Replying to nasty reviews by guests

Hello I’m just new to the group and have been hosting for nearly 2 years. I really enjoy hosting and put my heart and soul into it. But had the guest from hell Saturday week ago.He has left a stinker of a two star review on TA despite the booking being made by his wife on Airbnb (nothing left there yet). Having read a lot of posts here I’m now in dilemma re posting a response to his reply or just ignore? Must say it goes against the grain to ignore as this guest was extremely aggressive and nasty. I have reported this to Airbnb and am waiting until the last moment i.e this Saturday to hit my response to him on TA and also to review him on Airbnb (wifes profile) and warn other hosts that they are not to be recommended. The review and my response are pasted below, would appreciate any feedback recvd. Thanks in advance.

Left on Oct 15, 2017 for a stay in Oct 2017
We were met by Margaret and shown to our room. The door on the room was an actual stable door with a padlock. The room had a double and single bed. There were three small frosted windows which resulted in very poor natural light.There were no bedside tables and a very large wardrobe with a lot of the owners clothes in it. The bathroom was of adequate size with a large multi jet shower. The shower had dust around the entrance and there were numerous half used shower gels, shampoo etc. We were unable to use the shower the next morning so we asked Margaret for some assistance. The problem appeared to be a tripped switch which Margaret could not fix, she took little interest and to quote said “sh*t happens”. She did offer us the use of the shower in the room next door. This was not a solution as the guest had just checked out and the en-suite had not been cleaned. Margaret did not offer to clean it before our use. We felt a little awkward going in for breakfast as we felt Margaret did not have a very good customer service attitude. There was no apology about the shower. Breakfast was good. However at €120 a night we were left disappointed by our experience and will not return.

Our experience with this guest was the worst and only bad experience we have ever had in nearly two years of hosting on TripAdvisor and Airbnb with well over 50 number 5 * reviews spread over both platforms. This very aggressive guest booked through Airbnb, yet did not leave a review there where he could be easily identified, instead he has chosen TripAdvisor to post anonymously?

The windows and specially commissioned stable doors with their padlocks are accurately depicted on the photographs both on TripAdvisor and Airbnb.

To complain about guests being offered 200ml shower gels etc. and omit any mention of the abundance of sealed 30ml hotel bottles of shampoo, moisturiser, etc. also provided is rather cynical. Some of our guests prefer these larger bottles with their flip top lids. Being an environmentally friendly B&B we do not throw out half used 200ml bottles, when they are empty they are replaced.

The trip switch was sorted within 10 minutes of his complaint; unfortunately this was beyond our control and was due to a power surge as Ireland was getting ready for the worst storm to hit her shores in 150 years! He yelled a lot about the shower and demanded “I want that one” with outstretched arm and finger pointed towards it through the walls! He did not wish to use the alternative bathroom cleaned or unclean. He was offered a late check-out as there was a show jumping competition being held here together with a charity drag hunt his little son was very keen to see; this offer too, was also snubbed. Our biggest mistake was not asking him to leave our property immediately.

We are so grateful he enjoyed the breakfast but his surreal behaviour at the table embarrassed everyone in the room including his own party.

This guest was very difficult, to the point that we would not want him staying at our property again and we have advised Airbnb to warn other potential hosts of his bizarre and aggressive behaviour.

We welcome warranted criticism and we do not enjoy replying to untruths written about us in this anonymous post for a more accurate picture of what it is like to stay here please see all our other 5 star reviews here and on Airbnb. Thank you.

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If I were you, I would not post the reply you’ve written. In the review, your guest comes across as petty and childish. Your reply comes across as combative.

If I were you I wouldn’t reply at all, but if you do you should stick to the facts in his review and only the important points. In fact, the only thing I would address is the tripped switch that made the shower unusable as the guest implied that it was never repaired.

Many guests will find the stable door charming. The partially used toiletries won’t bother anyone whose not a weirdo.

Also, as you have addressed some of the guest’s complaints but not others (no bedside table, your clothes in the wardrobe, etc.) leaving such a detailed response makes it look like the guest is correct about the complaints you haven’t addressed.


Hi @maggie1
Welcome to the forum. Sorry for this bad experience. If you review him on Airbnb wait until the last minute and leave a short but factual review. Do you think his wife will do a review on Airbnb. So strange to review on TA when they booked through Airbnb.


Thanks Ellen appreciate that. I didn’t mention the clothes as the room has wall to wall and floor to ceiling slide robes two sections of it are used for our own storage but there is enough storage for a family of five provided for a week and has been used as such thought it would be too sarcastic to mentioned that. The photos of the rooms also show a tall boy with a bedside lamp at one end and a floor lamp at the other side.If bedside tables were so important to him I could have offered him another room where the photos clearly show bedside tables.He also mentioned dust outside the shower which is a complete lie. I do get clearly what you are saying and will revise my response. He has upset me so much he was so aggressive re the shower my poor husband who usually dons his lycra and goes cycling on a Sunday had to stay with me as I didn’t wish to be alone with him.:slight_smile: When he sat down at the dining table he jumped up in a couple of seconds and slammed the palm on his hand across the teapot yelling there is no tea! He didn’t even give me a chance to ask would they prefer tea or coffee or both. If all guests were like him I would close down. Thanks again.


I think the reason is just him being nasty. His wife seemed very embarrassed by his behaviour and their poor little boy was so mortified, he didn’t even speak during breakfast. Who knows what he’ll do by Saturday perhaps he has no access to his wife’s Airbnb account or perhaps he think he has done enough damage.

Email his wife’s account asking for the TripAdvisor review to be taken down?

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Somehow I can’t see her doing that, he was an overbearing prat + I wouldn’t like him to even know he had annoyed me,suppose it’s better getting a bad review from him rather than living him I should count my blessings :smile:

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@EllenN, she could expand her reply to address the other issues too.

If the guest is misrepresenting the facts or outright lying, then I think a response is warranted. But @maggie1, you could wait for other responses if not in a hurry. Others may have different opinions.

@maggie1, I think your reply could be simpler and clearer. I’d also adopt a more detached tone. Address the complaints directly, and try to avoid extended descriptions of how the guest sucked.

Perhaps something like:

We provide 200ml bottles, as well as smaller sealed 30ml bottles. Family sized bottles are more environmentally friendly, so many guests prefer them.

(NOTE: I personally offer guests only the larger sized bottles. Small bottles, even if available, are an environmental nightmare, imo.)

Suggested wording:

We fixed the trip switch problem described by the guest was fixed within 10 minutes of being told about it. We believe the problem was caused by a power surge. The guest refused to use the alternative bathroom under any circumstances.

(NOTE: the power surge thing is optional and possibly unnecessary. Stuff breaks - the important thing is that you fixed it quickly. You might want to address the
“Margaret did not offer to clean it before our use” bit more directly.)

As @EllenN said, if you are replying, you should address all his specific complaints. If any of them are true, you could address that too.

Personally, if you have clothes in the guest room, I’d take them out. Apart from anything else, aren’t you concerned someone might go off with some of these clothes?

And if there are no bedside tables, you could consider adding some.

I suppose the window thing is difficult to change if true. But if you already have photos of them, the guest ought not to be complaining about them, and your response there is appropriate and adequate.

Even obnoxious guests can provide useful feedback. Sometimes guests can be so polite they will not inform you of problems.


If this is the case, then probably his wife refused to post this review on Airbnb so he decided to do it on TA. I wouldn’t post a response. If you think that the TA review could really damage your reputation, I would simply point out that the guest had a chance to post an “official” review through Airbnb but chose not to, probably because he knew that his claims were unsubstantiated. Just a sentence or two, without any emotions or references to his behaviour.


Be careful that your response doesn’t sound worse than the review!


Thank you Faheem. I have now added bedside table and removed the floor lamp. Also looking for locks for sliding robes to seal off the personal items from guests (just nowhere else to put them at present). The window thing is true but the entire room is designed and described/photographed as converted stables.That is the part that all our other guest have loved about the rooms. I have until Saturday to put the review up for his wife on Airbnb.


If you feel the urge to leave a review on TA, I’d just stick to the sentence above; it’s succinct and gives the info they came via Airbnb, not TA. Personally though, I wouldn’t leave one. Both of us had shivers when we read this. He sounds so very like a guest we had from London in the summer but not with a child in tow. His wife had originally booked, via TA, then he aggressively took over all communication through her account. Once they arrived, he upset other guests whist we were out, and attacked me verbally the following morning in our kitchen. On reflection, he seemed intent on ruining the weekend that his wife had booked, and used others to do so. A very angry, unpleasant man indeed. Thankfully they left early and my other guests wrote accounts of his behaviour, just in case of repercussions.

Did he have long, greasy hair tied in a ponytail??? That left pillows smelly?? BTW, his wife was lovely.

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That is exactly what I’m afraid off! I know what is’ sticking in my caw’ is his aggressive intimidating manner I feel he harassed me in my own home and now is also doing so over the internet. I really do want to keep a professional approach to this but I’m still fuming at myself for trying to placate him! Think I should have told him please do not speak to me like that or I’ll have to ask you to leave the premises. Do you know he had stripped the mattress and a couple of the pillow protectors off, if he was hoping to find stains he was obviously disappointed as they are top quality and spotlessly clean.Thanks for your suggestion perhaps it’s best to just ignore him. As well as still being upset about his manner I’m now also confused about what to do :slight_smile: I really appreciate the comments recvd here as I will definitely not be posting my original draft response.

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If it’s possible (and not too expensive) to replace the windows (while possibly enlarging them), that might be a win. I don’t know anything about it, so don’t have an opinion.

But it makes sense to check with guests before changing things that they might not care about. Do you give out a suggestion form to your guests? If you do, you can ask them about things like that. And such a form can also act as a lightning rod. If guests are unhappy, that suggestion form might give you some notice, and/or give them an opportunity to vent about things that might otherwise make it on to a review. I’ve found a strong correlation between guests who didn’t fill in the form, and guests who either gave bad reviews and no reviews at all.

The windows would be major building works to change and are part of the ambience of the rooms designed by our architect. I like the idea of a suggestion form; at present I just ask our guests at breakfast how they enjoyed their room, (perhaps to date they have all been too polite) I’ve had nothing but positive feedback and compliments on the extra large size and luxuries provided for them. This man’s little boy when they entered the room just said “Wow this is cool”. thanks faheem


There have been threads here about this. You should be able to find them if you search a bit. Or I could try to dig up something if you want.

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Thanks Faheem you are very kind. I have searched and found them, they seem just the job to seal off one of the sliding doors. I will order today.

Oh so sorry to learn you had this too. No long greasy hair, just a very angry head and a loud Mayo accent that could roar enough to deafen you.:slight_smile: Thanks for your feedback.

I meant searching for a thread about suggestion forms. You seem to be talking about something else.

Sorry I was talking re locks haven’t had a chance to look yet re suggestion forms :):grinning: