I’ve only been doing this for about a month but it’s been busy from the get-go. I’ve found that while I cringed and expected the worst from guests in the beginning, most of them surprised me by being conflict-free, clean, quiet, and rule-abiding.
However my recent guest was a little different.
A couple from Thailand, who could not speak English well. Due to schedule conflicts I couldn’t meet them at the apartment they were staying at, but they told me that they would find the place on their own. I created easy-to-understand images with english labels indicating the directions to the room, location of the key, et cetera. Up until they came they were very demanding with many questions, and when I couldn’t respond fast enough they would send follow up messages asking if I had read their previous messages. (Maybe you’re familiar with the type.)
However, on the day of check in, they were silent. No messages at all. Nothing to tell me if they were even alive. I messaged them multiple times asking if they found the place ok, if they had any problems, if there were any questions, no response. I provide WiFi in the apartment and they told me they would have a mobile wifi router (data plan) so it wasn’t that they were without internet access.
No response from them the next day either, but I tried not to let it bother me… I got paid, as usual. I decided to just wait and see what happened.
Third day I got a message. “Hello, I accidentally set off the security alarm in your room and now there is a siren in the lobby. What should I do?”
I have a security intercom that allows people to screen guests and press an alarm button in case of emergency–however, when pressed it continues until a security guard comes around to check out the situation and turn it off. I told them they would just have to wait for the guard to come by and explain it was a mistake, and also mentioned I was worried since they hadn’t even told me they checked into the room.
They responded “everything is fine thank u” and that was it.
Ok. All’s well that ends well I suppose.
Final day, it’s time to check out. I send them a mail asking them what time they are planning on checking out, so I can arrange cleaning. No response. I message them again and say I will be by at 11:00am sharp, and to please be out before then.
As I walked up to the apartment I rang the doorbell, no response.
My heart started beating because I had no idea if the guests would still be there when I arrived. Would they be shocked? Have they not been getting my messages? What will the condition of my apartment be when I arrive? Have they totally trashed the place?
Miraculously, the room was fine. It appeared they had packed up all the garbage neatly by the door, and the room was in fair condition. The key was returned… but since they stayed for 5 days and made use of all the facilities, all the dish soap was gone, the laundry detergent was gone, they had used a few of my cleaning supplies I keep in the room under the sink (for clean up), there were no garbage bags left, etc.
If they had communicated with me properly I could have picked up everything prior to arriving at the room to clean, but since there was barely any communication between me and the guests whatsoever, I had to go out and run out and buy supplies–in spite of having only a 4 hour window to clean until the next guest arrived.
Would you leave a bad review in this case? Nothing was damaged but the communication was so poor I felt anxious wondering what I was going to find when I walked into that room.