Fellow hosts, we have just filed a BBB complaint on Airbnb's public review system and policy. We have contacted Airbnb about a Guest review that is based on known and proven wrong facts, but Airbnb Case Manager said they refused to remove it. Airbnb would uphold any guests review, as long as it does not violent their Content Policy, which shockingly does not include Wrong Facts, Misinformation. We filed the BBB complaint as we believe Airbnb has a responsibility to every hosts to make sure their public review system is fair and accurate. If you had the same problem and agree with us, you can also post on BBB (Better Business Bureau). We hope through our collective efforts, Airbnb can improve its Content Policy.
BBB complaint filed Nov 30 2019 - Similar to Airbnb's belief that Guests can express whatever opinion and experience, we as hosts have the same right to file our complaint to BBB.
We have been hosting on Airbnb for almost 2 years and through our hard work, we have achieved Super Host status. For 95% of the 60+ reviews we received, we got the highest rating (5 star) for all aspects.
Recently, we had a girl from Australia booked her stay with us on Oct 16th. As part of Airbnb's booking process, the Guest would not be able to see our accurate address before her booking, but Airbnb had provided her our accurate address after her booking is confirmed and paid. So as Host, we do NOT control this process. Then on Nov 1, 2 days before the Guest arrived, she messaged to us that she found our address is further away than she had expected to a destination she planned to be. We have worked promptly to provide with her relevant commute information and how to call an Uber to get around. We have also sent her our accurate address as part of our greeting to the guest to provide her with Self Check-in information. So with these messages, we believe the guest have received our address and knew it was correct, as she used the address to get to our house and stayed with us.
After the guest stay, she posted a very negative review on our listing - 2 star for our Location, and 3 star for our Accuracy where she wrote "Incorrect Address". We immediately contacted Airbnb Support, pointing out the review was based on wrong fact, ie, we have provided incorrect address, while as a matter of fact, we have provided our correct legal address to Airbnb in our listing for the last two years. We requested Airbnb to remove this negative public review based on known and verifiable wrong facts.
Airbnb Case Manager took our case, but she sent back to us two messages on Nov 23 and 26 saying the Guest has given us an overall good review, and ignored our questions about the negative rating on "Location" and "Accuracy" of our listing. We continued to write to her and called Airbnb, and finally, after ignoring us for a couple of days, she replied that Airbnb would not remove any Guest Review, as long as it did not violate their "content policy", which shockingly does NOT include false, wrong information and fact. This means, Airbnb would uphold any public review from a Guest even if they know the Guest is providing wrong information and incorrect facts about a Host's property and listing.
We believe Airbnb as the renting platform, the company has its basic responsibility to maintain a fair, factual and reasonably accurate public review system, as the company uses the review system to score and rank Hosts' listing. Airbnb has also used this review system to make Hosts to care about and put in time and efforts to earn a good rating from the guests, so Airbnb can profit from the Services Fees that it charges from the booking fees. However, by not having a policy and a practice to supervise that only correct fact are put into public reviews, Airbnb is treating its hosts unfairly.
In our specific case, we have no control as to when and how Airbnb releases our address to the Guest, but we have provided our factual, correct legal address to Airbnb since two years ago. We have not done anything wrong but Airbnb's policy has resulted in unjustifiable damage to the public rating of our listing.
From this stay, Airbnb collected Service Fee from us as the Host. This service fee is collected partly to pay for their operation, including the Public Reviews System. As a paying customer, we demand Airbnb to make a policy that ensure their Pubic Review system works to remove public reviews that are known and proven to be based on wrong and incorrect facts. This is something basic.
I had a guest call me the Bword in a review and the review is still there. The same guest also stole a bunch of stuff and I had to file a police report.
I just had a guest bring double the amount of people on the reservation and he then cancelled his reservation when I asked him to pay for the extra people, he complained to Airbnb saying that I lied and AirBnb gave him a refund and allowed him to leave a bad review.
Its not fair.. AirBnb does not value hosts, they are trying to cut out the hosts and do stuff like Animals, experiences and food. They want to eventually cut out the hosts all together.
Thanks for your sharing Nina. Airbnb can treat hosts like this because so far they are the dominant platform so they do not care, but Airbnb is its way to its big IPO next year. The company, just like Facebook and Google, need to take more responsibility as to what goes into its public review system.
Suggest every host like you to post a BBB complaint about Airbnb Content Policy. If you google Better Business Bureau, you will find the website and put in Airbnb company name and address (888 Brannan St. Floor 4, San Francisco, CA 94117). you will be able to file a complaint.
The good experience I like about BBB review is the complaint actually was also sent to industry regulators, and in some case, State Inspector General, for consumer affairs.
We are sort of both consumer and customers for Airbnb as we pay them the fees, so our rights need be protected as a consumer/customer of the company.
almost 6 years ago, just as I started hosting, I wanted to be a super host and was reading all my reviews. I got upset a lot. Bottom line, after hosting for almost 6 years and couple thousands of guests, I stopped reading all my reviews 2 years ago and I do not want to be a super host. It's simple not possible to make everyone happy and I also have my personal life style and life. I love airbnb and my guests and I am absolutely O.K. with people posting bad reviews to my wall, sometimes I think, I even want a bad review bc I do not want the same type of guest and every future guest, who doesn't like to book my place in cause of this review, is exactly the type of guests I don't want. If you read all your reviews, you probably need at some point a psychologist to help you to digest all of it. I am living more happier and I do offer to my guests during the check in, "Just let me know what you need, or what makes you unhappy, maybe I forgot to give or I am willing to let you go now and reimburse you now if you do not like it." And if someone still stays and gives me a bad review, well, I take it. That's life.
@Brian823 there will always be guests who are not happy. This is a battle not worth fighting. Location is a perception. One can interpret this not as you providing incorrect address, but the bubble on airbnb map putting you in an incorrect place for her purposes. I can make you the world longest least of things I was downgraded for: group of 8 with 2 dogs booked my 5 bedroom at $174 a night and gave me 3 stars for value (downtown Chicago!). Someone felt it was wrong I did not provide toothpaste. Someone else did not provide correct phone number and never checked their messages so I could not get in touch with them at all prior to stay to make sure they got check in instructions. They arrived at 1 am and could not get in immediately. Still my fault, not theirs.
Just move on to the next guest.
I do not agree with @Elisabeth40 . I read my reviews all the time because often it let's me know what I should improve, even if it means to improving what I provide but how I communicate what to expect to the guests.
And I do get upset every time it is less than five stars, but that means I still care. The day I won't I will not deserve being a superhost anymore.
Thanks for your reply Inna. As host we also understand guests have very different perspective on everything, especially the VALUE aspect in the review, so even though we got upset when guests gave us 4 for Value, we did not really do much but to improve where we can.
However, we should not tolerate the reviews based on known and proven wrong facts. Airbnb has a basic responsibility to listen to hosts, and if hosts can proof the public reviews have wrong facts about their listing and property, Airbnb should remove it.
Also what is not fair is when hosts review guests, we are only given Cleanliness, Communication and Following House Rules, we do not have a catch-all kind of subjective aspect of Value for the Guests, such as Overall. I believe they removed it. This is another point Airbnb designed their review system to be unfair to the hosts.
You can also take them to court, like this host in Baltimore did. - The good stuff happens in the last quarter of the video. The judge severely admonishes the Airbnb lawyer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgGngGlCBnw
Possibly. Although this host did not win monetary damages, the review WAS taken down; the Judge was very disgusted with Airbnb and stated this publicly - that had to feel good - at least to the host. Some kind of justice there. The Judge could not believe that Airbnb did not speak to the host at all about what had actually happened, and just took the word of a guest, which led to the host's Airbnb business being harmed.
Oh, I had not realized they also had de-listed her! Typical, @Susan17 . Hosts are just "disappeared" with no warning or explanation. Reminds me of the short story 'The Lottery'. Just another way to maintain control (via covert methods that create fear).
@Rebecca181 I think the fact that they had delisted her was what led to her taking them to court. She was an experienced host and if it had just been a matter of a harmful, lying review, she might very well have just written a review response and let it go. It was the fact that Airbnb delisted her without any investigation, and wouldn't listen to anything she had to say, that prompted the court case.
And yes, that judge rocked and made mincemeat of that Airbnb lawyer.