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Guest refuses to answer request for ETA - Ideas on how to handle?

#1

I have a check in window of 4 pm - 8 pm. I have repeatedly asked (4 times as of last evening) my guest coming TODAY to tell me an ETA, starting two days ago. Please understand I have a NO self check in, unique country cabin farm property that I live and work on… that is also gated all the time. Something clearly stated in the listing, and I clearly repeat when I send final directions two days prior to arrival date. I tell my guest to be sure and print out the directions (as cell service can be spotty here in the country) as GPS drops them at the mailbox and the farm is another 1/3 mile farther on so they are essential. I also say to please let me know the evening before their arrival date what their ETA is so I can plan my day. And I say that it’s understandable if issues arise, just keep me updated and I will work with them in any way possible.
Having not heard back from him as to whether he received the PDF directions, I contacted him via text to ask. He finally responded several hours later that he had, He said he ‘didn’t need them because he had GPS’d the farm to the gate’ and that he would call me thirty minutes prior to arriving. (uh, like when is that??) as he did not again, tell me his ETA. So I responded that calling would not work, as I only get cell calls while in the house and I’m rarely inside during the day, please text me when you are ten minutes out…and this time I said I needed to know what his ETA was. I also said for him to make sure he read the precautions in my directions about avoiding the loose gravel on the road. (we’d had a deluge of rain and the gravel had washed a bit) He responded he had, but still no ETA. So I told him AGAIN that I had to have his ETA. No response as of this am.
I’ve only had 1 guest in over 150 do this, and found it didn’t work out well with them, as they turned out to be arrogant, disrespectful, etc. So my warning buzzers are going off. And I am planning on keeping the gate locked period, if I do not hear from him on his ETA.
I’ve had guests driving in from as far away as Wisconsin who gave me a ‘planned’ ETA and then they kept me updated as the day progressed. They understand, as have 99%, that I work on the farm, do not have the phone on my while in the field, and I needed to be able to plan my day to a point.
I don’t think I should ‘badger’ this guest with another request, three strikes is about enough in my mind, anyone out there have a cool way to handle someone like this? Sure isn’t going to help his ‘communication’ stars!!!
Thanks for some constructive responses, or maybe some funny experiences and how you solved the issue?

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#2

Wow, I hope this guest isn’t as inconsiderate in person! I would call them – person to person at this point and pleasantly explain why you need a better time. Maybe they’ll answer the phone? Good luck.

#3

Good idea. Did that just now…mailbox is full…hmmmm…and just a note. He has 9 5 star reviews of which 7 say he ‘communicated great’ with them…

#4

Clearly this is a big problem for you. Call CS and cancel them.

RR

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#5

I wouldn’t say it’s a big problem for me. Had I not had a prior guest last year do the same thing and then turn out to be a poor one, I would just find this gentleman inconsiderate.
I had considered asking CS to try and contact him since I am not having much luck, but I hadn’t wanted to cancel them. They are driving a long way so cancelling them at this point would seem harsh to me… I merely want to know when they are coming. Don’t really think that is unreasonable considering.

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#6

Then go along with your day, lock the gates and let them sort it out when they arrive.

I am the type of guest who does not look at the app until I am on my way, I would likely piss of a lot of hosts on this forum. When I am on vacation I do not feel the need to check in with anyone. That being said I would not book a shared house listing which would require more communication.
Is yours a separate unit?

RR

RR

#7

My wife and I also have “spotty” cell phone service in our mountain community.

We installed a landline telephone in our home, which is primarily used for guests to contact us. Plus, our landline phone has a built-in voice-mail machine that is very helpful.

I am a stickler for precise communication. I want my guests to tell me the approximate time they expect to arrive and not give me a vague “sometime that afternoon” answer.

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#8

RiverRockRetreat: I would agree with you, but my wife and I do not operate a hotel with a 24-hour desk clerk to wait for guests to check-in.

Airbnb guests must remember, they are staying in someone’s home and should treat their hosts with respect. I would not care if I hurt the feelings of a Hilton Hotel, Motel 6 or Holiday Inn desk-clerk, if I arrived not at the scheduled time.

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#9

I can certainly understand there are different ‘types’ of guests. And some are not suited for certain properties. I do make it abundantly clear in my listing what the property is, what it’s like, and what is needed to be found, enjoyed, etc. I dislike the term ‘rules’ but I make house rules clear as well, I call them guidelines. And if they were not important, I would think that Airbnb would not include them in the review process for the host to review the guest. Communication is also important for both sides to avoid confusion or misunderstandings. I believe this is what makes staying at an Airbnb so different from a traditional hotel, and attracts a different clientele.

I am not sure I understand what you mean, you don’t ‘look at the app until you are on your way’? I’m sure you looked at it in order to make your decision and to book? Or am I not understanding what you mean by ‘the app’. Forgive my ignorance, but am not a techno whiz at all!
What if there are unique locating situations, or lack of service, or directions to a secluded or remote property? Don’t you want to know these details to avoid confusion on your part or your hosts?

Yes, it’s a separate cabin on my farm. I’m fine with those who would find this situation confining, but because I am so clear in my description, that 99% of my guests chose the property because of these qualities. SO if someone chooses the property and then refuses to communicate when it’s been made clear the necessity of doing so, then to me, that’s inconsiderate or a ‘power play’ of some sort.
I do not interact with guests when they are here past the check in unless THEY choose to do so. It’s private, you can come and go as you please (as long as gate rules are observed, and that’s never been an issue). They come for the uniqueness, the location, the privacy. And all I ask is for them to keep in touch during their travels to allow me to continue to work, and then greet them when they arrive. I do think that there are many people who prefer a self check in, with no particular check in time, and that’s fine, but it wouldn’t work for this property.

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#10

I agree totally, to me communication is the glue that holds this entire process together. Otherwise, I’d just run a traditional hotel, lol!

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#11

Cell service is ‘good enough’ for texting, though…calling only works with my WiFi, not available while on my tractor! it’s why I tell the guests they can reach me via texting. Once they are checked in, I do my best to check my phone, if I cannot have it with me at all times, on a regular basis so I can attend to any issues or questions they may have.

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#12

Hi @shadowmnt

I make it a condition of IB that guests provide me a with a check in time (estimate) when they book. If they don’t I message them twice. If still no response I call Airbnb and ask them to get hold of the guest or I will need to ask them to cancel the booking. This has always worked :slight_smile:

Please make sure you follow up any telephone or text messages on Airbnb messaging, so there is a record of the fact you have been trying to reach the guest to confirm their check in details.

This guest is being rude and I would mark him down for communications. I do hope he turns out to be better in person.

Keep us posted :slight_smile:

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#13

Thanks, great advice! It sure helps to get some feedback from other hosts with similar situations. I will put these into operation.
and I also hope that he is also better than the impression he’s leaving me.

I will update, hopefully with good news!

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#14

i say the same thing. cancel. if he’s so disrespectful towards you he will b e disrespectful towards the home and will give you a bad review.

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#15

Just spoke to CS, he said he’d attempt to reach him (I couldn’t but maybe they have a magic system, lol) and I verified that I have the right to cancel. I’m thinking you’re right, he could be a problem if he cannot comply with a simple request. I do, though, always try and make every effort, to give them a chance. I had thought perhaps he’d sent his ETA and I didn’t get it, but I’ve gotten every other communication he sent, minus answering the one question. I’ll give it another hour or so and then I’ll just cancel.

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#16

We had a female guest (only one in 4.5 years of hosting) who was like this. We have a Concierge that is required by the city to collect id copies and signatures. The guest booked for 10 guests and yet for an entire week leading up to her booking she made it impossible to get in touch with her to arrange check-in (e-mailing, calling, texting, Airbnb messaging… nothing worked). Our Concierge was so frustrated he wanted to charge us extra. Even after contacting Airbnb she only managed to text him once and then disappeared again. The day before she was supposed to check-in and still no arranged check-in time, we cancelled her reservation. We were concerned that if she couldn’t even arrange a check-in time then how could she possibly respect our House Rules. We had Airbnb help relocate her to another home. But I still couldn’t believe this woman would ruin her own friends vacation like that by dropping the ball.

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#17

wow…Ok, I think I’m convinced. I guess I am just shy about doing this in CASE he’s ‘tried’ to reach me (??) or that technology has failed him (like perhaps they are hiking out of service somewhere???)…but I have to remember I’ve asked/told him 4 times I have to have an ETA. I guess I should have said …‘or I’ll have to cancel’…my concern with saying that was that he would respond with his ETA and then be miffed enough to not respect the property, house rules and then leave a poor review.
am waiting to hear back to see if CS got a hold of him.

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#18

I suspect she told them it wasn’t her fault…:wink:

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#19

If I may ask, did you warn this guest that you were going to cancel?

#20

UPDATE

Well, I suspect Airbnb got in touch somehow with the guest. He just called me (despite being told that often won’t work, but whatever he got lucky) and said ‘I understand that you need to get in touch with me’. I said yes, I need your ETA. He said ‘what’s convenient for you?’ and I told him anytime between 4-8 pm. So we settled on 5. I was just getting ready to call CS. Something about he forgot to plug in his phone last night…
So will be interesting to see what kind of guest he turns out to be…Thanks all, for some good advice

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