Hi everyone! My first post in the forum.
So, my apartment...
...is listed for check-in at 16h00 (4PM). Any reservation is based on this and all the guests know about this before they make the reservation. If that was not enough, I exchanged several messages at the Airbnb message system with the guest prior to the arrival (when he could even cancel the reservation without any cost) where I mentioned more than once the check-in time at 16h00 when we were talking about other subjects.
They checked-in at 15h55m.
Now I got a review that downgraded my overall score and they explicitly justify their evaluation with this quote:
Sure they couldn't, it's a house rule with which they agreed on reservation.
Contacted Airbnb support, as this is totally unfair. They say that they can't do anything about it. This is like renting an apartment in London and then giving it a bad review because it is not in Paris. Totally nonsense and Airbnb protects the "dishonest" part.
I know this is not so bad for my score as it only downgraded it a bit (I had all 5 star reviews so far), but as this is not a genuine issue it is totally unfair and unacceptable.
It is also clear that their review is a penalization only because of the check-in time. They did not complain about anything else and besides the check-in time issue they were totally happy.
As a side note, check-out time is 12h00 and I offered them a late check-out until any hour they wished, so they chose to check-out at 18h30 (6h30m after the expected check-out time). Besides that I got them at the airport when they arrived and took them to the airport when they left, without charging any cost, for what they saved about 75 euros that they would have to spend in a taxi or transfer. I also managed to get their luggage in the apartment as soon as they arrived, until check-in time, so that they could go have lunch without all the bags.
So, complaining about the check-in time with all this would be a bit hard to understand but, if for any reason I could not respect the check-in time, I would accept the score they gave it. But it was respected. Not only they had a free late check-out, free transfer from an to the airport, they also had a check-in on time.
As they had the 16h00 check-in information since before they decided to reserve, it is nonsense and I can't accept that Airbnb protects the "dishonest" part. When I say dishonest I don't mean that they did it on purpose, maybe they did not pay attention to the check-in time when they did the reservation, but that is their problem, not mine, so it's probably not dishonesty the correct word.
Would be very easy to remove the review and send a message to the guest: "We're sorry for removing your review but it is based on a critic of a situation that you were already aware of in the moment of the reservation". Or something like that.
The guest has to understand and accept it if you put in on these terms, and both the host and Airbnb will benefit from this action.
As a consequence, I already blocked all the dates at Airbnb and I'm going back to other platforms. In June 2019 I decided to give Airbnb a try. From the 13th of June till the 3rd of October, I had 8.116,00€ in reservations at Airbnb. 100% 5 star rated. Airbnb collected a nice amount of money in service taxes. And now they protect a recently registered guest that penalizes hosts in this unfair way. Like this, they will probably repeat it. Maybe next time they rent a studio and they complaint that it was not a 5 bedroom house with a pool... Or simply penalize other guests for the check-in time, even though it was respected.
Any idea? Can I do anything about this?
Airbnb doesn't even let me change my rate to these guests. I would like to leave a genuine review that warns other hosts that they might get them a penalization rate for checking in at the promised time.
I already decided that I'm leaving Airbnb for 4 months. After 4 months, if the review is removed, I will come back. If it is not removed, I will probably keep with other holiday rental platforms.
I have no problems in getting unfavorable reviews as long as they are based on subjective premises. But not on objective ones. They could be unhappy with anything, whatever it was, mentioning or not mentioning it. But this is objective, the check-in is at 16h00 and they knew it. And I know I did not downgrade too much my overall score, just a bit, but it's a matter of principle. It's better to be robbed in 5 euros than in 5000 euros, but the ethics about it are the same: dishonesty.
Airbnb assistant did everything he could, which was nothing, but not his fault. He says that I shouldn't worry because the text they sent about the check-in time is private and I'm the only person who can read it. But that's even worse. I would prefer to have it public so that I could leave an answer and so that other upcoming guests could know the reason why this person gave me an unfavorable score.
Very disappointed. Any help or suggestion would be appreciated.
@Miguel779 Unfortunately this is an ongoing problem and one that Airbnb doesn't seem at all inclined to change. Guests can tell all kinds of lies in their reviews and Airbnb won't remove them, so don't waste your time.
You can write a simple, factual response to the guests's review, like "This guest was made aware several times, prior to arrival, as well as it being stated on my listing, that check-in is after 4 PM."
Thanks for your reply and for sharing your opinion. I already suspected about that.
The problem is that their public review, in regards to text, is only this:
"Lovely apartment very clean and comfortable."
The comment (and unfavorable rating) for check-in, is not in public. I'd prefer a good rating and a negative comment but public so that I could leave a response. In this case, I can't leave a response and the other possible guests that read the reviews don't get to know why they were not entirely happy.
I thought of doing as you say and leaving them a response publicly, but their public comment is 100% positive, so I wouldn't get any benefits from bringing this subject to the awareness of whoever visits the reviews page.
I don't mind that Airbnb keeps the penalization on my score even knowing it is factually unfair and based wether on dishonesty or misunderstanding. I don't need Airbnb, so I'm gone for a good while because I can easily get close to 100% occupancy rates on other holiday rental platforms. A pity, but that's how it's going to be. My word, for at least 8 months no rentals on Airbnb for me and in the last 3 months I made around 8.000,00€ in rentals from which they charged a good amount of service taxes.
Would be nice from them to act when there are objective evidence that they can verify (as they have access to my reviews and messages) leaving it as clear as in this case. It's not that they did not read my text, the check-in time is presented to every guest in the moment of the reservation. But they have the right to careless about us. Probably are a bit confused and think it's the guests who pay them.
@Miguel779 Oh yes, you're quite right, if the guest only mentioned the 4PM check-in complaint privately, or as the reason for giving a lowered star rating, then of course you shouldn't leave a response.
But if it was me, I'd be inclined to private message the guest thanking him for the nice written review, but that it's hardly fair to mark a host down for a check-in time that was clearly stated on the listing, which he agreed to by booking it, and which you re-iterated to him in messages a few times before his arrival. Guests need to be made to understand that it's not okay in the least to mark a host down for something that was clear from the beginning. And since Airbnb doesn't do it, it unfortunately falls to the hosts.
BTW, I remember reading several posts quite a while ago, where hosts said that on the guest's reservation receipt, that it was stated that the check-in time was flexible, or from hours that were totally outside the host's stated check-in time. Ah, the glories of Airbnb.
In this case they even knew in advance. Here's prove. They did not read the rules and check-in time when they made the reservation (their problem), but 2 months prior to their arrival, they sent me this message:
They stated that they noticed the check-in time is at 4pm. And this was my reply:
And they confirmed that they understood this, with this reply:
Then, nearer the time, I confirmed the check-in at 4pm (have prove, but not going to upload all the conversation here).
How come Airbnb allows them to give me an unfavorable score for this:
This is totally unacceptable. They knew in advance. They accepted. I have prove. Airbnb has access to determine that my prove is genuine, they only need to check the conversation. I thought that conversations are kept within the Airbnb message system so that Airbnb can check what was said in situations like this one.
And I have to see my rates downgraded because of this?
As said, you can check my calendar to see that I blocked all the dates and I swear that if you check in 1, 2, 4, 5 months, it will keep all blocked as I'm going to rely on other rental platforms. Tired of that kind of brainlessness and nonsense.
It's a matter of principle and I'm ethic enough to refuse coping with this kind of abuse.
Was considering to add my other apartment to Airbnb, now just gave up and I will also not recommend this website to any of my friends who also rent their apartments for holidays.
@Miguel779 indeed if you are going to get this upset about a relatively minor review injustice you probably should not list on Airbnb. A thicker skin is required. This kind of thing, and much worse, happens all the time. It doesn't prevent you making money, though.
I know that and I totally agree with you. I was ready for a negative review and to be honest I even found a bit strange (luck?) that my fist 11 reviews were 100% 5 star. I don't mind a negative review, but I have principles and I only accept it if it's genuine or if even not being genuine is subjective and I don't have any objective proof to defend myself.
If they said that they did not like the location (for example) and rated it negatively, I would accept that, no problem at all. If they said that the kitchen does not have a fridge, when it does, it would be a lie but I could not prove to Airbnb that it is a lie, so I would accept that. This situation is totally different, it is a "lie" and Airbnb has access to proof.
And Airbnb is not the only way I have to get 90-99% occupancy rate, so... farewell for at least half a year or until they change policies that at least in this kind of situation they can defend the hosts.
@Miguel779 it's not a lie; it is true that they could not check in before 4pm and it is true that they would have preferred an earlier check-in time. This is no different from downrating on location because there are other preferable locations. It's frustrating as a host, but from the guest's perspective it makes a certain sense.
I now that "lie" is not the correct word. That is why I always put the word between commas ""
Not a native speaker and no other word occurred me. I used also the term "dishonesty", which is probably more correct but still not the right term for sure.
And no, I don't agree with you. I agree that they have the right to consider 4pm too late for a check-out, but if that was the case they should have rated it in their comment and not in the "Check-in" section. Check-in occurred as expected and respecting the house rules. If they don't agree with this time, they can leave their comment and even negative review, but not in the Check-in section because check-in occurred as expected and as we spoke and agreed before.
Either way, as a side note, they arrived at 12h00 (the check-out time), so they saw the previous guests leaving, later they saw the cleaning company getting into the apartment when they left their bags there and they have to understand that to check them in with a good cleaning, it takes its time.
Besides that, as I didn't have other guests checking in by their check-out day, they stayed in the apartment until 6:30pm, when the check-out time is at 12h00. They checked in at the expected time, they checked out 6 and a half hours later than expected, I collected them at the airport and took them to the airport, all for free (usually they would pay around 75 euros) so if you think that from the guest's perspective it makes a certain sense punishing the host for besides all that accomplishing the agreed check-in time, I'm sorry but in this case I can't say I agree with you.
In conclusion, I would accept a review stating something like:
"Check-in time should be earlier"
That would be their opinion and I would accept that. But, as it is, their comment and rate are as if the listed check-in time was 2pm and they were only allowed to check in at 4pm. That's why I call it a "lie", which I still think is not the most correct word but, in a way, it almost is.
It's the same as with location. I accept a comment that states that they did not appreciate the location. But I don't accept a comment that states that the apartment is not in the location listed at Airbnb. Because it is. They might not like it, but it is where it is listed at Airbnb.
You understand the difference, right?
@Miguel779 I think the English word you are looking for is "misleading". It's not a lie, but it gives the wrong impression, as it neglects to put the statement in context.
"We couldn't check in until 4" is a fact, but it misleads because it makes it sound like they were told they could check in earlier, which isn't the case.
"We would have liked to check-in before the stated check-in of 4PM." is also fact, but puts the comment in context.
Yes, that's a good interpretation and I think you are totally right. I also don't say that the guest did this on purpose. They probably only wanted to say that checking in earlier (as a house rule) would be better for them. Although here we go again, they already knew it since at least 2 months before check-in, when they could still cancel the reservation without any cost.
I understand and respect that others may have a different opinion. I totally agree that this is no major issue. I even mentioned that example in my first post, that I could be robbed in 5$ or in 5000$. I prefer the 5$ robbery, but when it comes to principles and ethics, it's the same. So I thought I should just leave a comment for my experience with Airbnb in this case, as the person from Airbnb who tried to help me totally agreed with me but could not do anything.
I think in this kind of situations they should open an exception.
Or else, someone going to London may penalize the host because that is not Paris and Paris would be better in his/her opinion.
Would Airbnb also accept this comment and low score based on this?
I bet they would and in my opinion my situation is as ridiculous as this, splitting hairs or not.
For me, writing 10.000 words is probably the same as for most people writing 100 words. It's not occupying me that much, don't worry.
I objectively deconstructed your arguments, no wonder you now throw that "splitting hairs" thing. You say that there is no reason for my reacting and give reasons why. I showed you the reasons you mention are not correct. If your reply is avoiding the subject, I think we can close the case then.
Thanks for answering my question.