Need help.... as I gather my emotions together

I’m so mad right now I can’t even begin… Ugh!!! Got a new bad review that is so untrue and ridiculous!! And it’s forever long!! UGH!!! I’m getting married in a week and I just don’t need this right now!

Edited: I hate to do this but I’m removing my original post of the review because I noticed that this website is so easily searchable and due to the outcome of the situation, I think it’s best for me to remove it. (outcome being, VRBO finding the review breaking multiple content rules set by them.)


Sorry this happened to you. I know nothing about VRBO or reviews there. I’d say let it go and move on to thinking about your wedding in week. You say you don’t “need this” but this is entirely in the past. So forget it and move on.

Congrats on your marriage.


Thank you. I think VRBO reviews are much like Air’s… I can write a response. I guess I forgot to mention in my original post that I need some help drafting a response to this lady… Thanks for your kind words. =D

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Good that you are taking time to think about this before writing a response. Clearly this guest was not impressed with the level of cleanliness in your cabin. She actually went out and bought shower curtains, who does that for no reason? If what she described and sent pictures of is even remotely true than this is on you. Do you live nearby? Are you relying on your cleaners to do your turnovers without you inspecting? Dust like she described and moldy gross shower curtains do not pop up all at once, if true this points to ongoing neglect.

Here is my suggested response.

Thank you guest for pointing out these matters, I am having the entire cabin cleaned top to bottom and reevaluating my systems to insure future guests do not encounter the conditions you described.



I know what she means by “…all applaud with the lack for cleanliness…” but you can think of it as a Freudian slip, @happilytorn. She saw some dust and clapped with glee for the refund she would receive.
The idea of Toddler Cleaners is funny. “Writing on your furniture with crayon since 1903!”
I can see why you are incensed. I hope your wedding is beautiful.
Here’s some reply help:
My name is not Lisa. My cabin is clean. My photographs are accurate.


I visit my cabins once a month. I have never seen the mold or anything on the shower curtain like she described. She lied when she mentioned she went out to buy shower curtains - she had apparently BROUGHT SHOWER CURTAINS WITH HER. This is how I know: She told me she would leave for the store by noon, to buy shower curtains, and my cleaners can come clean during the time they are gone. When my cleaners showed up (a few minutes before noon), the entire group of guests were still there. She waited outside at the bottom of the drive way for over half an hour. She went in after they left. The shower curtains were already there, sitting out in plain sight, clearly asking my cleaner to put them up. So at the time I thought this was premeditated and I could easily make them happy by paying for the curtains and refund cleaning fee.


LOL!! Love it! Thanks for putting a smile on my face!! =D


This is perfect. I might be tempted to add a little snark by saying that the guest had confused my listing with another.


ROFL!!! I like this idea!!!

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  1. There’s no reason to get emotional. This is business and that’s all.
  2. Why would she claim these things? Sure, some people are simply bonkers but were there any grounds whatsoever for any of her comments?
  3. It sounds as though you didn’t personally inspect the place before the guest arrived.

You’re getting married in a few days, that’s wonderful. Forget about the crazy lady and enjoy your special day. Don’t give her the satisfaction of souring the event.

Oh, and have a large glass of wine too. :slight_smile: :wine_glass:


You do what works for you, and when your systems fail then you need to own it.

Please note I said IF TRUE this points to ongoing neglect. A lot can happen, or not get cleaned in a month.

Regardless I still think my review suggestion is better than calling her a liar or trying to defend yourself. If I read that review and saw the host trying to defend themselves and saying it was not true I would not believe the host.

I do not think the review was baseless, she sent you pictures of the dust, she was not happy from the moment she walked in with the condition of the cabin.

Be graceful and apologetic and improve your systems, find new cleaners or a new co-host who inspects between turnovers or do it yourself.

I am sorry this happened but now all you can do is deal with it.



I believe there can be some dust behind TVs. Which she only claimed can be “seen” with the “naked eye”. We don’t dust behind TVs except during deep cleaning, which is every quarter. The cabin is large (6 bedrooms) and really there isn’t enough time to clean behind the TV during each turnover. Similar with fans, they are cleaned during deep cleaning. I saw the pictures she sent. Some dust can be seen by zooming in to the size of a bath tub.

She didn’t send any pictures of shower curtains. She sent me a receipt that strategically didn’t show the date of purchase. She clearly had brought shower curtains with her or purchased them on the way to the cabin. Our cabin is in the mountains and really isn’t close to anything that sells shower curtains… In her review she even mentioned she went to buy shower curtains and when she came back the curtains had been put up. My cleaner didn’t come with shower curtains - the guest told me she was buying them so I told my cleaner to go in empty handed. I was shocked when my cleaner told me they had left her shower curtains.

I plan on drinking a lot of wine. =)


I know that your listings are getting high ratings on Airbnb because I’ve seen them. (I don’t know if you recall but you’ve posted a link previously) I also know you occasionally get these complaints/problems because you’ve posted about those as well. And you always seem to get pretty wound up about it. Advising on how to let it go is above my pay grade but if you can figure it out that might be your answer.

But, we often say that if something happens once, it’s the guest. If it keeps happening, it’s on you. After having this happen multiple times you should consider if your crew needs some training or upgrade or if you need to be checking their work more often or something. Or if you can’t do that or are unwilling to do that just take your occasional overly picky review.


I agree with this. However, I fear that it gives people an inaccurate picture. People have different ideas of what’s “clean” and what’s not. I don’t want a potential guest to feel like my cabin is honestly as dirty or filthy or unsafe as this lady describes, because I know that’s not true. We have lots of guests that personally contact me to tell me how clean the place is. I have had lots of different cleaners and the one we have now has been really consistent in getting praises. If we fire her and get a new crew, based on history, I can say we are more likely to be worse off than better off…

Yes. This is a new cleaner (not really new now…), not the one that had multiple problems, who was a wordsmith on getting herself out of trouble. That one didn’t last long because we were getting complaints 100% of the time. So only took about 3 turnovers to fire them. (Which sucked too because I was on a romantic trip in Europe…) I only trusted that cleaner so much because she came highly recommended from a fellow host in the same area, who still sings her praises!!! I guess at the end of the day, people have different standards! (Or perhaps… my fellow host was trying to put me out of competition?? Hmm…)

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The more the merrier. :slight_smile:

And a great solution for emotional upset is, I’ve found, gin and a cuddle. So get that fiance of yours busy on the second item. :wink:

But thorough dusting and cleaning the fans are things that should be done at every turnover. What happens is that if a guest sees one thing (probably the TV dust in this case) they start to look for more. Then they’ll pick a niggle at every little thing.

Your job is to make sure that this doesn’t happen.

If I were you I’d just learn for it, enjoy the gin/wine and cuddles and move on.


I agree. This is certainly something we can implement. The cabins are in a very popular area and I initially learned everything from local management companies on what is typically done during each clean, etc. I’ve also personally stayed at many of them to kind of compare - it seems that that is how they do it (save the hard to reach areas for deep cleans), but it doesn’t mean we can’t do better.

He does that a bit too much. :joy::joy::joy:

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I’ve never yet known (or known of) a management company who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to cleaning standards. Which is sensible really, their goal is to make money and often cutting corners does the trick.

That is excellent news :wink:


I think you are right. I was new and had no clue what was supposed to be done so it was informative talking to them at the time. I’ve also tried to clean the cabin myself enough times to know that it does take a LONG time to clean the entire space (even without doing laundry) so I try to be understanding when the cleaners tell me they just don’t have enough time to get behind every furniture. They have to drain and refill the hot tub, remove the trash, and make at least 6 beds (there are 3 other beds besides the 6 in the bedrooms), for starters. So I try to be understanding…

I wonder if you’re too nice.

Of course, every place and every situation is different but your turnover window should be about 5 hours. (10 - 3 or 11 - 4 for example.)

Cleaners should be able to clean a house, make the beds and do the hot tub thing within five hours.

I’m not just spouting off here - when I in-home hosted, I had the house to clean every day, six beds to make, breakfasts to cook, a child to look after and a ‘proper job’.

Many years on and I can complete turnovers in two apartments in the 5 hour window.

This isn’t any sort of bragging or an aren’t-I-wonderful thing. I’m just wondering if your cleaners are as good as they can be. They could be the nicest people with the best intentions but if they don’t have a good system, they might not be doing things to the standards you want.

If they really can’t get it done properly in time, then you might want to set a day between each turnover. That really cuts into your profits though.

This is your business - don’t be too nice to people who aren’t helping properly. :slight_smile: