One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Suffern, NY
Level 2
1,600 Views

I was reviewing my Superhost status and notice my Overall Rating for the past 12 months which counts towards Superhost status was 4.7 and it takes a 4.8 or higher to qualify for Superhost. I reviewed the Overall Ratings provided in the past 12 months and all but one of them have 5 stars. In fact, out of 20 stays from 1/1/2019 until August 2020, 19 of them have been 5 Overall Stars.

 

In December we had a woman who stayed with us who gave us 3 Stars as the Overall Rating, which is interesting because she gave 4 stars for accuracy, 4 stars for value, and 5 stars for everything else. She complained privately that the mattress was on it's "last legs" (the mattress was less than 6 months old), that she could have used an extra blanket (she never asked for one), and that the "the shower head is horrible and needs to be replaced" (I did not replace it and no one has complained prior to or after her stay). 

 

The point I am getting too is that her 3 start  rating brought my Overall Rating for Superhost status to 4.7 and may affect my Superhost status. I am actually fortunate that the requirements were waived for July 2020 or I would have lost my status without even realizing it. 

 

Has anyone else experienced this where one bad, unreasonable review has caused your Superhost status to be in jeopardy? Is Airbnb open to taking the overall track record into account and determining that the review is not a fair assessment of the persons stay?

 

Thanks,

Darien

19 Replies

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level 10

That's a great question. There are new personnel involved with Airbnb now, and you've made a case for an unrepresentative review, that is the exception,  being removed from overall consideration.

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Portland, OR
Level 2

This happened to me. One bad review with easy to prove lies but AirBnb did nothing about it and my 2+ years as a Superhost went away. I will get it back as every guest review since then are 5 star but it's too late for me. I have expanded my property listing to other platforms and they are starting to gain traction. And I will never book thru AirBnb for my own travels again.

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Darien1   Superhost status is not actually designed to be a reward for consistent excellence. The entire point of it is to prey on your status anxiety and manipulate you into staying on your toes and sucking up to even your crappiest guests. There's no human involved in the so-called "assessment," just an algorithm that is in no way qualified to judge the quality of your hospitality. If the fear of losing it is causing you distress, train yourself to ignore it; it's rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

 

The review to which you're referring features only positive comments; there's no grounds for having it removed. If possible, though, I would recommend trying to have your Public Response removed. I just can't get my head around why so many hosts make the mistake of desecrating a review that looks perfectly positive by responding to private feedback or star ratings that are not visible to your prospective guests. You're really shooting yourself in the foot there.

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Andrew0 you hit the nail on the head about what SH "status" means. 

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Suffern, NY
Level 2

@Andrew0, you make a good point that I had not previously considered. Thinking back I probably meant to comment on the "Perfect for One Traveler" comment, but instead went down a rabbit hole and commented on everything she said privately. I am not concerned about my response to her overall as I think the rest of the review override that one and we have not seen a decrease in requests because of that review. It's probably not worth the effort to try and have it removed.

 

You also make a good point about the Superhost algorithm. I am not stressed or losing sleep over the issue, but I just noticed it and it did concern me as it does not seem like a reasonable assessment.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read the review and comment.

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

@Darien1 It is a very common mistake, responding to private feedback publicly. We have all have had to learn this one at a time, because is not an intuitive thought. The objective is to acknowledge the public review and address it in passing (if negative) and think mostly of future guests considering booking. Your 'rabbit hole' analogy, is interestingly put.

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

A while back, Airbnb posted on the CC that they were introducing changes to the review system whereby an 'outlier' review would be removed. It was unclear what they meant by that. One would hope it meant that if you had five star reviews from all guests and then suddenly someone left you three stars, that rating would not be counted. However, I think it applies more to if someone gave you 5 stars in every category and left you 1 star overall, i.e. genuinely hit the wrong button.

 

I've yet to see a host post on here saying they had one of these 'outlier' reviews removed, so I don't know what is happening with that... Can't be that common, can it?

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Huma0 

Hi Huma, no they reneged on that, it was a thought that was thrown around for a couple of years but ended up just a bit of hype! Here is Airbnb's current stance ......

https://www.airbnb.com.au/resources/hosting-homes/a/airbnb-answers-protecting-you-from-one-off-bad-r...

 

Although this Admin post was generated in September 2018 it was up-dated in March 2020 so the information in it must be current!

 

Despite talking about it and being aware of it, they have completely ignore the practicalities of an outlier review. What the program does now, if a guest gives 5 stars in the categories and a 3 or less overall, the system will prompt them and ask if they wish to amend that overall star rating.

 

The system is now designed to pick up 'mistakes'......... but totally ignore revenge reviews.

Isn't that just typical!

 

Hope you are safe and well in London Huma!

 

Cheers........Rob

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Robin4 

 

I'm well thanks, apart from the truly miserable weather we'e having here. How are you?

 

Yes, I remember that outlier review thing being designed to pick up mistakes, but honestly, how often that that scenario happen? I've only had once incidence that I'm aware of, when a guest gave me 4 stars but seemed so delighted. I asked her for feedback as to why and she was astonished as she was sure she had clicked 5 stars. Airbnb did change it once the guest confirmed that, but this outlier system wouldn't pick up the difference between 4 and 5 stars.

 

What annoys me though is that when this was first announced, it was supposed to be in response to so many hosts' concerns that one unfair and really low rating could impact them significantly, even if all their other reviews were 5 stars, but it's not a solution or a response to that concern at all. It's kind of an insult to our intelligence if they think we will see it that way.

 

Oh well. Luckily I haven't had a retaliatory review in a long time, but to be honest, I don't usually ask guests to pay for small damages, even though these happen frequently. I can imagine it would be more of an issue if I did as, I have found in the past that if a guest doesn't tell you themselves that they've broken something, they tend to get very hostile when you bring it up.

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Darien1 

Hi Darien, you have raised an interesting question but my feeling is there is a bit more to it than the information you have given.

With 78+ hosting reviews it would take considerable more than 1 three star overall to drop you to a 4.7 rating.....and you are currently in a general search showing an overall rating of 4.9!

If with 80 reviews, a 3 star and possible a couple of 4 stars I would expect your overall rating to currently sit on a 4.87. The more reviews you get the less effect one bad review will have but, the only thing that would drop you from a perfect 5 to a 4.7 with 1 three star review would be if you had a total of only 10 reviews.....which is not your situation. 

My only explanation, if the information you have given is correct you should refresh your app if you are using a phone, or delete your history and cookies if you are using PC.......make your computer search for current web information instead of being lazy and pulling it out of your cache.

 

Your guests adore you and your wife Darien, and you are in no fear of losing your superhost status, you are fine hosts!

 

Two years ago one of our fine contributors here  @Ute42,  posted the following thread on how the rating system works. I hope Ute will not mind if I include the link to her thread.....it is worth reading and will give you a better insight into how Airbnb arrives at their host ratings.

 

https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Host-Circle/Guantanamo/m-p/754779#M6666

 

All the best Darien , keep doing what you are doing mate, and don't worry about losing that Superhost badge, it's safely in your pocket!

 

Cheers.......Rob 

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Suffern, NY
Level 2

Hi Rob / @Robin4

 

Thanks for the reply. I get what you are saying about the Overall Rating on all reviews, however for the Superhost Status, they only look at the Overall Rating for the past 12 months. Even if you go out to the beginning of the current quarter - 7/1/2020, you are talking about 11 reviews. We get a lot of long-term stays so one bad review from a short term stay could significantly hurt us.

 

If you look at 2020 by itself, we have had 7 guests with 216 nights booked. In 2019 we had 282 nights booked and 17 guests (although we did get extra reviews because of one guest that had 3 separate stays). The longer we use Airbnb, the more we increased our minimum stay requirement to avoid constantly cleaning the place; now with COVID-19 we require a minimum 5 night stay.

 

My point is that if the Superhost criteria looks back over the past 12 months, then one 3 start Overall Rating could bring me down from 4.9 to 4.7 and affect only the Superhost standing because of the low amount of guests with longer stays.

 

Darien

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Darien1 

I understand what you are saying Darien but your ranking is tied to your overall performance not just the last 12 months. You will note assessments are conducted every quarter and your ranking continues from one quarter to the next.

Although I list on two platforms, I currently have 333 Airbnb reviews. The breakdown of those reviews is as follows....

309......5 star reviews

23........4 star reviews

1 ..........3 star review

At the start of the Jan/March quarter my ranking was 4.94.

In that quarter I received 3 x 4 star reviews and my one and only 3 star review .

My ranking is currently 4.92, so that quarter lowered me from a 4.94 to a 4.92.......by your reasoning Darien, I should have been 'waterboarding'......... but that poor quarter for me has seen a negligible drop in my overall ranking.

I am sure the only thing that re-sets is the number of nights and trips for each assessment period!

 

Cheers........Rob   

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Suffern, NY
Level 2

@Robin4,

 

I don't mean to drag this conversation on, but I think it's important that we all understand how the Superhost qualification is determined. The information posted on Airbnb's support page states that the Overall Ranking and the Superhost Ranking are calculated differently. My Overall Ranking based on all the reviews I ever received is 4.9. My Superhost Ranking based on the last 12 months is 4.7.

 

Here is a quote from the Airbnb Support Page: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1319/how-do-i-track-my-superhost-status

 

Superhost assessment

"Superhost assessment begins on the 1st day of the following months: January, April, July, and October. The assessment will take into account your performance over the preceding 12 months, but you don't need to have hosted for the full 12 months to qualify. While the assessment begins on the 1st, it can take up to 5 days for you to find out your Superhost status. We'll notify you about whether you gained, retained, or lost Superhost status by email.

It may take up to 1 week for your Superhost badge to appear on your listing page. This process is automated, which means we can't update your status in between assessment dates. Unfortunately, our customer service team can't make changes to your performance if you didn’t qualify for Superhost.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to continue to meet the program requirements to maintain your Superhost status on the next assessment date."

 

And Here: https://www.airbnb.com/resources/hosting-homes/a/answers-for-superhosts-about-the-july-superhost-ass...

"For current Superhosts, the July 2020 Superhost assessment will waive all four of the Superhost criteria that could potentially be affected by disruptions caused by COVID-19:

  • Maintaining a cancellation rate of 1% or less
  • Hosting at least 10 stays in the past year (or 100 nights over at least three stays for hosts with longer-term reservations)
  • Keeping an average rating of 4.8 or higher based on reviews from your guests in the past year
  • Responding to 90% of new booking-related messages within 24 hours"

 

As you can see it clearly states that you have to have a 4.8 or higher rating based on the last 12 months in order to qualify for Superhost status.

 

I was told by Airbnb that it is being reviewed after I threw their article back at them about how they were supposed to do something about outlier reviews (thanks for the link). I am not going to hold my breath waiting for them to respond. 

 

Darien

Re: One unreasonable review may affect Superhost Status

in
Woodchurch, United Kingdom
Level 2

I am quite new to hosting and have had a consistent 5* review until this morning. My recent guests left me a glowing review in every respect but then gave me 4*. They also gave me some private feed back with regard to equipment in the house, which is useful. I don’t see how my hosting could be improved, based on their review and am really upset and disappointed as I am hoping to achieve Superhost status soon and this will have an impact. (A previous guest also sent me a glowing review but it was too late to post it).Maybe they just don’t award 5* to anyone. Can I write privately and thank them for their review, asking what more I could have done?

Tiggy

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