First time in the community and I'm perplexed about our current guest registration.
The gentleman has one review, a positive one just for him. He came with his family to stay at our place yesterday. I'm sure he and his wife would be nice guests if it were just for them, but their children were not prepared to be a guest in someone's home. Don't get me wrong, we love having children in the home but we do prefer children whose parents don't allow certain behavior. This family would have been better suited for a hotel stay rather than a private home.
They arrived 2 hours before our noted check-in time, but we assumed that their early afternoon arrival indicated they had plans to visit a local park or some other local activity and wanted to drop off their bags. They announced that we were their intended activity. ?? They proceeded to allow their children to run all over the house with food and drink in hand, spilling crums and liquid all over the floors and mashing his sticky face into the windows. The older child was very afraid of our dog, so we put him in the garage as a courtesy, but our listing indicates that we have both a dog and a cat so we were disapointed that they'd bring a child who is afraid of dogs. We let them do their thing in the spaces rented via AirB&B and graciously allowed their sticky & messy activities to spill over into the rest of the home. We were preoccupied with our own activities throughout the day. The parents didn't seem bothered by the children running throughout the house & yard, or the children giving us orders as the day progressed. We did ignore and redirect the child as he ordered us around, it was already quite awkward by this time.
It appears they left the home in the middle of the night. We heard them up and about at 1 am, and when we awoke at 5 we saw that they had left. The spaces were a big mess with food in the beds and all over the floors, but this was to be expected even in their sudden departure. There was no note or message.
Unfortunately, at the same time the air mattress that was set up for the older child appears to have begun to lose it's seal just prior to their arrival. The mattress is a new replacement and been used for 5 previous guests so I did not suspect that it was failing until these guests arrived and I showed them to their room, but I hoped it wasn't broken and showed them the switch to re-fill the air. After seeing the child jumping on the mattress later in the day and playing with the switch to inflate the bed I asked them not to allow it because that will damage the air mattress. I checked in on them prior to our going to bed and noted that the air mattress was deflated more than before and wanted to see if they had any requests or needs before we turned in for the night. In the morning the air mattress was indeed quite deflated and has certainly failed (I have since refilled the air and see that it does have a slow leak). I do not feel it is right to blame them for this damage, only note that it is unfortunate that it happened at all and may be the cause of their midnight departure.
I did leave them a message via the platform apologizing for the failure of the air bed and noting that they left unexpectedly, apologizing for any other failure on our part.
I am hesitant to leave a poor review for the father's account as I'm sure he would be a pleasant guest on his own, or with his wife, and I will not blame them for the airbed failure, but how do I craft an appropriate review? Do we offer them a refund? I do expect a poor review from them and I'm unsure how to deal with that, if at all. How would my fellow hosts handle such a situation?
Thank you for your input ~
** Update - the guest did reply to my message inquiring about their sudden departure and he said it was because the baby would not sleep, and while the air bed was unfortunate it was not the reason they left. He was polite and appreciative.
While I'm relieved, I'm still unsure how to craft a review of their stay. We have had families stay before and we have never had such an experience.
I would leave a negative review, as I’m doubtful that someone who allows children to behave that way would himself be a thoughtful guest on his own.
He he needs to be held accountable and other hosts need to know.
@Wes-and-Lisa0I agree with @John1080: you have to review him as the guest he was, not the guest he potentially could be if he was there by himself. As the parent, it was his job to step in and redirect or correct his kids, and he didn't, by the sounds of things. Sounds like a job for "Guest and his family are more suited to a hotel environment" review to me.
I agree that other hosts need to know. I guess I was stuck with how to word my review more than whether or not to leave one at all.
I do appreciate having a group of people to give me input here.
I'm not sure why you are hesitant to leave a negative review..... they seem like the poster family for "bad guests". I'd give them less than 3 stars rating for cleanliness, house rules and communication without a second thought.
They did not respect your check-in time, Your home was a mess. The apparently did not read your listing description properly or acknowledge the presence of your dog before arrival. They left without proper communication. And imo, any parent that let's their children behave in such a manner in someone else's home could not be a "good" guest regardless of whether he travels with his children or not.
If you had known what that guest family had the potential to do and were given the choice to host them or not.....would you have still wanted them as guests?
I always think of honest reviews as for the sake of other fellow hosts. Please be honest and factual - you don't need to go into details.
Guest and family arrived prior to check-in time. Children left food residue all over the house which required extensive cleaning. We clearly state the presence of our pets, but had to keep our dog caged for the duration of their stay because one of the children was afraid of dogs. The children ran around the house & yard and they tried to order us (hosts) around which we firmly ignored or redirected. The actions and behavior of the children made us very uncomfortable in our own home, and considering the amount of cleaning needed after their abrupt departure, we would not welcome these guests back in our home.
Considering the mess they left...... why would you want to refund them? Unless a guest point-blank asks for a refund, you shouldn't worry about refunding money.
I suppose my concern primarily was how to craft a review, not so much not wanting to leave one. We were both just so taken aback this morning by the whole thing.
Yes, other hosts need to be advised for future reservations.
And my concern regarding a refund was regarding the air bed - we failed to provide what we had advertised with that. And if that was the reason they up and left in the middle of the night then that is a legitimate matter.
The bed was losing air before their arrival as I noticed it upon their arrival. I cannot blame the child for the damage because it appears to have begun before he arrived. Granted I do believe he worsened it.
In the review you could say the truth: "I recommend them as couple. With children they are better suited for a hotel stay."
If you want to be very kind but also say the truth, you could say only "I recommend them as couple" and advice them in private message that, they should not allow certain behaviors from the part of their children.
Another option, is - Do not leave a review and message them in private that they should not allow certain behaviors from the part of their children.
You would be being kind to them, and also giving a good advice to help them and other hosts.
As for the refund or compensation, it is a private matter. If you feel better if you offer it, do it.
Forgot to say:
When rating the items "cleanness" (place was left in a mess) and "communication" (checkin time and leaving without any notice) give them 3 or 2 stars, according to you judgment.
Thank you all for your input. We have never had an experience like this one and we were quite speechless over it this morning. We agree that it is important to let other potential hosts know how this visit went but we don't want to cast too dark of a cloud over them either, I'm sure they've learned from this experience (I hope anyway).
We will be following some of the advice above, and we appreciate having a place to get input from people who have had experience as hosts.
We often have children staying over with their parents. I do work with people with special needs and i am used to setting boundaries every day. I know its not easy but when we have children of friends or guests staying over and they behave in a way i dont like i tell them in a polite way.
For example....i would like you to have your cookie while sittibg at the table because crumbs..
Please dont walk while you are drinking....you might fall or spill water while doing soo.
I would like it if you would wash your hands after you played in the sand because blabla.
Could you please not touch the walks or windows.. .with your hands. Otherwise your mum/ dad has to stay here tomorrow cleaning instead of visiting the beach.
Do put voundaries to both parents and child. Maybe certain things you could mentain making a joke around it.
Other families with children can just be a nightmare and nothing will help. In that case you can only count the hours untill check out