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Guests disputing cleaning charges


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Guests left one of our gites on Saturday and are now disputing the £40 we have charged them for the addtional hours it took to clean their gite. This is only the 3rd time in 3 years that we have found it necessary to do this. The guests are threatening to post adverse and untrue comments about us on Trip Advisor if we do not return their security deposit in full. Any advice will be gratefully received.
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Don't be scared. Take the money if it is due. How many people renting gites look at Trip Advisor before booking? I wouldn't think many do (but I have no figures to back me up!)

And if they do post, surely you can have some comeback?

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Next time you have guests like that take photos - any threats from them to refuse to pay / post feedback on Tripadvisor and I'd send them the pictures.  As Wooly says you can add your own comments to reviews on Tripadvisor and there is the option to add photos to support your remarks.

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Don't know anything about Trip Advisor but if I was looking and you had a decent handful of positive comments and one negative for the reason you say then personally I would probably ignore it as a rant from a dirty b*****d disgruntled because he'd his comeuppance.

A preemptive strike might not be a bad idea if you are allowed to post comments on your own behalf and not just in response to others.

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[quote user="Polly"]Don't be scared. Take the money if it is due. How many people renting gites look at Trip Advisor before booking? I wouldn't think many do (but I have no figures to back me up!)
And if they do post, surely you can have some comeback?
[/quote]

I think lots of people consult Trip Advisor, for all sorts of things.................

 

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We use it all the time.  Having said that I think you have to read some of the things posted there on 'balance' or in the context of the poster's background.  For example you will often see negative comments about European hotels from Americans as they seem to expect the same size rooms in an 18th century italian hotel as they would be offered in down town Vegas....  Then again if the US posters are all happy it's probably an amazing place [:)]. 

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The subject of holiday rentals is a very large part of the threads found on T/A, at least in the France forums.  Most of them are regarding Paris rentals, but there are still quite a few asking or reporting on rentals in other regions too.

I've posted there for years, mainly in the Provence forums.

I agree with the person who said take photos (for the future).  OP doesn't say what mess the renters left behind, but if it took you longer to clean than is normal, I too would charge them for that time.  However, I would make sure this type of situation is fully covered in my rental contract and I would provide (to the renter) a very detailed description of all the 'extra' types of cleaning you had to do.

If the renter still decides to post on T/A, you can always post a rebuttal.  It's been done many times, but it normally turns very ugly.  T/A can be a strange place.

You can also (as was advised here) contact T/A management to advise you have been blackmailed so to speak.

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Hi

 

We have well occupied since the winter. One renter went out of her way to leave a 'well pleased' note.

 Then we get the renters from hell....  Mrs Renter has managed to say several times that 'we are both lawyers' and at least once  'if you don't... we will post a bad review on tripadvisor'  . She also shouts at my changeover team as though the renters are colonialists and the changeover person is a slave.

 

Where are the sites where we can 'name' and shame abusive renters ?

 

John

 

p.s. My changeover lady has been most supportive; attending a few times and calling out electrician when 'first attempts' have not remedied a situation. To be honest the bullying nature of the renters is leading me to suspect sabotage on their part.

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Trip Advisor are being used more and more by people booking rentals as well as hotels (although they have a new site specifically for vacation rentals, Flipkey). If you get a bad review it is impossible to have it removed, TA seem to be far more pro the renters and not the owners. However, you have the right to reply which can often help redress the damage done.

I don't bother charging extra for extra cleaning, you win some, you lose some. For me it isn't worth the bad publicity for a few hours extra work. I don't even take a security deposit.

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I would have to concur... the few bob that you loose from non-payers is not worth tarnishing your reputation...

I would ask bad guests to pay.. but if they dont... hard cheese...

Similarly with the 'should we charge for towels' subject... why bother.... offer them for free and be happy if they dont take them...

For me personally... I think providing little extras that dont cost you an arm-and-a-leg is a nice touch which you should do out of happiness... otherwise why bother going into the hospitality business in the first place.  If you need to make some extra dosh.. then sell some home made jam on side.

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