Guest ignoring requests to upload photo

Hi folks,

I’m currently attempting to have an exchange with someone who says he is in Namibia. His photo is blank. I’ve suggested that he upload his photo now three times, but he’s not responded to any of these. I’m wondering whether that’s sufficient grounds to decline him. Also, I asked him what hedoes for work (something I do if I’m doubtful), and he said that he was “retired and a pensioner”.

His responses are also a little flakey - though not extremely so. For example, I asked him about check-in and check-out times, and he just responded with

I will arrive at the airport at 07:30 so I am not sure how long it will take to travel from the airport to your house


I will be leaving on the the 8 th April

and now

Ok thank you then I will be checking in at that time after travelling from the airport. So I would say 12 o’clock. Is that correct?

My listed check-in times is from 4 pm to 9 pm. :slight_smile:

His booking request is from 2nd April to 8th April. Could be a long 6 days if the guy isn’t all there. Plus he’s responding in single sentences over a series of messages. Not particularly encouraging.

Update: he’s now uploaded a photo.

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in some cases - Air is blocking the pic until the booking due to perceived discrimination. Apparently the pic becomes visible after acceptance. I had it happen today - i could not see anything until I pre approved. The guest is obviously Moslem due to the headwear and I have no issue with that.

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Now, when I said the listed times are 4 to 9 pm, and I can’t guarantee a 12 noon arrival, he said “Yes correct”. Sigh. What should I respond to that?

I don’t think anyone was blocking the photo. It looks like he just didn’t upload one.

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Mine was grey until pre approved and then she appeared.
I think he is asking for early check in - if you dont offer it - just tell him


It’s not really about early check-in. It’s about dealing with someone who cannot be relied on to respond sensibly.

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English not his first language / auto translate not working properly?


He writing suggests he’s reasonably fluent in English. I’m pretty sure he’s not using a translate program. And the photo is of a white older gentleman. I don’t know anything about Namibia (the only guests I’ve got from Africa were from SA and were relatively together) but I suppose there are people there who speak English.

I’m just a little paranoid about hosting someone who will be a lot of work/give a bad review, though in my experience these things are almost impossible to guess in advance. One of my worst reviews (2 stars) was of a young English couple who stayed for two days, and showed no signs of being unhappy. And their review was downright nasty. I still don’t know what their problem was.

OTOH, I guess it’s a chance for a cultural exchange if all goes well. I have little or no contact with Africa.

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Just had a petty princess who left me TWO stars…every other review has been 5.
Her first Airbnb and she decided to be the hotel inspector. She got a discount / early check in / late check out and I allowed her daughter to stay …not good enough - definitely needs to be a hotel client and she tells me she wants to come back! Not to anything I own!


If she gave you two stars and wants to come back, she’s clearly mental.

2 stars is shorthand for: “I hate this place and wish I had never come”. And there isn’t a better way to make sure you never stay there again. Short of setting the place on fire, or something, I suppose.

Not sure what you mean by allowing her daughter to stay, though.

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One of the groups of people I’ve had who gave me underwhelming reviews are young couples. Usually young couples, my bread and butter (that’s what B&B means, right?) are very happy to find such a cheap and tastefully appointed place with a sea view (my other guests words, not mine, modesty forbids) and give 5 stars. The few who give 4 stars? I wonder if maybe this is the first time they’ve been cut loose from mummy and daddy’s funded holidays to Noosa or Vale and feeling my place is a bit de classe for them. One young couple complained the floor boards in the bedroom were a bit scuffed and suggested I get them revarnished. They were like 21 and should have been occupied on the bed not checking the floorboards! :japanese_goblin:


That’s definitely a laugh-out-loud comment. :slight_smile:

Well, if anyone is following this rather uninterestingly paranoid (at least from my end) thread might be interested to know that I accepted the gentleman’s request, though not without some trepidation. But I’m got a feeling that he might be a bit high-maintenance. Sometimes I think there have got to be easier ways to make money. Robbing banks, perhaps.


I hope it all works out okay and he is a fantastic guest. Most are. Think of it from his point of view if he was unable to book, because he came from Africa, by hosts who didn’t know him and were judging him by his country of origin. Short answers might mean he is using a cell phone to answer you. Africa has a large cell phone system that is quite different from what we are used to. They pioneered mobile phone payments and have largely bypassed the internet as we are used to it. Could be a good opportunity to meet someone with a different experience of travel and AirBnB. Please report back after he has left.


Hi @JamJerrupSunset,

Well, I don’t know about fantastic, but I’ll settle for not troublesome.

I suppose that most of us are a bit suspicious of Africa. Maybe there is a little racism mixed in there.

Yes, I think it’s likely he was using a cell phone, but I don’t see why people can’t just use a computer. It’s not that hard.

I’ll try to remember to update the thread.

BTW, judging by “Noosa or Vale”, you’re in AU. Do you have lots of rich privileged people over there? I suppose inequality is everywhere.

Heritage property where I don’t allow children under 12

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Sorry for not being clearer. Most Africans often don’t have access to PCs and the internet so use their mobile phone networks instead. This predates the whole smart phone thing.

I won’t go into it but even African people are a bit racist about people from other African countries. Nigeria is a red flag for some. Whereas the people of Ghana (find some Ghana High Life music to lift your soul) are delightful. Not that different from people who say they don’t like the French or Germans but love Scandinavians. Or some, or so I have heard (Kiwis in particular), who don’t like Australians! :japanese_goblin:

Ah, I see. In any case, there seems to be a consensus that children under 12 are trouble.

But really, this gentleman could use lessons in communication. I wrote to him asking him to acknowledge my emails (I send guests information directly via email), and he responded with

Thank you very much. Have a lovely day

Which is a nice sentiment, but not exactly the response I wanted.

No problem other people don’t want under 12s to stay but I find them delightful. Gave me the chance to buy lots of books I loved as a child and ones I hope they like now. My 5 star reviews from families always mention the kids books in the library and kids dvds (Studio Ghibili is a favourite). I live upstairs and don’t interact that much but love it when I bring my dog Jade down to play ball in the afternoon and kids rush out to play with her. She loves them as well. The occasional tantrum I can hear? I can deal with it as a heavy sleeper.

Fair enough if your place is not set up for them but I love hosting families with young kids.