*Post shared October, 20th
In the latest Host Update, Catherine Powell shares how Airbnb is addressing your top concerns from the past few months and provides detailed answers to several direct questions from hosts. Thanks to host feedback voiced in workshops and here in the Community Center, there are several features being put into action.
*To add or change subtitles to the video, hover over the video and click on the little 'Settings' wheel in the bottom right corner. Then select your language.
Airbnb is improving the guest review process to make it feel more fair. This includes rewriting the majority of review questions that guests answer after a stay. For example, instead of asking guests if the description of a listing was inaccurate, we’re now asking if it was accurate instead. These changes will help guests leave reviews that feel more impartial and truly reflect the quality of your hospitality.
Unauthorized parties are another top host concern, and we’re launching several new features to help protect you against them. For example, by the end of this month you’ll be able to immediately cancel a reservation without contacting support if you have valid reason to believe it will lead to a party. As long as your reason is upheld by our review team, you won’t receive financial penalties or have your Superhost status affected.
When our team reviews a cancellation, they’ll search for evidence of a potential party from message threads or previous guest reviews. As always, these cancellations must adhere to Airbnb’s nondiscrimination policy and we’ll carefully monitor them for unfair treatment that violates that policy.
Many hosts have also asked that house rules be more prominent on listing pages so guests can both read and understand them before booking. By next month, your house rules will be visible in four different places when a guest books a stay:
All house rules must be in line with Airbnb’s policies and terms—including our terms of service and nondiscrimination policy.
To read a full overview of all the updates being put into place, visit this Resource Center article. As always, thank you for sharing the topics that matter to you and providing feedback that helps elevate the hosting community. Please let us know what you’d like us to cover in future Host Updates with Catherine.
@Catherine-Powell I think this is all very positive but it still doesn't address the thorny issue of revenge reviews. If hosts make a claim or cancel due to a party they are almost guaranteed an unfair review. Surely it must be possible that if a claim is upheld the review could be removed.
@Mike-And-Jane0 and @Catherine-Powell In the past I had a guest who entered the home early in the morning while everyone was sleeping to include current guests and hung out in the living space while other guests were sleeping, called me to see if he could check in early but he was already in the home. I had sent his entry code which included check in time a day early which I never do now. After being asked to leave and return at check in they demanded a refund and I refused and told them they could cancel if they wanted. They contacted Airbnb and I was contacted asking me to agree to return any amount of money. I refused as he had done that before as his reviews mentioned he had done the same before. Guest retaliated and gave a bad review. The review was removed due to the unfair action the guest took. Now if you call about unfair inaccurate, unelated review they send you a link of the review policy and refuse to delete the review even if it is a guests mistake irrelevant to the listing or stay or just unfair. According to support staff only the guest can request the removal of a review. I try to communicate with the guest and ask them for details or specifics to make sure what they had a problem is addressed in the listing. Some have stated they made a mistake apologize and want to know how they can fix the review others do not respond. Regardless if they admit they were wrong & apologize for their mistake in the message stream and agree to have review corrected. Support staff will not contact them or remove review which they have in the past when staff knew the policy and you were directed to the correct staff member. I have found staff have not been trained on how or what they can remove, or the policy they just tell you reviews are not removable. Many guests do not read listing house rules or instructions you send. Most all their issues have been explained or directions have been given they just did not read. Also I don't see why canceled reservations are allowed to review a place they never stayed at and then give you a bad review. I hope more staff is hired soon and receive better training.
Very good post. Sometimes guests are given much more leeway than hosts and that is just not right.
@Sandra1925 and @Catherine-Powell I too had a similar situation and allowed the guest to stay in good faith that we could work it out after he lied about age of guest (child) and broke rules. The AirBnB rep said they would ask him to leave and I said no, let's try to move forward. He gave me a #2 and a bad review and the reps refused to remove it stating he didn't violate policies. I did the right thing and kicked in the proverbial arse for it. That didn't seem fair at all. I have rarely needed help from AirBnB rep but when I have, I found they are pro the guest despite my almost 100% 5 star reviews.
This is actually a really good point. Its good that reviews can't be removed or changed, but this should be an exception! Perhaps a claim or cancellation could remove the possibility to review the host, ie having a claim or cancellation against your profile, that comes with assessed and validated reasons, should allow the host to prevent you from seeing their listing, and you can no longer review them. If you have already made a review, it is removed. Bang, protected hosts!
I agree I will like 1 review removed from a guest who planned on having her 21st birthday party but I was able to stop it in time .I had to call police file a report of harassment because she threatened me with a copy of my house keys via text several times warning me . Airbnb did not do much despite me keeping airbnb informed of everything I did on my part down to police reports.
I've had 2 listing since 2017 and I ALWAYS had this new implementation of having guest provide full names Goverment ID and to REPLY back that they all read entire listing and agree to all my rules along with airbnb laws . Without that reply agreement I will NOT accept request. And thus far after all these years I only had that one incident. So I am proof it works since I began doing so in 2017 . So this isnt new to me something I always required and NO instant book I check in all my guest .
Screen them before ask them questions the nature of visit make rules clear and pray no issues.
Best wishes to all !
The BEST of SoBro and
The BEST of UES
I also had a similar party situation with during September with drunk guests out of control, I called the police and I had to cancel the reservation. The final result was no support from Airbnb and a too bad (revengeful) review. The only support from Airbnb was the phrase "Keep up the good work"!! Totally desapointed !!
You don't use insta book? Mine has ID checked but pretty much all of the reservations still have to be confirmed by me and I have no idea what rule they didn't qualify, why isn't air BnB telling us which ones they could not provide?
I recently STOPPED Instant booking, why? In this Covid-19 era, I was getting bookings from guests in " red zone" areas. When I worked with Airbnb to cancel them, so as not count against me I learned that Government ID (usually Driver's license) could be inaccurate. Both parties had moved to other states and had NOT reflected current addresses. As a Licensed Short Term Rental by Massachusetts, I am obligated to comply with their Covid-19 protocols which include 14 days quarantine OR provide a negative test result within 3 days of entry AND submit a MA Travel Form that includes my name and address. Failure on my part will subject me to a $500/day penalty. If this is a partnership Airbnb needs to do a better job of verifying correct residency. For better control I need to be able to question prospective guests and make sure who is coming into my home. I also posted on my listing the MA website that updates changes as to who has to observe which rules to help guests to know before booking. This was blocked by Airbnb - so where is the partnership? I've blocked bookings for the winter as the infections rate is escalating. When the rate is better I'll return.
Thanks for your feedback here. Yes, revenge reviews are something that many hosts have mentioned to me, and something that we need to work to reduce. I am working with the team to tackle this issue, and I look forward to updating you on this soon.
@Catherine-Powell Wonderful! We would be so delighted if a revengeful review can be prevented/removed.
We opened our AirBnB only a few months ago. Unfortunately, one group ended up partying and breaking several other houserules which resulted in AirBnB asking them to leave. Even though the booker admitted in the AirBnB chat that she had lost control over her group (that consisted out of additional unregistered guests we later found out when we read their message in our guestbook), she left a very vindictive and hurtful review, aiming to prevent others from booking with us. So even with the booker admitting to what went wrong, AirBnB refused to take down the review and we received several automated emails afterwards that suggested our listing may not be accurate , due to our lower average, while all other reviews are 5 stars. On top of that, I really cringe every time I think of her words that are out in the open, knowing that we live in a small town where everyone knows each other and where we have lots of fellow hosts. I don't think these guests really stop to think about the longterm implications their words have.
As a host, you invest a lot in creating a welcoming space (money, time and effort wise) and you go out of your way to make sure the guests feel at home and that should be recognised. We became more careful accepting reservations since the incident. We try to balance having faith in humanity and weighing risks. It's a learning curve for everyone 🙂
I will never understand why a guest who has never set foot in my property and had a reservation cancelled is allowed to post a review.
Additionally, revenge reviews are a thing. I had a guest leave a terrible review because she did not check out on time and the housekeeper came in while she was still there -- TWO HOURS after the checkout time. I had to request extra compensation for sending the housekeeper back and ultimately got a negative review.
There seems to be little leeway for this.