Please read the following email sent to one of our fellow hosts from an Airbnb customer service representative regarding a GUEST having their upbeat review removed, apparently because the guest did not realise the review was public.
"Mercy E, Apr 23, 08:28 PDT:
Thank you for your response. I completely understand your concerns. I know that having more positive reviews helps you as a host.
Please know that if the review author contacted us and requested to remove the review, we need to remove it as per request.
Please note that this does not apply if the customer contacts Airbnb to request only the removal of a review left by other party. In this case, we need to follow our content policy here: airbnb.com/help/article/546.
I hope this helps, let me know if you need further assistance.
In the words of Lord Denning
"This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say that it cannot be right that these actions should go any further"
HA!! "if the review author contacted us and requested to remove the review, we need to remove it as per request."
I’ll try to use that in the future and lets see where it gets me!
I can see where this might be useful to a host especially if they left a nice review of the guest but the guest left them a poor one. I would promptly have my nice review removed. It would be the least I could do.
@Thomas1033 waaaaay ahead of you there. I’m just this moment considering a previous “nice” review I unwittingly left for an absolute twit who left me a poor review for location... because she thought New Zealand would be smaller than it was... finally, sweet sweet justice 🙂
Cormac, it is not as simple as that, When Bo contacted CX this is what they told him....and I quote....
"The CS said the guest didn't want to give out information that he was with his friend."
Cormac I went to great lengths in that thread to stress, never take 'guests as a couple' on face value!
In most instances we are not privie to their personal circumstances and the thing which I am finding annoying is everyone is getting stuck into CX over this.
The guest, for one reason or another thought he was giving the host Bo some nice private feedback........ Idiot yes, but that's what he thought. When the guest realized the world could see his comments he got onto CX, told them his problem, they respected his privacy and removed his review.
How can that possibly be seen as a failing on CX's part? I think they behaved entirely appropriately, they removed personal sensitive material from the public gaze!
Cormac, I have been a really vocal critic of Airbnb of late but I do have to give credit where it is due and I give them accolades for the way they have handled this.
I am sorry that Bo lost a nice review but if only the dic*head guest had not made a thing about 'My girlfriend and I" and just restricted his review to his own experience, none of this would ever have happened!
How many Host have been at a financial loss and their super host status put in jeopardy because of Airbnb’s refusal to remove an obviously vindictive review, based on this community forum quite a number it would appear?
The probability that the person that wrote this upbeat review, peers would come across this review and join up the dots is pushing probability to a new level!
While a vindictive review is seen by every person that intends to book the listing there reviewing.
Hence my allegation that the review system is being corrupted.
How about a Host wants a review removed because the Guest is a bare faced liar.
You are absolutely right Cormac, so many vindictive reviews stand out like beacons in ones hosting career....and I agree that is so wrong, they should be removed!
But the problem is....they don't cross any content boundaries! They are simply one users perception of another, and CX's hands are tied when it comes to perceptions! If you are going to grant one perception immunity, where do you draw the line, you open a hornets nest!
In this instance the guest gave too much information in his review....information that he did not want public. He contacted CX and wanted his review removed on the basis it invaded of his privacy rites, it disclosed too much about his personal circumstance. This is covered in the content policy!
I don't have any sympathy for the guest, Cormac, he's a bloody stupid goose, he made the mistake and volunteered stuff he should not have.....and you can say, well that's his stupid fault, put up with the consequences.
But lets put the boot on the other foot! What say you inadvertantly let something slip in a review of a guest that should not have and, if it stayed it would be a personal embarrassment to you. You would like to think Airbnb would support you and take care of your mistake.....wouldn't you?
And that's all I am saying Cormac, from where I stand, for once, CX did the right thing!
Heres the original thread:
The review was:
“Bo and XXX are really good hosts. My girlfriend and I were happy to stay at their place. Because They welcome us warmy and advised such nice places&restaurants in Copenhagen during our vacation for 2 days. Our room was clean and bright also it has a lot of possibilities including tv, free internet, Apple TV, towels, free drink, garden and welcome message like 5 stars hotel. We really enjoyed and had quality time at garden with lovely lights and wine. Thank for your kind hospitalty guys.”
I'd guess - and all our comments are guesses - that "My girlfriend and I were happy to stay at their place" contained untruths in the relationship or that there was ever a relationship or that it was a secret relationship, or the guy/girl should just never have been there? Nobody knows.
Its such a shame that @Bo lost his great review and the guest was an idiot.
To be fair to the guest.... In the review process where the review is written - nowhere does it state "This review will be made public after 14 days....". Unlike the private feedback which states something along the lines of "This feedback will be private between you and the host/guest..." Thats something which should be changed by ABB.
The only solution might be to host only ONE guest. They then cannot "violate another persons or entity's rights" in a review unless they mention their invisible friend, but that would just be unworkable for many.
So would it not just have been the simplest (and fairest) solution to edit the review to remove any mention of the girlfriend, and leave the rest as it is? Absolutely no need to deprive the host of a good review, just because the guest is up to whatever shenanigans he's got going on. Why should the host have to suffer the consequences for something entirely outwith their control?
@Susan17 Exactly. It's absurd that Airbnb has no editing policy for reviews. It should be a simple thing to remove a few words or a sentence that discloses personal information that the guest or host let slip inadvertently. There's zero reason why the entire review needs to be removed.
@Sarah977 And they removed Bo's 5 star rating too. So much for all the times they've told hosts that even when they've managed to have a crappy review removed for violating content guidelines, that there's no possible way to remove the accompanying 1 or 2 star rating.
@Susan17 @Sarah977 hey that’s a good point. I’ve read that answer enough times on these forums to know it’s their usual party line... people have reported being told that removing stars along with words wasn’t possible. This time they’ve removed the entire thing though... interesting.
Sometimes I wish I could get my paws on the Airbnb CS backend so I could test and fix the bloody thing... gimmie a month and an unlimited supply of English tea and I’m sure I could make some progress with it...
The lack of edit function though... it must be one of the biggest flaws. I have to admit, I’m not sure I believe that the functionality doesn’t exist. Call me cynical but, I know perfectly well that if Airbnb admitted it was possible to edit reviews, then they would be flooded with requests. This would likely lead to needing a whole new team of “review editor” staff, working full time with a giant digital broom to sweep up the mess in our review system.
Also, publicly admitting to the ability to edit review content likely opens up a few legal issues for Airbnb, with risk of more cases for liable damages. To combat this, Airbnb would need to build expensive automatic content monitoring like Facebook have had to do... so the costs go up and up. I know who will ultimately get the bill for costs like this too... can you guess? 🙂
PS: this is why I shouldn’t post first thing in the morning before my third cup of tea. It’s my most cynical time of day lol.
Interesting. I found this thread because my review as a guest was most certainly edited without my request or permission. Definitely makes me mistrust Airbnb’s reviews. So clearly they could’ve edited the parts this guest wished to omit.
I think that is a bit simplistic Susan, it could be that Bo's guest was not even supposed to be there in Bo's listing....who knows! These strange situations do crop up and mention of the guests 'side order' may not be the entire story!
I agree @Sarah977 that CX review editing should be possible....and it is!
I once had a couple here and the male guest's name was 'Cooper'...his wife and those around him called him, Koop!!
They were nice enough guests but when it came to review time....my fault for not checking but, good ol' spellchecker had changed his name from Koop to ......."It was lovely to have Lorraine and 'Poop' stay here.......! Horrified at my mistake we both got onto CX and they did agree that this could cause offense and they did change his name in the review back to...Cooper, for us!
So it can happen, editing by CX can be done!
But Susan we just don't know the depth to which this guest of bo's put himself in the....proverbial.
Look I am really critical of Admin lately.....last little bit of totally useless 'tinkering' has now showed up around the world! The booking calendar has disappeared from the 'Inbox messages'
I am totally convinced, for some reason which escapes me, they are making hosting as hard as they possibly can for us. These little changes make absolutely no sense, they just make doing our job more secretive, complicated and frustrating.
So I am seriously not a lover of company support at this moment but, in this particular instance I do feel they acted appropriately!