Many of you have asked us how Airbnb can protect hosts from one-off bad reviews. When this question came up at the most recent Host Q&A, we told you we were working on ways to make the review process more fair for hosts. Specifically, we made 2 promises:
Today, we’re excited to announce two improvements to the review process that directly address these issues. Since these changes have been introduced, we’ve already noticed a tangible uptick in more accurate, fair reviews for hosts, and we hope they solve some of your pain points. Here’s what’s new:
One-off review alerts
We’ve added a step to the review process for guests when they give a host an inconsistent overall rating. For instance, the guest may have given 4-star or higher ratings for all the categories (cleanliness, accuracy, etc.), but then give an overall rating of less than 3 stars.
The new pop up screen asks guests: “Is this right?” And goes on to explain that they rated their overall stay lower than they rated it in specific categories. It gives guests an option to either change the rating or ignore the alert.
This new alert has led to higher overall review ratings for hosts. Since we launched, we’ve seen a 2.8% drop in 3-star reviews and a 3.9% drop in 2-star reviews. While these percentages may seem small, they’re driving real improvements in the accuracy of our review system, and hosts are benefitting.
Location, location, location
We’ve heard from you that the location rating can be particularly frustrating because some of you have experienced guests dinging you in this category, unexpectedly, after great stays. This category is tricky. It gives valuable information to prospective travelers, which we don’t want to lose. At the same time, we hear your concern that you’re being graded for something you can’t control: guests’ opinion of your location. This opinion is inherently subjective—one person’s “rustic rural retreat” may be another’s “too far from public transportation.” So we made it more clear in the review process that guests are rating the accuracy of your location description, rather than the location itself.
Now, when a guest goes to rate you in the location category, if they give you less than 3 stars, they see an explanation: “Was the listing’s location not described accurately?” So far, this has led to a 0.8% increase in the average rating for location.
While we were working on this, we also made similar improvements to the value category. If a guest gives you less than 3 stars there, they’ll see this message: “What would have made this listing a better value?” This has led to a 0.25% increase in the average rating for value.
These changes were designed to begin to address your concerns around unfair reviews, and to help make sure that guests understand what ratings mean. We still have a journey ahead of us to keep making the review system better, and you’ll continue to see updates from us on this throughout the year. Thank you for hosting!
@Madeline-And-Carmelo0 this sounds like w good idea in theory, but practically Airbnb has literally millions of hosts and guests worldwide. They could not call everyone who left s bad review.
What they COULD do however is make the system more fair, by adding some way to appeal bad reviews, and by removing the ability to leave “revenge” reviews such as when a host makes a damages claim and the guest retaliates.
This thread was started by Airbnb, and it has gone too long without them responding to the obvious anger and frustration from their hosts, the people who keep them in business. Airbnb needs to chime in here. Are you listening? Is anyone reading these comments? Do you even care?
Agree. I have experienced almost all of these issues spoken of by all the comments I've read. I had someone say they had a 5 star stay on all counts but gave me 3 stars because they found a dust bunny under the couch. A single dust bunny in my 3500 square foot home. Where she had 2 dogs with her for 9 days. Another docked me for something that is specifically mentioned in my listing several times--only one full bath--which she assured me she was going to be fine with even though they had a large party. Guess what--I got a rave 5 star review on all counts but gave me an overall 4 because "only 1 bathroom did end up being kind of a challenge". 999 out of 1000 things can be perfect but one tiny issue and boom! I also have real trouble with the fact that I have something like 50 5 stars, 2 4's and 1 3 in my entire 2 years of hosting and yet I cannot seem to get out of the 4.8 ghetto...that is messed up. And the guests reviews hold too much weight--they aren't given star ratings...only us, who are doing all the work and taking all the risk...often with our most valuable asset--our home. One guy brought more people than he said--and tried to sneak them in---I caught it and allowed them, but then he actually had the nerve to dock me in my review because they ran out of tp! I've driven 3 hrs roundtrip to replace lightbulbs--yup--for a guest so i would get a 5 star review.....it is insane. I think the star system should go--I think ABNB should generate a form that guests and hosts can use to reviews/comment and are published for illustrative purposes for future guests ONLY and then constructive feedback should be given privately between guest and host. I feel like I am being held hostage and it is not at all creating an atmosphere of hospitality...it's fraught and anxietry producing and creates an "us vs them" mentality which is not why I host people.....I do it because I need the income but also because I really do love people and hosting them to a lovely time in my lovely home....but the star rating review system has to go!
Amen to the above
I had one really bad review where he harassed me and I have never recovered. He lied
Also its pretty clear I get people who are staying here because its convenient budget minded and unique and they usually don't write reviews
For those of us that home share the star system sucks. Also as I just spent an hour using navel jelly I live in a mid century house in the middle of a field.Plus I have slate floors not carpeting .
I TOO love this. But the star system has got to go
I am not a hotel and don't want to be reviewed like one
@Sarah977 I entirely agree. Bad, outlier reviews should be removed and I thought in earlier messaging, that Airbnb was implementing this change. Guess not!
To avoid subjectivity, definitions and administration in the removal of an outlier. I would suggest, that over a 12 month period, each host would have their worst (lowest score) review automatically removed. To keep things balanced, the highest scoring review could also be automatically removed.
I COMPLETELY AGREE that Airbnb DOES NOT live up to what should be their side of the bargain, insofar as HOSTS being protected from INACCURATE REVIEWS.
PLEASE READ MY RECENT POST IN THE 'REVIEW' SECTION - entitled:
AIRBNB DOES NOTHING TO SUPPORT HOSTS FROM SLIMED INACCURATE REVIEWS!!!!!
THEY NEED TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE TRUTH/OR UNTRUTH ABOUT ANY GIVEN REVIEW.
THIS IS NO WAY TO RUN A BUSINESS!!!!!!
I REPEAT - AIRBNB SUCKS.
I completely agree too. Unfortunately as hosts we see the guests as they are and I know it's hard for you at airbnb to really assess people but honestly, some can be even quite nasty. For example an Australian lady who actually turned her nose up at the flat when I was showing her in the door, moved lots of things around and was very rude as it was not to her taste whatsoever,she said. I can't remember her review but she did say in part of it how dowdy the flat was. Yet we have had so many people reviewing it saying how cosy it is and they love it. Surely hers not a correct review, it's just the opinion of one unfortunate person who can't appreciate things for what they are. Another girl reviewed the flat as cold but kept the windows open. I think like Sarah, I had caught her out by asking her to abide by a rule of the flat.
We really are in quite a difficult position and I wish we didn't have to have a review system in an ideal world. I am glad you are trying to make things better airbnb and hope you can.
Yes, I totally agreed. We recently had guests that caused damage to the house and we had to get Airbnb involved to have the hursts paid. As such, the guests retaliated by giving a bad review which was inconsistent to other 5 star reviews we got. I called Airbnb to see if the review can be deleted and was told “NO” as the review did not violate their “content policy”. I am really disappointed and offended at the same time. There has to be a way where owner can deleted the review in such as these cases as this is not guest experience when the guests/travelers retaliated against the owners.
Well said Sarah. I think more practical consideration needs to be considered by the Airbnb staff to guard the hosts from these "rogue reviews" from guests. Unfortunately there are some people out there who are nasty and underhand and they are the ones who should be getting the bad reviews. It is obvious that when every other guest has shown that they have been happy with their stays and one comes along and gives a bad review , then there is usually something wrong with the attitude or behavior of the guest. Why should a very good host suffer from the result of a "rogue review" . Something needs to be sorted in this regard to safeguard the hosts and subsequent hosts.
@Airbnb Thank you. This is an admirable beginning to addressing the outlier review issue. I can see that it would definitely help in cases where a guest has star rated something accidentally, or simply doesn't understand what accuracy or location refer to.
However, it doesn't address one of the most distressing things about outlier reviews- guests who purposely give bad ratings and inaccurate reviews simply because they were called out on something by the host- asked repeatedly to follow house rules, which they ignored, or caught sneaking in unregistered guests and requested to pay for the extra guests, or requested to pay for damages they caused, for example. Those types of guests will still be able to do this and they certainly won't change what they have to say because of a pop-up screen. And Airbnb still lets reviews like this stand, insisting that it's a reflection of the guest's "experience".
A tool to detect outlier reviews which only prompts a guest to change the review or ratings, but doesn't alert Airbnb to look at the review in question, claiming that the listing was filthy, when there are 100 reviews which say that the place was spotless, for example, leading to Airbnb deleting it, or asking the host if they wish to delete what is obviously not a truthful review, is not that useful, IMO, as it only addresses the reviews of basically good, but confused, guests and ignores the reviews of bad guests with an axe to grind.
So, a decent start, but still leaving the entire process to the guest's discretion. Hosts want to be able to have reviews deleted if they are obviously at total odds with the rest of their reviews. Those types of reviews do not, in fact, reflect the guest's experience- they reflect the desire of the guest to harm hosts and their listings.
I completely agreed. I had a group of x5 guests stay who arrived in my home while I was out. When I returned home they all had their shoes on and every single lights switched on in the 4 bedroom home. I asked them to please remove their shoes after showing them a kind greeting. They acted quite put upon. They also stayed up very late socialising after returning from a wedding. I had gone to bed with earplugs and woke up at 1.30am and found them still awake with every light blaring. I asked them all to go to bed explaining they had agreed to the household rules of no late night socialising and that my neighbours would be disturbed. They gave me a 1 star rating and wrote so much awful stuff about my home. Airbnb would not do anything to assist me even though the guests were completely in the wrong.
I've also had guests bring other people into the home when they are going to weddings. These people get very upset (the guests and their visitor's) when I explain that no visitor's are permitted.
Yup! This seems to be a common experience: a guest agrees to abide by your house rules when booking and then when you try to enforce the rules they get annoyed/ leave you a bad review! I’ve even had guests go so far as complaining about things that are listed in the listing description e.g: I have a two year old cat and there’s a photo of her on my listing page as well as a note in the “things you must acknowledge” section. Additionally, in my bio I say that I have a cat. The last guest I had left me a review with a 3 star rating because I didn’t tell him there’s a cat in the listing and his girlfriend was “terrified” and that he didn’t appreciate me telling him to please put the lights off when he wasn’t in the room and had left to go out.... like these are such silly things and completely his fault as I also ask guests to conserve energy and water. Airbnb won’t remove it because their review policy is too narrow and they don’t care that bad guests compromise our listing ratings.
I agree, Sarah!
I just had a guest this past weekend, 4 days. He asked to have a FEW friends over on Saturday..I said yes...28 arrived that day!....6 cars, smoking, drinking, loud music, a little child in the deep end of our pool without a safety vest! A couple with a dog arrived..All restricted! Arrived at 2...at 5, told guest they were welcomed to stay til 7.. .He gave a review saying we were intrusive, and this was not a place to come if you want privacy. He wrote BEWARE! All other reviews glowing.. His is the last review recorded! Thankfully, he said the place is nice..but the intrusive piece was inaccurate. I had to defend myself in my response.. it sounded a bit bitchy, which I am not..most of the time. 😄
Perhaps if we show 15 excellent reviews, then a disgrunted review, obviously disregarding rules.. they could move that review down the line for that month? Or, better yet, after seeing the complaint is not matching the host's MO...delete! 😊
@Scott-and-Sarah2 -- I read the review and your response. I wanted to offer feedback that as a potential guest I would not be put off by one review so obviously different from all of the others, especially as the reviewer sounds frankly vindictive and unhinged.
As to your response -- I would normally say keep it as brief and "to the point" as possible, but in this instance you are obviously responding with the truth to what is raised in the review, therefore to me you don't sound "bitchy" but like you have been forced to defend your reputation.
I know how upsetting it can be. I got one bad review one time and it floored me. Fortunately I was able to have it removed by the reviewer, after careful negotiation. What a nasty and vindictive piece of work he was to deal with, I had to really stay calm.
Excellent point and one that should be addressed.
I am of the view that negative Host Reviews are more detrimental than negative
Guest Reviews. Most people look at Host Reviews only.
I suggest there be a pending period for such above mentioned Reviews.
Airbnb should send a notice to the Host outlining the guests issue for comment.
This will bring the scales more into balance, Nicola Jamaica