15 Replies Latest reply: Jul 6, 2019 3:35 PM by emilyzh RSS

    What should I do with this kind of guest?

    emilyzh New Member

      Hi everyone, I just want to tell my story which bothered me for a while. I'm an owner and I've been renting my vacation house on HA for almost 2 years and all the reviews I got either about my house or me are all positive, this situation never happened before.


      Yesterday we had a guest and her family to check in. I was there to wait for them and gave them a tour of the house right after they arrived. From the front garden to the back garden, and then inside the house including kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms. The guest(the mother of this family) was satisfied during the whole tour and said the house was lovely, beautiful. So I left after the check in. Now the story began:


      I got a message from her(the mother) after about 1 hour which said she was very unhappy about a lot of thing of the property and required me to rectify them when they are out. So I drove about 30 minutes back to the house, I didn't have to do this, but I respect the guests first and I really wanted to see what's going on. Here below are her complaints, and behind them are what I said when I introduced the house to them and what I explained after I arrived  the house:


      1. She said our garden was a mess because the grass at the corner of the garden is not at the same height with other grass. She didn't expect to see it.---We mowed the garden 2 days ago, and a few grass with some flowers at the corner look nice for the garden.


      2. There's half bag of potatoes in the kitchen which she didn't expect to see that.---When I introduced the kitchen, I told her the potatoes are left from the last guests who just checked out yesterday, if  she likes, it's free to use. If she doesn't like it, she can put it away or dump it. She said ok.


      3. There's a basket under the shelf in the kitchen, she didn't expect to see it in the kitchen.---I explained that it was for the glass bottles, because the trash separation is very strict in Germany, glass bottles must be put in a specific place which is a bit far from the house, so I leave the empty basket for the guests to put the glass bottles. I'll take care of them after they check out.


      4. She said the fridge and  microwave smell.---The fridge and the microwave are empty and cleaned, I didn't know what she smelt.


      5. She said she didn't expect to see the cleaning stuff like sponge and rubber gloves in the bathroom.---They are all kept in the bottom drawers of the sink, and we have another 3 drawers and 4 cabinets for guests to use.


      6. She complained that there were a couple stains on the window which she didn't expect to  see. She also didn't expect to see some personal belongs in the house which I've told her that we stayed in the house when no guests, so we will keep some of our stuff inside the house. About this, we also cross" personal belongs in the house" when we registered our house on HA. She even complained about the automatic temperature control wire at the heating.


      I went there and asked her why didn't she say all of this when I showed her around the house, all the things she complained about were all at the obvious place that people can easily see. If she said that at that time, I could try to fix something right away.  I tried to communicate with her, she just didn't listen and kept interrupting me when I was trying to explain or talk to her. Whenever I said something, she said I don't care, I didn't expect to see this, I want my money back. So I didn't see a way to solve this problem because she refused to communicate, she would call HA customer service to report us, and she wanted all her money back. I said you can have your full refund if you leave right now. She said it was too late and she was too tired, she would leave tomorrow after she could find another place to stay. Even so, she still wanted her full refund.


      Till now, she didn't contact me.


      Thanks in advance for everybody's time and patience if you read it all. I was upset and I really want her to leave my property. Is there a way to handle this thing? I appreciate all the suggestion.

        • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
          margaret CommunityAmbassador

          I wouldn't give a refund for any time she stayed. It sounds like she is having a really bad day and is taking it out on you. Once she said she wanted to cancel you should have told her she could only get a refund if she left immediately and if she initiated the cancellation on the site. Document everything, try to keep communication on the dashboard or by email so that you have written record.



          Do NOT cancel for her, if she want to cancel tell her to initiate the cancellation through her HA account:

          To cancel your reservation


          Log into your traveler account

          Click My Trips

          Select the reservation that needs to be cancelled

          Click Request Cancellation

          • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
            bonesxxx Active Contributor

            Sounds like she is a train wreck... and you've been given excellent advice from Margaret and wildiris.


            My question is: were there any warning signs that she was going to be difficult leading up to the reservation?  I've been renting about as long as you have and I feel like I can sense the trouble guests from almost the first contact.

              • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
                emilyzh New Member

                You are right. It was totally normal conversation between us when she sent inquiry. But she does have no any review before. Well, talking about this point, it’s really weird that most of my guests from HA are new travelers without either owner review or property review. That makes me kind of nervous. Luckily so far, most of them are all nice, except this one.

              • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
                vrdoctor Senior Contributor

                Send her a message through the dashboard that you are surprised at her concerns and that you immediately came back to review her concerns and that everything was fine with the house.  Inform her that you gave her the option to check-out and receive a refund but she declined.  Let her know that she will need to cancel under the terms of HA's cancellation policy.


                Follow-up by calling CS and give them a list of her ridiculous demands (grass too long, bag of potatoes left in the kitchen, etc.  She is going to leave a poor review so don't bend over backwards to refund her and lose the revenue.  When she leaves a bad review just reply calmly that you addressed all of her issues as she reported them but she just could not be satisfied.

                • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
                  green_mango Active Contributor

                  Since the reservation has started, I don't think the guest has the option to cancel through their dashboard at this point. 


                  I would refund all except the night they stayed.  I'd keep it in writing through the dashboard that you can not offer 100% refund, but you will refund for nights not stayed when they depart by 11am (or whenever your check out time is).  Note that the service fee is not refundable (paid to VRBO and can't be refunded after a reservation has begun), and also any other fees such as tax or cleaning etc... up to you.  A refund takes several days to process, but remind her you can't initiate the refund until she has departed.    And all of vrdoctor's advice is spot on. 

                  • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
                    db.meyer Senior Contributor

                    Great advice above.  To play Devil's advocate (looking at it from the Guest's perspective), is there any truth what so ever in her feedback?  If so, it is often helpful to show some sympathy or empathy to these unfortunate guests by responding that you will attempt to address even one of her concerns?

                      • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
                        twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                        I Don’t know.......sometimes if you give into one thing people like that take it as an acknowledgement of everything they are complaining about???  The very very few that have complained about anything I have offered to have my cleaning lady come right over and resolve, they declined and stayed. One was a dead fly on the windowsill, the other was dust on something. I have never had anyone demand a refund......I hate this for the OP it is one where you just grit your teeth until they leave and hope that they don’t damage anything, leave when they are supposed to and don’t do a charge back.

                      • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
                        feibus Senior Contributor

                        A few years ago, I had one of these guests.  Just complained about everything.  Made for a really funny thread in the forum; unfortunately, it's gone now.  Anyway, the upshot was that she complained about 20 different items while she was there, only one turned out (after two visits by the appliance tech) to have any merit, but complain she did.  One of them was that she lifted a rug by the back door to find a few grains of sand.  Seriously?  The point of the rug was to catch those grains of sand!  Anyway, she got home after a 10-day stay and wanted a refund.  Nope, nuh-uh, not happening.  Had she left after a day, I might have done a partial refund, but not once she stayed the full time.  Nor was I going to give her a discount because my managers responded to every single dang one of the complaints she made (which costs me money).  We held up our end of the deal.


                        So... you did the right thing, if she stays, she pays.  No reason to worry about a bad review, you can do everything right and still get a bad review... just remember that you get final say on any review with a response that future guests see.

                        • Re: What should I do with this kind of guest?
                          emilyzh New Member

                          HI everyone, thanks for all the replies. They are supportive. Just a short update. The guests have checked out, everything was fine, except they left  with the door of our house opened(since we don’t meet guests when they check out.) Luckily our neighborhood is a safe area. Anyway, they left!

                          Thanks again for all the help.