Our first official bad guest - any help is appreciated

So after hosting for 1.5 years, I think we’ve had our first official bad guest. It’s not that we’ve never had “bad” guests before, but all the past guests who’s done damages did pay or eventually pay without too much effort on our part. This guy is a totally different ballgame…

The guest booked our 6 bedroom cabin for a 5 night stay in a prime location for his daughter’s wedding. Half way into his stay, he told me everything’s going well except one shower isn’t draining. I sent someone immediately and resolved it.

They checked out today and we learned that there was throw-up on multiple towels and bed skirt. No big deal - we’ve seen that before. Then we learn the screen door (magnetic) has a slash in it. And one shower (not the one they complained about) is completely broken.

So I called him. He started out by telling me everything was good - other than a snafu at the wedding that did eventually resolve (we have nothing to do with the wedding venue so I’m assuming it’s unrelated to us). And that he’s going to write me a 5 star review. Then asked me why I called. I started with the screen door - he immediately told me that NO ONE (out of 11 people) used that screen door during the entire time and no one would have broken it. He even claimed that because it “rained everyday” no one went out there. This is funny because for the entire 5 night stay, it rained only on 1 day for less than 2 hours. Does he not think I know the weather? Then I mentioned the shower head. Once again, he told me no one in his group broke it and it must have already been broken and that the house is now all of a sudden in completely disrepair and he was just “too nice” to tell me that and tried to look the other way. On top of that everything was dirty as well. I told him that perhaps he wasn’t aware if one of his guests broke it. He told me that’s not possible. I told him well, there’s throw up in multiple places. He once again told me that’s not possible and he’s going to sue me for slander. He told me if I thought there was throw up it must be because the towels were so dirty and stiff before they even got there. Well… I have pictures showing throw up…

He made it crystal clear that he’s absolutely not going to pay for any damages and will now write me the worst review possible and make a long list of everything that’s wrong with the house, and how “dirty” everything is. I’ve been doing this for over a year and we’ve had a 100% 5 star rating up to now (overall as well as cleanliness). No one has ever even given us a 4 star on those two items. When I specifically asked him to name something that’s broken, he told me the dishwasher is “barely working” and that the lower drawer wouldn’t stay on track. I talked to my cleaner who told me that the dishwasher is very quiet so sometimes guests don’t realize after smashing the power button, that it’s already on, so they turn it on and off and on and off. The lower drawer would get off track if you pull it out too far which is manufacture’s design.

He made it clear on the phone that he will “fight me” to the end about this (for $83) “out of principle” and that he’s the CFO of a large company (I can post his LinkedIn but not sure if that’s allowed) and that his wife is a prominent doctor so they are “always” lawyered up.

I’ve already put in a fee request on Air BnB and of course he’s denied it. I’ve escalated to Air BnB. And now he’s written me a review. I haven’t uncovered the review. So my questions are… Should I uncover the review now? Then what? Based on our historical squeaky clean record, can I get the review removed?


You will not probably win the fight to have the review removed because in his perspective what he is writing is true and factual. The only recourse you have is writing your own review and then responding back to his review. One bad review among all your other “sparkling” reviews should not hurt your status. We have all had those type of guests that grates on everyone.


No, don’t. this is public forum and if they wanted to do an internet search they could find your post.

Just stay calm, don’t be intimidated and stick to your guns. Remember you get to write a review. too. I assume you have plenty of good reviews and his will look like the outlier that it is. Absolutely eviscerate him in his review. Post your draft here so we can help you. He gets low stars and a don’t recommend. But do not mention the case you have with Airbnb. Just say that he damaged your home, left it dirty, threatened you, etc. Don’t post it until you get our feedback but make sure to do it before 14 days is up.

Sadly all these threats are on the phone so no record of them of course. This is how the “our sh*t don’t stink class” operates.


Very good point.

I will absolutely need help with drafting his review… And I guess after I post his review we’ll see what he wrote. Then we can see if it’s something Air BnB can remove or not… It’s sad that this man would completely lie through his teeth to save $83. And told me I was being ridiculous to even make a report for such a “small” amount…

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If only we knew in advance who the jerks were going to be. You could have skipped contacting him, left the honest review, and he probably would have been really surprised. It’s very upsetting to have people react defensively like that.


So true! Hindsight is 20/20… Ugh.

Don’t confront guests unless you have to before they’ve written a review. Send them the polite checkout message and if another guest is about to check-in, then you should inform the guest about the damages so you’re ‘safe’ to make a Host Guarantee claim. Never call them. You want your conversations to be on record for Airbnb staff to see. Only communicate through the Airbnb app. That whole conversation you had with your guest just made him angry, got you a bad review and got you exactly nowhere in fixing the big problem you have.

Now don’t write a review until the very last day. The Hosting dashboard will tell you how many days you have left to write him a review. That will ensure you at least have time to get some good reviews in to bury his a little or at least build up some future reservations to carry you through. You can’t get his review removed unless it mentions an outcome of the Airbnb resolution center or otherwise violates the ‘guidelines’.

If your guest doesn’t pay for the damages, go to his company and let them know about the situation. If it truly is a large company, they have ethics rules and if an employee acts unethically at work or outside of work, they risk termination. He represented his company in his stay because he literally told you he represents his company. You aren’t opening any doors he didn’t already open there so go to his boss, send pics and ask for help. As long as you stick to what is true, you’re completely within your rights to do that. They’re completely within their rights to tell you to get lost too.


So true. I’m just sitting here thinking to myself how I should have started the conversation on the air bnb plat form which he would have quickly told me he would leave me a 5 star review. He offered that up right away on the phone so I don’t see why he would have done otherwise. I also think he’s had a bad day (or week) because of whatever happened at the wedding. I have no idea what happened but I’d imagine if his daughter just got married he should be kind of happy but he definitely didn’t sound happy from the get-go… Although I don’t know… maybe fathers aren’t happy when their daughters are married. I guess I have no idea what that’s like.

Great idea… I’m so mad right now I can’t even bother writing anything anyway…

This is my intention… =)

I disagree with @Mexican. Wait a day or two and then write the review but DO NOT wait until the last day to write it. Write it soon, so we can help you get it “right”. Then post it on the last day. If you wait until the last day to write it we probably won’t be able to help you write an appropriate (factual, to the point, unemotional) review.


Probably. That tells me that they had a good experience and had no problems at all. Its a perfect example of an advantage of the double blind system.

Yeah I have no idea either. Maybe he feels like you’re gouging him because he’s the hotshot paying for the wedding and you always get gouged at weddings. Thats why I like to delay things like that as much as possible. You gain no advantage by sending the request before the last possible moment and same with the review.

Its very understandable. They sound like a bunch of savages.

I think you have a good chance of getting what you need through the Airbnb resolution center. If not, go to the company. In person is best or in writing by snail mail. Emails will get ignored. Third option, is just sue him in small claims court. You know where he works so you can have a sheriff’s deputy serve him there. I know that SUCKS but you’re giving him a chance to work this out amicably… It’s only $80 here and it isn’t that hard to take someone to court when you have damages you can clearly identify.

No… really?! :rofl:

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I would not recommend this strategy as it will completely backfire. Now you’ve threatened his livelihood and even though he said he was in finance it is irrelevant. The company didn’t book the place. This guidance will cause all kinds of bad things to happen, none of which solves the issue.


Don’t be intimidated or scared by his threats. This guest was trying to intimidate by bringing up how powerful his position at his company is and threatening to sue. The host hasn’t done anything wrong and as long as she stays within the lanes of whats legal, she can get her damages from the guest. He doesn’t have any special legal protections where she isn’t allowed to go to his work. He came into her home and damaged the place substantially so this isn’t out of line by any means. They are serious damages and they need to be taken seriously.

@happilytorn I would not have called the guest, in fact, for $83 in damages I would consider the damages as the cost of doing business and forget about it. Further, if you really wanted to collect $83, I would have sent messages using the platform and not engage the guest on the phone. Also, keep in mind that if the guest “threatens” you with a bad review, then Airbnb will support you, but how can you prove anything since your discussion was on a phone call?


Yeah lesson learned for sure. I’ve never had a bad review before… worst review I’ve had was 4 stars on a different property so I’m not familiar with this… I’ve collected damages in the past and no one acted this way. We only charged him $240 a night (for 10 adults and 1 infant) plus tax… for our Spring Break (including weekend) for a 6 bedroom so I wouldn’t normally let $83 go (we really aren’t making that much money as is)… Up until the phone call I thought it was going to be easy like the rest of the collections I’ve had to make (which granted hasn’t been many, thankfully).

Wow thats a deal… less than $25 per person per night for what sounds like an amazing place.

Thanks. He got a great rate. But I’m sure he gave me a 1 star on value.

This is the place: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/23417002?s=51

Almost everything up to Miss Miami is how NOT to handle this. $83. Learn when to shut up. Most replies were also misguided.

Why are you challenging him??!

Clean up the vomit. Fix the shower and screen door. Look the other way. Every now and then this happens.

He sounded possibly positive until you started the investigation.