Our guest should be staying in a five-star hotel

I am exhausted. Our guest has been emailing 2x + per day with the smallest questions and is SO RUDE! I’d describe it as micro managing. She is in the house for 3 weeks, and I am worn out from dealing.

Any tips?! Air BNB is NOT helpful!

What is she emailing you about?

Is it information already in your guide book?

Some is some is not:

For example, the washer door can be hard to close, which is in the guidebook. But we’ve had to exchange 10 texts about how to do it.

Another example is she wanted to have something shipped to the house, I told her she could and she asked many questions about it.

VERY rude.

Our air conditioning broke while she was there, which is terrible, but again she had to send 20 texts about it while we were getting it fixed.

Basically, I don’t know how she gets through normal life. Needs LOTS of hand holding.

Before this we’ve only had 5 star reviews, never one question from anyone!

You were overdue then. No one can have only easy 5 star guests all the time.

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Outstanding service, even as a Host, requires a level of care, concern, tact, that many new hosts might not understand. If you’ve ever called into some of the best customer service organizations, as a consumer, you’ll find that they will work closely with you to resolve any matter and do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure your needs. Here we are on the other side of the coin, having to offer the same service to others.

My best advice would be to take any and all texts as good feedback. Write down the questions, learn more about what is being asked, and use that to make continued updates to whatever complaints are being rendered. Take every complaint as an opportunity to make an improvement for the next guest.

Yes, all might not go smoothly now, but if you invest a little effort to make improvements, it will go a long way towards pleasing new guests and getting better reviews.

Good luck!

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This is hard to do at times but I think you are right. Even when I thought the complaint was unwarranted I always thought about what I could do differently. One recent guest complained that the house was dark and forboding even though I had a large light illuminating the driveway and pathway lights. I don’t think there is another home on the street with more lights on it than mine. So I was annoyed.

OTOH, there were two other lights that could have been on and weren’t. Nor were the lights on in the rental room. So I took that as motivation to finally buy the large custom made LED address sign I’d had my eye one. I’ve mounted it in an area that isn’t as well lit and it have a dusk to dawn sensor so I don’t have to be home to turn in on. It also makes the house easier to identify at night.

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You told your guest that she could (or could not) have something shipped to the house? I hope it was the latter.

Why don’t you copy one of the series of her texts to show us an example of what she is doing. Maybe we can spot where you could have ended/cut-off the exchanges earlier. For instance, what were her 20 texts about while you were having the A/C fixed? It definitely seems overboard and if you say she is rude…so much the worse.

Perhaps try not to be so instantly available and responsive to each of her texts. It may be causing her to write more. She thinks she is in control.

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I just had a couple like that staying with us. She wasn’t rude, but just constant texts and asking for help with this and that, complaining (nicely) about different things… it was exhausting. They stayed for ten days! Ugh… I just started leaving longer and longer times between my responses until I waited a day or two-- certainly not about things like requesting toilet paper or a restaurant recommendation-- but once she asked how much we paid in utilities… ?? Just weird questions. I just quit responding. Glad when they left! :smiley:

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This doesn’t fall into the category of minor complaints to be learned from. This is a guest wanting a mommy. Please. There’s no reason for a zillion texts when one answered the question. I hardly see this situation as a learning opportunity. Your response comes off as a bit patronizing. You would really want to host this high maintenance baby?

The host will do everything but wipe her bum with a Huggie, and just watch, she will STILL get a bad review listing all the crap stated above. How do I know? This is how high maintenance guests behave. She should review her honestly as high maintenance and there is not a ost in the world who will touch her.

I have been there done that.

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Having many years of experience under my belt, I won’t deny that there are those guests whose demands outstrip the desire for a host to serve. I’ll add that ‘deep reputation’ goes a long way… and both ways. I do not personally know either party, and can only talk about what is communicated here; that being said - yes, I do feel the pain Sarah is communicating and certainly, to your point-- there are no easy answers. As humans, we are quick to draw conclusions and a build mental picture of what’s going on but the reality of the situation may be bigger than the written symptoms may convey.

I’m going to stand by my comments and suggest that we consider the actions PRE- and POST- such an occurrence… as well as the current situation.

Airbnb can certainly do a better job proactively on their end, but doing so would ‘raise the bar to entry’ and as a profit-oriented Saas, they are in play to ‘make a market’ and appease two parties. When it is in Airbnb’s interest to raise the bar, they will.

As far as the Host, Sarah - it’s GREAT that she’s sharing this information in our community. I’m certain that there are many other hosts whom have had the same experience, including those that have commented here. While we may not find a solution to this issue, we can think outside the box and HELP build a better system.

My response was not meant to be patronizing - but I can read it as such and I agree with your sentiment.

Many thanks for your reply Konacoconutz.

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I disagree with you. I welcome constructive criticism and suggestions. I have bought many amenities suggested by guests. However, some customers of any business are unreasonable. In my view it is in the best interests of business owners to ask these guests to move on instead of attempting to accommodate unreasonable requests. In Los Angeles, CA where I live it is a local custom to ask chefs to change their recipes to the diners’ tastes (substitute one side for another, leave off or add an ingredient, change the cooking method from fry to broil or vice versa, etc.). These same guests would leave bad reviews for the food; apparently not realizing that it was at this point their recipe, not the chef’s. Many chefs have instituted no modifications policies at their restaurants. I applaud them.

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Then you’ve been very lucky, :slight_smile:

Guests come in all shapes and sizes and we’re all going to get picky, needy guests from time to time.

I once stayed in a place where a dishwasher was listed as an amenity. It didn’t work and the dog-eared ‘out of order’ sign was obviously not new. Which just made me wonder why on earth they hadn’t fixed the dishwasher? It’s the same with your washer door. I would have been annoyed too especially if I hadn’t been told about it and shown it during the house tour. Mentioning things in the manual rarely works.

Salespeople are trained to see objections as a sales opportunity. In a service industry, complaints can be seen as an opportunity to provide exceptional service. For example, when the AC broke down, could you have supplied a portable unit?

Yes, your guest sounds very needy but you’ll get them from time to time. However, I’d love to see some examples of her rudeness - there’s no excuse for that in any walk of life!

Great suggestion. I can do that. Just today as I was re-writing my guest guide I was thinking about what I would do if I had an extended power outage. For a brief one there is a small desk lamp with battery backup. For a longer one what amenities could I offer? I have a spare battery for charging a phone. Other ideas?

There are a few things going oh here:

  1. A couple of things are not great: A. The AC broke B. The washer is hard to close.

AND

  1. She seems to be unhappy with anything now and I am fried from the back and forth.

I am going to try slower responses. I think that is a good tip.

Sarah

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ALSO FYI I suggested we give her one night free since she had to deal without AC. I didn’t get a reply for this other than more complaining.

I know there is learning from all of this, but the on and on and on… not necessary.

Because we are in South Florida, our particular area has plenty of outages in the summer. The longest one I remember was, I think, ten whole days after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. (And one week without water). It was funny because when the power went back on, we could hear cheers and applause all along the street.

Although our AC in the rental is central and has heat, we also supply a space heater for those occasional freezing days when the temperatures go below 68 degrees :slight_smile:

We also have a weird wind-up radio. We don’t keep that in the rental but it’s available for guests during power outages if they need it.

When the power goes off here it’s usually raining too so I have lots of rainy day suggestions - places that people can go to. Major museums etc. tend to have generators so they have power when we don’t. But I also supply plenty of board games in the rental in case people are stuck without power and don’t want to venture out. (Although we do supply umbrellas in the rental!) Also a ton of books and magazines.

When the water is off, that’s a tricky one but the only thing I can suggest to guests is that they go to the beach to bathe! We are waterfront so in emergencies can get water from the canal to flush the loo - although I have supplies of bottled water for drinking and some large containers I can fill in advance for the loo if needed.

I also make sure that the gas grill is ready to go and have tinned and dried food on hand (again, not in the rental but available). After Wilma we even used it to boil water for tea. There was a sort of 'spirit of the Blitz atmosphere!

Nothing to do with power outages but we also have one of those battery charger boxes for the car that has been used on several occasions when a guest’s car battery has gone flat, which is easily done when it’s raining and they leave the lights on when they park.

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I would not allow a gust to receive packages; not a “best practices” for this industry.

I really feel for @Sarah_Foelske, with all the texts. One of several reasons I’m glad that I do not Text, and never will. You want to contact me you can call, email, or walk up to me in person. So much can be solved with so much less back-and-forthing if you deal with a live human rather than a few characters on a screen.

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That’s what I prefer too. I don’t mind texts but I prefer face-to-face. Guests don’t have my email so they can’t bother me that way. I really don’t like guests to phone either. By some strange sort of cosmic law I am always in the shower or juggling pans on the stove or immersed in a tricky bit of html coding or something. Guests have a sixth sense when they call me - they seem to know that it’s exactly the wrong time :slight_smile:

Had a guest text me from the guest room that he was getting low on tp. I texted him back that it’s under the sink.

Honestly, :woman_shrugging:t3:

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I don’t know if free nights do much. I had a guest who freaked out over a few harmless bugs and so I gave her a free night, duplicate cleaning and even more off, and she TRASHED me in a review. Sorry now I just didn’t keep all the money, because in the end she still left a terrible review. I still think the bug thing was made up to get a refund.