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,
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.
@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.
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.
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!!"
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
Since this thread is getting lots of comments, I'm going to shamelessly promote a related thread we started on this topic here:
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.
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.
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.
I have been an Airbnb Super Host for almost 5 years and find it interesting that retaliation reviews is the one issue that so many of us have shared and Airbnb has done nothing to help rectify the problem.
I stopped IB but have a soft heart and every time I give in to a request, knowing I shouldn't, I pay the price. I am lucky enough to be booked solid through the end of this year with Airbnb and another venue and they are all great bookings, with incredible reviews, but have already increased my prices for next year to avoid the party people and will watch for all Red Flags. That includes guests with "No Reviews". Every booking with no reviews has turned into a delicate situation or the only 2 bad reviews I got. No more giving in to special requests as they always backfire. I would rather have less bookings and less headaches.
Don't rely on Airbnb coming to your aid.
I thought we were protected by Airbnb with the new policies in place around parties. A guest had a party in our Airbnb and we reported the incident in writing the next morning at 10am. I read all the information available to me online as a host for how to handle the situation. Myself and our staff did our best to navigate a difficult guest with as much attentiveness and professionalism as possible.
We have many listings and host lots of stays. We are experienced hosts and provide an excellent experience for our guests (who all leave great reviews). This is the first instance where a guest blatantly broke so many house rules - loud music until very late at night, drug use on the property and hosting non-registered guests. The party was the last night of their stay and it was difficult to check them out. The guest he left us a negative review. This is the first negative review we have ever received. We thought Airbnb would remove the biased review according to this new policy. We have documentation that clearly shows the guest was in defiance of the policies of Airbnb.
The guest denied everything. The guest also had no previous reviews (red flag).
"Additionally, reviews may be removed from the platform for stays where a significant violation of the Party and Events Policy has taken place during their stay. We count on hosts to take measures to try and stop a party before it becomes a safety issue or nuisance for the surrounding community. However, we recognize that breaking up a party could result in an unfairly negative review for the Host. In order to encourage intervention and minimize the impact of biased reviews, a guest's review may be removed when the host had provided sufficient documentation that a significant violation of the Party and Events policy". Airbnb.
I asked where to submit the documentation to dispute the review as biased. We take our super host status very seriously and felt we responded to the situation according to the policies of Airbnb. Airbnb ruled with the guest and refused to remove the review as "we had not reported the party while it was happening using their Support Hotline." Nowhere is it shared we had to report a party when it is still going on. This is a very unrealistic request when something happens between 1 and 4am.
So please be aware Airbnb hosts - this new policy sounds good, but don't count on being protected from negative reviews if you take action against guests who party in your house.
Thumbs up for your wise tip in paragraph 3, "The guest also had no previous reviews (red flag)."
Thank you for implementing the revised policy for removing qualified "revenge reviews." In my humble opinion as a host for eight years, guest-initiated "parties" and most guest "concerns/issues" can be avoided if hosts present their space as "Host lives onsite" or "Host lives nearby" per the original intent of Airbnb founders Brian C., Joe G., and Nathan B. back in 2008. Allen107, Superhost in Brownsville, OR, U.S.A.