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First challenging guests of the season...
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Managing your guests
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Woz



Joined: 14 Nov 2016
Posts: 18
Location: Moreton in Marsh, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:49 pm    Post subject: First challenging guests of the season... Reply with quote

So far this season's guests have been great with no major traumas, incidents or unreasonable demands. However, the trend has abruptly changed with our current guests.

First, they arrived for their 3 night stay two and a half hours before the agreed check in time and demanded access to the property. "Well we are here now and need to get in!" We manage the property remotely and have time/ date activated PIN code door locks. They couldn't/ wouldn't understand when I explained that I couldn't quickly grant them access to the cottage and suggested that they wait at the pub down the road (2 min walk) until I could sort the access codes. They gave me no prior warning that they would arrive early.

When they eventually got into the cottage (earlier than the intended check in time) I had an urgent message from them saying that one of the mattresses in the twin room was too soft to sleep on and could I please immediately change it for something firmer. I explained that the mattresses were brand new and were medium-firm to suit most adults and that we have had no complaints before (in fact just the opposite) and had no other mattresses to change to. This response was met by silence from the guests.

An hour later, I had a message complaining of (i) no washing tablets for the automatic machine (there were some under the sink), (ii) weeds between the paving in the garden and (iii) lack of a wifi signal on the top floor (3rd floor) of our cottage. I've managed to deal with all three issues but their tone is verging on the hysterical.

Late last night I had a message to say the kitchen was flooding and urgent help was needed. It turned out that they had been using dishwasher tablets in the washing machine. Luckily our handyman managed to call in and resolve the issue and doesn't think any damage done to the (new) machine. This in spite of very clear and illustrated laminates in the cottage demonstrating how to use the machines etc.

The last straw this morning is a message from them asking for me to book train tickets for them for when they leave! They say they will leave the cash on the kitchen table. I've responded to say this is not a service we provide and I am not sure how in any case I would get the tickets to them in time. I've explained that they are at most a 10 minute walk from the nearest railway station and that tickets purchased direct from there will be cheaper as they won't incur a booking fee etc. This has been met by another message saying that I am unreasonable.

So - I think I'm going to have to chalk this one up to experience. Thankfully most of our guests are absolutely trouble free and a joy to communicate with. Can't wait for this lot to go (assuming they managed to get those train tickets...)
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2246
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good grief. I think being this kind of person is its own punishment but I feel for you! At least it's only three nights. Shocked
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13173
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So why can't they book tickets online like the rest of us do, and collect the tickets at the station?
Sounds like they needed a 5* hotel service not a holiday rental. Thank goodness they aren't there for 2 weeks.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1441
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How you keep your cool in the face of all that I don't know. You have my admiration and it just has to dealt with in the way in which you are doing it.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1054
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1
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Rosie



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 821
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bloody hell. Keeping your cool is absolutely what you have to do as they are hoping for you to lose it and by not doing so you are not giving them what I suspect they really want ie a reason to claim a refund as you got angry with them and/or didn't sort out their "problems".

Re the mattress, I have a bad back and dread sleeping elsewhere as it is rare to find a bed that suits me ... but that is MY problem unless the the bed in question is dirty, lumpy, saggy, sloping or has springs sticking through! Then I would complain ... or a sock flips out when I turn down the duvet as happened in the last ABB place I stayed in Wink
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Sam V



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 1658
Location: Villa in Gale, Algarve, Portugal. At home in Fetcham, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG, WTF etc, etc. I think I would be really unreasonable and withhold something for the handyman's call out fee for using a dishwasher tab in the washing machine, I hope your crockery wasn't damaged in the process!

The behaviour and expectations of some guests these days is becoming utterly ridiculous.
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la vache!



Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Posts: 11072

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rosie wrote:
Then I would complain ... or a sock flips out when I turn down the duvet as happened in the last ABB place I stayed in Wink

OT - I stayed in an ABB flat in Paris and I was suspicious that the bed linen wasn't fresh and hadn't been washed from the previous guests' stay. When I saw Febreeze spray in the bathroom I was nearly sure. Yuk.

Wozza, you have my deepest sympathy, they really are the guests from hell. You certainly shouldn't book their train tickets for them, what a cheek! Unfortunately if guests find something they are unhappy with at the start, they invariably nitpick about other things. Here's hoping the next 2 days fly by...
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Rosie



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 821
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

la vache! wrote:
Rosie wrote:
Then I would complain ... or a sock flips out when I turn down the duvet as happened in the last ABB place I stayed in Wink

OT - I stayed in an ABB flat in Paris and I was suspicious that the bed linen wasn't fresh and hadn't been washed from the previous guests' stay. When I saw Febreeze spray in the bathroom I was nearly sure. Yuk.


Yuk indeed. In fairness I think the bedding had been washed but it certainly hadn't been ironed and was more than a few years old. On careful, closer inspection the sock did appear to be clean.
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kg1



Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 2347

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mouth fell open as I read this post - hope you manage to keep your sanity!
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4143
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some folks are stressed out in life that they need a vacation....oh wait.......
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Essar



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 3244
Location: Bournemouth

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I have a situation like this I simple say "perhaps you should move to another type of accommodation, as 'self catering' - the clues in the name - does not seem to suit your requirements; can I assist you with your luggage?". Usually works.
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GillianF



Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 815
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto everything said above. What a nightmare!

In terms of letting guests in early - a friend cleans a local gite for absent owners. When/if guests turn up early and want to go in she has a standard response:

"Well, I haven't cleaned the toilets and oven yet but if you really need access now I'll pack up my things and leave you to it."

Usually does the trick and they push off ...........
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7258
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Essar wrote:
When I have a situation like this I simple say "perhaps you should move to another type of accommodation, as 'self catering' - the clues in the name - does not seem to suit your requirements; can I assist you with your luggage?". Usually works.


I've done the same.....twice. I have also offred to put them in touch with a concierge service. There are quite a few here, but all expensive. That usually shuts them up.
The 3rd time it happened we found out they thought it was a serviced villa (theres a thread on here about it as I didn't know what that was Confused )

Well done for dealing with them and keeping your cool. One wonders how they've managed previously as I can't imagine they've had that level of service elsewhere. ....unless they use places with a concierge attached.

Here's hoping the rest of your season is trouble free.

Mouse
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Frenchlady



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 181
Location: Dordogne

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blimey, that lot would test the patience of a saint. We had a family last year in one of the gites we look after who took a photo of a stain on a sheet and sent it to the owner saying they arrived to find this. This was a total lie and I am afraid I told them so when I went down (cannot stand liars). They had a 3 month old baby who had not been declared on the booking form and who obviously was responsible for the stain.

I read somewhere once that you should never get involved in booking or planning any part of the guests holiday. That is not your job and if things go wrong who are they going to blame. We have been asked to book cave visits in the past but we have to explain that credit card details are needed and polietely point out that they can do this on-line just the same as we would. I do hope they have left your property in good order.
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