Removing a guest review

in
Cuglieri, Italy
Level 5
536 Views

Hi everybody,

 

I just got my first bad review. In a way this was no surprise, after receiving an average rating of 4.97 over 143 reviews, the law of chance surely would sooner or later ensure that either we slipped up or we got a mentally disturbed guest. However, one of the lies in this bad review particular disturbed me. We have suffered wildfires in Sardinia. Fortunately, our houses and the village itself have not been affected, nor have the beaches. It is the olive groves and fields around the village that have suffered. Yet, the guest wrote in the review that “The damage caused by the wildfires is enormous and all the nearby beaches got burnt down”. This is obviously going to turn guests away from us and from other hosts in the area, if guests are comparing the reviews of different houses. I wrote to Airbnb Support and gave them links to where the government has published satellite photos of the extent of the fire over time. It shows that the fire was never anywhere near the beaches.  I also formulated what Airbnb's policies the reviewer had violated, quoting directly from Airbnb's website:

1. Reviews should not contain “Content that refers to circumstances entirely outside of another’s control”. A wildfire is without doubt beyond the control of a host.

2. The reviewer must “ensure that reviews reflect the honest, first-hand experiences.” It is demonstrably dishonest and not first-hand to write that "all the nearby beaches got burnt down”.

 

The response of Airbnb Support? "The review is not offensive, does not include discrimination, and we do not have any proof of an existent extortion." Indeed, the review is none of those things, but those were not the points I was making. I clearly referred to other Airbnb policies concerning removal of reviews. After some back and forth, I could not persuade "Andrei" from Support to discuss the issue logically, and he did not reply to my last comments. So what to do now? Is there any way of escalating the issue to a higher level?

 

 

6 Replies

Re: Removing a guest review

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Jonathan47 :

 

 I wonder if your local tourist bureau, Chamber of Commerce, or whatever you have in Italy would be interested in suggesting that Airbnb might be liable for publishing false and defamatory information.

 

That ought to get someone’s attention.

 

How do you burn down a beach, anyway?

 

Thanks for publishing a thoroughly detailed review, by the way. I would never consider renting to someone like that.

 

 I don’t know what the laws are like in Italy regarding libel but it might be worth checking.

 

In the USA the alleged victim must prove that:

1.) The statement was false 

2.) The statement was made maliciously with intent to cause material damage to the victim 

3.) The statement did in fact cause the victim to be materially damaged.

 

You have #1 covered but #2 is always a problem. “I’m just incredibly stupid and I thought it was funny” is an effective defense.

 

You would have a problem proving damages as well.

 
In Panama the law is much more liberal and you can be sued for telling the ugly truth about someone if they can prove damages.

 

”Yes, I’m a thoroughly corrupt politician and I have a lengthy criminal history but YOU DIDNT HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT!  That caused me to lose the election and I could have stolen a whole lot more!”

 

GUILTY.

 

In the USA the Better Business Bureau is quite effective in getting businesses to respond.

 

A certified letter from an attorney to the CEO also might elicit a response, or if you have something like Small Claims Court in Italy, for a small fee you can serve the CEO with a summons.

 

That would make his day really special.

 

Re: Removing a guest review

in
Cuglieri, Italy
Level 5

Well, you probably have a point, but it seems like too much bother at this stage. Better to move on...

Re: Removing a guest review

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Jonathan47  You can always start over, just present it as if you are asking for the first time, in hopes you get a more helpful rep next time.

 

I read the review and your response- I have to say I think you could have written a much more useful response. What you wrote is far too long, talks far too much about the guest's behavior. 

What you needed to get across with a response was to correct the misinformation about the fires for future guests, who aren't the least bit interested in the behavior of your past guests, so will likely not bother to read that lengthy response at all.

 

A very brief response along the lines of "The statements about the fires and devastation in this review are completely false- the fire situation is...(whatever it was or is). These were problematic guests during tneir stay in many ways, who apparently felt that misrepresenting the situation in order to cost us future bookings was somehow justified."

 

I'm straining my brain to understand how a fire can "burn down the beach" 🙂 As far as I'm aware, sand, rocks, and water don't catch fire. 

 

 

 

 

Re: Removing a guest review

in
Cuglieri, Italy
Level 5

You are probably right I should have kept it briefer. Lesson learned, if there will be next time.

Re: Removing a guest review

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

Hello @Jonathan47 in Italy, Commonsense prevails, fires have always happened in the world for ever and a day as matches and cigarettes tossed out of vehicles by those who are reckless have often been the cause of them.

 

@Francescais this something you would be able to help resolve?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Re: Removing a guest review

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

@Jonathan47  When replying to others you may like to use the @ key so others know you are responding here in ABB CC.

 

They are both lengthy Reviews and replies, for the benefit of all it's best to think of subsequent actions and Hosts/ Guests and others who may be able to read your listing.

 

I include a piece off line in my listing for others to think before they write..One can always tell who has read it by their words or actions

 

 

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