Would you give a bad review for poor communication?

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.

No response.

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.

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I wouldn’t give a negative review since they left the apt in good, clean condition. I would go over all of the positive things and simply mention that communication became difficult after they arrived and that you didn’t receive responses when you checked in to see if all was well (and perhaps speculate whether it was due to a language barrier). Some hosts don’t check-in very much with guests and actually prefer to not hear from them but I’m like you – I want updates and assurance that all is going well.

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I wonder if it was because they had no local service on their phone? Or just didn’t bother to check messages. If they left appartment in good condition then I would not leave bad review. If they caused you major inconviniences by not responding then yes. May be write to them in private feedback about better communication?

If they hadn’t had internet access maybe I would have understood, but they had no problem contacting me when they accidentally pressed the intercom which lead me to believe they were purposefully ignoring my other messages.

I guess it’s a mild annoyance rather than a problem worth reporting. Thanks for the feedback!

whatever your decision, wait til the last day to leave your review, so you don’t get retaliation. if it were me i’d star rate them down one AND mention better communication in your feedback.

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When you say no garbage bags left - do you mean your stock of garbage bags. And did they swipe all of your laundry detergent and dish soap?

Yes! That’s what I mean. They used about six garbage bags to throw away things, which was probably all that I had left. Most guests use one or two at the most, so I didn’t think they would go through all of them.

Same with dish soap, it was a full bottle but now it’s empty. They used all the laundry detergent and even bought a travel-sized replacement, which they also used.

Most people just use the room to sleep in while they explore the city but this is the first couple to make use of every single amenity–even going through my “cleaning box” tucked under the sink and using my lint roller, iron, spare wash cloths (for cleaning!) etc.

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But none of those things bother me as much as the lack of communication, considering they never hesitated to contact me before the trip, and when they set off the emergency alarm.

Knowing their English/Japanese was limited, I was panicking when they didn’t message me to tell me they arrived safely.

I would give for them a lower rating for communication. Its what the rating system is for!

I would say something about the lack of communication, or do you think it was costing them money if they were to text back?

I would be livid about all the stuff they used. It sounds like they stole it all to take with them on their travels or something. Do you think they invited others over to do their laundry? If they only had so much laundry, then how could they go through an entire box? The same with the garbage bags - did they leave 6 bags of trash? They were only there for 5 days. Oh…wouldn’t you love to have indoor cameras sometimes and see what really happened?

It sounds like you run a hotel like operation with many units but without a staff to take care of the usual check in stuff that makes guests’ stay enjoyable. Minor stuff could be taken care of.

Please in the future set a FIRM check out time.

Glad you’re here to hear this :slight_smile: It’s almost 8pm. My check in times are between 2 and 10pm. I have not heard from this guy since he made the booking. From past experience I am way over accommodating late arrivals. I’ve sent this guy several messages saying he won’t be able to enter the house after 10pm. I’m going to stick to it, but I have this weird feeling he’s going to show up at the wee hours. And I won’t hear it.

I accommodate until midnight but require a text giving ETA if it’s going to much after 4, the check in time.

Wow. Midnight. And that’s just fine if you know in advance, and I’d do it. This guy has given me zero contact, no ETA at all. I hate the idea of him showing up in the wee hours and knocking on the neighbor’s doors, which happens because I’m a back house that isn’t visible from the street.

Thanks for the input.

Because flights get in late to Hawaii from the mainland and I’m a ways from the airport.

It’s just rude to not give you a better idea. You can add it to the rules. I finally did when I grew weary of waiting after rushing around all day trying to get it done by 4, only to have them show hours and hours later than that. If I know they are coming at 10 I can relax a little.

Ok. So you do have some expectation that they’ll arrive late because of the flights. How nice that is for them.

My guy last night showed up at 10 minutes to 10; and sure enough, even though I sent pics of the house, where the key was, which drive to walk down, the phone rings and he’s out front and can’t find the place. He seems nice enough, though. But I agree it’s bordering on rude to not let us know a rough ETA.

I gotta put a note somewhere on the listing about giving me a heads up on arrival time.

Well sometimes. Sometimes they are already on the island or coming interisland. I just need to be ready in case they are coming late from the mainland because that is common. But no flights are later than 11, so 12:30 to 1:00 is usually the latest they’ll be here.

Many of my guests are late because they are driving and there are always storms, traffic jams, car trouble, etc. I’m so glad I can have check ins at any time. But, if they don’t let me know, I knock off a star on communication.

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I’m going through a similar situation today. Have a young lady and her friend from one of the Scandinavian countries scheduled to come in today. She’s in town to do “touristy” things and visit friends. (She’s AirBnB verified, but no reviews).

She booked the reservation two months ago, I said I’d be happy to host and confirmed her reservation, and promised to send details closer to her travel dates. She did not reply to that last email and I haven’t heard a reply since.

I sent another message a week ago with codes to the door along with instructions on how to get in. Haven’t gotten a reply.

I sent another message yesterday letting her know that the cleaners have gone through the house and that if she needed to get in early, she’s welcome to let herself in at any time. Still no reply.

In the meantime, the transaction still hasn’t been canceled, and check in is in two hours and I can only guess that we’re still on for hosting.

If I don’t hear back from her and she doesn’t take the apartment, I suppose I get paid something for my trouble, but do I have to let AirBnB know?

(At the risk of being stalker-y, I sent her a text on her phone repeating the AirBnB message about how to get int he house).

Anyone else get guests like these who are minimally communicative?