When you can smell the bad review coming


“Oh, we would have been here sooner, but that beltway traffic was incredible! I couldn’t believe it! It’s not even rush hour! I mean, it was really packed! It was hardly moving! And then, there was a sign that said “gas and food”. So we get off, and there’s ONE gas station and the food IS IN THE MALL!! I was going to call but then traffic did start moving, but before that, it was just stop and go, stop and go…” (and repeat 2-3x at least - oh, traffic was so bad, oh, they couldn’t find any food off the highway…)


“Yeah, we went downtown, but my contact came out of my eye (follows much detail about the lost and found contact) and we got to Archives and it closed 2 minutes before we got there! So that was a total waste! (I had recommended, strongly, a closer museum that was open much later) and there were no bathrooms!! Everything was closed!!! (Uh, except the bathroom I recommended, in a lively area with lots of places to eat). We couldn’t belive it! Once the museums closed, there was no bathroom anywhere!! The only good thing in the whole experience was the metro ride!!” (and they didn’t take the little bus to see the monuments, or walk two blocks to the area I recommended because?) and follows is much more about the contact, things closing, and the lack of bathrooms


“Would it be rude for me to ask that your son come upstairs while we are resting? He keeps running up and down the stairs…” (Maybe twice. Not ‘can he turn the volume on his game down’ or anything like that. Stupidly I said ‘sure’ because at first I thought he was asking if HIS son could come upstairs…I was in the middle of an all-day project and not really attentive.

Ah! I’ll just think of the lovely YOUNG three people from Poland who were so nice, polite, and left the place spotless, with a gem of a review…

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“The length of the excuse given to me as a reason for not following through with a pre-planned commitment becomes inversely proportional to the amount of belief I have for that reason.”

A good friend told me this one. It’s sort of like a Law of Thermodynamics. Your post reminded me of this. I hear what you’re saying, and I smell what they’re offering :stuck_out_tongue:


Ugh, I feel you pain. It’s so not fun to listen to people complain endlessly; especially when they could have avoided the hassles if they’d listened to your advise.

We tell pretty much every guest not to go to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s a skanky area of town and the stars on the sidewalk are paid publicity. They all go, then come back and tell me how awful it was. We also try to impress on them how sprawled Los Angeles is and that they should plan one day to do things on the west side (beach, Getty Museum, Beverly Hills etc.) and one day to do things on the east side (Griffith Observatory, downtown, Hollywood if they must, etc.). They all ignore me; then complain about the driving distances. A recent guest was utterly shocked that it took an hour to drive from the Griffith Observatory to Santa Monica beach. Imagine the look on his face when I told him he was lucky; it usually takes at least an hour and a half. Not to mention that I tell them all to go to the Huntington Gardens/Library/Museum which is incredible and maybe a handful of them have gone.


Los Angeles is famous for its bad traffic. I have never been there and I know that the freeways are always backed up.

The next most famous place for bad traffic? Washington D.C. What’s the name of that circle that confounds everyone? There are jokes about it in movies.

It’s even worse for tourists because they don’t know that area, don’t know the shortcuts and back roads, and they have to read all the signs to figure it out.

Heck, even in my own city, Houston, which has the 4th worst traffic, I constantly get visitors - including friends - who don’t read the directions I sent and take the advice of their electronic devices. Invariably it takes them twice as long to get here and they are full of reasons why they didn’t go the way I recommended. Instead they went through the bad neighborhood with a badly timed streetlight on every corner. On the map it does look a lot shorter, but the longer-looking route you can travel at freeway speeds and then take a major road with well timed lights through a nice area. I even added some language to my listing - “don’t take the advice of your electronic device, it will take you through a bad area or make you pay extra tolls on the freeway.”

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The Beltway?..

Addendum: Oh that circle, yes a most confusing design feat.


20 20 20 20 20


yes, yes, and amen.

I tell them all “dc circulator bus will save you a ton of walking” and no one takes it and everyone complains about the walking! I tell them “it’s two miles from the Capitol to the Lincoln” and they just shrug. Then come home dragging their butts…ha ha…

There plan today is poorly thought out. But they are excited about it so I just bit my tongue. I try hard to resist being ‘momma’. It’s their vaca.

But almost everyone says they had a great day. They love how beautiful DC is and enjoy seeing the iconic buildings so much. They love the free museums, and riding the metro.

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Yes, the confounding thing here is the Beltway (the interstate that encircles the area) can be backed-up like rush hour at midnight, noon, or at anytime in between. It’s all part of the DC experience. ; )

I totally get exactly where you are coming from.

My midweek guests. “We couldn’t get into Best Restaurant in Town. It was packed, on a Wednesday night!” Me. “Yes, as noted in the printed Guidebook in your room, and as we mentioned to you on arrival, it’s really best to call for a reservation because they fill up quickly. Where did you end up eating?” Guests. We went to Restaurant You Don’t Recommend. The food really wasn’t very good, and the service was worse!". Me. “I’m so sorry your meal wasn’t enjoyable. Though Restaurant I Don’t Recommend is in a beautiful old house, I don’t even mention it to guests or put it in my Guidebook, because the food is not that good and the service is even worse.”

All I can say is try to stay positive. I find that sometimes, when I’m really expecting a bad review, I get one of the nicest ones. Go figure.


I think these will be the types of guests who review the CITY rather than the listing in your review, and punish you for not liking DC. At least they’ll make themselves look bad by whatever they write!

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I wonder if these are the kind of guests that can be coached into leaving a good review or at least good stars? Talk to them about the importance of 5 stars in the Airbnb system and make sure they understand they are reviewing you and not DC restrooms? Good luck and let us know the result when you get it.


They did seem a bit happier this morning. Although as I mentioned above their plan is terrible. They have made it as difficult to do the few things they want to do as possible. Hopefully this gorgeous weather we are having will help them enjoy the day!

And you’re right, @Chloe - that has happened to me before also.

Luckily the last two guests were very generous in their review, so I won’t give it another thought. ; )

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Aye K9. Refer to the city’s popularity as understandable, but its planning as unfortunate. None of it has anything to do with you, for they never consulted the host (dc) during the process. :sunglasses:

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You guys are complaining they see your recommendation in the guide book and choose to go elsewhere. I am amazing that they read your guidebook. Wish I had those guests :joy:

Ah, not in my case - I sat down with him and the map of the National Mall. Circled things and then wrote down the names of what I was recommending.

But yes, I agree with you - read the guidebook? Ha ha ha ha ha!!!


So it is true then :slight_smile:

We walked the entire National Mall and then some and when we were walking back, we noticed the Circulator. :smiley: oh well!

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Same here. Guests seem to prefer to have us sit down with them, give them information and recommendations and literally draw maps for them. No, they don’t read the guidebooks or use their GPS.


confession of a resident: Joe and I spent a weekend in Foggy Bottom. Ended up going to Georgetown twice. Both times, lots of walking, kept seeing this red bus going by and thinking “hmmmm…what is that?”

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They want that human touch - the human connection -that’s never going to go away - we hope!