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18002 Views 25 Replies Latest reply: May 14, 2013 10:54 PM by swlinphx RSS
skiandglee Active Contributor 509 posts since
Apr 27, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

May 15, 2012 11:40 AM

My first unhappy renter

It was bound to happen as the saying goes, "You can't please everyone".  As I have read on other posts here, potential renters who want a discount can be trouble.  I think the reasoning is that they want a discount because they don't think your property is worth the rate you are asking and if you don't give them a discount and they rent anyway, they are arriving with a preconceived notion that they are not getting their money's worth and won't respect your property since they are being overcharged.

 

I had a lady who has inquired about my properties 4 or 5 times over the last year or two and has never booked.  She recently inquired about a last minute booking (10 days or so out) and wanted a discount.  I said no discount and she reluctantly booked anyway but sent me the following in an email:

 

"I must say, as a business owner myself, I’m a little confused as to why you would be adding on fees as opposed to offering ‘last minute booking’ deals/discounts/incentives given that you would get nothing if we were to not book (assuming it is rare that someone would book this late). Feels to me like you are not that interested in the business"

 

I explained reasoning that I work ******* the properties to constantly upgrade them and keep them maintained and I stay there myself when they are not rented.  She said she understood and looked forward to the stay.  I didn't communicate with her during her stay and didn't hear from her regarding any issues while she was there. 

 

She had a late checkout at 5pm Sunday so the cleaner could not come till the next day Monday, but there was a snow storm that dropped 12" the night she left.  Due to that and prior committment, the cleaner couldn't come till Wednesday morning.  Usually not a big deal but this rental group left the oven on at 300 degrees!  Cleaner said the house was very hot which was strange considering the snow outside, that's when she found the oven still on, 3 days later.  Also found mildewed towels in the washer, toilet stopped up with feces in it, cigarette butts by the hot tub and a bunch of the pool tools were under the cover in the pool.  I emailed the lady this:

 

"I just got a call from my cleaner/inspector.  I'm a little dismayed.  She walked in and the house was hot which seemed strange to her so she walked around and found that the oven was left on at 300 degrees!  So the oven has been on since presumably Sunday at some point, the electric bill will certainly reflect a substantial increase from running an electric oven for 3 1/2 days.  I can wait to get that electric bill and send you a copy prior to refunding your deposit or I can deduct $150 for what I presume will be additional cost incurred.  I am just so thankful I didn't lose the house to a fire as I don't think anyone really knows what could happen if you leave an oven on unattended for 3 1/2 days.  Normally she would have been there Monday, the day after due to your late checkout on Sunday but due to the snowstorm she didn't make it till this morning.

 

I just wanted to let you know some additional things my cleaner reported to me.  She did not charge me extra to take care of them but I did want you to be aware of them so that you could pass on to whomever in the group was responsible that it very well could have incurred additional costs.

 

1) 13 cigarette butts by the hot tub between the sauna and tub.  This is strange since there is a cigarette disposal right on the corner of the hot tub.  She thinks perhaps someone was sneaking the cigarettes and didn't want to be seen putting them in the disposal.

 

2) Top of the stairs, make a left and in the bedroom at the end of the hall, someone left a clogged toilet with feces in it.  There are plenty of plungers in the house and she obviously unclogged it but quite an unpleasant way to leave the toilet.

 

3) Pool toys were left in the pool under the cover.  Not a big deal but she had to fish them out.

 

4) Towels left in the washing machine which mildewed and required 2 additional washings to remove smell

 

I'll wait to hear back from you on what you would like me to do regarding your deposit, whether you would like to wait till I receive the electric bill or receive $350 back today on your card.

 

Thanks,

Rick"

 

She emailed back that she wanted to wait for the bill so she could have her accountant and attorney check to be sure she was not overcharged and that considering my email she had rethought her experience and would leave reviews to reflect that.

 

I got the review today and posted an owner's response.  She stated I sent her a nasty email which I listed above.

 

I'm more than happy to take constructive criticism on how I emailed or responsed to the review from my fellow rental owners so definitely let me know what you think.

 

Here's the review:

 

 

  Nice place but owner is difficult to deal with   

 

  Review Submitted   May 13, 2012        Date of Stay   April 20, 2012 

Unfortunately, we won't be returning to this property, despite enjoying the amenities it had to offer.  We booked this property at the last minute.  Most rental agencies offer discounts for last minute bookings, but Rick would not.  In addition to not offering a discount for renting less than a week out, he charged an additional $100 for a late check out, even though no one else was booked the next day nor the entire week after.  On top of that he threw on a 3% credit card transaction fee. I couldn't pay by check to avoid the fee b/c there wasn't enough time to get him the check.  Overall, our stay was nice, but the place does need some care.  The outside furniture needs painted, at minimum, but really could use replacement.  The walls are marked up and need new painting.  The kitchen supplies need updated - knives don't cut, pans and pans are rusted and stained, and some of the dinnerware was chipped and cracked. None of these are major issues, but Rick's reason for not discounting the property was due to the amount of time and money he puts into its upkeep so I had expected more. Lastly, unfortunately, we had accidentally left the oven on at check out and Rick sent a nasty email about it and wanted to keep $150 of our security deposit even though there was no damage done.  Included in the nasty email exchange, was an accusation of us leaving cigarette butts all over the yard.  No one in our party smokes and we had actually noticed the cigarette butts upon check in.  So, book with caution.  The amenities are great, but not worth the hassle of dealing with the owner.

    Rating:

                 3 out of 5

 

                                                                                                                                                          Edit your Response              

Owner Response: It's unfortunate that I have my first unhappy customer considering the work I put into making the best property I can.  This review is meant to hurt me out of spite but the only ones hurt are the 3 little girls who left me such thankful notes in my guest book about how much fun they had and a million thank you's, who won't be back to enjoy the property again. As you can see, she was very upset that I did not give her a discount and sent me an email stating that which I replied to and explained that I don't discount.  She replied that she was fine with that and I did not contact her during her stay at all.  My email to her after her stay was very innocuous and I simply let her know what was reported to me by the cleaner/inspector and that there would be NO charge for anything other than the oven being left on for the electricity it used for 3 days.  I offered to accept $150 or wait till the electric bill arrived to see what the difference from last April was.  She said she would wait for the bill so her attorney and CPA could verify she was not overcharged. So my being difficult to deal with was not prior, not during but only in an email letting her know what was reported to me and that no money would be deducted other than the oven being left on. They left a toilet stopped up with feces in it despite having 8 plungers in the house, pool toys left in the pool under the cover, Oven left on at 300 degrees for 3 days, a pile of cigarette butts by the hot tub and towels left in the washing machine that were mildewed and had to be washed multiple times.  No charge for any of that other than the oven electricity but since I had the audacity to let her know what was reported to me, she said she had rethought her stay and would leave a bad review. She told me "Major Weeding" needs to be done and since I reminded her that there was a snowstorm the day she left, it was not feasible to weed this early in the season which goes for staining the outside deck furniture.  I replaced the knives which were serrated and could not be sharpened after her stay with new fine edge cutlery.  I checked the walls which were fine and the dinnerware which had 2 chipped plates out of 30.  The pots and pans have a brand new set mixed with some prior pots that I did not throw away. I do feel bad for the next owner she rents from because if she was unhappy with my place, she will not be happy anywhere else...  Feel free to contact me with any concerns you might have.

  • Active Contributor 295 posts since
    Jun 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 12:16 PM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

    It’s tough to deal with negative reviews, particularly when it was intentionally placed to spite Owner. Even though how well you crafted a response in explaining your side, you’ll never know how reader will react. I would be interested to hear back from you a couple of months down the road to tell us if the negative review resulted in a reduction of inquiry/booking or had no effect at all.

  • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
    Jul 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 1:54 PM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

    Yikes, you've had the guests from h***. 

     

    I'm horrified by the oven being left on by the guests; that's incredibly careless and dangerous.  The feces in the toilet reveals a level of disrespect for the house, owner, and CLEANERS that is appalling.  I can't imagine leaving a rental house or hotel in such a state.

     

    I think I would have communicated with the guest about the two most serious problems and left the other items out of the communication.  I understand the party left a mess, but sending a guest a list of violations is likely to antagonize them rather than engage them.  If you wish to be reimbursed for the electricity expense or cleaning expense (if additional charges had been incurred), replacement of linens, etc, I would focus on these issues and leave off any lesser violations.

     

    Once a guest has come and gone I don't see much to be gained by pointing out inappropriately discarded butts, pool toys left out (or in . . . ), etc.  The behavior of this group suggests they don't care and bringing it to their attention won't make them care. 

     

    I think your response to the negative review should be much more concise, focused on facts, and should be more neutral in tone.  As it's written, it's too emotional.  I don't think you need to address each complaint she makes.  I think it's very important to note the guests did not contact you about any concerns during their stay and did not mention their "complaints" until you brought the appliance and fixture issues to their attention.  The response you posted might put off a potential guest.  It's a "she said - he said" where you want to appear reasoned and professional.  Focus on the problems (and potential danger) the guest and her party created.   Don't use phrases such as "she means to harm me", "audacity", "will not be happy anywhere".   As much as it might pain you, be conciliatory - "I regret this party is unhappy with their stay, but (here's where the facts come in) after a stay of ___ days in my home, during which time they did not contact me about any concerns,  they violated several house and safety policies (more facts here), and on being contacted about these violations they have chosen to write an _____ (inaccurate, unfounded, whatever fits best here) review of my home.  Don't sound angry, sound calm, cool, and professional. 

     

    You're absolutely correct about avoiding guests that are agressive about discounts.  They are usually equally agressive about other "issues", real or imagined, that come up during their stay.  Unless you  require the rental fee to meet your expenses, I would avoid these types of guests.  But that's a different conversation . . .

     

    One last thought - why cite $150 for electricity?  Is your electricity so expensive?  I calculate 3 1/2 days of electricity for an oven at about $50.  But that's beside the point, perhaps it would be best, whenever writing about an additional expense, to simply say the bill will be forwarded when received (or a written estimate provided for repair or replacement for other situations), without citing a dollar amount?  This likely set off a guest that was counting her dollars long before she arrived. 

     

    I'm sorry to hear you've had such trouble.  It's an owner's nightmare (especially the oven - that's going to keep me up at night).

     

    You'll come through this.  Your house is beautiful and you have so many guests that have enjoyed their stay.

     

    Wishing you the very best. 

    • msdebj Senior Contributor 1,353 posts since
      May 25, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      May 15, 2012 2:29 PM (in response to thaxterlane)
      Re: My first unhappy renter

      I agree with Thax. It's always best to respond to a negative comment or complaint with as little emotion as possible (It IS hard!).  As my grandmother always said," don't let em drag you down into their gutter".

       

      I do believe Owners should respond to negative reviews. Or, for that matter, even good ones with a note of thanks. I'd like to offer a bit of advice, if I may.

       

      When you are writing your response compose it FIRST in a way (word document, etc) that you can  save and review before you post it online. Give yourself a few days to review it (or run it past friends, these forums, etc.) It gives you time to calm down & let your business side take over. Don't engage in language that you have no proof of (the he said/I said stuff becomes counter productive).

       

      We Owners invest not only our money, but our time and passion into our rental homes and most of us have a a real attachment to them. Sadly, some travelers don't understand that,or are simply jerks looking for who knows what- discounts, lack of responsibility, etc.

       

      I do ask my guests to treat my home as they would their own, but I've had a very few that, if they did, I'm glad I don't have to visit their homes!

       

      I'm so sorry you had to deal with these people. It sounds like they were irresponsible and now want to get out of paying for the damages they cost you.

       

      Best wishes to you, and I hope your future guests will be great and kind!

      Debj

      • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
        Aug 9, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 15, 2012 10:57 PM (in response to skiandglee)
        Re: My first unhappy renter

        Hi  rick {skiandglee},

        I'm in favour of most of your response with empathy for you. You express what the situation was - and that you have not charged for excessive cleaning of the filth she left your home in.  You can do that, but it's the tone I think you need to change. Yes, do edit out any emotion as suggested by others --- and edit out your personal accusations of her. You are in the company here, on this Community, with people who have experienced what you are going through.  I feel your pain and anger.  You can turn this around so it doesn't reflect badly on your  person....but rather sets the record straight...and if you do this correctly, it will reflect her 'poor character', her negligence and your upstanding manner as the owner.

         

        Your response needs to refute her claim, state the fact {you have done that}, do it without a trace  of emotion....and very importantly demonstrate {to future prospects reading reviews} how you handle a bad situation constructively and fairly. This will reflect how you deal with any controversy that could arise....what is your "attitude" and your "mentality" that is coming through the response you write.  It should not be argumentative.  This is very important because you do  not want to give any credence to the accusation made by that "renter" that, "Rick is nasty....Rick is a hassle to deal with".   Her review of your character --- which she is trying to assassinate --- needs to be "shot down" by  you.

        Write a response that reflects who you are to diminish the portrait she tries to give others about you.

         

        Here is an example, call it a  "draft", of another tone of response, below. You may work on it, if you like the tone, but my point is to keep it "unemotional" ....do not name call....show that you would have preferred to work with this guest to resolve...and show her vindictiveness ...without actually stating it:

         

         

        A response with a different tone....

         

        START

         

        I am equally sorry and puzzled by this guest's remarks. This is, unfortunately, the first negative review I have experienced even though the guest admits to enjoying the property {amenities}, which pleases me -- that's my goal with all guests. I have fulfilled the same property value, amenities and quality of stay that all my past guests have experienced over the years, indicated by my good reviews.  Her negative attitude now is also surprising because her family enjoyed their stay so much that they wrote thankful notes in my guest book about the fun they had in my home {evidence I would supply, upon request}. Even my non-discounted price offer did not dissuade her from accepting my offer...she replied that it was fine. Although she agreed to my price policy then, now she uses this forum to complain about the price -- at the same time she admits that they enjoyed what I offered -- which I find unfair.  I am puzzled as to why she would now try to smear my character or my business policy.  I regret that we had no contact once she moved in with her family -- perhaps I should have touched base during her stay -- but, having not heard from her either, I sensed there were no problems with the property and they were enjoying it {which their guest book remarks proved}. Upon her checking out, she left the kitchen oven on {electric}, which I later informed her about in an unemotional email that only stated the fact of the matter, giving her one of two options of how to deal with covering the extra el. charges due me.  Her response was that she "re-thought" her stay, would "write a bad review" and would involve her attorney about the extra el. cost ...which I found neither respectful nor necessary.  I merely wanted to inform her and come to a fair compensation for the excessive and unreasonable utility bill that will result.  I never charged her for the extra cleaning that my housekeeper had to do --- although it was very considerable, because that did not upset me as much as the potential danger to my property of leaving the oven on, and the excessive electric cost incurred.  It's a pity that what started as an enjoyable vacation in my home ends with a negative tone expressed here -- that I hope others reading will not hold against me. My review history tells quite another story about how I am with guests. This could easily have been resolved, fairly, outside this public forum.

         

        END.   I think, something in that order,  would give readers a different impression. It could probably be improved upon...maybe even shortened...I wrote it  "on the fly"  just as an example of what I meant by "tone".

      • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
        Jul 27, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 15, 2012 5:40 PM (in response to skiandglee)
        Re: My first unhappy renter

        Rick,

         

        I completely understand your desire to have your say in response to her treatment of your house and her unfair accusations.  It's natural to want to respond, but you will come out on top by ignoring her insulting tone and replying in a reasoned manner with a clear and calm assessment of the situation and an emphasis on your commitment to your house and guests.  You have a great track record!  (Please remind yourself of this as often as possible!) 

         

        As another forum member recommended, always write a draft of difficult communication and then carefully edit to present yourself in the best possible manner - I believe msdebj and anja make this point. 

         

        What's notable about the negative review is that none of the damage is challenged; she attacks you on totally unrelated and irrelevant "issues".  A factual response, on your part, describing the irresponsible and disrespectful treatment of your house will, I believe, go a long way in preventing her review from doing any damage.

         

        anja is more that 100% correct, don't let your response suggest you are difficult, angry, or unreasonable.  Don't let this renter paint an unflattering and untrue portrait.

      • thaxterlane Active Contributor 779 posts since
        Jul 27, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        May 15, 2012 6:00 PM (in response to skiandglee)
        Re: My first unhappy renter

        I can't get over someone leaving a toilet full of feces . . . .   the lack of respect this symbolizes (and it's not a stretch to see this symbolism) is appalling. 

         

        I'm a fan of going for the big/important issue and for leaving the lesser ones aside to keep the focus clear and be able to attain that primary goal.  I think it comes from years of experience of negotiating with individuals and groups -  in my work and community, and with friends and family.   Just my own experience.

         

        I would feel incredibly insulted, as you do, if someone treated my house this way.  I hope I would be able to follow my own advice.  And, I hope I never have to deal with this type of problem. 

         

        I understand your urge to tell her about the things you are going to let go.   At first glance it seems a positive tack to take, explaining  you are going to hold them responsible for one or two issues as opposed to five or six issues,  except the person on the receiving end hears it all negatively.  

         

        You are completely entitled to the contempt you feel for these guests - just don't let it show.  A cool and calm response will be far less satisfying to your antagonist.  Don't let her, or potential guests,  see your anger.  I believe the fact that her party left the oven on and left a soiled toilet will be more than enough for potential guests to understand that you and your house were abused by these guests.  How could anyone think otherwise?   Is there a reasonable defense for leaving a toilet in such a state?  An appliance left on  is irresponsible and dangerous, but not intentional (I hope).  The toilet was intentional. 

         

        Enough about toilets.  Don't let this get to you!

  • susaninrehoboth Active Contributor 878 posts since
    Sep 3, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 2:46 PM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

    Hi,

     

    I agree that these are not guests any owner would want to stay in their VR. However, I disagree as to the calculation of the amount due for extra electricity use because the oven was left on. Since the tenant didn't leave until 5 pm, it isn't expected that your VR would be cleaned before the morning so I feel the tenant should be accessed the additional cost incurred between checkout and mid-morning the next day.  I don't agree that the tenant should be responsible for the cost incurred for the two extra days the cleaning service wasn't able to get to your VR, regardless of the reason.

  • bend2011 Contributor 163 posts since
    Apr 28, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 8, 2012 1:45 AM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

    I have no tolerance for disrespect.  If someone had written to me insulting my business practices, I would have cancelled the reservation.  That's just me.  I feel like these types are trouble as you have found out.  I also think that she has a legal background by the way she writes.  She dances on the edge of slander and defemation very well.

    Also, I would not add a 3% CC fee to your reservations as this is illegal and your CC Processor will drop you if they find out.  You could integrate it into your rate and offer a cash discount.

     

    Anyway, the whole situation sucks.  Your home is amazing and I can't believe that someone wouldn't respect it.

     

    Lara

    www.alluringbend.com

    • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 18, 2013 11:58 AM (in response to bend2011)
      Re: My first unhappy renter

      I would not add a 3% CC fee to your reservations as this is illegal and your CC Processor will drop you if they find out.

      Laura, where are you reading that this is illegal?  I think it depends on your state, and the credit card company gets the same amount regardless.  As long as you give the guests an option what is the harm in a convenience fee if they choose to pay by credit card?  No one is ever forced to pay by credit card and if they have to it is easy to refund the fee with the deposit refund or else for the rental fee they can either send a check or pay by credit card the remit cash upon arrival for a fee refund.

  • maureen.baumgartner Contributor 79 posts since
    Jun 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2013 4:21 PM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

      I think your response was fine - don't get too bogged down in the criticisms of it; though their points are well-taken, it got the point across and credibly squashed her complaint (people know owners are human, too).  But, I have a solution whereby this won't happen in the first place:  NEVER rent to someone who insults you BEFORE THEY EVEN STEP FOOT IN YOUR HOUSE!  We have had this happen twice -- and torn up two contracts, one which had already paid and one which had not.  The first was a young "professional" in her 30's coming with 9 friends, who had played lots of games during the rental and payment process, and when I did my usual emails regarding house rules, extra guests, # of cars, and the need for relative quiet outdoors at night (that's about it, for us), she responded with barely veiled insults, arrogance, and umbrage.  She had already paid, but she was now trying to bring extra guests, and responding ever-more insultingly to my attempts to politely remind her of our needs (all of which are spelled out on the contract, but we've learned that's not enough).  She said she owned homes in Costa Rica (several countries away) and that SHE let guests do as they liked, etc., that she felt like "a baby," and was indeed acting like one, so I wrote her a no-nonsense brief reply telling her we no longer felt her group was well-suited to our home, and to expect a full-refund, which I processed that day.  She was shocked and angry (it was about a week out, but she had just booked a few days before), but just think: if she was already angry and critical of us, what kind of guest would she have been?  What kind of review would she have left? (She tried, too, but I knew she couldn't as she had never stayed here).

       The second in five years was just this week.  A wealthy gentleman, after wangling a discount for High Season that we never give, agreed to send a check.  Two weeks, no check.  A polite email to him got a strange response of how he'd farmed it out to all these corporate lackeys, whom he'd "check with" the "following week."  It was of no concern to him, but I asked him to please check "this week" if it had been sent out, so we wouldn't be waiting an extra week if it had NOT been sent.  He replied with a long, condescending email about how "worried" he was about OUR finances, and that this must mean we may be "in trouble" with the house, and how now he felt "red flags," about whether it was "safe," if we "felt the urgency" to "rush him" so much, and "couldn't wait."  But he was "looking forward" to his visit next Fall.   It was unbelievable.  Like, let me get this straight:  you're coming to OUR house next Fall, and you're going to insult us first and raise questions about our finances, integrity, and all sorts of other things that are NONE of your business, because YOU didn't keep your word to send a check, and we had the temerity, weeks later, to remind you it hadn't come?  Instead, I enjoyed writing back:  "Luckily, no such "urgency" exists, and as it turns out, we can "wait".................for a replacement renter.  Please tear up the contract, and should the check ever come, rest assured we shall dispose of it in a proper manner."  Man, that was the best $2,650 I ever spent!  (We'll replace him).  But the point is, someone who insults you (and that's what she was doing in her first email to you!) before they even come to your home........they are NEVER going to be a happy renter!  Get rid of them BEFORE they come and abuse you further!  If they insult you, they're OUT!  (That stove thing...OUCH....and where I live in Cal., it COULD be $150; we pay @$1,000/mo!)

        More power to you, brother!

    • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 18, 2013 11:33 AM (in response to maureen.baumgartner)
      Re: My first unhappy renter

      Just reading these anecdotes I so easily see myself in this situation and empathize.  I almost personally felt violated while reading them because I know that could've been any one of us, and also because I know some attitudes renters & travelers have from prior experience.  Of course, I hope we do not have this issue (we've been pretty lucky over eight years but we have had a few we would not want back).

       

      I understand Rick's emotion in wanting to have the last word.  Knowing someone is not telling the whole truth it is important the public who will read all this gets the whole story.  It would be hard for me to initially follow others' advice, but in this case they are right.  Try to work out a response that is professional, conveys their overall disrespect and condition they left the place, but that does not show spite.  Think of it as smiling and saying something sarcastically but in a "oh so nice" tone (I call it "salesman sincerity").  That way, you get some of your satisfaction yet it sounds professional and there is nothing to accuse you of being petty or equally negative or difficult.

       

      It's a good thing they allow us to edit our review responses.  Does anyone know if they allow the reviewer to edit their review as well?  Or can you imagine if the responses were unlimited back and forth and once they stayed you could not contest them?  It could be like reading an Internet flame war in the YouTube comments!

       

      Maureen, how did you know the first guest you mentioned tried to leave a review (even though she had not stayed there)?  Did you get a notice asking if she was legit from HomeAway, etc. and you simply replied that she was not and declined the review without reading its contents?

       

      The things that can make dealing with the public in your business extra enjoyable are also the things that can make it extra stressful and unpleasant.  I guess it's a trade-off vs. having a job where you don't.

      • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
        Aug 9, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 5, 2013 5:27 PM (in response to swlinphx)
        Re: My first unhappy renter

        swlinphx wrote:

         

        [...]  Think of it as smiling and saying something sarcastically but in a "oh so nice" tone (I call it "salesman sincerity").  That way, you get some of your satisfaction yet it sounds professional and there is nothing to accuse you of being petty or equally negative or difficult.

         

         

         

        I like that expression  -."salesman sincerity" for a circumstance such as the OP experienced. I have not had vindictive people as he was forced to deal  with, either (I would have been furious too). But "salesman sincerity" is useful for many situations in this trade.  I agree:  as the Owner we have to get some satisfaction by setting the record straight when wrongly reviewed ...leaving no trace of pettiness or difficulty from our end.

      • maureen.baumgartner Contributor 79 posts since
        Jun 22, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 6, 2013 1:26 PM (in response to swlinphx)
        Re: My first unhappy renter

        Swlnphyx, I knew the would-be renter I cancelled tried to leave a review because, yes, Homeaway (or VRBO or Flipkey, can't remember which) contacted me, as is their policy, and asked if she had rented the property.  I replied with the truth, that she had never stayed at my property, but was disgruntled because I cancelled her for rudeness.  I was careful to explain that I had refunded her 100%, of course.  The policy of all the big sites is that no one can leave a review who has not actually stayed at the property, thus they confirm that with the owner first (without showing you the review submitted, of course). They only want reviews from those who have actually stayed there, not personality disputes.  So you never have to worry about bad reviews for those you cancel.

           Regarding charging a fee for credit cards, while it was never "illegal," it WAS against Visa and MC rules and regulations, and they could cancel your ability to take their credit cards.  But newsflash, JUST NOW there has been a huge 6 BILLION dollar settlement with VISA, MC and merchants who took their cards (the lawyers will get most, of course).  Yesterday we got notice of the settlement in the mail (we own a retail store), and one of the things they were forced to agree to is that merchants WILL NOW be able to impose a fee for taking their cards, and cannot be punished or cancelled for that, any longer.  I'm not sure if it's already in effect, or what date it takes effect.  We have been telling people lately that we don't take "corporate cards," because of the extra high cost of processing (extra 1.5-2%, usually).  We tell people it's an extra 1% fee and so far everybody pulls out a personal card and is fine with it.  We'll never really know for sure, but I'm sure it's saving us money as less people do it (I would never levy the fee, of course, it's just a deterrent, and I just go on their word).  Anyway, the court says you can now do it; whether you want to or not, is up to you.

  • New Member 12 posts since
    Dec 19, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2013 10:48 AM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

    Such a bad experiences always happen with those who take apartments,homes and flats on rents.Its natural that when a person gives you a property then he shows a posessive attitude too although he is being paid according to his own choice and demand.

    I can just say to keep patience and tolerate the landpwners Just pass the time and make the best to get your own shelter in form of any accomodation like apartment,flat or home....

    We just have to tolerate the land owners and always ...

     

    Byron Quarter Holiday Apartments

    8 Byron Street Byron Bay NSW 2481 Australia‎
    Phone No: 
    +61 2 6680 9900
    URL:
    http://www.byronquarter.com.au/


    The Byron Quarter is quality and affordable accommodation at Byron Bay. You will love our luxury apartments and our proximity to the beach. Stay with us.

    • swlinphx Senior Contributor 2,191 posts since
      Aug 30, 2011
      Currently Being Moderated
      Feb 4, 2013 10:53 AM (in response to martincruise)
      Re: My first unhappy renter

      Such a bad experiences always happen with those who take apartments,homes and flats on rents.Its natural that when a person gives you a property then he shows a posessive attitude too although he is being paid according to his own choice and demand.

      I can just say to keep patience and tolerate the landpwners Just pass the time and make the best to get your own shelter in form of any accomodation like apartment,flat or home....

      We just have to tolerate the land owners and always ...

       

      I don't think I understand your response, martincruise.  Who are you referring to as "landowners"?  What do you mean by "make the best to get your own shelter in form of any accomodation like apartment,flat or home....   We just have to tolerate the land owners and always ..."?

      • carol Senior Contributor 2,147 posts since
        Dec 10, 2010
        Currently Being Moderated
        Feb 4, 2013 11:01 AM (in response to swlinphx)
        Re: My first unhappy renter

        Read all his posts -- they are nonsense.  I think it might be a computer-generated posting. 

        • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
          Aug 9, 2011
          Currently Being Moderated
          Feb 4, 2013 12:33 PM (in response to carol)
          Re: My first unhappy renter

          carol wrote:

           

          [...] I think it might be a computer-generated posting. 

           

          I think so too. When I read the first couple of earlier posts, I thought that s/he was perhaps using online translation from Italian to English.  Machine translations sound awkward at least, and incorrect usually.

  • jan.stevens Community All-Star 251 posts since
    Aug 30, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 5:48 PM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

    The guest that requests a discount is a double edged sword. If they do agree to stay they often find fault to justify why their rate should be lower. They are too cheap to appreciate the quality of your home.

     

    When guests are shopping for a vacation rental on our island I often wonder why they contact me and then ask for a discount. Like you, knowing the value of our rental and the amenities, I don't budge on our pricing. If they get back to me asking for a discount I refer them to other rentals on the island that are closer to their price point.

     

    I want guests that appreciate our home as much as we do.........Bargain hunters beware!!!

     

    I coached a fellow vacation owner friend that was responding to a bad review. My advice was to consider her response as a marketing opportunity. She needed to respond with no emotion (like others have suggested),  emphasis on professionalism, business procedures, amenities and the benefits for the guest while staying at her property. The complaining guest review is the perfect foil to highlight that you are a wonderful owner. In the end it is an advertisement for you and your property and it will be online for ever. Edit edit edit..........until it is a refined and positive commercial about you and your property........not a get even tit for tat argument with the guest.

  • cbel0004 Contributor 184 posts since
    Aug 22, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 25, 2013 2:15 PM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

    Rick,

     

    I don't understand all the responses of being overly emotional.  I thought the response sounded professional.  You did not attack this lady but merely addressed the reasons why she was leaving a negative review. 

  • cottageguru New Member 17 posts since
    Apr 20, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2013 8:11 PM (in response to skiandglee)
    Re: My first unhappy renter

    This brings to mind a saying our office manager uses when she is dealing with difficult guests, particularly those who argue about discounts and other issues prior to 'reluctantly' booking on our terms:

     

    'Never engage with an idiot.  They will bring you down to their level then  beat you with experience'

     

    Heather

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