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My bad guest experience - Just me griping


#43

No idea! It was Jennifer that said it, presumably as an insult, and that’s why I asked. According to google, “to whittle” can also mean to undermine or diminish as well as carving a small animal to give to your grandchild (!). Maybe that’s what she meant. Perhaps we can adopt it as a forum codename for ‘wtf are you on about, you complete and utter numpty’. [ˈnʌmpti/noun/Scottish/informal: a stupid or ineffectual person.]


#44

Is that anything like a knob? I hear that one used a lot too.


#45

No, knob is much harsher - basically it means dick (in all senses). You can call yourself a numpty as in ‘oh god I forgot to do xyz, I’m such a numpty’. You’d never call yourself a knob. In other words, numpty can be used affectionately, knob -never!


#46

I am a host and I have responded like this before. It seems like declining requests hurts my ranking in search results, and I try to avoid it at all costs. I have waited until a few minutes before the 24-hour request confirmation deadline to decline, in the hopes that a guest will get impatient and cancel themselves. It sounds like that’s exactly what you did. While it’s true the host could have worded her response more politely, if she’s currently in a crunch I can totally see how she would not put a huge priority on politeness in an effort to get back to you quickly. The typo, and not spending the time to correct it, could also easily be explained by responding in a rush.

You mentioned a lot of reasons related to you that might be secret reasons for her “attitude”, but did you ever stop to think maybe she’s just under a lot of stress so she wanted to get back to you as soon as possible so you’re able to make other plans before it’s too late? Maybe her mother died yesterday, she somehow forgot to update her Airbnb calendar since hearing the news, and she knows she’s going to be a terrible host if you show up at her doorstep tomorrow. Or maybe she’s just under a little extra stress at work and wants to take Friday night “off” from hosting, but she didn’t realize how much she needed a break until she saw your request come through, did the calculation of income potential vs. worst case scenario stress potential, and decided the potential added stress wasn’t worth her nightly rate.

My point is that jumping to conclusions about the reasons behind the curt wording of this host’s message doesn’t do anything except make you irritated! A lot of hosts have chimed in about how they always word things politely, and they would have sent a longer message that basically left you in the same position - not staying at that place because it’s not available.

No one is talking about how it’s Airbnb’s algorithms that encourage this behavior. Yes, hosts are supposed to interact politely, but the algorithms don’t reward politeness. The algorithms reward quickness, and when you’re stressed out, sometimes being both quick and polite just isn’t possible, especially for one night at a low rate.

I personally wouldn’t be offended by this kind of response to a last-minute request. I totally get how guests get frustrated by not being able to “get” the place you want, but hosts are people that have lives, and sometimes something terrible is going on in their lives and you probably don’t want to hear about it on your vacation.

I have recently been reflecting on my own hosting behavior over the past year and I realized that I can be inconsistent. I always try to give good service, but sometimes there is a lot going on in my personal life and I drop the ball here or there. Or the guest does some unexpected and annoying thing (like showing up 10 hours early with no advance notice) and I find it super offensive because I’m stressed out about other things.

I also realized that some of my worst guests last year were some where I did some of the least vetting. I accepted their requests because they seemed nice enough and I was in the middle of something else at the time the request came through. Over the last month or two I have started declining requests that come in when I’m super busy, letting guests know that I can’t plan my schedule for a month or 6 weeks from now at this very second, and I won’t have time in the next 24 hours to figure out if the details of the trip will work with my schedule. I also tell them that I can continue the conversation in a few days if they are still interested, but I can understand if they want to get their reservation confirmed quickly. I encourage them to do just that if quick confirmation is the priority, and some guests do.

Some guests are patient. I get back to them later when my life is a little more calm, and they actually seem extra excited to stay with me. I’m able to exchange messages to make sure I understand their expectations and they line up with what I offer on a timeline that works well for me, and when I know I have the mental energy to respond politely.

Think about it this way: would you rather she accepted your request when she knew she wasn’t prepared, for whatever reason, to be a superhost? It seems likely that you would have had a sub-par guest experience with this host on this day, and you had a great guest experience with someone else. What do you gain by viewing it as anything other than a win-win? Are there penalties for guests canceling requests prior to acceptance that I’m unaware of?


#47

I must take issue with waiting 24 hours to decline… for some nebulous reason. Making travel plans can be fraught and stressful. Let them know right away whether you can take them or not. It’s not fair to do otherwise.


#48

Sorry but these excuses for a host’s failure to maintain her calendar and to communicate politely with a guest are way over the top, in my opinion. Maybe her mother died??? Oh please. We all have different hosting styles but, honestly, expecting a guest to be “extra excited” to stay and to wait patiently for you to be in the mood to reply is…well, I dunno, just not how most hosts run their business successfully I’m guessing.


#49

Don’t worry, she won’t bother anyone anymore😀


#50

@carolgrrr, have you ever been a guest?
If not, I highly recommend it. It’s been an eye opener to me.

As a host, I know about our ability to manage our calendars. It’s super easy to click the day and block it so guests don’t request booking. To leave it open and then deny a booking is just sloppy hosting. And why would I wonder about why it was denied? Read some of the threads on this forum, for starters. Prejudice, asgeism, and all the isms that afflict mankind are still alive and well. And to myself know about the host trick of not actually denying a booking inquiry but forcing the guest to do it so they can book elsewhere is an underhanded trick at best. To know this host was “playing the game” was infuriating.

Again, if you don’t use AirBnB regularly as a guest when you travel then I recommend it. It will change your hosting style.


#51

Just speculation but the host may be looking for a 2 night booking on the weekend even though she has a 1 night min - Most of mine are Friday and Saturday night.


#52

Well then she should have adjusted her calendar for a min two-night stay for those dates. So again - sloppy and unprofessional.


#53

I agree! It’s the best way to learn about what you might be doing right or wrong. I’ve picked up some good ideas from how other hosts operate and equally found out how important it is to have good, clear directions to the property.


#54

If a host declines, it is her decision. She has a right to refuse any reason.

I don’t think a typo is a good enough reason to bash her, either.

It says more about you than it does about her.

Since you went as far to complain on the forum, I would think you are a handful and I wouldn’t want you as a guest either. You sound like a jerk.


#55

As does your post, @Leigh_Segel.


#56

Of course a host has the right to decline/be lazy/be an asshole. They won’t last very long in business, though. So yes, decide what you want and take the consequences - feel free! The majority of responses on this thread indicate that TuMo was right to be a bit pissed off. S/he wasn’t being a “handful”. The host was unprofessional in poor management of her calendar and bad communication. I really can’t believe that anybody is defending that kind of attitude.


#57

I think the host dodged a bullet in this case.

A complainer can be quite a handful.

I would agree if the host cancelled a reservation, but the host merely declined the reservation. It is their prerogative to do so. The host doesn’t really need to give a reason why. It’s their home. The guest had ample time to find another Airbnb in the area.

I have declined guests because I had too many back to back and didn’t have time to clean, or when something was off, like the fact they had three kids or a toddler and didn’t bother to read the house rules.

As for the remarks about your hispanic looking husband, you are falsely accusing this host as a racist.

Difficult people don’t seem to realize they are difficult.

The proof is you are here in our forum complaining about one of us is evident that you are a troublesome guest, and most of us would like to avoid that at all costs.


#58

If you could stop insulting me for a bit, you might understand the point of the entire thread. You might even learn from it.

Sometimes hosts do things without understanding the impact upon the guest. What you see as your “prerogative” could leave the guest wondering what it was about their profile or reason that caused a decline. When there’s no obvious answer (we were two middle-aged people booking a suite that sleeps 2 - no babies or toddlers, only one previous review that was very positive) in the area for a legitimate business reason. When guests are turned down for no apparent reason, when the host calendar shows availability, it leaves them with a very bad taste in their mouth for using the platform. And, as I said in an earlier post, I am starting to understand AirBnB’s perspective of promoting Instant Book as it creates a business transaction without all the drama.

I also urged other hosts to try being a guest as it likewise provides understanding of the guest experience. For example, in our last stay we forgot to turn off the A/C when we left the suite for the afternoon. This is an issue that many of us have posted about on this forum - guests not turning off the A/C. In the past, it’s ticked me off too when my guests did it. However, it looks different from the guest perspective. During check-in the host didn’t show us where the thermostat was, didn’t have signs to remind us, and since we didn’t turn the A/C on, we just didn’t think about turning it off. When we got back, I noticed that the host had come into the suite and turned it off and had opened windows. As a guest, I didn’t like that the host had entered “our space”, with our things in it while we were out. It felt invasive. There’s also been a number of posts here about hosts also entering the guest space when the guests are out. This is a guest perspective on what that feels like.


#59

I understand, but you are really going overboard. She declined. End of story. Find another Airbnb to accommodate you.

You are making mountains out of molehills.

My guests can use the thermostat to their comfort. I can always turn it down myself when they leave.

Ive entered my guests space to air out the room to make it comfortable and less stuffy. Then they can’t complain the room was hot and stuffy midsummer. Sometimes I even run a vacuum through there just to keep it breathable and less dusty and hairy.

I am careful not to disturb their belongings.


#60

As a host I would NEVER enter the guest room unless the house is burning! It may be my house but they are paying for the use of the room.

  1. I respect their privacy. 2. I wouldn’t want to be accused of taking something.

Not entering the room protects both of us.


#61

Well I too enter the guests room and will continue to do so.

Reasons include cleaning, replacing water, checking that damage hasn’t occurred or that house rules are not being broken. I too air out the room. I had guests that reeked of body odour once (even though they were having showers) and the room needed to be aired daily.

I have no idea where this idea of not going into a guest’s room has come from.


#62

Most of my guests mind if someone enters their room while they are renting. All of my guests have keys and almost everyone locks rooms. I clean once a week and I always remind them or ask if I can enter.
What if there are things left by guest’s that wil be embarrassing g for them if you saw them: like used condoms or underwear ? They might forgot to put it away or in a trash.