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To respond or not respond

Hello!
I could use some help figuring out how and if to respond to our first negative review. We have been doing this just over a year and have over 30 reviews, all positive, Many noting the cleanliness of our home. Superlatives.

Most recent guest emailed me the first night saying that our shower curtain liner smelled like mildew and urine. I was there recently and nope, it smells like a shower liner. I emailed house cleaner who said same. I offered to have house cleaner replace it. No problem, said guest. We just took it off.

Very friendly guest, with lots of questions but lots of exclamation points in her responses to my responses.

Time for review: 3 for cleanliness. Noted in her public response that our shower curtain was dirty and smelled, that we did not clean our blankets, and that she did not think we washed our sheets, either. But that was not a problem because they brought their own sheets.

Yep, we don’t clean our linens? Nope, we let months go by before we clean them. Really? Of course our sheets and blankets are washed each time we have a guest. Of course. The house is spotless.

Do I respond? Or let it go? I feel like her comments are so ridiculous that responding only gives them oxygen. While she lowered our overall cleanliness score, we are still super hosts and all of our other reviews are stellar.

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. I don’t want to sound defensive, but I just hate that something is sitting out there on our site that is so ridiculously untrue.

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Odd that she brings her own sheets along. That might be clue enough for anyone reading her review, but i think a few words about your standards would be appropriate, ie “I’m not sure why you believed we don’t wash our sheets and blankets. We are meticulous about cleanliness, as so many other guests have noted, and wash them after each and every guest. So sorry you were uncertain about them. That must have been unpleasant for you.” Something like that?

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@Plbfk, have you directly checked out the things this guest complained about?

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I think you must respond because it is about cleanliness. Often I think hosts make things worse by responding but when I’m a guest, I’d think it was questionable if you didn’t respond to this.

“Our house is spotless and all of our other reviews support this.” or something simple like that.

This is one of those rare cases where I think it would be worse to not say something.

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If you respond be factual. I would not use a term such as spotless as it relative.

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Short and factual would be the way to go - remember, the response is to reassure the future guest, not for the one you are responding to.

“Our cleaning routine includes a through sanitizing cleaning of all aspects of the bathroom and shower as well as laundering of all bedding between guests. Please refer to our many other reviews.”

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The fact that she brought her own sheets tells me that she is one of those guests who make trouble where ever they go. …unless it’s alregiea problems but in this case she accuses you of not washing sheets between guests. I was accused of this few times too . 2 girls from Sweden showed me my one hair on a blanket and said room is not ready for check in . Now I am checking for hair in sheets with flashlight. I explained to them that it’s my hair fell when I was changing sheets …they still left me 1* review.
Then there was a group who said whole house was " filthy" after I had my cleaning girl who was very good clean it for whole day with helper. I had a not very good cleaner before and also had couple reviews about not so clean house . Then I replaced her . But this one was very good and for a year noone ever complained but this group.
What I learned that spots on sheets and blankets make strong impression on guests. Even if it’s clean it also needs to look clean .
Now I immediately replace sheets and even pillows if there is non removable spot.
Same goes to towels . I replace them once a year at least . They start looking warn and old. Doesn’t matter how you wash them …the impression is ruined . Though my own towels I can use for 10 years.
But going back to your question…I would answer calmly…that they are mistaken about smell and changing sheets . I wouldn’t go in to lengthy discussion ( have done it in a past) …it’s obvious for reader that this is one review that makes no sense

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Thank you! Do you think it is necessary to respond at all?

Yes. There was nothing in what she said that was true.

Thank you so much! I am a bit “linen obsessed”; Cuddledown staff and I are on first name basis. I know cleanliness is subjective, but honestly, I know the house is very clean and the sheets and blankets are freshly laundered and bathroom is also clean and fresh.

I hate having that review out there. I will respond with clear, non-defensive language. Thank you!!

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“Odd that she brings her own sheets along.”

I know. I think she is one of those guests that would be better off in a hotel.

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My stepmother brings her own linens when she travels; she also washes plates, glassware and silverware before using them. She has done this in my own home; I think it’s possibly OCD. We are used to it. I think any guest traveling with their own sheets is predisposed to finding issues with cleanliness.

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@Plbfk Your name and phone number was posted like 3 times I edited it out. Likely your email signature… This is a public forum I am guessing you did not want that showing.

RR

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Yes- but short, factual, professional.

Not entirely true. People like me who are allergic to all fabrics but cotton often bring their own sheets.

Of course! That makes perfect sense.

RiverRockRetreat

      Leader




    November 6

@Plbfk Your name and phone number was posted like 3 times I edited it out. Likely your email signature… This is a public forum I am guessing you did not want that showing.

RR


Visit Topic or reply to this email to respond.

To unsubscribe from these emails, click here.

I think when you respond by email your email signature has your name and phone number, not sure what it is you are showing me here?

I was just trying to protect your privacy.

RR

Sorry! I was trying to delete my personal info! I appreciate you alerting me to that. I definitely did not mean to include it! Thanks for your help!!!

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When you respond it expands their entire review and does call attention to it unless you usually respond to all reviews. Seeing hosts get defensive, or go on and on isn’t a good look.

However in this case I might say something because it’s so egregiously not true. Brief and neutral like “All our linens are laundered after each stay. This has been verified by our 30 5 star reviewers.”

If you haven’t been in the rental in a few weeks and you’ve had guests in the interim then things might have changed.

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