I really don’t want to start the New Year with a rant but it is unavoidable considering I received my first 2 star (value) on any item in a review from my most recent guest after he complained that I charged an extra person fee after two guests, that I charge for cleaning and a pet fee. By the way,I have been renting on Airbnb for close to 5 years with over 80 5 star reviews on Airbnb, 40 5 star reviews on HomeAway/VRBO. I sent the guest an email explaining that 4 guests are twice as much work in my two bedroom apartment, that pets require an additional amount of cleaning and that by keeping my base price reasonable, I do not price out couples that may want to book my place rather than a group. Also, I noted that is was ALL very clearly identified in my listing and the House Rules which he had to agree to before being allowed to book. He told me that he felt the same about Airbnb with hidden charges as he does Spirit Airlines with hidden baggage and seat reservation fees - REALLY - everyone by now understands all this fees and calculates them into whether to book or not with a particular airline and since he is not a new user of Airbnb he should have understood as well. I also explained that I live in a rural area and need to be competitive but support my small business! This does bring up a big issue I have with Airbnb concerning my pet fee - why can’t it be automatically charged like the cleaning fee as is the case with other platforms such as HomeAway/VRBO. Thanks for listening and I do not think I am the only host with this complaint.
And I have guests who bleat about the different prices during the year and the extra guest fees. One became abusive when the price for 2 was $200 and the price for 10 was $500 per night, also accused of deceptive pricing, but could not confirm that he had read the listing or that he understood the pricing. I did my best to explain but it went no where. Airbnb is supposed to be cheap, so people can save money and has nothing to do with reality of what you are offering.
You have my sympathy @HelenSpinelli. There is nothing worse than cheapskate guests who have no clue at all about how small businesses operate. Like those guests who want to check in at 2am because of a late flight but don’t want to pay for that night. So I’m supposed to kick out the current guests in the middle of the night so you can have the bed? Or should I lose out on a night’s booking because you’re a moron?
Recently I received an enquiry from a local guy who wanted to book for his two daughters for one night. I have IB but he wanted to check that it was ok because they are aged 17 and 13. Apparently my place was ideal because their school is within walking distance. I know most of you would have said NO WAY! But I used to host young foreign language students before Airbnb so it wasn’t a problem for me. I replied that it was ok as long as they were responsible and self-sufficient. A few hours later I got a message saying:
“I was about to book the room for the girls but the price seems to have gone from £25 yesterday to £40 now. Not sure what’s happened there but £40 is out of my price range for one night’s convenience I’m afraid.”
As you can see, I’m a budget place but charge £10 per night for additional guest. The additional £5 would be the Airbnb fee. So this caring Dad is so much of a cheapskate that he’s only willing to pay £25 for a stranger to look after his kids for one night. Words fail.
I directed him to the nearest hostel where his precious girls could sleep in a mixed dorm with 18 beds for £20.
Amen, sister! I don’t know what the delay is on this. As for the 2 star, it’s only a small part of your overall so just move on.
There is some business not worth having.
Somebody wanting to get into a conversation about your prices, well why would you, they wither want to book or not.
@Debthecat, @Como @KKC @Magwitch @Gabriela_Mitaj, Thanks for your comments and sympathy, and I agree to move on for sure. I am glad my guest was called a cheapskate because that is what he was. Four people in a waterfront two bedroom apartment with fireplace and many amenities for a total of $550.00 for two nights at Christmas I think is a very good deal and because HE didn’t read the listing, I take the abuse. He has family in the area which is why he was visiting but he is NOT stayiing at the River House again for sure.
This is to better guests, which most of mine are by the way, in 2018!
I had a similar complaint post stay once. It’s hard not to flat out ask the person if they are stupid as all the charges are clearly shown to you before you book. In my case I think it may have been one spouse not correctly stating the total charge per day to the other spouse.
@cabinhost You are so right and he did get my attention with the 2 star BUT he will also not have access to my property again and after he told me about Spirit Airlines I knew he qualifies as a constant complainer!
Hopefully he doesn’t get someone else to book under a different name. Guess he plans never to visit family in the area again…
Yes, this kind of thing is a common problem with couples. One of them booked but the other one didn’t check the listing. So it can be a Royal Pain in the Arse in a home-share listing when one of them didn’t bother to explain to the other that they didn’t book a place with their own private bathroom.
I am SO SO glad that I only have one listing now which does not appeal to couples. It’s the reason I have got superhost status twice in a row!! Lovely pairs of friends or parents/children, no more snarky couples yay!
For my Winston Salem NC rentals, my 2 biggest PIAs were spouses unfamiliar with Airbnb, who had not seen the listing, and treated me terribly. (BTW-I believe you can tell alot about a person based upon the way they treat people in a service profession like waiters and Airbnb hosts)
I think they expected a hotel with room service - NOT!!! I actually told one that he was free to cancel his reservation if he felt like the local Mariott Residence Inn would better fit their needs (The Residence Inn offers 600 sq ft of kitchenette, queen BR separate, Queen sleeper in the LR for the 16 yr old son; my 3 BR 2.5 BA condo offers full well-equipped kitchen, 1600 sq ft & a garage for $1000 a month less)
Is there some kind of Airbnb code for the spouse was a jackass?
I try not to let my b–chy side show…I guess it just did.
@Annet3176 Thanks so much for sharing and the spouse issue I hadn’t really comtemplated but it makes sense. I had a couple from Florida stay with us for a week and they brought their dog and went out on day trips. At one point he said to my husband they would be away all day and my husband was welcome to walk their dog while they were away. We have a house rule that if you are away for more than 4 hours that arrangements must be made for care of your pet. Well we told him there would be a charge of $25.00 and they left without paying and I deducted from their security deposit (they booked with VRBO) the times we wallked their dog. Really annoying people!
Whenever I wonder if I am charging too much for my beautiful beach cottage (based on the rare Four Star review for value) I look at the website for the resort that is a block from my Cottage and I remind myself of the exorbitant rates they charge for ugly rooms with hammered, outdated furniture that barely look clean and have cigarette butts strewn outside on the sand dunes in front of the balconies. Seriously, the resort near me charges two to four times as much as I do and I provide a space that is literally 6 times as big as the Resort’s rooms with every kind of amenity that accounts for many of my guests saying I offer more than a 5-star hotel. This helps me realize and put into perspective the incredible value guests are getting when they stay at my Airbnb. Yes, I live in a house that is attached to theirs via a Breezeway and they may not have the ability to have big parties and things like that because I’m on site, but that’s a small price to pay to be in a beautiful Cottage and have half of the 1/3rd acre property to yourself. It just puts it all into perspective. I no longer lower my prices beyond a level I’m comfortable with. I also used to allow seven guests but now I allow only four but I’m willing to negotiate having more for an extra guest fee. I learned that having up to 7 guests causes a lot of extra wear and tear on the Cottage and also causes me to feel extraordinarily anxious and stressed because I can hear that there are things going on over there that I’m not comfortable with, such as a party, even though I don’t allow parties. It just happens when you have a larger group. I don’t know if what I’m sharing helps you much but I just wanted you to know that I can relate, and I’m guessing most people here will tell you to just keep your prices where they are and ignore these types of guests that have no appreciation for what we as Airbnb hosts are offering, and the risks we at times feel we are taking by sharing our own personal homes with strangers.
Very well put! I think more than two equals a party!
@healingwithhorses Thanks so much for sharing and your description of your cottage, which sounds lovely, and nearby “resort” is very telling. I am in a rural area but live on an 18 acre farm on a beautiful river just an hour and a half outside of Washington DC, Baltimore, MD and Philadelphia, PA. As you so aptly describe there is no way they would receive the amenities we supply for the price at a resort. I really appreciate you comments.
My pleasure, Helen. By the way, my very first guest, who was actually not through Airbnb, was one of those types who start off by asking for a discount, which I’ve learned since never to do. She then at the end of the stay tried to get money back from me because, and I quote, “I was not able to hear the ocean so I had to play my sound machine to hear the ocean sounds.” I looked at her nearly speechless and said, “Did you try opening the windows?” She looked confused and said no, she had not. I said to her, “Well, if it will make you happy I will give you $10 back.” She took the $10 from me (she had paid me in cash). I saw that her partner was looking very embarrassed and uncomfortable. A couple of hours later before she checked out, she slipped a note into my hand and left. I opened up the note and inside was the $10 and in it she had written in the note that she apologized for focusing on what she didn’t have instead of what she had and that the cottage was beautiful and her stay had been fantastic. I went down to the comment book as she was my first guest, and she had written a wonderful review. She is a professional writer and so it was really outstanding. She also did make a couple of really good suggestions that I implemented and she did this away from the comment book on a separate piece of paper. So it was a real mixed bag with her but I will never forget her saying that she couldn’t hear the ocean as a means to try to get money back and she had never opened the windows! It was actually good for me to be initiated in this way, because to this day she is the most demanding guest I have ever had, and it would be really hard for anyone to beat her in that area so I was well trained to expect anything from a guest early on!
When we hear the surf crashing from up here it usually means it will be too rough to swim and snorkel in our bay. It’s like that right now. The swell is up right now.
@konacoconutz “Sounds” perfect!