How do you rate a guest on communication?

How do you rate a guest on communication?

I have had an issue a few times when guests do not let us know (though we check in with them, leave notes and ask them to let us know) if/when they are dissatisfied with some aspect of their stay. So I give them a '5' for commuication when I do my review, and then realize they had some dissatisfaction we didn't know about. Very frustrating. Curious if others have experienced this, and if anyone has ideas on how to do it differently?

10 Replies 10


I rate the guest's communication on how well they responded to my emails. While it is extremely frustrating to have a guest not tell you about a problem and rate you lower, there is really nothing that can be done about it.


A couple months ago we had a guest stay in a home for several days. They never mentioned any problems yet rated me lower because they could not access a certain website they needed for work and stated I had a block on the internet. There was no block; it was probably something that could have been fixed right away had they mentioned it.


We all have guests like this and, unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about it as we can't see their ratings prior to writing our own. One thing I have learned, though, is to be honest about rating guests so the next host is aware of any problems. We've had those guests with rave reviews who tore the place apart.

Thanks so much Tim & Holly - good to know that I at least am not missing something!


Level 10
Quilcene, WA

@SamandJoan0 @Tim-and-Holly0 this problem is ubiquitous. I've become extremely proactive about confirming guests have no complaints, with a pre-checkin message, a post-checkin message, a pre-checkout message, and a post-checkout (pre-review) message, as well as a note on the refrigerator, asking outright if every detail meets expectations and asking them to let us know right away if not, not to wait until they depart, so we can make it right for them. And... it still happens. But much less often. And if it does, we can accurately respond to any negative review comment with a note that had the guest responded to our several requests for confirmation that everything we OK we would of course have immediately corrected the issue.


The most frequent scenario seems to be that if there is any problem they respond to the post-checkout message, which at least keeps the feedback private, especially if we then offer financial compensation, but is still pretty frustrating. This happened just yesterday with a dirty oven that cleaners overlooked.

Great ideas, thanks so much Lisa! Nice to know we are not alone with this issue!

Level 10
London, United Kingdom



I'm similar to you in that I make a point of double checking with guests that everything is fine with their sty or if there is anything else they need. This sometimes prompts a response, like "Everything is great, but could you turn the heating up?" which is ideal, because then I can do something about it! However, more often, guests will either just say, "Everything is perfect!" or not respond because they don't check their Airbnb messages during their stay.


Several of the guests who say everyting is perfect then complain about something in their review. At least, like you say, you can respond that you would have fixed it if they had told you when you checked in on them, but if their criticisms are confined to the ratings, there's not much you can do.


I've never had a guest tell me about an issue in response to the email I send them after departure though...

@SamandJoan0  I'm not a fan of the star rating system in general, but when it comes to Communication the most important things to most hosts are that the guest informs them of their arrival time, provides accurate information about their visit, and asks questions rather than making inappropriate presumptions.


Hospitality-oriented people like yourselves like to have the opportunity to improve a guest's stay if they're not fully satisfied, but it's not really the guest's obligation to provide helpful feedback. If you sensed during the stay that the guest was unhappy, you might find a gentle way to mention that in your review. Bearing in mind that the text of the review is much more important than the ratings, since non-IB hosts (the ones who actually screen their guests) can't see the ratings anyway.


One piece of unsolicited advice: if a guest writes you what appears to be a positive review, don't use the Host Response to draw attention to the negative private feedback.  If your past guest said only nice things about your place there's no need to display to your future guests that they were unhappy! Instead, keep that communication in private messages.

Yes, I really appreciate that suggestion Andrew, and I definitely learned that lesson the hard way today! I was not clear about what does/does not show up - the good news is that now I am! 

Also, great perspective that it is not really the guest's obligation to provide helpful feedback, I had not thought of it from that point of view. 

@SamandJoan0   As an onsite host it is fairly easy for me to remedy any issue and also to be proactive about problems that suddenly come up.  Remote hosts often depend on cleaning people to provide feedback about how a listing is, but unless that is part of the clean crew compensation to check that all is top notch, it is not a great quality control.


I was guest for a single night on Christmas Eve and there were several problems with the listing - heater didn't work, no lights working in one bedroom.  I did not report during the single night as frankly I did not want to spend time dealing with a host on my holiday night!  I did mention it in the review which I slightly down graded.  I think a host or cohost should inspect what they ( and their guests) expect.  I agree with @Anonymous  perspective that it is not the guest responsibility to do that.


Granted there are some issues that suddenly show up with no warning, but in my experience most issues could be detected if there was a responsible person doing a quick check before a guest arrives.

Level 10
Quilcene, WA

@Anonymous @Tim-and-Holly0 @SamandJoan0 No, it's not a guest's obligation to provide helpful feedback-- on the other hand, if anything is causing their stay to be less enjoyable than expected, and the host could easily remedy it, and asks outright to be informed so they can do exactly that, and the guest does not respond, yet reports it in their review, what does this mean? The issue was serious enough to warn other guests about it, but not serious enough to give the host an opportunity to address it, even when the host checks in to ask outright if everything is fine? I don't see how any host could consider this anything less than frustrating. Especially for hosts who are not sharing the space, there is no way to "sense" that anything is wrong. We are all human so even a hosting team that is 100% dedicated to providing great stays will not be able to forestall every possible issue.

@Lisa723  it is absolutely frustrating! And I think it happens to all of us sometimes.


The problem is, we can't rate or review guests based on issues we only learn when they post their review. The only real defense we have against this is the Host Response.