Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
New York, NY
Level 5
1,327 Views

Dear Hosting Community, 

 

I am leaving this message because I have just had an excellent experience with AirBnB customer service,  one that suggests (I'm an optimist) that AirBnB is paying more attention to hosts.  

 

I always call guests a few hours after 6 pm check in to make sure that they are comfortable.  In this case, the guest (who rented the place alone) was still in the subway in NYC,  and therefore at best four to five hours from arrival (had she gone she would have arrived after midnight).    Also, the predicted weather for the week was chilly and overcast.    I wasn't surprised when the guest phoned an hour later to cancel "because a friend was ill".     I know not to have long conversations on the phone with guests, and told her that she had to cancel, I could not do it for her. 

 

I have a moderate cancellation policy and therefore the guest was not given a refund.  In these situations I try to rebook (despite the fact that last season we were booked every day with day gaps for covid cleaning).   But the guest was so insistent on a full refund, either ramblingly incoherent and enraged (phoning multiple times) I decided that I didn't want to host her in the future.   "I have other uses for that money" she complained.  

 

She then contacted AirBnB and requested a refund, twice, adding that she would write a negative review of my place, which she did (1 star, etc.).   

 

At any rate, before she posted the review I called AirBnB to alert them, and then after the review was posted called again, and the review is being taken down.    

 

3 points for hosts: 

1.  try to have every exchange in writing through the AirBnB bot.   

2. the guest did state she was going to write a bad review because I had refused a refund 

3.  I called AirBnB before the review was posted and asked them to make a notation in my account.  

 

I think it was because of the above that the review was removed.   As most of us know, we need to avoid telephone calls to guests and get everything in writing -- then let the cancellation policy take care of things unless we choose to reschedule or refund.    I'll also add that I only had to wait five minutes for customer service.   I was impressed and felt that AirBnB "had my back" -- something that I never though I would type after the disappearance of customer service last summer.  

 

 

 

 

16 Replies

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Paris, France
Level 10

Hi @Ross648,

Welcome to the community!

 

It's good to hear that you’ve great experience with the Airbnb reviews system.

I’ll follow the three tips advice you’ve suggested to remove the Fairless reviews.

 

Nevertheless, I‘ve over a dozen untrue, unfair, and revenge reviews.

Thank you.

 

I like your little red schoolhouse, charming!

Ways to go and happy hosting.

Dale and Dan

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
New York, NY
Level 5

Hello Dale and Dan, 

 

I too have had a revenge review by a couple who understood the review system and asked for a full refund AFTER they had checked out.   They communicated only by phone, and so -- because there was no proof -- the review stayed, even though it was factually untrue.    The lesson I learned was never to communicate by phone, only by AirBnB.     

 

I've also had two stars from a first-time couple whose only complaints was that they  found my sofa uncomfortable, even though it is Restoration Hardware and they brought their dog!    

 

As I believe Andrew on this site observes, host should try to disregard the rating system and the "superhost" designation, which is really designed to terrify hosts into servility.  cheers, Ross

p.s. should have mentioned that my renter was staying only two nights. 

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Takoma Park, MD
Level 10

@Ross648  If you know it's best to keep all communication through AirBnB messaging, why do you call guests on the phone to see if they are comfortable? I'm genuinely curious.

 

I usually message them around the same time to ask the same thing. I would actually hesitate to call as I see it as a bit intrusive, and also there's no record of the conversation should an issue arise. Having it on record several hours after check-in that they are "great, thanks- we love your place and it's very comfortable," establishes something important. If they then try to come  back and say it was dirty, or something didn't work when they got there, you have evidence to the contrary. 

 

You also open that line of communication to the guest, so that they are likely to use the phone for future communication during their stay. 

 

Additionally, they're not likely to recognize my number, so not likely to answer, and they're in the middle of a get-away, trying to relax and unwind, or watching a movie. If they get a little ding on their phone with the message, they are able to answer (or not) at leisure and it's much less of a disturbance. Just my two cents. Kia

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Del Rey Oaks, CA
Level 4

This is interesting because I currently have the guests from down under staying in my home.  I complained to AirBnB about the guests violating house rules as I suspected the guests were going to complain. I caught them and they were not happy with me.  I called yesterday and the guests called today stating that I am harassing them.   I asked AirBnb if they would remove the review as I know it will be negative, and they told me no!!  Glad they removed it for you!  Nicely done.  

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Stuttgart, Germany
Host Advisory Board Member

@Ross648 ’s guest obviously violated the Review Policy, as she said:

She then contacted AirBnB and requested a refund, twice, adding that she would write a negative review of my place, which she did (1 star, etc.).  

 

In such a clear case it’s easy to get the review removed, as this policy prohibits:

Guests threatening to use reviews or ratings in an attempt to force a host to provide refunds, additional compensation, or a reciprocal positive review.

 

The golden rule is: always communicate via the platform, so the CS can have a clear picture of what happened.

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Paris, France
Level 10

Hi @Till-and-Jutta0,

Thank you clarity, I ‘m much appreciated that!

 

‘Guests threatening to use reviews or ratings in an attempt to force a host to provide refunds, additional compensation, or a reciprocal positive review.’

 

The golden rule is: always communicate via the platform, so the CS can have a clear picture of what happened.’ 

 

 

Dale and Dan

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

I'm glad this worked out for you @Ross648 

 

It would also be interesting if we could have seen the review to see if it was in clear violation of the review policy. We can all only hope that hotheaded guests will violate the policy and removing the review is a no-brainer for CS. 

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

It's great that for once, CS was actually interested and able to support you in this.

 

Surely it's all because every rule was followed, and you had already prewarned Airbnb, and the guest openly violated Airbnb rules by threatening a bad review to prevent you from posing a penalty. And that shows why it's always important to communicate through the messaging system. 

 

However... 

 

I find the messaging system, as it is, quite inconvenient to use. It only informs you by email, which is quickly going the way of the telegraph. There is no instant messaging system, like WhatsApp. 

 

We use WhatsApp often to communicate with guests, simply because they all have it, it's brilliantly easy and convenient to use, and it's realtime; I can send web links and Google maps links (without Airbnb removing it) . Guest has a question, maybe they send a photo of something in the house that they don't understand. you know immediately and can respond immediately, and vice-versa.

 

It wound be great if airbnb could build something like that into the app, to make it more convenient, and so those conversations could be on record too. 

 

Nonetheless, whenever there's something that >should< be "on the record", we always use the Airbnb message system. Although it can take days before the guest even recognises it or responds (if they ever do) .

 

Anyway, it's nice to know that CS actually works sometimes. Thanks for posting that. 🙂 

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Swannanoa, NC
Level 10

We use WhatsApp often to communicate with guests, simply because they all have it.

 

What is WhatsApp?  Another smart phone application that cannot be used if you communicate via email on a computer and landline?  Seriously, I want all communication with my guest on the platform.

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Lorna170 

 

WhatsApp is probably the single most popular smartphone messaging system in the world. It's like texting, but with any kind of media, including text, voice, video, documents, photos, web links... And when you send a message it's immediately received by the recipient and notified of it (if they have access to the internet, mobile or otherwise) . And it's as easy to use as a light switch. And it's free. 

 

It's great for use in hospitality, not only because the response is immediate, but even if you can't get to it right away, it's always there to catch up, and the app gently reminds you that you have unread messages.

 

If there's something they're confused about, or a problem at the villa, they just WhatsApp me with their question, even take a photo to show it.. I can then determine whether to explain it, show them how to resolve it, or go over and handle it myself. 

 

But it's also very helpful for assisting guests with directions, recommendations for restaurants or attractions.

 

For example, if they're at the beach, and would like a recommendation for a good nearby place to eat or a, supermarket with fresh fish, or whatever.. they just ask, it's easy for them. So, I just send them the Google Maps link to my favourite places in the area (I have them stored already, don't have to look them up). They can open it with one click, and find out everything about it, including getting directions from their current location. All with very little effort on my part. 

 

But there's another extremely helpful feature; I usually contact the guest by WhatsApp long before they get on their flight, to introduce myself and establish that realtime line of communication. 

 

I've already asked what time their flight is supposed to arrive, but you can't be sure... And I don't want to sit waiting for them at the villa.

 

So, before their flight lands, I send them a "Welcome to Mallorca" message. But no, they won't receive it in the air...

 

Yet, as soon as they land, they'll receive the message, and I can see if they've received it, so I know they've landed, and I can pretty well estimate when they'll be arriving. So I don't waste time waiting for them if their flight is delayed, because otherwise, I wouldn't know. And they couldn't tell me either, because they're in the air. 

 

It's a great thing to have in this business. It really simplifies the task of managing guests, and enables you to provide them great service.. Without much work. 

 

No way I could do that through the Airbnb messaging system.

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Swannanoa, NC
Level 10

@Elaine701   Ahh.  Requires a smartphone.  Can't load it to my computer.  Sigh.

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 2

also available  on computer  and android  tv

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
New York, NY
Level 5

Hello All,

 

Till and Jutta are quite right: it was only because I had a "threat" in writing that the review was removed. 

 

I would add that the other thing that I did ask when I called was for my comments -- i.e. mentioning the "threat" -- be documented in my case file, and I waited until the CS person told me that it was done.   We can't ask CS to "remake the wheel" each time we call so I am now trying to be proactive.  

 

Regarding Kia's comment.   It is just as Elaine said, guests to do not respond to texts sent through AirBnB immediately, and I need to know that everybody has arrived safely.    But you are right, for our safety all communication should go through the AirBnB site. 

 

It is funny how using the AirBnB system has made us, slowly, aware of its limitations and how best to use it in order to be supported.   Because the truth is that really low ratings do impact our rentals.    I now send a text through the system to educate guests about the ratings system to avoid, in my case for example, a rating of "2" for what was deemed to be an uncomfortable sofa.   Perhaps my texts make no difference but since I started doing this I haven't had any more low ratings.  

 

 

Re: Negative Review removed when guest cancelled after check-in

in
Paris, France
Level 10

Hi @Ross648,

You’re the lucky once!

You’re the chosen once!

You’re the favorable by Airbnb!

 

I am so jealous.

Take a look the links below, you’ll be realized’ You just wins a Airbnb ‘Grand Prize! ‘

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/Accused-of-Review-Violation/m-p/1436183#M313443

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/Beware-of-guest-will-leave-bad-unfair-review/m-p/1436785#M3...

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/liar-review/td-p/1436829

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Help/Negative-Review-After-Reporting-Guest/m-p/1431986

 

And many more.....

 

Ross, ways to go.Ross, ways to go.

 

 

 

 

 

Dale and Dan
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