I'm just curious to know what other hosts think. I've been a host for the last 6 months and have very positive reviews. Some guests are needier than others, but this is part of being a host. But in a couple of occasions, I had guests that would travel with no GPS or internet or speaking the country language or a good English and then I had them complaining because they had troubles finding my listing. I make very clear the day before check-in, when I send check-in link and instructions, to let me know whether they can open the link or have questions. In both cases, the guests said that everything was received ok, but the day of check-in they complained they did not have instructions to find the keys - which they would have if they'd bothered to open the link.
I am usually very apologetic in these cases, but should I be? Is it really my fault, as a host, if guests book and use an app-based renting system and don't have the internet or a smartphone?
And, when bad reviews are left, what should we do? Airbnb won't remove them because they do not break any actual rule, only 2018 common sense... But a bad review eventually has a massively detrimental effect on our scores as hosts.
Anyway, I am just very frustrated by this whole system.
Any guess/tip to handle this kind of situation is welcome.
Have a good night
Hi Federica! That is realy frustrating! It also happens that they don't pay attention to the "check out" instructions (which are just common sense). The way I deal with it is when I send them the entry instructions I also send them a separate email (in addition to the Airbnb portal message). I have my guest book in a PDF document that I attach to that email and the body of the email has the entry instructions. I also have "print this out if you won't have Internet access when you arrive" right at the top of the email. Then if they don't respond to either the email or the portal message (which many of them don't) I then text them a message saying "This is Michelle, your host. I want to make sure you got the entry instructions I sent you yesterday on the Airbnb portal and through email?"
I also have the guest book printed out in the kitchen (which has entry and check out instructions in it as well as house rules and restaurant recommenations). Then the day before they're leaving I both message them on the portal and email them just the "check out" instructions portion (along with a "thank you for staying" message). If they don't respond to either of those I'll text them message saying basically "thanks for staying, in preparation for your check out tomorrow, I'm sending along the check out instructions ..."
You'd be surprised how many people don't know they should wash their own dishes or turn off lights and lock doors!
thanks for answering. Yes, I do all that too. The problem is when they say they have understood everything, it's not true and then they complain!
Especially for the physical address, I cannot be responsible if people refuse to use GPS/maps and then they get lost!
Honestly, so far I only had a couple of cases, but they are enough to frustrate me.
@Federica You say "refuse to use GPS" as if these people are just being willfully contrary.
Not everyone uses or has access to the same technology. Guests would never be able to find my place using GPS even if they wanted to. And, GPS has actually led many people astray in many places- it's not some infallible app.
But I do understand your frustration when guests don't respond and don't even read or print out the info you've sent them.
I do not use a smart phone, and if I were a guest, I would require that a host send me check-in info, a map, and the address by email a week before I was travelling.
Also, people from some cultures will say yes, they understand, even when they don't. They're trying to be polite. Maybe you could get some translations to send to guests who don't speak English well, or at all, and send them the info in their own language?
I recently had a guest who wrote me a great review, but in a private message told me the directions to our Cottage were not good, and I should add to my instructions such-and-such and this-and-that. Here's the grand irony: I already had included nearly his EXACT verbage in my check-instructions - Which he obviously didn't read. He might have marked me down on 'check-in' in his review, but I'll never know, because I stopped looking at my ratings long ago, because it is all beyond my control once I do my best to ensure all my guests have a fantastic stay.
I guess this is the right attitude. I guess after a few years of experience, I'll be on the same page and stop looking at my ratings. Right now I can't help it - I really want to maintain my super host status :(
yes, we all wish there was a BS checker when guests enter this kind of complaint (I've never had a guest who entered a poor accuracy rating where what they said wasn't already addressed in my info), but there isn't so all you can do is overcommunicate and ignore the nonsense.
This uses to be an issue at my previous house and then i figured out that Google Maps was sending people to the wrong location. I sent Google and email and they fixed it the same day.
In regards to people not reading or understanding youe welcome letter and arrival instructions that used to be an issue as well until I found a work around. At the end of the arrival instruction, which are brief I merely ask them there plans during their stay, their arrival time or their departure time. If they havent responded to either of those three questions it means they havent read the arrival instructions. So i make the point to message them in airbnb, call them or text them until all questions are answered. It may seem like a lot but Ive yet to have one person who had any issues finding my place, keys or any issues upon arrival.
You have to overly communicate beforehand so the guest has a seemless arrival experience.
We've also dealt with the issue-- we have a lot of guests parents stay in our cottage, as we are in a neighborhood. The guests who book the stay for their parents don't share the info, then the parents knock on our door ISO whatever it is they need, all of this despite the book being printed out, wifi on the fridge, and several reminders to read over all the materials when booking is finalized, AND right before arrival.
I try and keep everything via the Airbnb platform, as it is better tracked.
I do notice this more with guests that are not as tech savvy, more just looking for a deal. I like to remind them, if it's too difficult to check-in/read instructions online/etc that hotels are nearby-- which are $200+ more a night. I don't think we need to be babysitterer, but I do think we need to over communicate the importance of reading the check-in directions before the moment of arrival.