We stayed at Airbnb places multiple times and everything seemed OK until we once booked the room in the NYC. All reviews to this place were generically well but the site turned out to be just ugly. Cockroaches, stench, unfriendly host... I just can't believe my eyes! I riched out Airbnb support and they checked whether all reviews were real. They were. Furthermore, I kept to monitor the place and people continued to call it "gem", "perfect stay" etc. Unbelievable!
My guess, due to a strict policy of "uncorrectable, undeletable one-chance reviews" people are trying to be overkind to prevent any chance of a bad review on themselves. While it could be good to some extent, all reviews seem to turn into "kindness exercise" rather actual ones. They are simply misleading.
As a guest ("client") I also feel sometimes uncomfortable. I pay money (comparable to the hotel most of the time) and willing to expect some freedom and service rather thinking all the time, whether I left the room clean enough or did enough kindness to obtain positive review on myself.
Recently I got another false negative review and I believe it was caused by my initial fair demands of the host. She obeyed and was very sweet, even kissed me on check-out (now I understand that is all for better stars!). Nothing looked squally, so I left the perfect review (hiding initial problems that could help future guests). So, it looks like a kind of "revenge" from the host and simply odious.
I feel that is just wrong.
After two years of exiting of Airbnb I changed my mind due to these reasons and now booking.com or similars are my first choice again, keeping in mind the fact that many places are now listed on them too.
AIrbnb system is beyone flawed it is not repairable. accoding to airbnb a guest can admite he or she has accidentally put in the wrong star rating. Airbnbn will not change it .they will just remove only if the guest calls and askes. Airbnb will not even accecpt in wirting on the plafrom that the guest made a mistake. This is a big faliure as most guest on airbnb are new or only used the platform once most proably 1 year prior. If the review is removed it does not remove the star rating accoding to airbnb. What? How can 50 % of a review be left on the staticis. I have hosted over 3000 guest , 1500 booking and have a 96 percent 5 star rating. Had the mistakes been fixed i would be runing at 99 percent 5 star rating. that a 3 percent faliure rate, sorry but that 3 percent can be the diffecence between a 4 Star in all the rating optiones we are judged on and a 5 sta . Why is this such a big deal you aks? how abou he fact airbnb advertise your property based upon your ratings. how about the face airbn can kick you off the platfor if you drop to low. You can not have a bad day on airbnb vbeacuse you are arelady loosing from the time you start taking bookings. To allow case mangers to fix these ratings when its in wrting would solve all these probelms.Sombody please tell me why billion doller comapny will not fix this issue.
AirBNB's review system is dreadful. We haven't use AirBNB since a trip to Florence in 2016, when we arrived at a highly-reviewed apartment to find it smelt, had blackfly and had weeks of mold in the fridge (which no recent reviews mentioned).
I rang AirBNB's Dublin office, and in their favour they refunded my money and also gave me €100 towards a hotel room (luckily we found one at 10pm at night with all our luggage and a two year old).
HOWEVER they refused to allow me to leave a review, because we had not stayed overnight. So, if a place is SO BAD that a guest will not stay the night, they won't be penalised.
I'm currently thinking of using AirBNB again. However, I can't help but note that the system seems to be absolutely full of 4.5/5 star reviews with little below that, yet when you drill down into reviews, individual ones are often scathing.
@Paul1731 That's strange, because Airbnb lets guests leave reviews all the time when they haven't actually stayed. Their review policy is that if you cancel day-of check-in, you can leave a review. It's a huge source of contention for hosts, because while you being able to leave a review would have been warranted in this case to warn other guests (and all the good hosts out there would like these unacceptable places delisted, as well, as they give all hosts a bad name), that also opens the review door to those who haven't actually even been to the property.
The problem for hosts is that there are guests who cancel day-of without actually having set foot in the place (maybe a friend or relative offered them a free place to stay or they just changed their mind for some reason). Then they get to leave a review which says the place is filthy or some other lie, as retaliation because they wren't able to get fully refunded according to whatever cancellation policy was in place.
But guests like you, who actually arrived to find the place disgusting, should be able to review.
Like I said, I'm surprised you weren't, because it happens all the time.
When reading reviews, as a guest, you have to determine for yourself by reading the reviews, what's actually going on. If a place has 15 reviews saying the place and the host were lovely, and 1 review saying it was filthy, that bad review is probably a revenge review given for reasons like I mentioned above, and you can discount it. If there are a few bad reviews among a few good ones, especially if they speak to the same issues, like cleanliness or host communication, I'd listen to the bad reviews and pass.
Also, reviews are not in chronological order. So there may have been some issues when a host first listed, which they've corrected, it's hard to know.
Star ratings aren't reliable because they are so subjective. Written reviews are much more telling.
It's also better for guests, if uncertain re reviews of a place, to send the host a Inquiry first, ask some questions, see what kind of response you get. If they have some reviews which mention cleanliness issues, ask them if those things have been addressed. Depending on the answers, the tone and the timeliness of the response, you may get a better sense of whether you feel comfortable booking there, before committing.
Sticking with Superhosts and staying away from property-managers with scores of listings may also help to find acceptable accomodations. Smaller, traditional hosts who are either on-site or manage their listing themselves are often much more attentive to making sure guests will have a positive experience.
@Sarah977 If you look at Paul's profile, he has only one review, which was long time ago. Things have been changed in Airbnb constantly.
@Paul1731 Airbnb has very strict requirements for hosts in various areas including the rating. When their reviews fall below 4, they may lose their hosting status. If their star rating are below 4.8, they will not be qualified for superhost. Therefore, hosts are trying to work hard to get high ratings. This is a good thing in one aspect because this will require hosts to improve all the tie. But the bad aspect is that some hosts will try to do it in an incorrect way to get 5 stars.
Following an investigation two years ago by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Airbnb was forced to change its review system specifically to allow guests who cancelled their stay due to substandard conditions, to leave a review - effective worldwide since August 31, 2017. (Unfortunately, as Sarah mentioned, Airbnb threw the baby out with the bathwater, and extended the right to review to guests who had never even seen the listing)
An Airbnb spokesman said: “Open and honest reviews are core to making Airbnb a trusted travel platform for millions of hosts and guests in 191 countries around the world. We are committed to doing all we can to facilitate meaningful and authentic connections across our global community. Ensuring that all of our hosts and guests can leave a review, regardless of whether the reservation was completed in full or not, will continue to strengthen our mutual review system.”
Ah it's good to know it changed but yes, allowing people who didn't stay to review is just as bad.
Here's was the mail I got at the time:
My name is XXX and I am a trip case manager with Airbnb, I hope this message finds you well.
I want to apologize again for all the issues that you had when you first arrived at your listing. Find the listing full of flies and the refrigerator moldy is not acceptable. I really appreciate the fact that you even tried to fix the issues yourself.
I understand that you spoke to my team member XXXXXX regarding this reservation and that we have processed a cancellation and full refund for this reservation. I see that you asked our @AirbnbHelp team if you can leave a review. As this reservation was cancelled due to the conditions of the listing you will no longer be able to leave a review. I know this might be frustrating but please trust that we will be following up with your host to guarantee that these issues to not happen again."
Hi @Paul1731 🙂
The rating system is set up VERY different than most Europeans think. Most Americans know. I can assure you it is not fun for an European host to receive 3 and 4 star ratings when Airbnb expects every host no matter if it is a budget place or a mansion to have at least 4,7. 5 stars mean that everything was as described in the listing nothing else. If I rented a tent in Siberia, Russia in the middle of the winter with no heating and 300 miles to nearest neighbor I would rate it 5 stars in every category if everything was as described when I choose to book.
I often get 4 star ratings for my location because I'm not situated in the city center of Copenhagen. I clearly state it at my listing and people probably choose my listing because it is much cheaper. And then downrate me for not being in the city center. Airbnb see a less than 5 star rating in any of the categories as if I failed and didn't describe my listing accurate asking me to improve. I can't improve. I can't move my home and I don't even want to live in the city center. It would be like living in Disney land for grown ups.
So that's why you see all the high ratings. 5 star means nothing else than that everything was as described. And yes, I would give 5 stars in location if I choose to rent a place situated next to a busy road if the host clearly stated it and I as a guest chose to book.
The rating average are much higher in the US than Europe simple because of lack of knowledge.
I want to ad. I don't blame the european guests. Because they don't know. I just really wish airbnb would explain how the system works as it is quite stressful having to make sure to have at least 4,7(we are rated every 3rd month by airbnb) when my guests don't even know how harmful it is to get less than 5 stars. Thinking a 4 star rating is great.
@Sandra856 Thanks for your explanation of the difference of perceptions of star ratings. That can explain why I got more 4 star ratings from European guests than those from Americans. 🙂
Indeed 4 star ratings actually hurt hosts from getting/maintaining superhost status because of Airbnb extreme strict ratings for keeping superhost, which is set at 4.8 at present. That is every four ratings of 5 stars and one 4 star will be averaged at 4.8.
Hi @Mike1034 🙂
It really is frustrating. Europeans hardly ever give a full plate of 5's unless they stay in a luxury suite. This is an example of a guest and her explanation on why she rated my with 3 stars. It was a last minute booking last Summer and the 200 euro places she mentions is not normal Airbnb's set up for guests but (abandoned for the summer) trashy dorm rooms. Hotel rooms last minute in Copenhagen during high season would cost at least 300 euro/night. My home is not in the city center but in a great area 10-15 minutes on a bike an you are in the city center and actually biking through the popular and vibrant area Nørrebro on the way. It is just frustrating when you feel you do everything you can to be a good host.
@Mike1034 @@ My impression is that in the last 1-2 years Airbnb has become very mainstream and "safe" for the many classic ordinary tourists who would prefer the tourist masses at hotels in the inner city center but choose Airbnb's because they are usually much cheaper.
I wouldn't mind receiving 3 and 4 star ratings if there was actually something I could do to improve or if I screwed up and deserved a lower rating. Then it would be okay of course. But as it is know it just feels unfair.