I would like to see some needed changes in the policies about reviews:
1. Allow edits to reviews in obvious cases. I made a typo and used the word "not" instead of the word "now" and was not allowed to correct it and made it sound negative. I could not change it nor delete it. This is not sensible at all. My recent typo was in the Public Response section and I was trying to tell people about a positive change made in response to guests comments, but now it's not correct but the opposite.
2. If there is an issue with the guests and a deposit claim is made, then the reviews should be instantly disabled. Guests routinely deny or severely downplay damages and get vindictive because of claims, even justified minor ones. The guest then attacks in retaliation to the claim. This should never be allowed to happen. I recently had a guest that left me a gushingly happy note about what a great stay they had, then once I found a door dent, and stained upholstery and made an uber reasonable and reduced claim, they fumed and left a negative review and made just straight out false claims. I was able to have them removed, but that should not be a judgement call - a claim should auto-disable reviews.
3. You should be able to remove negative reviews if mutually agreed. I had a guy that broke a wall mirror, left some pieces on the floor and then denied it because he said it never happened. - Well come to find out that he let a friend stay there while he was literally out of town (during the booked time) and said "his guest" must have done it. First off - it's a violation to have post-booking additional guests. After my scathing review, I decided to cut him some slack after he profusely repented. I was not allowed to and had to tell him that his Airbnb guest days were probably over even though I had agreed to retract. I think positive changes to reviews when agreed upon by the two parties shold be allowed. You should be able to at least delete the reviews on both sides by deleteing and clicking a check box to get the other sides approval. That should be cool. Sometimes tempers flare and even if justified (mine was), repentance should mean something and Airbnb should not impede remediation.
So if you are concerned about a bad review you could make a claim on the Deposit and block the review?
I did not realize that I had an option to block a review. If that's true, then that could be a good tool. I suppose one issue might be with the window of time between assessing a guest move out/need for deposit claim and me blocking reviews. Once a review is made, game over.
@Wayne your suggestions are excellent, and are exactly how I would set things up... if everyone were as honest and reasonable as you are.
I think the reason they do not implement suggestion 3: to be able to remove reviews by "mutual" agreement is because this could happen:
There are already lots of attempts at extortion even under the current setup. But since no one can change or remove reviews, once the reviews are posted, the attempts at extortion will end. (Once the bad review is up and unchangeable, the dishonest person has no leverage.)
But if the reviews *could* be taken down, the window of opportunity for extortion goes on and on.
Actually, now that I think about it, being able to "edit" reviews allows for the same type of extortion (if the edit is allowed to happen after they are publicly posted.)
Well first - the easy rebuttal is for suggestion #2 - the editing provision. This is for grammatical errors, which was the case for me. There was nothing at all in the change request which was directed towards the guest. I was making an informational statement to all readers. Those should be allowed and there is no basis there for extortion.
The #3 one, I can see what you're saying, however policy can be made conditional. How would a guest or host know that they can pay to have a negative review removed? There would have to be some form of communication. I always request communication be made on the Airbnb messaging. If someone offers to remove a bad review for money, then that could be good enough for Airbnb to honor a request by the solicited side to have the reviews removed on both sides. These situations have got be on the order of maybe .5% of all bookings or even less? What happens is policy is made to address the tiniest percentage of cases at the expense a larger percentage of ethical Airbnb'ers. Those that extort wth their reviews can also show a history of such - dropping bad reviews and/or leaving outlying negative reviews for hosts that otherwise have nothing but 4-5 stars for 2 years (like me :)), and could be banned from Airbnb for their malicious actions.
I guess the overarching point is - There are several valid reasons to modify/delete reviews and I would appreciate it if Airbnb could make allowances for those situations and not just allow one-shot, immutable reviews.
Sadly modifyng the review and ratings system are one area that thousands have suggested and complained about, but it seems to be one area that Airbnb will not budge or even consider.
modification would require someone to manually read the old and new review and approve it. Otherwise someone could just change up the content not just a a word or a missing misspelled name. (An airbnb host submitted a review from his iphone and it spelled checked "Willard" to "Wasted".... and thats how my review looks... "Wasted was great guest.... " and I don't even drink.hmph!)
Airbnb is probably concerned about a nasty blind siding retalitory edits getting through. Remember its double blind reviews to prevent retalitory reviews. maybe edit can be approved by the guest/host so Airbnb does not need to hire folks to read.