Would You Down-Rate a Guest Like This?

This guest, also an Airbnb SuperHost, is a negotiator. After they made the reservation they requested to bring their dog (no animals permitted). Then they requested that we waive the cancellation fee. Then they offered to extend the reservation by a day and offered an amount that was a little more than a third of the charge. Then they requested an early check-in.

Should I down rate such a guest? If so, where – on following House Rules?

I know a number of Hosts on this forum feel that there is no harm in asking. Is that your view?

This guest has not checked in yet. My sense is that I will not down rate them for their negotiating and evaluate them as I would any other guest based on their conduct during their stay. Do you agree?

Should the words of my review, however, make note of their negotiating as I did above?

By the way we declined each request, finally saying this:

"Please know that all rates, terms and conditions of the rental are firm, non-negotiable.

It’s called fee integrity and it gives every guest peace of mind that they received the best rate and terms available, that there was nothing that could be said that would have given them or anyone else a better rate or more favorable term."

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I would rate them based on their stay. You can mark them down for communication.

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I would not mention negotiating with the guest, unless you want to negotiate with every guest going forward!

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But I did not negotiate. I declined each request, and could say that to ward off such attempts.

Should future Hosts know that this guest is a negotiator? I think disclosing this is in the spirit of reviews.

Plus it’s far more likely that a would-be Host will read the review than a prospective guest of mine.

“No harm in asking” IMO, may be acceptable for one thing, like maybe they ask for an early check-in, but trying to push the boundaries on a bunch of stuff is super disrespectful and an “it’s all about me” attitude. Waive your cancellation policy? That’s really entitled.

As a host, yes, I would want to know this guest booked a place and then tried to get you to waive a bunch of your rules after the fact. That they are also hosts makes it even more rude.

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I also think that a review disclosing their negotiation will give them pause in doing so again.

As a practical matter I think it’s common sense that a guest might want an accommodation like an early check-in or late check-out but that if they ask for too many exceptions the Host is likely to just say ‘no’ when it’s feasible for the Host to say ‘yes.’

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Possible, but I doubt it. Entitled people like this don’t care about anything but getting what they want. They tend to just get stroppy if you call them out for it.

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The key for me is that they tried to negotiate AFTER they booked. Yes, please, mention it and I’d mark them down on “house rules” for trying to get you to waive the cancellation fee.

I’m with @muddy. I’m OK with someone asking (politely) for something like different a check-in/out time. But multiple requests is just annoying and a waste of my time.

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Rate them based on their stay and review honestly. If having to respond to multiple requests for special treatment is more work (and most hosts would say it is) then that seems like fair game for a review. I often mention if guests were “considerate” or “easy to host.” So far these guests seem to be neither. But I’m not a fan of anticipatory angst.

As a host, I’d like you to include it in their review, for example, “Aside from their multiple requests regarding exceptions from my firm policies, these guests were clean and quiet.”

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They sound very needy. Wait to see how they behave during their stay. Hopefully, their attitude will improve.

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I actually am starting to mention if they asked for early check-in, in the hopes of stopping a pattern. I get far too many newbie 0 reveiw guests who ask for early check-in/late check-out, or BOTH! I cannot fathom how they think this is good behaviour for their very first stay. Where we can we allow the early check-in, but it usually means we had to adjust our schedule for them, and 50% of the time they don’t even turn up early (this is why I allow it, because most people underestimate the driving time). Guests who start negotiating like this are surely going to be painful, and it’s even worse that they are hosts ! (are you sure they are hosts? I get a lot of “also a host” but actually they aren’t)

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I have hesitated to mention special requests (early checkin, late checkout, special price/discount, extra people) in reviews because I didn’t want to inspire other guests to ask for such things. Am I just paranoid?

I’ve had the same experience where a guest requests an early check-in, we move heaven and earth to make it happen, and then they show up on time or more likely hours after the regular check-in time!

I’ve thought of having a fee for early check-in that would be forgiven if they check in within one hour of the early check-in time. But I thought that would create hard feelings.

So, taking a suggestion made here by someone our listing now says that if a check-in before 3 pm is available (our normal check in is 4 pm) that the fee is 50% of the first day’s fees. If they elect that early check-in I block the previous day so that our cleaners can come in then, and get the work done.

We recently had someone request a 1 pm check-in time. But our cleaners can’t get here before 10 am, and they can’t clean the property in three hours. So to accommodate that I would need to block the day before and potentially lose a day of revenue or even a whole stay. I don’t think that guests understand that.

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YEP. Our regular check-in is 4 PM. HALF of all the “how early can we check in?” “you can arrive as early as noon” exceptions we’ve granted have rolled in around 8 PM. WTF? Meanwhile, we’re worried like parents… I hope they haven’t been in a HORRIBLE HIGHWAY ACCIDENT… etc.

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In my experience, not specifically with guests, but people in general, those who ask for exceptions to be made for them are all about themselves, so you going out of your way for them is never appreciated, nor would it ever occur to them that you would be worried. And that you might be inconvenienced by trying to accommodate them, only to find they didn’t follow through, isn’t a part of their consciousness.

I used to try to accommodate people, but those types I never do anymore. If it’s easy for me, sure, but I’m certainly not going to go out of my way or alter my schedule for them.

I’ve had some of my upholstery clients give me a deadline for projects, as they said they had guests coming, so I busted my ass to get it done on time, then when I called to say it was ready, they tell me they’re out of town. When I say they told me they needed it done by that date, “Oh, those guests cancelled so we thought we’d take a litte trip. I guess we should have let you know, sorry.”

Now I have no qualms about not promising to get something done by such and such a date unless I know I can do it without stressing or working overtime.

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See, tonight is different. Our guests are landing in Las Vegas as we speak and won’t arrive by rental car until about midnight - 12:30. All up front. No big deal.

A host can’t actually waive the cancellation fee (i.e. change their cancellation policy in advance), can they? As far as I know, all they can do is authorize a full refund at the time of cancellation with help from an Airbnb CS rep. It just seems like an odd request coming from a host.

My biggest worry would be this guest being just as needy during their stay as they were beforehand.

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Not by pushing a button. But if I call CS and say, “My guests want to cancel. I’d like you to give them a full refund.” They’ll do so after confirming with me–and it always sounds funny to me…“But, you understand you will be getting a zero payout?” I say, “Yes, and I’m sorry that Airbnb also gets a zero payout.”

You’re right. But the effect is the same.

We’ll find out how needy they are but actually that hasn’t been much of a problem for us, and we do well with the few needy guests we’ve had. We don’t mind and like helping them out. Now, if they had an attitude that would be different. Since we live in the same building (no shared spaces) and I’m retired it’s really not a big deal for me. [Why do I think one day I’ll regret saying that?]

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Don’t count on it. I’ve seen multiple reports where this results in Airbnb still keeping their fees (i.e. they refund only the host payout and applicable taxes).

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