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Help with Review for complaining guests

Help needed. I had a minimum 3 night stay on my booking. A lady booked for herself and daughter as attending business in my town… so I accepted booking - they had no reviews.
They then confessed would not be there for the 1st night of their stay due to business commitments.
I kept in touch regarding self check in and sent friendly texts with key code and a text after their first ‘actual’ night - second night of booking. Just to check in everything was good and they had had a good night… I didn’t get a reply for 11 hours. They went and worked all day… then late that next evening got a text listing the following complaints:
They had found 2 chipped plates in my crockery drawer - there are a couple but they did not need to firstly go into drawer as I’d left out crockery but I have 98 % non chipped plates!
They said bedding and towels were dirty and they didn’t even want to sleep there… I had washed, dried and ironed all bedding before their stay. And towels were clean and dry.
They said they had woken up weazing needing inhalers and had noticed a damp spot on chimney breast. There is a small damp patch on chimney breast particularly after the window has been closed my house is an old british stone cottage.
They had seen a wasps nest high up on an outside wall of the house and had been fearful of wasps. They then said they had left the property early and only stayed on night. There text said they hoped they could 'resolve this issue and do not have to take it further with air '. I contacted Air who said they had complained… I’ve ended up giving them a refund back of 2/3s of what I got paid. I can see they have now reviewed me. What do I do… my hunch is that they didn’t ever want to stay for the full stay and were thinking up reasons to complain. The sheets were clean so the damp patch and I did find a wasps nest high up on the wall (not near guest area) but what do you guys think?

Do I review?
I have already refunded them.
If I do review what do I say. Thanks
They said

2 Likes

Always leave an honest review.

So just state briefly in the review what you said here.

You can’t see their review until you post yours. Since they reviewed you already there is no reason to wait. If you don’t review them their review will post 14 days after the stay ended.

Something along the lines of “xxxx booked my minimum of 3 days but only stayed one. They had multiple unfounded complaint but I refunded them the two days they didn’t stay anyway. I wouldn’t recommend them to any host nor would I host them again.”

You didn’t mention if they left the place clean, followed other house rules, etc. but that might be of interest to a fellow host.

Get rid of chipped plates and glasses and keep the place in good repair. I don’t care how old the cottage is, wasp nests and chipped plates aren’t charming or inevitable.

10 Likes

Seems like they only needed one night and your min. stay is three nights so they looked for excuses to get refunded. They also lied because they said they wanted to work it out with you but had already called Airbnb.

Give them one star and click on “would not host again.” I like KKC’s suggested written review.

6 Likes

I don’t know that I’d mention in a public review that I gave out refunds to guests who made unfounded complaints :confused:

I know it’s mainly hosts who read guest reviews, not other guests, but still…

6 Likes

“Guests seemed very unhappy with our old English cottage due to damp weather, insects outdoors, and, if I understood correctly, 2 chips on some crockery. Would not host again.”

This positions you as reasonable and somewhat puzzled at guests’ attitudes, and your guests as jerks, which is the truth. I wouldn’t characterize their complaints as unfounded (just the facts), nor make any mention of the refund.

5 Likes

You could leave off the “Would not host again” or replace it with “Just not a good fit.” Because I think these guests like pulling their little scams and they may complain to Airbnb again about your review and continue to bother you. Plus you’ve already clicked on No privately as to hosting again.

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Of course you review! What is the point of there being a review system if hosts aren’t honest about their guests?

But be sure to be factual and unemotional.

Mind you, it does sound to me that your rental needs a little attention to detail.

1 Like

Perhaps I don’t understand how AirB&B works but shouldn’t the host have been given an opportunity to resolve the wasp nest and crockery issues and advise on managing the damp issue? It’s a fact of life that problems happen. Simply checking out is removing that opportunity and seems unfair. I keep bees and will go the same day if someone calls me for a small charge (~£20), I’m sure a pest controller would do similar albeit for a little more money. I’m sure the OPs house doesn’t have a damp proof course and lots of people don’t understand how important ventilation is in that sort of house.

1 Like

Yes, of course. But the situation wouldn’t arise in the first place if the host made sure that there was nothing for the guest to take issue with.

It’s not a case of how Airbnb works, just a simple matter of hosts minimising the opportunity of unwanted situations with guests.

1 Like

The Airbnb review system which is I guess double blind review means that if either party has an issue which is communicated prior to the review, it’s very difficult to know how to respond to comments that are not yet written. So if the guest had communicated their issues but had not yet written a review then you cannot respond to them. You have to be on the front foot and just tell it like it is. Then people looking at the reviews can judge which particular comments have more credence.

I would not host guest again and I do not recommend them to other hosts . They booked for 3 nights even though they only needed one then fabricated issues with the house in order to try and justify a refund they were not entitled to.

5 Likes

Although these shouldn’t have occurred, Airbnb’s recommendation is for guests to contact the host & giving the host the opportunity to fix the problems.

That policy seems quite vague to me. I read that as the guest can simply opt for a refund without having to contact the Host to get the issues resolved. Given the highly subjective nature of what is considered clean that seems rather unfair. We’ve been letting our property for decades though advertising in newspapers et al - back when advertising was far cheaper. It was a much clearer relationship between guest and host. If there was a disagreement it would be heard in court. I remember my Mum had a guest who claimed they saw a mouse (its a rural location) and wanted a 50% reduction. My Mum said that was unreasonable as it couldn’t be substantiated and there wasn’t evidence of mice droppings inside the property and offered a more modest good will gesture. Guest took it to court and court agreed with my Mum.
Today I’ve decided to halt all future bookings through AirB&B as I just don’t see how I can let an older style property where issues will occur from time to time. Their booking policy is unreasonable in my view. I have a good job where I earn more per day than I do from a week letting of the property before costs so it simply isn’t worth the hassle to me.

6 Likes

Who writes this stuff for Airbnb? They’ve instructed guests to call 911 for bedbugs. I think what they’re trying to say is to call emergency services if you are having a life-threatening allergic reaction. They need an editor big time.

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I might add when I say chipped it’s literally just the glaze that is chipped the pattern on top of plate the actual pottery is not chipped or damaged. And these plates were in my personal cupboard it’s not a holiday cottage. I left out plates on the side for them to use. In terms of the wasps nest it was high up on an outside wall but I quickly found it when I got home and sprayed it with wasp foam. Job done. The small damp patch on side of chimney is worse if guests keep their windows shut as it’s hot air on on old stone walls. Not untypical of an old house. Old houses need to breathe so I leave the windows open on trickle. Thanks for all the help

4 Likes

There is nothing wrong with you having some dishes with chipped glaze, especially in your personal cupboard. It’s a good way to filter out stupid guests. Next time call Airbnb before they do and complain that they broke house rules by getting into your personal stuff. Sounds silly but, with Airbnb, it’s 99.99% who calls first. There are guest standards and poking around in your stuff goes against them. It’s 0 to none possibility that someone else will do this but ask them to leave if they do.

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You can respond to their review even if you do not review the guests. Be professional in your response. State clearly that you gave them a full refund and you are sorry that they had a myriad of issues. Thank the guests for bringing that to your attention and that you will be addressing those concerns. Kill them with kindness.

1 Like

I wouldn’t put in a public review that you gave a refund- could invite others to make similar complaints to demand the same.

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Why say you’re sorry they had a myriad of issues if they were just complaining scammers? I don’t believe in killing these types with kindness. It’s disingenuous.

If there were legitimate issues that the host bore responsibity for, that’s a different story.

And saying you gave a refund for complaints is a terrible idea unless the complaints were valid, the host dealt with the issues professionally and gave a deserved refund, yet the guests still trashed the place in the review.

3 Likes

It’s really, really important to leave a review (and there are some good suggestions re that in this feed). I struggle with agency-run AirBnBs in my neighbourhood who routinely leave good reviews for even disruptive, awful guests (because they want their repeat business, even when neighbours have had cause to complain) - its our responsibility to future hosts to flag problem behaviour.

2 Likes
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