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Another request for review input

Hi folks,

Again, I have not been active here recently. Sorry about that.

Regardless, I would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to advise me on a review for a past guest. In the past I have found feedback from this forum, with respect to content and wording, invaluable with regard to posting reviews.

The draft appears below. Though having read it, I wonder if it is a bit petty, and whether it would be better just to not leave a review. Really, the amount of effort involved in all this, at least in my case, does not seem commensurate with the pay.

The guest has already left me a review. I would not bet on it being a good one. And the review period closes tomorrow.


Review date: 18th June 2019

xxxx visited for two weeks during her trip to India for work
reasons.

Unfortunately, she was not the ideal guest.

Before arrival, she initially complained about the extra guest fee being too high. The amount she quoted was indeed incorrect, but she refused to provide me with the details to verify that there was something wrong with the Airbnb booking system.

During her stay, the room and bathroom were left quite dirty (the room was cleaned twice during her stay, and the bathroom was cleaned daily, and the cleaners complained). Also, she would regularly leave the A/C running when leaving for the day, though instructed to turn it off.

Finally, on check out, I needed to check a couple of details with her regarding the Govt of India Form C, which I am required to fill out for every guest. I had just met her, and had only been speaking a few seconds, and was literally mid-sentence, when she walked away from me. I tried to ask her about something on the form, and her response was “none of your business”. Which was followed by “thank you for everything”, as she walked out of the front door. Fortunately, I did not need to know anything important.

While individually, these were not major issues, together they left a
negative impression. Overall, this seemed like someone who was largely concerned about her own business, and not very concerned about other things. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this person.

Cleanliness 3/5, Communication 4/5, Observance of House Rules 4/5


Some further background on a couple of things.

I mentioned that she complained about the extra person charge being excessive. I don’t mention in the review that I calculated that the figure she was quoting was roughly double of what it should be, even making allowances for Airbnb’s approximately 25% markup on my room.

I wrote her a lengthy email describing how the cost was calculated, and asked her for the breakdown that Airbnb gives - you know, host fee, cleaning fee, extra guest charge possibly, and Airbnb fees and GST (Indian Taxes). Instead she just sent me an overall number, and as mentioned, refused to send the information I requested because she was too busy or something. I finally agreed to let her pay the second person fee in cash and separately from the Airbnb reservation. And leave the Airbnb reservation as showing one guest. But all this was a significant nuisance. As it is, I regularly have abortive correspondence with possible guests who never book (or end up cancelling), and I could do without more of this kind of thing.

Also, the guest and myself agreed that I would leave her food - milk and an omelette and fruit in the fridge overnight. But she and her friend (who wasn’t here all the time), didn’t touch it. And after a few days we stopped leaving it.

Also, I noticed a couple of times that a whole bunch of clothes were hanging on the guest drying rack, outside the guest room. It seems unlikely that those were washed by hand, though I suppose it’s possible. But the most likely possibility was that the guest simply used the washing machine without asking or checking with me. The guest guide clearly says to check with the host if you want to use the washing machine, and I say so on my walkthrough, as well. In any case, it’s common courtesy to ask before using. I didn’t mention this in my review draft, because I have no easy way of checking whether she actually used the machine or not, and it would make the review seem even more petty than it does already, but it seems in keeping with her general attitude. I do have a bunch of usage meters that record kWh attached to a bunch of things in the house, including the washing machine, but I don’t monitor or record it daily. Actually, the washing machine meter currently only says 193 kWh, which seems low considering the machine was installed in late September 2017. But it doesn’t get a lot of use.

And the checkout thing was just weird. It’s not clear from the review, but the form was already mostly done, and I just needed to check a couple of missing/unclear details. I think one of them was “purpose of stay”. The form is annoying for the guest, and even more for me, the host, but most people are reasonably cooperative about it. And walking away from someone when they are talking to you is just plain rude.

Note also that this person’s reviews are all very good. Not a single negative one out of 9 reviews total. Oddly, they all describe her as clean. Which she definitely wasn’t.

1 Like

I know you went to a lot of trouble with this guest, @faheem, trying to be helpful etc. Sorry it didn’t work out so well.

Cannot recommend Guest. Even before arriving, the complaints began. During the two week stay, the listing was left quite dirty (room cleaned weekly, bathroom daily) to the point my cleaners complained. Regularly left AC running while gone for the day although instructed to turn it off. She walked away in mid-sentence as I asked for details to fill out the Indian Gov’t Form C, and was told my questions were “none of my business”.

11 Likes

Great suggested review from @KenH @faheem

Sorry to hear of your latest problem guest.

And please don’t apologise for not being on here so much before asking for advice. There are quite a few people who join looking for advice, and then are never seen again :slight_smile: You have been a great asset to the forum.

I don’t think it’s petty at all. Do leave a review.

6 Likes

Ken’s review is great as always. I might shorten the last bit to “Did not follow house rules on use of AC and was uncooperative with government lodging form requirements.”
I might also leave out the “complaints” sentence as you initially calculated the fee incorrectly, if I understand your post. As a guest, I too would be annoyed at the lodging asking me to break down the fees – a guest won’t understand that Airbnb does not provide us all the info.
Related question – I used to be able to see the Airbnb guest fee on the reservation confirmation i get as host, but can’t find it anymore. Did Airbnb stop showing it? My current guests have family in the area, so I urged them to take a postcard with direct booking information. I told them Airbnb charges 12-20% , and they seemed surprised. Were they just not looking at the details, or is Air burying this somewhere so it’s also not readily apparent to guests?

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As usual Ken nails it.

With all due respect to HICHUP by @KKC I think there’s a business opportunity for Ken -> KREW (Ken’s Review Editing Wonders)

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No, it’s apparent. It’s there when you reserve, it’s on the receipt that Airbnb emails you. If one looks on their itinerary it’s not obvious, you have to do some clicking to get to the receipt. It’s about a third of the way down the receipt.

Was you guest local or a foreigner? I only ask because I (a westerner) stayed in a hostel in Bombay (as it was called then) in 1995 for a wedding and being of the louche habits of a 30 yo man was not very tidy and word got back to me that I was leaving the room in a state when going out each morning. They were probably right but it never occurred to me they would care, just leave it, I was only sleeping there not partying. So maybe she was a foreigner who was unused to local customs and basic politeness and had decided to shut them out rather than address the issues.
Feeling guilty on leaving I did give a very big tip to the room cleaner. And then the manager appeared looking for his. Then the groundskeeper…word got around fast.

1 Like

Great review @KenH. @faheem, I consider you generous in your ratings.

I would advice you to have the guests fill out the form the first day when they arrive not at check out. Also keep the reviews simple.
I honestly couldn’t read all of your message; it was too long and too detailed. I get it that the bathroom was not clean and communication was not ideal plus the AC left on. Just say something about these, sparing the details. A couple of sentences in the review, that’s all.

1 Like

Hi @KenH,

Thank you for the suggested wording. It looks good, though I’m not sure what a reader would think of:

Even before arriving, the complaints began.

But it seems the site consensus is that short is generally better. I know I tend to be wordy.

Hi @Helsi,

Thank you for the kind words. It’s seems there is a non-trivial amount of turnover in the site. I don’t see some of the old faces, and don’t recognise many of the new faces. But the topics remain the same. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi @dpfromva,

There was no error on my part. But perhaps a little more detail would be helpful to clarify. Initially, the guest booked for one person. Then she said another person would be joining her. She asked what she should do - I said she should cancel and rebook with two people, which afaik is the only option that Airbnb allows. She then wrote back and said the extra charges (for the second guest) were too much (as you know, Airbnb directly charges whatever they want, we don’t).

I checked, and the figure she quoted was more than it should have been. I know how much I’m charging, and Airbnb adds approximately 25% on top for my listing (Airbnb fees + GST (Indian taxes)). I asked her for the breakdown of the cost to try to figure out where the problem was, and she refused to provide that information, though it would only have taken her a few minutes to take a screenshot. I think she did provide screenshots of the total figures (original/current booking for one person and hypothetical revised booking for two people), which wasn’t exactly helpful. I could dig it out and post it if anyone cares.

I’ve got to ask, what is HICHUP by @KKC? This sounds like a private language. :slight_smile:

Hi @JamJerrupSunset,

The lady is German, but lives in the Netherlands. So yes, she’s a foreigner. Ironically, I generally get along well with German people. They’re generally fussy, like I am. Though I suppose a people don’t necessarily conform to stereotypes.

I got the impression that she was just very busy with work, and didn’t really care. Though I really don’t expect much from my guests - it’s generally unrealistic. But some basic courtesy is not difficult, and goes a long way.

I occasionally get people who clearly just regard my home as cheap lodgings. I tend to not get on well with those people. I’m not sure if this lady was in that category, though. The few contacts I’d had with her previous to that, she had been quite polite. She kept saying - “that would be amazing”. :slight_smile:

Hi @adrienne12,

Yes, of course I get the guests to fill out the forms as soon as possible. Actually, I send it to them via email, and sometimes they send it back in advance of arrival. That’s usually a sign of a good guest, in practice.

Do you mean the message, or the review? Sometimes a little detail is necessary, otherwise the reader would not be clear what happened.

2 Likes

Sorry, I didn’t understand initially.

Topic below - it was a suggested side business with appropriate acronym. I attempted to continue the tongue in cheek humor with a new business opportunity for Ken, who is truly the master of reviews.

Thanks, that’s a very funny post by @KKC. I must have missed it. As mentioned, I’m not here as regularly as I used to be.

Thanks, @faheem! …

Both, I had difficulties reading the whole message and I didn;t see a sample of your review.

Short is better and keep to the essential facts. Too many she sad I said and then… I, as potential future host of this woman, don’t need to know what she did at your place minute by minute. I just need to know what went wrong, itemized kind of. like this, this and this.

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