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4117 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Apr 21, 2012 1:08 AM by amyg RSS
New Member 8 posts since
Apr 13, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 18, 2012 10:13 PM

The guests from He**

It was bound to happen eventually. I’m not talking about damage to the home, or other disasters that strike when you’re renting property out.

No – I’m talking about the guests that will never be happy. You know the ones I’m talking about – they tour the property from the closets out checking for every possible flaw in the hopes exacting a discount from you.

 

Well homie don’t play that game, so naturally I received a horrible review. In anticipation of the nasty gram, I drafted a  response, which I’m sitting on until I feel okay with it. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

 

Here’s what happened:

Ms Drama Clean and guests called at 11:00 am from the home. In raised voices they described how they didn’t like the neighborhood, the home wasn’t clean, the sheets weren’t new, the art in the home was awful, the pool was dirty, the home needed painting, and there were cat litter boxes in the closet.

 

This of course was a big surprise to me since we had not approved an early checking-in.  I had been in the home with my housekeeper getting the home ready the day before, but the pool man had not arrived to clean the pool yet.

 

Without hesitation I immediately offered them a 100% refund. I pointed out that I really couldn’t control the entire neighborhood, and if the property wasn’t up to their expectations they could leave without penalty. Life’s too short to have unhappy guests, and I really wanted them to have a good experience. They declined. I hailed my housekeeper back to the property and told him to stay and clean everything until they were happy. My pool man arrived on schedule to clean the pool. And as for those cat litter boxes – it was actually a dog kennel that I leave in the home for guests with dogs (it’s clean).

 

That night at 11:00 pm I receive another call from Ms Drama Clean. Both shower doors fell off simultaneously and landed on my friend’s foot – it may broken! I further inquire as to the status of said friend’s foot and ask if they need any medical care. I offer to have 911 come out which they adamantly declined. I press this further because I’m really very concerned about anyone sustaining an injury in my home.  No – they reply – they can take care of the friend’s foot – they want to know when the “expletive” doors are going to be fixed.

 

So now I’m really on my guard. The next morning I grab two of my construction crew members and go over to the property to check out the shower doors, and I sat down with them to try to determine what I could reasonably do to make them happy. Again I offer them a refund and in additionly I offered to put them into a 4-star hotel.  Again, they decline stating that after the shower door event they should be entitled receive a discount. Ah ha - so all this drama is really just a shake-down albeit from a New Jersey cop no less.

 

Remarkably the shower doors were just fine, but I replaced them with a shower curtain to prevent any further possible injuries.

After several sleepless nights (on my part) they checked out - thank goodness. Ms Drama Clean and guests left the place really dirty. It looks like they had a big party there (which was the real reason why they didn’t leave). Two 90 gallon trash bins and a large recycling bin were stuffed full after just 3 days.

 

Here’s the weird thing. After this whole thing started my hubby did a quick check on Ms Drama Clean. He used to be an investigative reporter so not much gets by him. In real life Ms Drama Clean is a pet sitter, but apparently when on vacation her affection of all things DOG goes out the door!

 

So here’s the review:

 

The first reaction of the property by my guests and myself of disappointmnt. Though the house is spacious, the property is in desperate need of updating and cleaning. We had to purchase cleaning supplies the first day because the dust and grime was very visible. The neighborhood is an eye sore to say the least. Abondon garbaged lots is the first thing you see pulling on the street. Many houses appear run down. The property is more appropriate for college kids who want to party rather than professional adults that like quality. In the first night, the glass shower door in the lower bathroom fell of the hinges onto my guest's foot bruising her badly. The owner was more interested in us leaving so we she didn't have to hear or deal with our disappointment and complaints. There is a stain filled chair upon entering the property as well as dirt ridden couches in the living room. There is only one outdated tv in the living room and one in a guestroom. There are clothes in the closets from someone else, and used open outdated food from past guests in the fridge. The master bath has used razors and products. Completely unsanitary and disgusting. The walls are white and filthy. There are stains everywhere from walls to carpet. The light fixtures are also filthy. Maxine stated our standards are too high, though her description of the property and pictures express a totally different feel than reality. Also the neighbors across the street have at least 7 dogs that are not leashed and kept coming into our yard. Very displeased with the property and would not stay or recommend it to anyone.

 

Here’s our response:

We were very disappointed that the guests were unhappy with the house, location, and cleanliness, and immediately offered a complete refund. On the second day I went to the home and again offered a refund plus we even offered to relocate them to a 4-star hotel.  Again my offers were declined, however this time they “wanted a discount.”  After they left and we went into the home to clean, we found huge amounts of debris, typical of a large party.

  • bend2011 Contributor 163 posts since
    Apr 28, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2012 10:34 PM (in response to vegasbaby)
    Re: The guests from He**

    Sorry for the crappy situation!

    Just to clarify, you offered them a 100% refund and hotel accommodations and they still complained wanting a discount? That part is not clear. Did they want a discount on their terms vs. your offer?

    I have a non-disparagement clause in my contract.  And if the guests do not leave the place in reasonably clean condition, I charge them a $50 an hour cleaning fee above normal wear and tear.

    Your response is very good and straight forward and anyone reading the review should see straight through the BS.

    I hope this helps!

    Lara

    www.alluringbend.com

      • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
        Dec 10, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Apr 20, 2012 1:44 AM (in response to vegasbaby)
        Re: The guests from He**

        Maxine, to your credit I think you did the right thing in offering the griping guests a refund--not once, but twice. I thought it was interesting when the guest wrote "The owner was more interested in us leaving so we she didn't have to hear or deal with our disappointment and complaints."  Well...yeah.  If someone's not happy, give them their money back LOL  I thought you handled it as well as you could and showed up the next day to make repairs--you get an A for effort.

         

        Now to ask the tough question:  is it possible that some of their complaints were valid?  I get that the shower door problem could happen anywhere (we had it happen at one of our rentals a few years ago), but could some of the complaints have a leg to stand on?  My point is that sometimes it only takes one or two legitimate problems to get the ball rolling with some guests.  Once they see something dusty, dirty, or in disrepair, they have their pen out and are making a list a mile long.  And are your neighbors and location creating a poor impression before the guests even walk in the door?  My concern is that you've got more than just a pain in the butt guest and might want to look at your entire rental situation. 

        • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,362 posts since
          May 25, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Apr 20, 2012 1:40 PM (in response to amyg)
          Re: The guests from He**

          I think most of us who've been at this a while have had the pain in the ____ guest.  Some folk are just such clean freaks that I'd never be able to please (my house is over 100 years old and in very good shape - but I really can't control the fact that the wind blows sand onto the porch at times!!! I also have historic heart pine floors that are always  very clean and in great shape, but they are NOT Pergo type floors.)

           

          And while many owners like me who live far away from thier home are at the mercy of our houskeepers, I do have a thought. 

           

          VRBO now allows everyone to have 12 photos. How about updating your photos every season, and then including the date you updated the pictures on your listing? And then make sure your guests have SEEN the photos and are okay with the home's interior/exterior photos.

           

          I DO know that my housekeeper also services a few homes in my area that the Prop. Management company has let slip into conditions that are not what their VRBO ad depicts. 

           

          Just a few of my thoughts.

          Debj

          • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,362 posts since
            May 25, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Apr 20, 2012 2:57 PM (in response to vegasbaby)
            Re: The guests from He**

            Maxine,  I think you did all you could, and these folks had an agenda from the beginning. It's so upsetting to think that there are folks like that out there who seem to think we owners are all idiots.

             

            Like you, I also tell my guests they are welcome to use any condiments, spices, etc. in our kitchen . And yes, we, like you, go through and toss out anything out of date. Some of our spices are quite expensive and are made locally.

             

            If it makes you feel any better I have to share this one. I was at my home in late Feb - early March  for my winter "rehab". I'd gone through EVERYTHING in the kitchen - spices, etc. There were NEW supplies of  all spices, condiments, etc. in the cupboards & unopened ones in the refidgetrator I'd purchased.  EVERYTHING  was brand new. My 1st guest in (2 days after I'd left). sent me an email saying she'd "purged" my cupboards, etc. and thrown out all the outdated spices, etc., since she knew I was not able to do such- being far away and all.  She was all excited about posting  a review ( "great place, etc., etc.)

             

            I replied to her email, thanking her for her concerns, and then explained that I'd just been at our home and had completely restocked everything, and  asked what she'd found  out of date and what she did with the stuff,( my local caretaker takes out my trash each week), since I had receipts from our local spice market & would want to talk with them about expiired products during my next trip.

             

            Guess what? I never got a reply- and that review - well it never happened either!

             

            I sure hope she enjoyed her shopping spree in my kitchen. Trust me, she will not be welcome back ever again.

             

            Some days, we can't seem to win, no matter what we do.

            Hang in there!!

            Debj

            • carol Senior Contributor 2,158 posts since
              Dec 10, 2010
              Currently Being Moderated
              Apr 20, 2012 6:55 PM (in response to msdebj)
              Re: The guests from He**

              Unbelievable!!  Your response was perfect, msdebj.  I cannot understand why people paying thousands of dollars for a vacation rental steal a few dollars worth of supplies.  

          • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
            Dec 10, 2010
            Currently Being Moderated
            Apr 20, 2012 3:54 PM (in response to vegasbaby)
            Re: The guests from He**

            I'm with you, Maxine.  There's nothing that stings more than when you try your hardest to do a good job for your guests, and one bad egg comes in and makes you feel like you are a slum lord.  I can tell by your posts that you are a VR owner who does care, so let this one roll off your back.  We all need to vent now and then.  Here's to better guests and happier outcomes in the future!

    • sophie Senior Contributor 970 posts since
      Mar 4, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Apr 20, 2012 5:55 PM (in response to vegasbaby)
      Re: The guests from He**

      vegasbaby,

       

      I too, have had a comment about condiments left in the fridge. I immediately put this clause in my contract. Feel free to copy and paste and put it in yours also:

       

      AMENITIES + FOOD- are provided as a convenience only and is not integral to the lease. If

      condiments, spices, snacks, drinks and other perishable or consumable products exist, tenant may or may

      not consume them as to their liking. Owner will attempt to provide a sufficient supply of paper towels,

      toilet tissue and trash bags, based on the number of registered occupants, however, there is no guarantee

      that the supply of any of these items will be enough to last to the end of the Rental Period. Tenant must

      provide any additional items at Tenants sole expense.

       

      I do go through anything left or items I have purchased in the house every week and toss ANYTHING expired. Even things you would use in your own home past the expiration date, ie: spices, pickles, etc. Never want to give someone something to complain about because believe me, some people will find anything to complain about to get a discount!

      • amyg Active Contributor 323 posts since
        Dec 10, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Apr 21, 2012 1:08 AM (in response to sophie)
        Re: The guests from He**

        Sophie, that's so true about people complaining about just about anything!  We had recent guests send an email to us during their stay to let us know that they had to air out the cabin upon arrival because the smell of the pine scented floor cleaner was overwhelming.  Most people say they like it because it's fresh and they know the floors have been washed.  Another concern was where I had left a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in our laundry room for guests to use.  I labeled it "To pretreat laundry for blood and protein stains" but apparently that was too graphic.  The guests said this should have been kept inside a cabinet and not on the shelf over the washer and dryer.  I was just trying to help because we lose quite a few sheets to blood stains. 

         

        Rent your properties long enough and you discover that you just can't please everyone no matter how hard you try!

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