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How to deal with difficult guests

The topic I am bringing, is not often in our guesthouse but once in a while happen.Difficult guests sometimes come and challenge your system to provide the best ever service.In our experience, we have a wonderful employee that deal with decency and education difficut guests but sometimes the situation goes beyond.

It dependes of the circunstance but my strategy is not to engage in trouble with client.Usually I grant discounts or I endeup not charging the service that they are complaining.

Let me know how you deal with those difficult guests, What is your strategy.

Thanks guys: Juan Carlos

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107 Replies

7
Katerinka12

Does TripAdvisor allow to write review without staying and paying? 🤔

3 months ago
6
michael beeston

WOW !!!..everyone, incredible stories.and I complain about the guest who leaves the Balcony door open during the night and a small small cockroach comes in and she gives me 7.5 for cleaning !!..THIS IS NOTHING compared to all of your stories, I am sure it will happen to me one day....but let's be positive...HAPPY EASTER to ALL........Very best Michael and Rita.

3 months ago
6
michael beeston

Ireland B&B

If she's a SUPER Model ..call me !!!! hahahaha.BUt its a long way to go from Aussie....and yes there are some nasty people out there

3 months ago
3
Ireland-B&B

No Michael...trust me hun, she was the guest from HELL !! LOL But I googled her name and any where she stayed she left a bad review every where so I took comfort knowing I wasn't the only one. If you were lucky she'd just leave you a 1 star and no comment, but she wrote a book on me LMAO I never answered her review. As they say...let sleeping dogs sleep ;)

Katerinka12 - yes with TripAdvisor, you can leave a comment with out ever having been there or have ever made a booking there and in some cases...with out ever having been to that country...strange but true. And I dont think those reviews ever come off.

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Can anyone open the topic How to deal with difficult hosts? 😅

3 months ago
1
Gul Rais

Dear All

when we deal to guest to keep in mind that "Guest is God" and try to keep every-time "Honey" ;)

3 months ago
3
Ian at Numurka…

I hate it when booking.com wont tell the guest that they need to be honest with guest reviews,

some guests write silly things, and i think guest reviews should be scrubbed, or limited to what they are allowed to say on the website.

we encourage the guests to complain to us. Give us feedback.

one guest said she ran out of toilet paper - why did she go to the supernarket and get more..? across the road - a self contianed apartment - did not ask us either. we were annoyed the guest put it on as a comment - it was fickle ***. not important but it implied that we did something wrong.

we compalined to the guest about it in sms writing. NO abuse towards the guest.

"faulty" Guest reviews and third party bookers are the biggest problems we get.

has to be a system of win - win designed.

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Guests can make a fuss out of nothing. I have instructions for location in my listing but I also send more definitions in arrival letter. My property location for most of my guests is not very easy to find. Most of them comment that with right guideness given from host property was found. One said we were lost. Gave me 7.5 for location.
Cheers!!!

3 months ago
3
Martina Stoecker

I thought the rating for the location means - if you are too far from the village...... not the driving directions given??

Our guests still get sometimes lost because their GPS leads them in some other directions.But this is actually not a reason to rate a accommodation with/for bad location. On the other hand - it's all up at Google map, isn't it? So, why not allocate the accommodation before making a reservation, can't blame anyone if it is further out than expected. Something I try do understand. We made a reservation for a farm stay and as there where no street signs of course in the middle of nowhere Google Map leads me, another way but still we arrived, very late. It was dark in the meantime, we where tired and so on. But this is not a reason to give a bad rating to the accommodation for location, I choose it ! But send an email so they change their location on Google Map.......

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

If your location is not accurate on Google maps, create a Facebook business page with accurate location and the name of your property. After some time Google will pick up this address. So, it will be easy for the guests to find you.

As for location ratings, I think some people who travel don't really know where they want to be. When they are in place A, they dream about being in the same time at place B. And for some the best location means having taxis waiting for them right at the entrance. Even in the province...

One of my guests complained that she still had to walk from the airport to apartment. When my place is closer to airport than 5 star hotels in our area. What can I do... I replied stating the fact, that the property is the closest to the airport and 5 star hotels charge at least double. By the way, she had to walk 300 meters or 4 minutes as per Google maps...

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

Hi Martina great attitude towards a fake review - in the beginning years of my business i took each review very personal but as I grew in my faith I knew I was doing my best, thus it has less impact on me emotionally - I also take my time responding to each review - as I have 4 rooms i have time to make notes of guest too - thus on their form or my PC I jot down things about them and respond likewise - it is hard but taking the emotion out of it let one look with pity on the reviewer itself - as finding fault all the time that person must have a heart very heavy of unhappiness. - especially reviewers with no face or picture - aaag no - I do pity them and pray for them.

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

Good point about using a fake review for marketing - I had a guest coming to my place just to come and have a good laugh about someone's very bad review as the guests stated - we must also remember that people does not always believe bad reviews as they are aware that all owners will for sure do their utmost to give our best to each guest - thus if we cannot learn or grow our business from a review then do not take it to heart - as we also ask guest to talk or text if they need something - and yet they do not and review that shortcoming if any...

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

@IrelandBnb i love the story about the restaurant taking the reviewer to task - brilliant hey - I suppose the "boy that cried wolf" will always be truthful from that moment on... it gives me moments to ponder on especially those fake reviews we have received on google starting last year and we get so often. Have not received one on Tripadvisor though thus cannot respond to that one.

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster
  • thanks Michael and Rita for Easter wishes - Ditto to you all and the rest on the forum - Yes some fake reviews can cause quite an immense stress point for one as an owner, but lets hope those that are reading it will use their bright minds and sift the false as one can feel in writing when somethings sound very far from the truth.
3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

I had a good laugh about the guest writing a book about you because of her experience at your place - well there you have it ,she created that in her mind as she needed to get words and material for her book - be joyful about it and if the money roll in ask for your cut of it - as you inspired her, he he he dear - Yes i also check the reviewers details especially those that really takes us down in their reviews - and 99% of the time they have very low scores for wherever they went - I actually one day went to search online where a bad reviewer were staying - and low and behold felt extremely sad for this person - so reviews are just not always about our experiences to guests but also how they view themselves - and then project their unhappiness upon us and their stay - so lets always give our best and do hope we hit the happy nodes of our guests. We are representatives of our business and we cannot make everyone happy that is a fact.

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

Yes Katarinka I also fell victim to fake reviews even if guests did not stay with us - I then actually do respond that the guests have never been to my place and google has never taken them off - but Booking.com did. I have contacted google about it but had no response thus far - yes hope the reviewer reads the comments i had about him.

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

Leanne I had the same experiences regarding guests that can kiss your feet and hands whilst they are there and yet leave a bad taste or low score review - I actually went to research a few establishments in the area and they said they ask their guests to review them before they leave - they actually have their marketing manager sit down with them - to handle the things they were not happy about ( if any at all ) to make sure that all their needs were met - and has never ever had a bad review - they have a 9,9 rating thus - I actually do not want to follow that advise as I think a guest feel pressured - so let whatever review roll in... I do understand why we must ask them to review whilst they are there - its a good marketing tool for sure.

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

Each age group summarize their down side of a place differently. i have experiences that the millenniails will look for extremely fast wifi and super quick shuttle services as whereas the older generation not moans as much about being unhappy about things - not sure how all of you experience the different generations.

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

Great news for you Michael to be fully booked on Easter weekend - we only have 2 guests - actually a lower occupancy rate than in 2018 but not complaining as I then get a wonderful chance of attending all the festivities at our local church as the services in itself is a full program already. Do enjoy your guests - they always welcome

3 months ago
4
Benita Cyster

Madclaridge - very good point. what was their response to your follow up to them?

3 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hello Benita Cyster..many thanks and happy easter.we have had an incredible Feb/March and April with only 11 days empty over the three months..Magic !! and May at this stage looks brilliant.All positive stuff and I Love reading all the stories..wow !! some are amazing !!!..Good luck everyone.Talk soon.

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

I might be very philosophical here, but people feel those fake reviews. Do not stress over them. People are not easy to cheat with anything fake. They are survivors, after all 😊

"they actually have their marketing manager sit down with them - to handle the things they were not happy about ("

Yeah, sounds like a pressure 😒 It really depends on the type of the property and person, who can communicate with the guests. I was afraid of "privacy" and "personal borders". Wrong. Of course, I respect privacy. But I noticed that people love to communicate with me. The more I communicate, the more they leave wonderful comments, comments that I had never thought I can have.

You can influence the possible good review on Airbnb by creating House rules.

3 months ago
1
Levuemer

Ce sont toujours ceux qui payent le moins cher, qui se croient tout permis, j'ai augmenté mes tarifs contre ce genre de problème, et lors de nos promotions tout est spécifié en supplément et je n'ai plus aucun problème.

Quand les gens laissent la maison sale, je prend des photos et je déduis les frais de ménage de la caution puis ils sont bloquées dans l'extranet et je remonte les informations.

Je ne fais pas de réduction s'ils ne sont pas satisfaits car je n'ai jamais eu ce problème, c'est plus des gens qui sont très sales, vu que la maison est impeccable je leur fait la remarque et leur rappelle que je ne suis pas un hôtel.

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Katerina of course we should respect guests privacy. As you have mentioned in another thread communication is very vital and yes guests love to discuss their problems and worries while visiting a new place. They are always interested to find out and explore new things to do and to discover places and happenings that only locals can suggest and are aquatinted with. By communicating both parties can achieve experiences and knowledge.
Wish you happy moments.

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hello! Levuemer nice to have you here in this forum.
Wish I New French... I love your language is so romantic...
Unfortunately I don’t, so please repeat your question in English.
Cheers mom amie...

2 months ago
2
Leannemccarty23

Wow, I have just finished reading through all these messages. I dread the day that i get a bad behaved guest!
We have been open now through booking.com only for 16 months now and the worst we have had is bad feed back from grumpy old people (who say they are a young travelling couple! What a joke)
So if they lie about that, then really, should we believe anything else they say???
I leave a pad a pen in the room for any feed back on anything, whether nice comments or things we could improve on for future guests. The grumpy old ones write nothing, just complain in their review, the nice people write nice things and great ideas, these we actually act on and thank them for their input, it has made us make a few changes since we opened.
So I just figure that you cannot please everyone, but I can please 99% 😊👍

2 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Leannemccarty23, thank you for reading all messages. I hope you can serve as good example to other forum readers.

You can use Age limit on Booking and simply do not accept old people, if they bring you so many problems. Why not 😊

2 months ago
1
Catrionawoodscbt

Hi. need some advise. I am new to Booking.com

On friday night, my dreaded fear happened. My guests, booked as 5 people in a terrace house, had a party. Noise level aparently awful for neighbours,. The neighbours said they could not count the number of people that entered and left the property all evening until early house of the morning. They checked out late and 9 people were seen leaving house at this stage. The house was left in an awful state, 3 black refuse sacks of food and rubbish has to be taken out of house. 7 broken glases and table light. they just trashed the place. Drink stains on carpets and bedding. the guest initlially answered my phone call and when i said how she left my home.... she said she thought it was just a rental... implying it was ok to treat it that way. No harsh words were spoken on phone and she agreed to pay for breakages..... but has since ignored my calls and text. I reported this to booking.com and blocked her from booking again. Now she has cheak to leave an extremely negative review of my house which is all lies and no doubt because i reported her behaviour.

The review is total lies. Can anything be done about this?

2 months ago
2
Juancsandoval

When I read a story like yours, I love it because it is a challenges for our customer service.

I think you are doing the coorect piece, political part which it is reaching the community, dennouncing the abuse and sharing with others like me, and that is very supportive.

We, as owners, do not want to have a nightmare guest like you did.Have the initiative is something to your favor, report it first to booking.Write your story and reported negative actions of your guest.

Demand to remove the review based on lies, prove your case .Try to make an agreement to your nightmare guest, tell him to remove the review and you won't take any action against him in pages like: Who is your guest.This is something fair.

If things do not work to this point, report it to the police and I do not know if you have cameras and take it as prove and no one wants to take to this level.

It is painful but sometimes happen, go for it my colleague.Do not get dissapointment.

2 months ago
3
Ian at Numurka…

Katerinka,

You can cancel their booking, Simple.

Be stern. Be Firm.

Tell them its your property and its your rules.

Its either your way of the highway as they say.

We just tell people if it avail they can have it earlier.

Then they know where they stand. Simple.

2 months ago
3
Ian at Numurka…

These are our house rules: (feel free to use)

We get the guest to agree and sign off when they book. no sign off - then they don't get in.

  1. No parties or any party type behaviour will be tolerated. No illicit drugs.
  2. No pets, birds or animals shall be allowed on the premises during your stay
  3. Please keep noise to a minimum, any complaints by neighbours or police will result in the occupants being asked to hand in the keys and leave the premises immediately with no refund.
  4. The apartment must be left clean and tidy, as it was when you arrived
  5. Rubbish must be put in the rubbish bins at the end of your stay, that are located outside the apartment next to the garage wall, near the rear entrance to the property. Please use the recycle and rubbish bin appropriately.
  6. Any missing items from the apartment after you vacate, like towels or linen, or pillows etc., you will be charged by way of deduction from your deposit bond
  7. If the apartment is not clean when you leave, you will be charged a cleaning fee.
  8. If anything is damaged during your stay, you will be charged the cost of the replacement item.
  9. Please return the key to the key security box when you leave.
  10. Please clean the BBQ after you have finished using it.
  11. NO smoking in the apartment. If you smoke inside the apartment, you will be charged a fee to de sanitise the smell in the apartment
  • Please leave all used towels on the bathroom floors when you leave.
  • If towels are unused, please leave them in the bedroom cupboards.
  • If anything is accidentally broken when you are using the apartment, please notify us as we can then replace the broken and /or damaged item.
  • If you motor vehicle leaks oil in the motor vehicle garage whist you are staying here, you may be charged a cleaning fee.
  • Please turn off the air conditioner and the heater when you are not at the apartment to conserve energy costs.
  • Please turn off lights in the apartment when you are not in the apartment, and when you are not using the applicable rooms, to conserve energy costs.
  • In the event of an emergency, phone 000 for Fire, Police or Ambulance.

There has been a phone number and an SMS number that you have been given if you need to contact someone during your stay.

First aid and Fire items have been supplied for your use if necessary, that are located in the kitchen/ dining area that is well signed and accessible.

If you have a longer term stay, there is a washing machine, dryer and ironing board supplied in the apartment for your use.

Enjoy your stay and the apartment, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or require any assistance during your stay.

2 months ago
3
Ian at Numurka…

Catriona,

take photos,

report it to booking.,com

have you a person to support your ellagrations..?

if so,. contact the police and a lawyer,

and I personally would charge their credit card for the damages and the clean up.

but send the guest an invoice first for the damages and clean up.

tell the guest your going to charge their credit a card.

not sure what country your in - so may be different

FUTURE BOOKINGS.

make sure they are a genuis member and if not, get their ID drivers licence when they book.

then again, we have had a problem with a genuis member too.

personally, i don't think booking.com support their accomodation providers enough

We have had problems too. Our lawyers are writing a letter to booking.com.

and we are setting up Little Hotelier.

2 months ago
3
Ireland-B&B

It's not a common thing in Ireland or the UK (England) but it is in most parts of Europe as I use to do a lot of travelling through Europe (driving) and it was very common that I'd have to hand up my passport at check in and I'd get it back when I check out. Maybe some of you who are having problems with guests could ask for their passports or drivers license ...photo ID ?? Maybe if they know you have their passport or drivers license they may think twice about trashing the place, as well as having a deposit/bond. Just a suggestion.

2 months ago
3
Ian at Numurka…

In Australia, most hotels and motels ask for a drivers licence ID when you check in.

The Hyatt and other International Hotels take a credit card swipe of $1 as a bond. - to validate and test the card to make sure they can raise a charge for damages

we don't like the idea of bonds.

2 months ago
3
Martina Stoecker

As we don't rent out the property as a Holiday Home anymore, only for BnB - because of exactly the points mentioned - I would actually ask for a deposit. Not everybody has a credit card or wants to use it too.

2 months ago
2
Craigmoniecottage

Katerinka I could'nt agree with you more about the display of house rules/policies on all OTA's including the very loose ended Airbnb. For years I have displayed all information about our house rules and even though on Booking.Com they have also to agree to the terms and conditions prior to booking they still all have a dose of selective amnesia when it suits them However, the protection is that the information is there in Black and White. However, with Airbnb a very recent case of the guest arriving and admitting on arrival he had broke the rules by' turning up with more people than they had booked' for because 'no one ever bothered' He did not get access to the property and went away and cancelled. Next minute he writes a review and now I have to write one back I contacted Airbnb and they say they can do nothing about this in fact whenever there is a problem with Airbnb they do very little about it because of the very reason you state they get more commission from the guest. I have never had many problems with Airbnb until this guest and my how it has opened my eyes to Airbnb as being totally irresponsible otherwise why let a guest write a reivew about a property they have not stayed at. I will be responding to the review ofcourse and it will also reflect on Airbnb.

The best quality guest is the guest who books direct as you strike up a valuable relationship with them knowing what they like and what they don't like an what their expectations are. I tell all guests who book to book direct in the future and I am pleased to say a lot do.

Absolutely, put everything in writing. Whether it is texts or e-mails always have the back up.

2 months ago
6
michael beeston

Craigmoniecottage..............100% agree.............So hard to believe Airbnb would EVEN take a review from a guest who NEVER stayed ..That is TOTALLY unacceptable !!!! from them. Unprofessional to say the least

I have stopped using Airbnb for a long time now...they were almost a complete waste of time for my properties. Well said.Michael.

2 months ago
2
Craigmoniecottage

Hi Michael thanks for that and I should say that the Airbnb guest apparently (as well as the host) has the right to make a review when the cancellation is on the day which is absolutely crazy and their allowing it just promotes antagonisim. I have issues with all of the OTA's about their practices but I have to say that Airbnb is the best (worst) yet. A global company of that size saying they have no control over their websites never heard such rubbish.

2 months ago
2
Shikwari Game …

Our most difficult guest are many of our fellow South Africans. Nothing seems enough for them. If they in our rustic Rondavel that is not but they don't want to pay for the upgrade. If they are in our 4 star graded suites then they moan about the shower being outside, that we only offer a 3 course set menu dinner, that the road is bad and that there is not electricity as we have just had a storm. I sometimes get the feeling they are looking for a refund or a freebie for their next stay. All is communicated in my email to them in point form and it is also on my website so there is no excuse for complaints. Thankfully it doesn't happen often as we usually only have overseas guest who are a pleasure to host. We quake when we realise we have SA's as do many other establishment here.

2 months ago
2
Juancsandoval

It is a good point,Shikwari , sometimes I asked myself the same question, what do they look for and it seems, they look for a refund or get extradays.The description in booking of my guesthouse is an republic house from the 1920s, antiques and the decoration is back the 20s.Our phone is a antique piece but some guests complaint that the house is old and now I get it, what they look for.It is an opportunity for us to educate as part of our mission.That is when we talk about the character of the name of the guest house :MAURICIO BABILONIA, is a character full of love, peaceful, he always had butterlfies around him, a character of the novel One hundred years of solicitud by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.Complaints are opportunties to grow.

2 months ago
2
Leannemccarty23

Hi Martina
Most of our guest are young and they love staying with us, but we have had a couple of old folks and they mark is bad because they are annoyed with themselves for not reading our blog, they rock up thinking we are a motel and we are a bed and breakfast..... not our fault that they are lazy and just looking for a bargain 🤣

2 months ago
3
Weigelt

I find that "difficult guests" constitute only about five percent of the total. 40% are "normal". 55% are a pleasure to host. Now, about that 5%. One can either look at them as a pain in the rear and simply endure, or the host can see them as a challenge and try to make them "undifficult". It's a worthy challenge and unfortunately seldom works, but when it does, it's a source of satisfaction.

2 months ago
2
Craigmoniecottage

Hi Katerinka

Trip Advisor allow restaurant reviews whether you haved dined or not so probably they allow reviews of accommodation that way as well

2 months ago
2
Craigmoniecottage

Catriona

It is a bitter pill but you will learn from it - ensure your house rules etc. just like Ian detailed earlier are clear and have to be accepted prior to booking. Get your neighbours on side and give them your contact number so that if there is a problem at the property you might get advance warning and then you can deal with it immediately. It will also maybe give you a good relationship with the neighbours.

It is always good to state how many the property accommodate and that this cannot be exceeded also maybe you should consider not taking party bookings. When the word Party is used then perhaps you should investigate what the occasion is and the type of party. I don't take hen/stag parties and do not allow anybody on the premises that is not accounted for in the Booking. If they want a place to gather they can do that in a pub or restaurant.

2 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hi everyone.have been reading the very interesting comments.................................I guess we have NO REAL control over someone who wants to write a weak or bad review (maybe that's the 5% )we all talk about...Just keep smiling I think, and hope the next guest is not one of the 5%.

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Smiling hosts...smiling guests...keep on smiling guys...it reverses back...Michael knows best...
Don’t worry be happy...

2 months ago
1
Clivestewart

Yes, I agree. Is it time to stop agreeing with each other or can I agree again later? :-)

I think I read somewhere that each comment written here gets a point in the micky mouse competition.

2 months ago
1
Clivestewart

No that was just humour. HUMOUR - a word used by English speakers all over the world.

Happy Easter and may the Lord bless all of you.

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I love Mickey Mouse competition...he...he...he...
Helping Mickey Mouse survive you actually help yourself...
Keep on smiling...

2 months ago