Have other Superhosts had trouble with guests holding back their reviews following a stay hoping that you will look the other way on their damage? I have had two separate groups lately that seem to understand that a hosts review history and reputation is more important than chancing a negative review by a guest. I have felt that there isn't as much protection by Airbnb for Hosts as they will allow a guest to post a negative review, ruin your 5 star review status and hesitate to ever remove it. What do you hosts do to buffer yourselves from this type of guest blackmail?
If a bad guest cause me loss, I charge it. I do not care if the guest will writte a negative review or not.
If they writte a negative review, I may reply it.
About 3 years ago I received a negative review written by a boozy man that broke the sliding glass of the shower box and was a troublemaker. The negative review did not cause me any harm because I had lots of good reviews. I replied the negative review to let others hosts and guests know about that guy.
Depending on what the guest writtes on the review, you can always phone Airbnb and ask them to remove it. If it is against the guidelines, it can be removed.
I'd agree with J-Renato. If there is damage that could reasonably be claimed by a gues to be fair wear and tear, then I take it on the nose, it's part of hosting. However, where there is damage that is clearly as a result of carelessness, negligence or the like, I charge it and I care not about whether the guest might leave a revenge review. As J-Renato quite rightly says, if you have other, positive, reviews then any sensible potential guest reading these will see exactly what the situation is. If any potential guest reads the reviews and is put off by the negative one, then maybe you should ask yourself if you really wanted that guest to stay with you anyway 🙂
I'd love to share my own experience with this. Usually, my guests leave a quick review because I prompt them to do so at the airport, while they have nothing else to do. So I'd say most of the time, their review comes in a couple of hours after they leave the home.
Depending on the extent of the damage, I evaluate if I'd host them again (probably not), if I'd want business from their friends and family, also probably not. So I tend to say in my review that they were "Friendly, but better suited to (hotel, resort) environment." I've never received retaliation from saying that, but I get to warn other hosts. If the damage exceeds US30, then I send a friendly message saying that while accidents happen, we'd appreciate some compensation.
If the guest has caused significant damage, then I make a claim for the damage, but I always ensure I do so politely. I think if the damage is sufficient enough, it is worth risking the negative review. This is especially true if you have a slew of positive reviews - future guests can read between the lines, especially if your write a (polite) reply to the guest's negative review.
Another tactic of mine, if I do not have a guest checking in immediately after the guest who caused damage/trouble, is to wait until the very last moment of the review period to make my damage claim/review the guest. Guests tend to be less on the ball with the timing of reviews, so I find this has allowed me to make the claim or warn other hosts about the guest, without the guest having time to make up a negative review for me.
Also, of course if the review is obviously retaliatory AirBnB has previously advised me they will remove it, but luckily I've never had to request that so I'm not sure what they would actually do if it came to that.
In our experience, it is impossible to have Airbnb remove negative reviews. Airbnb actually states in their review policy that they will not arbitrate who is telling the truth - our guest lied in his review, we sent Airbnb proof - his statements in the review were in direct contradiction to texts he had sent to us. We send Airbnb photographs and other documentation proving that the guest review was untrue.
We spoke with multiple Airbnb ambassadors, supervisors, and managers, each of which would tell us on the phone that we had a good chance of the review being removed, and then writing us on the platform that it would not be.
Incredibly frustrating experience.
This is my first year and haven't had enough of a problem yet to write a negative review or make a claim. Just a broken glass or ruined towels. Oh four females did break the pull out couch. I was able to fix it but wasn't about to tangle with them. One of my concerns is that I live by myself, and people won't hesitate fabricating some lie. I'm doing research so appreciate the conversation.
BTW I don't offer the pull out couch anymore. Also got ride of the cooktop burners. I'm only supposed to have a microwave anyway so I'm finding that adapting is the best way to go. Guest have been great so far. I think most are more concerned they might break something and have deposit withheld, while I would rather them just tell me and let my insurance cover it.