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Host VENT: To review or not to review - zero self reliance and initiative


As happens all too frequently with American guests - I had a young, mid 20s, married couple arrive via Uber that dropped them off at the wrong location, one block away from my building. Instead of looking to confirm the address, they simply called me in a panic reporting that they couldn’t get past the building gate using the codes I provided. After some back and forth, I realized they were at the wrong building when I asked her to describe the building facade to me and address number. Upon realizing her mistake, she responded by asking if I would come get them and walk them to the right address. I said no, and assured her of her ability to use a map service on her phone or even trust in my directions that she was literally one block away from the building. She was very frustrated and asked why I wouldn’t just come help them - I replied informing her that she booked an apartment with self check in and knew this in advance. I could overhear her husband incessantly complaining and demanding “tell him to come here and help us”. Fast forward to the evening of their last night - 4 nights later - another frantic call, this one at 9pm, claiming they couldn’t get the smart lock to operate, that the lights were not flashing and the door could not unlock. Again, the frantic wife repeatedly claiming the door was broke and telling me she was not happy with the situation being made to wait and not have access - all while her husband was complaining and yelling in the background. So I tell them to wait, that I’ll be about 30 mins. Hop in an Uber and head over. Arrive to a fuming mad red-faced husband who shakes my hand as if to break it while staring me down and states - “We’ve been waiting a long time, this is ridiculous”. I apologized to them for the bother and walked with them to the apartment door - first attempt at entering the code, the lights turn on as normal and the door unlocks. Both of them stare at me in disbelief and the husband goes - “well it wasn’t working for the past hour.” I just said good night to them and left. I absolutely can’t stand guests with zero initiative and self-reliance - always Americans too. I just don’t get it. So now I’m torn if I should mention all this in my review of them, because I for one would love to avoid guests like that and would appreciate a host leaving this in a review. Thoughts ?


I live here in the same house and have a digital lock. I’ve had several people have trouble with it and almost 100% of them it’s late at night and they wake me up. I’ve sometimes had to key in the code more than once. I’ve tried to figure out what the problem is. If I weren’t booked every night I’d have time to work on it and see if it’s an alignment problem. If they try 5 times it will just lock them out for about a minute before they try again so if they just keep punching in the code, becoming more and more angry it’s not going to work.

I now usually leave the door unlocked if I’m going to be home. (they can only get into their room, not into my part of the house. ) I’m always able to get it to work. One couple on a three day stay had already been in and out several times when they locked the lower lock which opens with a key only. Mind boggling.

I’ve thought of getting a smart lock so I don’t have to get up and get dressed. I suggest that since you don’t live at your rentals you start investing in smart locks. My approach is not to try to change the guest behavior, you can’t. You can only change what you do. After the incident above I changed out the lower lock to a simple handle with no lock. There is still a iron and screen security door with locks, I just hope they don’t start locking those.

As for the review, if you think you are going to get a poor review anyway and it sounds like you are, go ahead and tell future hosts that they couldn’t find the apartment on arrival and couldn’t operate the lock though it seemed to be fine. Leave the snarky, eye roll attitude out of the review. Just state the facts.

It seems to me that the more popular Airbnb gets the lower “quality” our guests will be. I’ve had more problems with foreign guests so I’m not sure if American has anything to do with it.


Mary and Greg seemed a nice couple but I think their Airbnb experience was nervous-making. Their Uber dropped them at the wrong address, they called me on their mobile, and it was a bit hard to understand as they were both speaking at once, but I believe they wanted me to send a car for them. But I was able to give them walking direction so it worked out. Also they had troubles punching the keycode to unlock the door but I was able to go to the property and demo it for them. I’m afraid the different locations and set ups of Airbnb properties could make future trips less than happy for them


Apparently you’ve never heard of Anthony Bourdain. I truly take offense at your generalizations.


I agree with @Maggieroni. I’m offended by your generalizations of Americans. We’re not necessarily the best guests, but not the worst either. Save your prejudices for somewhere else @sobepuppy, I have zero tolerance for hosts who think their home/neighborhood/country are the only place where everything is right!


I would leave out the American part, it’s irrelevant as clueless is everywhere and assholian is a universal language. I’d state:

Jack and Jill started off the trip at the wrong house, a block away. They ended their last night without being able to figure out the electronic lock that they had been using all week. Both of these incidents resulted in frantic and overly demanding calls from these guests. Luckily I was able to take an Uber to assist them, but this experience leads me to believe these guests would be better suited for a hotel.


Thats ok that you’re offended. I’m comfortable in my generalization of my fellow country men - especially given in my 6 years hosting experience they are routinely the worst behaved, most entitled, whinny, seemingly incapable of reading, and nit picking people to host. Not sure I get the Bourdain reference, but RIP none the less.


It’s not just the fact that these guests were clueless, it’s also the rudeness and entitlement. Please do review them honestly. I don’t think it’s the lock’s fault, those people would mess up anything and blame others.
I just had a clueless guest who ‘couldn’t’ get in at the weekend. I gave her a refund and regretted it bitterly. It was all her fault, she left the house unlocked and went off with the keys. She took ages to send them back and even stole the keyring. Guests like that need to be off the platform.


Thats also ok that you’re offended. As stated - I’m comfortable in my generalization of my fellow country men - especially given in my 6 years hosting experience they are routinely the worst behaved, most entitled, whinny, seemingly incapable of reading, and nit picking people to host. I’ll take non Americans over Americans any day. Simpler to host, grateful, clean, and amazingly capable of reading directions in English - wow, imagine.


Love your suggested review - spot on !


My cleaner - who is also a long time host - suggested that I initially ignore direct phone calls from guest, in order to force them to think of a solution on their own. Only to return their “missed” call after about 15 mins to inquire about their status and then suggest / provide a solution. Seems like it could work, but would likely guarantee result in a bad review citing inability to contact the host… Although this couple was apparently content just sitting and waiting outside the apartment for over an hour, so they definitely would have never taken assertive steps themselves.


With my idiot guest at the weekend (who was a shrink btw), I didn’t get her messages straight away because my Mum lives on the edge of the city and reception is poor. It didn’t seem to prompt her brain cells into action sadly.
Sounds like a good idea generally though.


That’s why YOU are clueless.


Well now I’m offended :wink:


I am surprised they wouldn’t start walking with you on the phone. How long is walking distance for the block away?

I have had guests call me when they went to a similar address that is wrong on Google. Not even their fault. And I just stay on the phone and chit chat while they drive by the Dollar store, and now they turn by the grocery, etc. Wondering why they needed you to meet them?


Lazy, entitled, & zero sense of initiative would be my guess.


Oh you Americans. Always generalising!


It would be useful if you stated the country and maybe the city that you are hosting in. Context is everything. An American bagging out their fellow Americans is one thing - like family - but a non-American doing it is not so great. I have visited America many times over the years and relied on the kindness of strangers when I have done stupid things I only seem to do when outside my own country (Australia). Now I am an experienced traveller I often roll my eyes at obvious newbies rushing around in a fluster who clearly haven’t done any homework and need to take a deep breath and carry on, not carry on.


I’m not American but I’m offended by any generalization of any nationality. It shows frank ignorance, base intolerance and a closed mind.


I’m probably wrong but I’d imagined the ‘sobe’ bit to be South Beach and therefore Miami?

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