How to review a “not so great” guest

Benjamin243
Level 2
Providence, RI

How to review a “not so great” guest

I just had some guests leave- nice people, some sort of extended family, left the apartment in great condition... EXCEPT for the fact that their collective body odor seeped out into the stairwell, up to our Airbnb apartment located above them, and permeated virtually every surface and fabric in the apartment itself. Think Seinfeld’s “Smelly Car” episode. Should I leave a public comment, private comment, or just say nothing? It seems kind of hurtful to say something like “these people have terrible body odor” in even the nicest of ways. The cleaning has been extensive and I had to block the day of their departure to give myself enough time to deal with it. And as a side note they turned the heat up to 84, which sticks in my craw.

10 Replies 10
Gerry-And-Rashid0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Benjamin243

 

Absolutely private - if even that. It may be a medical condition and the embarrassment caused to someone by publicly commenting on it could be horrific for them. Open the windows and move on - hopefully you won’t have to experience it again!

 

Branka-and-Silvia0
Level 10
Zagreb, Croatia

@Benjamin243 I like what @Kelly149 suggested. Please mention it in your review.

I am glad you made this post bc usually hosts complain only about cigarette or curry smell and it looks like smelly feet and bad body odours bothers noone   ( Bljak 😞  )

Fred13
Level 10
Placencia, Belize

Tricky dilemma @Benjamin243, and you did presented it well. I am at a total loss how to bring up their specific quirk also. Did you get the impression they have used Airbnb before? If so, maybe passed hosts were at a loss also on what to say.

Benjamin243
Level 2
Providence, RI

Thanks Fred- No, I did not get the impression they had used Airbnb before. So I guess it is incumbent on me even more to leave feedback that can alert other hosts. Not relishing the idea. I’ll probably try to side step it a bit like Kelly suggested, but also try to allow potential hosts space to “read between the lines” a bit.

Matthew285
Level 10
SF, CA

@Benjamin243 it is a real dilemma, because there are two very reasonable priorities in direct conflict with each other.

One priority is to be nice to people who were nice guests.

Another priority is to let hosts know that dealing with the body odor was an issue.

Did these guests have any other reviews?

 

I know as a host I would want to know about the issue. But you are correct: there is no nice way to say it.

If it were me, I think I would mention it in the nicest way possible, but know that it is still not going to come off as nice. My reasoning is this: my loyalty to the other hosts on AirBnB is a higher priority than my need to be seen as nice. The review system doesn't work if we don't leave accurate reviews, and I count on the previous hosts to warn me if there is a potential issue.

 

But I don't think anyone would has the right to criticize you for what you eventually decide to do. Both mentioning it and not mentioning it can be well defended as a choice.

 

 

Benjamin243
Level 2
Providence, RI

Thank you Matthew for your very measured and thoughtful reply. To answer your question, no, these people had no reviews. I’ve hosted hundreds of guests and these people rank up there with my top 5 problematic guests. I do feel a real obligation to alert other hosts, but am very loathe to do so. Thanks for understanding that it can be a bit taxing to be a proper host and decent human being.

Kelly149
Level 10
Austin, TX

What if you mentioned that they left a smell behind that required extensive cleaning to eradicate??

that doesn’t say they were smelly just that a smell remained. Could have been curry, could have been cologne, could have been sardines. Doesn’t really matter what it was, sharing space means that strong smells of ANY TYPE will be a problem with whoever shares space with them. 

That is not a value judgment on them, just a fact. 

Benjamin243
Level 2
Providence, RI

Thank you Kelly- That’s a good idea. Basically accomplishes the goal of giving other hosts a heads up while side stepping the more delicate issue.

Paul154
Level 10
Seattle, WA

Bad Body odor ? I don't think there is any way to say this publicly. 

Too much cologne? Yes  (I often complain about this to Uber)

 

You can say "Abused Utilities by overheating apartment to 84 degrees"

And you can give them a thumbs down.

 

Benjamin243
Level 2
Providence, RI

Thank you Paul for validating my irritation about the heat!

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