I’ve been really fortunate. Up until Sunday, I’ve had only one disappointing check out, but not to the extent of this latest guest. This male guest met up and stayed at my place with his brother. They were here for the weekend. I met the guest; he was respectful and easy in all communication. No problem, yet. After they left exactly on time, I went in to clean for my next guest (arriving the same day) only to find vomit ALL OVER MY BATHROOM. He must not have been in any condition to aim directly for the toilet. Oh no worries, he did try to wipe it all up with my bath towels and put some of them away in the kitchen cabinet. Yeah. I cleaned for hours (missing my dad’s 82nd birthday party, btw). All over the walls, shower doors, under the toilet seat (which had to be removed to properly clean) and vanity. The guest wrote me a review the same day of departure. It wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t even remember this mishap. I called Airbnb - and was a little disappointed in their lack of interest. My cleaning fee is only $25 and for 99.9% of my guests, I am happy with the amount. Air holds a $200 deposit which I am not sure how this works. Also, reviews feel tricky to me. I have a 100% positive review history with 149 writing. I am leery of retaliation. Air tells me that after a guest writes a review, they have 48 hours to change it. I feel a responsibility to the host community to mention my experience with this guest, but how does a host do this without risking a retaliatory bad review? Should I write to him privately and see if his sense of fairness would have him accept a charge for all the extra cleaning involved? I would only do this 48 hour post his review. Or should I apply for some of the deposit money? Except for the intense cleaning involved, there was no “damage” per se. So I am not sure Air would allow it. How soon after check out does Air release that deposit money to the guest? Thank you, community, for wisdom and experience with this.
Pretty sure that they can change their review UNTIL you also post yours. Not afterwards. Or else it wouldnt be double blind.
Amazing questions! Let me clarify…
#1 adjust your cleaning deposit! Not a single guest will complain about 50-75 for a smaller place.
#2 Air doesn’t care you cleaned up puke, you have a cleaning fee set by you for a reason and Air will see that as your vomit fee.
#3 Both parties have up to 14 days after reso check out to post their reviews, neither of which are visible until both parties post. Afterwards, you as a host have 48 hours to respond to the guests review. (I THINK that’s the timeline but I can double check). The agent you spoke to sounds like a NT newbie. Neither party has any time to adjust/edit a review. Edits only are allowed for a transexual to change name.
#4 Do NOT worry about a retaliation review. It doesn’t and can’t happen. This is why the double blinded system has been created.
#5 clarify "deposit"you can have your deposit set for whatever amount you want within reason. This money is never taken,held, or required in any way for a guest to pay. Instead, this is the amount the guest agrees to at time of booking that CAN be forced charged if physical property damage happens during their stay. So, for example, some puke from a visitor that had a few too many at the local bar isn’t something T&S will force payment on and the host will be referred back to adjusting their cleaning fee and allowed to open an RC claim and try to get the guest to own up and pay some extra to you for your time.
Advice: all hosts, imo, should have a cleaning fee that covers the cost of a cleaning company to come in and professionally cleaned your listing after each checkout. I mean why not… Less time for the host and you’re not losing any money PLUS get on cleaners if something isn’t up to your standards.
I’ve recently brought up to upper management that we should offer a third party cleaning service to our hosts similar to the professional photography services. I’m sure there are many hosts who’d love to find a company that just does Airbnb cleanups. They are debating it, but for now I’m in the works of starting my own on the side for additional income and more help to our host community.
Retaliation by the guest does occur when a host requests reimbursement from the guest while the guest is still able to publish a review.
Hosts that request compensation from guests need to do one of the following before requesting compensation in order to avoid retaliation:
- If the guest has written a review of the host, wait until the 48-hour period to change the review is over -OR- publish a review of the guest. Either of those lock the guests ability to change the review.
- If the guest has not written a review of the host, wait until the 14-day review period.
I’d like to see data that indicates this advice would be practical for hosts without significantly reducing bookings, especially in the lower price ranges and in competitive markets.
I’ve learned to schedule time off (like check in same day wouldn’t have been available) when I have an event. Sadly the chances of needing something having to do with the Airbnb room seems more likely to happen when I’ve tried to schedule something else the same day.
Brian has explained but I’ll chime in that yes indeed guests who know a bad review is coming unfairly dole out one too, blind double notwithstanding.
Because I’d have no business whatsoever if I did this. I really appreciate your effort here but you haven’t got a complete understanding of all the kinds of listings and bookings that the variety of hosts handle.
I do 80% one night bookings and even without a cleaning fee I am about the same price as the pet-friendly hotels in town. There are dozens of listings my price or less and I get booked a lot at the last minute because I’m one of the most expensive for what I offer. A $50 cleaning fee would double my rate.
Yes, accurate way to do things with the exception of waiting after the 14 day period before requesting reimbursement. A host only has 14 days to open a resolution center case OR prior to the next guest checking in to the same listing. It is difficult and there are loopholes from both sides.
Statistics are based on my knowledge of how many people book a $25 per night listing but don’t mind continuing in the reso process even after seeing a higher cleaning fee. Realistically, imo, if a guest is bargain shopping and complains about the higher cleaning fee may be a PITA guest all hosts fear to begin with. Quality isn’t cheap and cheap isn’t always good for guests or hosts.
Always look into changing your needed prep time before next reso check in if that’ll help out in your personal schedule too.
I’ve decided I am not going to ask for any money. I’m not going to apply for any of his deposit either. Air would probably deny it anyway. I didn’t experience any permanent damage or loss. Just took 4x the amount of effort on my part to clean the mess. It’s unfortunate. I wouldn’t ever host this person again and now all I have to do is figure out the best wording, constructive and professional, for his review.
I’m sorry to hear you had to go through all that. Props to you for not saying that this was too disgusting or below you and being so humble but it does sound like a terrible experience I would never want to have. I’m not sure what I would do in your shoes.
Not sure if this helps but I had a guest defecate all over my towels once. She was angry and wiped her ass on my towels on purpose. I requested $20 in the Airbnb resolution center as a cleaning fee and Airbnb gave it to me. It wasn’t for the towels, it was for the cleaning. I didn’t charge a cleaning fee otherwise though. So I’m not sure if this would help in your situation but just thought I’d mention it.
Very interesting points. I appreciate your input on this conversation.
Hmm interesting point. To hire a professional cleaning service for my place seems to be about $80 though. It takes me about 20-30 minutes to turnover a room but it takes $80 to get someone to drive out and do it. They’d probably do the whole house for a little bit more but I don’t usually rent the whole house. I’ve been trying a few cleaning services and I haven’t successfully hired anyone off of Turnoverbnb or Properly.
Also, in addition to the standard price in my area (at least $85) no one would clean with as much attention to detail as I do. It is my business, my reputation, and any negative feedback, if it isn’t done properly, only affects me. I feel most confident when I take care of it myself.
I feel the same way but I see housekeepers that do a great job and take pride in their craft at hotels. I don’t know how to get that level of quality without having a 20+ room hotel though.
This blows my mind. So people charge $25 and then tag on a $50-75 cleaning charge and statistics say they continue on with the reservation? Can you provide more detail on that phenomena? That would change my pricing strategy a lot if that were indeed the case. I also see where Air is making the cleaning fee more visible, which I wholeheartedly approve.
Send him a request for additional cleaning.
I’m almost in the exact same boat. There is no chance I could charge a cleaning fee like that I would have almost no bookings
I think that’s the right move but I would slam him in the review
Here is my review, using your words…
I would not recommend XX
After he left I found vomit ALL OVER MY BATHROOM. He did try to wipe it all up with my bath towels and put some of them away in the kitchen cabinet.
Get an extra cleaning estimate/invoice from whoever… that’s easy. Then submit your review and file a claim in the resolution center. Did you take pictures? That would be very helpful to you.