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MoosewoodInn

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Had to file guest misconduct and banned someone from booking us through booking.com. To retaliate they gave us our first 1 star review. The title “BAD” …lol no body to their review.

Oh well. It is bound to happen! We had guest complaints from the rooms next door and they broke our policies, which are laid out through booking.com and in the confirmation emails we send. Now we are an 8.9 instead of a 9.0 but I am surprisingly optimistic.

I’ve been posting a lot on here. I’m a talker. Hope that’s okay.
 

gillumhouse

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Had to file guest misconduct and banned someone from booking us through booking.com. To retaliate they gave us our first 1 star review. The title “BAD” …lol no body to their review.

Oh well. It is bound to happen! We had guest complaints from the rooms next door and they broke our policies, which are laid out through booking.com and in the confirmation emails we send. Now we are an 8.9 instead of a 9.0 but I am surprisingly optimistic.

I’ve been posting a lot on here. I’m a talker. Hope that’s okay.
Now you take that review and use it as a commercial. "Sorry you did not like our comfortable bed and well-appointed room. So sorry you did not like our fluffy towels and special soaps. (whatever fits your place.) We have so many great reviews about our breakfasts, sad that you did not enjoy the ________ launch into what a typical breakfast would be. We appreciate that you will go elsewhere in the future as it makes room for someone who will enjoy what we have."
 

MoosewoodInn

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Now you take that review and use it as a commercial. "Sorry you did not like our comfortable bed and well-appointed room. So sorry you did not like our fluffy towels and special soaps. (whatever fits your place.) We have so many great reviews about our breakfasts, sad that you did not enjoy the ________ launch into what a typical breakfast would be. We appreciate that you will go elsewhere in the future as it makes room for someone who will enjoy what we have."
Unfortunately because they did not leave a comment in the body of the review, booking.com does not allow us to reply! Had they said even one word besides the title, we could have responded!
 

Morticia

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Yeah, it stinks, but then you’ll get guests asking what was that all about and you tell a clever little story, make them laugh, and they think the one star guests are idiots and you’re the best thing since sliced bread!
 

GoodScout

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Right at the end of our first year of ownership, we got our first 1-star review, from a guest who brought a cat without telling us, that proceeded to tear up everything and pee all over our suite. What is now known by others guests as our "crazy cat lady review," has gotten us lots of amused questions, and very, very sympathetic smiles. In the interest of letting you know that your future guests can easily read between the lines, I include both the guest's review and my response below:

"Nice couple very new to the busy, no best at making an unsatisfied customer happy. They charged us $75,00 checkout for our indoor cat. Claiming it had climbed the furniture, which cats will do. This wasn't an oversize dog just coming in from the weather and mud and jumped up on the bed. This cat has never seen the outdoors. Our sheets were dirty but no apology was given. We felt pressured to just buy their beer and wine and not use ours that we had brought along. We ended up drinking our bottle and the rest was Another reason for the "fee" being charged. Last insult was their own gratuity was added to the room. So, get everything in writing before you commit as you will be surprised as we were. We won't be going back and we have traveled the world.. Advertised as bed friendly very narrow minded and we felt they only want dogs so they should just say that. They should just charge everyone the pet fee as one's pet is bound to get up on the furniture at some point. We've paid the pets fees before at better locations, but it was disclosed well in advance. After the fact is really like a bait and switch."

I ignored her complaint about the alcohol, since state law requires guests to drink what's sold on property and not bring in their own, and focused instead on the fact that had we known she was bringing a cat we would have told her no. Also, note the snarky mention that our pet policy is disclosed five different ways.

"We're very sorry your experience didn't meet up to your expectations and you felt misled. Unlike most hotels and almost all B&Bs, we do not charge a fee for guests for their first pet. We do allow guests to sleep with their pets and have them on the beds, but do have to charge a $75 cleaning fee for that so we can deep-clean and sterilize all bedding so future guests that may be allergic won't be affected. We disclose this bed policy in five ways: On our website, when you book, when you check in, in our in-room guidebook and with signs on the night tables of your room. Since you failed to advise us you would be bringing a pet at booking and at check-in, you were only advised on our bed policy in 3 of the 5 ways, and we apologize for that. We hope we have the chance to try and please you again in the future."

As I said, every guest since who's seen this review (and they all scan directly to the 1- and 2-stars) know where the problem really lay, and have laughed heartily with us about "crazy cat lady." One even pointed out "Cat's walk through their own litterbox poop; so saying their paws were clean was hysterical!"

Don't sweat a bad review. Sometimes if you don't have at least one, I think guests are less likely to believe all the good ones.
 

MoosewoodInn

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Right at the end of our first year of ownership, we got our first 1-star review, from a guest who brought a cat without telling us, that proceeded to tear up everything and pee all over our suite. What is now known by others guests as our "crazy cat lady review," has gotten us lots of amused questions, and very, very sympathetic smiles. In the interest of letting you know that your future guests can easily read between the lines, I include both the guest's review and my response below:

"Nice couple very new to the busy, no best at making an unsatisfied customer happy. They charged us $75,00 checkout for our indoor cat. Claiming it had climbed the furniture, which cats will do. This wasn't an oversize dog just coming in from the weather and mud and jumped up on the bed. This cat has never seen the outdoors. Our sheets were dirty but no apology was given. We felt pressured to just buy their beer and wine and not use ours that we had brought along. We ended up drinking our bottle and the rest was Another reason for the "fee" being charged. Last insult was their own gratuity was added to the room. So, get everything in writing before you commit as you will be surprised as we were. We won't be going back and we have traveled the world.. Advertised as bed friendly very narrow minded and we felt they only want dogs so they should just say that. They should just charge everyone the pet fee as one's pet is bound to get up on the furniture at some point. We've paid the pets fees before at better locations, but it was disclosed well in advance. After the fact is really like a bait and switch."

I ignored her complaint about the alcohol, since state law requires guests to drink what's sold on property and not bring in their own, and focused instead on the fact that had we known she was bringing a cat we would have told her no. Also, note the snarky mention that our pet policy is disclosed five different ways.

"We're very sorry your experience didn't meet up to your expectations and you felt misled. Unlike most hotels and almost all B&Bs, we do not charge a fee for guests for their first pet. We do allow guests to sleep with their pets and have them on the beds, but do have to charge a $75 cleaning fee for that so we can deep-clean and sterilize all bedding so future guests that may be allergic won't be affected. We disclose this bed policy in five ways: On our website, when you book, when you check in, in our in-room guidebook and with signs on the night tables of your room. Since you failed to advise us you would be bringing a pet at booking and at check-in, you were only advised on our bed policy in 3 of the 5 ways, and we apologize for that. We hope we have the chance to try and please you again in the future."

As I said, every guest since who's seen this review (and they all scan directly to the 1- and 2-stars) know where the problem really lay, and have laughed heartily with us about "crazy cat lady." One even pointed out "Cat's walk through their own litterbox poop; so saying their paws were clean was hysterical!"

Don't sweat a bad review. Sometimes if you don't have at least one, I think guests are less likely to believe all the good ones.
My mom says exactly that about needing a couple bad reviews to make people believe the good ones! Your response is so well written. There is so much to this business that I am getting used to. The people we had snuck many more adults into the room they were staying in, and the guests in the neighboring rooms complained the next morning about how many people and how noisy they were but no one told us so we had no idea until the next morning when I watched them all packing up and coming out. I checked my security footage and sure enough they had many people stay in there. The room was so messy that it took us an extra hour to clean it back up. They were also two and a half hours past our check in times. That’s my husbands biggest gripe right now. Our check in hours are listed 3-10pm but again we are stuck waiting until midnight - 1am for the booking.com people to arrive. How do you do it? I don’t have the stamina to add cooking them food into the mix. You are all much better people than I could ever hope to be!
 

GoodScout

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You will find that the Air and OTA people are, with exceptions, the less-desirable and less-loyal of your guests. Use OTAs to get your name out there if you must, but as soon as you get enough return business, pare back what rooms you give them so they're only helping you fill in the slow seasons.

Oh, and don't be tempted to discount your rooms when things get slow. Our ADR is around $186 to $196 a night. When we hit our first slow season, we dropped our rooms to $99 a night and every, every guest was horrible. Use your rates as a tool to discourage the people who will trash your place and give you bad reviews from even considering you.

As for room-packing, that's a pain. Get a credit card number from them at or before check-in, list everywhere that you charge $50 extra a night for each guest above two, and then charge them. We have a Ring doorbell that we can see how many people come in. If we're still up and in bed when they arrive, we go down and confront them immediately. If we catch in on instant-replay the next morning, we charge their card before they even get up.
 

MoosewoodInn

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You will find that the Air and OTA people are, with exceptions, the less-desirable and less-loyal of your guests. Use OTAs to get your name out there if you must, but as soon as you get enough return business, pare back what rooms you give them so they're only helping you fill in the slow seasons.

Oh, and don't be tempted to discount your rooms when things get slow. Our ADR is around $186 to $196 a night. When we hit our first slow season, we dropped our rooms to $99 a night and every, every guest was horrible. Use your rates as a tool to discourage the people who will trash your place and give you bad reviews from even considering you.

As for room-packing, that's a pain. Get a credit card number from them at or before check-in, list everywhere that you charge $50 extra a night for each guest above two, and then charge them. We have a Ring doorbell that we can see how many people come in. If we're still up and in bed when they arrive, we go down and confront them immediately. If we catch in on instant-replay the next morning, we charge their card before they even get up.
This is all very good information and things we have been discussing! It feels good to hear it from someone with experience. We have the ring doorbell and nest security cameras, and that’s how we knew for certain the guests who had complained weren’t exaggerating. When we first opened we were at $79 a night because it was slow season and we were new, but we learned the hard way we had to jump up in price because we were bringing in people just looking for a cheap place to party and they were tearing the rooms apart. Luckily our area has attracted enough attention that we aren’t solely reliant on booking.com, so we have limited our availability to them. We are also piggy backing off of my moms business because she has so many returning guests that she funnels her extras over to us! Lucky to have the guidance not only from my parents, but from being able to connect with these forums!
 

Generic

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Had to file guest misconduct and banned someone from booking us through booking.com. To retaliate they gave us our first 1 star review. The title “BAD” …lol no body to their review.

Oh well. It is bound to happen! We had guest complaints from the rooms next door and they broke our policies, which are laid out through booking.com and in the confirmation emails we send. Now we are an 8.9 instead of a 9.0 but I am surprisingly optimistic.

I’ve been posting a lot on here. I’m a talker. Hope that’s okay.
Reply. You have a right to reply. Simply say something like "Sometimes you love guest when they arrive and sometime when they leave. Good luck in your future hotel stays."
 

MoosewoodInn

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Reply. You have a right to reply. Simply say something like "Sometimes you love guest when they arrive and sometime when they leave. Good luck in your future hotel stays."
Unfortunately, I cannot respond because they did not include comments with their review. Only a rating. Had they even said one word I could’ve replied!
 

seashanty

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How is this fair to the business? You should be able to respond.
 

KenW

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Had to file guest misconduct and banned someone from booking us through booking.com. To retaliate they gave us our first 1 star review. The title “BAD” …lol no body to their review.

Oh well. It is bound to happen! We had guest complaints from the rooms next door and they broke our policies, which are laid out through booking.com and in the confirmation emails we send. Now we are an 8.9 instead of a 9.0 but I am surprisingly optimistic.

I’ve been posting a lot on here. I’m a talker. Hope that’s okay.
I think we were devastated when we got our first negative review. Not only did they just write one they went to every site and wrote one. Fortunately I was able to respond which explained why I had to ask them to vacate. It's an opportunity for future guests to know you won't put up with it..Reviews drive our business so ask every guest that you feel had an exceptional experience to review you. This will combat the the few negatives you may get.You can't make everyone happy and you can't fix stupid.
 

MoosewoodInn

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How is this fair to the business? You should be able to respond.
We feel the same way. They told us over the phone that we would have been able to respond had they added any comments. We don’t think they will be doing anything to aid us. We’ve since found forums online of many businesses complaining about retaliatory bad reviews as a result of filing guest misconduct. Apparently It’s a common occurrence that is an ongoing issue for business owners using the service.
 

JimBoone

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We feel the same way. They told us over the phone that we would have been able to respond had they added any comments. We don’t think they will be doing anything to aid us. We’ve since found forums online of many businesses complaining about retaliatory bad reviews as a result of filing guest misconduct. Apparently It’s a common occurrence that is an ongoing issue for business owners using the service.
Is this review on an OTA site? I was thinking on Google I could comment even if the guest did not leave one.
 

Jay Curci

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I think we were devastated when we got our first negative review. Not only did they just write one they went to every site and wrote one. Fortunately I was able to respond which explained why I had to ask them to vacate. It's an opportunity for future guests to know you won't put up with it..Reviews drive our business so ask every guest that you feel had an exceptional experience to review you. This will combat the the few negatives you may get.You can't make everyone happy and you can't fix stupid.
Right On! Stupid is what stupid does. The few BAD reviews are easily understood bye the Public - simply respond professionally and move on. One actually posted bogus photos and the like - very simply identified as sour grapes by prospective Guests. - so, no worries. It hurts though!!
 

CoffeeTreks

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Had to file guest misconduct and banned someone from booking us through booking.com. To retaliate they gave us our first 1 star review. The title “BAD” …lol no body to their review.

Oh well. It is bound to happen! We had guest complaints from the rooms next door and they broke our policies, which are laid out through booking.com and in the confirmation emails we send. Now we are an 8.9 instead of a 9.0 but I am surprisingly optimistic.

I’ve been posting a lot on here. I’m a talker. Hope that’s okay.
One star reviews suck...but fair or not, there is a lesson here. Don't put guests on sh*t lists, unless there is a real safety concern. Most would never visit you again anyway, it's not a good fit for them either.At least I have found that in my business.

I used the do not book feature once, with a lady who didn't check out on time, didn't answer her phone, and we had to move her stuff since the room was booked by another for that night. I believe she gave us a three star review. That was years ago. Now, after years in the business, that is only a feature I would use for threats or drugs. As an owner, you have to chill a lot, and don't let the small stuff (things that won't matter in another six months bother you9). Today, I would address directly with the guests or not at all.

A simple mental happiness check up for myself, if I would put more than 10-20% of guests on a 'please don't come here again' list in my head, I need a break or to rethink a policy.

Oh, and I would totally push back with booking.com, not to get to reply, but to have that review removed, as you reported the guest behavior.
 

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