Broken star rating system

in
Vermont, United States
Level 2
267 Views

So this just happened to me AGAIN.  Literally every subcategory 5 out of 5 stars and overall.... 4..... what the...?!?!?!  And AirBnB says nothing they can do and its to protect the "integrity" of the review system.... what integrity of bogus star rankings?  Next guest the very next day gushed about how great the place was and then gave 3 and 4 stars for no reason... literally no reason... Its absurd and angering and all it makes me want to do is cancel all my future bookings and go with a competitor or go back to traditional rental.... its stressful, offensive, frustrating and its tied to my bottom line as it hampers me remaining a "superhost' as well as keeping competitive in the local market (everything equal are you going to stay at a place rated 4.78 stars or a place rated 4.98 stars?)  The ratings are bogus and arbitrary.  I have had guests literally write "Great location, super clean and close to everything, the host was very helpful and everything was GREAT"... then proceed to give me 4 stars (and even some 3's).... HOW IS THAT INTEGRITY OF THE REVIEW SYSTEM AirBnB?!?!?!?!  If you dock a star you should have to explain why.  that way if people REALLY want to complain about it they have to put some effort in before screwing over hosts for no reason.... then there should be arbitration where someone neutral can look at it and see if its legit and makes sense.  For instance in addition to the above example I clearly state up front that its self check in and go in =to great detail on how, what the code is, I have pictures a 3 year old could follow yet someone rates me a 4 for the check in process... why?  Explain yourself!  If you want to be greeted or cannot figure out modern day buttons then rent elsewhere!!!

10 Replies

Re: Broken star rating system

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Bart254 The star rating will not damage you too much BUT the response you left to a glowing review will stop many people booking with you. Do you really think the following will get you more bookings

 

So... for some unknown reason this guest gives me crappy star rating and my star rating plummets. AIrBnB needs to do something about these trash guests who for NO GOOD REASON leave crappy star rating which ultimately cost us hosts money... its absurd. read less

 

 

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Vermont, United States
Level 2

Dont really care... the stupidity of the system and the fact that it does indeed impact me in a hugely negative way (I cannot see how you can say it doesn't) and AIrBnB attaches so much weight to the star ratings, yet its completely arbitrary as evidenced by many examples in my glowing reviews and crappy star ratings.  This is all on AirBnB because while placing great weight and value on the star ratings yet allows for absolutely no mediation of erroneous rankings (not to mention the 5 star system is laughably flawed and nobody with any actual credibility uses it anymore) ... is just absurd.  I'll go with a competitior or just back to a normal rental.  If people will "Stop booking" with me because I called out AirBnB and a high maintenance ignorant guest then GOOD!  I dont want those people either!.

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Vermont, United States
Level 2

Actually... after a few weeks this comment has INCREASED my bookings, and 3 separate people have specifically cited it (all fellow AirBnB hosts) who wholeheartedly agree.  We have also discussed and the more i talk to other hosts the more broken and disturbing the star rating system is.  I have heard from both several hosts and alot of guests that there is basically extortion ands bribing going on for these ratings... guests will message a host or verbally speak with them about a very minor (or even false) concern and say they will give 3 stars because of it, or.... the host can reimburse the cleaning fee and get 5 stars.  Hosts asking guests in advance of reviews for 5 stars in return for a little money refunded, on and on... and its been happening to me as well.

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Bart254  "the fact that it does indeed impact me in a hugely negative way (I cannot see how you can say it doesn't) "

 

I  really don't think guests care that much about the ratings. It doesn't matter to guests whether a place has a 4.5 overall rating or 4.8. They are interested in whether the place looks nice, is in a location they like and the price is right. Guests are more interested in the written reviews, which give actual information than the ratings.

 

And Mike and Jane are correct- you should never respond negatively to a positive written review, it makes the host look bad to future guests, and serves no purpose. It doesn't help you in any way.

 

If you want to educate guests about star ratiings, do it privately, by sending them a private message. Are you aware that the guest review form tells guests that 4*s means Good? The guests don't realize they are giving a rating you will be distressed about. It is Airbnb that is responsible for this, not the guests.

 

Responses appear on your review page, not the guest's and are for the benefit of future guests, to correct misleading or incorrect info or indicate that a legitimate issue mentioned in the review has been corrected.  

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Vermont, United States
Level 2

 

"The guests don't realize they are giving a rating you will be distressed about. It is Airbnb that is responsible for this, not the guests."  EXACTLY!  AirBnB's review and rating system was created by a window licker somewhere with no real world experience.... it is broken in so many ways....

 

I whole heartedly disagree about about how the star ratings impact the host and have been told the same by every single person I have talked to.  While they do not matter as much... the star rating is A) Often the deciding factor for people who do not know the area and may be wondering what the better value is when looking at a a few places.  B)  If you cannot maintain a 4.8 then you can no longer be a "Superhost" and that has VERY significant financial impact. 

 

 

As I said above in a reply regarding guests and hosts I have talked to... We have also discussed and the more i talk to other hosts the more broken and disturbing the star rating system is.  I have heard from both several hosts and alot of guests that there is basically extortion ands bribing going on for these ratings... guests will message a host or verbally speak with them about a very minor (or even false) concern and say they will give 3 stars because of it, or.... the host can reimburse the cleaning fee and get 5 stars.  Hosts asking guests in advance of reviews for 5 stars in return for a little money refunded, on and on... and its been happening to me as well. 

 

But as AirBnB states... this is all about the "integrity" of the review system.  Right!   Some integrity!  I still have reviews with 3 stars because people complain about the city location and the obvious things that go with being in a city.  They complain about noise  (2 out of 40+ guests.... like everyone but 2 people understand if you stay at a house in the middle of a small city there will be noise).... but thats "Integrity"?   A half block away someone's trash can got knocked over and there was trash in the street.... I got 3 star rating for that as well as they was 'trash in the streets' like I am responsible for other people's shortcomings or the City's recycling policy (which is awful.... but i digress)..... I get docked these stars and the reviews stand for things that are not even realted to my property and one -off incidents SOMEWHERE ELSE and I have no recourse about the ratings or reviews... it makes NO SENSE!!!

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Bart254  The highly flawed star rating system, the way Airbnb explains it to guests and the way they apply it to hosts has been a topic of frustration and anger to hosts for years and this forum is full of threads about it. So it's fine to vent here, we can all relate, but it is obvious that it is working exactly as Airbnb intends it to, and they have no will to change it.

 

As for "If you cannot maintain a 4.8 then you can no longer be a "Superhost" and that has VERY significant financial impact."

 

Have you found that to be true from your own experience? Because that doesn't  seem to be the case for most hosts. I have read plenty of posts over the years by hosts who said they had Superhost status, lost it, and it made no difference whatsoever to their bookings.

If you think it has a significant bearing on search placement, it doesn't. I've seen listings with less than 4* ratings placed above those of 5* Superhosts. 

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Vermont, United States
Level 2

It's simply not true.  Before I hosted I wouldn't even consider a place that wasn't hosted by a super host.  I have had bookings increase since I achieved mine and when I look at ANYTHING to buy or hotels or AirBnBs to rent the guests ratings weigh HEAVILY into the decision... If it didn't why would these ratings even exist?

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Bart254  Sure consumers look at ratings. I just don't think most guests give a hoot whether a place has a 4.6 rating or a 4.8.

 

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

@Sarah977  
In 2 days we hopefully will make superhost. I'm not expecting any change in my bookings. I've travelled a lot with abb too and can't say i cared one bit about "superhost" status. tbh, i thought it meant the host was more involved and that's not appealing to me at all. We tend to prefer to self-checkin and being left alone when we travel, unless the hosts are actually very interesting. 

Re: Broken star rating system

in
Sydney, Australia
Level 2

There is no integrity in Airbnb's review system, it is heavily in favor of bookers NOT host.  Funny thing is airbnb would be nothing without their host, yet they frequently treat them like second class citizens on its platform.  Host have been pointing out the obvious for years: Airbnb review system is broken and airbnb themselves do not do enough to educate users that 4 star is actually considered BAD for host and anything under that is considered TERRIBLE.   Airbnb needs to do a lot more to inform users that their rating system is NOT like hotel rating systems and that they are staying in someones HOME not a hotel with 24 hr concierge service.  Because they do not do this, it leaves host to deal with heavily entitled guest, especially ones that are over 45 years old who were brought up on hotels, they lack the culture consideration and unwritten rules of the share economy.  All very annoying to highly experienced host who run truly 5 star accomodation.  Better for airbnb to lower super host requirements and stop sending out warnings on 4 star ratings.   4.8 for a super host is ridiculous, i've hosted for a decade now and frequently phase in/out of super host status, I simply don't care about it whatsoever and it means nothing to me.  I no longer chase 5 star reviews and very jaded when i get that glowing written review and then they leave a 4 star, it's comical at this stage.  Best thing to do is just provided a great service, regardless of Airbnb's broken review system, that's their problem not yours. 

Join the conversation