I think I am in the process of hosting my nightmare guest....and unfortunately it is a 9 night reservation.
The booking message was OK except the guests profile says he joined Airbnb in 2019 stating he resides in Adelaide South Australia. But his message says that he resides in New Zealand, and has for some considerable years. No other red flags though.
On arrival I realised, I had nothing in common with this guest, we were from different planets. You can tell just by that couple of opening sentences what the experience is going to be like....there was absolutely no level of empathy there for me! He looked through the cottage without bringing in his wife/partner and appeared to be not the slightest bit interested in what I was saying, walking away to look at something else while I was explaining aspects of what I offer, and what I don't.
After a few hours he came up to me and said, "the TV doesn't work"! I went in and switched it on to find out he had accessed analogue function which is not used in Australia, as soon as I switched to source and digital the TV worked fine. His comment was, "Could not have handled 9 days without a TV"! To him, It wasn't his fault, it was the TV's!
I have lost track of the number of people who have come and gone over the past few days, but the thing that has me so worked up.....the weather has been beautiful here for the past week! Daytime temps in the upper 20s and nighttime around 20c.... The air-conditioning would potentially have run nonstop since they have been here. They leave at 8.30 in the morning and return at midnight, they leave the air con running when they depart. Fortunately I have a sensor override that turns the Aircon off 8 minutes after they walk out the front gate, so that problem is solved but, they run it through every night until the sensor turns it off when they leave the next day. They are totally thoughtless energy vandals, they are using the facility because it is there, not because they need it. The poor Air con which is set on 'Auto' is rocking between heating and cooling all night long!
I still don't know what her name is....this afternoon Ade was working in the garden when they came back and she introduced herself deliberately to the both of them. He said....."I met you yesterday, remember"! and that was it, made no attempt to introduce her.
I am feeling uncomfortable, they have taken over the garden, cigarette smoking like it is going out of style. I got permission from them to service the cottage today. change the linens, vacuum and mop, new towels, replace condiments. I was faced with a challenging sight!
Half way through the stay and I can truly stay I can't wait for this one to finish.....and that is sad, all those wonderful guests I have had I won't remember down the track, but I will remember this one though. Such a pity, I would have liked this one to be one of those high notes as we are off away for three weeks after this.
It had to happen sooner or later.....I guess this is, later!
Sorry, just needed to get it off my chest!
Thanks Susan, I am up and running again, it's been 5 hours of solid work to get the cottage presentable again. Fortunately I have an air filtration system which keeps the air pretty sweet.
But, oh that bed......I felt like burning it and starting again. The sheets had specks of blood on them, as you would expect, the bed was quite damp on one side, he admitted he sweats profusely as most obese people do. I could have cleaned them up but those linens have done their 35 + stays so they are due for replacement. I didn't do anything with them except throw them and the pillow protectors in the bin. Everywhere they could get grease, fat or oil they did, even manged a ring on the lounge cushion....thank god for Sards Wonder soap and the hair dryer!
Also discovered a greasy frypan put back in the cupboard which unfortunately they must have cut bacon in because they have cut trough the non-stick surface coating. Thank God it wasn't my good Tefal Masterchef!!
Susan, I needed a reality check, I have been living in a fools paradise. It's been almost two years since I had my last poor guest, I have become slack with my checking and I took a risk here, this guest had no past reviews and no verifications! The only thing on his profile page is a tick for phone number and email address, and a profile picture of a vintage car. That's it, no 'Hi I'm xxxxx I like to..........' introduction or anything.
So I only have myself to blame, I should also have blocked tonight, thought I would get a free night or two before we go away but a couple of last minute books crept in which did put me under pressure today but.....I will now take a deep breath, put this one behind me, and get back to hosting!
I am sad to read the end of this story. The signs (yellow and red flags) almost never fails.
Do not take me wrongly! No hard feelings!
Do you have anything to say about the guests in question that you would take gladly?
Do you still stand for what you have said, repeating between quotes - "I would love to have such a guest as being my worst nightmare guest."
How many stars would you give them?
You said that... they are not nightmare... just bad guests! :)
@Robin4 I am so sad to hear this. The last thing you needed at this time. I once, sarcastically, suggested that Airbnb create a new category- "The Rejected Collection- Matching Horrible Guests with Terrible Hosts". These sorts of guests could be shown only listings with 3* ratings and below, places that are already dirty and damaged, so there's nothing for the guests to wreck.
Question- you have always said that you have no issues with IB- that you like it. If you only allowed Request to Book, do you think this guy's communication would have been such that you would have accepted his reservation?
Well, I saw it coming, I got bitten, but there are battles you fight and battles you don't.
I wanted to leave a neutral review because you never know his review may have been OK, and I didn't want to look the fool by having to eat my words. But I have made it quite clear in my review response he is not a guest to be hosted. Some of his comments are patent nonsense, others are exaggerations, but, whatever, I wasn't going to slog it out with him and I wanted to make sure my comments are not removed. I want them associated to him for as long as he is a part of Airbnb.
Part of it I may have contributed to because it's a fact of life, nobody takes well to aggressive people, and for that reason I left them fairly much to themselves. I wasn't as attentive to them as I usually am, the reality of it being, I was not enjoying the experience.
His main gripe was the mosquitoes, which funnily enough nobody else has ever mentioned, either to me or in a review.......this man definitely marches in unison with people in general, doesn't he! When I pointed out some insect control solutions including shutting a few doors when you are there, they fell on deaf ears!
After having to clean that cottage up, that toilet bowl, that bed, I found the cleanliness comment rather ironic!
I have been doing this a few years now and on the strength of my past I am reasonably confident his review and my response will stand out and say a lot more about him than it will about me!
Once again I did see it coming, we have an expression here in Oz....'you can't polish a t...'! I shouldn't have tried!
Now lets get back to reality, the next guest Ciara, who stayed last night has just given me another lovely review. All in Rob & Ade's world is ok again!
Bogan! - You were too kind in YOUR review @Robin4 ! Hope their future hosts read his review of you & your response. I'm outraged they complained about lack of privacy. Did they not READ the cottage was in YOUR garden? I hope you educated them in the private review about Airbnb norms re SOME interaction with hosts... and that most consider that a plus, part of the experience. As for the too many trees & plants, & "options to fix this" - does he think you should destroy your beautiful garden just for his convenience, & that of other morons who can't be bothered to shut the screen doors?- Hope you checked the "would not recommend" box?
- I'm shortly off to the theatre 350 metres down the road, to see 2 'acclaimed' pianists. Just got 2 free tickets from one of the performers who took overnight refuge in one of my Airbnb rooms, not trusting that Storm Dennis would allow him to travel down from Edinburgh in time today. Feeling a bit guilty for diddling the theatre - I was about to buy a ticket anyway when the booking came through, shortly followed by the freebie! An overnight booking AND free tickets!
Helen, I did indeed tell him that I was disturbed by his attitude and Ade has frightened by it.
If he wished to keep using a communal platform like Airbnb he needed to appreciate he is a part of the world, not the centre of it!
Had I been privy to his review I may have said something stronger, but Helen, I am not like that! I have had to be a conciliator, an arbiter all my life, I have always had to find that middle ground.
As far as the 'would you host this guest again' box.....it was a, no!
Off you go and see those acclaimed pianists.....I would love to be with you for that!
Oh @Robin4 this guy is a nut job. To suggest you should clear cut your landscaping to reduce mosquitoes? Oh yeah, let me just tear out my trees and shrubs. What??
I think his review makes HIM look bad, not you. It's unfortunate he gave you 3 stars, but you know his review will soon be buried and your rating will climb back up. You are too good of a host to waste your time being bothered by this review for one more second.
Enjoy your time away and as I always say...Some people just SUCK at life. Let's not let them suck the joy of life out of US! :)
I just read the review this guest left You:
„there are trees, bushes everywhere and that attracts mosquito
but there are options to fix this“
Sure there are options to fix this, just cut it all down and make a desert out of Your backyard, no wildlife, no nature just kill the entire planet we live on so that Mr. Sensitive don't get a bite.
What an idiot this guy is.
@Robin4 FYI, in terms of old sheets, a lot of animal shelters ask for them to be donated to be used to line the cages, it would be one more use before the landfill, just a thought.
I can only imagine what kind of a jerk would both break a bunch of stuff and say nothing and then slyly infer that you should cut your garden down to prevent insects. Oh well, he has to live with himself every day.
They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. My problem was Mark I have had too many good guests, I don't pursue red flags.
This guys initial message looked fine........
I thought, fine, that looks good, just the sort of info I need and am happy with......I never looked any further....and that was my mistake.
His profile had absolutely nothing on it except incorrect information! He joined last year, probably for this trip. It said he is from Adelaide, he isn't, he is from New Zealand, born and bred there on the South Island, spent almost all his life there......just happened to have lived in Adelaide for a few years at one stage. He had no verifications, just a phone number and an email address. Nothing about himself, no reviews, a complete blank canvas.
I should have looked at that, I didn't! If I had Mark, and made some sort of challenge about the profile I would have no doubt got the response that I got from him as soon as he arrived here. I would have been able to pick it, and get a better understanding of what I might be in for. The moment he walked in here I knew I was in trouble. He left his wife in the car, was only interested in looking, not listening, proceeded to drag a massive esky (too heavy to lift) loaded with beer into the cottage which then leaked on the floor........too late, he was here!
This thread since I started it has a fair bit of detail on my part, and that is quite deliberate Mark.
I hope a few hosting newcomers will read this thread and learn from it.....you can't take shortcuts.
We are inviting strangers into our homes and we need to establish they will be a reasonable fit.
Whatever this guy didn't break he criticised, that's not his fault....it's just the way he is, he's a bull in a china shop! It's my fault, I should have done my homework better and seen it coming! There are some people you don't invite into your lives!
Never mind it's in the past now, I have had two lovely guests since, the ship is upright again and today we welcome in here a very nice woman who needs a home away from home for a few weeks. I met her for a few hours the other day and I know the property is in good hands. She is suffering at the moment and needs to put her mind and her abilities to something different.
This time tomorrow we will be on a plane going to the east coast, I need a break, just unfortunate that I struck a pothole in the hosting road so close to going away. But that may be a good thing, it will make me enjoy my break that much more, get away from this for a while!
Thanks guys for your support, I hope we all can learn something from it!
this weekend I think I encountered either scammers or just weird people they booked several months ago, 3 nights they wanted 4 but I have a policy to block day before and after, at the time of bookings, I told her I would unblock the 4th night to please go in and book the extra night ASAP as My place was getting lots of action she did not book right away, meanwhile someone else booked the 4 th night They arrived Thursday afternoon, and I explain that I would be able to accommodate their 4th nite if they wanted, as at the last minute, my daughter needed me to dog sit for the weekend, which left my bedroom available for them 3 times bigger then the room they booked with connecting bathroom, they agreed, my son has been staying with me here in Fl. since oct. off the Appliation Trail he is a hiker, he is in a connecting studio room, turns out the folks who booked were musicians and they had music in common with my son, so they seemed to be ok with me going to my daughters and I would be running back and forth over the 3 days, I emptied pantry space and fridge space, told them the house would basically be theirs, and if any question ask my grown son in his 40 s for anything they may need or questions, also gave them my cell phone number I was only 20 minute drive away they seemed fine with that, on Friday my son said they stayed at the house till 3 pm. they invited my son to join them in a music Jam with them and my son told me they had a great time talking music and playing their instruments together, then they headed out for dinner to meet friends that were also staying here in fl. my son called me at 9:30 that night told me they came home and told my son they had a medical emergency and had to leave, today I reach out to see if every thing was ok with them and see what I could do to help, turns out she lied there was no medical emergency her excuse was she and her husband did not feel comfortable with my son WHAT!! you hung out and jammed with him all day Friday. and even offered him a sandwich!! so in our conversation this is what I got, I offered to give back one night of the 3 nights they paid for, plus return the 10.00 cleaning fee which would be 40.00 refunded as they did not leave till the second night, she basically blackmailed me and threaten me if I did not give back 2 nights and the 10.00 cleaning fee she would leave me a bad review, and what if I did not comply and take a chance she would not do that. I made the decision to refund the 70.00 and pray she does not bad mouth me, I offered them the 4th nite free by the way, since she did not make the second reservation in time, I bent over backwards for this couple and they lied and threaten me with a bad review, personally I think their friends offered them a place to stay and they made up the story to get their money back, and threaten me. really are people that mean!!
Bad luck Frances, it does look like you have been stung, and I feel sorry for you.
You know most people on this earth are decent lovely people, it is unfortunate the ones we get to hear about, are not!
Given that mosquitoes are totally out of your control would it be worth trying together customer service to remove his review?
They may refuse in which case I agree with others that his review is so ridiculous most guests will ignore it as it says far more about him than your listing.
Look, I am hurting that I got a review like that, but look Mike, or Jane, I own what I do, and I would not attempt to have it removed, just as I haven't hassled either he or Airbnb for the damage or the clean-up.
I needed the wake up call and as you say, I think this review will stand out as a magnet for readers, people like juicy stories, something out of the ordinary. They will read the rest of my reviews and then this one and realise that this guy is like the soldier in the Anzac Day march.....he is the only marcher in step!
The thing about the mosquitoes is, they aren't a big deal, most people are unaware of them, they are not in plague proportions, there will be the odd few around in the summer months for which you shut screen doors when inside and light a citronella candle if sitting outside or rub a bit of Aeroguard on arms and legs. You discourage them......In 400+ guests nobody else has previously found it an issue worth mentioning!
Same with the spider thing, I would bet everything I own he did not see two huntsman spiders in the cottage, I don't think I have ever seen one in there, let alone two. And in any case huntsman's are gentle giants, they don't bite, they are not venomous, If I do encounter one in the house I just entice it onto my hand and put it outside....they are interested in mosquitoes, not people!
Like I have said in my other posts here, it's in the past, it's that nightmare I would prefer not to have again!