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Our guests arrived yesterday and threw me off immediately. It is a husband and wife that messaged us that they were dropping their daughter off in Maine at a camp and looked forward to staying at our “lovely” place for a few days. They arrived with their daughter who was not expected and therefore I did not have the sofa bed made up for her. I commented that the sofa bed was not made up as I was not expecting her. The dad responded “I know”. I provided them with the bed linens and let it go at that.
The dad left today to bring her to camp and the mom stayed behind for personal reasons. They are staying in our sleeping cottage and sharing our kitchen and 1st floor bath. It is clearly noted in our listing that this is the set up. In speaking with the wife today she mentioned that they were surprised when they got here and realized they had to come in to the house for the facilities. I explained to her that they are free to come and go in the house and use the kitchen etc.
She is clearly uncomfortable here and they are booked through Tuesday. I fear that they will leave a negative review. We are new to this and this is our 5th booking. We have 5 star reviews from our other guests.
Oh no! We ask guests to confirm they’ve read all house details and rules- then highlight a few of the important things- in the booking message. That way if they only look at pics we have confirmed they understand what we offer. I’m not sure what you can do after the fact
They still don’t read….
Do you read all the terms and conditions when you sign up somewhere?
I have a strict cancellation policy on my 4 listings… do guests read, understand and agree…. Nope, they want to cancel for what ever reason and whine about the policy after the fact.
That’s why I said we confirm some of the most important things in the booking message- and yeah I do read all rules/descriptions when I’m a guest. I’ve made my listing as succinct as possible for this reason
I would suggest making sure to document somewhere, ideally in Airbnb messages that are implicitly acknowledged by guests, that they brought unexpected guests not originally declared and also inform Airbnb. For example, you could find an excuse to politely apologize again for not being prepared with linen because the daughter was unexpected. If undeclared guests are against your House Rules (e.g., fee for extra guests or undeclared guests are explicitly prohibited), that would be a violation of house rules and, from my experience, would likely work in your favor in trying to get a bad review removed.
But until you can see their review, you don’t know if you can successfully make the case that it violates any of Airbnb’s review or content policies warranting removal, so not much you can do about it until then.
For future guests, you probably need better communication either in the listing, messages, or check-in details so the shared areas are hard to miss.
Who made reservation: wife or husband? If husband, there ya go-he didn’t tell her & she didn’t spend time getting to know the listing. New guest to Airbnb mistake.
If the husband made the reservation maybe pull him aside & tell him,
“it’s important to us you be happy here. A couple things have happened that concern me.
Your booking didn’t include your daughter so we didn’t prepare for her. Is the listing meeting your needs?”
Talk to wife: “You seem uncomfortable with bathroom & kitchen access being in the house. I know it’s different but we’re so used it we don’t even think about it. Is there something we can do to help you feel more comfortable?”
When you have something different, you can put pictures, you can repeat it several places in the rental description, you can do special communication and someone will still miss it.
There’s a lovely condo in my area, in all caps in the short rental description and in the rental detail, & photograph description, mentions the bedroom is a loft & the bathroom is downstairs. At least every other review, BEWARE the bathroom is downstairs. Sigh.
The good news is anyone reading the reviews knows the bathroom is downstairs.
I spoke with the wife last night and yes, the husband made the reservation and she said she has had so much going on that she quite honestly did not look at it. I emphasized that they were welcome in our kitchen/dining room and that the first floor bath/shower was for their use. I told her she could bring in her toiletries and leave them in there. I have a cabinet and shelves just for them. I have 2 shelves in the fridge empty for their use and showed her around the kitchen. I’m hoping the sun shines bright today so they can enjoy time by the lake.
Thank you again for your responses.
I baked them banana bread for their first morning and they did not touch it. Their daughter had one slice and that was it.
As another host mentioned husband probably reserved and didn’t read through. Saying you read and agreed to rules is easy, but people just lie. We had a man make a reservation and explain that his wife would come earlier. He was to arrive on the day before Christmas. When we got back from a Christmas Eve party the wife left a note: “My husband didn’t read your description that said no pets and arrived with our dog. We have gone to find a hotel”. We probably would have made an exception if she had called us. Fortunately there was no review impact.
I would suggest to kill them with kindness to avoid a bad review. Buy them some treats from a local bakery. It’s clear that they did not read the description of your Airbnb.
Perhaps you should post the description about shared spaces on the photos. You can type something up on a Microsoft PPT slide and then save it to a Jpeg and upload it as a picture. I would place it at the beginning of the pictures and then again at the end. Most folks when booking simply look at the pictures.
Wild Maine blueberry muffins? I, too, make muffins when I feel that it’s warranted. Mine are GF and a big treat with the wives/SOs/OHs. Good coffee and fresh muffins help.
I agree with the others who say ask them for their help and DO talk to the husband who blew you off when you told him you weren’t expecting the daughter and due to insurance, we need the names of every guest. That usually gets them “The HOA/STR insurance made me do it!”
I like Riverrock’s suggestion of turning on the charm while they are there. There is little you can do about the review they give you except respond to their it with an explanation. Anyone reading the review will understand that they didn’t read the listing. Don’t be shy about leaving them a bad review either. They can’t retaliate against you for leaving a bad review. The worse that happens is that you both request the reviews (both of them) be taken down