Hi, I am a fairly new host with a rather frustrating experience with a guest. And yes this was an instant booking with a new guest account with zero reviews ( I know - I know - I’ve learned my lesson! )
We’ve already had some solid 5 star reviews to date from our guests. This includes reviews where they mention how spotless the cabin is. We also have a pretty extensive cleaning process and as the host, I personally inspect after each cleaning and then send another cleaner a few hours before check in just in case. I don’t allow same day turnarounds.
We had a guest who after a day of being checked in, sent a message and said there were cleanliness issues. They didn’t clarify, and I asked them to let us know what the issue was immediately. I also quickly got another one of my cleaners ( not the one who did the turnover ) to be on standby in case the guest wanted a cleaner to come in.
Later that day the guest called and started complaining about hair on a towel, a pillow that they said smelled bad, floors being dirty, bugs everywhere etc. I asked them to immediately put this in the Airbnb chat and to send pictures / videos of what was wrong. I apologized for any inconvenience and offered to send a cleaner immediately. After a few hours they agreed - and I dispatched a cleaner same day. The guest never sent any pictures / video.
The cleaner found the house covered in hair ( including a trash can full of hair), every bed used in the house ( despite that not aligning with the number of guests ), personal effects all over the house, new stains on the wall and couch, etc. The cleaner went ahead and cleaned the property again and we notified the guest when the cleaner left. We sent multiple reminders asking them to send us pictures of what was wrong with the property but they didn’t respond.
We didn’t hear anything back from the guest for the remainder of their visit. A day or so after checkout, the guest sent a long complaint alleging more issues and saying that the second cleaner didn’t clean anything. They included a closeup picture of a roach, a closeup of a spider and a dead something and basically said the house was infested. The pictures were so close that it was hard to see if it was even our property or not.
I immediately contacted Airbnb and sent pics of the house after the turnover clean before check in, as well as what the cleaner saw when they were asked to clean in the middle of their visit, and I sent the pics the cleaner took when they were done cleaning. I also told them that I suspected we were being indirectly extorted for a refund or this guest would blast us with a negative review. No more than an hour later - the guest did just that and filed a complaint and demanded a crazy amount of money back - about 2/3rd of the entire booking.
Ultimately Airbnb rejected the guests claim as invalid and closed their dispute. So no money lost!
Now this brings me to the last part and my concern. We are still new so we only have 5 star reviews but we are concerned we are going to get dinged. I know I’m going to write a factual but not emotional review of this guest ( I’ve already rewritten it 4 - 5 times trying to get it right). Any suggestions for approaches to this?
I’m also bracing to file a dispute that their negative review is retaliatory if they give us all 1’s . I don’t want to give this guest a horrible review to seem like we’re angry / vengeful and then compromise any discussions on disputing the potential 1 star review. Is that the right approach or should we just be blatantly candid about what happened? Has anyone else been in this position and successfully disputed a negative review? Should we just brace ourselves for the ding?