How dare you! Intentional deceit is an entirely different thing than lying …
I left a really bad review for guests last month. I was clear about what they had done wrong: I said, they held a party against the rules and made so much noise that I had two complaints from neighbours, they left the front door open to the block of flats creating a security risk, they smoked in the flat against the rules, they left rubbish, dirty food and glasses throughout the property, and they spilled drinks on the sofa ruining it. Why wouldn’t I say this, when it is all true? I am protecting other hosts from having the same problems in their properties in the future, by calling out this bad behaviour.
I’ve left these guests a bad review. I kept it neutral but factual. I agree, we must let other hosts be aware of guests like these. I had some previous guests who were almost as bad and I remember looking at previous reviews (2) for them which were 5 stars and said, ’ Guests left property clean and tidy) and I was thinking, Oh why did they trash mine? We need to be truthful or the reviews are worthless.
Well, I’d also like to know about the cleaning issue, because I don’t charge cleaning fees, point that out specifically and ask guests to leave the place clean and tidy. For me, that’s an important point. I don’t want disrespectful slobs treating my place like a hogpen
This is the one, perfect!
Nah. “Thank you for staying” is just a platitude, like “Have a nice day”. The check-out girl doesn’t really care one way or another if you have a nice day.
“Thank you for staying, we really enjoyed having such great guests” would be a lie, if they left the place a mess.
Lying … hmmm … like recommending people to do stupid things that can cost them money and refusing to recant? Or is that unethical? Or both?! I vote both!
I worked in the hotel industry way back when. Was amazing how some guests would leave a room on check out. It was my duty to determine the cost of damages and document it so we could charge the guests credit card. Occasionally guest would call to dispute the charges and I would walk them through the charges and show the evidence. Some truly thought that since it was a hotel with an army of maids, engineers and staff that it was all free and they could do whatever they wanted. Towels used to shine shoes or wash cars, furniture used as work bench’s, dirt everywhere from potting plants they bought, writing on the walls Etc. Like children thinking mommy will clean up after them!
If I have a guest with no reviews Or new to the site, I take the time to explain things and how we expect to find the place when they leave, before I will book them. One or two said no thanks and didn’t book but most of my new guests were just fine and appreciated the house and the better understanding of what it means to be a good guest and how they can earn a good review. Most would hope to use AirBnB or others again. Since I was new to this and had no reviews as a host I didn’t feel justified to exclude guests who were new and I still like showing new guests the joys and benefits of an AirBnB stay over a hotel in the right circumstances.
Who are you having a go at this time @Jefferson?
Always easier if you @ whichever host you have decided to insult/have a rant at, , so we know which of us is in your firing line
Yes, I didn’t actually list everything they did, like taking a bath towel, taking a torch we leave for guests, and taking a pretty little jewellery box ( not expensive, just shiny!). Fortunately we didn’t have anyone in the cottage for a few days after so we could open all the windows, wash all the throws and other sift furnishings which stunk of cigarette smoke, but new guests arrived yesterday and I could still smell a faint smell of cigarette. Sprayed air freshener too around the place to hide it ha ha. We get a lot of newbies to Airbnb and usually guests really look after the place. The house rules they broke were at the very top. I should have charged them for the stuff they pinched/ broke. Next time I will.
Certainly not you! Never
Why can’t you still charge them? I’ve never had a bad experience yet, knock on wood.
I think you have to claim immediately after they leave and before the next guests arrive and show photos as evidence. I only noticed the torch and the jewellery box had gone missing a couple of days later. I was too busy washing throws, curtains etc to get rid of cigarette smell.
It’s probably good for your sake that you didn’t mention those things unless you can absolutely prove that it was those guests who stole them (stole as opposed to taken accidentally). Although we all want reviews to be as accurate as possible, it’s a good idea not to accuse them of anything that can’t be proved 100%.
I do charge a cleaning fee, of £38. It doesn’t cover the cost of 3 hours agency cleaning, let alone the laundry. But it’s a way of charging more for shorter lets. My minimum is 2 days average price £115 per night, but lower off season. I also leave wine, jam, packets of nibbles, and Kinder eggs and dog treats if appropriate.
I reckon an average turnaround costs me £80, not much less than an off season night’s fee. So the £38 helps a bit. I get a lot of 2 day bookings for weddings and such but I don’t think I can charge more for “cleaning”.
What do others do?
Hi Caroline, I use the option for longer stay discounts, which you can adjust by each day + weekly and monthly discounts. I only discovered it after years of hosting and trying to get that problem sorted out. Just try around a bit with that function, it is really great.
You can eg. put as your “default” price a rather high amount, which would apply for 1 or 2 night stays. And then you set up “discounts”, eg. from +3 night stays maybe 30%“discount”, from +5 night stays 40% (which would then be your actual regular nightly price), and then further discounts for weekly or monthly stays, if you want.
This way you can also allow 1 and 2 night stays for people who are willing to pay the significantly higher nightly fee (+ a then maybe more reasonable cleaning fee, and as a result even cleaner guests).
Thank you for the advice, Angela. I do also use those bulk discounts too. But I get a lot of 2 day, weekend bookings for weddings and such so I find those easier to cover with “cleaning fees”. I did get caught out this year when I had accepted, without really thinking about it, Airbnb’s suggestion of a 45% discount. I now have a whole month booked in June/July for much less than I would normally make in high season. This was compounded because the booking was made 9 months in advance and I hadn’t upped the prices from the default level.
So, now I go through the calendar more than a year ahead setting higher prices for holiday periods and popular local events. And I discount month long bookings by only 25%. You live and learn, don’t you?
Yup. In my case, I don’t even give weekly or monthly discounts (I found “long-termers” use up more resources since they actually “settle” and spend significantly more time at home than eg. exploring the area like shorter term travellers do), people can only book 3 months in advance, and I have a rather high “default” price (for 1 night bookings, and bookings of more than 7 days), whereas my regular “discount” price is among the “good deals” in my area. I don’t charge cleaning fee, and I expect guests to leave the place in a decent and reasonably clean shape, which is also outlined in my house rules. I found that when people know they’re expected to leave the place clean and tidy (and feel it’s reasonable since they don’t pay cleaning fees), they generally also treat it more respectfully and with more care.
Everything learned over the last few years, paying the price for each lesson. And still learning
But it’s fun!
Or at least I find it so.
I’m retired and took it up more because I thought it was a waste not to use the little cottage in our grounds for something.
Where are you based?
Oh yes, I love it! I also like the type of travellers my listings attract, and I often offer my guests to join me on my regular hikes with my dogs in the mountains, which they (and I) usually enjoy very much. I’m based in Spain, in an area very popular among young travellers who usually just stay in the area for a couple days/max a week.