user avatar image
1

Guests expect hotel service in a homestay

Hello there, a guest just left my property.

He was not very happy with my 2 small double rooms as, on booking, he had requested twin rooms. At the time of booking I had replied that I do not have twins available and he had not replied.

As the booking came closer I contacted him by 'phone because he had not responded about the twin beds but he said that they would make do with what they had booked. I asked him if he was sure and he said it was OK, they would make do.

On leaving my property today the guest said he was going to leave a bad review and wanted a £20.00 refund. He said the rooms were too small and they expected breakfast. I said to them that it was all stated clearly on my listing and on the website that the rooms are small and that I do not provide breakfast, and that I had indeed spoken to him about this on the 'phone prior to his arrival, and that I had emailed them immediately upon booking to reiterate what they had booked - and I had offered them a free cancellation at the time.

In the end I gave him a £20 refund because I do not want a bad review.

This seems a bit unfair to me - what are others' thoughts on this? I make it really clear that we are a homestay but he kept saying it wasn't a guesthouse, that it was Airbnb.... should booking.com be more clear that there is a diverse range of properties in their portfolio and make this clear to guests who sometimes still expect hotel type service?

Steph (UK)

 

16 Replies

7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Steph,

You've just been scammed by your own guest.

You never offer refunds over the counter when it comes to bookings made via online travel agencies. Because, you will be invoiced for the full amount when it comes to the commission.

What you should have done is to call Booking.com and tell them about the issue and that if agreed on, for them to mediate the issue with the guest, therefore you will not fall victim to such extortion.

We once had a guest do almost the same thing, story goes like this:

- he books via booking.com, everything perfect for the 2 nights, until moment of check-out comes

- he ordered some extra services during his stay, which he didn't want to pay because he thought that they were overpriced (services he agreed to during the stay)

- he complained that the bathroom doesn't have a Jacuzzi, I said of course it doesn't have one, there isn't any information about that written anywhere, he then called me a liar to my face

- he started threatening me that he will leave a bad review and tell everyone that we are liar and cheaters

At the moment he said that, I told him that I do not accept such behavior at my property and that bringing threats will get him permanently banned from coming here. After which I asked him to immediately leave the property.

He then left us the lowest review, 2.5 on all aspects, which put a small dent in our overall score, but I did reply to his review and told the whole story how he had not respected house rules, threatened me and had a very toxic behavior.

Overall, it has not affected my business as everyone who reads that review will laugh at how childish a grown ass man can be.

He thought that this tactic will absolve him from paying for the reservation and services, well guess what, he had to pay for everything.

Don't get intimidated by these people, you have the right to reply to their reviews, use it wisely to your advantage.

Hope this helps,

Zsolt

1 year ago
1
Stephrange70

Thanks Zsolt - very valuable feedback. Yes I was truly scammed! Unbelievable.

Ah well onwards and upwards - thanks for taking the time to respond!

Steph

1 year ago
1
Sayedrihan1

Some guests using Guest review in a bad way and it's unfair. I had 1 guest I gave him excellent service really during his stay; everything was in order; picked him up from the Airport and I paid for the taxi 2 ways pickup & drop off. I work in the hospitality field nearly 20 years and I know what does it mean guest and service. Still he didn't give me high score in the guest review cause he didn't like the city though I have the best location in the tourist area and it's really nice. The house is so clean but still he didn't give me also high score though he left the house dirty specially the kitchen I didn't say a word or I didn't apply any extra fees for cleaning. So finally I would like to say that the guest review it's not the real evolution for your property. If I'm unlucky and got some sick people as my guests what I can do? So guys have trust in yourself and your work and don't let some sick people to get you down.

1 year ago
1
Fiona & Justin…

Hi - Just to let you know I agree with all of the above comments - it's incredibly frustrating when you offer an excellent service and they are unappreciative or just want to take advantage of you.
Fortunately Booking.com have recently enabled you to give feedback on guests. Make you you use this service - guests need to be genuine in their feedback.

Hope this helps

Fee

1 year ago
1
Reservations

Goodmorning!! it is unfair however that people like this leave reviews and the online agent does not agree to withdraw them from the listing. Really unfair!!

1 year ago
1
Daniela+Vincen…

Hi! Apartment agent here and I am glad to hear your comments as I thought i was getting guests expect a hotel service just because we have a 24 hours concierge / security service in the building where most of our SELF CATERING apartments are located

I think this is the most important category of all is to divide between self catering and serviced apartments as well as stressing to the guests that they have to READ all the emails with instructions they get. I recently got a low review from 3 old ladies, that obviously needed assisted holidays, saying that nobody helped them find their allocated apartment and carry their cases!!!

and because booking.com was originally a hotel only platform, people have in their mind they're going to a hotel although the pay apartment prices

anyway, let's stay strong and carry on!

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Fee,

You can make the title of the property say that for you. Like: Self Catering Fee's Aparments

I'm sure it will lower the amount of complaints and expectations.

We found that generating a different wording on all descriptions and names will improve guest feedback drastically.

Give it a try.

Cheers,

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
1
hyching8

I have the same experience with guests not able to understand that a homestay is different from a hotel stay and leave bad reviews because they expect service of a 5 star hotel. I even had a guest who complained on arrival that the place is not clean and demand a discount or leave a bad review.

Where is the feature at this site on feedback on guests leaving unfair comments?

Cheers

Ching

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Ching,

NEVER EVER give a discount to guests who threaten you with bad reviews, they are abusing you and are scammers. Read above about what I've explained in other comments.

You can report a guest misconduct here:

This is on the right side of the booking in BDC extranet.

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
1
Enquiries

Hello All,

Good to hear we are not the only ones who have experienced this, we've had a group book 5 nights, stay for 4 of those nights and leave early, threatening a bad review if we didn't provide them with a full refund for the full stay, it was awful, especially when we had had so much positive feedback.

We ended up giving them a refund. It's hard that you aren't allowed to monitor the reviews with that sort of behavior or have an appeal process to get the review removed.

Would be interesting to see if this changes in the future

Thanks Nicola

1 year ago
1
Anna Paula

I am reading these reviews and have to say that I'm glad I'm not the only one going through this. I have over 20 properties with booking.com so it can be challenging at times to say the least. I work very hard at making sure to always get great reviews and had to give my head a shake when i read a recent review about my 2 bedroom condo in Mont-Tremblant which for those of you who don't know, is located in a beautiful mountain where many come to ski. So recently one of my guests, gave me a bad review and his reason was because there was a tree in the way of his view of the mountain! I had to read it twice, and still couldn't believe that someone actually wrote that. It took everything in me to not reply "oh im so sorry, you should have called me so that i could call someone to come chop down the tree for you." What surprised me even more was that booking actually allows someone to give you a bad review over stupidity like that.
At least i got a chuckle out of this fine fellow who wanted the tree down LOL..

1 year ago
7
Thuild - Your …

Dear Anna Paula ,

Oh dear... that was quite an interesting one. Almost as insane as one review I read from Spain: An American guest gave a bad review for his holiday, saying the following something like this "The place was amazing, however we weren't expecting taxi drivers to be all Spanish."

*facepalm*

These type of guests are funny, yet they do hurt our review score with their idiocy.

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

1 year ago
1
Stephrange70

Nicola that is awful - so sorry 😐 to hear that.

1 year ago
1
Jan Terborg714

I haven't had this happen to me yet... our cabin has a fully stocked kitchen and there's a grocery store nearby. I do offer some hotel amenities like turn down service. My guests are told they have to ask booking.com for refunds. I'll take the bad review over a spoiled guest as opposed to explaining to my owner why the money's gone.

1 year ago
1
Bestteo

Hi Guys,

Thanks for this post. Omg, my guests rented a room and I provided a lounge and dining for their access (shared use). The guest have the audacity to tell me I am confronting when I am walking in and out of the kitchen. I am puzzled because they just rented a room and expected to have the whole house to them. Thanks for the tips. I know what to do next.

4 months ago