Revenge reviews

in
Andalusia, Spain
Level 2
600 Views

Dear hosts, 

 

I know this topic has been discussed numerous times which is actually what makes me wonder why hasn't it been solved? The oldest posts I've found with a quick search are from 2017. I've read some crazy stories about a house being completely destroyed by having an illegal party and Airbnb still didn't remove a bad revenge review. My story is nothing compared to this but this subject needs to be addressed again and again until there is a solution!

 

My guest that left a couple of weeks ago stayed only 5 days and left the apartment in a very bad state. Instead of a normal 1 h turnover cleaning it required a 2,5 h deep cleaning. There were multiple trash bags left in the apartment, the fridge was full of food leftovers, the sink was clogged with dirty water and a mountain of dishes, one burned pan, the cutlery drawer and the dish shelves were full of dirty dishes. Also, the cabinets, the walls and the doors of the studio apartment were full of some sort of blue liquid from top to bottom. I sent a payment request for 50 euros which would cover the pan and the extra cleaning fee for the cleaner and the guest refused to pay extra because "I've already paid for the cleaning" referring to the turnover cleaning that was charged together with the stay. I tried to explain to him that it only includes the bed linen and towel rental plus disinfection and light cleaning but not a mess that he created causing my cleaner to be late for another job and lose the third due to this. The guest would have paid for the pan but not the cleaning as he wanted me to compromise and basically forgive the extra cleaning. I don't think I should tolerate someone not respecting the check out rules or the property altogether. 

 

When I accepted the booking request the guest didn't have a single review and was just registered in the same month. As we are all first-timers at some point I don't mind taking this kind of booking but due to Airbnb's strict "we don't remove reviews" policy, I am forced to start declining them as there are no guarantees that it's not going to be another messy guest that will refuse to take responsibility for his behaviour. After the checkout, I noticed that one review appeared and it had a low rating especially in the cleaning. So clearly the guest doesn't understand how to behave in an Airbnb. I decided to sacrifice myself and leave another review as a warning to the future hosts but this was a mistake and now I will have to suffer the consequences. The guest replied with a revenge review of 2-star general review and 1 star in the separate sections. I have never gotten anything less than 4-5 stars so this is completely false and a clear case. But not to @Airbnb. I complained and got a phone call saying that they have a very strict policy about removing the reviews and it's not possible. 

 

I find it ridiculous that they can't look at the consistency in the quality of our hosting and remove reviews that are clearly revenge for the money claim. There should be more flexibility with these kinds of cases where there are payment requests and some irregularities involved. Also reviewing time should be much shorter so that we could start the claiming process after the reviewing period. Maybe these issues would be less frequent. 

I'm very disappointed. I've been a super host since 2019 when I've started hosting and now this first and the only bad review has completely destroyed it. For me, this is my only income but apparently, we haven't suffered enough during the pandemic so let's take another hit...

 

eltzub
11 Replies

Re: Revenge reviews

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Elena3123  Sorry you had such a bad guest. Airbnb has made it pretty clear that they have no interest in removing revenge reviews. 

 

I don't understand your statement, "decided to sacrifice myself and leave another review as a warning to the future hosts but this was a mistake and now I will have to suffer the consequences. The guest replied with a revenge review of 2-star general review and 1 star in the separate sections."

 

The guest can't see the review you leave before they write theirs, so they can't leave a review that is revenge for the review you wrote. The guest simply assumes that you left a bad review, because they were already approached about their bad behavior.

 

A strategy some hosts use if they suspect a guest is going to leave a terrible review, is to wait until the review window has almost closed on day 14 to submit your review. That way by the time the guest sees a notification that you have left a review, it will be too late for them to leave one.

 

Of course this only works if the guest hasn't already left a review. If they have, there's no point in waiting to leave one yourself.

 

Re: Revenge reviews

in
Placencia, Belize
Level 10

"So clearly the guest doesn't understand how to behave in an Airbnb."

 

That guest doesn't have a clue how to behave anywhere: Airbnb can't guarantee human behavior. 

 

The trick to successful hosting (i.e. that is fun) is picking from the right quadrant in a 2-dimentional plane which covers  human behavior which ranges from devil to angel and from barbarian to well-behaved. Especially when a host offers an 'affordable' accommodations in which everyone at large qualifies to stay in it.

Re: Revenge reviews

Level 7

Re: Revenge reviews

in
North Runcton, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Elena3123 , "I am forced to start declining them as there are no guarantees that it's not going to be another messy...." Unfortunately if you decline a booking you will be penalised for it. The declined dates will be blocked on your calendar so no one else can book, and if you are a super host it will count against it. More reasons why Airbnb favour guests far more than hosts. Its a silly game that we all have to play, we just have to learn to play it our way. 

Re: Revenge reviews

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Robbie54  That is incorrect. Declining does count against your Acceptance stats but the dates are not blocked so you can't rebook them. 

 

You are confusing cancellations with declines, which seems really strange as I see you are experienced hosts.

Re: Revenge reviews

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Robbie54 @Sarah977 

 

I believe your calendar is only blocked if you select certain reasons for declining, e.g. the dates are not available. I usually select 'my listing is not suited to this guest's needs' or however it is phrased.

 

Whenever dates have been blocked after a decline, I've been able to go into the calendar and unblock them easily. Still, I haven't had to do that in a while, so am not 100% sure if that's still the case.

Re: Revenge reviews

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Robbie54 @Elena3123 

 

Declining guests doesn't affect your Superhost status as the Acceptance Rate is not part of the Superhost criteria (those are only overall star rating, response rate, number of stays/nights and cancellations).

 

Airbnb has set a target for Acceptance Rate at 88% or above, but that is fairly meaningless. Two of my three listings are currently under that target and I still got Superhost status this month. I have also spoken to Airbnb CS about this a number of times and they assured me that the Acceptance Rate is not that important. They will only take action when a host is repeatedly turning guests away, not if it is only occasionally.

 

Where declines might affect you is by pushing your listings down the search results. So, it is better to avoid declining if you can:

 

1. Never hit decline on an enquiry. You only need to message the guest back within 24 hours.

2. If it's a booking request, try to convince the guest to withdraw if you can (this has worked for me the majority of the time). If they don't respond, wait until the 24 hour deadline is almost up and only then hit decline if you still haven't heard back. 

 

At the end of the day though, it is much better to decline a potentially problematic guest than to host them, incur damage, rule breaking and a revenge review. One very low star rating can destroy your Superhost status, whereas a decline isn't going to hurt you that much at all.

Re: Revenge reviews

in
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Level 2

Totally with you there, had those situations also, but now it seems reviews are even harder to remove. See my current post. Have a great day

Re: Revenge reviews

in
Bissone, Switzerland
Level 2

Yes I have the same problem. It took 8 hours to clear up the mess of baby **bleep** and .. etc. I was amazed to see the mess left. Then they wrote the house was dirty. I was upset but nothing to do. I decided not to write a bad report for these people but I wish I had, although I think would also be contraproductive to see  that I complained. I reluctantly accept guests with no reviews if they have joined Airbnb for a few years. If face I ask them to cancel and not me to decline.

Anne

Re: Revenge reviews

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Anne1699 

Anne you always have to review the guest! You can put your head in the sand like an ostrich and hope that any issues will just disappear without affecting you but, it's pretty universal, if the guest is not happy about you they are going to tell the world.

The trick is to be diplomatic, don't stoop to the level of insults, try to get your point across without being personally vilifying! 

In my 6 years of hosting I have only had to write 3 bad reviews. That's not to say I have only had 3 bad guests....I would average one guest in 50 who didn't impress me! I have had used baby nappies and condoms left under the bed......The guest who took a dozen blocks of chocolate from the restock cupboard when they left.....another who left the bed with blood and alcohol stained sheets.....broke a chair and left the toilet filthy! But I am not going to publicly cane these guests, I will just tell them in the private feedback that their behaviour could have been better and future hosts might not be as charitable as I have been! In other words, as a guest, lift your game! 

But if I have to write a bad review I will try to do it as diplomatically as possible. I had one guest who only stayed here for 3 hours out of a 2 day booking but created hell for us for the time she was here. She turned the cottage upside down, called me a creepy old man accusing me of spying on her because we did not pull our outside blinds down while she was roaming through our garden. She had severe mental issues but I needed to let the hosting community know what sort of hosting material she was. So this is the review I wrote of her.......

Anita Review 4.png

I got my point across without being too personally insulting.

Anne, you do have a duty to alert the hosting community when guests overtly take advantage of you but, by being diplomatic you at least retain the higher moral ground....and you retain the option of giving a qualified review response which should nullify the guests poor review in return !

 

Cheers.........Rob

Re: Revenge reviews

in
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 10

@Anne1699 Guests cannot read your review until after they have left on themselves OR when the review period is over (14 days from checkout) and by then it will be to late to write a revenge review - as it is no longer possible to leave a review. The review system is blind - you can’t read the guests reviews either. That is the only way the review system  makes sense - otherwise it would be difficult / to risky to write honest reviews. So always leave a factual, honest, non-emotional review of your guests to help your fellow hosts. 

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