We've been hosting a nice condo in the USA NE for about 8 months, and we have all five star reviews. On Father's day we had a guest and her two friends scheduled for arrival for what they called "either 5 or 6 pm " for a two-day visit. Our house rules are 3-6 pm check-in. Our guests indicated they would contact us 45 minutes prior to their arrival so we could check them in and provide keys. At approximately 5:30 pm the guest contacted me and said they had not done socializing with some friends at a party from our so they would arrive around 7pm. At 730pm they contacted me and said they would arrive
around 7pm. At 730 pm they contacted me and said they would be there at 815. I met them, showed them the condo etc. As I started to leave I noticed two more guests walking towards the condo, one more guest than was authorized. It was around 845pm and dark but I noticed none of the guests had luggage, tote bags or purses etc. I left the area and approximately 90 minutes later I rec'd a msg through airbnb from the guest indicated she had discovered "feces" in the toilet and "feces" on the hand towels. As I had just been in the condo with the guests, had cleaned the condo myself, my heart sank as I knew I had a problem as these complaints were bogus. The rest of the guest msg indicated due to the late hour of their check- in (which they created) they would spend the night in my condo but felt they shouldn't pay for a second night due to the "feces". I live near the condo in a small town and felt troubled so I called the police and asked if an officer could meet me at the condo. I drove to the condo, spoke to the guests and noticed they were eating fried chicken /fries take out on our sofa. There was no luggage in the condo.
The guest showed me to the bathroom which was immaculate and said she had cleaned up the mess and decided not to photograph. I noticed one hand towel with a brown substance on it. When the police arrived the guest admitted the condo was clean upon their arrival but that someone must have broke into the condo and soiled the toilet and towels while they were out grabbing dinner. The officer pressed the guest asking her how she cleaned up the mess and she indicated she used toilet paper. The toilet paper roll still contained a full roll of paper. The officer made some documentation on their vehicle etc. and the guests said they were leaving. The officer then proceeded to check the condo and the vicinity and found no sign of forced entry into the condo either at the outer door or residence door (two different keys). The officer told me it was obvious to him the guests had no intentions on staying in the condo. I contacted Airbnb, they were very helpful; however, the guest began to send rambling messages through the Airbnb site one of which stating her father had died that morning and she was being mistreated (Airbnb advised me to document the facts via a msg to the guest which I had and the guest was responding). When the officer had arrived the guest told him her father was a police officer in a certain place and she had the highest respect for the police. Later that evening I checked that Department's Association website and confirmed the guest's father had died 18 months earlier. Airbnb stated the guest wanted a full two-day refund and asked me if I'd accept 1/2 of the two-day rate and I agreed and Airbnb refunded 1/2.
When my wife checked the condo the next day we noticed the guests had consumed some complimentary chocolate but spit it out into the trash. This was the source of the brown stain on the towel. Even though the guests had only been in the condo for a couple of hours, we had the condo re-cleaned and sanitized. I am not conflicted about leaving a bad review but I don't look forward to the retaliatory review I know will be waiting for me.
On another note, I have only had great people utilize my condo via Airbnb from all over the world. Every time I check someone in and return home my wife asks me "How were the guests"? On this particular night I told my wife that I did not have a "warm and fuzzy about these guests". Basically they ruined my father's day as I spent almost five hours that evening dealing with them. No doubt they did not expect the police to arrive and I feel that's when they decided to depart the area immediately.
I also feel they had either found other accommodations or were trying to scam me out of the rent with veiled threats to leave neg feedback regarding feces in the condo. Airbnb advised that in the future if a guest begins to push the check in time later and later and I'm not comfortable with that advise them of a certain "deadline" arrival time. If that is not met, advise the guest they'll need to look for other accommodations, as you won't be able to check them in. They told me not to "cancel" the reservation, but call them and advise them of the circumstances.
The guest has yet to write a review..I plan on writing a non emotional review, just the facts etc. Just throwing this out there as I'm a novice..thanks
@David1193 When you knew that unauthorized guests were at your rental, you should have immediately sent them a message via Airbnb system. Told them no extra guests allowed, then contacted airbnb. IF your rules, state no outside guests. And you should not have let them in, until they paid for the extra people. The extra people stayed also? So more people than booked your place stayed, and you refunded half their money. Nice deal for them.
When they kept delaying your check in time. That is a big warning sign. You should have said, my check in time is until 7 pm. I will meet you there at 6:45 and check you in, You shouldn't have to be on a string waiting for your guests to arrive. All of this was done via Airbnb messaging board? Then you would have been fine to have Airbnb cancel them. They were just jerking you around.
All good points, I definitely will use this as a learning experience..However, since the four of them were only in the condo for a couple of hours before they left and were charged for a full night not sure it was a good deal for them..... not a good deal for me.
@David1193 looks like a very nice condo. you can see the level of hygiene from the pics and also the wall finish, the room stylings. you also provide a new memory foam bed. every one who stayed said so,
feel sorry for you. but the officer strategy was a fine move. i've thought about it myself. having not availed myself of the service to date i can see from your experience how it could work. the local cop lives next door.
i don't know why you accepted half payment though. i guess i'm thinking the guests are in the wrong, the reservation is 100% mine, i'd have no confidence in these people so i'd expect them to leave and BNB to back me on that. can you explain why you chose this option when all else ought to have been in your favour?
Franz Josef, NZ
Accepting one nights rental might have been a rookie mistake. If I had been offered nothing with a guarantee the folks would leave that night I'd have been tempted to take it, i was not a good situation as I felt I was dealing with someone who would do or say anything to pull one over. The blood did drain out of the guest's face when the police showed up... The Airbnb Case manager told me he knew the guest was lying ; however, without elevating the dispute any further he was going direct the one night's payment to me without further discussion. Since the guest was out $130 for 0 nights stayed I felt it was the best move. Honestly it probably wouldn't have rented on a Tue eve anyway. Thanks for the comments re the condo, the building is 150 years old and we keep our unit spotless. I'll learn from this experience.
Same-day bookings also have a huge potential for such guests, unfortunately.
Also do ID check/registration for all staying guests, but you must announce this in your House Rules beforehand.
This also weeds out some undesirables.
Something another host suggested on a similar thread:
Take them through the apartment, tell them you always follow up with a thorough check after it has been cleaned and prepared. And if you have that not-so-fuzzy feeling, follow up with a message through Airbnb.
Glad you arrived safely. It was a pleasure offering you a tour of the house and that you like the accommodation. Please let me know if you have any questions during your stay.
That also seems to stifle a percentage of bad eggs.
I had a reservation for a husband and wife. When they arrived it was a mother and daughter. I didn't say anything because it was still two people. I showed them around and gave them a key. Then they left for their family get together. They came back after I was asleep. As I was leaving in the morning I texted them I will be leaving for church in a few minutes and they could leave the key in my mailbox. As I was getting into my car 4 people came out not two! As I had other reservations I thought perhaps I was confused! I checked and they reserved for 2! Thanks to what you said I will be about adding that to my house rules!
This is a horrible experience - I'm so sorry. What stupid people to disrespect our community.
I only take in guests who have been fully verified and if I feel I need to know more about them, even upon my instant book reservations , I engage with them via email (through the airbnb platform) with questions such as 'tell me abit about yourself also and what brings you to Auckland?' So far it's worked and most guests are totally fine with it as they've signed into the Airbnb community.
We can never be too careful.
I hope you've received some great guests since and your ranking remains high.
@Felicity3 superhost. 24 reviews. 80 wishlisted. 2x listings. room for max 2 listed. lovely home. looks like you're particular about cleanliness and hospitality.
like your place. and really like people having their listings link in the thread. so much easier taking a direct path to your listing.
ps your first listing link doesn't seem to work.
Franz Josef, NZ
superhost. 62 reviews. atleast 152 wishlisted. 2x listings (?). 2x rooms for max 2/room. lovely home. looks like you're particular about cleanliness and hospitality.
like your place. i should add for those of you unfamilar with auckland cbd and shaol bay - it is a very nice ferry ride (10 min) across the bay. very easy to buy a ticket from the ferry terminal and to get on the ferry. you can drive by road no problem, its all sealed. i really like going by ferry to the harbourside suburb of devonport (the next suburb along from where felicity lives).
ps the new link works:)
Franz Josef, NZ
haha yes. Just 2 listings and not that many wishlists.
That's great feedback and thanks for the plug and the tips. We the locals forget how to see through the eyes of someone who doesn't know the area.
Stay warm and cozy down in the deep South - my childhood holidays as our Mum was a South Island girl.
@Felicity3 south westland is temperate rainforest with the valleys at sea level. Franz Joseph Glacier together with neighouring glaciers are the only glaciers in the world in temperate rain forest and that come so low down. its what makes this area unique in the world.
in auckland you have a lot of rain days about 1m annually. here we easily have 6m annually. when it rains, you need more than an umbrella. i'd say with a population of about less than 1500 permanent residents in south westland, our per capita sales of gumboots and wet weather gear would outstrip yours with a population of just over one million. haha.
climate-wise we are not subject to extreme highs or lows. in june and july we can still grow grass and transplant trees.
loving the sugar club restaurant at the skytower on queens st (main streeet of auckland) and also in the skytower but on federal st, Masu, a japanese restaurant with an extensive sake menu. disappointed with the art in the city though. what happened to all the small galleries that used to dot the cbd?