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Making a correction to a factual error in review?

I just received the following review. This is the public part - the private part was less good. This guy gave me overall 3 stars, pretty bad. Plus 3 stars for cleanliness. Anyway, my question was about a factual error in the review.

Host is quite friendly in person. The room in itself is perfect, clean and aircond really cold, which is good for Mumbai can get very hot. Wifi was good. Breakfast alright, albeit a bit late at 10.30 as the cook only comes in then. I did request the host to leave my luggage prior arrival due my flight is midnight but was rejected outright and asked me to seek storage outside at either rail station or airport. That’s my only dissappointment with the host - he could have offered to take care of it, or offer to ask the security downstairs whether they can take care of it for a small fee etc. Otherwise, he takes good care of guest and really make the effort for one to familiarise with the place and its kinks and quirks.

So, my question is about this part:

I did request the host to leave my luggage prior arrival due my flight is midnight but was rejected outright and asked me to seek storage outside at either rail station or airport.

In fact it is clear from correspondence that he asked to keep the luggage after checkout. Here’s the complete relevant message I received from him prior to arrival. I said no to that.

I have no problem to check out any time but you have to let me keep my luggage there, as my flight is midnight on Friday.

The flight referred to is clearly his outgoing flight - Friday was his departure date. His incoming flight arrived at 11 pm or so on a Tuesday, and he got to my place around 12.30 am. Keeping his luggage before that would have made no sense. Would he have been sending his luggage ahead?

It’s possible he meant to write “post departure” rather than “prior arrival”, but it’s still a weird error.

It’s actually not a bad thing that he mentions it. If people see this they’re less likely to bring it up. In any case, my question is whether I should bother correcting this error. it’s true that I would not accept luggage to keep prior to check-in or post check-out.

Also, while we are on the subject, I’d like to ask for feedback on the relevant sentence in my listing. I’ve currently got this in two places.

Under no circumstances can we be responsible for guest luggage before check-in or after check-out.

I’m sure this can be worded better. Suggestions?

I really thought Unstable Guy would leave you a much worse review (verbiage-wise) but three stars – ouch. I’m sorry. First, since you documented this case well, try to get Air to remove it (along with the stars) – be relentless. If that doesn’t work, I don’t think it will do much good to give a blow-by-blow in your rebuttal that you are allowed to put on your page after his review. When I had my one bad review, I wrote, “Just goes to show that you can’t please everyone. Please read my other reviews.” And then I went on to explain my difficulties with this guest (no communication, tried to do my best, etc.) In retrospect, I wish I had stopped with the two lines and left out the details. Strike it up to experience. At least now you know to never lend your laptop! :unamused:

This is the tyrant who blew up at you?
You could just respond with a single line.

I’m sorry, I can’t accommodate requests for storage of bags.
That way future guests will know you don’t offer that.

Hi @sandy2,

Minor point of clarification. No, this isn’t the gentleman discussed in
http://www.airhostsforum.com/t/adventures-in-babysitting-i-mean-hosting/7524, aka Mr. Unstable. Though the confusion is understandable. The blow-up guy is French, this person is Malaysian. The French guy hasn’t left a review yet. Yes, I’ve been recently getting multiple requests for keeping baggage after checkout. Often this is from people who have a late flight or train, and figure they can leave their luggage here while they go off, then come back to pick it up. I had someone check, and the nearby train station, called CST (formerly VT) has a left luggage counter, though I think they call it a “cloak room”. So I’ll be telling people they can leave their luggage there.

Aaaand I just got yet another request from a new arrival:

I would like to spend the day of the 22nd out and about, so would it be possible to leave my bags and swing by to retrieve them around around 10:00 pm on my way to the airport?

Apparently, even though I have now written it in my listing in two places, it has no effect. Should I mention this explicitly at booking time?

Anyway, my question was whether it was worth correcting the Malaysian on that point of detail, as mentioned in my initial post.

With regard to the mention in my listing how about:

For reasons of security and liability, among others, we cannot accommodate requests fo store luggage for guests before check-in or after check-out.

Is that an improvement?

Hi @konacoconutz,

No, as mentioned to @sandy2, this is a different person. Wanting baggage kept before or after check-in, particularly after, is a common request here. Unfortunately. I wonder what the hotels do. I guess a lot of them would have a left luggage counter.

My question was about correcting the guest’s confusion about keeping it before vs after. Is that worth doing? Is it worth reaffirming that I don’t store luggage before check-in or after check-out?

I wonder if it is worth asking Airbnb to remove this review. This guy was kind of a jerk.

Overall: 3 stars
Cleanliness: 3 stars, Accuracy: 4 stars
Value: 3 stars, Communication: 4 stars
Arrival: 3 stars, Location: 4 stars

Is this in line with the public review?

It’s notable that after checkout this person would barely speak one word to me, including at checkout. And he didn’t hand me back my suggestion form, either.

Well, he won’t be staying here again, that’s for sure.

It sounds like the guy is saying (before he arrived) he asked you about holding his luggage on checkout day. When did he ask about it?

It doesn’t matter anyway. I would not be concerned with that detail, because no matter when he asked, you don’t allow it anyway. If you really don’t want anything to do with anyone’s luggage then this is your chance to make it clear. Because if Mr Unstable does decide to leave a review…he is going to read this guys review - and repeat the same thing about you being Mr. Meanie and not holding his luggage for him.

You could say: “I do not offer luggage storage, and my listing clearly states this. You should be more careful to read the listing before booking, or I suggest you ask questions prior to booking.” - you don’t want this idiot back anyway…right?? This may not be what some would consider to be a “professinal” response, but you are letting future guests know to just not even ask, and they need to read the listing.

Hello @faheem,

I’m so sorry you keep getting these crazy guests!

To answer your question, I don’t think it’s worth any time or effort to bother with trying to clarify the review. It doesn’t make any difference. He was mad that you wouldn’t hold onto his luggage and it wont’ matter to anyone reading the review whether it was before he arrived or after he checked out.

I do like the edited version for your listing with regard to you not storing luggage. I think the first version sounds like possibly you just don’t want to be inconvenienced, but the second version gives a reason why you’re not able to store luggage.

That being said, and I apologize if this has been addressed or answered in another thread, but since it’s such a popular service, IS there some way you could accommodate this request for your guests? It sounds like a valuable service they would be willing to pay for. Chaching!

Also, is the luggage blurb in your listing part of your house rules? If it’s something that you simply are not able to provide, perhaps putting it in your house rules would give you a leg to stand on with Airbnb in terms of getting a future review like this removed.

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Hi @cabinhost,

Yes, he asked about it prior to arrival. I quoted him in the original post

I have no problem to check out any time but you have to let me keep my luggage there, as my flight is midnight on Friday.

But he confusingly and incorrectly says “I did request the host to leave my luggage prior arrival”. He didn’t. He asked about holding it after checkout. Which might not be the biggest difference in the world, granted.

Yes, I could repeat what my listing already says. But I’m more focusing on his incorrect statement. I’m not really sure either of these is worth mentioning…

I wonder if this error is enough to get his review removed. I suppose probably not. Also, I have the email that he sent me which contains the line “you have to let me keep my luggage”, but it was sent direct to my email address, so it doesn’t appear in my system. The Airbnb system is quite flaky, so I’ve got into the habit of telling people to write to my email directly. But then, of course, it doesn’t get recorded in their system.

Then it seems that this is a golden opportunity for you to make your guests happy and be one up on the competition :slight_smile:

Do you have a cupboard or something in your house that you can fit with a lock? Tell guests that they need to sign a form saying that you are not responsible and be clear to them that luggage can only be collected at the hours you state. Is that possible?

We have a great setup for looking after luggage and it’s something that guests really appreciate so you might consider it if you can work out a way to do it securely without you having liability.

2 Likes

In some manner, some of you touched upon what I wanted to say.

@faheem. No harm in mentioning that you have a policy of not keeping anyone’s bag before or after, which is right in your rule book. So yes, future guests get the point that much more.

Having said that, this issue comes up constantly, it certainly does in my case; 95% of my guests arrive, take a cab from the airport, land in town and must do their food shopping and then be at a specific point at 1pm to be off to the island. What exactly do they do with their luggage? Take it into a food store with them, lug it around in town? Necessity is the mother of invention. I now tell them, go to my deli first, LEAVE your luggage there, walk in leisure to do your shopping and then when we meet at the deli now at 1pm, we take all in one shot to the boat dock. The same when they are leaving, they come in from the island at 11:30am, their flight doesn’t leave till hours later, leave it at deli and enjoy your few hours in town.

I am sure all your cases are different, but the point is, think of the guest’s reality and work backwards. ~IF~ the ability for guests to DO be able to leave their luggage somewhere appears to be important, perhaps some of you could think of a way to make this happen.

(@jaquo and @faheem were writing their post while I was writing mine, we ended up duplicating the same thoughts somewhat. :slight_smile:

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Hi @Chloe,

Thanks for answering the question! Yes, I’m inclined to think that too.

Ok, glad to hear it.

That’s a fair question. I don’t really want to do it. It’s seems like a generally problematic thing to do. Opening the proverbial can of worms. Do you provide this service?

Here are some issues that come to mind:

  1. I would need to find a secure place to store the luggage. I don’t really have one - the guest room is the closest place, but that’s also clearly not a good general solution because of arriving guests.

  2. Then I would have to either make sure to be around and available, and if I’m not, tell someone else about it, so they can hand back the luggage whenever the guest comes back to pick it up. Imagine something as trivial as being in the bathroom, or taking a nap, when the guest decides to turn up to collect his/her luggage.

  3. When the guest comes back in to pick up his/her luggage, there is a high probability he/she will want to hang around for a bit. Use the bathroom, etc, for an indeterminate period of time. But the bathroom is supposed to be private for the current guests, who may already have arrived.

  4. There is the probability that the guest will accuse us of luggage tampering. This is a possibility even if the luggage is locked. And/or, they could say - I left four pieces of luggage - there are only three here! So I’d have to worry about luggage tags. Yay.

  5. Holding onto the property of strangers when they are absent, when you have no idea what’s in it, is intrinsically risky. The luggage might contain drugs or other contraband. How can one know?

So, no, I have not considered it even as a paid service. It seems to me that for the most part it’s just people “trying it on”. And I doubt they would pay, or not much, because if no new guest is arriving, then they could have (like the Malaysian guy), just have booked the room for an additional night, and then left their luggage here and then come back for it. But they don’t want to do that. I’ve had people book the room for a night and then leave in the middle of the night to catch a plane departing in the small hours of the morning, and they didn’t ask me to hang on to their luggage for them.

And there was a thread in this forum, which discussed this. Most people said they wouldn’t hold on to luggage. See http://www.airhostsforum.com/t/storing-bags-for-guests-pre-check-in-and-and-post-check-out/6728

Yes, this text is now part of the house rules, and also in “other things to note”. But that didn’t stop someone just now asking about it. And it was recorded in the house rules at the time of his reservation. I checked.

Hi @jaquo. Sure, anything is possible. The question is - do I want to do it? See my points to @Chloe. I don’t really have an empty cupboard large enough to store luggage, no. I suppose I could try to clear out some space somewhere, but it wouldn’t be easy.

Re “luggage can only be collected at the hours you state”, have you had a lot of success enforcing when random strangers turn up for something?

Hi @Mearns. As I mentioned in my second post, there is a nearby railway station (CST) that has a “cloak room”, which is what they call a left luggage counter. I’m sure it isn’t very nice, but it’s a workable solution. Certainly people use it.

And this happens, again, mostly because people don’t want to pay for an extra night. They want to use my place for free after they’ve checked out. Maybe that would be ok if I charged a lot of money, but I don’t. And this job is already enough of a hassle without adding extra hassle to it.

I haven’t checked, but I think both of you charge multiples of what I do. If I charged much more money than I do now, then sure, I might be more flexible about such things.

Well if it is not feasible or just don’t want to do it for the good reasons you listed, that is the way it has to be. Never hurts to revisit the matter, and perhaps something new has changed to go in a new direction.

Sure @Mearns, it never hurts to review things. In any case, if anyone wants to poke holes in my logic, please feel free. Thanks for the thoughts and comments, everyone.

I specify that a) it must be before 8 pm and b) that they text me to tell me what time they’ll be collecting their luggage - about half an hour in advance.

Although I use IB, I find that many guests contact me before booking and the luggage question is one that crops up often. It may be that they have made several inquiries to other local places and that the fact that they can leave their luggage is a deciding factor.

When I respond to their question I tell them about the 8 pm thing and I find that most guests collect their luggage in the early afternoon.

The fact that we are centrally located for everything might be a factor because lots of guests don’t have rental cars - those who do stash their luggage in the car until it’s time to return it at the airport. But I’d estimate that about half our guests don’t have a car so appreciate being able to leave their luggage here until they have to leave for the airport.

The fact that I can store their luggage means that I rarely have problems with check out time. I message them the night before and remind them that check out is at 11 and tell them (or remind them as the case may be) that I can look after their luggage after check out.

Now that I look back, this service of leaving luggage is really imperative for my guests, I wonder what they did before I started doing this, poor people. The same with rental car, I asked a local business (patrolled area) if ok for my guests to leave their rental cars in their parking lot while in the island; this is asked 100% of the time by those that have one.

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Hi @Faheem,

My situation is very different from yours. My area is so rural and so spread out in comparison to Mumbai. You MUST have a car if you’re going to stay in my area, so all my guests arrive in a car and leave in a car.

If I understand your situation correctly, you live in a gated community of sorts? If so, that might make it difficult for guests to get in to collect their luggage? That could be a major stumbling block.

With regard to your other issues:

  1. If I remember correctly, you have something of a foyer, or entry way, correct? Is this any less secure than your guest room? I don’t know the particulars of your place, of course. In my place, guests can lock themselves in their room. They cannot lock themselves, or anyone else, including me, out of it. The lock on the bedroom door is the type where there is just a push button on the inside so a guest can be inside and lock the door while they are in there. So really, my entryway is as secure as the guestroom. 25 sets of guests and no one has complained of the arrangement or made any accusations of missing items. Not that it couldn’t happen.

  2. This could certainly be an issue. You could help mitigate it the same way check ins are typically handled, as in an agreement as to at least the approximate time luggage is to be dropped off or picked up.

  3. One would have to simply be kind, but firm about this. Guest areas have been cleaned for arriving guests and are no longer accessible. I’d be ready with the location of the nearest public restroom you’re aware of, if there is one.

  4. This goes back to #1. If your guests can lock their room from the outside, this could be an issue. If they can’t, then you could, in theory, have gone into their room and stolen anything you like at any time while they were staying with you but were out of the room.

  5. If it’s in their luggage, it’s been in your home already. What’s the difference?

All in all, you have valid reasons for not wanting to offer this service, but you asked to have holes poked, LOL! I’m not trying to convince you to do something if you truly don’t want to do it. But, if it would make guests happier, you might want to try, if you can make it work out. I think if I were in your shoes, I’d offer it as a paid service if you can, and make guests aware of the free option of the nearby locker thing you have mentioned. If they want to pay, great! If they don’t, they will have a harder time slamming you for not storing their luggage for them.

All of this having been said, since it WAS in your house rules, see if Air will remove the review based on that.

Hi @jaquo,

Thanks for taking the time to explain. I seem to be mostly getting foreign tourists, at least for now. And they certainly don’t have cars. So I can see it would be an issue. But like I said, renting the room for an extra night would be a solution - it’s USD 30-35, hardly a queen’s ransom. And the alternative is that they can park it at a left luggage place.

I’d also like to put this discussion in perspective. As of right now, in September, I’m standing to earn USD 550 approximately, if nobody cancels. I only have 17 days booked, it’s true. I expect some of you earn that in a couple of days. So, for a foreigner to complain about stuff at this price point, well… And for this not very large amount of money, I’m already being quite busy accommodating the requests of often not very considerate strangers, not to mention filling up paperwork and doing misc correspondence. Not to mention chatting with you good folks here. You can see why I don’t want to do more stuff for free. I guess I could make it a paid service. Maybe I could make it the same as my daily rate. Pay me USD 30, and sure, you can keep your bags here after you check out. :slight_smile:
But then I could be accused of being extortionate. Oh, and would Airbnb have a problem with me charging separately for this? Does anyone have an idea?

I would think is none of their business, for starters. Also would $10 USD be worth it for this service?

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