My turn to get help writing a review

We had a guest here for one night, a guy named John. He’s local, maybe 30 years old. When I messaged to ask the purpose of the stay, he said he booked to have a private date with a girl he went to school with 10 years earlier. Oddly enough, he didn’t know his girlfriend’s last name when I asked for it. About 20 minutes later he messaged me back with her name. (John told me after arriving that he lived with three guys, so privacy for a girlfriend night makes sense.)

His night was a disaster, but really just for him. His girlfriend backed out after he had checked in, so we never saw her. He went out to get money from an ATM, only to find that his prepaid card wouldn’t work as it was probably empty. He left to go give someone a ride at about 9 p.m. We expected him back in an hour or two. Our digital lock showed him coming back at 2:30 a.m. After that, he was outside every hour to smoke.

None of that is bad, yet we know he had a miserable time. He told me this morning when I got up at 7:30 that he hadn’t slept at all, because his car was impounded during the night since he didn’t have a license. I don’t know where or how that happened. He asked me to call him an affordable cab that would take cash (no functional credit card—and I don’t know how much cash he had).

Sadly, I was in a hurry and couldn’t spend time searching. We’ve never before had a guest who needed a cab. Just Uber, and John said they take only plastic.

By the time I was ready to leave, he had found a cab that promised to arrive. They did eventually arrive, I assume, because our front porch camera showed him leaving about 30 minutes after I did.

So—he didn’t break any rules. He was a nice enough guy. But I know he had a dreadful experience. And I know he has financial problems (he told me a bit about that). Would we want him back? Would other hosts want him as a guest?

We have never had trouble with local guests. And we didn’t have trouble with John. He was just different from our other guests. I suspect that our place might have been a real stretch for him financially.

I guess I should recommend him, right? I’m not sure why I feel so ambivalent about him as a guest.

I probably wouldn’t review him. He didn’t do anything wrong, as a guest (from what I understand), he just had a questionable/bad night.

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That’s interesting, @LCL. Why would you not review him? I have always reviewed guests. Not reviewing him didn’t occur to me.

I do too. In this case, from what I understand he paid, was quiet, and a decent guest, so that would be all I would say, if anything at all. It doesn’t seem that he did anything to warrant a thumbs down review or anything negative.

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Thanks. What you said has calmed me down. No idea why I’ve been sitting her stewing about him.


Probably because you’re a host and want everyone to have a wonderful time with you :slight_smile:

That’s so understandable.

But this guy was a fine guest and any problems he had weren’t your fault. So forget his problems and just review what he was like as a guest.


Thanks for the reinforcement.

I’ll do exactly that.


I think every host has an obligation to review every guest. Don’t penalize him simply because you happened to learn more about him than some hosts would have.


I would give him a nice review. It seems like he didn’t break any house rules.

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Thanks. I did that after all.



“John was a good guest – followed the rules and did everything right – clean, good communications, etc. What more can a host ask?”


There’s nothing about him that makes me not want him as a guest. But there’s a lot about him that makes me want to leave him some cookies or something :anguished:

I really thought that this “John” and his “date” story was going a whole different direction. Lol.

It says a lot that he stayed and that he didn’t project his issues on you. Seems like a pretty stand-up guy going through a hard time. Maybe it was just confusing to have it in your home when you don’t really know him though.


A series of unfortunate events. AirBnB version.


Playing devil’s advocate a bit here but most, if not all, of this guy’s issues were of his own doing and to me the host could be lucky that nothing negatively affected them in some way. It sounds like this was the guy’s first night away in the big wide world from the comfortable “we do everything for you” bosom of his parents.

If you remove the pity for the guy from the equation we have someone who arranged a blind date with a girl he’d not seen for 10 years. Didn’t have a driving license but chose to drive anyway (was he intending to drive her somewhere illegally?) and had a small amount of cash and probably empty prepaid credit card (I wonder if she cancelled because he wanted to take her to MacDonalds or somewhere else cheap on their date?).


I don’t know all the details, of course. He’s a nice guy. Definitely going through a rough patch in his life.

I left him a nice review.


I empathize with John’s plight but I am here to run a business. I agree with @Snowdon. I personally don’t need these people in my house. It is of his own doing and I am not his mom or relative to help. I had my share of people asking me to stay for one night in order to get mail delivered and get drivers license or other crazy stuff like that. I, for instance, don’t allow locals unless there is a very good reason for them and even that it’s case by case. So that guy would have never been my guest. Yeah he has it rough but it’s not my fault. For this reason I personally wouldn’t want him as guest, even if he did nothing wrong at your house. He might do at someone else’s. I only allow professional people at my house. People like John involve a lot a drama and they suck you in it. No, thanks.


No, I wouldn’t want him as a guest. Review why when you review him, please.

His dreadful experience isn’t your problem. His “girlfriend” bailed and he ran out of money. I’d be worried that the card he used to book your place would not accept the charge and you’ll be out the $$$ yourself.

I would not want a guest with that many financial and personal woes, no matter how nice they seem. The best con artists seem nice.

Recap flags:

Local booking
Didn’t know girlfriend’s last name
Financial woes
Car impounded
No valid drivers license
No money for a cab
Asked host to solve financial and logistical problems for him (where were the 3 roommates who lived locally? Why didn’t/couldn’t they bail him out?)

My 2 cents - change the locks and keep an eye out.

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And yet that is often who is in need of short term accommodations. It wouldn’t be appropriate to mention in a review that someone had financial woes that did not have an effect on their booking. And also not appropriate to mention someone’s personal woes like a girlfriend bailing on a date.

I can’t even fathom what this would look like? What could be said about this guy?

“Guest came and left and followed all the rules, paid his bill and was nice enough; however, he just seemed sketchy anyways” :joy:

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I don’t know what type of guests you get, but I don’t want to host someone who admits he lives locally yet whose license is suspended, car impounded, has to find out his GF’s last name (maybe his card bounced on the prostitute and that’s why she bailed?). He didn’t “need” short term accommodations, he admitted it was for a hookup. >skin crawls< And before you get on my case, I know my guests have sex, that’s not the issue.

We don’t know if he paid his bill. His card’s bank may still bounce the transaction, that can take a week to process.

Then give him a “guest seemed nice enough, followed all house rules.” and a thumbs down on recommendations. It’s vague enough yet tells hosts what they need to know.

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The locks are all digital.

Here’s what I said about him. He hasn’t reviewed us yet.

“John is a pleasant guest. He’s a busy man, so we were glad he was able to relax a bit in our pool. He was courteous and respectful of our home and followed our house rules.”

I gave him 5 stars in every category.