Should I Mention This in the Review

A running theme amongst many of the community members here is that we want each other to leave informative reviews because it helps us to decide whether or not to book guests. So, what are your opinions about whether or not I should include the below in my review and if so, how would you state it so that it’s fair and informative for the host collective?

I send a welcome email to guests 2 days prior to their arrival so that check-in is smooth since I’m remote. The email includes step-by-step instructions with 5 photos: A picture of my house, a picture of the gate they’re to go through to access the side of the house, a picture of their entrance door, a picture of their suite door, and an arial map of where to park for free. All manner of other details are in the house manual and house rules.

The day before check-in, the guest said that “the pics aren’t coming through on the phone”.
I checked the welcome email and confirmed the pics were attached.
I re-sent the email with the pics. Guest thanked me and said they came through “perfect”.
Guest arrived at 5:00pm and said he didn’t see the wifi info. By now I suspect he hasn’t read the house manual or house rules because the wifi info is clearly there.
He checked the reservation details and said he didn’t see any wifi details.
I took a screen shot and sent it to him (I wanted to provide proof that the info was there).
Guest said he couldn’t open the screen shot on his phone.
He the said he “went through all” the reservation details and just needed the wifi info.
By now it’s almost 11 at night.
I caved, sent him the info, and told him I was going offline for the night.

To summarize: (1) Seems pictures and attachments can’t be viewed on mobile apps. Is this true and how as hosts do we deal with this? (I give complete instructions so I don’t have 18 and counting emails from guests about info that is clearly provided). (2) Guest seemed not to read info sent by airbnb when reso was confirmed because he couldn’t locate the wifi info. Of course this means that he hasn’t read the house rules either.

Your thoughts? Should I include in review? What would you as a host want to know about this guest? Is the mobile app’s being sketchy a real thing? Ty

Yes I would include the info, but as a one liner, not in the great detail you provided here, which is 'way too much for a review. You want something like: Guest repeatedly failed to read and heed instructions sent multiple times regarding check-in details, WiFi, and House Rules.

I do not believe photos or even PDFs can be sent via the Computer-based Airbnb either. The best you can do is “Use A Saved Message” – said saved messages cannot be a PDF or contain photos either…


@KenH. Yes, I’m all about the pithy review. I wanted you to see it from my eyes and imagine what you would write, hence the detail. I like what you put down. Ty.

In the reservation details, you have the option to message the guest via email but with an ABB-issued email address (not the guests personal address). For example: (this is a fake email for example purposes)

These messages act just like any ordinary email where you can send photos, doc files, etc. This is the vehicle I used to send the welcome letter, map and photos.
These messages are separate from the inbox message thread on the site and so don’t appear in duplicate there.

1 Like

@KenH. How, if at all, should this affect the star rating in your view?

Why didn’t you just resend in the first place?

It’s not a pissing contest with your guests, we all know many guests either don’t read information, or do read it, but don’t absorb it. If they say they don’t have it simply resend it rather than spend time proving that you are right and they are wrong.



I couldn’t agree more @JohnF


A way of getting the guest to read the House Manual and House Rules and a way of saying that I wasn’t willing to stay up late into the night sending him info that was clearly in the reservation. I did re-send the photos. The follow-up cries for info that was in the reservation told me that this guest was inclined to continue asking me and not reading.


This is correct but you can find the unique email address provided by Airbnb on the guests reservation and send via email and as an attachment as a work-around,

@KenH, I’m looking into the mobile app limitations. I’ll let you know when I find out. That might be the problem. The photos, map are visible (acc other guests) if they use a laptop to view.

I personally would not ding them on communication because images don’t always show up on cellphones. It’s not their fault that the app is problematic but it’s obvious they did not read the manual. To be honest, they rarely do. I display the wifi information on a little frame placed on the desk.

1 Like

@Ritz3 @KenH I just spoke with ABB who took a look at our email thread. She said (1) “I can clearly see all the photos and attachments that you sent to the guest. Whether using a cell phone or laptop, the guest can see attachments sent through the ABB email system.” (2) Even if the guest is using a mobile app, he can see the House Manual (where the wifi info was) and the House Rules.


It seems caring for guests remotely is ultimately problematic & in my opinion, should there be problems with access or “rules” it falls to the host to mitigate regardless how much it annoys you personally, they are paying for their stay.
The ABB app is completely unreliable, my experience is that at least 50% of the time it will not load, additionally the platform over the past 6 months has been riddled with issues, more so than usual, ( you can check this fact out on the ABB host blog ) & sadly ABB does not inform hosts of IT problems, so to penalize with a negative review because the process to access info etc. was not fluid I believe is unfair.
My suggestion is to maintain a guest manual with everything the guest will need to make there stay effortless, this would include on the front page or posted visibly in the suite the wifi code and any pertinent instructions.
Employ a local back-up person to problem solve would greatly reduce the stress to you and your guests.
One more thing: if a guest is vacationing on the road, & using only a smart phone or tablet, they most likely not aware to scroll down far enough to open another screen, they will not see “rules” and additional info, assuming it even loads.
Most folks are not savvy navigating the ever changing platform format & only use it at very most 1 to 3 times per year.
We use it daily and still have difficulties.


Ty, but let me explain:
The guest got all the info days before he departed. Due diligence done.
Yes, a paper copy of all this stuff would be great. However, when some of it is pictures of the house and entrance and where to park, that doesn’t translate. When you live in a town of 4,000, you become a centre shot every time a guest parks in your neighbour’s parking or in a town-owned green space or when the police knock on your door to tell you your guest is illegally parked on the tarmac of the road in front of your house.
I have a back-up person and am not paying her $25 an hour to go to my place and explain to the guest how to read his email. (My photos and map were sent by email).
I am remote because I had major surgery and can’t walk. I normally live at my airbnb, but had to relocate to the city temporarily to be close to my medical team.


I wouldn’t include it in my review, but you seem to really want to.


@mypictonhouse hosting is a business and sometimes it takes extra effort; I think you are overthinking this way too much. Nothing you have described sounds like a problem to me…


No, don’t include it in the review. This doesn’t seem like anything I need to know. The app is indeed sketchy as well as some people’s internet, devices and so on.

I can guarantee with over 30 years experience dealing with people who are supposed to read directions/instructions you will never have 100% compliance. You will spend far more time thinking about it and justifying your feelings about it than you would to just send him the information he requested in the message thread.


I would not include this.

And I would probably go one step further and ask you why you are making something so simple as Wifi access (one of your listed amenities I assume) so complicated for your guests.

In my experience … the first thing guests ask for or look for … is wifi access. And little good it does if it is somewhere in the cloud when you don’t have wifi to start with or have that nugget of information in an attachment that I have not downloaded yet because I was travelling.

Make it simple; post a note on the fridge and add it directly in the airbnb message thread and/or email.
I get it … it is in your house manual … on which page of how many pages? Does your house manual include a summary table or alphabetical index? What size font are you using?

The last thing as a guest I want to do at that point would be to chase that information in your manual. You are in the hospitality business and the main focus should be the guest and not your own convenience and idleness.


@AlexSj It’s a template on the airbnb page–one of the things you fill out. If you check “wifi access”, the next page asks you to fill in the particulars. In my original post I mentioned that it wasn’t just the wifi info that was already sent to him by airbnb. It was the guest saying he didn’t get any pictures or map. I’m willing to accept that this is in the realm of acceptable as I’m only asking the question, “would you mention it in the review?”

All important information - the wifi details and the guests’ keypad code for example - is best exactly as you say, on the fridge door. Why people make it more complicated, I’ve no idea. I’ve never had a guest yet who hasn’t used the fridge. so they’re bound to see it.

And even if they were so totally daft and stupid and superthick, it’s easier for me to say ‘it’s on the fridge door’ than go through any rigmarole. I also don’t want guests to have that information until they are here and checked in. If a guest is doing a self-check in after hours, then I only send the info at or after 4pm - the time when they are officially renting the apartment.

I wouldn’t, no. But then I don’t think I’d be in that situation in the first place. Of course future hosts want to know what guests are like and of course you can write whatever you want to in the review - it’s up to you not anyone here.


Email programs are a funny thing as well and more often than not I have to resend emails to my friend’s iphone because it arrives all garbled …

Have you ever looked at any of the automated emails from Airbnb that guests receive? There is practically no information in there … to access any information you have to click on tons of secondary links. There is nothing straightforward in these emails.

All my listings require some explanation about how to arrive - after all they are located in Costa Rica where addresses are a funny thing so I do hear you. And I have a special place for the guests that fail to heed all advice regarding how to best get to the listing, but then give less than 5 Stars when they get lost. However, when I booked as a guest … I had a really hard time finding the information I needed in the mails from Airbnb. The information they send was practically useless.