We just had a group that kept standing RIGHT IN FRONT of the Ring doorbell cam, which is not easy to do (it’s way to the side so you have to stand off the side of the porch to block it completely) … of course this makes you nervous to the point of assuming the worst. Reviewing the videos in slo-mo and boosting the audio … we heard them talking about how to ‘pop right in’ while you’re standing right about there, and ‘oh is Lila in the car?’ “oh yeah.” Our ‘no pets allowed’ listing, my mom’s house, a fully carpeted (even kitchen and bathrooms and entry-way) time-capsule 70’s house with NEW carpeting just 3 months ago … and no real area without mud for a dog to go outside and come back in cleanly … oh yeah they sneaked in a big black dog. Just a week earlier we had assured an inquiring guest with severe allergies that no pets had lived on the property since we re-carpeted …fortunately that guest did not book. My own house is advertised as dog friendly and we always struggle to find accommodations when we want to bring our pup …but these people …!!! I couldn’t believe it. I told our guest that I don’t even bring my own dog to my mom’s house. She apologized and said ‘i totally understand’ and then went on and on about how much they loved the house and the views in the mornings…ugh, yeah I love the house too. She left us a great review and I …well, dogged her
So you noticed a problem early, but want to wait until the review to mention it?
Boo. As a host, I hate that more than anything.
So you should have confronted them right away. Or didn’t you see the video until later?
My Ring is supplemented by two 24/7 video cameras with DVR. Yes, it was $800 to get it all installed but I feel it’s worth it. The Ring paired with traditional CCTV is perfect. I live here and only rent out a room but if I had an entire home it would have cameras covering a 360 view of the home.
We didn’t have any reason to look at the Ring camera after their initial check-in until my sister said she was getting motion alerts a lot (she is a shared user and monitors when our on-site cohost is out of town, which she was in this case) and every time she looked she’d just see the back side of a puffy jacket. So we looked through them all until we caught a flash of a dog and figured out what was going on … this was a day before checkout and we did message the guest right away. She apologized but really wasn’t all that contrite. I also felt like that kind of deception where they posted someone in front of the camera each time the dog needed to go in or out was really insulting.
Absolutely. I’d be furious. I’m glad you caught it in time to give her the review she deserved.
It’s easy to armchair quarterback, but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to address things in the moment.
The first time a guest snuck an extra person into the house I saw the video after their first night of a 2-night reservation. It was clear from the video that they knew they were breaking my house rules. Had it been an honest mistake I would have addressed it in a friendly way. At that point my options were to bring it up and either charge an extra person fee or ask the extra to leave. Or let it slide and take her to task in the review.
You know what? I didn’t want to deal with the 1-2 hours of back and forth with CS to address it. If that girl wants to lie to my face I’ll let her finish her stay and give her the shitty review she deserves. Had I addressed it with her I have no doubt she would have marked me down in retaliation rather than giving me the 5* rating I deserved.
By not addressing it I got my 5* review AND still warned fellow hosts away from her.
I could see you taking me to task if I left no review, but whether I addressed a problem directly with her or not has no bearing on you. So why would you “hate [this] more than anything”?
Relax. I’m not taking you to task, I’m adding my opinion. This board is chock full of hard asses, I think it’s important to remind the lurkers that there is another way to groom our community rather than ambush them in a negative review for what amounted to a problem you didn’t mind dealing with (evidenced by your tolerance).
You are trying to protect your rating… that’s important. I’m trying to build the community. That’s also important. I have the luxury of hundreds of favorable reviews to balance my rating. And I understand not everyone is in the same position.
I choose to be direct and friendly. I find that 9 times out of 10, guests just aren’t aware of the impact of their rulebreaking and genuinely WANT to be good guests. Not always… but usually. I help them understand the importance of their responsibilities. And I leave an honest and thorough review for each and every guest… so being direct doesn’t preclude me from leaving an honest review. Only rarely does it lead to a retaliatory review by a guest. I’m that good.
That is where we differ in that you lost money that you had earned simply by not contacting Aairbnb for a change request. That also means that the offending guest got that extra guest in for two nights for free too. Granted the review hurt a little but it didn’t hurt her in the wallet one bit…you, on the other hand, it did.
That is why I also add an additional fee for unauthorized guests. they end up paying $70/night/unauthorized person or animal instead of $20. And I am considering raising that this year. Do that and it now makes it all the more worth it to pursue it with Airbnb…not to mention that it also may decrease the likelihood of it happening to begin with.
Yes, the retaliatory reviews do often come from it but I value the money and the security of knowing every name of who is on my property more. And I still get bookings. I won’t be SuperHost any time soon but as long as I keep my home’s in a condition that I like and some money comes in (I don’t rely on high occupancy rates as this is only a side hustle) I’m fine with it.
I wish more hosts were but I certainly understand that we are all different and there are those that never will. That’s great for them and their coniving guests.
I like your idea of a fee for unauthorized guests. I found out about one the next morning and called Airbnb and had the guest charged for 2nd guest. The other time I was awake (@3:30 AM) when the guest snuck in with the unauthorized 2nd. I busted him, but then allowed him to negotiated with me to stay 30 min before the unauthorized would have to leave, but nearly an hour later - 2-strikes - and I asked them both to leave. I’m going to updated my House Rules right now!
Please note, too, that I also now charge the regular additional guest fee in addition to the unauthorized guest fee. So, in my case, instead of paying $20/night (or $10 if they don’t stay overnight…its something I offer to seemingly respectful and positive guests often) they try to pay $0 and end up paying $70/night and get a negative review if I am able to get it in late in the review period. Based on my success in collecting I am thinking I will raise the unauthorized guest fees regularly to see if I find the “sweet spot” for CSRs to pay it when guests refuse.
who borrowed it from the Irish, as did the Brits.
My unauthorized overnight guest fee is $200 US per night. Extra person fee is $35US per night if they tell me and pay in advance.
Fortunately, we have not had to test that since I added it. The goal of showing that high number was to scare them into revealing extra guests before arrival, and it seems to be working well so far.
We did? Blimey, I though it was unreservedly English. (Grr, I can’t find an emoji of the English flag. British yes, but that not the point…)