Message from guest

 

Please make sure before we arrive. things are cleaned. lights,Toilet flushes are working. Stove too, just wanted to, As we had bad experience in Austin this trip.

I think I have three options: say nothing at all, say something really polite like I’m sorry you had a  bad experience, cleanliness is of our out most priority blah blah, or say that if you’re going to take a loupe in inspect my listing or your own house or an operating room, you will surely find a speck of dirt. I can only guarantee that we will do our best. 

 

26 Replies

Re: How should I respond?

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Huma0 

 

Yes I did actually send that reply! 

A bit of background Huma, a fellow host in my area sent a screenshot of that enquiry as she received it to me, with the line....."Have a look at what I have just received".....and an hour later she messaged again to say that three other hosts in the area had got the same enquiry. I don't know what the motivation was.....maybe Cliff was doing a survey on listing facilities but the same enquiry started popping up all over the place.

Any way I though, ok, enough is enough, so that was my reply. In all honestly Huma I was a bit braver than I would ordinarily be but, I didn't seriously think it would go through at the time. I thought it would trigger the booking sanitizer, someone would yank it and it would get removed but, lo and behold it did go through.

 

I would love to have seen his face as he read it, oh to be a fly on the wall at times!

 

Cheers........Rob 

Re: How should I respond?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Robin4 

 

Yep, would also have loved to have seen his face as he read it. Absolutely priceless.

 

I am not sure, but I am hoping it made him realise just how ridiculous he was being.

 

I had something similar a few months ago. I will post it here if I can find it!

Re: How should I respond?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Robin4 I remember that one! It made my day reading it

Re: How should I respond?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Kelly149 

 

Excellent idea.

Re: How should I respond?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Inna22 

 

This question was not along the same lines, but I recently received an enquiry from an older lady asking if my area was safe. She seemed a bit confused as to where it was or about the geography of London in general and was also taking advice from friends and random internet articles.

 

Okay, fine. I have no problem with that. It was more the fact that she mentioned in this message that she was 'white'. I mean she was mentioning that she was white in the context of 'is it safe?'. This was a major red flag to me. My listing clearly states that my neighbourhood is multi cultural and please do not book if you are uncomfortable with that.

 

Normally, if a guest just asked if it was safe, I would tell them that I have lived in this neighbourhood for 12 years and never had any problems and that none of my hundreds of guests have ever had anything bad happen to them while staying here, but that one should exercise the same caution that anyone should in a big city.

 

This time though I felt I had to go a bit further:

 

"Hi X, thank you for your message and nice words about my home.

RE the location, Lambeth is a borough of London and very large. It includes Brixton and many other neighbourhoods. Brixton is lively and popular with young people but I wouldn't describe it as the safest place.

The house itself is in Stockwell, which is near Brixton (one tube stop away). You can find more information on the area under the 'where you'll be' section of the listing. I would describe it as a very multi-cultural neighbourhood with a mix of income groups, e.g. valuable houses right next to social housing blocks, which is not unusual in London. The house is in a conservation area full of beautiful old homes, but it's also opposite a large council estate.

It's 0.3 miles (approximately a six minute walk) from the underground station along a fairly busy road. I certainly feel safe walking back and have never had any problems. One thing I have noticed more recently though is more people begging for money near the station, especially at night, which never used to happen as frequently before, so that's something to bear in mind if it makes you uncomfortable.

I have personally never had any bad experiences here and neither have any guests but, for some, the area feels too rough around the edges. While most love staying here because the transport links are very convenient, a few have expressed concerns that they felt unsafe. I would say that it's neither particularly safe nor unsafe, just average, and that one should exercise the usual precautions when visiting an unknown, large city.

I've only had three guests (out of hundreds) who had safety problems whilst visiting London. Each time it was with theft/pickpockets (please be sensible RE how you carry your valuables, as they were not!) and in areas with a lot of tourists. These incidents occurred in London Bridge, near Oxford Street and also Kings Cross. So yes, it is wise to take more precautions when out sightseeing.

I would hate for any of my guests to feel uncomfortable, so if this is a concern, you might want to think about a quieter, less urban location than mine. Unsurprisingly, the areas reported as the safest in London are very, very far from the centre. However, you might consider parts of Kensington and Chelsea or Hammersmith and Fulham that are closer and have relatively low crime rates.

Do let me know if you have any other questions.

Best wishes,

Huma"

 

Of course it is not as witty as @Robin4 's brilliant response, but it still did the trick. The guest messaged me back thanking me for taking the time to respond but that she had decided to postpone her trip until next year...

Re: How should I respond?

in
San Diego, CA
Level 10

@Inna22 I don’t find this tacky or annoying considering some listings still have horrible cleaning crews. I immediately thought to when I wrote something similar to vacation rental company a few years ago. I did so because the previous summer I rented on airbnb or vrbo and the condo was filthy. Upon first glance it looked tidy, but under the couch cushions (sofa bed) it was full of crumbs, sand and dirt; among other uncleaned things. When we complained to that owner, she gave us a sad story about being 3 hours away and also that was why her price was lower than other condos. Now that cleanliness is highly important it shouldn’t be a factor, but sometimes I do think some people need a reminder of that expectation. Maybe this guest experienced what I did and thought it best to let you know their expectation. I personally wouldn’t be complaining about a little dust. As a host now, I would just politely say “We will double check everything is cleaned And that lights, Toilets and stove are working.”

Re: How should I respond?

in
NY, NY
Level 10

@Inna22  I would answer along @Enri1804‘s lines and would not express sympathy for her past experience.  You’re not hosting a pity party.

 

I had a guest come to Maine in the middle of February this year and tell me to make sure the heat was turned ON before her arrival.  I wanted to say, “Gosh, thanks for the reminder, until you mentioned that I couldn’t figure out why the pipes always freeze and burst in the winter,” but I just gently told her we would have the place nice and warm for her.  A lot of my guests don’t seem to have Clue 1 about home ownership so I just suck up the sarcasm.  Luckily I can let off steam here.  

Re: How should I respond?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

I'm afraid to say the 'make sure you've cleaned proper' line would grind my gears, @Inna22 and I'd be tempted to suggest (to them) a 'normal' home might not be best choice for them. I'm not known (certainly at work) for being grateful of unwarranted feedback/critique, so I'd find this one a little hard to swallow.

Perhaps a more muted response might be 'Hopefully you'll find my reviews speak for themselves.' Before slamming my laptop closed!

Re: How should I respond?

in
Sykesville, MD
Level 3

I had a possible guest ask if I used scented cleaners and detergents because her daughter is asthmatic.  I told her that I did  going so far as to listing cleaning products.  She cancelled her reservation and told me I might want to think about using I scented cleaning products. Buhbye.

Re: How should I respond?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Ken-And-Denise0  you will find that is pretty common in our area. I used to have a disclaimer that my place uses scented products and we also host pets. It really helped cut down on guests for whom that might be an issue. I might put something like that in your listing if you get more inquiries of that nature.

Re: How should I respond?

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Inna22 How about "All of those items are on our basic readiness checklist. We look forward to your arrival and have a great day!"

 

No "oh you poor dear." This sounds like someone who is still willing to suffer Airbnb after the horror of horror-- a stove that perhaps didn't heat food as quickly as they wanted...And everyone knows Austin is famous for having zero in the way of restaurants....

 

I get people like this in my antique jewelry business. "Can you make sure this item is CLEANED?" No, actually I will wear it first while eating oranges and honey and throw it in the mail. Maybe I can attract a few ants to stick to it-- extra just for you. I mean it get it to some extent with silver pieces that require polishing, but I pretty much sell gold and platinum. Everything is spiffed up before its sent out in a gift box. I don't need the help remembering. 

Re: How should I respond?

in
Victoria, Australia
Level 10

@Inna22 just say Hi Inna here , I am the owner and host Of course these things are always attended to and if any problems arise I am always available . My dear, where on earth have you been staying? Please relax I/ we hope you enjoy the accommodation as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. Look forward to seeing you soon , and cross your figers and spit. H

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