How to deal with difficult guests

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  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    Juan Carlos, the problematic guests are minority, but they can be so problematic that only universe will understand.

    Would you mind to provide a clear example of an experience of problematic guest? What exactly he did complain of and in what kind of situation?

    Any trouble needs engagement from the host, whether you like it or not. Discounts are not taken very seriously by the guests, if they have something to complain about. In other words, if they pay for 2 stars they expect 5 stars.

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    Thank you for asking a very clear question - Strategy.

    1) Visual representation

    I do my best to put all information in pictures. Even transportation and directions to the property are seen on pictures. I use text on photos. Use Befunky for that.

    2) Record of communication

    No phone calls to Booking. Just messages, so everything is recorded. Same for Airbnb. In my personal messages to the guest I give 200% of info he might need. I answer when many people will think it's not needed. For example: This is to confirm that we have received your time of arrival.

    3) Strong welcome message

    Despite of address and directions, I mention very clearly what person is responsible for what. The guest should know if his complaint are furnitures, then he has to address it to me. If cleaning, then to my staff.

    We are available on Viber, WhatsApp and again, I provide so very detailed response, that in case of dispute I can always show it.

    4) House rules

    Since you are running a Guest house, cleanliness should be your primary concern. If you have your listing on Airbnb, please put your House Rules in your Booking settings - - - > house rules.

    Airbnb practices Clean as you go policy. Meaning to say the guest washes his dishes and flushes his toilet, while staying in the guest house.

    With Airbnb the guest must accept your House Rules BEFORE the booking.

    For Booking you might consider to write them to change your information in House rules. On Airbnb just do that. For Booking guests put all information in your welcome message.

    5) Identity

    Identity of your guests is your own concern. Find a way to check on it.

    6) Prices and problematic people

    Not 100% guarantee, but problematic people love very low prices. Keep it in mind, when doing promotions. Sometimes it's better to go without a guest rather than to suffer from stress and paying to your doctor :)

  • Avatar
    Juancsandoval

    Your comment is very valuable Katerinka 12. Sometimes it happen and we do not the reason but you have provided a very interesting contribution, we do  promotion that go who knows to where, we found that kind problematic guests.

    One experience and that happen to me in Airbnb when the guest took the whole house and prentended to do a party there, bringing all kind of people.We were scared.We told him not to do that.He started to complaint on purpose about the bathroom, the beds, etc, the situation escalted to the point he was very aggressive because he could not do the event in the house.

    I will follow up these points; 1. Visual representation 2.Record of communciation 3.Strong welcome message.House rules: which happen that we have copy in each room in both languages.5.Identity of your guest.

    I try to be easy and straight and always given a way out to solve the problem.

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    I am sure, that your listing on Airbnb says no party. But... How would you prove that the guest was about to have it? I mean not after party, when there is trash everywhere and when you can record loud voices.

    The guest can complain on purpose about anything that can be captured on pictures. In fact he can even download pictures from the Internet like cockroaches and hair and present to Airbnb saying they are yours. Professional scammers do that every time in order to stay for free.

    Comission on Airbnb is higher for the guest, so he is more important than host.

    So, the question is how to prove to Airbnb that the guest is just about to have a party? He will, of course, not admit it. Also, how to deal in such situation with Booking?

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    House rules printed in your room are not enough. As they are pieces of paper that just might be respected or may be not.

    If you put your House rules on Airbnb, the guest MUST AGREE to them BEFORE making a booking. It makes significant difference. Any kind of problem that was described in the house rules will never be a debate, but 100% your right. No more "Not properly explained in the listing", "I didn't know", "Didn't read" (as you MUST read otherwise can't make the booking). The host said, guest agreed. Airbnb will support of what you said in your rules.

    I also find it very fair to everyone. Especially for the guest. Will I be comfortable to see printed rules, that I did not see in my reservation and was not informed? I don't think so. Unless they are the same as in the listing, but again many will not bother to read.

    When I get reservation from lawyers and doctors, I know that I will not have any "misunderstandings" with them because these people know how to read. But you can't imagine how people are lazy nowadays and even think that reading is bad.

    In South East Asia many people do not like to read (they understand pictures better). But it's a worldwide problem already. French lady told me "reading is not something to do when you book on the go".

    Another guest requested me to make pictures of dinnerware and cooking utensils (they are on checklist, and describe in the listing). For past 2 days I had to write her personally about everything I have in the apartment, because her "daughter wonders". But I know, that mother and daughter are just lazy to read.

    I hope no one is questioning my ability to make a listing look like a novel. Everything is there... Even where to turn left and right.

    So, Airbnb House rules are great! They Force a person to read and agree :)

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    HOW TO DEAL WITH GUESTS THAT DEMAND EARLY CHECK IN

    Example: https://ibb.co/gdzYyMk

    APRIL 1, 2019 

    Kat
    Kat
    2:20 PM
    Hello!

    I have been experiencing a lot of guests, who will just pressure me with demands to provide them early check in. Their endless messages just do not stop and they get very upset with me as I must be responsible for their broken dreams to stay FOR FREE from very early morning.

    They don't understand that I can't kick out the guest before them as I am responsible for their comfortable stay and I will never ever ask my guest to check out earlier to satisfy unjustified demands of next guest.

    Obviously my time also should be respected. As for your rules, I can't compromise the cleanliness of the apartment.

    Honestly, if I see that the guest is problematic, asks me for early check-in not just once, but many times, though I already gave the answer no with full explanation, keeps pressuring me, bombing with messages on Viber... I don't want to host such guest.

    As he didn't want to hear or understand, I know for sure that his behavior will not change, or even will become worse. I don't want to live in constant stress being worried about what next move will put me into stress or make me feel guilty for someone's royal wishes at my expense.

    If I see such problematic guest, I would like to cancel his reservation. But the problem is that you are charging me $100, and I am treaten by your staff that my account will be deleted. Not to mention that every cancelation makes me invisible in search.

    I nowhere advertise any free or even paid early check in. I am seeking for your assistance and good advise as my trusted friend, how can I protect myself from problematic guests, that demand free early check in? Can their messages with such demands be a basis for free cancelation?

    Please, provide the best solution to this problem. Because being forced to host such guest, every one is not happy. Upset guest, upset host, bad reviews as results and bad reputation (and work, if dispute) for Airbnb. How can we make everyone happy? Tell me, please.
    󹀁

    Airbnb Support
    Airbnb Support
    2:24 PM
    Hi Kat, my name is Diksha G and I'm with Airbnb support. I'd be happy to help you today. Let me look into this.
    Kat
    Kat
    2:26 PM
    Airbnb Support
    Airbnb Support
    2:27 PM
    Kat, please confirm do you want to cancel the reservation as you are uncomfortable with the guest.
    Kat
    Kat
    2:28 PM
    The guest asked for second time ON the date of arrival, though I already explained to him that I have a guest before him.
    This is just an example. I have many guests like that.
    Airbnb Support
    Airbnb Support
    2:29 PM
    Kat, you can contact us if you are uncomfortable with the guest and want to cancel the reservation. We will definitely assist you.
    Kat
    Kat
    2:30 PM
    I want to know for the future reservations, what are my rights with Airbnb? You really want me to be forever in stress?
    And what will happen next? You will charge me $100?
    Airbnb Support
    Airbnb Support
    2:30 PM
    Your level of dissatisfaction is completely justified. Need not worry, we are always there to help.
    Kat, we have dedicated team, and they will check the issue. If possible they might remove the penalty.
    Kat
    Kat
    2:31 PM
    I know that any cancelation will compromise my visibility in search and performance
    So, they might remove or might NOT remove. Did I understand you correctly?
    Airbnb Support
    Airbnb Support
    2:32 PM
    Kat, do not cancel the reservation, just contact us before canceling any reservation.
    Yes, the team will investigate and help you accordingly.
    Kat
    Kat
    2:34 PM
    If that's the case, then I would like your team to look into this and update your rules about cancelations and penalties.
    Airbnb Support
    Airbnb Support
    2:34 PM
    Please check this link for more details: www.airbnb.co.in/help/article/259
    We are always looking for suggestions to make our platform better for both hosts and guests, and insight from members of our community is immensely valuable to us. To send your suggestion, just go to our feedback form and enter a description of the feature you’d like us to create:

    www.airbnb.com/help/feedback
    Kat
    Kat
    2:35 PM
    As a host, I want to know and be properly informed, when cancelation is my fault and when cancelation is not my fault.
    Airbnb Support
    Airbnb Support
    2:36 PM
    Kat, I would request you to contact us before canceling any reservation, and we will let you know.
    Kat
    Kat
    2:36 PM
    Thank you, I will do that. Please, kindly forward my request as well to your responsible staff.
    Airbnb Support
    Airbnb Support
    2:37 PM
    No problem. You're more than welcome. It's my pleasure to assist you today. Have a good day ahead!
    Kat
    Kat
    2:37 PM
    Have a good day ahead, Diksha!
    Type a message
    Type a message

  • Avatar
    Juancsandoval

    All right Katerinka12, we handle early check in , that we invite guests to come in to the installation.We explain that the room is not ready but they can leave the baggage and we provided a free breakfast, water and of course a delighted coffee, we are colombians, of course.

    Nobadoy complaint, they look for that kind of support, sometimes we provide a bathroom to take a shower, usually they endup taking other night.

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    Kibokoafrica

    It is always advisable to stay calm and kind in all situations

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    michael beeston

    WOW.....Katerinka !!!!!!.We do not EVER have a problem with our apartments BUT we look after many other Holiday homes and sometimes 12/14 Young people stay for 2/4 days ( a nightmare at times) I warn them when I do the meet and greet and  we hold a $1,000 BOND...I have had to call the Police on several occasions and we Kick them out and they DO NOT GET THE BOND back. ( a very very messy and uncomfortable experience definitely)

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    Ireland-B&B

    I stay calm, smile and take the blame even when it's not my fault. I smile because I say to my self ''you'll be gone in the morning, but keep it up and you'll be out tonight!!'' ;)

    But in all fairness, the mean nasty and rude guests come from one country in particular...but I'm not saying which country :)

    Then I bitch about them in private to my poor suffering husband LOL

  • Avatar
    michael beeston

    Ireland -B@B....................Hahahaha had to laugh its true..they are GONE GONE the next day or 2...........Bye bye... and then on the other hand, we have had some absolutely lovely charming people stay and I would have them back in a Flash (unless of course if they were IRISH !!!...hahaha.).its a funny business alright ???

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    "we hold a $1,000 BOND..I have had to call the Police on several occasions and we Kick them out and they DO NOT GET THE BOND back. ( a very very messy and uncomfortable experience definitely)"

    We can't hold bond. Due to manner of operations (guests leave at unpredictable times, "airport place") and $1000 is huge amount. Both for the country and the guests as well. Though I understand that your type of the property might require this amount.

    Also, the law does not protect us in any way for the bond. It's treated as a personal agreement between tenant and landlord and it's not mandatory. This is in regard to the law, that seems to be perfect on paper. Implementation if the law is a nightmare... Close to impossible.

    What kind of situations did you have that you had to call to police? They must be serious. If you don't mind, please share.

  • Avatar
    Katerinka12

    "Then I bitch about them in private to my poor suffering husband LOL"

    Michael and Ireland, I can't stop laughing. At least Ireland has some things to discuss and has strong bond with her husband. That's more important. And... What if problematic guest is not leaving next day? Will you handle him for 1 month?

    "But in all fairness, the mean nasty and rude guests come from one country in particular...but I'm not saying which country :)"

    You are just reading my mind! ;) well, they are definitely not from Colombia. Though we never had guests from Colombia, I met them in other situations. They are very conservative and treat to their promises very seriously, they do what they tell. And dance well! Cheers to topic starter.

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Problematic guests have to be treated with care and proderm!!!!
    (Proderm is a baby cream brand and it was for years the best advertise in TV!!!!)
    Katerinka I always remember your advice to treat guests with kindness....no matter how difficult the situation....
    Katerinka your suggestions are very helpful. I have tried to add House Rules in the fine print but booking.com won't let me. Of course in Airbnb I have added my House Rules.
    Ireland I can imagine the scene with your suffering husband...same case here...Poor husbands....ha...ha...
    Michael how about a little Champagne so we can all cheer up...

  • Avatar
    michael beeston

    TRUE.............lets be positive !!!!.    Katerinka  the stories are quite offensive ( we have a youth culture in Australia that involves BINGE Drinking) to a huge degree............we live in Surfers Paradise ( a wonderful beach/sunny/vibrant community of 600,000 people) BUT it is like California, the young people in particular go Surfing/Dancing/Discos/ Beach parties/live Music/plenty of Freedom/go to the shopping centers barefoot and fancy free, we also have a Schoolies three weeks here, where the teenagers are leaving school and we get up to 80,000 Schoolies (look it up on Google) in a three week period, NOT ALL but maybe 2% go out of control, it may sound awful but we have 60/80 Police officers and Police cars/Motor Bikes who stay in Surfers for that period "looking after" the young people !!!.and sometimes it gets out of control...like some of our houses where we have 12/14 guys and girls....................they pay $1,000 per night...minimum 7 nights (cheap accommodation when divided by 12) BUT as I said NOT ALL the time but enough to cause problems and we therefore have NO TOLERENCE and if required kick them out !!

    By the way it is also so good to see young people who have just left the authority of school, trying to behave and act Grown up yet have fun fun............sometimes we all forget we were YOUNG once..............they are 17/18 years old.  (as I say look up Schoolies Surfers Paradise , on Google,its a very distinct School leaving Aussie thing )

  • Avatar
    michael beeston

    "M" and Katerinka....................more positive stuff, just ordered another 3 dozen Champagne (it was on special 1/2 price so Go Go !!)

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    M Adamopoulou

    Michael with all that champagne how can youngsters control themselves ha...ha.
    I understand what you are saying same thing happens in the Summertime in Oropos and in Greece in general. People come to have fun and enjoy every minute they can. They like being free in any way...sit on sidewalks, front steps of shops, on beaches, walk barefoot in shops, restaurants, bars , talk loud, sing from morning to next morning....
    Freedom....freedom....
    Joining them makes our lives even better. Of course police is always present in case things get away...
    Wow!!!summer is almost here...let’s have some fun guys.

  • Avatar
    Benita Cyster

    a good question Juanscandoval - one will always find the odd difficult guest and you sense it in their reservation requests already, or phone calls thus as Katarinka12 advised yes always keep all conversation within the booking platform you are using.     Stand firm and never let any guest push you to deviate from your values and your company policy.   Big hotels , etc do not deviate from check in times - all is done at extra cost and they do not get bad reviews guests are only doing it with small establishments like ourselves - or with us at least - they want to save on a two night stay thus want to check in before 10h00 in the morning and then just pay for the one night - do stand firm - if that income was not meant for you - so be it. One really get a gut feeling when a guest is not a very friendly person and will make trouble no matter what you do or say.      communication is key - communicate, communicate and keep on chatting - it does help and one always reach an agreement that suits both 

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    Benita Cyster

    Parties in your accommodation venue :  We do not allow any outside guests to the venue anymore this just create extra concerns and unnecessary stress and expenses for one.  Katarinka ou are so correct in saying putting house rules down , give more info in each correspondence and guide them to what is important for you and your business - gently  and gently etc.  in a small business especially where we as owners live on the premises we are all and do all thus whatever complaint are dished up needs to be baked or cooked just there and then best by ourselves i believe,   than any staff member -  I would stay quiet and listen and also ask them what they would like us to offer them for a solution eg - want to have room before 10h00 and guests are still in-house and they are arriving already - we will take their luggage, but do not have spare showers ( unless they shower at one outside for the pool use) and usually they do see that their request are not practical - we let them sign in, etc all admin are handled and give them key access but not the room access ,offer coffee  etc or whatever eats are on breakfast at that time - but will not incur extra workload as breakfast time is a very busy one - in-house guest as well as in-coming guest both need 110% of your attention as both are equally important. No parties or loud music are ever allowed by guests  ( we do events ourselves and thus oversee time of event and drinking etc, etc.  ) as we are in a neighborhood and not on an estate  etc.thus a community - if a group books ask for a person from the onset and deal and let them sign your policy for their event they wanna host - do not be afraid to do that - you have worked extremely hard to uphold a certain level of service and your brand is important to you - they just come for jolly wholly time - sometimes it takes a while to attract the right crowd - and we must sometimes let go of "bad easy money" to retain our look and feel of our business. I suppose my elderly parents on the premises bring some sort of respect to the guests as when they them they immediately take a different posture and approach - kinda my watch dogs he he he  ...   i do hope it assists you on the party hosting. you need to protect your image. Bye bye

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    michael beeston

    Hello Benita Cyster..................100% agree (well said ) and "M"......FREEDOM......Wonderful..The Champagne is for you and Katerinka when you both come to the Gold Coast ..we locals call it the Goldie haha.

  • Avatar
    Benita Cyster

    House rules for booking.com guests  versus AirBNB rules  - Yes the latter needs to be agreed upon before making the reservation - I however do exactly the same with booking.com guests that i sense that are gonna give issues -  please it might sound silly but in the beginning of my business ( we are only 10 years old now) i prayed to God for guests - eish got a lot but suffered due to not asking for guests that would love a village stay, or a small business with good service. Yes not all guests are meant for all our offerings as businesses.   THUS i do the same i copy and paste a form into my booking.com message for both to see and ask the guest to adhere to that as we are a small first generation family business  and the majority  guests respond - those that Do Not - i message booking.com and ask them to get hold of the guest and to respond - eg: we do not have a receptionist - 4 suites and 1 backpacker room - thus we do all and are all. We might be busy at the back of the house and not hear the bell so we ask for an approximate check in time ( deviation of an hour is fine too) just to not let them wait long or be unhappy and most respond.  with race being a massive thing too I suppose all over not sure but in SA for sure - my families experience -  some guests are from the viewpoint that all villages are rowdy and not safe , etc etc   thus they  book online - and once arriving all of a sudden do not feel safe - as we and the majority of the houses do not have fences - i describe our village as a place where you can still walk into a neighbors house unannounced and still receive a cuppa , few fences and lots of compassion -  yet they then want a full refund etc, and in the past i did, but the last 2 years decided not to do that as a guest can also be in the wrong, prejudice and racist as we have experienced so many times - we as business owners do give our best to all our guests thus let them put up that review as readers are intelligent and do read our responses.  I had a guest that scored me so low as she did not like my interior of the room - she is my guest in my house and if one out of a 1000 do not like what a room look like - then leave deary but staying for days and then complain - oh no i love my guests and live for serving them with excellence but my faith and life has taught me to stand up for my beliefs and what our offerings are.  I surely hope my input can assist you. God bless Benita 

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    M Adamopoulou

    Thanks Michael for the Goldie. Sometimes dreams come true.... Since you and Rita are coming to Europe maybe you should bring your Goldie with you and convince Katerinka to come and have a drink to our forum friendship and freedom!!!
    Cheers!!!!

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    michael beeston

    Would be wonderful...BUT the price of the Forum is damn expensive and for us the airfares as well, BUT we can see Rita's brothers in Belgium at the same time....it will be good...take care am off to The Pinnacle for an early check in  ( 4 meet and greets today ahhhhhhhhh!!!!...........talk soon.)

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    M Adamopoulou

    Too much work Michael!!!
    Fares are definitely too expensive, I understand.
    Dreaming doesn't pay....
    I love Pinnacle....
    Have a great meet and greet...

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    michael beeston

    Thanks  "M".

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    M Adamopoulou

    Michael you are welcome...
    Wish you well and a fabulous weekend...

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    Brendan Kerchoff

    I imagine there would be some difficult guests indeed as it comes with the line of hospitality. 

     

    I myself have not had a difficult one as yet, (touch wood) but should one come about, one just needs to understand that it takes all types to make the world go about, and therefore you would be required to manage and handle the situation as best as you possibly can given the nature of that situation.

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    M Adamopoulou

    Brendan  wish you only have well behaved guests. Keep on thinking positive and everything will roll as simple as possible.

    Have a great time...

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    Kibokoafrica

    Brendan you are very right. One need to be prepared to handle all type of characters. I always believes even the most nagging guest can still recommend you to other guests in future.

  • Avatar
    michael beeston

    We All seem to agree.............well said Brendan, agree 100%.Thanks Michael.

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