Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 2
1,300 Views

My friends and I chose this particular Airbnb for its cleanliness, lush beds and central location, but upon our arrival, we were greeted with floor mattresses in place of beds, a musky odour, general lack of cleanliness and hygiene and rude hosts. It was so decrepit that we booked a hotel on the last day of our trip as our quality of sleep was suffering. Needless to say, I left a negative review, giving the host a 1* (the single star being for the listing's central location).

 

To date, after receiving my feedback via private correspondence on the cleanliness of her listing, the host has been bullying us with accusations of "wrecking havoc" and "throwing wild parties" which allegedly destroyed the flat (she has ~ 17 listings within the area), and has left me a highly defamatory review following our contentious correspondence, which do not have a shred of truth in it. 

 

I've quoted our respective reviews for your easy reference: 

 

Host's Review: 

 

"NEVER rent your home to Carolyn if you don't want your home to be COMPLETED TRASHED and POLICE called in by your neighbor multiple times a night! She should be BANNED from Airbnb and It was our BIGGEST MISTAKE to host her and we hope this bad experience doesn't happen to any other host anywhere in the world!!! Below is what happened, she's been causing headaches since the moment she booked! When Carolyn made an instant booking, she asked for a 6 hours early check in, which we don't normally do and we do charge an early check in fee. Carolyn then asked if she can drop in her bags 6 hours earlier without paying the early check in fee. Again, we told she that t cleaners won't be there until a few hours prior to the check in time, she then asked if she can drop in the bags when the cleaner came. We again told she that if she want to check in early or drop off her bags early, she needs to pay an early check in fee, this is standard everywhere on Airbnb!!! After her 4 nights stay, we noticed the home was COMPLETELY TRASHED with sand everywhere on the floor, beds and sofa! shopping bags left everywhere, even cooking salt was in the bathroom!!! This is NOT OVER yet! Next day we received a complaint from building management that the neighbor complained from the day they checked in until the day they checked out. Police were called in multiple times during the 4 nights and there were loud musics and people keep going in and out until 5am in the morning!!! When we politely messaged Carolyn to find out what happened that night, she was VERY RUDE AND AGGRESSIVE and blaming myself, building management and neighbor trying to collude and blame she for something she hasn't done!! Why would 3 different people only met you once or haven't even met you in entire life try to put together a detailed story to blame you for something you haven't done?? Especially involving the police!!! Her excuse was ridiculous and unbelievable Carolyn has NO RESPECT to other people's home and should not be on Airbnb!! I hope no other host would ever be in my situation again, this is the WORST GUEST we ever hosted!!!!!" 

 

My Review

 

"Hi Christine, Thanks for letting us stay at your apartment. The flat was very centrally located and we could walk to areas like central and Surry Hills every morning. But that is as far as our praise for the flat goes, as its cleanliness was highly lacking. A few examples: the kitchen’s amenities were covered in muck, cleaning sponge was mouldy and stained, the fridge had leftover food from previous stays in it - so much so that we didn’t dare use the kettle either. Another glaring issue was the cleanliness of the bed linen and towels, which had funky, stale odours that did not alleviate despite washes in the flat’s washing machine. In the end, we bought towels to use instead of the ones provided. As for accuracy to the listing’s pictures, whilst the layout was identical, the mattresses provided were different - the ones we got barely covered the bed frame as they were only a few cm thick, and one duvet did not come with a duvet cover. All in all, despite having a centrally located apartment, our overall experience ended up in disappointment, and we did in fact book a hotel stay for our last day in Sydney because the quality of our sleep was suffering. Otherwise, a saving grace is that Christine is a highly responsive host. We realised that the airconditioning system was faulty, which resulted in 4 people having to shift into 1 bedroom, and Christine did promptly provide us with a mobile heater the day after. She also dropped off a hairdryer as ours was missing from the flat." 

 

 

I'm quite frustrated as it seems that Airbnb only allows us to respond to review itself - is there anyway to escalate this to Airbnb for investigation / to take action against this host (who seems to have a trend of using bullying tactics against alot of guests, according to reviews left on her page)? I have picture proof of the lack of cleanliness of her flat when we checked in, as well as our private correspondence which shows quite clearly that she has been the aggressor from the start. 

 

Appreciate all the advice I can get.

 

Thank you!

 
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Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Llanberis, United Kingdom
Level 10

TBH her review speaks for itself with its ranty style and capitalised words everywhere. I would have just responded to it calmy and simply with something like "Nice work of fiction in retaliation to complaints made about the hygiene of the property", as satifying as it may be to have witten your reply a lot of people just won't bother reading it all compared to a single calmly worded sentence. However any host with any sense will see it for what it is, though if she has given you a thumbs down it may harm your ability to book automatically in future.

 

I am not sure, as you're not a host are you permitted to deactivate this account and open a fresh one if need be?

 

 

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19 Replies

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Llanberis, United Kingdom
Level 10

TBH her review speaks for itself with its ranty style and capitalised words everywhere. I would have just responded to it calmy and simply with something like "Nice work of fiction in retaliation to complaints made about the hygiene of the property", as satifying as it may be to have witten your reply a lot of people just won't bother reading it all compared to a single calmly worded sentence. However any host with any sense will see it for what it is, though if she has given you a thumbs down it may harm your ability to book automatically in future.

 

I am not sure, as you're not a host are you permitted to deactivate this account and open a fresh one if need be?

 

 

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Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thank you for weighing in Niel. It's reassuring to hear this opinion coming from an objective bystander. 

 

In hindsight, I do agree that I should have responded with a short and sweet reply, but I did feel that her allegations warranted a substantive reply on my part, since Airbnb lacks the safeguards to protect against potentially slanderous, emotive reviews. 

 

I don't think I am able to deactive the account, but I will follow up with Airbnb if they do not respond to my queries in the next week.

 

Cheers for the advice! 

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

Level 10

Great response and I  would have added the host manages 17 listings and seems to be confused.

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 2

As an update, Airbnb has since removed my response to the host's review on my profile. 

 

I'm uncertain why that has been - no notification / notice / reasons have been provided by Airbnb.

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Llanberis, United Kingdom
Level 10

Looks like the host complained to AirBNB and got it removed, they obviously know how to play the system - more than likely from previous instances.

 

I also note she has removed the listing for the home you rented.

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Providence, RI
Level 2

probs because they have 17 properties....$$$

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Mountain View, CA
Level 10

Normally this will not happen unless there are inappropriate words used in the response. AirBnb has rules checking for harrassment, abusive, discrimination etc.

 

Just my two cents after I read the reviews from both sides and the responses

(1) The host definitely was outrageous when he wrote his review. Except for some capitalized words, the review stated facts in most parts. I cannot judge if those facts are true. If they were true, it can explain why the host was so angry.

(2) As a host, he should provide a clean environment at least when guests check in. As a guest, if anything not clean, the guest needs to tell the host to clean it up.

 

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Chardon, OH
Level 2

Wow.. I have been unsuccessful in my request to have a slanderous review removed .   

 

I entered the apartment and was met with filthy and unhealthy conditions. I took photos, reported it and asked for my money back. I got my money back, but in the meantime, due to the popularity of the area I had to rush and book a room at a motel 20 minutes away in a different beach community. In the area we were supposed to stay in we were going to rent kayaks and lounge on the quite beach. We ended up in an over populated expensive area. The host left me a review saying that I probably lied about the whole thing so that I could stay in the more exciting environment. She is accusing me of having that motive for not staying in her filthy place. I didn't even leave awful feedback with description since I didn't want to completely ruin her reputation. So now she's slandered me and called me a liar in public. She has no idea who I am and if she did she Would know that I didn't want to pay double to stay in a double the price room. Air bnb won't remove the slanderous review. Terrible experience.

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Atascosa, TX
Level 10

@Julie1106  You can respond to the review so future hosts know the actual sitituation regarding this host. Be factual, professional and show no emotion in your response, just the facts. 

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
San Rafael, CA
Level 2

Similar happened to me: I stayed in a place where the host ' appeared" to be friendly with no complaints to me at all. I wrote a nice review about his place and him.

so, i was shocked and appalled when i saw that he had written a very long hateful note about me that was mean and filled with lies, and ending with telling people to never rent to me.
Airbnb will not take down the review even when i wrote them at length about the obviously intentionally defamatory review.

Because i have not used the site much, his slanderous review sits on top of three other lovely and truthful comments on me. Unfortunately because his is so very long not it will dominate the review rage and will be the first thing people will see.

So, my only recourse is to let people know who he is. He is Juan Carlos from Guanajuato City. .

 

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Robin462  I have no idea how you left the apartment but some things the host has to say and your responses to them make it evident that you don't really get it. Just because a host makes themselves available to answer questions doesn't mean it's okay to keep messaging at all hours with ridiculous issues like not being able to get the top off the water bottle. And it appears you have spent some time in Mexico, yet can't be bothered to have a phone that works here. You can go into any Oxo and buy a little dumb phone for 300 pesos ($15US) and for a further 100 pesos buy 17 days of unlimited calling and texting to anywhere in the US, Canada and Mexico. 

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
San Rafael, CA
Level 2

Everything you are saying is based in believing the lies he told. Which is exactly why i wrote what i did..

 

I did  have a phone.

 

Re the water, he left me an enormous water bottle, the kind that has to be picked up, turned  over into some kind of container with a spout. There was no possible way for me to lift it.

 

I stayed in 4 other places who all thought and wrote that i was a wonderful and considerate guest. Every other place had bottles.ofwater and glasses nicely set out for me..They did not just leave a huge, awkward, heavy bottle for me outside of the apartment on the ground.  

 

it.i just looked it up and the bottle he left me weighs about 45 pounds,and it had to be be carried in the house, lifted and turned upside down. I weight 110 pounds and have back issues. There was no way for  me to get that water into  house and he clearly told me not  to,drink the tap water. 

 

And, I did NOT message him very much at all. to say i messaged him at all hours to for minor things like gettingn a cap off of a bottle  is a flat out lie.

 

this is why i am  disturbed.  That people like yourself  will not understand that he is at times exaggerating and just plain lying. 

 

I do not appreciate you assuming his lies were true and chastising me in a parental tone me for things that never occurred.

 

I  spoke with the people at airbnb about his post. They read it and completely agreed that his tone was derogatory and unnecessarily mean spirited. 

 

 

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Robin462  Thank you for clarifying, I wasn't necessarily assuming what he said was true, it's just that hosts have little reason to lie about guest, unless they are just a bit crazy, which of course does happen occasionally. Sorry if this is what happened to you.

I'm very familiar with those water jugs, I use them myself, I'm also your size, and also have a bad back, but I wouldn't even be able to lift high enough or flip it over, even if my back was fine.  What I do is just lift it onto a chair, tip it to fill a pitcher, and fill the water container like that. when the jug is half or less full, I can lift it okay. (I never flip them over on top of the water container, and if one does, the outside of the jug should first be wiped down with bleach solution- they drive around the dusty streets with those jugs all day and lord knows how many less than sterile hands have touched that jug)

That you have 3 good reviews means most hosts will take the outlier with a grain of salt, but I know it's distressing.

Re: Host left me a false, slanderous review. What are my avenues of recourse?

in
San Rafael, CA
Level 2

Thank you much for softening. I cannot imagine why he would lie either. But he did. But here is a clue. It is  true that I accidentally locked myself out at midnight, but i was very fortunate that I saw a house with a light and  a person was up so i knocked on the door. He was happy to help and very friendly. He initially could not figure out how to open the lock either. So, at that point he offered me to stay in their guestroom for the night.  He finally found the trick and i got in. 

 

The next day when my host and i were discussing the incident he was laighing and  friendly and told me that if i ever tell anyone the story of what happened that night that i should emellish and exaggerate, basically lie in order to make the story more interesting. He told me i should say  that i knocked on ten doors amd no  one would answer etc.   so that gives you a glimpse , some imsight of how he intentionally  fabricates things to make them more dramatic. 

 

And regarding him saying that i didnt know how to read a map, that is a complete lie becasue neither he or i had a map. There was never a map. 

 

It will remain a mystery why he lied and attacked me. anyways,  thanks again for understanding and softening, robin.

 

 

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