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Nitpicking guest or over sensitive host?

Prior to our latest guest’s booking, I should have had a clue that she was too high maintenance. She needed confirmation that my listing did not have WiFi or air conditioning because the listing states no WIFI and air conditioning, but those amenities were “crossed out” in the listing. Ugh, they’re crossed out because we don’t have the…She booked six weeks prior to her stay, but was concerned that she was unable to pay in installments.

24 hours after checking in, she contacted me accusing us of not having the house cleaned. She said that they found crumbs and grease in the kitchen and a pull-up in the bedroom. She asked if it was a fluke.

Our cleaners had in fact cleaned and I told her that I was very surprised as 76 reviews state the house was very clean.

Our game cameras facing the exterior of the house, which are mentioned in our listing, made her feel “uncomfortable.” This is laughable considering that her place of business has cameras monitoring the inside!

She was unhappy that the windows were left open and the well pump left on for her convenience. I explained that in the summer when the windows are closed the house can get to 90 degrees. All these things were done with her comfort in mind.

She threatened to leave a bad review so I immediately responded to her message and called her. She never responded to the message and when she answered the phone she stated that she was too busy to speak to me.

I asked her on two occasions what I could do to “make it up” to her, but she didn’t respond.

Upon check our, she left the house 40 minutes late, thus delaying the cleaning crew.

Our house is not perfect that’s for sure, but I feel her nitpicking was over the top.

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Awful guest. I wouldn’t have asked what I could do to make anything up to her, unless you have any reason to believe that the house may not have been really clean. Otherwise, what did you have to “make-up” to her for?

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Please review her accordingly so she never stays with me! “The guest seemed displeased but said they were too busy to provide more information so we could address any issues. We strive to take excellent care of our guests, and respond promptly to concerns.”
Although finding a diaper seems like an odd lie – could be the cleaners missed something. It happens.

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I plan to review accordingly, but how much detail should I provide? Of course, I am expecting her to give me a really bad review.

I don’t doubt that something wasn’t perfect and may have set her off, but she hasn’t asked for any sort of make good.

She did write back eventually and claimed to. Have cleaned and disinfected the house herself? My question is did she really go out and purchase cleaning supplies? I doubt it…

Agreed, but hosts are so worried about that one bad review…

The thing is that nitpicky, complaining guests generally leave nitpicky, complaining reviews no matter how much you try to pander to and appease them. I’ve never read any posts from hosts indicating that dealing with these sorts of guests in that way has ever warded off a bad review, quite the opposite, yet for some reason, hosts persist in thinking it will.

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As a fellow host, I don’t require all the gritty details. I don’t need to know all the individual things a guest complained about, or all the things they failed to read in the listing description, all I need to know is that the guest was a constant complainer who couldn’t be pleased and that they failed to fully read the listing information, if those things were the case.

BTW, if you don’t leave any cleaning supplies for guests, you should. There are guests who are naturally very clean and tidy who would appreciate having some products and tools with which to clean during their stay, and especially now with the virus, even non-nitpicky guests may want to go over things just to feel safe. I know if I stayed somewhere these days, I would travel with my own disinfecting wipes and wipe down everything that I had to touch, even if the place looked squeaky clean.

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I forgot to say that 24 hours PRIOR to checking in she asked for us to provide linens because she paid “the full cleaning fee.” I explained that we no longer provide linens due to COVID.

She has now requested a refund for the cleaning fee.

@Rosebud One thing I’ll share with you, since I’m 70 years old and have hopefully learned a thing or two, is that when you are dealing with entitled, demanding, complaining people, whether they be guests, nasty neighbors, toxic family members or co-workers, those people never become more respectful or pleased by continuing to be accommodating towards them or thinking they’ll be mollified if you just do this or that.

They are used to getting their own way by intimidating others, whether they do it overtly, or passive-aggressively. They view kindness and generosity as weakness and that gives them license to keep pushing even more. The most effective way to deal with those sorts is to not allow yourself to be pushed around- make it evident that you have boundaries that aren’t to be crossed, and that you aren’t intimidated by them. It doesn’t mean that you have to be nasty, just stand firm and not act as if you are to blame for their discontent, unless you actually are.

“I’m sorry, but we don’t provide that in our rental, as is evident when reading our listing info. It’s unfortunate that you missed reading the full amenity list.” is far better than “Oh, well, I guess I could run out and buy you some”.
There’s nothing wrong with going the extra mile to accommodate some needs or requests of nice, appreciative, and polite guests, but it’s pointless to do with the pushy ones.

I’ve not had a guest like the one you are dealing with, but after the initial complaint that the place wasn’t adequately cleaned, if I thought that could possibly be true, I would of course offer to correct the situation, but beyond that, as the complaints piled up, I’d say “You seem to be quite displeased with so many aspects of your stay here that it seems it would be best to cancel the remainder of your stay so you can find another place that meets your approval.”

What I have experienced with those types of people is that they are far more likely to come around and stop acting like jerks if they realize they are up against someone who can’t be bullied. They may even start to act respectful. And if they don’t, at least you don’t end up feeling like you allowed them to treat you like a doormat.

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Boy, I wish I had gone with my gut reaction the first day. I thought about offering her to cancel. But ever the people pleaser, I tried to make things right.

I appreciate your insight and will provide an honest review in 14 days. I hope that it will deter future hosts from accommodating her demands.

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I was ready to do that with one chronic whiner, but decided against it because I knew that every other place in town, including the youth hostel, was full. Thank goodness it was only 2 nights.

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I keep having visions of ‘hidden dirt’ :scream:

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Ha! Who knows she may have pulled the refrigerator out! lol

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So did she leave her message on the platform? If so, you have evidence of her threatening you and should report her to Airbnb.

a pull-up in the bedroom.
Although finding a diaper seems like an odd lie

I didn’t know that diapers are also called “pull-ups” but had you had any infant, diaper wearing guests before her? if not, lie proven; if so, you have an issue with your cleaners. That said, what parents leave used diapers lying around? Yuk.

And that said, I think she must be the same person who stayed with me in June 2017, my second hosting experience and the one from hell.

No refund.

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As @Joan says, this is your get out of jail card, Airbnb term it “review extortion” and it basically means any subsequent review from the guest can be removed. Contact CS and get it on record that the guest threatened you with a poor review, it’ll possibly make it easier if/when she does post one.

JF

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As ever, thanks John. I couldn’t recall the correct “extortion” terminology, not having had enough cups of tea to kickstart my ageing brain!

@Rosebud, go for it!

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Ha ha, I’m an hour ahead of you and probably at least one cup of coffee ahead as well :wink:

JF

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Yes, but unfortunately I woke up at 5 am, so five hours ago.

Bloody cat; using the bed as a trampoline to jump off the beams.

PS: can’t find my specs…

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Review does not need a long detailed explanation of what happened. Here’s what I would write:

“Cannot Recommend this ‘high maintenance’ Guest who seemed to not understand about listed and non-listed amenities, said exterior wildlife cameras made her “uncomfortable”, and complained about other meaningless things. Guest threatened to leave a bad review, but never responded to messages or was “too busy to talk” about making things right.”

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Could it have been a pet diaper? I actually found what looked like a dry pull up under the master bedroom bed after a guest checked out. It was actually a pet diaper. Guest had a 13 year old dog so they were being cautious. We provide pet sitter info and they booked her, sometimes twice for the same day they were out running around. The home is tiled so it’s pet friendly- which is how we can allow pets.

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