I'm frustrated. How to make people READ ?!

Im frustrated !!

I put all the important information guests need to know…

  • in the apartment instructions on the listing profile
  • in the welcome message sent to guests
  • in the apartment instructions folder, clearly visible for guests when they arrive
  • next to appliances (such as the microwave) I put notes / instructions

…but STILL guests manage to ask the same stupid questions and / or they’re doing things wrong because they DON’T CARE TO READ / follow the instructions.

It would be so much less frustrating and less time-consuming if they could just spend ONE minute to READ.

And on top, we’re being blamed in the final review ( “apartment was difficult to find” - NO - not if they have read the very clear directions, “we could not make the oven work” - NO - they could easily have made the oven work if they had read the instructions, “there was no parking” - if they had cared to read the amenities list they would have known we provide no parking…and so on)

Even after EXPLAINING people upon arrival, people are doing the opposite

Any advice how to avoid getting those bad comments in reviews???

In my welcome letter with the instructions on how to access the unit, I remind them nicely what was written in my listing that they seem to ignore. Here’s the sections that I was getting the most complaints about and have now added in the welcome message. I had double lines between the sections and use headers that helps them find the info quickly,

  1. I used to get complaints all the time about my kitchenette not have a sink and how I provide paper and plastics goods. I would also get complaints about real mugs and white glasses so this is how I dealt with it. Haven’t had a single complain since:
  1. We provide filtered water, coffee, tea and snacks. The kitchenette includes a toaster oven, microwave, coffee maker, elec. tea kettle, and mini-refrigerator. Per listing there is no kitchen sink so we provide paper plates, and plastic cups and utensils. Wine glasses and coffee mugs are available upon request prior to check in.
  1. The manual is on kitchen table and includes wifi info, transportation suggestions, restaurants, grocery stores, medical needs, etc. If you order food delivery don’t forget to give them the instruction on finding the house.

I also get a lot of complaints about using public transportation. I have a whole section that explains when it runs and provide maps and sedulous and have a very detailed second in my listing but I now also include a whole section of getting around the end of the welcome letter. This too has stopped MOST but not ALL complaints about the bus to the Subway not working on weekends.


This website page is a great resource for more information about riding the T, prices, ticket options, etc.

The bus schedule can be found here: (weekday only, no holidays) https://www.mbta.com/schedules/131/line?date=2018-09-10

When going to the city from the suite you want the direction inbound to Oak Grove. Your stop is on Waverly at the corner of Laurel. (Map in suite)

First bus to Oak Grove is 6:54 am and last bus is 2:28 weekdays only. Bus does not run on weekends or holidays. Combing back to the suite from Oak Gove the last bus is 6:54 pm. You want the stop Laurel at Sycamore. If you need to be at the Subway before or after the times the bus runs or on weekends or holidays, you will need to take a ride share to the station. (About $10).

When leaving the Oak Grove Station, to catch the 131 bus (weekdays only) go left as you walk out of the turnstiles toward Banks Place. Walk down stairs. Walk out the doors in front of the stairs, turn right and the bus stop is right there.

If you call a ride share from the Oak Grove T subway station, be sure to tell them to pick you up on Banks Place of Oak Grove (Main Street side of the T station).

Hope these suggestions help. I also leave a very details manual with the sections tabs for restaurants, medical, shopping, etc.

Bottom line is, today’s society expects to be spoon fed and are have the entitled viewpoint of expection that what they spend their money on is what they think they should be getting not what is intended or advertised.

Before semi retiring to run “my AirBNB” I had an Ebay based business for 17 years. At least half of the questions people asked before buying or “complaints” after receiving their items were clearly explained in the item descriptions for them to see for themselves. I am also a member of a sports trading group online and a big proportion of the questions for help in the forum have their answers in the guides already in place. A growing number of people these days just think they can read a title and know everything without having to read further sadly.

Make your instructions better.

How about placing a label right on the oven door with instructions. As for their negative comments on their reviews, simply respond to them that these issues could have been avoided had they read your welcome message, instructions in the folder, etc. This way potential guests will see both sides of the story when reading those reviews.


If you cannot be there to greet guests and give them a personal walk through and introduction to your place, there is almost nothing you can do to make them read.

This is why I would NEVER operate a ‘remote’ rental property.


When someone figures out how to make stubborn illiterate people read please pass it on to trumps advisers



duplication posted in error

You at looking at this the wrong way around. Have you spoken to guests about what you can do to communicate better @O_Apartments

If they are not reading the information you provide either it is not as clear as you think it is and/or you are providing it in the wrong format. Have you tried interactive online guides, video, photos, translated materials?

Also you posted a few weeks ago about racist guests and then didn’t respond to any comments or advice. Can you update us on what you decided to do?

It’s not really in the spirit of a community forum to keep posting questions and then not respond or reply to advice given.

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I have a thread above on hosting tips that speaks to that.I had the same problem. Now I use tiny signs throughout…no more problems.

It might come as some surprise to @O_Apartments but actually, people don’t read. It’s not just guests.

People read about what they want to know, not what you want them to know. Can you honestly say that you read everything? Did you really read the Airbnb TOS, for example, when prompted to do so before you pressed the ‘I agree’ button? Or that of any software you download or cookies you agree to?

People don’t read. Hosts here don’t read, even. Look at how many people start new threads when a topic has been covered here extensively…


Maybe you need to make videos targeted at the lowest common denominator (i.e. the most clueless guest) and post them on YouTube. Seems like that’s what people expect these days.

I personally am too impatient to watch a several-minute-long video to learn something I could’ve read in a few seconds. I’d much rather find the information I need in a nicely organized manual.


I would never operate a 'self check in ’ property, mostly because of the complaints listed here. And clearer instructions don’t seem to help…Clear doesn’t matter if they don’t look at them!! But most of my guests listen and get along fine…
Even so…I am always amazed at the number of people who do NOT read, think they know everything, OR don’t recall what they read. Too much chaos in their lives? Don’t know, don’t care. I am a remote, farm oriented property, and despite being relatively easy to find, I had to resort to sending explicit directions, WITH PICTURES of the driveway, for them after GPS drops them at my mailbox, as I’m an additional 1/2 mile down the gravel road. I tell them to PRINT them out, as they are essential…abd that GPS only gets you to the mailbox…Yup… I’ve heard, when they contact me while sitting on the hill with the driveway in front of them, and the farm clearly visible on the hill, ‘Is this it?’, ‘We’re here’ (no, you’re not) “do we go straight ahead up that hill?” (picture of the driveway on the instructions)…then when they do get here…I’m standing in the cabin driveway (it’s the first building on the farm) and I wave to them with a smile to turn there at the clear cabin driveway, and they wave back and keep going! I ask as I greet these lost souls, didn’t you bring the directions? “Oh, those, well figured GPS would get us here”, “Uh, well I didn’t print them out, just took a picture of them with my phone”…“Oh I know how to use satellite so could find it without them”…Uh…no…Is that why you drove down the other dirt road to the hay shed???..“I forgot them” (in my initial contact where the instructions are attached, I emphasize, in BOLD, that they MUST have these to find the farm) And despite a very clear listing description, with ‘amentities’ kindly in a separate section AND repeated in the listing…25% still ask…“is there a fridge?” (or stove, or etc etc etc)…I’ve learned to just kindly answer instead of what I’d LIKE to say, lol!
I even had one nice couple drive OFF the clearly well traveled gravel road onto a small farm lane, leading to a hay shed, on past it, up into the woods on the mountain, on an old logging road, up to a remote garden on the mountain…while I watched from the cabin porch and could only chuckle and wait…Sure enough, they emerged from the woods, at a lickity split rate of speed, back to the main gravel road, paused (what directions???) and finally chose the correct direction. When they got here, I couldn’t resist…I asked them how they enjoyed their detour up the mountain. Got some sheepish expressions… THIS is the young man who said he ‘didn’t need the provided directions as he knew how to use Google Earth’…always something interesting to learn about today’s people. Never mind trying to teach them how to latch a farm gate…'nother subject!


If all guests did read everything, there would be no need for this Air Hosts Forum!


Thanks for your reply. In most cases we walk them through the flat, but on many occasions people still are doing the opposite of being told, or they call me 30 minutes later asking the same questions that was just explained to them.

Some people (especially groups from certain countries) seem to be more interested in talking to each-other rather than listing to what I’m saying, it can be really hard to grab their attention.

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Squirrel moment—recently I purchased a suitcase on-line. Several reviews mentioned the protective coating was terribly scratched after one trip

Suitcase arrived—big red sticker “remove protective wrap before use”. Protective wrap was a thin sheet of plastic wrap and not intended to be an armored coating for the suitcase. The scratches were not the actual suitcase but the thin plastic

I removed my protective wrap and after 8 trips some travel dings but not severe.

People, just people. SMH


So far, so good. That said, our general area draws a certain type of repeat visitor who knows and loves the area and we are very close to an iconic pit stop that Ideal Guest knows very well.

Are you using the AirBnB check-in guide for this? We set it up with pictures of the driveway and mailbox and etc. from the outset so they have no problem finding us. The house is not visible from the road and would be very difficult to find without that guide. I have it printed as a PDF and send it to my confirmed guests on the “other” platform as well because it’s so handy the way they have the template go step by step with pictures and free form text boxes.

Have you dropped your own pin there? If people relying on it aren’t finding you, you can fix that. I did it with a property I used to own because we had ongoing disputes about a private road being used by the public. I got Google to fix their wrong maps showing my private dirt road as a public paved roadway, and it really helped. We learned, incredulously, people believe Google is the authority vs. my property deeds and legally posted signs.

Edited to add Google link:
Report an error on Google maps


Yes, as I said, I made explicit instructions with pictures of EACH section as they go down the road, to be printed out and these are sent in PDF format to confirmed guests. But some don’t LISTEN…don’t print them out, or forget them, or ‘assume’ they are frivolous and ‘they can find anything’…As for the Google Earth, I do not want anyone to try and rely on this, one reason as you stated, unreliable and NOT the way to find something. From the air, to the ground, everything looks different, it’s why I send that direction PDF with photos. Had one gal go to a shack down the road from me…despite my listing have 54 photos, including the cabin, the farm, what everything looks like, PLUS the PDF…when she and her hubby finally arrived, he had those in hand, telling me she JUST remembered she had them and handed them to him! Fortunately these guests are few and far between, and it’s because of my seclusion and privacy, it draws the ‘right’ guest most of the time…It’s become entertainment for me to see some of the ‘mistakes’ made by those who don’t read…

I’m one who typically reads everything…but to be quite honest, I’m not likely to print anything. That’s why we have phones with apps. :roll_eyes:

If your directions can’t be understood via the Air check-in guide/listing description/messaging, I think you need to rewrite them. Why don’t you ask a friend or neighbor or someone who actually has been to the property for feedback on it?

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This. Nothing can beat a personal check-in. But if you can’t do it, whoever said that putting vital information online so people can use google translate, if necessary, is a good idea.
And make things SHORT !