I had an awful guest experience and tried to settle it with the guest personally. She stayed at a reduced rate and then needed to extend her stay. We gave her an even bigger rate discount. When she left, she left the place a mess. Dirty, greasy dishes, pots and pans. All the furniture was in dissaray, both sets of blankets/quilts had spots and stains on them, there were crumbs in all the beds on the mattress pads (which had to be hand picked off), and she ruined a set of sheets.
I took 3 days to cool off before I texted her because we really went out of our way to help this guest and she took advantage of us. I told her I was unhappy about the state of the place and asked her to pay $50 to replace the sheets. Prior to this text, she had nothing but glowing reviews and thanks for me in all her texts. She did not understand why she should have to pay for her sheets because I was a woman and the damaged sheets were a result of a "woman thing" and thus I should understand. I said I shouldn't have to pay for her "woman thing".
After much internal debate, I decided to warn other hosts and gave her an appropriate but still not brutal review, even leaving out the refusal to pay for damages and passing on her lame excuse for the mess. She then gave me a bad review, lying about my place and me. Prior to this review, I had 5 star reviews. Now people think my place is noisy and I am rude. My bookings have almost stoped dead in their tracks after her review. Plus, my 3 month pre-book for Jan-March canceled right after the review. I have contacted Airbnb twice about this to no avail. I had responded to her bad review, but not in much detail because I assumed that if I could prove it was a retaliatory review, it would be removed. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! Not only will they not remove it, they won't even let me expound on my explanation to her bad review.
So frustrated! I am knee deep in the process of spending a lot of money to make my other 2 rentals Airbnb rentals and now I can't even get bookings in prime season. Airbnb penalizes us for trying to warn other hosts about bad guests.
Haha.. I realize that this is exactly what the review system is making people do..
However in a non-AirBnB world (a.k.a. a sane, 'normal personal interaction' world') I would never think of doing that: playing nice to someone when she checks out, and then hit er with a bad review and payment request..
But yeah.. I too tell every guest how awesome they were. But if I have doubts if they had a truly great time then I don't review, because being teased with an invisible review is very likely to trigger the guest to leave a review of their own.
Although, to be honest there is no personal gain for hosts to leave a bad review. Other hosts have mostly been forced into InstantBook anyway and won't cancel a booking just becuase another host left a less than glorious review. So there's really very little point.
(Also noting that I've seen on these forums that many hosts have WAY higher expectations of guests than I do.. I expect the occational thing to break, I'm already happy if they tell me. And I expect that towels and blankets won't last forever.. if I happen to end up replacing a couple a bit earlier than expected and some a bit later then so be it, it evens out. )
So if I have an InstantBook booking for a guest and I see that another host left a bad review for the guest not doing the dishes and leaving a mess then I'm seriously not going to cancel.. I mean that's what the cleaning fee is for.
I haven't bothered to read a guest review in months! And besides guests change accounts all the time, or let their friend/mother/brother etc. sign up. They already do that just to get some free stuff from AirBnB for inviting another guest, and they could definitely do it to make some bad reviews go away.
The ONLY reason to review a guest is to tease them into letting them review you, IF AND ONLY IF you're confident they had a great time.
/End Cynicism mode. 😉
I see your point that cleaning fee should cover dirty dishes, but only if you are renting the whole unit. For some of us, we are just renting out spare rooms in our home and we are not their live-in maid to do their dirty dishes. So, I usually make myself clear during check-in process to clean the dishes after using them.
We have instant booking on, but still we are not hesistate to cancel a reservation if a guest has bad review which may cause problem. So we really appreciate reviews from hosts, good or bad.
Just my 5 cents... I also rent rooms in my home but I expect to do a guests dishes as part of the cleaning fee and service and I encourage the guests to just leave dirty dishes in the sink. I will say that most of my guests do wash up themselves but I do not expect it because I feel like I am competing with a hotel or motel and, since guests don't wash their own dishes there, it might not even occur to them they should do it.
I already feel like I have the best of all worlds... I make great money (and don't work outside my home) because of my guests and yet they do not expect as much from me as they would from a hotel (like clean sheets every day) or from a bed and breakfast, where I would have to get up early and make the breakfast.
I've had 99% great guests... one annoying but nice couple... it evens out.
Yup, you have to see all possibilities. Airbnb would likely reimburse you for the sheets if you put in a request with bloody sheet pics. No one wants to see that or deal with it. They'd pay.
Agreed. Never tip off a guest. I just had a two guests who had a extra person stay over last minute without me knowing. Spoke to her about it the following morning and she gave me a petty review. (Includng 3 stars for check in when they checked in 2 hours early!) It's just not worh it.
You have to be honest. What if they are mental and escalate in future bookings.
It's not unkind or unlikeable to just be honest. Wouldn't you have wanted to know if a previous host had found them shady?
The shadiest person by FAR that I've met had great reviews. But he was a certified nutter.
With him I did actually look at his reviews because his messages were so weird.
Ditto to that. We've had one really crazy person and they had great reviews. I've also had one guest (and his friends) who almost destroyed the house, smoked, trashed linens, etc. and didn't want to pay for a pan to be replaced.
I agree with this, i have someone in one of my properties, who has all perfect reviews however upon entering the unit. Counted the CCTVS in the building reset the wifi password, (was to insecure) reset the smart lock on door, was afraid previous guest would break in a steal his laptop) reset the safe code, demanded the master key to sentry safe. 2am demanded the master code to the cable box to "reset" the channels and reprogram the system. Crawled under the bed and found one of the supports was not exactly installed right, and so on. Guy was a total nut, security said never left the condo ordered delivery ran the aircons 24/7. as you said in a previous post, you win some you loose some. However reviewing a guests reviews give you NO real insight into thier mental status. Just roll with the punches. I am however still debating leaving a review but after reading your posts decided to forget it. Cheers!
@Gs0 The more hosts forgoe the opportunity to write a professionally honest review the weaker the shared community system becomes. Perhaps something like, "This guest would probably feel more secure in a hotel environment", might serve to warn other hosts. Just a thought.
oh my... I'd love to hear specifics about his nuttiness! lol.
I do find it amusing how different people are... it's easy to assume everyone has the same manners and boundaries as we do, but people are quite quirky at times. Some have been raised by wolves who never taught them manners and I feel sorry for them as they probably don't realize all the ways it has negatively impacted their life.
Some people might have a slight mental illness or be autistic. I have many friends with anxiety disorders and one that is autistic so I've learned to look past the ocasional oddities and just be flexible.
However I do chuckle when I go to make up a room and all the electrical stuff is unplugged... that's happened twice... are these people who are "allergic" to electricity?
Also several guests, always men, who don't sleep under the covers but on top of the bedspread? I don't understand this one?
It's not like airbnb is run by Cenobites who lure hosts into serving sadistic guests and will punish you for not being submissive and writing a glowing dishonest review.
What if your positive review is used against you in a future lawsuit? SHe LOVED me and everything I did while I was staying there - here is the evidence in her own words.
It's like that Graham Parker song as sung by Joe Jackson "You Can't Be Too Strong." - I know it's not about laundry but it works for me.