Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Key West, FL
Level 2
929 Views

***I apologize if this has been duplicated, i cant find it posted anywhere on this forum, so thought i would try again.***

My entire property is smoke free ( inside and outside).  There are plenty of private areas to smoke around my house including the lot where the park there car next to my home, its about 5 steps away, grassed and safe, i specify that in the listing. My fenced in area is mostly deck, but i do have a small area of astro turf for pups, so my biggest concern with smoking is the turf catching fire.

 

So i had a guest express that her husband was requesting to smoke cigars, that they are older and were coming into to town mostly to be at the beach and unwind on our deck in the evening (hence the cigar). I expressed my hesitation and but ultimately said he could smoke only cigars, in an ash tray away from the grass. She happily agreed. After the reservation was complete i had almost 0 communication with them as they just didn't respond to any messages, i don't find this that unusual as most people get there reservation and respond occasionally. So check out comes and they request an additional couple of hours, our cleaning staff wasn't coming till the next day, so i agreed. No thank you or any acknowledgment of the late check out. Come the allotted time, they were still loading there car and weren't out of the house till 30 min after the late checkout. They responded with a simple thanks and that was it.

 

I went into the house to find it very clean, the checkout instructions followed to the letter, but also found the ash tray that i went out hours before there check in to buy specifically for them, unused in the same spot. I investigated further and found pot remnants on the couch and a joint on my outside window sill.  So other than them being intentionally disrespectful and manipulative of my rules, the laws and my kindness, they house was in great shape.

 

So do i leave a one sentence review about cleanliness and address it privately? Do i deduct a star with potential backlash? I just dont want to mislead the host community with a 5 star rating, when they intentionally manipulated me to break the rules, but in the grand scheme of things no harm was done.

17 Replies

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Danny413  I guess the guest was afraid to say her husband smoked pot rather than cigars, and yes, that's not right to lie, but I can sort of understand why she did it. It's great that the place was left clean and it does sound like he smoked his doobie outside, just rolled it up while sitting on the sofa, so they weren't disrespectful in that way. 

 

One thing occurs to me- since you say they left it very clean, it's a possibility that he actually does smoke cigars and maybe they washed the ashtray and put it back where you had left it. And disposed of the remains of the cigars. You really have no way of knowing for sure. Just because they smoke pot doesn't mean he doesn't also smoke cigars.

 

If I were you, I would leave them a good review, indicating how clean they left it (check-out instructions followed to the letter is pretty great), maybe mentioning the later than already agreed check-out, and the lack of response to messages during the stay, and leave it at that. They don't sound to me like problem guests that hosts have to be wary of, although some social graces like thanking you for the late check-out would have been nice.

 

I'm a host who gets really irritated about other hosts not leaving honest reviews, so I appreciate your wanting to not mislead other hosts. I just don't think these guests warrant low stars and a critical review. 

 

I don't see that any harm was done, other than you feeling that you were manipulated. 

I know that some hosts may not agree with me. 

 

Personally, I couldn't care less if guests smoke pot, or even cigarettes, as long as they do it safely and outside, and where the smell won't blow back into the house.

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Sarah977,

I agree with most of your comments to @Danny413 .  However, I do care if people smoke, and then bring their smoky clothes, hair and bodies back into my place, and then it embeds in the furniture that they've used.  I don't allow smoking of anything or vaping on my property grounds.

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Debra300  Yes, I totally understand that, too. If I were hosting back where I used to live in Canada, I'd probably feel much the same, as the climate is such that places have doors and windows closed for much of the year. But my Airbnb space here in Mexico always has the windows open, so it is constantly being aired, and I don't have anything in there that absorbs the smell of smoke. One small throw rug which I wash between guests and some light curtains on clip rings that could be easily taken down and washed if needed. 

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Key West, FL
Level 2

@Sarah977  thanks for the response. That's basically my line of thinking as well, but smoking pot is illegal in my state (and there home state) and they know that and intentionally lied to get around that. I'm ultimately responsible for my property and illegal drugs (regardless of what kind) are still against the law.

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Danny413  Would you be held responsible, legally, if a guest was caught smoking pot outside? When you hadn't approved that? I would think it would be the person caught with pot who would be, but I don't know how the law reads in your state.

 

I think we've pretty much all done things at some point in our lives which were technically illegal, (maybe you haven't) even if it was just sneaking a drink from our parent's liquor cabinet when we were teenagers, so speaking from my own personal viewpoint,  just because something is illegal, if it seems harmless to me, I really don't care. But of course, we all have our own take on these things and you certainly wouldn't want something going on in your listing that you could be held legally responsible for. 

 

What you might do, if you really feel it needs to be addressed, is send the guest a private message letting her know that they were good guests, but that you didn't like finding the remains of the joint, as it is illegal in your state, and you wouldn't want any trouble with the law and suggesting that she not try to circumvent house rules in the future for such a purpose, as another host could very well leave her a bad review for it. Pot smokers aren't going to stop smoking pot, but they may then make sure to leave the property to do so in future stays.

 

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
California, United States
Level 10

I like the private message idea.  Like- "I know what you did, but I'm not dinging you for it..."

 

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Lenore22  That's an approach I'd use if the guest was otherwise fine, just did one thing that was not okay that I think they should realize so they don't do that again with another host. Like some 18 year old who left a mess behind him, and had never booked an Airbnb before, and was otherwise quite sweet and friendly and followed all the rules, but just didn't understand that the host isn't their mommy to clean up his mess.

 

I read a funny post on another hosting forum- she pretty much accepts all guests, doesn't care if they have verified ID, a bunch of good reviews, or anything. She accepted a guest who had a not very good review from an Italian host. When the guest arrived, the host said "Whatever you did at the place you stayed in Italy where you got that poor review, just don't do that here". The guest chuckled, said "okay" and turned out to be a fine guest.

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

During these times I think hosts will inevitably become more tolerant of the harmless quirks of guests. These guests come across as solid ones and most hosts won't mind having them as guests.

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

I've got nothing personally against people smoking cannabis, but I do have in my house rules that no illegal drugs should be consumed on my property. Mine is a shared home with different guests staying at the same time and, while some guests might be okay with it, others might not.

 

Also, pot stinks and the smell can linger for some time. I always know when someone has smoked it in the house because you can smell it on all four floors. It doesn't matter if they smoke out of the window. Sure, they could smoke it in the garden or on my terrace, but I live in a terraced townhouse and the smell would easily reach my neighbours.

 

Despite this, I had once had a couple stay and was away for part of the time. They were pretty unfriendly, bordering on rude, but the girl had told me they would follow my house rules to the letter. Then I heard from another (long-term) guest that they had people around (again against my house rules - they are supposed to ask) and were lighting up joints in the living room! He had to ask them to please smoke outside.

 

I left them a pretty decent review, but just mentioned that a couple of important house rules had been broken. I wish I had been harsher though as they left me a rubbish review full of nonsense, e.g. there was no working fridge, WiFi didn't work, room was not on the floor advertised. NONE of this was true and none of these problems had been mentioned to me even though I tried to check in on the guests, probably because they didn't exist. My only explanation was that the guests knew that I would find out about their rule breaking and leave them a bad review so they left a bad review just in case.

 

It sounds like @Danny413 's guests were fine overall so I would follow @Sarah977 's advice RE the private feedback, but when it comes to breaking rules RE drugs, where should one draw the line? Should I have left my guests a harsher review?

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Key West, FL
Level 2

@Sarah977 @Huma0 @Lenore22 @Fred13 

Thanks for the help. I think ill stick to my gut on the private message idea, and the 5 star based on cleanliness.

 

My general consensus after everyone's reply is that you guys don't really care about stuff like this and it wouldn't stop you from hosting them either way. My question was more about a responsibility of letting hosts know of these guest, as my experience is essentially over. 

 

I dont have negative opinion on pot, i could care a less about it, other than it is illegal, and im a drug and smoke free property. The guests wern't making a haphazard mistake in there youth, they were 60 year old adults intentionally lying to get there way. I think that is what really annoyed me was the lying and then leaving the drugs on my property, which as the home owner i am responsible for. I know pot is treated differently across the world and in the US, but i can only go off what the law is. My mentions of "thank yous", wasnt because i deserve it or anything like, is was showing pattern of there attitude of give me what i want because i deserve it. Ignoring all my messages during there stay, and then the night before asking for a late checkout (3 additional hours), i immediately respond and they stop talking again. They then proceed to ignore messages about being out that day and check out an additional 30 min after there extended 3 hours with no notice to me. 

I am a new host and after reading all the awful experiences on these boards, i know this is probably such a huge non issue to hosts, but i felt disrespected and thats what made me seek advice.

Thanks again everyone!

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Danny413 

 

I understand your viewpoint and I'm going to say something that might be unpopular here...

 

The guests I mentioned were young, in their 20s, but the ones you refer to were in their 60s. I wonder, were they experienced Airbnb users or not? Regardless of that, I have found that certain older guests (and by no means all as I have had wonderful guests in their 60s) are totally useless at correspondence and don't respond to any messages at all. It's such a generalisation to say that they are not used to using technology, but I am afraid in some cases, that is true. The first thing my mother, who is in her 70s, does in the morning is to check her emails and Facebook messages etc, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is easy to reach her AT ALL 

 

In addition, a lot of the older guests just do not get the concept of Airbnb or the sharing economy. They see it just like a hotel or a regular BnB. Okay, I am really generalising here, but it is something I have noticed and many other hosts have mentioned.

 

Getting ready now for the onslaught of responses about how ageist I am (by the way I am in my 40s).

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Munnsville, NY
Level 10

What your saying may be true @Huma0 , what I will say about the sharing economy that your speaking of is that there are lots of  barracudas out there that see the Sharing economy participants ideal targets  and easy dinner, just right for picking.  they know they can reinvent themselves 20 times ro get in your front door even if they get "bad reviews" 19 of them.  When they run out of their 9 lives, they will get their buddy to do the dirty work next time!  JR

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

Hey @Danny413 Here is a good one. Mother & father come (in their 60's) and their 'kids' (in their 30's asked me - can the fishing guide bring some 'mota'; its Belize, its legal and most are into it. So I ask them -  "How you going to not let your parents not notice it?", all being in an island. They said - "Oh no, it is for our parents!".

Re: Non acknowledging bad behavior in a review to just be done with it vs respecting the host community and making them aware

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Danny413  I would want to know that the guests ignored messages except when they wanted an answer to something to their benefit. 

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