I’ve been leaving honest feedback for all our guests lately. I’m sure it comes as a shock, especially as they’ve all left us glowing 5 star reviews, but the point is this; it’s wonderful that they’ve had such a great time in our home behaving however they liked without thought for us and are so enthusiastically grateful that we put up with it with such good grace, but nonetheless, future hosts will at least have the benefit of knowing exactly what their behavior was. I will list any good points about the stay and their personalities/behavior, and any bad points about the same. Future hosts can decide if it would bother them to have guests treat them the same way. It can be as simple as
E was quiet and low key, spending most of his time out of the home, but friendly when engaged in conversation. His request to use the washer and dryer for a shirt, pair of jeans and socks he was wearing made us think he had not read our listing to see whether we offered use of laundry facilities (we don’t). E was persistent about his need to have his items laundered so we ended up washing them for him as we don’t allow access to that part of the home. He slipped off early in the morning leaving a relatively tidy room.
I didn’t mention he didn’t follow house rules such as removing shoes. I wrote him in the private section that I felt that rather than pressure us to use our laundry for three items of clothing (which was his intention, to do a whole load of washing and drying for three things), that when I told him that we don’t allow guests to use our laundry because it was through our studio that we don’t allow guests to access, he should have stopped pressuring me at that point and instead asked about laundromats. We have a cheap laundromat right around the corner. Instead he kept pushing claiming he needed his clothes because suddenly he was meeting his girlfriend (it turned out to be a total lie!), until I caved and said I would do the laundry for him. He said ‘oh! I don’t want to treat you like a maid as he happily handed his stinky clothes over.’. But he didn’t mean he would leave pushing for the clothes - he was still pushing to get down into the studio himself and do it. It got to the point I thought he wanted to scope the studio. Anyway, my husband said he’d do them with his own clothes (he actually did them with some rags lol!), and asking him when he needed his clothes for, he said ‘I just need them for Monday’ which was the day he was going back home. He came straight from home (he told me he left from DC), and returned to DC on Monday, it appears he used us as a free laundromat because he couldn’t be bothered doing it himself. He made up a story to me about suddenly needing to meet an old girlfriend here so I would feel manipulated into helping him get his one other pair of clothes clean (as if it’s my problem), and it ended up being a lie, along with other weird stuff he said - told me he was visiting a brother, and that his brother was 90 - this was pretty hard to fathom, impossible actually, but he kept this story up and told me all about his brother and made this whole pity thing about a stroke Etc, then he told my husband he was just visiting a friend. Totally weird. Left without a word of thanks, and no response when I said sorry we didn’t get to see him off and hope he was comfy, no review. If he stole anything (that’s what I honestly felt he was here for!), I haven’t found it yet, not that I have looked. Too busy. And that was our nicest guest that weekend.
This was for the another guest the same weekend. I think I went too far here. I am angry with myself for not toning it down, although it is all as we experienced it, I don’t believe this level of detail is helpful. It was actually in reaction to the review I had written earlier that a guest got super upset about and couldn’t understand what he’d done wrong due to a brief review. I over responded here and got far too detailed.
*Although we were ok with K arriving later than our night arrival time due to her staying back to complete work, we were surprised when she appeared to forget that we had only accepted the booking based on the understanding that the studio would be in use between 12-7pm, meaning music would be heard throughout the house. It was agreed it wouldn’t be a problem as she would be out at the …festival. We understand plans change, but when K acted shocked when M mentioned he was starting recording now and seemed to have forgotten the only reason we accepted the booking was if they were ok with the recording, it made things very uncomfortable for us, especially because the studio is our main source of income, and it was awkward dealing with a guest that now seemed put out by what was clearly discussed (and had a clear record of in the messages before booking acceptance). K set up an office space at our dining room table and proceeded to have loud, heated business discussions throughout the day which were disruptive for us and no doubt for the other guests staying, not even glancing up to say ‘hello’ when I came to clear the breakfast things from around her computer and cables. A simple ‘is it ok if I work from here?’ would have made some distance towards us feeling like she realized she hadn’t booked our whole home (although we are happy to share the areas with guests). On the last morning I received chilly looks from K. I am not sure if it is because I messaged her to remind her that she had been made aware of the recording that would be happening here before she booked (which she said she was ok with). She responded that it was ‘her bad memory’, and that she was enjoying the music anyway. Nonetheless, my husband had a harder time relaxing and working than usual, and we felt that K could have been more considerate and friendly to deal with.
The worst guest got this review. I wrote it before the others, and he had a conniption, contacting Airbnb to get the to harass me about it (they did email me to try to find out what had happened, but it’s not as if they’re going to help me!). The man was an unpleasant sort. Sent me a message afterwards saying 'have you ever used that bathroom? The shower curtain billows up and crowds you … (Something I could have easily fixed if they’d have mentioned it while there! I went and checked and found that the weights that should have been in the bottom of the curtain had come out in the wash. The curtain could have been replaced immediately, ‘that’ bathroom could have been appreciated for the lovely ensuite it is). He goes on to say I have another quibble, I would have preferred a conventional washcloth (we give our guests these beautiful handmade organic washcloths that are loved by pretty much all women as fantastic for makeup removal, but also make up washes OUT of them). They are soft, and lovely. No idea what would cause someone to feel it was inferior to a ‘conventional washcloth’. They are all made by hand, and I support talented craftspeople wherever I can. The note is finished with ‘I won’t share these issues publicly’. This is a guy that’s letting me know we weren’t quite up to scratch, but whataguy he is, he’s going to let me off the hook and not tell everyone about my failings as a host. It was an irritating message to get as they had been given a beautiful room with exceptional bedding, handpicked for the older generation who I know prefers a finer hand in fabric, so they had antique Italian linen sheets with figural cherub embroidery down a meter long highly detailed turn down. 1920’s at the latest, perfect condition, light down duvet in Egyptian cotton cover, pretty Irish linen pillowcases with cool smooth fabric, almost impossible to find these days. I hoped they might appreciate it. Just a simple, that was nice, lovely, I enjoyed …, is enough to make my day. A note telling me that I should have provided them normal hotel stuff, and that was enough of an ‘issue’ to almost make a light threat really got my goat, especially as they hadn’t said thanks on leaving, just discussed how much they loved the area (that’s nice, but I love to hear guests say thank you for their stay when hosting is such an effort). His review was:
Unfortunately Alan was not a good fit for a guest in our home. There may have been a disconnect with his idea of what a stay in an Airbnb might be, as we felt he expected we were a hotel (and us the staff) rather than a unique home stay experience.