12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2019 11:14 AM by ha-moderator-amanda RSS

    How To Respond To This Bad Review?

    oceanside302 New Member

      Hello All

      I had a quest recently who left the below review. Also below is my draft reply. Please suggest any words or entire response that you think appropriate?

      A little on this review - There are 2 elevators in the building. There is no a/c in any of the 550 units. Ants, perhaps - we have monthly pest control and we nor our housekeeper did not see any. Mattresses - a matter of personal taste. At least it was 4 stars but I didn't like how the guest made sure to repeat the unit number. I gave them a 5 star review to be able to see theirs.

      Thank you, Jim



      Love North Coast Village but not the unit we chose

      We have stayed at North Coast Village three times now and have loved it every time. Our particular unit was C302 this time and it was up three fights of stairs which was a little hard to take all your stuff up. I thought the beds weren’t the best also and the kitchen had little ants in it which wasn’t pleasant and there was no AC so during the day it was pretty hot. I would definitely recommend North Coast Village but probably not unit c302.

      So glad that you enjoyed your October stay at our resort complex and that you definitely recommend it. We think our location is perfect too! Because Mother Nature usually delivers natural breezes and cool nights in Oceanside, night 40-50 degrees - day70-80, no units have air conditioning. But we have lots of solutions to help guests stay comfortable – even in the heat of summer. Because C bldg. has two elevators, there is the option of zero steps from the unit to/from the reserved parking and zero to the tropical grounds and beach. If only we had known we would have been glad to help! We hope that wherever your travels take you next, you get the 5 star stay that every guest deserves.

        • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
          ohst8er Premier Contributor

          Can't ever say this enough...  replies are for future guests, not past ones.  Your reply is decent, but you MUST address the ants.  Is there regular pest treatment?  If so, mention this.  At the VERY LEAST, you need to assure your future guests that you have looked into and addressed the situation.

          • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
            wildiris Active Contributor

            In order to help you with your response in a meaningful way, it would be beneficial to have some more information.


            Stairs - Did these guests not know that the building has two elevators?  Were the elevators working during their stay?  Why were they climbing stairs if they didn't want to? 

            Ants - You mention that you have monthly pest control  but also say that "perhaps" there were ants although neither you nor your housekeeper saw any.  Did the guests notify you about the ants during their stay or did you first learn about them in the review?   If they notified you during the stay, what actions did you take?  Are ants a problem at the condo even with the monthly pest control services?

            Air Conditioning - You state that none of the units in Building C have air conditioning.  Do any of the other buildings in the resort complex have air conditioning?  What are the "lots of solutions to help guests stay comfortable?"

              • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                oceanside302 New Member

                Thank you both for your feedback – We have been renting this for over 15 years and I do need help responding. Here is some added info.

                At 9pm, the night before departure (10am), the guest did give me a head’s up about the day time heat and ants. I let them know I would take care of it immediately, but without bothering their departure. I gave them $100 off from their stay. Pest control was there 12 days before the guest’s arrival and again right after departure. The tropical moist climate is conducive to ants but never an issue of any significance. I always have small ant traps in the corners of lower cabinets. I mentioned ‘perhaps’ in my question here because the guest may have been ants even if we did not? The peak summer season is full with family stays – to and from the beach, kitchen cooking, snacking, and spills. The carpet is cleaned as often needed. This is our own housekeeper who cleans this unit only.

                -The elevators are self evident (1 to/from reserved parking, 1 to/from clubhouse, game room, lounge, laundry, grounds & beach) – both elevators were working. They are mentioned in the description and though out amenities and safety sections, as well as our ‘welcome packet’ and lease agreement.

                -There is no a/c in any building - 550 units. Besides the 2 box fans and ceiling fans, we could have brought over extra fans. We are not there but we are fortunate to have a friend who lives at the complex and helps us with anything asked of her.

                Thank you again, please ask further questions and please advise on further wording about the ants, Jim

                  • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                    wildiris Active Contributor

                    The review from this guest is odd.  It's the guest's third stay, yet the review makes it seem as though the other units he/she stayed in had air conditioning but yours does not.  (I wonder - do some units have window air conditioners if none of them have central AC?)  Also, the complaint about walking up three flights of stairs when there are two elevators in your building is quite bizarre.  I wouldn't respond to the complaint about the beds not being "the best."  It's really not clear whether the complaint is about the mattresses not being comfortable or the guest didn't like the style of the headboard.


                    How about something like this -


                    "Thank you for staying with us.  We are so glad that you have loved each of your three sojourns at North Coast Village resort.  For travelers who are considering a stay at the resort, please note that none of the units have air conditioning.  This is usually not a concern as the temperature normally ranges between 70 and 80 degrees with cooling breezes during the day and 40-50 degrees at night.  Our unit contains box fans as well as ceiling fans if "Mother Nature" needs some assistance in keeping things cool.  Also, for guests who prefer not to climb stairs, there are two elevators in the building.  We were very sorry to learn the night before your departure that you saw ants in the kitchen.  Our unit is treated monthly by a professional pest control service.  We had them come to the unit immediately after your departure to provide a supplemental treatment for ants."   

                      • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                        scowol Active Contributor

                        Per the HomeAway/Vrbo review guidelines, travelers are not permitted to reference an address of the property or divulge the location.  Per the guidelines, owners should call HA/Vrbo customer service to request the review to be removed and state that the inclusion of your unit number is a violation of the review guidelines. 



                          • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                            planthealth Active Contributor

                            Yea, so they say.

                            I bought VR#2 and begged our first renter to post a review because it is such a PAIN getting any until you have some....a month of begging and they do, they mention our condo name and # like this review.

                            VRBO REFUSES to post it.

                            I beg/harass guest AGAIN (they are not computer literate) to change it, they do, finally get it posted.

                            2 years later in VR#3 guest posts our condo name and #, I call VRBO CS and they tell me to suck it up, too bad so sad. I called back to get a new CS. Same. So they can have whatever rules they want.....my review has been live for years now.

                    • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                      oceanside302 New Member

                      Thank you wildiris for your suggested review response – all are welcome.

                      Of the 550 units a few residents may have a portable a/c unit. Our unit is 1200 sq and we would need multiple units. Meaning maintenance, storage and 'not working' complaints. In 15+ years it has not been an issue but should buy a portable to keep off site? The windows will not work for, nor will HOA allow, window units. Even in July and August a/c isn’t needed (72 degrees avg. year round). The climate is the entire reason Oceanside is popular in the heat of summer – guests come from surrounding desert cities and states where temps are well over 100. October is normally the time of year we turn our place back on and we do have heat throughout.

                      As you mentioned, what puzzled me too is that the guest has been to the resort a few times? Unlike the other bldgs. ours houses the club house, game room, laundry, work out, and other amenities that are community used but not found in any other bldg..

                      Thanks again!

                        • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                          wildiris Active Contributor

                          I wouldn't buy a portable AC unit just because of this guest's comments.  It doesn't sound as though it would be worth the hassle.  I don't think that this review will have a negative effect on your bookings.  If I were thinking of staying at your vacation rental and read a review complaining about walking up three flights of stairs when the building has two elevators, I'd conclude that the reviewer has some issues, not the vacation rental.

                        • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                          planthealth Active Contributor

                          I think you did a great job. Agree, throw in a one liner on what you did re: ants and you have a winner!

                          • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                            u0999 Premier Contributor

                            Did they review get posted? because including identifying info like unit number is against their rules. I am surprised this did not get taken down.

                            • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                              calicalling Active Contributor

                              Your response seemed eerily familiar so I checked back and it is nearly identical to something I posted a year or so ago. I had a similar complaint about AC, and posted the response hoping for help from the community. It is at this forum thread-- my post on the thread was Aug 2018: Re: Negative reviews (again)


                              So glad to see that it was useful to someone other than me.   There was also some helpful feedback from other members on the thread -- might be worth reading that feedback, too.


                              Based on that feedback and my own self-critique, here's what I finally ended up using as my response to the guest (for the record, ignore the part about 'next time you stay..."  She was a terrible guest who let her dog poop in the building, did not supervise the children in her party, and checked out late. There's a 100% chance I would not host her again. But as we always say, this is a review for future guests, not this one. And revenue was 19% higher this year than last, so take that, mean lady).

                              So glad to hear that you loved our home and found it to be beautiful, relaxing and in a good location. With summertime temps in the 80's during the day and 40's at night, Mammoth homes don't have AC but I know this can seem strange to guests from out of town. Because these are our homes, we stay there, too, and have learned

                              lots of strategies for keeping the place cool even on the warmest Mammoth days! Next time you stay, I'll be sure to pass on all my tips.

                              • Re: How To Respond To This Bad Review?
                                ha-moderator-amanda HomeAway Employee

                                Hi oceanside302, our Production Team sent you an email last night regarding this review to confirm it was removed due to the disclosure of your unit number. Thank you for bringing this to our attention and thank you to everyone for giving great advice!