Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

Level 2
1,198 Views

Hi- 

We are new Airbnb owners and have relied on reviews to approve guests. After reading many conversations in this group and reading many reviews, it seems owners are reluctant to give a bad review of a guest. Unfortunately we had a bad rental, one that none of you would appreciate. While the guest had good previous reviews, this group of “friends”  they had with them was different or it was just a very wild weekend. Either way we feel obligated to warn future rental owners of our experience with this guest. If owners are reluctant to give negative reviews, it’s tough to rely on reviews for future rentals.  Any suggestions , comments or similar situations would be appreciated. 
Thanks-

Scott & Lisa

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38 Replies

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Scott-And-Lisa0  In situations like this, it might help to ditch the "positive/negative" binary, and just publish an honest and emotionally neutral account of your experience. State the relevant facts, and future hosts can decide for themselves whether they find them acceptable.

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Scott-And-Lisa0 

 

I completely agree with you.

 

Apparently too many hosts are too timid to give accurate reviews or don’t bother to review at all.

 

Then there are the large property management agencies that would give Charles and the Manson Family 5* and “Amazing guests! Highly recommended!” so it’s not surprising that destructive pigs can accumulate a list of good reviews.

 

 I hope you give these people the review they deserve regardless of excuses.

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

I have had bad guests that had only good reviews!


We the hosts have also to learn on how to read "between the lines"

There are some reviews on guests profile that may unveil a yellow or red flags.

 

If you see only one dot (.)  - It means:  " Erm... Erm... Sorry...I do not want to make any comment about this guest." 5.pngIt can be one of this emojs2.jpg6.png3.jpg4.jpg7.jpg or many others!

 

If you see only "Okay" - Probably the guest is somewhat acceptable but too demanding or bothersome or there was some issue during the stay.3.jpg

If you see only the acronym PIN - It stands for "pain in the neck" . PIN.png

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@J-Renato0  But good luck reading between the lines of an auto-translated review from a language you're not fluent in. 

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Andrew0 

Until certain extent, I think you have a point... On the whole it is not definite!

Making a pun on a quote:
"If a war surges when some country less expect it, the country has to go to war with the weapons it has at the moment, not with the weapons it wish would like to have."

If you have a potential guest, you have to read its reviews considering the knowledge you have, not the knwledge you would like to have

So if you know the language then you can make a safe decision.
If you don't, you're going to need good luck indeed. No way except for trusting on the on line translator.

 

When it comes to almost universal codes, such as dot (.) it easy to understand. The host is signaling that he/she did not have a great experience with the guest.
Maybe, I would not be too concerned if a guest had only one "dot" among others good reviews on its profile. However if the guest had 2 dots... Supposedly it is a confirmation that the guest carry with him/she some issues.

You might well ask the guest with 2 dots.. "Hey what is the meaning of the reviews where there is only one dot?"
Certainly the potential guest must know why he got one dot.
If he replies - "Sir, it is because I am a great guest, trustworhty person"! Well... would you believe in this guest?
What If he replied "Well Sir, I had the misfortune of asking a host to return some money because I decided to leave 2 days before checkout day. I also said to the host that I would write a good review if he accept my request or not. I think he considered it as a threat or blackmail. As for the other dot, my checkin time it was 10 am and I landed 3 am at the airport. I did not want to wait 7 hours, it would be very tiring, then I went straight to the apartment I had booked. When I arrived there I had to ring the bell more than 10 times apart from having sent 20 messages to the host. Eventually the host appeared  around 4 am and said that the apartment still needed cleaning. I said to the host that I would clean on my own! It would not be a problem to me. However, before checking out I asked the host to refund me the cleaning fee! I do not know if he got angry because I woke him up in the midle of the night or if it was because the cleaning fee thing. You see Sir, I had bad luck with some hosts".
So, you see. A DOT may worth a thousand words.

 

However you have a point, when it comes to written text.

When I do not speak the language of some guest, I usually write the text in the review in English to make sure that it will be better translated to most of the languages.
e.g. - Some time ago, I had a guest which language I knew nothing. However the guest was used to travel and from a country from Europe! So there was no excuses based on culture diferences. The guest had already 2 positive reviews.
I wrote a review in english that went like that:
"I can not recommend to other hosts. Maybe better suited for a hotel stay."

 

To finish, I have to say that, the great majority of my guests are great ones! I do not have stats, but I believe that 99,9% are great ones.

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Kaunas, Lithuania
Level 3
Why should we use morse code - dots, dashes. Why can't you write an objective review? Will it lead to bad consequences? How? What is the reason? I have a lot of questions because I still have little experience.

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Ina25702 

I have never not seen a review in  "morse code" but I am craving to see one some day. It should be funny! 🙂 I would say also useful ! It is an international code, anyone can decipher it using some app 🙂

As for the single DOT in a review, it is not new. And it was not me who suggested it or used this for the first time.

 

You can write an honest review about your guests. However make sure it is in accordance with the terms of service.

 

Now it is me who is asking?

Why telling a long history about a bad guest if you can just write the following text in some situations - "Maybe better suited for a hotel stay - I do not recommend  him/she"

There is no more straightforward review than the one I have mentioned above.

 

Anyway I have to say that, what I write here in this community, in general is only my personal opinion. Nobody are obliged to take my opinion. 

 

Recently other hosts and I suggested some texts to put in a review in this community. Read some topcis about how to write a negative review. There are suggestions from many other members of this community.

In the following threads you can read suggestions about reviews given by many great and seasoned hosts:

1- https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Host-Circle/How-to-review-What-would-you-do/m-p/1514035#M20703

2- https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/Reviewing-Guests-who-seek-discounts/td-p/1499270

3- https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Host-Circle/Please-help-with-this-review/m-p/1508035/highlight/t...

4- You can also see the search results using the terms "How to write a negative review" - https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/forums/searchpage/tab/message?advanced=false&allow_punctuation=f...

 

I hope it helps.

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@J-Renato0  I'm sorry, but I really don't like the  " Better suited to a hotel" reviews, nor do I consider it straightforward. 

 

How are they better suited to a hotel? You mean they can leave a trashed out mess behind them? That's incredibly disrespectful to the hotel cleaners, who are often immigrants who are very poorly paid.

 

Does it mean they damaged things? If they damage things in a hotel, the hotel will dock their credit card to pay for it.

 

Did they sneak in extra guests? Hotels don't accept that behavior.

 

As a host, I would like my fellow hosts to be honest and informative in their reviews. I have no idea why another host would consider a guest to be "better suited to a hotel"- I want to know if they were clean, if they were respectful of both the space and the host, if they communicated adequately, if they followed the house rules. If guests were great, it's enough to say "Lovely guests who I'd welcome back anytime", if you don't have time or inclination to write more, but if you wouldn't welcome them back, I'd like to know why. I don't care about the gritty details, but a general synopsis is helpful.

 

If I see a review with just dots, what I would assume is that the host feared some sort of scary retaliation for leaving an honest review of a bad guest, otherwise dot dot is just lazy, IMO.

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Sarah977 

We as Airbnb hosts do not have bodyguards, nor security staff, nor cleaners who know on how to clean everything that a pig can do. They also have trained staff to deal with rude people.
Hotels has lawers that works for them to solve any problem.


Hotels are nice places for normal civilized people.

They are also the right place to be for entitled and demanding people as well. If they want a butler, the hotel will offer them an expensive presidential suite. If they want champagnhe, they will have it.
However hotels can be also a kind of rehab for troublemakers and anti-social guests. If they do not behave properly, they will have to face consequences. If the worse comes to worst, the hotel can just call the police, because the guest is better suited for a jail stay.


Once I suggested a review that goes like that: "Better suited for a lunatic asylum stay". A host reported in this community that a man that was staying in his house used to jog/run around the house, front garden and backyard wearing only underpants to exercise every day during his stay. It is not a joke. It is a real fact.


To summarize, if someone review a guest as "may be better suited for a hotel stay" I understand the guest is not suited for a Airbnb stay.  It is simple, whateaver is the reason, the guest is not suited for Airbnb stay.


I do not want to create a wonder world where there are only perfect positive or negative reviews.
I just want to understand the reviews in the real world. That is my point!

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@J-Renato0   I really have to disagree with you here. Without factual context, your personal opinion of a guest, or where you feel they're "suited for," does me no good in and of itself, because I don't know what your expectations and biases are.

 

It's clear from this forum that there's no universal agreement among hosts about what is and isn't acceptable guest behavior. Right off the bat, I see that half the hosts here who are fortunate enough to be multi-homeowners look down on budget travelers as the scum of the earth, whereas they are my target customers. Personally, I couldn't care less if guests use alcohol or drugs, come home and shower at 4 AM, walk around the house naked, use up all the "free" stuff I make available to them, or spend the whole day in their room without leaving, but every one of those behaviors has been the basis for a vaguely negative or cryptic review by hosts who have posted here. I'd accept a homestay guest who left an Entire Home property a bit untidy, or who accidentally stained a pillowcase. But I'd decline one who violated House Rules, brought unregistered guests without permission, hassled hosts for refunds, or failed to pay for damage. 

 

The point here is, the only things that are truly useful in a review are the relevant facts of what happened. I don't know or care about other hosts' judgments of their guests' character. If you can't be bothered to supply the facts, it's better not to review at all.

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Andrew0 

I don't understand why you talk about judging others character. It has not to do with other´s carcter.
"Better suited for a hotel stay " it is a type of review that was not created by me. It was created by others seasoned members of this community.
In some circunstances, I think it apply to some guests.
If some host think it is not enough, the guest will have the oportunity to clear up the review if some other host ask him to clarify.
I am not a gossiper to expose private facts or habits of guests in any review. 

 

As hosts, we have different approachs on different matters. Nobody should impose or say what another should or not do.


It is not you or some other perfectionist reviewer that wants to crucify some guests by exposing their private life or habits that will tell me on how to review my guests.

 

Moreover, I believe I have less problems with guests than most of the average members of this community.
I dont invade guest´s privacy, I do not have too much contact with the guests.
So, if there is an issue that leads to a non recomendation of some guest it is because there is an issue indeed.
If I do not recommend, it is my personal opinon as a host indeed based on facts that may disturb some stay and result in a bad experience for the hosts and also for the guest in question.
I do not write a negative review because of silly things and silly motives.

 

I have my own judgment for each situation. One can take my opinion in consideration or not.  

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Sarah977 

In addition to my previous post...I have to say.

It is easy to criticize instead offering a solution to any problem.

 

Now I have a question for you 🙂

 

If you think that a guest is neither suited for an Airbnb stay nor for a hotel stay... what would would be your option to advise other hosts and the guest that is not suited... ?


Would you say - "Better suited to be homeless in another city or to stay at home" ? It does not make sense !


A very demanding and snob person does not need necessarialy to stay in the streets! The person can go to a high classed hotel!
A person who throws wet towels on the ground after taking a shower does not need necessarialy stay in the streets! In some countries it is normal to do it in hotels.
A person that make a mess in the kitchen and leave it all dirty, a mountain of litter when leaving does not need necessarialy stay in the streets! If the guest stay in a good hotel they will have room service and restaurante to have a meal and someone to wash pans and dishes for the guest every day and the guest is paying for that.


I think it make sense to say that some guests are better suited for a hotel stay!

From my point of view it is a good advice to other hosts and to the guest.

If one wants to stay in home share accommodation or in self contained apartments, they have to know that they have to care for themselves and know the difference between hotels and the type of accommodation aforementioned.

 

If you still does not agree... What would be your advice? 🙂

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@J-Renato0 As I said, I want reviews to speak directly of the guest's behavior. There's no need to offer an opinion as to where they are suited to stay. I might think they are "Better suited to a cave far removed from civilization", but I'm not going to say that.

 

"Guest left the place in a dirty and damaged state, ignored house rules, and I therefore cannot recommend them.

Re: Owners reluctant to write negative reviews

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

Wow... You "want"...   tell it to your employees or to your sons, @Sarah977 . Lol

Hosts do not need to please you with reviews according to your taste.

I can not speak for others. But I am not a gossiper. In some cases "Better suited for a hotel stay" avoid to expose some unpleasant facts that are unecessary or maybe forbiden in a review.

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