Guest from hell who didn't even stay here

Funny how an AirBnB guest who never even stayed here can be a nightmare from hell. I have had to call AirBnB twice about this person who was supposed to stay yesterday bur ended up cancelling.

To give some background - it was a woman, her husband and their daughter who they were taking to college.She just joined AirBnB in June - no reviews - so it seems obvious that they had never stayed at AirBnB before.

They arrived yesterday - I showed them the room and the bathroom as I always do, they asked me where they can go eat and how to get to the beach. Then a half hour later they sent me message…

"Hi Robert,
I’m sorry, but the accommodations are not suitable for our family. We understood that we would be renting the entire house, and that we would at least have a private bathroom and kitchen to use. Please cancel our reservation and refund my card.
Thank you."

My response was this…

"Sorry to hear that. I do want to point out that description says that it was the room and shared bathroom, that was why I said about the person staying on the night of the 1st and having to work out the rooms. I am unable to cancel the reservation though, you would have to cancel it through the AirBnB app.
- Robert"

I then called up AirBnB and talked to them about what happens and how the refund works. They said that since she cancelled within 24 hours of the checkin time for Thrusday, she would only get refunded for Friday night out of her three day stay. The person assured me that my description is well represented and that she should not have had any reason to think that she was renting the entire house. While I was on the phone - the cancellation came through.

Today - I see this in my e-mail from her requesting her FULL money back (odd because I did not get any notification of this from the AirBnB app, no text message notification nor is there anything even in my AirBnB inbox about this request.)

"K* requested $142.91
The only bathroom is downstairs through the owners living room which is extremely cluttered, covered with dust and dog hair, and video game cords spanning the floor. The kitchen is dirty and covered in clutter and dust and dog hair. Liquor bottles are everywhere and there is no privacy or security. We would have to leave our belongings unsecured as there are no locks on the bedroom doors and we were not going to be given a key. We were told to come and go through the sliding door which would always be unlocked."

This is a very laughable description of my place, As anyone knows - I don’t even drink but somehow there are liquor bottles EVERYWHERE. There are locks on the bedroom doors - but they were only in the room for five seconds. I guess they assumed it was like a hotel where they would be able to lock the door and then unlock it when they came back. This is my listing…

I called up AirBnB tonight again because I got a notice to review her - which means she got a notice too and she didn’t even stay here. I can just imagine the review she would give me based on what she said in her request for funds message. AirBnB said not to respond to her request for funds and to wait until Saturday - then I will get a notification to escalate it to AirBnB and to do that.

I am wondering how AirBnB will handle this. From what I have read on here - they don’t really side with the hosts - they will side with the guests. But if they give her a refund - on a FLEXIBLE refund policy to boot - then why even bother having a refund policy if the guest isn’t held to it. This is 4th of July weekend at the Jersey Shore and she took up three days- - Wednesday to Saturday during a prime tourist week.

What is even more surprising about her concern about “security” is the fact that she had asked if she could stay the 1st to the 2nd. But I have someone booked that day and the two rooms upstairs are reserved for just ONE set of guests at a time. I told her that I could ask the person who was going to be staying if it would be okay for them to stay in the other room while she was here. This is that conversation…

"Daughter’s college orientation.
arrive Wednesday around 1 or 2
_I need the place Wednesday night through Saturday night _
_Is it available for Saturday? _
It seems to be booking me only 3 nights. It should be 4"

My response…
“Hi Kimberly. Someone is actually already booked for Saturday night. I could ask her if it would be okay if you stayed in the other room but I see that you have three people so for that night you would have all stay in one room as well. If you are okay with that I will ask her.”

Her reply…
"Yes, please ask her.
If not, can you recommend somewhere to stay Saturday night? We are going to a Broadway show in NYC Saturday at 2:00pm and then heading back to Tennessee. We could stay in the city or start heading back south and drive a few hours. Any suggestions for places to stay would be so helpful."

After I told her the person said it would be fine with her if they stayed in the other room upstairs, I didn’t hear anything back.

What are people’s thoughts?

I think they sound awful and I hope Airbnb don’t side with them.
If I were you I would take pictures of your home and lounge to show that it’s not as they describe at all. Just in case.

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Second every they said!

Your description starts with - “private room” - I know they don’t read …but the first 2 words? Will be interesting if Airbnb asked for photos to prove their claim on the clutter etc.

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Wouldn’t they have to provide photos proving their claim? When I talked to the AirBnB reps - both today and yesterday - they mentioned how I have great reviews. The person today even said I am a Superhost. I was initially calling today because of the request to review her. Now that I have seen what she said in her refund request - I imagine that if she reviews me she would give me 1 star. At first the AirBnB rep said “well you can reply to her comment”, I told them - but that does NOTHING to undo the damage caused by getting a 1 star by someone who didn’t even stay here.

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If they leave you one star and leave comments that you can prove are untrue (for example if they say they were misled about it being an entire place) you should be able to appeal to Airbnb and get them to remove it. Honestly I would try not to worry about this until it happens. These people are not worth your energy

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You’re right. I’m not really worrying about it too much though - just venting. :slight_smile: AirBnB told me that they can remove the review if it is out of line. This is one of the reasons why for 99% of my communication with guests - it is all done through the AirBnB messaging system. That way AirBnB can look up the conversation and see exactly what was said. AirBnB can even look at my conversation with the July 1st guest where I asked if she would mind them staying in the other room upstairs while she was here for the one extra day they said they needed. Why did I even bother doing that? Because even though it doesn’t specifically say it in my listing - the two upstairs rooms are reserved for ONE set of guests.

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She tried the claim because she thought she had nothing to lose but you simply decline. You don’t even have to answer or defend. Decline.

Then Air will get involved to mediate and it’s hard to see how they could side with them, but I have seen everything so anything is possible.

Stupid guests. I remember when you had those terrible college girls who booked your place and wanted to use your car and complained because everything was closed during the winter.

Yup - those were the guests from hell who actually stayed. Spring break in February at the Jersey Shore. They gave me 2 stars for location even though I told them that everything would be closed pretty much when they stayed here. I guess I should be thankful that I have only had a couple of bad guests - and one bad cancellation. :stuck_out_tongue:

As for declining - I actually talked to AirBnB about that and he talked to people who handle refunds along with resolutions. They said to just ignore the request for right now - on Saturday I will have the opportunity to escalate it. I believe if I just decline - then they get to escalate first. He said to simply ignore this e-mail concerning the refund request.

It seems the three bad guests I have had have all been new to AirBnB - no reviews or anything. I keep thinking I should basically put a block for any first timers - but then I think about it, I have had even more first time people who never used AirBnB before and they were great. I don’t want to lock people out simply because of a couple of bad ones.

You’ve had a run of bad luck. These guys are jokers… I got stung with something similar in February. They were allowed to leave a crappy review even though air did not side with the guest about their refund request.

I remember it really put me off air at the time as I feel they should protect hosts from a guests very obvious attempts to manipulate the facts in order to get a refund.

Unfortunately the guests from hell can review you unfairly. As long as their review is not against Airbnb’s guideline, there is no way to remove it. They can say something untrue and the review will stay.

I had a similar awful guest who gave untrue and unfair review because she damaged things and refused to pay and I had to open a case against her. Airbnb told me there is nothing they can do, they can’t delete it, and I asked if it can be moved down and they said not possible (the reason I asked was because my response doesn’t show on the app so people see that bad review instantly without my explanation). I even told them there is an obvious reason for that untrue review but Airbnb can’t help. Luckily, I got two great reviews in the following weeks so they pushed the bad one down a bit.

Let’s hope your guest is not familiar with the system and they are stupid and mention the dispute with you. Then the review can be removed.

Agreed. And, these people sound like exactly like the kind of morons who would pull something like that. They clearly planned poorly and now are trying to get out of an arrangement that they agreed to. It is really good that everything is clearly documented on the AirBnB platform and that you have involved them at an early stage. They may very well end up not helping you, but it’s definitely worth a shot asking them if under these circumstances they would consider removing the unfair review since these guests decided to cancel mid-trip. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

If they say ‘No, our policy is blah blah blah’ then what I would do is post a short response with a neutral and professional tone that says something like ‘For personal reasons, guest X decided to change their plans and cancelled this reservation mid-stay. We are proud to offer a clean, comfortable room where you can feel at home with the Jersey Shore at your doorstep. We are delighted at the five-star ratings we’ve consistently received from our many wonderful guests.’

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P.S. I have never received a negative review, but I know there will be a first at some point, so I am bracing myself (as you can see…hehe). I had a horrible guest last week from Hong Kong and am waiting until the right moment to post my scathing review of him and am already thinking about how I would respond if he surprises me with a bad review whining that I didn’t let him leave his luggage in my home until his 8 p.m. flight. He probably won’t because he’s incredibly lazy, but just in case… :slight_smile:

Just for fun, here is a sneak preview of my review of him…

A most unpleasant, inconsiderate and entitled guest. Communication was difficult as he generally didn’t respond to my messages. When he did respond, it was to make odd requests like asking me to replace the furniture in his room because it didn’t suit him. He left lights on and appliances running in his room for hours while he was out. He continued to leave the house with the front door unlocked — even after I had a talk with him about it (I’m lucky I didn’t get robbed). He made a lot of unnecessary noise at very late hours, slamming doors as he went in and out of the bathroom and even had loud phone conversations right outside my bedroom door at 2 a.m. We didn’t get much sleep during his stay. I am sorry to say I cannot recommend him as a guest.

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I would leave out the first sentence. Just state the facts and let them speak for themselves. No need for your evaluation of him as a person.

Nice review @jackulas!

I would leave out the “lucky I didn’t get robbed” part. Someone might interpret that to mean you live in an unsafe neighborhood.

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Define appliances. When I think of that word, I think of fridges and dishwashers, which one would expect to to be OK to leave running.

Do you mean AC? TV? IPad?

Normally I would agree, but his attitude was a major part of why he was so awful to host…on TOP of leaving my house unprotected, making noise at night, and running up my electric bill. Sometimes personal attributes have to be factored in to provide a complete description of the hosting experience.

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I meant air conditioning.

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Agreed. Just say is was rude and irresponsible do leave door unlocked.

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