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The negative reviews from guests are not a problem. They are here so that we as hosts can improve. The problem is how do you RESPOND as a host to a negative review. And naming your guests idiots is not the proper way even if they deserve it. No respect whatsoever.
Also I have 700 reviews in total (ofcourse you will find also negative reviewes) and you have just a few and already in so many conflicts just because of your "weak" communication. Since your low score is only for staff. I am not surprised as to why.
Another example how yo do not do it:
+The beds were comfy and the unit very spacious
- We ran out of coffee milk tea and toilet paper so had 2 go and buy more
"This is a conflicted review. They are self contained apartments. (not a serviced hotel). The guest did not request more provisions from us. (tea coffee and toliet paper) There were 4 rolls of toilet paper supplied and more spare toilet paper in the cupboards but they failed to have look. We only supply an initial complimentary breakfast basket, 1 litre milk, 1 dozen eggs, loaf of bread, large packet of bacon and tomatoes and cereal. Plenty of breakfast and other provisions were provided in the apartment before the guests arrival. The booker sent a third party person to check-in to the apartment without our prior authorisation. And the guest failed to follow house rules on checkout. The guests were playing tennis for 4 days so we fail to see how they ran out of adequate supplies when they were not there most of the time. Plenty of coffee, sugar and tea and toilet paper was provided for the 4 guests. Sorry."
I mean really?
Another guest wrote:
"This house is well located, very comfortable and clean. However, the host is over zealous and pedantic to the point of being intrusive. We stayed three nights and I received a dozen texts and a phone call...."
"Generally speaking, we don't like putting people down on social media. OMG. Do we have to explain ourselves through a public forum..? I don't have time for people being stupid on social media. No - not pedantic or over zealous. We don't recommend this guest to other hosts. The guests staying next door complained to us about this guest........"
I mean are the guests really the problem in your case or is it just you? You would like to change BDC system so that your behaviour would be more acceptable? As a potential guest I don't imagine after reading your replies to negative reviews and then book your place. Again the negative reviews are not the problem. But your RESPONSES and abviously the way you run your place is. You're lucky that this is just a hobby to you.
My advice is do not reply like Ian at Numurka does in his replies. Just one example how you do not do it:
"The apartment was in an excellent location. However, we were promised a “breakfast basket”, which never arrived. We were also constantly harassed by the host during our stay. He would often enter the yard unannounced to carry out “garden maintenance”. He also made contact to comment that the air conditioning was turned up “too high” on an over 40 degree summers day. He also complained about us “interfering” with a security light which needed “to be left on”. I booked the property on behalf of my parents who stayed for a week over Christmas as I had a baby. Ian was well aware of this fact but harassed both my mother and myself via text message through out their entire stay. When I made comment that I had complained to E____ and was actually thinking of taking it further, Ian attempted to cancel the booking and kick my parents out. Then once my parents had left the property, Ian again contacted them accusing them of stealing a barbecue lighter and plastic containers, this was definitely not the case. Ian is one of the most overbearing, interfering hosts I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. Disappointing really as Numurkah is such a great little town but accommodation like this give the town a poor reputation."
His response (14 Oct. 2020):
"what can i say as apart from them being idiots..? the 3rd party booker did not tell the guest about the rules of stay - its why we had so much trouble. the house rules were not followed."
That's really low and unproffesional from a host.
But are you part of the "Payments by Booking.com" program?
Since it is over a month probably you'll receive your payment soon. Recently Booking.com also announced they had issues with payments. For a clarification contact Booking.com via extranet and be patient.
Only guest can cancel their booking or you should mark at least a no-show the day after. You could also try to dispute the commission amount in the finance tab.
Sure, we would all support this feature. Who wouldn't want a negative score to not be displayed. :)
I personally am not bothered about anonymous reviews because majority of them are positive, and I would preffer them to be shown publicly. Although your suggestion sounds fair I would approve it if we would receive only bad reviews which we don't. But because of one or two negative scores comparing to many positive ones it would be not in my interest. :)
"An anonymous review is when a guest leaves a review without including any personal details.
We respect our customers’ right to privacy, so it’s important to give them this option. If a guest chooses to leave an anonymous review, it is also Booking.com’s responsibility to protect their privacy, so we’re not able to share any details about such guests.
All reviews on our website, including anonymous ones, are 100% verified. We check and make sure that every review is submitted by a genuine guest who booked and/or stayed at the property (unless their reservation is reported as a no-show)."
So we need to accept it as it is..
We all have been in similar situations which you described. It is just part of this business that we are in. And the answer to your qestion? As M Adampolou said:
"Pleasing guests is always hard....sometimes even though you think you have done your best...they just think you have not. Keep on doing your best.... excellent reviews will come...."