You asked: Can Airbnb protect hosts from one-off bad reviews?
Reviews are so important. They not only impact the success of your business, they’re also really personal. We know you put a lot of thought and care into your hospitality and that it’s frustrating when you receive a review that’s uncharacteristically low—be it a mistake, a misunderstanding, or an unfair assessment. You’ve raised concerns about this, and we want you to know that we hear you and we’re taking this issue really seriously. We’ve invested and will continue to invest a lot of thought and effort into how we can make the review system more fair.
The good news is, we’re already making a lot of progress. Here are some updates we can share with you now, below, and we’re committed to keeping you in the loop as we roll out more changes.
A tool to detect outlier reviews
At the last Host Q&A, in June, 2018, we said, specifically, that we’d look into outlier reviews. To be clear, one-off low reviews can be considered outliers when a host has otherwise great review scores, but a single guest leaves a bad rating that seems out of place. Here’s a solution we’ve come up with: We’re working on building new tools that will automatically detect when outlier reviews like this occur— and give us an opportunity to correct them. So let’s say a guest gives you five stars for cleanliness, accuracy, check in, and so on— for each of the sub categories— but then a two-star rating overall. The new tool will flag this and prompt the guest to correct the overall rating. We’re developing this new tool now, and you can expect to see it soon.
Research into how those reviews affect Superhost status
In addition, we’re doing research to see how a single outlier review can impact a host’s ability to gain or retain Superhost status. The ultimate goal is to find ways to make outliers less impactful for terrific hosts and to make sure the review system is fair.
Location, location, location
Finally, we’re looking at the Location rating and how that can affect a host’s standing. It’s worth noting that Location isn’t used in calculating a host’s overall rating. But you’ve told us that you’re frustrated when you get a low rating in this category since where your home is located is out of your control. And we hear that.
This is a tricky one. It’s a hard concern to address because judging the quality of a home’s location is so subjective. Some guests may love that your space is off the beaten path; others might be disappointed it’s not closer to public transit. We’re doing a lot of research into how we can continue giving travelers the information they need and want when they’re making booking decisions and, at the same time, make sure hosts aren’t affected by something that’s out of their control.
So we’re looking into new ways to collect and highlight guest impressions of your home’s location information. While we don’t have a concrete announcement on this yet, you can expect to hear more details soon, perhaps at the next Host Q&A. In the meantime, please know we’re working on this. Keep sending us your feedback on how we can make the review system as fair as possible.
View this and other answers from the Host Q&A here.
@Manasui0 You are 100% correct about the third party issue, some of them don't even know the policies and become angry when you point out the correct policy.
For example, when a guest cancels last minute and it does not meet the criteria for a refund, airbnb will call the host and try to get the host to bend the rule and ask for a refund.
They tell the guest that it is up to the host to give the refund. Airbnb then calls the host and presses them to provide a refund and when the host holds their ground and refuses to give the refund, Airbnb reps tell the guest making the request for a refund that the host would not give them the refund. Instead, airbnb should just tell the guest that the request for refund does not meet the criteria for a refund.
Airbnb allows these untrue reviews because there is money in it for Airbnb, this company is provided an excellent source of income for a financially time in my life, but thie whole platform is about commerce. Yes I have had flatly unture reviews!
I started doing Airbnb with no self check-in. There was a male guest who requested to book on a late night (about 20:00). I told him that I was having dinner at a place more than 20km away and would only be available to pass him the access card and key not earlier than 21:30. He agreed and proceed to book. I managed to let him check in as per agreed time but he left me a 4 star on check-in with "late host". Sadly to say that we as the hosts can't do anything about review eventhough the guests had twisted the stories.
I had similar situation, a Guest said they would arrive a certain time I said o.k. I'm going to Gym and will meet you at the house! I finished my work out and checked my e-mail and they had arrived 40 minutes early so I hurried over and let them, they were good guests but they left a 4 star check in! Airbnb is well aware that people put false ratings! So why don't don't they do something?
Reviews are weaponized when the guest may have an axe to grind. Recently, the booking guest felt it was okay not to pay for additional guests. I marked comments N/A. Then simply answered: Would not rebook. Recontacted Airbnb and within 5 days, the guest paid up. I left the guest no room to write a snarky response. A small item was left behind. Usually, I’ll call my guests and offer to mail such items.
Verbal/written confrontations are not a win-win. The old adage ‘speech is silver: silence is golden’ worked for me.
While reading the Terms of Service stating:
"10.1 ..... Ratings and Reviews are not verified by Airbnb for accuracy and may be incorrect or misleading."
: we wonder; why all the fuss if reviews are branded as "possibly incorrect or misleading"in this document? Perhaps this clause should be displayed in bold next to the Review column?
and we continue reading:
"10.2 Ratings and Reviews by Guests and Hosts must be accurate and may not contain any offensive or defamatory language......."
Are we reading this clause stating: "....must be accurate AND may not contain...." right. If so why are all the provable untruths allowed to be posted by the platform owners and their agents and why is the "accurate" part being ignored by all?
Have not seen the impact from this policy. It seems to me that this is just good PR and has not been used at all by Airbnb.
The reps who work at Airbnb are not even aware of the rules. For example, I called on two different reviews.
One guest was in violation of a Miami-Dade city and county law, so I asked the guest and Airbnb to indemnify me if an issue arose.
The guest decided to leave the unit, cancel his reservation and punished me with a bad review.
I contacted Airbnb, they turned my claim over to their "legal team" and stated that someone would call me back. They never called me back.
I called four different times to follow up on the matter. It was always with their legal team and they would get back to me. Its been four months, that review cost me Superhost status for this quarter. WORST PART IS THAT AIRBNB STILL HAS NOT CALLED ME BACK.
Another guest arrived with a very bad attitude and was cursing and arguing as he arrived. Before reaching and entering his assigned unit, I asked him to calm down and reminded him that we had other guests on the property. HE became even more angry. At that point I offered him a full refund and contacted Airbnb to cancel his reservation. Airbnb allowed this guest to give me a review. Of course it was 1 Star and full hatred towards us and our home. This person never entered the unit, his review even states it. Airbnb was going to look into it and call me back in ONE HOUR, just the airbnb legal department on the prior review, they did not call me back as promised.
A day later I followed up and was told that the review could not be removed.
Everyone like taking reviews, as a new member I had a guest which never writes about nobody and she leaved night 3am without saying nothing. I just fund the morning sms about where she left the key. In a few days am waiting another one and I saw she gonna make the same 1am ,i m sending her messages and don't respond.
Well for a few monay and already know that she will stay in my home for her vacations and without leave any review
What you gonna do?? If I cancel her the bad is me for Airbnb
If I understand your comment Mina, a solution moving forward is to block her permanently. She won’t see your listing and will not be able to book your place. I have done that with a few people who I just don’t want to have back ....
Karen962 I don't know how to block am only 2 months member, when I wrote myself in the platform I chose to to share my home and don't leave from it as I do. We are in the middle of the summer if I don't book now it is over.
For 2 guests is exhausting to take all my stuff and especially my children to live in other place then back at home and again
The skewed statistical bias re starring plus general weighting in guests' favour does lead to a more defensive approach for us as hosts!
I have spoken to Airbnb many times and simply get told that as a host I have the final say in the public reply.
Some expectations/demands of guests are excessive.
Guests not reading the property description properly is a regular problem. Many catagories in a review are subjective but they should be reviewed against the description given. If a property is accurately described then a guest should accept that if they book. It is not the host's fault if the guest books accommodation that is not suitable for them. Airbnb needs to do more to protect hosts from innaccurate or unfair reviews.