London, United Kingdom Community Manager
Hosting connects you to strangers from around the world that you’d likely never cross paths with if you weren’t a Host on Airbnb. Reviews are an essential part and natural conclusion to each stay – whether a Host rates a guest or a guest rates the experience they had during their stay, reviews are displayed publicly for everyone to see. With that being said, sometimes reviews left by guests may feel unfair. You’ve told us that you’re frustrated with the current reviews system, so we’re updating the way reviews work as a result of your requests.
Feel more comfortable hosting guests without worrying about the possibility of receiving a retaliatory review or not having enough info about potential guests with the following upgrades:
Early next year, we’re also introducing a chatbot to make it easier for you to initiate a review dispute—without having to contact Community Support.
The same process applies to the reviews guests leave for you. Guests will still choose one to five stars for their overall stay. They can now also add a star rating—and specify what went well or could have gone better—in several categories. Only your overall star rating is factored into Superhost criteria, so your star ratings and feedback in specific categories won’t impact your Superhost status.
Read more about it on the Resource Center.
@Sybe the point that @Lori2666 and others are making is that, if you introduce these 'optional extras' to guests, it is going to make them stop and think about it during the review process and it WILL colour the review and ratings, including the overall rating, for some of those guests.
Sure, some might be sensible enough to ignore the extra questions that are irrelevant, but others won't.
And what, exactly, is the point of it? Guests can already give a 1-5* rating for cleanliness. Why do they need to specify the listing was 'pristine'? WHY ON EARTH are guests being asked to feedback on how flexible the check in was? I thought that Airbnb was supposed to be helping us by getting guests to RESPECT the house rules, including check in time, not encouraging them to think we could have been more 'flexible' about it.
You've said that it's helpful feedback for hosts, but is it? How is it helpful? The host already knows if there is 'lots to do' in their location or if the surroundings are beautiful, and, if there isn't/they are not, what exactly is the host supposed to do about it?
Hi @Lori2666 ! Thanks for sharing your concerns. I understand it's a bit daunting to see changes to something like reviews that already have a huge impact on Hosts.
The extra things guests can choose - like "lots to do" or "pristine kitchen" - are just like it says, optional extras. You'll still receive an overall rating, which is what counts towards your Superhost status as well. Guests won't be rating you on these extras, but can select them if any of them stand out.
We're passing on all feedback so thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here!
"Hi @Kristi5 ! Thanks for sharing your concerns. I understand your worry about the recent review changes , especially when you feel what already existed was good enough.
About this update in particular, the extra things guests can choose - like "pristine'' - are just like it says, optional extras. You'll still receive an overall rating, which is what counts. In case of retaliatory reviews, you can always request re-review, in case the remarks are removed, the ratings will also be removed. Hence, it will not impact you negatively. Guests won't be rating you on these extras, but can select them if any of them stand out.
I hope this curbs your concern. Again, Thank you for the feedback!"
Haha, such an inquisitive outlook!!! 😆 I wanted to let you know that I am particularly new to the community center (You can know more about me here.) Having said this, I am still learning on how to relay information more effectively and correctly.
I wanted to make sure that I am giving correct info and keeping a track of each query being replied. So I may have referenced to Sybe's msg to be factually correct. There is no scripting here, just me trying to make sure, that as a newbie, I am still giving a correct response😉. Apologies, if this came out the wrong way.
But must say, you sure have an eye for details!!😁
Thanks for understanding,
@Sybe The problem is the "optional extras" will influence a guest's opinion. You're putting preconceived notions in their heads.
For example, I always get 5* for check in because my check in process is flawless and seamless. I even get 5* from guests who have asked for early check ins and were declined because it is just not an option with my schedule. I have a 6 hour check in window, (5 pm - 11 pm) which is very flexible. Honestly, most of my guests show up after 8 pm because I'm an interstate stop-over en route to other destinations. My guest last night showed up at 10:45 pm and it was no problem for either party.
Now AirBNB has added an optional check box for "flexibility". So if a guest wants to check in at 2 pm and I don't accommodate them, they will now see the optional "flexibility" which will prompt them to think, "Well, they didn't let me check in early. They weren't flexible. So they don't deserve 5*".
Really, really bad idea.
And location is already problematic enough for us hosts who are not in prime locations. Location is literally my Achilles heel because I'm in a rural area. I'm not convenient to anything. I'm not a destination location. There is no mass transit. I'm 6 miles to the nearest Walmart or gas station. It is not walkable because I live on narrow country roads that if you tried to walk them, you would die. I have a hay field across the street. Nothing scenic. Just rural. I already get 4* for location because I'm not convenient even though guests know exactly where they will be when they make the CHOICE to book a rural location. Now you are prompting them to have even more reasons not to give me 5*.
AirBNB used to be about air mattresses in a room. Now you are catering to Luxury and OMG! locations and really giving the middle finger to those of us who embody the original and traditional concept of AirBNB.
@Bubba-Lee0..I too am very rural, Maryland's eastern shore. Fields as far as the eye can see, lucky for me I'm just 5 mins from the main attractions for this area, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and The Harriet Tubman museum. Although depending on when you're here, you may be in a line of traffic, going 20 mph behind a huge tractor, some people won't pass if there's a solid line, wonder what stars I'll get for convenient.
Altho since the "summer release" I've only had 20 bookings since June, I can't compete with OMG! or spectacular pools as advertised in the latest 2 commercials I've seen the past few days.
@Bubba-Lee0 yes, agree with all that but i still get 4* for check in..... *sigh* we have self check-in! some people get lost because they didn't read the instructions, even though I tell them TWO times to have the app installed on their phone and to use the How to Get Inside function, which has step by step photos. Still i get people calling me from the other end of the road, even though we have a number on the farm and TWO farm logo signs. So because they decided to go it on their own, and they really don't have the smarts for that, I get dinged in the review.
and Location.... yes I feel you. They want to be on a farm and enjoy the solitude, and see stars without city lights, but will also complain the gas station is 12 mins drive.... and ABB has the audacity to write "tell the host how they could do better" !!! we can't move the location. 🤦🏼
We're collecting any feedback provided by CC members and passing along to the relevant teams to have a look at.
Feedback is updated every day, so @Bubba-Lee0's thoughts will already have been collected and added to our list.
Wherever possible we'll feed back if we get a reply from the Product team.
Hi @Jenny . There doesn't seem to be a way to flag reviews. The link takes you to the contact support page. I called in to CS a couple times and they don't know what to do with new retaliatory policy. I'm in contact with others and they can't get anywhere either. We're getting fed up to the point where we are ready to remove our listings. You've seen my posts prior to this new policy coming into effect. This guest made a serious violation to Airbnb policy by allowing others access to the rental without authorization. There were other violations to the house rules. The guest cancelled and retaliated with a defamatory review targeting us, the hosts, initially accusing us of having a cam which caused suspension of our listings and then with his review calling us extreme monitoring hosts watching every move and knowing things he never told us about himself after I changed his access code to stop his girlfriend and his mother from accessing the rental. We did nothing wrong. His review was removed in September. I did not reply to it as there was no need. CS reinstated the review in November claiming it was in the interest of the community to keep them informed. Of what? An all seeing eye host that will never leave you alone? This is ridiculous! Now I can't even respond to the review! The guest violated policy and house rules. The place was for one guest. I explained that to him before he booked, that I would make exception to or no overnight visitors rule and allow occasional overnight stays Saturday nights for his girlfriend. He hands out the access code and she was here every night in the beginning. Then his mother has the access code and just walks in while he is away. I have had enough of this retaliatory review and this run around! John
You do not Flag the Review, you flag the guest profile--the little flag is always there next to guest profile and reservation info on the right. Or click on their image icon, it takes you to their guest profile history, and see the little flag. It is black. Remember, you are always to focus on the guest behavior to report, notice the choices it presents for you to click.Notice it always wants to know more about the guest trying to avoid or go around Airbnb in negotiating with you the host to rent your place. Or it speaks to unsafe behavior, or anything that makes you feel unsafe with the guest. And once you click that flag it does not go away. It will always be linked to their profile page forever.
Can someone let us know about check out instructions please. Are these now meant to be written in the rules/policies ?
I notice there have been quite a few posts lately from guests complaining about these and I really want to be upfront what I request on departure. It isn't a lot at all, but I don't want to be dinged by a guest in a review if these are meant to be written into the listing and not left in a guest book to be seen on arrival. They are not actually rules as such, but requests.
@Ruth413 all the answers this week involve links! haha. getting dizzy.
the video says the Ground Rules thing isn't being rolled out until next year, so i'm hoping we'll see some changes now and have time to be prepared.
There's some more information here about ground rules, which includes check-out instructions.
You might also want to head over to the dedicated discussion for ground rules with any additional thoughts or questions.
In theory, this sounds good. However, it would be great if you could direct us to where we can find more detail on particular points, as the articles linked are really general.
The article linked above says: "For example, along with finding a guest’s overall rating, you’ll know how other Hosts rated them on cleanliness, communication, and following house rules."
But, this is nothing new at all. We have rated guests on these categories for years, and have been able to see those ratings from their previous stays for quite a while now. It would be far more useful if the article explained the addition of the 'extra details' that hosts are now able to supply.
In Brian Chesky's video (the one aimed at existing hosts, other than at attracting new ones), about 2 minutes, 15 seconds in, he starts speaking about this briefly and you can see here an example of the additional details he's referring to:
Where can we find out more about this or see the full listing of options? I assume there are more, e.g. regards smoking for example. And, if they are already in effect, why is @Gillian166 not seeing those when she goes to leave a review?
As for the details a guest can now leave in addition to their ratings, above you've mentioned that the guest can "now add a star rating...in several categories." Again, they have always been able to do that, at leat as long as I've been hosting.
Then the article says: "For example, if your place is super clean, a guest might choose five stars and “squeaky-clean bathroom.”" Again, is this new? We had something like this a few years back, only it was called highlights or something, and a guest could choose "sparkling clean" I think it was. Some of those highlights would then appear on the listing, but a lot of hosts didn't like this for a number of reasons, so I assume that's why Airbnb scrapped it. Are we now to assume that these comments will be visible only to the host they are being left for, or will they be publicly visible?
RE ground rules for guests, the article on that says that the house rules will now be displayed more prominently, including on our listings. Well, I just went to check one of my listings and I can't see how it's more prominent. The basic house rules are still displayed at the bottom page, rules/policies, which was once one of the menu tabs that used to display at the top of the listing or whilst scrolling, is still not there. Again, is this something that is supposed to be in effect already or still to be rolled out?
Sorry for all the questions, but these articles are really vague and often presenting existing features as something new.
@Huma0 in the video he says the "new" Ground Rules upgrade will be rolled out early next year. Suitably vague.... and we have been given no further details about what it will look like, or are they just moving the house rules to a more prominent position?
And sorry to say, but like the forum "upgrade" are they going to remove things at the same time?
We have lost: the ability to see host/guest profiles, the ability to see who liked a post, and the ability to see who are the top posters. And what did we gain here? a bunch of boards with different names and nobody knows where to post anything so it's a mess. Granted, they got rid of a bunch of old boards that were years out of date, that was a success.
I'm struggling to understand what the upgrade here even was. It was just a cosmetic change. So forgive me for being a bit cynical about the term "upgrade"....
100% agree re change to CC
It's a very frustrating layout, difficult to navigate and not user friendly, in fact trying to get to anything has done my poor head in.
Please think of how others who may live with injuries, hand and other, feel having to keep clicking all those links and other extra clicks and scrolling we never had before.
@Helen427 they won't roll it back, that is not going to happen.
but i currently have my left wrist in a brace due to soft tissue damage caused by - wait for it - making beds!!!!!! haha. i did it back at the start of the year, when i was down on the farm helping my daughter with turnovers, left hand picking up mattresses, making 4 beds every day, ouchie. then i went back in april, may, sept, nov and each time it flared up again. finally went to Dr and she said 2 weeks in a brace, strong meds, keep it still. ha. i still run a house here (and we are selling so have to keep it pristine clean 24/7)
as a photographer i already get sore hands, and of course pain from using a mouse all day. so yes, i notice the extra clicks too, and it's annoying.
@Huma0 in the video he says the "new" Ground Rules upgrade will be rolled out early next year.
But @Mariann4 posted on another thread that she has already seen an updated format/version of the house rules on some other listings... So, if they aren't being rolled out until next year, what is that about?