Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Bay Harbor Islands, FL
Level 3
851 Views

Another disappointing conclusion by Airbnb's customer service about the removal of a review that falls perfectly within Airbnb's removal policy. We hosted "Kamal" recently and after several attempts to communicate with him about him ignoring several of his checkout cleaning obligations with no response we requested a small $50 additional cleaning fee (which he agreed to within our Reservation documents prior to entry) and in retaliation he immediately posted a demand for a $1,000 reimbursement from us (over one week after his departure mind you) for what he lied and claimed was a very unclean property as well as lied about an a/c that wasn't working at peak capacity for a few hours as being "out for a full day". He also posted the worst review we have ever received in 11 years of operating.  Although his overall rating for us was 1*, he listed all of the other (except for cleanliness) ratings that should equate to the overall by themselves as far in excess of that obviously because he was upset. 4* for "Accuracy", 1* for "Cleanliness", 4* for "Location", 3* for "Value", 5* for check-in, and 5* for communication and yet Airbnb customer service denied it's removal. So in essence, other than the 1 star he listed for "Cleanliness" we are a 4.2 star average according to him except for cleanliness which if added and averaged in would me we are a 3.6 according to his own choices. But we also shared the check in receipt document (below at the bottom) with customer service proving that during the day they checked in and immediately after their own inspection and walk-through, they signed (by an authorized member of his group who arrived at the property first) a document stating that the property was received in good, clean, as advertised condition".

 

This besides that fact that it is obviously an outlier review, one of which was so far from 100% of our other reviews and only posted along with his fraudulent claim for the $1k. How can customer service ignore these facts and what can we do about it?!?

 

https://www.airbnb.com/progress/reviews/details/424557056215984254

 

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Kamals detailed feedback 2.jpg

Exhibit - E  Property Condition Receipt  for Kamal Heer 8-4-21.jpg

 

 

**[Sensitive information removed in line with - Community Center Guidelines]

  

33 Replies

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Paige12 sorry this happened to you, but I think this was explained in your last thread. Your additional documents don't mean anything to ABB. They fall outside the jurisdiction of what the site cares about. All they will (sometimes) act upon is your house rules and what is stated in your description. And you can't collect fees or deposits outside of ABB. Its verboten. 

 

You had someone other than the booking guest sign your documents and the actual booking guest left the review. ABB will not remove it as this is the guest's opinion. Whether or not its actually true, they don't care. The fact that you have a piece of paper with a lot of info that is not contained in your listing signed by someone who didn't book the listing is totally meaningless. 

 

Retaliatory reviews are a true concern and again, sounds like this guest was a handful. But having a bunch of documentation that is not posted in your listing means that as far as ABB knows, your guests didn't agree to it. Having someone other than the person who is paying for the reservation sign this documentation will not help you prove that Kamal is incorrect. 

 

I would frankly be more worried that you will get reported for the review that starts "Excellent space for our bachelor party" given the ABB party ban. I think that came up in your last thread too....

 

ETA-- wow that response. I would think this is more damaging than the review. We all get upset with a bad guest and may even encounter someone who is trying to scam. But you have a few reviews that are questionable and responding like this won't help matters at all.  Best to keep calm, brief and factual. Perhaps ABB will let you amend it? I would ask. 

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Bay Harbor Islands, FL
Level 3

@Laura2592Thank you for your reply and support Laura. Although I understand your view on the Property Receipt signed by the Guest, our Reservation Agreement provides authorization by Kamal to any of the first to arrive to sign off on the Property Condition Receipt. Although Airbnb my not care, they should and need to start. But the real argument here is not that Kamal's review is contrary to him selecting a 1* for our properties cleanliness, it's because his Overall is a 1 when most all of his other choices for the property are far in excess of that as well as his 1* overall being far less than any other review we have received, even the one 3* that I last posted about. Airbnb's own policy regarding "One Off Review" is clearly stated right here but is not being considered by Airbnb.  https://www.airbnb.com/resources/hosting-homes/a/airbnb-answers-protecting-you-from-one-off-bad-revi...

 

Help me understand that if you can.

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Paige12 respectfully, did you read this article? There is no actionable item here for ABB. Its all about "we are looking at..." and "coming soon!" And its about 3 years old. Nothing has been implemented. People still complain about the same thing. Its all lip service. 

 

Again, update your listing to include the things that you want your guests to know. Don't rely on all this additional paperwork. Your guest agrees to what is in the listing when they book. They can agree to a ton of other rules, deposits and regulations but its totally unenforceable via ABB. Make your listing clear, concise and realistic. Stop catering to parties and huge groups and then being surprised by issues. The more people in your space, the more likely you are to have problems. 

 

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Bay Harbor Islands, FL
Level 3

@Laura2592  With all due respect Laura, we don't allow parties! Just because a group calls themselves a Bachelor Party doesn't mean they are throwing one at our property not did they. Many "Bachelor" Groups come to Miami to celebrate their engagement but again just because historically they define themselves as a "Bachelor "Party" doesn't mean that every venue they patronize they will be partying at.  Unfortunately Airbnb provides no real place for any real rules or terms, not even a place to upload or attach a document that lists them. Our listing is extremely accurate and it clearly states that guests will need to agree to our terms and conditions which is provided immediately after the fact. After delivered no matter our cancellation policy we offer a 100% money back refund if they don't agree. If they do we expect them to adhere to the terms and conditions they've agreed to. This is how we operate and have done so extremely successfully for over 11 years on other platforms.

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Paige12 if this has worked for 11 years I do wonder if its just the platform that isn't a fit. 

 

You have a prominent, recent review that states people came for a bachelor party. The space was excellent. Whether or not that is accurate if I am reading that review I think "this place would be great for my party." I remember that some of your docs parsed the term "party" and tried to skirt the actual use of the word. But your guest says that he had one. And you didn't refute it in your response to him. 

 

I have no more to say about this. I am sorry you had a bad experience with a frustrating guest. But you aren't helping yourself here. You are operating on this platform as though you can ignore the way the platform operates, and then getting upset when they don't support you. If you have a business model that works better, and has for over a decade, why not just keep using that? 

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Bay Harbor Islands, FL
Level 3

@Laura2592Thank you again for your comments Laura but we have no plans on changing the way we operate but you seam to suggest in each of your posts that we are doing something against Airbnb's policies which we are not. I clearly stated in my previous thread that we allow selectively small gatherings that are pre-approved by us. This group, defining themselves as a "Bachelor "party" or not, was clearly instructed prior to their booking that they would not be allowed to have any party nor gathering but would be allowed to stay at our property as long as they agreed to that and the rest of our terms and conditions which include our rules. Just because Airbnb's customers support and follow through on their own posted promises to their community falls short, doesn't mean we have no right to be disappointed that they are not following through with their promises. Thanks again for your point of view but I'd like to hear more from other members now.

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Paige12 good luck to you. Please take some time to look at ABB's policies on the following when you get a moment. Perhaps it will be useful. 

 

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2704/party-and-events-policy

 

(Parties and events

Until further notice, all disruptive parties and events are prohibited, regardless of size. Guests who hold these types of events may have their account removed, and Hosts who violate this rule and allow guests to throw parties may be subject to account consequences up to and including the removal of their listing.)

 

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2827/what-is-the-airbnb-policy-for-collecting-fees-outside-of-ai...

 

 

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/548/airbnbs-dispute-moderation-for-reviews

 

 

https://www.airbnb.com/resources/hosting-homes/a/writing-helpful-house-rules-21

 

 

 

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Bay Harbor Islands, FL
Level 3

@Laura2592, With all due respect and appreciation for your time to comment herein, I don't see how Airbnb's Disruptive Party policies (disruptive or not) have anything to do with the context of my original post, this guest, their review nor anything related thereto but Thanks again for your comments.

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Paige12 "Airbnb's own policy regarding "One Off Review" is clearly stated right here but is not being considered by Airbnb"

 

There is as of yet no real policy, to start. But more than that, there really is no 'Airbnb' as we all imagine and wish there was, alas. There is just the head honchos who make a lot of bucks and ignore us hosts, and then their outsourced third party call center contract workers who don't even know a lick of policy and are completely powerless. That's who you get when you contact 'Airbnb'. It is what it is, so the best thing one who wants to list on this platform can do is to get savvy, and learn to work within it.

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Saint-Émilion, France
Level 10

I sympathise @Paige12 , but this is why I would never go after a guest for a “small additional cleaning fee of 50$”. Just not worth the hassle and risk of a stressful retaliatory review. 

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Quilcene, WA
Level 10

@Jenny349 exactly. I would never file a claim for less than $100, and if the deadline to file expires before reviews are posted the threshold would be significantly higher.

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Lisa723 

 

We don't file claims at all. The risk of both potentially damaging Airbnb intervention AND retaliatory reviews is just too high. 

 

Ironically, it's the 100$ claims or lower that Airbnb is most likely to pay out. But that still doesn't relieve the retaliatory review risk. 

 

Prevention is the only cure to this. It's a delicate and undesirable job, but unless >you< take control, you give up all of the authority, yet still suffer the burden of all of the responsibility. 

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Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Quilcene, WA
Level 10

@Elaine701 I have successfully collected on several substantial disputed claims ($300-$1300) without any retaliatory review. (In fact I have never had a claim fail.) In each case I gave the guest no advance hint and filed after reviews posted. Of course this is easier when the next check-in is on a platform other than Airbnb.

Re: Removing a Retalitory, "One-Off" Bad Review

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Lisa723 

 

Well, that's extraordinary. But did that happen in the past 2 or 3 years? Things have changed a lot since the IPO. 

 

We had one claim (under 100€) paid out about 4 years ago. The guest admitted it and paid it. But since then, all claims have been both rejected by the guest, and Airbnb, despite overwhelming and irrefutable evidence, and in one case, the guest openly admitting it, though disagreeing with the cost of repairs (performed by a highly reputable professional firm). Every claim is met with obtuse denial from the start, and it's very frustrating, and as others here have illustrated, can end up with severe penalties on the host for irresponsible guest behaviours. 

 

Our last incident... where the guest booked for two persons yet had 4 people staying in the house, violated several house rules (including smoking in the house), and caused several damages.. We decided not to bother with Airbnb, and at checkout time, simply smiled and thanked them for choosing us. The guest figured they got away with it, and wrote a 5 star review, which was pretty honest. I, however wrote in the (unemotional, fact-based) guest review, that she booked for two, had 4, caused some damages and smoked inside the house (which she had been repeatedly warned against).

 

Immediately after she read our review, she sent a scathing message accusing us of all kinds of made up fantastical abuses of the guest, including pointing out that we would have never known that she had 4 guests if we hadn't been "spying" on her 🙄. Yet 4 beds had been irrefutable slept in. And we have entry-exit proof that there were 4 guests. And the damages... 

 

Needless to say, had we made any claim prior to her review, this would have been her review, whether we received compensation or not. 

 

So, we've stopped this nonsense. The "host guarantee", by Airbnb's own definition, is neither a guarantee or insurance of any kind, is completely unpredictable and unenforceable. Plus, it encourages fake retaliatory reviews, which can be pretty damaging, adding insult to injury. 

 

But a victim I will be no more. End of. Despite Airbnb. 

 

This isn't just my "opinion". It's pretty well documented all over the forums. It happens all the time. 

 

So, you've been lucky. Enjoy it while it lasts 👍

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