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First bad guests ever! What do you do next?


#1

How to deal with my first bad guest experience! How to review this sticky situation?

I had a couple book my guest room for 2 nights, 2 people. Fine. I answer the door on Friday evening and here are a couple holding a 2 1/2 year old toddles in diapers! What? Never told me about this. My house has dangerous glass in book cases and TV stands, needing childproofing! Lots of things in reach for a toddler. In short, I had a house unfit for a toddler! With no warning, all I could do was smile and invite them in. These people are obvious work visa folks from India. Perhaps they didn’t understand my listing, which is clear. So on we go! The child stunk of dirty diaper. Soon the house did. Noise? Plenty of screams and banging. I showed them everything and went to my room to get away and leave them to it.
Started cooking at 7 carried on till 11:00PM
More banging, after more banging, child screams
finally go to bed.
start cooking at 7:00 AM carry on to 11:00 AM
I come down stairs and basically get them out by starting to clean
they tour for awhile and are back at 6:00PM
repeat of the night before, house reeks of diapers and heavy spiced cooking
finally 11:00AM this morning check out time. they are still here! Cooking!
Oh, they knocked at 7:00AM and woke me up to ask if I was in my room.
Casualty list. 1 broken cup, 1 ruined fitted sheet, stained red by someone nightclothes. An expensive white sink with all kinds of metal pot scrapes.
dirty table and floor
water all over bathroom, which reeked of diapers. Kitchen floor dirty and wet.
All my pictures and things fingered and not put back in order.
QUESTION? What do I do. I refuse to review these folks with a nice review. Absolutely refuse. So now what? I charge $25 for a third person, even kids, due to the extra bedding and noise and dishes. I was not paid for three but for two. I only accept toddlers with great prior clearance, got none.
Should I just not review? Please, I have 3 years of Air B&B host with 4-5 stars on everything, never a bad review. But I am very unhappy. Now to go clean diaper leaks off of the brand new expensive oak hardwood floor I just added.


#2

You’re a victim of cultural differences unfortunately. Do you disallow kids? You can. Indians cook for exorbitantly long periods. It’s a cultural thing. And their food is highly spiced. I’d suggest chalking this one up to experience and making your profile more specific. If you don’t want heavily spicy cooking in your kitchen, disallow access. My very first airbnb guests put such stinky fish in my fridge, I actually bought a new fridge afterwards. It’s all part of it. YOU are in control of what your guests can and can’t do in your house.


#3

You need to read my post with greater care. I do not allow toddlers, without prior approval. I am a victim of people who did not read my listing page which is specific as a human with an education can write. Do guests just take toddlers to Air B&B listings without any notice? I am not a Hotel. If you plan to prepared 4 hour long meals, would you give a host a heads up, no. I asked and they said we will do a little light cooking. Ah! I need honest responses. It is too easy to excuse this due to culture, read my post over, and tell me you would give a nice review. Oh, and I am now in the bathroom with bleach working on the stench of diapers.


#4

James came for advice on how to review Stephanie.

I think a host with three years of experience does their best to ‘control what guests can and can’t do in your house’, and given this is his first negative experience, he must be doing very well. Didn’t you read the part where the guests turned up with a baby without giving any prior warning? How can he control that? How is that cultural? If they’d have asked, he would have been able to have control the situation. But as it was, he wasn’t given much of a choice. What is your advice if people just arrive on your doorstep with a baby? He said the home wasn’t childproof. Throw them out? It is clearly an awkward situation. I would not let them in.

In regards to cultural differences, have you travelled in India? I have and my husband has multiple times, starting as a child. Good manners are good manners anywhere in the world, and taking over someone’s kitchen for such long periods to cook strong cultural dishes without asking is clearly bad manners. Even in India. Indians are very aware that the rest of the world does not use all their spices and that many consider the smells to be overpowering. Any Indian friends I have would have known this is not a good way to behave as a guest.

It is not just cultural, but inconsiderate guests who took over your home and behaved in an unacceptable manner. Firstly, seek for damages and money for the third child through a resolution. Ruined sheets are not ‘wear and tear’ if the staining doesn’t come out. Hopefully it was just cheap dye from cheap clothing and it will come out in a wash. Look online for washing instructions on how to make sure the dye doesn’t ‘set in’. I’d try cold water first.

Please write up your experience in the review as you shared here. It helps all hosts know how to navigate what kinds of guests we can expect. I would be very unhappy too. Please mention that they arrived with a baby without prior consent or warning. All hosts need to know that this is a possibility when accepting these guests. Otherwise, how will the guests realize it’s not ok? Don’t let someone else go through what you did!


#5

Thanks for the understanding post Sandy, you obviously have good reading comprehension, as so many others do not. I really need to know what to do when I am asked to review them. They seemed very pleased with their stay, not at all unhappy, as I know how to handle people despite being unhappy. I can’t recommend them to others.
The real problem was the toddler, I had to sleep knowing my house was not safe for this kid. I offer a caring attitude to all, but I felt tramped on this time.
I have learned a hard lesson after 3 perfect years. I resent the other poster giving me a culture lesson. I started in the Navy as a 17 year old, I know the world! I have traveled from the Urals to Iceland, New Zealand to Argentina. I know proper behavior in Moscow, and in Paris or London.
I went out of my way to smile and give them everything they wanted. But a good review is a total lie. And in Air B & B, a lie is the death of this wonderful concept that has served me so well.
Do I just not review them. I am going to write off the pay for 3rd person, and small damages. But how do I deal with the review. Just say “They were fine guests” and leave it. Maybe I need to just eat dirt this time, as every other guest has been wonderful. I have sat up late an watched football with a couple from France. Shown movies to a Mexican couple and shared pop corn. Had a Costa Rica couple go hiking with me. I haven’t got a culture problem. Respect for others is not cultural. I just had Chinese folks stay, and they were so very caring about my home and left me a gift and a nice note.


#6

All I can say is 3 years as a host and going strong, you are clearly highly experienced by now, and know how to host. I agree about guests you feel really unhappy about leaving thrilled. This has happened with all of our guests too (except for one that tried to blackmail us, and another that was thrilled on leaving but turned very nasty when we sought resolutions for damage). We just keep trying to make the best of it, but a situation like this can leave you feeling abused.

I highly encourage you to use the review system as it is meant to be used. If we all ignore or don’t bother to leave negative feedback, we are not helping each other as hosts. It needn’t be emotion filled, you can just state the facts. The couple arrived with a surprise baby in tow, and spent a large amount of time in the kitchen, there was some issues with damage, and cleanliness.

I agree that being a traveller especially staying with many different cultures (and I don’t mean in a resort somewhere), can give you a very developed sense of how to behave with all kinds of people, and understand when things are just a quirk of culture or something much more. I also read about your working for a high end bnb - that experience surely helped you learn the hospitality ropes. I also have travelled extensively, and worked my first jobs in resorts. I was a silver service waitress in a high end resort at 16 - serving large and difficult dishes from pots at the table with one hand operating a spoon and fork like a pair of tongs to serve the wealthy clientele. I served guests such as Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman this way, if that places my age somewhere ;). Also during the mornings I worked at another resort doing the breakfasts on my own - serving over 100 people singlehandedly. I worked a cafe weekends also. By the time I finished high school, I saved $40, 000 working in the hospitality industry. Not bad for a 17 year old!


#7

I would have phoned Airbnb when they arrived with the toddler, and asked their advice. Or told the couple up front that you charge for extra people. (that’s a lie, I probably would have done what you did and let them in, I don’t like confrontations!) I have learned though to look at guests pictures and if I see a dog or child, immediately let them know we don.t take either in the house. I had one jerk threaten me with a lawyer because I said we can’t take children in the house, even though I offered alternative accommodation. Oh, and he also wanted 4 people in a room for 3 and thought he was being nice by saying the child could sleep with them! No, no, and no. I didn’t accept the booking and stopped replying to him. As to the cooking we also ask guests not to cook curries or fish as the odor lingers. on. and. on.


#8

Contacting airbnb is definitely the thing you should do in these instances. But be careful, you may get a kind message like I got, if you contact them more than a few times. Check out this:

JSep 7, 08:08:
Hi Sandy

We can make a final decision on a case pre our terms. Ideally, we want our hosts and guests to work together if there is an issue. We want to get you back to hosting and focused on your guests. :slight_smile: Sorry to hear you had another case and you have to contact Airbnb so often.

While I cannot overturn a previous decision, I hope this provides more clarity.

Kind regards,

J
www.airbnb.com/help

BTW, I wasn’t asking her to do any of those things (plus, she contacted ME to tell me about a cancellation just two days before arrival). Completely missed my question. I had been happy with the ‘decision’, I was simply asking about whether the ratings on a removed review stay active. This experienced ‘trip team’ Customer service rep, thinks she doesn’t need a job, because airbnb is an ideal place where we can just work everything out beautifully with all of our considerate, caring and respectful guests. And despite my hosting and focusing on the six guests in my home the last three days - all happy it seems, and no easy feat, I need to ‘get back to hosting and focusing on guests’. I appreciate that kind advice, because I’m not worn out from doing it all right now, so I felt this agent was really caring to let me know what I should be doing. Righto then! Back to it! And remember, customer service isn’t there to help, but they will knock you when you’re down. Subtly and in fake ‘kind’ language of course.


#9

I would leave a review describing exactly what happened. I am not hosting for that long but already left 2 “bad” reviews. One was a lady who was trying to trick me into letting her doggy in. I was hesitant but then people convinced me here it’s the right thing to do.
I would not let them stay with a baby. They broke 2 house rules: child and heavy cooking. 4 hours of cooking is not light cooking. I can sympathize as I had the exact cooking nightmare minus baby for 2.5 weeks.
After this experience if I will see guests start their cooking venture, I will have no problem telling them and if they go around and still cook I will evict them.
This is too much to handle for anyone: total strangers taking over your own kitchen.


#10

A little off topic - but I would also hate to confront someone arriving with a toddler - but isn’t that what we should do? Just say no? Tell them to contact airbnb? Has anyone turned away guest before?

I keep thinking I’m going to print out itineraries and have them by the door, so I can point to the paper - and even have it for myself - if they show up with the wrong number of guests. Then they can get on their device and change the reservations.

Sorry you had such a horrible experience - sounds awful. PLEASE do give them the appropriate review.


#11

I refused to exept a lady with a dog, and she magically within minutes found a friend who will take a dog for a night. I can not stand when people are trying to manipulate me. And that what couple with a baby did


#12

69James,

Forget trying to understand the cultural thing right now (EM Forster’s 'A Passage to India" is one of my favorite novels about this subject and is laugh out loud funny!) read it later for a few laughs!

For right now, I would try to claim on their deposit for the third person. You need to do this ASAP. I would also attempt to possibly claim on the amount of excess time it will take you to clean the mess. ($25/hr)… Open a case with Air if you have not done it already. The heavy spices lingering in the air may take a while to dissipate.

To review, wait until the last few minutes of the review period on the last day… And then let it fly! Do not under any circumstances leave a good review. If they have left you one, then go ahead and let them have it, in all honesty. If not, wait until almost the end (11:58 or 11:59pm on the last day) and slam them! You are under no obligation to be nice!


#13

Gosh, DC, good question… Normally people ASK at the time of booking. Have never had anyone do this to me, but I think I would turn them away. It was not in the contract! I’ve had people try to tell me they have a 3 year old who sleeps in the bed with them, so that’s why it wouldn’t “count.”

Not that I dislike kids… (i have twin 20-year olds!) but kids are not a fit for my place and I had my share of kid noise and don’t wish to hear babies and toddlers fussing and crying! LOL. Had enough of it. :slight_smile:


#14

Oddly enough E.M. Forster is one of my favorite authors, and A Passage to India has been read twice by me over the years. Excellent book about culture!
I have had a day now to sleep on it, and do the cleaning up and finding more little damages. It’s like “How did this happen?” My pillow cases are ruined, someone slept with hair pins in, or ear rings, you know they catch threads and pull them out, leaving streaks, there were a dozen or more of those, I tossed them out. I keep a 100% prefect place as far as humanly possible, no little thing is left unfixed or worn.
After sleeping on it, I am going to just get over it and not start a battle. I will say they were friendly guests, that’s it, on the stars, I will mark accordingly low on each.
Does anyone know if the guest is notified if you leave NO for “Would you Host this guest again”? I don’t want my NO going straight from AirBnB to these people.


#15

You other folks with experience. How do we screen out people who may match a bad profile, since the AirBnB reviews are now proven to be unreliable, being way to positive, as people seek to avoid angering guests.
I am going to take a 'No Toddler" line, as I have had four now, and each was a nightmare! Can I do that? Just say “room for adults and children over 6?”


#16

YES! They said “He will sleep with us”. Expecting to escape the $25. And the bed is really high, so if she fell out, major injury! So I let the bed sofa down for them, as they say that is what they want. Then they sleep in the big bed anyways. It was like, “say one thing, always do another”.


#17

James, I was a literature major in college so I have a number of faves… and Passage was in the top 10. :smile: Have also read it more than once. :slight_smile:

The way to screen out the bums is to read the reviews, although many newbies don’t have them… But had I only taken non-newbs I would have missed sooooo many, soooo many great guests! (Not to mention their smackaroos, which is why, after all, we do what we do!!)

In the first line of your description you can state, due to breakables and other dangers, my place is not a fit for babies or toddlers. I say, “I can two adults max. Not a fit for babies or toddlers, but I can take one adult and one older child.”

Now I hardly ever get them wanting to bring kids. Air is not always a great fit for kids because it’s in people’s private homes and they don’t babyproof. Let them go to a hotel. :slight_smile:


#18

And James don’t hesitate to be honest. We, your fellow hosts, don’t want these kind of nightmare guests, and we rely on you to state the truth! You could buffer it by saying, “While xx and xx were very sweet, they unexpectedly showed up with a toddler who had not been cleared by me. They then…xxxxx (cooking) and xxxx (damage to linens) and xxxx . If you rent to these guests make sure they really understand the rules because English is their second language.”


#19

I have charged the guest the additional fees as soon as they arrive with more than stated. Yes, some will try to purposely omit the “toddler” pretending to innocently believe they do not count as a guest. The easiest thing to do is to make a note in your listing description that says “Please note that the exact number of guests must be entered in order for the quote to be accurate. All babies and children count as a guest.”

I honestly cannot even understand why someone with small children would want to use Airbnb and rent a shared space. But apparently some could care less if their screaming kid is in close quarters with strangers. What they did was outright disrespectful. “If” this was a whole house then I could at least somewhat understand that they may have thought it unnecessary to disclose the toddler, but this was the home you live in.

And to cook 8 hours a day in another’s home is absolutely ridiculous. They purposely lied to you saying that they were going to do “light” cooking.

Since you seem to not want to leave a negative review, I still would not say “they were friendly guests.” I would do as Kona suggested and blast them at 11:55 the last night to leave a review - that’s if they haven’t left you a review yet. I would at least say that the guest arrived with a toddler and did not disclose this during the reservation process. And you were told there would only be light cooking, but the guests cooked for however many hours a day. So, if you really don’t want to publicly say anything about the reeky diapers, smelly spices, and ruined sheets, you can at least state the extra guest and long time spent cooking.

If they leave you a review first and you leave a review that says they were friendly - you are going to be sooo angry if you find out they ended up complaining about your place.


#20

Exactly!!! which is WHY you want to leave and review and WHY you want to wait until the last second. It really doesn’t matter if they were nice (or perhaps trying to feign language difficulties), they thrust a toddler on you at the last second, putting you on the spot and taking over your house with a nightmare of smells… You have to warn other hosts!


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