I am starting this conversation to bring attention to the MANY flaws in the Air BNB guest review system and the impact these flaws have on us as hosts.
Id like to start off by saying that I love the entire rest of the platform, app etc and have nothing but good things to say about it all.
The Guest review system and Air BNBs complete lack of concerns for my complaints regarding have been EXTREMELY frustrating. I have called in several times now to outline and detail these flaws, have received the exact same “non response” every time and there’s been absolutely no follow up or changes whatsoever.
I will list the issues below in short form. I can go into much more detail on all of them and add ideas for solutions if Air BNB is actually interested in hearing it.
Please add to this conversation so that MAYBE they will actually address the issues.
1) Guests do not have to justify all or any of their reviews in any way at all. Explanation should be required.
2) Guests do not have to raise concerns by contacting a host during their stay which would give us an opportunity to address them. Instead they can say nothing the entire time and blast you in a public review.
3) Guests can outright lie in their reviews and as long as it doesn’t violate Air BNBs conduct policy Air BNB will not do anything about it.
4) Guests can leave 5 stars in every individual category and then a 4 star overall rating (for no particular reason) and it ends up being the 4 star that goes on our record. It SHOULD BE averaged across the categories
5) Air BNB offers no help to hosts when it comes to explaining to guests exactly how the review system works and exactly how much it affects us as hosts.
6) The “Value” category should not be a part of it that affects us as hosts at all. I have absolutely no control over what a person perceived as good or bad “value”
7) When guests have negative feedback that is Air BNBs fault or there own because they don’t know how to use the site/app properly it can potentially harm our ratings but there is no contingency for that. (I had a guest claim that claims he didn’t receive any checkin instructions in an email and also didn’t have access to them in the app who then waited until they arrived and were already angry to inform of me of this)
8) When trying to address these issues with Air BNB they have been incredibly unhelpful with no promises of addressing any of these issues or of a follow up of any kind at all.
Hi there @Brock11 ,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on several Airbnb elements, it's always great to hear feedback. I wonder, for each of your points, could you provide some suggestions for improvements and alternate ways of working to improve the hosting experience?
Yes I have a list of very easy ways to deal with these simple long-standing issues and I’ve laid them out over the phone as well as in the “feedback” form several times. No one seems to care. When I have more time I will lay them out here again.
Ultimately I can say this needs to be taken seriously or Air BNB will be losing business like the lady that commented below.
Some facts: Airbnb has over 6 million homes, and is by large the biggest platform. Marriott, the largest hotel chain, has 1 million worldwide. If you believe that anything anyone says here makes a difference... think again. The number of readers of these posts is negligibly small. 99.999% of hosts do not bother checking these posts.
Easy answer which I agree
They do not give the host any leverage,had a problem last week,lost my super host 3 months.
What ever they say “The person you talk to is not in you home” & I did ask “How many of your telephone people have had on field experience in hosting ( well as you expect never got a reply).
Problem is the “bigger they are the harder they fall”,I been doing this for 8 years in that time the contact personal have become inexperienced of take the complaint ,they most probably in training been told the host is not as important as the customer,more customer than Hosts.
This is my view,I have pointed this out but to know avail.
And the guest have become worse not all,but I get the feeling that some of them think there Royalty my answer, book in a hotel and see what your paying .
then the ones that just find fault with everything.
Human nature when a couple got nothing else to do.
I had one couple,said we never come back twice to the same place . Any complaint regarding your stay? NO THEY SAID ( Here we go I thought,and yes there was the review,but Airbnb deleted it,
so not all bad.
There a few guys that work with you at Airbnb but in my experience not many.
With out prejudice .
@Brock11I agree with you on many of these points.
4) The 5 stars in every category and 4 stars overall particularly annoys me. Airbnb has said they're going to fix this, yet guests are still able to do it. @Stephanie the fix for this would be to fix it, as Airbnb have stated they're going to do (removing outlier reviews). This promise was made a year ago, and dozens of other changes have been made in this time.
5) Absolutely. Airbnb don't explain that if the guest chooses "Meets Expectations" for their rating, hosts can lose their Superhost and potentially be delisted. Ridiculous. Either they need to explain how it works, or tone down the punitive measures.
6) Totally agree with this. Along with Location, Value should be removed as a category. If the guest got what was promised to them and they were willing to pay the price, isn't that proof that Value is acceptable already? I'm cheaper than a motel room in my area, and at my place, guests get a kitchen, laundry facility, private yard and patio, etc. along with all of the standard stuff you'd get in a motel, yet I still lose a star here and there for value. What are people's expectations for a cost less than a motel with more amenities?
I'd add to this that it annoys me that guests are still able to review a host after they're charged for damage, which seems to result in retaliatory reviews pretty much across the board - which as you pointed out in point 3, Airbnb won't do anything about. Guests can lie their faces off about bugs, dirt, mold, etc. to try and get back at the host who had the audacity to recoup some money for damages done, and Airbnb doesn't seem to consider it a problem.
Yes I also agree with your last point. It’s blatantly silly.
Plus in reverse I think it’s a reason why guests don’t want to bring up an issue DURING their stay (that could then be easily and quickly rectified) because they’re worried about getting a bad review themselves.
I've had about 25% of my reviews being 4 stars and, of those, 90% were for ridiculous reasons. The 10% that were not, I paid close attention to the issues which were raised and tried to correct them. But for the others, I've come to the conclusion that some people just will not be happy no matter what they are provided and that there is little point arguing with them about why they gave only 4 stars.
Some people will say things like "it wasn't a hotel" or book the room, knowing full well the location and proximity to the city, then mark the rating down that the location was not good. I actually just had a pair of women from Germany, who I even offered to go and pick up their take-out for them at a local restaurant, and asked them several times (in German) if they needed anything else for their stay. They acted very nice, said everything was wonderful and then- four stars in every category, one category a three star, and four overall.
I have to remind myself these are strangers who I know for only two, maybe three days at a time, and there is no telling what they are really thinking.
How about just level the playing field??
a guest can have consistent 2* reviews and they are just fine to carry on their merry way as a “guest has positive reviews” for IB purposes*
whereas a host can be delisted at 4.5, looses SH at 4.8 even if their stats have been damaged by retaliatory reviews.
As a nearly 3 year host (SH 11 straight quarters), the review system is one reason why most of my business has been shifted to another platform.
*this per a recent CS convo, of course there are NO printed materials/guidelines to actually tell hosts what is really going on behind the curtain.
Hi @Brock11 Every point you have raised has been raised MANY MANY times in the past and even when CS gets involved in the conversations NOTHING happens,
SH status still gets lost , listings still get removed, Lies still get told by guests, Hosts still get belittled by ABB and some of their rude CS people .................and the beat goes on
Its easier to not review a bad guest then their review dosnt get printed either, OR put an honest review to warn other hosts and cop whatever comes your way.
Have a great day ............ DONT WORRY..BE HAPPY
@Lynette57That's not true regarding reviews not being published... reviews get published when the other party completes a review, or after 14 days, whichever comes first. You can't stop a bad review by not reviewing the guest. You should always review guests honestly.
I assumed they must have been seeing as they are so ridiculously obvious.
I get the same bs lip service every time I call in to complain. They literally just don’t seem to care at all.
I assumed that wasn’t true but wish it was. I started avoiding reviewing potentially bad guests just in the hope that they wouldn’t review me. But of course if you review too few they also dock you
@Lynette57, I am surprised you don't know how reviews work given your experience as a host. Reviews are posted regardless of whether the other party has left one. It's just that you can't SEE your guest's review until you've left one yourself or until 14 days has passed (at which point you can no longer leave one).
What is more alarming for me though is that you are implying that you don't review bad guests. As I've said over and over on this forum, we hosts need to have each other's backs (because Airbnb certainly doesnt). We hosts are all we have for support and protection against bad guests. Your failure to review bad guests means you are paving the way for them to book with other hosts who will be completely unaware of who they are accepting. Please, for all our sakes, review ALL guests honestly!
The biggest problem with trying to “capture” bad guests is that a lot of the time you don’t even realize they were bad guests until you read their review and find it to be ignorant, picky, false etc and then obviously you’ve already left theirs