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Threatening behaviour

I have now had two guests, one more than the other who become very aggressive and exhibit threatening behaviour. If guests have caused excess damage and I hold back a deposit, this is when the issues arise.

How do you deal with this type of behaviour? Threats to property, the promise that they will have people book and trash the house, abusive phone calls.

booking.com have been very good, but they don’t seem to be bothered if guests are threatening, promising to write bad reviews. I have even had a guest who is supposedly friends with one of my competitors staying in my property and causing issues, obviously for the benefit of the competition. of course, booking.com are just a middle man, but these guests should not be allowed to terrorise property owners in such a way. 

i am interested to hear other people’s stories of nightmare guests and threats, and how you all dealt with it.

12 Replies

7
pibomarco

Don't get into an argument with these "few" patients. That is what I've learned it is not worth it.
You have your policies and house rules and it is your decission what are you going to do.. Ignore the threats.. it is just trash talk. If damage was made I would take a damage deposit no doubt. Regarding the review, well let them.. If they rate everything "1" I think you can report to Booking.com and maybe they would remove it or they would contact guest to write a true review.. But don't put your hopes on this.
These "few" negative reviews from the patients is part of the business. You still have the last saying and you can make a reply to their review from your point of view (in a proffesional and calm matter).

1 year ago
2
Murciafit

Yes, good response, I agree with your message.

1 year ago
1
Wendywoo76

I too stressed (with hindsight, way too much) about this when it happened to me (malicious review) a few years ago on another online forum so I sympathise 😟.

However, If you have consistently ‘good’ reviews then that one bad one stands out as exactly what it is...malicious & untrue!! I simply wrote a (professional & polite) reply giving the factual version of events & also actively encouraged genuine guests to leave a review which re-inflated my score & the negative impact of the bad one.

I consider myself as a budget B&B but get consistently disheartened with guests reviews scoring as if I was a 5* establishment (ie on facilities). They’ve chosen to book budget accommodation which clearly states what’s on offer. Personally I don’t think there’s anything wrong in pointing this out in your response to the reviewer!

My advice woulld be:

1. Don’t over-stress & loose sleep

2. Be confident of your ‘product’ but aware we don’t use the rooms as guests do, so take time to consider if there are any genuine issues to the complaint which need to be addressed

3. Respond to the review, honestly, politely & professionally

4. Accept we cant satisfy everyone 100% of the time

5. Remember that EVERY guest is ‘invited’ by these online forums to be ‘mini’ hotel inspectors while possibly having absolutely NO previous experience of the industry or realistic expectations based on price paid or THEIR OWN CHOICE when making the booking.

Best wishes from a fellow sometimes ‘frustrated’ owner. 🙄😳😜

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

What I noticed as a "former" budget B&B, we are targeting the guests who search for a low budget accommodations to save money. And those type of guests will be the "loudest" by pointing out the discontent in their lives. Expecting to be treated like a 5 star guests etc.. Not throwing everyone in the same basket, but the fact is that lowering the price doesn't mean that you will lower guest expectations.

1 year ago
2
Murciafit

Great response Wendywoo76,

Very true about budget accommodation, yet guests expecting a 24 hour concierge service 🤣 and the like. You make some great points.

I am just going to take these issues as a learning curve, and the abuse with a pinch of salt.

This forum is a good place to get your zen back, good to know others have similar issues and how they handle 🧘‍♀️🧘‍♀️

1 year ago
2
Murciafit

So true pibomarco, I have actually kept prices lower with the thought of less hassle, as I previously rented a very high end property, which was time consuming.

But like you say, the guests expect the same, and the “lower” end tend to act inappropriately!

revisions needed to my tactics!

I have put the prices up now, so let’s see how it works.

I have also had some very lovely guests, so it just goes with the territory of being a host

1 year ago
2
Leina'ala

Hi,

So far we've been lucky to not have guests that have damaged the room or made threats. A couple of years ago I did offer 4 guests the option to leave free of charge because they were ganging up on me, yelling, pointing their fingers in my face (as I was sitting they were standing) because they didn't agree to pay what they agreed to pay when they reserved their reservation on another OTA site. Later, one of the girlfriends apologized for their rudeness. We often hear the saying "The guest is always right". I was taught a long time ago during an internship with the Convention and Group Director at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel that "the guest is not always right but they are your guest". It works both ways. They are my guest so I will try to make their visit comfortable, special, enjoyable, etc....but because they are my guest that doesn't mean it is their right to abuse and belittle their host/hostess.

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

That's true.. The guest is always "right". But I (as a owner) will always show them the EXIT door in MY house if they would be rude and abusive.

1 year ago
1
Lady A

I had some experience with bad behaviour by guests side, sometimes even with police intervention. It has been very stresful. I also had the experience with guests who have been warned because of not respecting house rules, and then they told me "I will put you bad review because I'm not allowed to have party in your property..." .Well, it is difficult to work with people because every one of them are carrying their own frustrations with themselves and sometimes it is the host who "suffers". I'd like to propose to booking.com to consider making changes as airbnb (for example) did- as person who books accomodation, you have your own profile and you receive reviews, and also you can have recommendations from host. Therefore, host can choose option to receive bookings only from people who have recommendations. This way, bad experiences can be reduced.

1 year ago
2
Murciafit

Lady A, sorry to hear you have had similar experiences. I have always tried to keep the police out of it, it sounds terrible that you had to have them involved. I am still dealing with this issue even now, over a month since they left, it does add stress, but I guess we gain resilience to it. What I can not understand is when I am out of pocket from the destruction yet guests insist on claiming back refund, or making up other things to get full money back. It’s a shame dishonest guests create such bad experiences for others, but as cliche as it sounds, karma, or just the universe intervention cures all these issues!

thanks for your comments

good luck with your work as a host, I hope things improve for us and everyone rein this business :)

1 year ago
1
Lady A

These kind of guest must have some kind of sanction from booking.com. They are not just dangerous in this situation, it is often not one-time problem, they are usually problematic no matter where they're traveling. As we work with booking.com on mutual pleasure and interest, they may consider to protect the host in some way.

1 year ago
1
Alberto B.

The behavior of booking.com about the reviews, not to mention the cancellations and verification of the validity of the credit cards is simply AMAZING! Considering that booking.com lives and thrives thanks to hotel commissions, the total lack of help and assistance with guests of the worst kind or those sent by the competitors is a real shame. But controlling 80% of the European reservation market allows to do whatever they want. Allowing to write to people sent by competitors very bad reviews with no comments hidden from anonymity as happened to us is unfair, but even allow people who have made in the hotel everything and more (we even reported to the police) to defame us publicly giving us racists is simply incredible. I repeat and underline that we are talking about people who have been reported to local authorities and will have problems when they return to Thailand (where we have the resort). Who wrote that you need to respond professionally and quietly is right, it's only pity that my answer was published only in the fifth attempt, not because we responded with anger or insulting, but because to answer that for us between gay (as in this case) or heterosexual there is no difference (we are so racist that we had a gay employee) it was not possible. I am Italian (not properly a racist country even as we have no reasons to feel better than the others), my wife is Thai (was introduced to me by a ladyboy friend of mine), we had gay employees and we are racist ! Fantastic. Really fantastic ! Congratulations ! The GREAT help of booking.com has been to answer us that it is a personal evaluation of the guests. It means that for them it is normal to write reviews publicly defaming (I remind it is a crime seriously punished by every country law) without giving a chance to explain exactly how things went. Not even a copy of the police report was served. Do you know what the answer to our protests was? Threaten to be canceled by booking.com! Who wrote that these negative experiences fall into the order of things and are part of the game overlooks the small detail that many small hotels, like ours, are the result of many sacrifices and are managed with love and passion more than to be great sources revenue. Allowing to write ignoble and false things is outrageous and a real stab that further discredits the reputation and honor of people who make their work with love not just for the money. But what matters? It does not matter to live and prosper thanks to hotel commissions. The important thing is to let people who book to do everything they want : use false or non-covered credit cards, make multiple bookings on the same dates (read what booking.com writes when a cancellation is made), write reviews that arrive defamation limiting the possibility of the response of hotels, publish bad anonymous reviews without comments from people sent by competitors, allow cancellations at the last moment after stopping the availability of rooms even for 9 months without anything to be done because booking .com does not collect (as it should be) money from those who cancel, do not check the availability and reliability of credit cards. Who wrote that certain things are part of the game should consider that we are human beings, not robot and that we are not only speaking about business. Every time I read what people who have reported to the police have written, I feel an infinite rage, disgust and disappointment. If then I think that in addition to me also many potential guests read it I feel an infinite frustration. But what’s the problem when you are a leader and you control the market in a situation of absolute monopoly of online bookings? Who cares ? There is no hope to have any kind of help from booking.com for any kind of problem. I was and I am really angry and as I never surrender I tried the impossible to cancel the review. Nothing. From this and other experiences, above all about cancellations (we arrived 3 years ago at 80% of cancellations on total), I understood that the only thing to do with booking.com is to find the way is to resolve or to limit by ourselves the problems as I repeat absolutely no kind of help is given at all by booking.com. Happy new year to everyone.

7 months ago