and a 5 year old on vacation can be chaotic, and little ones can leave clutter. However, with 3 hours extra it could have been tidied up. Toys were all over, game pieces out of the boxes, half finished juice boxes and water bottles left about, including bedrooms. Half eaten cookies were left on the coffee table, a dirty pan with cooked oatmeal was left on the stove top. Clean dishes weren't put away, and dirty dishes were in the sink and on the counter. Wet towels were left in the bathroom and on the beds, no trash baskets were emptied and taken to the cans. It took us considerable time putting things away before we could even begin the cleaning process. 

 

They are planning to return in February, but haven't booked yet. What do we say that would be informative yet specific in our review. We can give them a 4 on communication, because they were slow to respond and didn't notify us of their late arrival. Cleanliness would be a 1. Following house rules a 3. Our house rules are very specific. If my telling them we had cleaning arranged, culturally would that indicate they could leave a mess? If we were paying a professional crew, we would have to pay 2 additional hours because just cleaning up the clutter, washing dirty dishes (I also had to rewash those in the dish drainer as they were not really clean, with food stuck on them). 

 

What we need are suggestions how our review for them, though negative, can not leave a bitterness for their stay (in US). 

 

 

9 Replies 9
J-Renato0
Level 10
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sorry, @Sarah977  I should have said destination instead of "destiny, destine". 

J-Renato0
Level 10
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

@Sarah977  I have not hosted lots of people from Mexico. The few ones I hosted did not trouble me, fortunately. So far, my experience with them is good.
I think some destines attracts some different range of guest. That is why we may have different experiences.
There is a particular type of  unpleasant and undesirable guest that comes from the north hemisphere of the americas  (I prefer not to unveil what the country they are from) that usually leaves the place dirty and messy. Not to say that sometimes they drink too much and try to bring whores to the place breaking the house rules and disturbing neighbous. And yes, the house rules does not allow to bring strangers to the building. Once in a while this type of guest appear and think that Rio is a place to do whatever they want to. Fortunally this type of guest seems to be under extinction.
Each destiny has its pains.
However, lots of wonderful guest comes from the same country, the same one I did not unveiled before. I just have to filter them using house rules and listing description. So my experience is usually fine with guests from many countries.

J-Renato0
Level 10
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

@Richard-And-Nancy1   @Sarah977 

I think that what you @Sarah977  has said make sense if the guests are from the upper middle class or rich people. However they must be "nouveaux riches" without having received enough education.

 

Well educated people from Europe, UK, South America do not leave a place in a mess or dirty. I can say that cos I have hosted guests from throught the world.

Among them, I have hosted lots of guests from south america.
Usually they do not leave the apartment dirty or messy, unless they are kind of rude or unbred. There are rude peopel anywhere, in any country. 

 

From my point of view, If the guests ask to have late checkout they are not breaking house rules. They just "asked" for you consent to stay a bit more. If you agree you can not complain about this.

If the guests had stayed later without your consent they would be breaking house rules indeed.

 

From my experience as a host, I can say that being a good guest has to do with being polite and not being rude, whateaver is their country of origin.

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@J-Renato0  Yes, you are quite right, and I neglected to say that it is by no means all the nationals here who've left a mess behind them- it tended to be the young ones who perhaps grew up with maids and/or were never taught how to clean up after themselves- mommy did everything. That could be said for young people from anywhere, but in my personal experience, I've just never had that problem with young guests or renters from Canada, the US or Europe.

There is a Mexican architect who runs a bungalow complex/spa near here and she said she won't rent to her own countrymen because they always leave such a mess behind them- she'll only rent to foreigners. So this isn't just coming from me, as a Canadian in Mexico, it's quite a common experience.

I've had lovely Mexican guests who left the room very clean and tidy. In fact, the guest who left it the most immaculate was a single 28 year old male national. He stayed for 4 days and it didn't even look like anyone had been in there since I had cleaned. He even made the bed perfectly. He was a middle-class businessman. The guest who left the room the worst disaster I've had (although they didn't break anything) was a 21 year old student and her boyfriend, all 4 parents of whom were federal government lawyers.

And of course, Latin America covers a huge area. There may be quite different standards and levels of expectation in different countries. I was just trying to say that it's much more common for middle-class people to be able to afford to have a maid and be used to having someone clean up after them in Latin America than in say, the US or Canada. No one I know in Canada has a maid, whereas here in Mexico, many households of comparable economic status do.

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Richard-And-Nancy1  You asked if it was cultural. I don't know about Peru, but I do know that in Mexico and some other Latin American countries, people who could afford to travel are in an income bracket (middle to high) where they would very likely have a maid at home, as well as perhaps having grown up with one, as household help is relatively cheap compared to what it would be in the US and other places. 

Many of these folks have never cleaned up after themselves in their lives- they wouldn't even know how to go about it. I rented a small place I property manage to a young doctor long term- when I went in to fix something he asked me to when he was out-of-town, I was shocked to see the state of the place- garbage everywhere, piles of dirty dishes with cockroaches swarming over them, food left out and uncovered, the list goes on. When he returned, I asked him if, as a doctor, he didn't make a connection between filth and disease. He turned red.

I've had other similar experiences with young nationals who grew up with maids. They've left me a truckload of garbage to haul away when they moved out, and it was evident they hadn't moved a piece of small furniture to clean behind and under, or even washed the floor for the 8 months they lived there. Yet to see them, they are very well-groomed and personally clean, have the latest, chicest clothes,- you'd never guess they lived in squalor.

So that's a possible "cultural" explanation, but by no means an excuse for not following the simple instructions they were left.

Sean433
Level 10
Toronto, Canada

@Richard-And-Nancy1 

 

You don't charge a cleaning fee so I get why you are upset. Maybe if you charge a bare minimum cleaning fee, enough to cover the cost of a cleaner who will do all that work for you, you would not take such things personally. That would be my advice unless you just prefer to clean yourself.

 

I don't think its reasonable to expect guests to throw out trash. I tell guests where they can throw it out if they wish to in case they are here for a long stay but I don't make it a requirement. They are on vacation and the less rules there are for cleanliness, the more likely they will enjoy it. Why would someone choose a home over a hotel? More space, maybe a kitchen, the fact that it is a great place for a social gathering with family. All good reasons but if they have to tip toe around and be nervous about whether they are following cleaning rules all the time, I think it may not be worth it. 

 

As soon as I stopped cleaning my places and hired a full-time cleaner, my negativity for unclean guests went away. Now I am only negative towards guests who break serious rules like smoking inside or throwing parties which definitely warrant a bad review. Not throwing out the garbage or putting towels in the hamper isn't going to ruin my day and it shouldn't ruin yours.

 

Matthew1072
Level 2
Grand Rapids, MI

I appreciate your perspective here...

 


As soon as I stopped cleaning my places and hired a full-time cleaner, my negativity for unclean guests went away. Now I am only negative towards guests who break serious rules like smoking inside or throwing parties which definitely warrant a bad review. Not throwing out the garbage or putting towels in the hamper isn't going to ruin my day and it shouldn't ruin yours.

 


This is good food for thought.  Thanks.

Lisa723
Level 10
Quilcene, WA

@Richard-And-Nancy1 my own opinion is that a 1 on cleanliness is unmerited here, considering the wide range of terrible things that can and do happen. We all have guests like this from time to time and if it's just extra cleaning and tidying with no permanent damage I wouldn't leave less than 3.

 

But that's not what you asked. For the review, I would just keep it brief and factual: "XYZ left no permanent damage but did not follow check-out procedures, and cleaning required two hours more than usual. Otherwise they followed house rules, and we wish them the best."

 

Jennifer1421
Level 10
Peterborough, Canada

@Richard-And-Nancy1There are other hosts on these forums who are much better at the art of reviewing than I, but how about something along the lines of:

 

 X and X were very pleasant folks, and we hope they enjoyed their stay. We did find that their communications left a bit to be desired; perhaps this is why they missed our house rules and checkout instructions. We also found that extra time needed to be spent tidying and cleaning our space after checkout. We wish XX well, but found that they fell a bit short of our expectations.

 

I'm sure someone else will come along here soon, and give you a much better suggestion. Out of curiosity would you host them again, or will you be saying "No" to that part of the review?

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