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Should I respond to my guest, reviews already submitted?

I made a mistake. Several, actually. Recent guests had four dogs who barked for six solid hours for two days each. One dog, a very large Labrador puppy, was the catalyst causing the ruckus. I have had dozens of animals, four dogs at a time plenty of times, without this issue. My initial mistake was that I had forgotten to send my Pet Addendum to the reserving guest which states that the guest must communicate with me about arrangements for when the guest will be absent. It also requires that animals must be crated. I messaged the guest while she was gone to alert her to the fact that the dogs were barking incessantly and actually sounded distressed (well, the Chihuahua sure did) and she advised me that she was sure the animals were “fine” and that her group was on their way home. They arrived three hours later. My second mistake is that I did not make sure that arrangements were made to alleviate the situation. I got a message, the next day, after the group had left, that they would be gone all day and that she was sorry that the dogs would probably be barking all day, again. I could not have asked them to leave without penalty because they weren’t breaking any rules. My “quiet hours” are from 11 PM to 7 AM (as this guest points out, later). My third mistake was probably not consulting this forum before I reviewed her.

I decided to review her by stating that “xxxxxx was a part of a group of four military families and four (or five, as they snuck one in) friendly dogs. They seemed to enjoy themselves and took full advantage of the porch, yard and property. They left the property clean. Future hosts would be wise to clarify with xxxxx what her plans are for her dog, and the dogs of those in her party, if they decide to leave the property for an extended period of time, two days in a row, to prevent said dogs from expressing their collective, extreme, and prolonged distress at being left out of the party.” I sent her a private message that said: " if our property had been in close proximity to neighbors as most homes and apartments are (whether it was owner-occupied or not), or (I feel sure) if you had been hosted by anyone other than me, you would and should probably have been asked to cancel your reservation and find other accommodations."

This guest left a review that said: “Our stay was great”.

After seeing my review and message, she has now sent me a long message excoriating me, telling me to remove the “pet friendly” label from my listing because “dogs bark”, she’s never had any complaint from her neighbors, I caused her stress by sending so many messages (one greeting and two about the dogs, one each day). She also complains about the fact that I collected taxes from her separately from the final bill (have to in Virginia). She ends the missive by saying that the place was nice and that they felt welcome.

I have emotional whiplash. I have now written five responses. Can I send one?

I think your review was good (other than the military part … Not sure that that has bearing on anything). You were matter of fact about the dogs but not whining about it. I’d ignore her.

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You mean you wrote five replies that you haven’t sent? If so, good. You’ve purged it. Now delete. People suck sometimes. You won’t forget the pet addendum again, this will be seared in your brain as a reminder. No harm, no foul. Right?

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Well, I suggest that you take a deep breath and drop it. There’s nothing to be gained by continuing the conversation with this guest.

The take-away from this experience is what you learned—the things you enumerated about steps you forgot to take.

I hope you can consider it a lesson well learned, and then you’ll be better prepared for the future.

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@LoneStar yes, I’ve written replies that I haven’t sent. She pushed all of my buttons several times. So self righteous, too. Arrrggghhh.

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Go do some sun salutations, you’ll feel better. :slight_smile:
Sometimes I get a lot of satisfaction in not responding to someone who I know is simmering and itching for a fight. Sure, you’re simmering too, but she doesn’t know that. Let her stew. :wink:

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The “pet addendum” needs to be in your house rules, which should say that dogs cannot be left in the unit unattended, and that violation of the rule will result in cancellation with NO refund.

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DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE!!! In public – or in private. You can’t change anything, anyway. Just let it go. Block her if necessary.

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I would not be happy if I would book a listing and the host would try to spring a pet addendum or any other addendum on me that was not previously mentioned.
So, yes …it should be detailed in the rules.

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@AlexSJ Agree, that’s why I never brought it up. I do always mention it up front and it is in the Rules that it must be signed if pets are in the picture. I will find a way to incorporate it more clearly up front, however. I can no longer assume everyone agrees that a dog barking at full volume for six solid hours isn’t a healthy or humane thing for a pet or a human, not to mention four of them.

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This is ridiculous and should not have to be spelled out to people. What’s next? We have to tell them the dogs have to go potty outside? There doesn’t need to be a special addendum for this.

We are ultra-dog friendly. I don’t care if they’re in the bed, I don’t care if you leave them alone uncrated, I don’t care if the velvet armchair is full of hairs when you depart but it is common sense that a dog shouldn’t be allowed to bark that long. Most cities have laws addressing that kind of barking.

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So I’m not sending the pet rules to the 60% of my guests who aren’t traveling with them, the listing rules reference them:

You agree to read and be bound and to abide by both these rules and the rules and guidelines you will be provided in the House Manual and Pet Rules, upon confirmed booking. Yes, you can get a copy prior to booking; send a message. We respond quickly if we’re awake.

The pet rules are very friendly and consist of three bullet points.

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I totally agree with Ken H. Do not respond and block her.

And it will all be over soon. After the next two bookings you will have forgotten.

Ah, you summed up parenting a teenager perfectly! My weekly (if not daily) challenge. And I am determined to uphold it! :wink:

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Ha ha, try it with two of them!

Fortunately they are both a bit older now, but I remember it as if it were yesterday :angry:

JF

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@JJD Thank you. This is kind of my point. She said, in her message, “Dogs bark” and claimed that I must not be “pet friendly” if I don’t tolerate it. I don’t think it is pet friendly to allow it.

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Update: I just need to write about this to get it out of my system. I appreciate the venue. This is actually my first negative experience with a guest, can you believe it, after 20 months in operation and 57 bookings?

I woke up at 4:30 AM realizing that her verbiage was really strange, and I got the feeling that she might be angling for some sort of money back option. She opened her message with the statement: “Well, I was just going to chalk this up to a “learning experience” but I guess we are doing this.” Then she claims to be overwhelmed and stressed by my messages that are “passive aggressive” , and implied that her entire visit had been ruined by stress (I sent one welcome message and one message about the dogs, and one follow up about the dogs, each on separate days.) I think she is making a case for a refund!

I decided to call Airbnb to see if I could head anything off. They naturally assured me that they always take the side of the person who is in the right, so I have nothing to worry about.

@KenH @Ritz3 I agree, also, I just needed extra encouragement not to hit “send”. The ability to “block” someone is no longer available. I started the process, hoping it had been restored, but no. The only option given is to contact customer service. I think the woman is unstable, I started to get a little nervous about it so I wanted to block her, but discovered that this feature has been removed.

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“Report User” under “Send or Request Money” on the left side of the message stream, about 2/3 down.

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