This certainly isn’t the most troubling issue. However, I wanted to get other opinions on how to review these guests.
I received an Instant Booking from a couple who introduced themselves as experienced hosts (5 years, multiple properties), who were coming to visit their son who lives in our neighbourhood. They booked our ‘bedsit’ which we have listed as a ‘private room’, and in the description we clarify that it is a space within our house with a shared bathroom in the entrance hallway. They said that, if things “went well” we could become their Airbnb for all their visits (which, admittedly, did feel a little like pandering).
In the message accompanying their booking, they also requested to check-in several hours earlier. Unfortunately, with back to back reservations, accommodating such a request would be terribly difficult, and I had to apologise and explain that it wouldn’t be possible. As they are hosts themselves, I thought they would understand, however the next message I received from them stated that it was “not good” as they “need” to check in at the requested time. They said they presumed our stated check-in was a mistake. Then, they asked to cancel, and what our cancellation policy was.
Now, as experienced hosts, who have also travelled numerous times as guests, I’m sure that they knew where to find this information, and the purpose of asking was to see whether I would volunteer to refund them. I wasn’t willing to waive the cancellation penalty, and I felt that there was implicit pressure to either stand my ground and host disgruntled guests, or accommodate their request.
I accommodated an earlier check-in (though not as early as they were asking), and their reply seemed grateful. They said they were “oldies” who would need a “nanna nap” after attending a function and before seeing their family. To my surprise, though, they arrived 30 minutes prior to my stated check-in, after pressing to arrive as early as possible (even asking if we could text if it was ready sooner than stated), and left immediately after dropping their bags off.
While it was a little frustrating to have to deal with, I understand that plans can change, and if this was the only issue, I don’t think I would be particularly concerned about the review.
I was terribly unwell on their day of arrival, and did not welcome them personally upon check-in, despite being home. Because I happened to be ill and in bed, I overheard their remarks upon arrival about being surprised that there was a shared bathroom. Apparently, they “didn’t know”, which was perplexing to me.
I messaged them later in the evening, emphasising that if they needed anything, please not to hesitate to get in touch. They replied asking for assistance with the television, as they couldn’t get any reception.
My neighbour very kindly attended to the issue, and it was perhaps 15 minutes of inconvenience for them. The antennae had been pulled out of the back of the television, which is understandably an unusual thing to happen. My guests sent a rather blunt message stating that “to rectify this issue for future guests” it should be our “cleaner’s responsibility to check this”. I don’t use a cleaner. Unfortunately, as I had to rush to get the space prepared for them earlier than normal, I made an oversight. I let them know and apologised, but said I was glad my neighbour had been able to resolve the issue so quickly for them.
A little later that evening, they contacted me as they were unable to raise the temperature of our heat pump (air conditioning system). An easy fix - they had set it to ‘cool’, not ‘heat’.
I didn’t hear anything further from them after this.
I was disappointed to find, upon checkout, that for a booking lasting less than 24 hours, they had broken my venetian blinds, which no longer close, and had left ring marks on a coffee table that couldn’t be cleaned out. I didn’t want to interact with them further, and so I let it go, however I couldn’t send them a standard ‘thank-you-for-being-such-great-guests’ email upon departure either. They reviewed me a shortly after check-out.
These guests have glowing reviews, as both hosts and guests. I was surprised by my experience, though. They didn’t come across as friendly, warm, or effusive, as others have stated, and I felt somewhat pressured by them to accommodate their requests. I certainly cannot understand how they could think my stated check-in was a “mistake”, or how they could have missed the fact that the bathroom is shared when we state it repeatedly in our description.
When I need to leave a less than favourable review for guests, it’s generally for someone new to AIrbnb, and vague remarks about not being suited to this type of accommodation work. In this instance, I’m contending with 10+ reviews as a guest, stating that these people were a delight to host. They certainly weren’t terrible, but I can’t think of anything nice to say either. Any suggestions?