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Howdy folks, just thought I’d run this little nugget past you …
So I had 2 young South American guys the other day who in innitial communications told me they’d be arriving at noon (perfect, as I had a Bar Mitzvah to attend later in the day). So far they seem okay. At around 10am on the day of their reservation I get message saying “we will arrive between 5pm and 7pm”.
“Not possible, I’m afraid - I’m going to be out from 3:30pm onwards and not sure when I’ll be able to get back for after that. Are you having some travel issues?”
I try to call them, the number’s not recognised. I contact air to explain the situation, as I am worried about their reservation at this point - who also tries contacting them, to no avail.
Eventually I manage to contact them through whatsapp at 14.45. Turns out they just felt like visiting the city first as it was such a nice day. I tell them I have to go out in 45mins and not sure when I’ll be able to get back for in the evening and they will need to come straight away. They seem annoyed, saying “but I’m your guest!”. Wow. I then have to explain in a nutshell that I am not a hotel. Then they tell me they are on their way and in an uber. I start to feel really uncomfortable about the whole thing. They arrive and there is no apology and they are less than friendly. I tried to remain polite and calm but I could hear them laughing and talking about me in Spanish after I’d finished getting them checked in. Fortunately it was just a 1 night stay and they left the next day without any further hiccups.
So now I get a notification they’ve just put a review in for me, and I’m thinking what to write…
How does this sound…
" Things did not go as well as they could have with XX’s short stay. In the initial communications he told me he would arrive at midday and I planned my day’s schedule according to that. On the morning of his stay he sends a message telling me “We will arrive between 5pm and 7pm” (I would later find out that this was not a travel-delay issue, he just preferred to visit the city first). I informed his this wasn’t really possible as I was not going to be home during these hours but unfortunately he then proceeded to ignore all further contact for several hours. Airbnb and I then spent a considerable amount of time trying to contact him because we were worried about his reservation. Long story short, it was eventually resolved - but he needs to be more respectful in future towards homestay-hosts and appreciate the fact that we work our schedule around what our guests tell us and generally do not have 24 hour check-in reception desks. "
I cannot recommend X to other hosts. After communicating an arrival time, which I planned my day around, he unapologetically changed it to 6 hours later and expected me to accommodate him, which I could not do. Upon arrival he was visibly annoyed, acted surly and unfriendly, and proceeded to speak ill of me in his room with his companion.
Give him 1 star for communication and a thumbs down.
I don’t speak Spanish but it was pretty clear to me they were dissing me from the tone of voice and sly looks they were giving me. However, I know it’s still an assumption hence why it’s not actually included in the review
I would be inclined to bear in mind that the review is for other hosts so that they can evaluate the guest when a booking request is made. All hosts are different as are all guests.
As a host reading that review, I’d want to know whether the accommodation was left in good shape. I’d want to know if they respected your quiet hours. Did they respect the checkout time? (That’s more important to me than check in).
If the answer to these questions is yes, then despite the late arrival and their unfortunate attitude, I’d host them if they were well-behaved in the issues I mentioned about because these are my main criteria so I’d want to know about these things. For that reason, I think, to say that you wouldn’t recommend them to other hosts might be a bit strong?
The main reason for this is because ours is a separate apartment so cleanliness, quiet and prompt check out are the main things that matter to me. I realise that it’s different for a room in your home.
I’m siding with your guest. They were the guests, not you. Their communication wasn’t perfect, ok. You can mention this in one sentence in your review that should mention other aspects of their stay also. Did they leave in time? Did they respect your houserules? Did they leave your place in perfect condition?
What if they had mentioned they would arrive between 5 - 7PM? I understand your slight inconvenience, but they are really paying you for a service, you are not paying them . Being a bit flexible comes along with the job.
I have set check in times and they work for the vast majority of guests, I have found the those wishing to come early usually have no real reason to do so and very rarely do so when I have agreed an early arrival, so only do so if I am around anyway and the room is ready.
That seems really harsh! I guess I’m used to guests changing their arrival times on me; it seems to happen frequently. I am happy as long as they give me an idea of when they’re arriving and keep me posted if anything changes. I figure people are on vacation after all so plans can change. I don’t care so much about their attitude either as pleasant guests are great but I’m not in it to make friends. Did they leave the place clean and by check out time? Were they quiet and respectful when at the property? I guess I would maybe just mention “there was some confusion about my set check in time” or something like that, but to give them a really poor review and not recommend them seems too much. Of course they might review you poorly for not being flexible with check in.
Gonna have to disagree with you there. I am actually very flexible with arrival times but when a guest decides last minute to change it by 7 hours simply because they changed their mind, and without even asking me first, demonstrates a clear lack of respect and of course I’m going to feel anxious about them… especially if I have made firm plans for the evening that mean I’m going to be away. If the guest had a delay to their flight then that’s different but your comments suggest that as hosts we are not entitled to make other plans simply because a guest has paid to stay and there may be a chance that they will change their mind and decide to arrive many hours later, simply on a whim. If every guest acted like this, it would be a disaster. There has to be the understanding that hosts are busy people too (okay not all, but most of us!).
It sounds just like you. Way too long and not straight to the point.
Without being rude, I think you should try and shorten communication, which will make life easier for your guests, and for yourself, too. I have a feeling that your WhatsApp communication about check-in time was simply too long. No need to tell them “I am not a hotel”.
I simply tell guests: check-in at this hour, +/- one hour. If you don’t come then, I will not be able to let you in. Full stop.
Many hosts here admit to lying about having other guests to avoid early checkin or late checkout. Following those practices, I don’t see what the difference is between a flight delay, lying about a flight delay or just arriving late.
I totally agree they were lacking in their communication. That is quite inconsiderate of them, but then again they are paying guests, they might not have full access to communication means, and they probably just didn’t see any problem in this. I would say there was no bad intent, and therefor you shouldn’t be too harsh in your review.
Every host can be as busy as they want, and by consequence as flexible / rigid as they want to. The point is to communicate this with your guests before they book. It is every hosts right to give a 5 minute window in which the guest should arrive, but no way in hell I would ever book such a place.