Host Standards: Suspended listing protocol is flawed

Boston, MA
Level 3

Airbnb has implemented a policy that suspends listings should they not get consistent 5 star reviews. (FYI: been a host for 7 years now. Where is the support that Airbnb used to give their hosts?)

This policy needs to be cancelled immediately for the following reasons:


  1. When Airbnb suspends the listing there are several flaws:  
  2. 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. 
  3. The review / performance detailed metrics can not be viewed 
  4. 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
  5. This seems like an IT oversight 
  6. 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. If hosts are not supported there is no Airbnb. In fact this policy hurts the host and is not helpful in achieving the stated aim - the aim of improving the listing. 
  7. 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)
  8. If Airbnb suspends a listing, they are preventing the host from bringing in revenue which in turn prevents Airbnb from bringing in revenue. 
  9. 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)
  10. 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. 
  11. People who get last minute affordable deals are likely to leave bad reviews. 
  12. 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. 
  13. In summary, this policy or algorithm needs to be eliminated because lodging, especially on Airbnb, has many other variables that indicate quality - not just reviews. 


3 Replies

Re: Host Standards: Suspended listing protocol is flawed

Paris, France
Level 10


I am so sorry to hear about your experience with the guests.


You have good points, and your advice is quite valuable.👍

Thank you for sharing, and I hope Airbnb appreciates your thoughts on the host standard policy.


Happy Hosting 😊

Dale and Dan

Re: Host Standards: Suspended listing protocol is flawed

Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Nathaniel0  One thing you've touched on is how problematic (even Kafkaesque) it is for hosts when Airbnb suspends a listing for some allegedly bad behavior but won't disclose what they were alleged to have done. The lack of transparency makes it impossible to defend oneself with evidence or remedy a problem.


I can't tell whether you've directly experienced having your listing suspended (there is one showing as active on your profile), but a lot of hosts have been intimidated by those nasty warnings that flash on your dashboard when you get non-5-star ratings. They tell you that the listing at risk of being suspended, but they won't tell you what the threshold is. Clearly, it's inconsistent - there are plenty of abysmally rated listings active and consistently booked. But if the message is "get 5 star ratings or else," you might find yourself declining a lot more bookings or hassling your guests about ratings in order to meet the target, and neither action is desirable to customers.


For what it's worth, if you ever notice a trend among your less-than-perfect reviews, and it's something that's out of your control (such as noise from a nearby building) you might find it helpful to be upfront and honest about it in the listing - in other words, demonstrate the transparency that we wish Airbnb had with us. The listing editor contains some opportunities for disclosures such as "potential for noise," and if you're not using Instant Book you can also discuss possible problem spots before accepting a booking. 

Re: Host Standards: Suspended listing protocol is flawed

Boston, MA
Level 3

@Brian I hope that you or someone on a higher level executive team reads this. 

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