Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Wilmington, NC
Level 10
648 Views

My most recent guests learned this the hard way!

 

I live on a very busy street in a downtown area and although there is plenty parking in front of my house, my check-in instructions explicitly tell guests I recommend NOT parking in front of the house, and suggest they instead park on the side street (my house is the second from the corner, easy stuff). I do this because I don't want guests to lose a side mirror, or, at worse, get sideswiped. Most guests unload, and then move their car to the side street.

 

Imagine my surprise when I hear my front door open at 2am and my poor, sweet guests are yelling "Call 911!!!"

 

A drunk driver had lost control of her car, went airborne, and the car landed on it's side just a few feet from where my guests had parked.....in front of my house!!

 

Never in a million years would I have imagined my message would be needed to protect guests from THAT type of incident, but luckily, their car was spared.

 

She said, "Oh my gosh. I should have listened to you and moved my car, hahahaha."

 

I'm glad this had a happy ending (at least as far as my guests are concerned, the drunk driver on the other hand....).

 

We talk all the time about how guests don't read the listing or follow instructions, but maybe some guests really ARE reading your listing and instructions, they're just not taking them seriously.

16 Replies

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

@Suzanne302Of late, I get the impression a lot of my guests were getting sloppy (so were we) when it came to the correct count of arriving guests; the supposedly 4 turned into 5, 6 became 7 at last minute, etc and usually not much enthusiasm to pay extra. One guest asked me: 'Explain to me how two 10-year-olds twin were going to cost us anything'; I asked him if the twin's airplane tickets were free.

 

Ok, so I added in my instructions, make sure to let us know exactly how many are indeed coming before arrival so we know what to get ready, boat to use, etc. All of a sudden 50% of the guests are confessing to all kinds of 'extra people' coming: a 'just-coming-to-babysit'  grandmother, 2 more kids they just adopted, some urchin they found hanging around the house (their 9-year-old son), some homeless kid (son's best friend), well I be darn but looks like a college friend is also coming, etc.

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Arundel, United Kingdom
Level 1

Couldn’t agree more. We have had this with the last few guests visiting. Oh there’s only 3, oh but now we have booked. Can we add another they won’t be a problem. I know you can add extra in the listing for more than X amount of adults. But what do you do when they book the max and then want to add someone else. Risk losing the whole booking by saying No. or it will cost extra.  And don’t get me started on we don’t have facilities for children. Oh but we will bring stuff with us! What is the point of ticking the boxes on Airbnb??

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Fred13 don't you bring them in by boat?? 

 

"We are basing our life jacket count on the guest numbers in your reservation, please notify us if this has changed."

 

 

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

@Kelly149You are exceptionally sharp this morning. My Lord I am going to use that, really conveys the point with humor.

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Fred13  I'll be happy if you do... if only the rest of us could host on an island... that would solve @Inna22 and @Huma0 parking issues for sure

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Suzanne302 

 

I suspect you are right. RE the parking thing, I make such a big deal about not parking on the neighbour's driveway that there is no way the guest has not read this, but some think it doesn't matter because they are only unloading for a few minutes...

254624_10150262499471883_869507_n.jpg

My cat Grigio is literally the greediest cat in the world. It's not my fault. He came that way when I got him at ten weeks old. He really has some skills when it comes to stealing food. He has stolen toast from the toaster, can open Tupperware if determined enough and even the tightest of sealed containers. He will also chew through packaging. My cat sitter calls him Foodini. Merlot sometimes follows his lead and steals someone's food if he sees the opportunity.

 

So, guests are always told not to leave their food out unattended on kitchen counters or the dining table as it might not be there when they come back. They are told this verbally during the house tour and they usually laugh about it, so they have been warned! Yet, it's happened so many times. They just don't take this instruction seriously and there goes their croissants or burrito.

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

@Huma0 Grigio is welcome to steal my croissant anytime! He looks adorable 🥰


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Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Sybe 

 

Ah, well that was the he was a kitten (already greedy) but he's a big cat now. This is him on the right (and his sister Pinot on the left):

 

5C839E2A-8E68-4080-ADAB-6D39E609B505.jpeg

 

The other thing guests are instructed not to do in this respect is to not give the cats scraps, but some of them do it sneakily anyway. I have found some very random things in the cats' bowls, including chickpeas!

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Suzanne302 I think most common is not caring about the check in time. We had it written and also told our guests that we dont live on the property and we have to meet them exactly at the agreed time, between x and xx hours. But they would keep us waiting for hours and demanding checkin aroun midnight. After years of hosting I finally had enough and start charging late check ins and our waiting time. Suddenly they can all arrive before 7 pm and let us know about delayed arrival and traffic jams an hour in advance  🙂 

 

Our time was worth nothing for them... until we put the price tag on it

Tags (1)

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0 

 

I never thought about charging for waiting time but I did start charging for late check ins, i.e. after 9pm. And yes, any guests arriving close to 9pm would be very communicative about delays. No one wants to pay extra...

 

Before that, I had guests leave me waiting for hours until late at night because they decided to go out first instead and I was the one chasing them for an update. 

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Huma0  You see? 🙂 it’s working

At least you are at home and can use that time to do something,  but we were waiting in the city, wasting time and money in a cafe, or a restaurant if we were hungry. 

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0 

 

I honestly do not mind if they are an hour or even two hours late if they let me know. I try not to schedule other things too close to a guest check in (learnt my lesson from doing that in the past), so it's no big deal usually. However, it's still super annoying when they don't tell you and just leave you waiting, not responding to any messages. I once waited six hours for a guest who no showed. At least I got paid I guess.

 

If I was you though it would be even more annoying. I guess you can't wait at the listing as you don't want to use it at all once it's all clean and ready?

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Huma0  Of course not, coffee & cigarettes 🙂

 

My friend manages , clean and meet guests in about 10 airbnbs. Her time is precious, she had to limit checkins to 8 pm bc later she has another job. Guests don't care and expect her to meet them later and then are angry when they kiss the door. Unfortunately, they are refunded  She says the worst guests are from Booking,com

Re: Guests MAY actually be reading your instructions, but don't always take them seriously

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0 

 

Yes, it's a tricky one because I find that the majority of guests expect you to provide a hotel style check in experience. Even hotels do not let you check in to a room early or check out late for free, but you can leave your luggage there pretty much at any time and use the toilet if you want to. You don't need to specify an arrival time in advance...

 

But of course, stating the bleeding obvious, we are not hotels, nor do we charge hotel prices that enable us to offer 24/7 reception, concierge, porters and cleaning staff. It does puzzle me that someone who pays say £50 a night for a room close to central London should expect any of those things to be included in the price. If they were paying £200+ for the equivalent hotel room, well, then maybe I would understand...

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