Response from Eden:
Thank you for staying here and the review you give is so...bad. But still, appreciate your suggestion. I think I need to response your review in details. This will be a very long response (maybe the longest response on Airbnb until now), and my English is not that good to avoid every grammar mistake.
1. About location. Yes my location is very strategic in George Town centre although it's not perfect.
2. About parking. The parking area is definitely enough for 4 ordinary cars. If you park a van or a big SUV, of course there's less space for other 3 cars. I welcome anyone to measure the parking space we have here. I posted the parking photos on Airbnb longtime ago.
3. About ceiling holes. This is my mistake, apology for making you feel uncomfortable about that. I asked the worker to come fix them last week but he didn't have time, only this week he will be available. I will send you photos after fixed and also post on Airbnb (2 days just for proof and then will delete photos). I will explain this in details on the following.
4. About staff/her friend and privacy. As per conversation we have before your check in, I have informed you that some places in the house are not for the guests, including worker's room/stuff room/tools room/reception. And I still have the reply you gave saying “Understand on the non access rooms”. So, how could you my dear guest expect there's no one in the house while we have the rooms for the staff? If so, then who will check in guests/maintain the house/response to requests, etc.? To my opinion, this is not a difficult question to answer, right? We are here trying to provide good services to guests, never expect that the guests will wish us to vanish.
The friend is actually my friend, and she stayed with the volunteer Shing 2 nights in the worker's room. Impossible to take any rooms from you, I am 100% sure you have all the 4 rooms. Isn't it?
About the shower rooms/toilets. The volunteer always uses the shower room/toilet downstairs (only for staff), but we both failed to tell my friend that she cannot use the shower room/toilet upstairs. I was not in Penang at that time but still it's my fault as host and I sincerely apologize for that, no excuses.
Ok, now here's the explanation for the missing ceiling pieces and 2 holes. First of all, I apologize again for that and guarantee they will be fixed this week. The explanation below may not be rational compared to the above response I just gave.
I am so sad that your review is so low. In fact I work so hard to improve things in the house and provide anything I could when guests ask. Wish you could see what I have done since opening.
Why didn't I fix the missing piece and 2 holes. One minor reason is that no guests complain this before. But the main reason is very simple: I don't have enough money to ask the worker to fix them (worker service fee is too much more than the board, God knows this well).
I started this guesthouse just from this May by buying business from a local Malaysian Chinese, costing a huge money to me (which turns out to be so much over pricing), but what can I do when I am just a Chinese from China, barely know nobody but try to survive here by managing a guesthouse or a hostel? I have been cheated once in Langkawi in January by another Malaysian Chinese, a skilled fraud. I am such a fool with little money left after the cheat. Luckily my friends trust me and they lent me money to buy this business in Penang. I thought it would be a very good business here and I am good at services. What an idiot I am!
After buying the business I found it not suitable to host the guests, many things need to be replaced and fixed, so I didn't open it for the whole May though I really need to make money urgently. I spent time and the only money left (same money borrowed from my friends) to amend things in the house.
After that I opened the guesthouse in June and put it on Airbnb & another website, but got only one order from airbnb for the whole month. I was so terrified, had no money to pay the rent and the bills, but finally I got help again from another friend. I have survived from July till now. Man cannot always counts on friends to save his own ass, can he?
There are 2 reviews rating 4-star, which all happened during the time I was back in China. I need to see my family, especially my son. He's 6 years old now and always missing me a lot when I am not at home. Many times when I video talk with him he cries and asks me why I am not at home. I couldn't let him see my tears. I could just tell him that only because I have no money but he still doesn't understand. I planned to bring my family out of China this year but now it's impossible. Every month I struggle to make money for the rent and expenses, after that only a few hundred ringgit left for food, sometimes even not a single cent left. Still, I manage to improve the house bit by bit, add things from time to time such as refrigerator/sofa/coffee table/tables and mirror in room...And I gain good reviews for my services and the house, finally I am a super host on Airbnb now! It's really not that easy!
But, how can I bring them out with this little money? I made mistakes, been cheated, and my family suffering from my mistakes. How guilty I feel! Dear guests like you couldn't imagine. I suppose you also couldn't imagine that I spent 2 hours cleaning my neighbor's guesthouse just to make RM15 to buy food and water for my whole day. And there's no choice going back to make up the mistakes, I need to fight for my family, especially for my son.
Forgive me if my story bothers you. Actually it's only a small part of my life but I will stop from here. I don't need pity, I just need my efforts being appreciated by dear guests like you, and I can make money for my family with this guesthouse. 5-star review is not fair for you since mistakes we made, but 3-star review like this? Gods know it's fair or not. I wonder if you ever gave a thought to contact me before you posted the review, give me a chance to explain. A review like this could easily ruin the whole house. But I guess it's not your obligation to give me a chance because you are the dear guest and have paid the money, is it right? I got one group of guests before, stayed 2 nights here, 24 hours air conditioners and electrics on, switch on freezer in stuff room without permit, consumed more than 400kw of electricity, smashed glasses in the shower room, mess up the whole house like hell; I got another group of guests, ate durian in the house (durian is not allowed in houses and all the hotels!), have the fuse of the main power switch burnt and still review me “wifi need to be improved” (I guess I will have to improve the wifi for the whole Penang Island). But what can I do? I can only rate them as 5-star guests, apologized for the mistakes I have or haven't made. Because guests are always right, aren't they? Still, most the guests left the house with good conditions, some even like untouched. Life is hard or easy depends on different situations, and they make my life easier when they doing so. How lovely they are! They were also able to understand when sometimes I failed to satisfy them. I guess they have the common sense that we are all humans, and humans have limit and make mistakes. The most important is we learn from the mistakes and improve ourselves and things, don't you agree?
There's a saying in Chinese referring to the guests service, I cannot translate it perfectly and just in Chinese: 客人虐我千百遍,我待客人如初戀。Hope you enjoy yourself as a dear guest!
Once again, I promise as below:
1, About the holes at bathroom area. I will get them fixed within this week and post photos to you and on Airbnb.
2, About the privacy. We respect the privacy of all the guests, the staff/me only do some cleaning upstairs when necessary during you stay here. Anyone else won't be allow to go upstairs. Guests have the whole house except non-access rooms downstairs.
3, About the communications and reviews. Please please contact me if you have any problem with the staff or the house, I will response to you with my best effort.
As I wrote in the description of the house, we are a small guesthouse trying to survive in this big big world. Think twice before you make the world a bit cruel for us. Thank you so much!