Hey All- I knew it was going to happen at some point, it was just a matter of when. So "Jane" (not her real name) had a reservation this past weekend. She messaged me on the day of her arrival and asked me to call, as "something had come up." I called, and she explained that they would not be showing up that day because her boyfriend had to work. The reservation was for her, the BF, and her cousin. She has 1 positive AirBnB review. I suggested that she and her cousin could come anyway, and the BF could join them the following day, but she said she wouldn't do that. They live only 1.5 hours away. So that's a CHOICE people, not some sort of extenuating circumstance. She asked for a refund. I told her as kindly as I could that I always try to be understanding and consider the circumstances, but I would likely not give her one as it was her choice to not come down. She indicated that they would be arriving the next day. I was uneasy but no particular red flags yet.
They arrived, I chatted a bit with them. Maybe not my types but who cares? They do their thing, I do mine. I did see the BF smoking and reminded him that there was no smoking inside. The and the cousin agreed that they would only smoke outside. I went about my business and left them to their stay.
Sunday- the day of checkout- I have plans all day. Check-out is at 12 noon. I came home at 5:00 and was shocked and horrified to find them still on the property. I immediately asked them to leave. They got cheeky and said they'd leave in a minute. I reminded them that check-out was at noon, and told them that they had 5 minutes to leave or I would call the police. They left several minutes later giving me the finger as they pulled out.
Luckily, they didn't trash anything. They obviously smoked in the house, and left cigarette butts and beer bottles scattered around outside. They used firewood they didn't pay for (payment is on an honor system and has never been a problem so far.)
I immediately called AirBnB and told them the situation. Useless, I know- but better to get it on the record. I then requested $75 in late check-out fees and $10 for firewood. They denied payment stating that I told them they could stay until 8-9 that night to make up for the missed day of their reservation. Why in the $#@@ would I do that? It flat out didn't happen. I've escalated it to AirBnB but have no expectations of prevailing. She obviously left a review within minutes of them leaving the property- likely to be all 1s.
As a Superhost with only 5 star reviews so far, it's going to be tough to stomach this. I will do my best to have her review removed- hopefully she's violated policy somehow- but I obviously haven't seen it yet. I'm going to wait until the two week mark as I'll likely have several better reviews in the interim, and it will knock hers down the page.
I need some advice on what I can write without violating policy on my end. I was thinking of this:
I cannot recommend XXXX as a guest under any circumstance. XXXX informed me on the day of arrival that she was unable to make the first night of her reservation, but would arrive the next day. She asked for a refund for the unused night. When told that would not be possible, she decided that she was entitled to late check-out, so she and her boyfriend and cousin did not leave my property until 5:00 p.m. on the day of check-out. Check-out is at noon. They broke house rules by smoking in the house, left cigarette butts and empty beer bottles on the property, and used firewood that they did not pay for. They finally left when I threatened to call the police.
Open to any and all edits and suggestions from you helpful community folks. Thanks
I've decided on the following for both a review of this guest, as well as a response to her (definitely 1 star) review. Open to edits, as always:
Review of guest:
Unfortunately, Alyssa was an extremely difficult and demanding guest. She and her guests asked for things not included in the listing, broke many house rules, and treated me and my property with great disrespect. I do not, under any circumstance, recommend Alyssa as a guest.
Response to her review (I haven't seen it yet):
Unfortunately, Alyssa was an extremely difficult and demanding guest. She and her guests asked for things not included in the listing, broke many house rules, and treated me and my property with great disrespect. Her vindictive review is not a reflection of the hospitality and accommodation offered at my property. I will let the other all-5 star reviews speak for themselves.
P.S. AirBnB paid me half of the $85 requested for the late check-out and firewood used.
@Kia272 I'm glad you were able to get some compensation out of Airbnb.
Your review of the guest seems fine and nothing about it appears to breach the Content Policy.
However, I don't think that response to the presumably negative review will be an asset to your listing. Remember, the audience here are your prospective guests. Wait until you see what was actually written, and then use the response to gracefully correct any misleading statements or, if necessary, contextualize the review as retaliation for enforcing your House Rules and checkout time. Leave your opinion of the guest out of that - even though your experience was negative, you don't want to come off as harsh and critical to people who are just forming their first impression of your hospitality.
@Andrew0 you are correct. I hadn't thought it through. I will respond carefully and professionally to her review once I see it. Thanks- very helpful.
I've also calculated the hit my rating will take once the presumably 1 star review hits my page, and it seems like I'll still be at 4.92 if the calculation is correct. Not so bad overall....
@Kia272 I had a rating of 4.98, after one mistake feedback on 1 * (the guest was driving and then wrote in support with a request to remove it) rating was 4.79. removed about 2 points. Do not worry so about it, maybe the review will not be on 1 *, maybe she will not write it at all, and in the end it is just a rating.
@Anna9170 I believe support will remove this review (per the guest's request) once they actually get the message. Requests like this are extremely backed up and are taking CS months to respond. I hope that one day you will log in to find the review removed, simple as that.
@Emilia42 More than a month has passed - nothing. I think this review will not be removed anymore. 😉
The guest herself sent me a printscreen of her support letter, where she explained that it was a mistake and wanted to remove it. It is clear that she will not write about it every day, thank you that she did so, I can not demand more activity from her.
I always remember the series Black Mirror, there is an excellent series about ratings.😆
It was the Black Mirror Nosedive episode - a brilliant observational/satirical study on the effects of being constantly rated on the human psyche..
Watch "Nosedive Brother Scene" on YouTube
Watch "Black Mirror S03E01 Airport scene" on YouTube
@Super47 This is brilliant, yes, I will go and watch this episode once again with great pleasure! 😍
Thank you for the little moments from the episode, ha ha, I sometimes have the same idiotic expression as the main character, after a good guest review. 🤣🤣🤣
Hey All- to conclude this saga, I finally had to leave a review for the horrible guest, at which point her review got published. It is all untruthful, and of course she hit me with all 1s, except for Accuracy (??) which was a 5. Go figure.
She immediately responded to my review of her with some more nonsense, concluding with her recommendation as a "medical professional" (not!) that I should get a psychiatric review. It's almost funny (but it's not.)
Anyway, I'm back here because my "public response" to her review on MY listing doesn't show. It shows when I go to MY profile, click on reviews, and look there, but I'd obviously prefer that it show on my listing page under her review. Have I done something wrong? Please advise. Here is what I want to show publicly- it's what I posted in my response:
I keep all communication on the AirBnB platform, as this protects both the host and the guest. No verbal agreement about late check-out was made with this guest. Unfortunately, Alyssa was a very difficult and demanding guest, and her untruthful review and vindictive ratings do not reflect the hospitality or accommodation I offer. I will let the other 50+ 5*star reviews speak for the property and what I offer as a host.
Can anyone advise on if I've done something wrong, or if this is an AirBnB glitch? Thanks in advance.
@Emilia42 oh, thanks. Now I get it. A potential guest simply scrolling through will peruse what's on the page without clicking through. It requires further curiosity about reviews to see more information. Geez...oh well. Thanks, AirBnB.
It is hard to lose that 5-star rating. I know I'll be upset when I lose mine. But honestly, we have to keep reminding ourselves that a review like Alyssa's is not going to make one dent in bookings. Keep doing what you're doing and keep making good money. @Kia272
Thanks so much @Emilia42 . I know you're right. There's definitely some ego involved in all of this, which I can't help. It's just a shame to lose that 5 to someone like Alyssa....Time will soften the blow and I'll move on and keep doing what I'm doing. Thanks again.
@Kia272 Guests will see clearly that that one review is an outlier, because of all your other reviews. And anyway, it won't be long before it's buried under new ones. It won't turn guests away, and that's what matters - future bookings.