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Hi everyone,

 

I’m happy to be sharing a new Host update with you, which has important news about a topic I know is top of mind for many of you—reviews—along with news from our Host Advisory Board, about sustainability and introducing a new board member. (Welcome to the board, Pam!)

 

We’ve been listening closely to your feedback on our review system—specifically to how they relate to our party ban policy. For reviews written from today on, reviews from guests who violate our party ban will be eligible for removal. You shouldn’t have to trade off between reporting a party and getting dinged with a negative review. We want to close that gap. 

 

This is just the first step. We’ll continue to listen to you and work to shape our policies to better support you and our whole community. 

 

I’ll be in touch again soon with more updates. In the meantime, stay well, and happy hosting!

 

All my best,

Catherine

212 Replies

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2

Ha ha. Clearly I don't spend enough time in forums! Thank you.

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Los Gatos, CA
Level 5

https://t.co/ZhpzSi96p5?amp=1

 

Here's the story

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Bundeena, Australia
Level 3

How long has it taken for Catherine to announce this?  Rhetorical question really, too long is the answer. It still leaves too many gaps that guests will manipulate to their advantage. If we hosts have a guest violate our house rule, regardless of what they are, and we ask them to leave, we are dinged financially anyway because Airbnb will refund unused dates.  We are all so thoroughly sick and tired of playing second fiddle to guests.

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Boston, MA
Level 3

@Catherine-Powell 

 

Airbnb has implemented a policy that suspends listings should they not get consistent 5 star reviews. This policy needs to be cancelled immediately for the following reasons:
When Airbnb suspends the listing there are several flaws:

1. The listing can not be accessed in any way. Meaning it can not be edited or reviewed from both the host and the Airbnb support staff.

2. The review / performance detailed metrics can not be viewed
if the metrics cannot be viewed then there is no way for the host to know what he needs to improve during the 5-day suspension period

3. This seems like an IT oversight

4. This policy seems to have been approved within Airbnb with little thought. Little thought as to why reviews are low, little thought as to how to assess an account or listing. And little thought as to why the policy is in place. This policy does not support the host at all. If hosts are not supported there is no Airbnb.

5. If you look at any website and look at reviews, the overall status may be high, but you will always see bad reviews from some disgruntled customer. (many times just reading the review you can tell that the customer is unreasonable and petty)

6. If Airbnb suspends a listing they are preventing the host from bringing in revenue which in turn prevents Airbnb from bringing in revenue.

7. During the pandemic there are also many variables that lead to poor reviews. (more transients have booked my listings and inevitably I’ve had a higher share of issues such as calling the police or having my cleaners assertively ask someone to leave well past checkout times. I’ve had people steal my keys multiple times… This NEVER happened pre-pandemic because the economy allowed higher prices and that tended to prevent “trouble makers” from booking)

8. There are many first time users who simply leave poor reviews because the Airbnb experience is not like a hotel and that could be negative for some people.

9. People who get last minute affordable deals are likely to leave bad reviews.

10. There are just too many variables to enact a policy like this - makes no sense to suspend accounts based on an arbitrary metric like reviews. There needs to be a more inclusive approach to assure quality assurance. (such as reviewing messaging, reviewing amenities and photos… ) An account should not be suspended simply because of a few lower than 5 star reviews.

11. In summary, this policy or algorithm needs to be eliminated.

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 6

@Nathaniel0 Valud issues. Thank you for sharing..

JMM

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

Level 1

I have 3 revenge reviews pending and no one is taking them down unfortunately.

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@David3717  What do you mean by pending? You mean you assume they will be revenge reviews? You can't know that for sure until they appear (altho granted, most hosts can anticipate if a guest is likely to leave one). And how can a review that hasn't been posted yet be taken down?

 

I see you have 19 listings, and they have ratings, so not new, but you have zero reviews on your profile. I don't get that.

 

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Cobourg, Canada
Level 5

I had a false statement of dirty and not nice comments. I bent over backwards for this woman. Statements are one thing but bad rating too. It was never removed after 4 years.  Airbnb said get 5 star reviews and enough will increase your percentage.  Small town summer traffic. Glad to say super host now 3 years.

All you need is one bad apple to take down a really good host. Airbnb should be on our side.  They work because we host 

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Toodyay, Australia
Level 10

Good to know that Airbnb is once more attempting to improve the system we all use.

Having read most of the comments, I agree that if a guest abuses the privilege of staying in our homes then we should have the right to remove them.

I also agree that a guest that has been summarily removed should not be able to rate their stay. I DO believe that they should have the right to comment though - and that we have a right of reply. This way all future guests can see both sides of a story… one which will disabuse them of the notion of staying with us if they wish to hold a party (or break any other house rules), and future hosts can also see what a host had to say about the guest when they attempt to book said future hosts.

One only has to go through posts past to be able to make up their mind about just who the problem is here.

I would caution some of the hosts here to realise that not ALL hosts are equal. 

I have spoken with a guest that has stayed with us now on many occasions - this person no longer uses their own account but their married partners to make bookings.

 

Why? Because the colour of this persons skin had a ‘host’ kick them from the property on the last day of their stay sighting a party was held.

 

There was no party.

 

Forgive me for saying this, but the host was a racist POS.

So yes, I do agree things need to improve for ALL of us. Please remember though, that not everyone behaves in the manner that they say they do - Both guests and hosts alike.

 

I’d also request that anyone replying to my comments, do so with courtesy. I will listen to anything anyone has to say, so long as it is constructive. Thank you in advance.

Loving the Airbnb community and it’s diversity❣️

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Rome, Italy
Level 5

Well done!

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Carlsbad, CA
Level 2

I love this, thank you. I have experienced more "party" type reservations and underage reservations recently. Which begs the question, how are underage reservations allowed (via instant book with ID requirement), is there no cross reference happening? 

 

Will you be offering guests additional information on how to write accurate reviews? For example, I recently had a guest write "No bbq, firepit, or jacuzzi (not that this was claimed in the description), so writing this in a review has no purpose.

 

Third topic is- I'm starting to wonder about guest "profiles" as in how real are they. For example, my neighbor Airbnbed his property prior to covid. Then during covid, he did a long term lease outside of Airbnb. Then while the property was still under long term lease, he wrote himself a review as if he stayed there (picture and all and then wrote a review as the host also!!!). Someone must have called him out on it because then he changed the name of the guest and the photo but kept same review up. He would have had to book his own property to even do this it seems. Anyway the guest review is a phony review and a phony picture and name. Which made me start wondering "who is really coming to our homes if it's that easy to write phony reviews!!"

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
Brownsville, OR
Level 5

Hi Rebecca1445:

For many years I toggled on the "Instant Book" feature because I, myself, have been in circumstances where I needed to book an Airbnb space at the last minute. Since the pandemic, however, I've toggled it off simply because I want there to be some back-and-forth communication or an inquiry first. True, this setting both reduces the quantity of reservations and bumps my listings below---per Airbnb's search algorithm---my competitors' who've kept "Instant Book" on, but I've had far fewer headaches. Plus, with an inquiry, you have an opportunity to view the guest's profile to quickly scan other hosts' reviews.

VBR, Allen 107, Superhost in Brownsville, OR since 2013

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
SF, CA
Level 6

Since this thread is getting lots of comments, I'm going to shamelessly promote a related thread we started on this topic here:

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/Retaliatory-And-Spiteful-Reviews/m-p/1441986

 

Some suggestions we have for @Airbnb and @Catherine-Powell to consider are:

 

1) let the Airbnb CS agents have more discretion and more context in review moderation . We had two "revenge reviews" recently and when we contacted CS about it were told they are only allowed to look at the content of the review itself. They are not allowed to look at messages or any other evidence.

 

2) Automatically pause or suspend guest reviews when a damage claim has been filed. As part of the investigation, it can be determined if the review should stand or be removed as not-relevant (as-not not helpful for other potential future guests).

 

3) Allow superhosts the option to remove 1 review per month, or as a reward for earning superhost.

 

I'm sure others here have more suggestions.

 

The point is that dishonest reviews (either positive or negative) are counter-productive to both hosts and guests. Better moderation tools can only help here.

 

Thanks!

 

R&D

 

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 3

HI,

@Catherine-Powell 

 

Hello Catherine,

 

Does this mean I can have a review removed where someone booked for one person and turned up with half the college ( many ppl cars- alcohol ) I terminated the booking and fully refunded the offender before party could commence after explaining the clear rules stated no parties and max 4 people, then they leave 1 star all round review? Had another do the same thing where cops got involved after guest refused to leave despite airbnb terminating the booking mid way through the one night party stay,  airbnb allowed the revenge review to go ahead, another 1 star all round. Lost superhost status as a result. Airbnb really need to put this right and remove those reviews.

Re: Catherine’s Host Update: reviews, party ban policy, and more

in
South Africa
Level 4

I absolutely agree. I've had exactly the same scenario also from our local guests who have never used airbnb before and don't know how to review constructively. 

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