Friday, November 11, 2022

Eleven Essential, Big Rules on How to Earn a Coveted One-Star Review from Your Vacation Rental Host

Sample of artwork in the Brown House
Everyone is concerned about their online reputation these days. Reviews of you and your conduct become part of your permanent record that, unlike school grades, but like a rap-sheet, is totally public. If you want to really make a statement in virtual-land, and you ever stay in short term rentals, be sure to follow as many of these rules as possible.

1. Don’t pay attention to any of the material your host sends you. This is essential to achieve that one star review for several important reasons, which I will refer to in the list.

2. Remember, a vacation rental in a private home is exactly like a cheap hotel room, which means you can treat the host, staff, and the rental itself with as much disrespect as you can muster. If you see the host, just keep walking and say something, brief, meaningless, and insincere. Never thank them for their beautiful place and hospitality.

3. Don’t bother writing a review of your stay. It’s a waste of your time and no one will read it anyway. And if you do happen to blow it and write a positive review, it will mean the host can raise the rent for next time. Better even is writing a bad review, and especially complain about things that the host told you about in the material they sent you. Like if they say upfront they don’t have a large TV, you complain about not them having one.

4. Show up at least a half hour before the stated check-in time without asking and stay at least a half hour after the check-out time. This will be fun, as the host will be in a muck sweat to clean while you are in the way.

5. Leave all your trash scattered here and there throughout the place, as it suits your convenience. You’ve already paid a huge amount of money for the rent and the cleaning fee, so you are entitled make life easy for yourself. If you clean any of your nasty messes, the cleaners won’t earn their money. For extra points, bring your smelly food garbage from home and stuff it into one of the inside garbage cans.

6. Be sure to bring your pet to the Pet Free rental—they are always cleaner--then when the host later finds animal hair everywhere and asks if you brought a cat, tell them you left it at home with a sitter. Don’t tell them you brought your ferrets. Hosts are sensitive to bad reviews, so you can lie and bully them into submission.

7. If you accidentally or purposefully cause damage, never tell the host. They probably won’t see it until it’s too late, and then will not know exactly who did it.

8. When you make your booking, select dates that begin on a Saturday night or end on a Saturday. You will save money because Friday and Saturday nights are more in demand and hosts charge more for them. This keeps the host from making more money. Another trick is to check out on New Years Eve day, or otherwise cut any holiday season in half, thus preventing someone else from enjoying the whole holiday and the host from making a fortune.

9. Lie, and lie, and lie about everything. Or tell them nothing. Whatever they may say, hosts love not knowing what is going on in their place.

10. When you make a booking, always ask for a discount, inventing a sob story about how you are only trying to have a family reunion with your brother and mom for the first time in 10 years, and everything is so expensive, and that you might have to borrow money to afford the fees. Or make up your own stories. For extra effect, flatter the host. Hosts feel guilty about being rich enough to own a second home, or an extra room, so they always cave.

11. Ask the host all kinds of questions, especially ones they’ve answered in their online literature, and get them to invest considerable time with you. Treat them like new-found friends. Then later on cancel the reservation at the last moment while you can still get a full refund. The downside to this is the host can’t write that one-star review. The upside is that they will never let you book their place ever again and you will save a ton of money.

12. Leave all the lights on, inside and out, even in the daytime when you are out and about. You are bringing light to the world and inspiring the climate activists.

13.  Attempt to break the world record for how many full-garbage-bags/poundage/per day of trash you can leave behind.  Extra credit for whole watermelons and such.  Hint: recyclables add to the bulk, so don’t separate those.

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