Review doubts... Wisdom needed

An “aura reading” girl/woman (35yo) makes a reservation 10 days ahead of time. I confirm the specifics of her reservation and ask her my standard questions (Expected time of arrival? Dietary restrictions?). She doesn’t answer. Two days later she sends a change of reservation to arrive a day earlier. No problem, I accept, confirm the specifics of her changed reservation and ask my standard questions again. She doesn’t answer. Two days before arrival I send her arrival instructions and a contact number. She doesn’t react.

I tell my mother in law, who is currently running the BnB onsite, that I don’t have any information and ask her to stay at home from 2pm (check in) onwards. The girl arrives at 9pm without any notice.

The next morning she reveals she’s vegetarian. Luckily we always serve some vegetarian options.

The girl is nice and generally pleasant to have around. She’s very chatty and has a female friend in our city. On the second day, all of a sudden she has invited her local friend into the apartment without our permission. Our house rules don’t permit any visitors at all, because of real security risks. We don’t think that this local friend poses any real danger, but it’s still an infraction of a house rule that we consider VERY important.

Apart from the non-communication, many hours of waiting and disrespect for one important house rule, the girl was generally very nice and pleasant to have as a guest. So now I’m doubting how hard / soft I have to be in the review.

(Name of the guest) is a nice, pleasant, positively spirited girl. However, we are doubtful in recommending her. She didn’t communicate about her expected arrival time although being asked several times, and therefor had us housebound and waiting for more than 7 hours. By bringing in an unauthorized visitor she also broke a very important house rule, as we consider unauthorized/unregistered visitors a real security risk.

Thank you for your visit. Please, for future hosts, try to communicate your expected arrival time, and adhere to the given house rules. Happy travels!

Cleanliness: 5 stars
Communication: 4 stars
Houserules: 3 stars
Thumbs UP

Any wisdom? Thoughts? Feedback? Should I tone it down / up?

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Absolutely clear and unemotional - perfect review and she needs a smack!


I agree on all bar one. I can’t believe you are leaving her 4* for communication! I think 1* would be more appropriate.


[quote=“GutHend, post:1, topic:29580”]
Cleanliness: 5 stars
Communication: 2 stars
Houserules: 2 stars
Thumbs down

would you have her back?



According to my own explanation of the star system, one star would mean something like “Put this guest into jail” :relaxed::relaxed::grin:

If next time, she communicates about her arrival time and doesn’t bring friends to the apartment, I wouldn’t mind having her back. This is supposing she wouldn’t retaliate for the review she got from me. Which of course would be a serious risk.

It’s a double blind system, how can she retaliate?


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No, in case I would have her back, she would be able to leave another review, and she could become more critical. This is the main reason I would not like to have her back.

Basically a good review. You need to be more firm about inviting her back or not… “she’s nice but has zero communication skills, cannot recommend.”.

In the Private part I would also be more ‘forceful’. No “please” or “try”… Just – “For future hosts communicate your arrival time and dietary restrictions; and obey house rules!”


Then give her a thumbs down and be done with her.


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I think both your review and ratings are fair.

I wouldn’t give thumbs down in this situation and I like that your recommendation had some equivocation on recommendation. Remote or self-checkin hosts might not mind the lack of communication around arrival time.
I see this as something she could learn from and improve for future hosts. The “thumbs down” is something I reserve for people who just don’t belong on the platform. (the dishonest, destructive or entitled)


This is a tough one and shows the big difference between airbnb and a hotel. At a hotel this would be a five star guest. At my listing she would be five stars and thumbs up but I have self check in and allow visitors. People that don’t read rules probably need to stay in hotels where there are none and you can check in when you please without giving notice. I agree with Allison that if you use this as an opportunity to educate her on Airbnb it could be a win-win situation.

As an aside, to get guests to answer questions that you want answered in advance you need to use your leverage. When she asked for a change I wouldn’t have accepted until I got answers to my questions. No check in instructions would be sent until she had given a check in time, or whatever fits your listing.


How new to Airbnb is she? If she’s new, I’d give her the benefit of the doubt and let it be a learning experience. So, the review as your wrote it, plus the private feedback and thumbs up.

If she’s been on the platform a while, she should know better, and I’d give her a thumbs down.


@GardenGnome She has 4 reviews, all great comments, all full 5 stars. She got her first review in January 2018. My guess is that she forgot to answer the questions and that she was just unaware of the no visitor rule and didn’t think she was doing any harm. That is also the reason why I think this is a really difficult one.

@KKC You are (kind of) right about the leverage after her request for a change of reservation. I’m just unsure about what I could have written her that would have pushed her into answering, but would have prevented a negative vibe.
Also on the check-in instructions: In case I would not have given her these instructions, she would have been ringing all the neighbors bells and would probably have had a negative check in experience resulting in a bad review for us.

I have a feeling that these tactics could very easily backfire :sweat:.

Having your clearly stated needs met is not negative. Simply state “Belinda, I need you to answer a few questions before I accept your change request. Because guests must be greeted in person for check in I need your check in time. Also I need to know your dietary restrictions so we can provide a suitable breakfast. Once you have provided this information we can proceed.” What’s wrong with that.

If you don’t respect yourself no one else will either.


That doesn’t sound too bad: I could have it :grin:, but I don’t know if it wouldn’t be too direct for some people or cultures. E.a. if I would literally translate this to Spanish my hubby would strongly object because of the directness in it.

Anyway, thanks for the good example. This is definitely the road I will take next time :relaxed:.

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I live in a largely Hispanic town, 80%. It’s Mexican mostly but certainly a mix. I have not found people to be insulted by a request for help. So frame it as you (and your mother in law, your guest’s elder) need her help. Necesito que me ayude, o necesito tu ayuda doesn’t offend in my town. (I’m not a spanish speaker and not an expert but with 28 years of trying to get spanish speakers to do things for me I have a little experience.

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She CAN retaliate by renting a SECOND time and then burning the OP with a very bad review. Do not rent to her a second time is my opinion.

What a depressing attitude. I don’t know how much more market share Aribnb can gain when a basically good guest is disdained by seemingly reasonable hosts.

Basically good?

Did NOT follow house rules

Did not communicate with owner when asked… REPEATEDLY.

No thanks. Other folks can host people like this. I sure wouldn’t want them.


This looks good to me except I would only give her 3 stars for communication since she basically didn’t communicate at all. For me it wouldn’t matter that much as I have self check in, but for others it would. What if you had a very busy day and had to sit around f waiting???