I recently received a 3 star rating with 4s and 5s in the sub categories. The guest had no issues with the accommodations. The entire review was "Thank you". This should not be possible. Yet, it is and Airbnb refuses to remove the review even though it makes no sense and serves no value. Both my super host status and my listing are in jeopardy. I am now left to stereotype this guest to avoid future re-occurrences. Any booking requests from a guest with this profile will be informed that I have been experiencing problems with guests fitting their profile. They will be asked directly if they will be engaging in this behavior. If I do not get the assurances I require, they will be declined. I am venting here because Airbnb makes such self destructive decisions. It makes no sense that a guest can destroy a host and/or their listing without justification due to nothing more than ignorance on understanding of how the rating system is used against a host. It is easy to program a check in the rating system to prevent people from giving a low overall rating with high ratings on sub categories. Hopefully, while we are waiting for that to happen, a competitor will arrive on the market. One can only hope and pray.
All hosts who have been doing this a while receive what we feel are unjustified reviews. Recently we had a guest walk into our home and said, "Another crappy mistake on my part" and gave an according review. Meanwhile, same house with nothing changed, a different group arrived and it's "OMG!!!" and a great review. Just a like everything in life, everyone sees things a little different.
How we respond to those reviews is even more important. In your case, this guest did nothing to hurt your business as your average star rating remains very high. Quite frankly, no one would even have known the guest left less than five stars if you had not said it in your response. As a potential guest, I would have thought nothing of his review, yet, unfortunately, your written public response would turn me away.
I think there are lessons for all of us here. First, we are not robots who think alike and, second, sometimes we just need to sit back and take a deep breathe before responding.
Good luck in your homes. About three more reviews and this one will be on page two and forgotten.
Tim & Holly, thank you. In my experience, it takes about a year for a 3 to "go away". I have managed to identify a profile that is going to give you a bad rating not matter what. They know before they book. If I outright decline these people, airbnb will punish me. Therefore, my intent is to turn them away before they book. These people know who they. They know what they are doing and now they know I know who they are.
I have another place that was getting a lot 4s due to the road noise. I stated in my listing that there is significant road noise and if it will bother you, then my place is not for you. But they kept coming anyway and giving me that 4 star. Finally, I stated that if the road noise would prevent you from giving a 5 star on the over all rating to please not book with us. At first, i got reviews with "we managed to deal with road noise", to "the road noise wasn't that bad", but 5s on the over all rating. I was very happy with that. Shortly after that, no mention of road noise and no more 4 stars on over all stay because of road noise! Now this house is constantly booked and doing extremely well.
There is no reason to take this kind of abuse. Airbnb is not going to help stop it. It is up to the hosts. I don't want every Tom, **bleep**, and Harry looking to book. I only want the guests that make it worth my while. If Airbnb keeps this up, they will lose the good hosts. Once the good hosts are gone, the guest will leave as Airbnb gets a bad reputation.
I have the same issue with a certain group. Older guests do not like my taste. I have a quirky sense of humor and love funky art and accent pieces. I’ve noticed my 4s mostly come from people over a certain age who have never used Airbnb before me. At first I took it personally but then realized you aren’t going to make everybody happy all the time. Some people go into every situation looking for the negative.
Hi Stephanie. Right on the money. I have been doing this for 6 years and, with very few exceptions, the only 4 stars I ever get are from old people ( I am an old person myself) who think that only the 4 Seasons deserves 5 stars but who are too cheap to go there or unhappy people who want to spread the bad news. I don't decline the old people, but I watch out carefully when they come. There is really not much you can do about it. On the other hand, I have booked Airbnbs that are totally misrepresented but, for example, have instructions that say something like " I am going to give you a 5 star and expect the same." Really. Is this a great country or what?
Just want to add this is a big issue for me as I rarely will even pay attention to anything less than 5 star ratings as a consumer! So that stuff matters...On the other hand, nobody seems to read ANYTHING i have written within the listing so whatever!
@Esther13 Before Airbnb changes its rating and review system, sooner or later we hosts will face guests like the one you encountered. We have to grow our skin thick as mentioned by a Superhost in her post.
We really can do nothing about the unjustified reviews, retaliatory reviews, and bad ratings due to a fingering mistake etc. Just yesterday and today I saw three posts all about receiving a review which is unreasonable. I urge all hosts to send complaints and feedback to Airbnb. Hopefully they could do something.
There are many issues with Airbnb platform. The review system is the most controversial one.
But what happens when u get a 3 and 4 same month , from issue out of your control and you lose your super host status , like where I am at now. Arguing with Airbnb NOW after 3 years of SH status
I'm facing the same thing. I got a negative review of someone who said my place wasn't clean, but they also left the place a mess. I'm not sure what they found dirty about my apartment, but rather than reach out to me during the stay, they poured baking soda all over the bathroom floor and then left the negative review. My gut instinct was just to ignore it because I had plenty of other reviews saying how clean the apartment was, but I just got word from ABB that my superhost status has been taken away and will be re-evaluated in October. While I understand that negative reviews will eventually get buried and more positive reviews will boost my overall star rating, but October seems a while to wait for them to reevaluate my status. I understand the odd negative review affecting you for a little bit, but perhaps they could reevaluate more frequently.
Jennifer. I believe that every host is fiercely protective of their product, but, what may seem unjustified to you, believing that you deserved 5 stars, did not seem worthy of 5 stars to your guest. If you log onto any review platform - whether it be restaurants,hotels, events etc, you will always read a very varied and public range of reviews. No-one gets it 100% right every time. As a host, I believe you have to simply take it on the chin and aim to go that further bit to please your next guests. Catering for the general public in the service industry can be pretty cut throat- but, it goes with the territory. Just don't take it so personally!
Paul, thanks for "talking me off the ledge!" lololol You're right 100%
Its just hard "on the chin" when it is so petty and untrue. A perfectionist like me
will find it impossible NOT to respond to any negative review OR the chance to
Esther, I've been in the rentals business for 25 years, long before the internet, yet it still rankled when I got a 4-star review after 50 or so 5-stars, so I understand your anguish. However, as someone has said above, it'll soon get buried beneath future 5-star ones. One poor review isn't going to threaten your business. In fact, you could say it adds credibility as there'll always be a Mr. Grumpy come to stay, it's just a matter of time.
There's a clear division between people still in work and retired people. People in work look forward to their holiday as a special break from the daily routine so they are usually thrilled to stay. You'll always get a great review from them. Retired people may go on several holidays a year, so for them it's almost routine. They get obsessive about the TV, frantic if they can't get CNN. They are often timid drivers and hate the narrow, winding roads. They are clumsy and break things or can't get the washing machine to work. Some are so determined not to appear old fashioned that they worship new tech and refuse to read the printed word, like directions for arrival (so get lost in the woods near here) or the house book (so can't work the TV).
That's not to say, all retired people make appalling guests. I've had some wonderful ones stay, many who even return. But you will inevitably get the others, and there's nothing you can do to please them.
Bob, you make good points. Believe it or not, we have never had any experiences like those you mentioned with the seniors. In fact, we offer seniors a discount because we like them so much. The problem is with a specific subset of seniors in the US that I have managed to peg. This group knows before they arrive that they are going to give a low rating. I can guarantee you that this guest plans to return. We get a tremendous amount of repeat guests. The best advice I ever got from the community center was on people who ask for a discount. Since I offer a discount to seniors, I left with the problem of the worse being mixed in with the best; those few bad apples.