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When the guests don't read the listing properly


#1

So I just had my first ‘bad’ review - it’s not really bad, it’s just that the guest complained that my property wasn’t as advertised. A bit of background info: I advertise my home as one with a great view as from the top of the building - I make this clear in the caption of the pictures of the view (that you have to take the elevator to the top floor), and it is also listed in the description. Basically, had they read the ad properly they would know.

Am I overreacting in being upset by this?


#2

No! You can try one of two things. Try calling airbnb and ask them to remove the review because you can prove that you had properly listed this in your description, or politely reply, saying something such as you are sorry they were disappointed with their stay, but that you clearly describe your apartment in the listing and that the view they were expecting is from the top of the building. You hope that they will continue to try airbnb and just be sure to read the full listing in future before making bookings. Wishing them the best or some other such nicety. That way you explain to future guests that this guest was really just a bit stupid not to have bothered to read the listing. Unfortunately it happens all the time. People just refuse to read. They click a few pictures and won’t even read house rules, anything. I have people that are on their way without the address, and are messaging me last minute to get it, and all sorts. Asking for things that were all included in the listing and the itinerary they were sent. Some people are very lazy.


#3

Thank you! I did reply, first I wanted to be more direct but I did what you suggested and thanked them for booking with me and sad they ‘missed this opportunity’ - I pointed out that it was in the listing but that I would also include it in the mail guests get after booking to avoid things like this in the future. It is just that things like this along with the ‘Location Rating’ are just things we as hosts cannot influence…


#5

Ignore the abusers that are allowed to run rampant on this ‘forum’ Julie. Most guests would be interested to know about any potential interests such as a great view to be had from a high rise building. Many hotels advertise just the same way. Personally I would advertise my apartment on the apartments strengths, and add some nice photos showing the view that can be had from the top of the building with an easy elevator ride rather than advertise it as one with a great view from the top of the building just to save this potential confusion from happening for those that don’t bother to read (which is many), but I’m sure this is what you mean anyway. Unfortunately even just having a photo even with the description right underneath can make some people think it is ‘all inclusive’. Some people include photos of local attractions. I wonder if they get guests disappointed that those weren’t right in the backyard. Probably!


#6

Thanks Sandy, I appreciate your comments and really think I need to rewrite my description (for the x-th time!!) It is a tricky balance but since I’m quite new to this (only a few months) I think it’s perfectly fine to experiment around until I have the hang of it :smile:


#7

You’re absolutely correct Julie! It does take time to get the whole thing happening so that you have the balance between making your apartment attractive enough by highlighting the good points, and not giving the nitpicking types any opportunity to complain. Just by reading some of the snarky remarks here, you can see what kind of guest you may end up with that would consider having to catch an elevator to enjoy a magnificent view to be akin to climbing a ladder to a roof. So erring on the side of caution is a good idea for the sake of those types that love to complain, because entitlement abounds and you will find there are people ready to find something to get annoyed about.

I do believe it is a nice attraction worth mentioning, and given that it is your first complaint, it sounds like you have a nice place for guests to stay! All the best with striking the right balance.


#8

Your guest was just plain inconsiderate and not very bright. Sorry but if I booked a place and then noticed there was not a view that was shown in the pics - then I would immediately go back to the listing and take another look. I am sure then I would notice the part that says you have to take an elevator to see this view. Then I would feel stupid for not noticing and I would shut up and not say a word - it was my fault.

For someone to not take the time to go back and verify the listing description, and publicly write that I misrepresented my property - would really make me livid. I would ask the guest to remove it and point out the listing description. And I would tell the guest that if you were misrepresenting the place then you would have omitted the elevator part.


#9

You can try asking them to soften the review. They have 48 hours to edit. However if you respond at all, they won’t be able to do this.


#10

I did, too late! Oh well!


#11

The only reason I know this is because I did the same thing. Live and learn. :slight_smile: When I had asked the guest to soften it, he was willing but because I had responded he couldn’t. We both contacted Air saying we wanted to change our reviews and they didn’t respond, or they gave us a canned answer.


#12

Hi Julie,

No, you are not overreacting. I’ve been an Airbnb host for about 1 1/2 years hosting over 150 guests. I enjoy almost all aspects of Airbnb hosting and have become friends with many of our guests. However, as with any enterprise involving people there are frustrations. The two top frustrations for me are guests slamming the doors and guests not reading anything (the listing, the guest book, the messages I leave on the Airbnb inbox). We are constantly being asked questions that are answered in our listing.

If I were you, I would not worry too much about this one review. If more guests misunderstand the details of the view you might want to remove the photo and just describe it verbally in your listing. Also, you could email the guest and ask how the view could have been shown so that she would have understood that it was on top of the building.


#13

Wow EllenN. It is amazing to not feel alone about having trouble feeling irritated with guests that slam doors. We just had guests that were slamming the doors repeatedly late at night as the made seemingly endless trips back and forth to the bathroom during their getting ready for bed ablutions. They also thumped so heavily that the house shook. We were fretting for our other guest that was sleeping in the room right next door, and bewildered that they didn’t seem aware or to care that others we’re sleeping as they flung doors so that it sounded like cannons going off through the home. We felt like we were in a war zone, but it seemed like it was just their ordinary behavior. We have had some other guests do this too, although thankfully, most do not. It was even worse, because I had offered these guests an upgrade to a larger room with queen bed rather than full, on the opposite side of the home for the sake of their privacy and peace and (more importantly, the other guest staying). When I mentioned this and showed them the option to the other more expensive and and large comfy room, they only asked how noisy the other guest was, to which I explained she was very very quiet. To that they said fine then, we’ll stay in this room. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that they would have only cared for themselves, and not treated her to the peace that they would have hoped for themselves. We are still recovering from the stress of worrying about our other guests stay being ruined, and the discomfort of feeling people treating our historic home in this way.

I know not everyone cares about historic doors and what not, but surely everyone cares that guests respect others sleeping, particularly around midnight, when it should be pretty obvious that people will be asleep? How is it that some people are totally unaware of the noise they make, or don’t care?

How do you review people like this? What do you say that doesn’t make you sound hard to please as a host?


#14

Hi Sandy,

I know, to me it’s crazy that most guests don’t know how a door knob works. I had to laugh when I saw on in the house rules on someone else.s listing, turn the knob when you close a door. Regarding the reviews, I don’t say anything about door slamming. More of our guests slam the doors than close them quietly. As we’ve had guests from many countries, I’ve come to think it must be the norm even though it sure is disturbing.We did lubricate the hinges, but it hasn’t helped.


#15

In case you can’t tell, I’m feeling really irritated with guests right now. Slamming doors, talking loudly, barbecuing really late, taking showers at 3AM, leaving porch lights on, asking for late check out, wanting to use my snorkel and beach stuff AFTER they’ve checked out, even use my fridge after check out. Getting pushy when I tried to politely decline their request to use gear after their check out. (“We’ll bring it right back!”) Of course they didn’t, and I had minutes to spare when they finally returned the gear, right before the next guest… Just irritating beyond belief. Getting FED UP.


#16

It’s a shame we have to cover our a$$es so much, but I completely understand this type of situation. When I first started listing I had some pics taken from some of the nearby hiking trails within walking distance of my townhouse. Then it occurred to me that someone who didn’t read the captions may jump to the conclusion that the view was from my window and then become disappointed when it turned out not to be the case. I removed the pics before this could happen. Probably for the best.

When writing or editing your listing, imagine you are writing for the most lazy, ignorant reader possibly, and if you feel the listing is pretty clear EVEN to that person, then you should be in good shape. As others have pointed out, 99% of your guests will take the time to read your listing and will be perfectly satisfied with their stay given the info you provided. I wouldn’t worry about this one review.


#17

Interesting EllenN.

Our two worst slammers by far were a couple of Chinese guests(both equally as enthusiastic about letting the door fly as each other), and an English woman (late thirties - early forties with a man from the Dominican Republic), this time she seemed slightly more vigorous. We have had slammers from the US, but the ones that caused us to freak out and worry were those two couples.

We have a large old house from the 1890’s, so although you can be afforded a lot of privacy and quiet due to the space and thicker than ordinary walls, some noises really carry especially through the big central stairway and mezzanine level, like slams, and the fully wooden structure will also carry the sound and vibrations of people that walk very heavily on their feet. My husband and I never hear each other as we are light on our feet, but some guests sound like they must be hurting themselves when they walk. It must hurt the heels. We have tried at times to reproduce the sound to figure out exactly how much it takes to make such a loud thumping, and it requires a heavy fall to the heel. It doesn’t help that some people insist on wearing all kinds of footwear (hiking boots caked in mud, salt and snow, stilettos) on our century + old hardwood floors and Persian rugs (despite a message to ask them not to). Ah, if we all had the same sensibilities. But that would be too easy wouldn’t it?


#18

Hi konacoconutz,

We solved the leaving the porch light on problem by switching to a motion sensor.


#19

Thanks Ellen, good idea… I’ve found the motion sensors stop working after a while, especially in our corrosive beach environment… so I switched one light to a super low light orange bulb and removed the other one entirely. The second one isn’t really needed, and half the time they turn it on without even being aware it is there… So it’s sort of a pointless light. The other one does help light the BBQ area and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to remind the guests about it.


#20

Well, perhaps I am of the “not so bright” kind and that makes me wonder how you all pat yourselves on the back here. Has any of you ever considered that a lot of guests do not have a perfect command of the english language and may therefore not understand that they have to take an elevator to the roof before they can admire the view? And even native speakers can easily get confused by pictures that don’t show the actual reality. Sure you can blame the stupid guests again for not understanding that this is just false advertising.But I stand on the other side here.
If you do not have the view from your apartment, don’t advertise it. What’s next? A picture of a palm beach, saying, this is the view if you take a Grayhound to the coast?


#21

I’m not patting myself on the back. My point is that if as a guest you are going to publicly write in a review that a host misrepresented their property, then you better be damn sure it was misrepresented.

The poster said that she had the elevator situation noted in both the caption, and the listing description. And I have stumbled around in a country without knowing much of the language. That only made me much more careful about any transaction. And when I wasn’t comfortable enough due to the language barrier, I made sure to find someone who could help.

Many listings show pictures of the local area. There is nothing wrong with showing a beach - it doesn’t have to be in your backyard. But the caption should say “two block walk to the beach” or something similar. I don’t think we all should have to dumb down our listings just “in case” someone only looks at the pictures and doesn’t read any of the words.


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