I just wrote my first negative review for a guest. Maybe I could have worded it a bit more diplomatically and done more writing between the lines (see the review below) but I wanted to be honest so that future hosts would not experience the same as I did. I took a chance on the guest as he had no previous reviews, and in the end wished I hadn't.
So, I left an honest review, with the understanding that the quest could not see my review until he wrote his - but he definitely saw mine, as he contacted me on whatsapp asking why I had written a negative review and then left an utterly horrible review as revenge. I bent overbackwards for this manipulative guest and although I didnt expect a perfect rating I am confident he would have written a better, more honest review had he not seen mine.
I thought the point of Airbnb is the honest reviews that promote both good hosts and good guests? How am I supposed to leave an honest, negative review that will help other hosts in the future if the guest can see my review first and will punish my listing by giving me a horrible rating?
Here's MY REVIEW:
"Bruno was a clean guest, but he did not communicate well about his needs. He was extremely sensitive to house dust and allergic to dogs and did not mention this beforehand, even though my listing clearly states that we have a dog in our apartment. Although the room was spotless before Bruno arrived, I had to remove our goose down blankets, re-wash all of the bedding, and remove the curtains (which are washed 2 times a year), and re-vacuum the entire room due to his allergies. Note that none of our other guests have had any issues whatsoever. As I work 60% and am also studying for my Masters degree this is a lot of extra work and I would have advised Bruno to find another, allergy-friendly listing if I had known this beforehand. In addition to this he became very unfriendly towards me when, during his stay, he contacted me last minute about a ride in my car (I had already arrived at home) and when he requested to check out later than the stated time on airbnb and I declined due to my work responsibilities (he requested 12:00 pm, and my Airbnb listing has a checkout at 09:00 am). In addition to other factors (e.g. crumbs in the bed) I would not recommend Bruno as a guest."
GUEST RESPONSE: "I can forget things like dust, bugs, noise, but what turned my bad experience into a "never again" was host´s bad attitude, dishonesty and cowardliness."
Accuracy feedback: Noise, WiFi
Cleanliness feedback: Dust, Pests
I think there's a major glitch in their review system. I recently had one of my reviews not show up on a guests profile. Her review shows up on mine, and there's a record of my review for her in my history, but neither of us can see it on her listing. Airbnb help was useless. They tell me that they can't look into another guests profile unless that guest contacts them (understandable), and they tell the guest that there's nothing wrong with her profile, and that the review went through perfectly.
Thanks, Steve and Jayne, good to know about the glitch you suffered. I will contact Airbnb help about my problem too - being that reviews are so crucial they should really make sure there are no glitches like this!
Valid point. They could have suspected you would leave a bad review, and pretended to have read it to see if you'd tip your hat.
I can't be sure, but it would be an odd coincidence that I got a whatsapp from him asking "Why did you leave me this comment?" right after posting my review, and then maybe an hour later getting his review...
bI know this is an old post but I've discovered that if previous hosts have clicked the "do not recommend this guest" button when you click it the guest will get a warning email from AirBNB saying that they need to shape up, similar to the warning emails they send to hosts who don't get all 5 stars.
The guest doesn't actually get to read your review, but they can easily figure out that you didn't leave them a good review because they got the message shortly after staying in your listing.
To prevent retaliation I now wait until the last day to leave reviews before leaving a negative review for a guest in the hopes that they won't have the time to write an unjustified bad review back
@Giulia297 Wow! I had no idea Airbnb sent messages to guests like this. Most of my guests have no idea that the host even rates them, can they see the stars they have been awarded when the review goes live, I have been told they cannot.
@Ange0 I don't believe guests can see stars. I know for sure they *cannot* see whether the host recommends them (thumbs up) or not (thumbs down). However when a guest reaches a certain number of thumbs down from hosts they may get notified and their ability to instant book may get rescinded. In theory it's anonymous who thumbs downed you but given that most guests don't travel that much they will be able to figure it out easily.
@Giulia297 Thank you. It's always mind-boggling, the disconnect between the information the the guest sees and the host sees, including guest is given to believe that 4 stars is good and host knows it is the path to possible ruin.
I reported a very favourable review for my airbnb stay last week, but did mention that I was disappointed that there was no on-site parking available as advertised as the first amenity. I'm recovering from an injury so it was more than just an inconvenience. Host did not respond, leave a review or anything... I have an impeccable rating for being a good guest.
I thought they had to leave a review before they are published, which makes me think that they saw my review and chose not to leave one for me.
@Marta1078 No, the host can't see your review until it is published (just as you can't see a host's revew until it is). The host doesn't have to leave a review for your review to be published. If both the host and guest leave a review, both reviews will be published immediately or soon after both are submitted. If only one leaves a review, either host or guest, that review will be published 14 days after check-out.
While a lot of hosts review all their guests, there are some hosts who don't. They may just be busy and not get around to it, or they may be hosts who just don't bother, or sometimes a host will decline to leave a review because they are conflicted about what to say, if there were some issues. I've seen host accounts where they have a lot of reviews from guests, yet haven't taken the time to review any of their guests.
It's good that you left an honest review, that makes other guests aware of the parking issue. It may not have been deception on the host's part- sometimes hosts don't realize that an amenity has been checked and sometimes Airbnb changes things without hosts being ware and sometimes there are tech glitches.
In any case, if you have good reviews as a guest, it doesn't matter whether this particular host left you a review or not, or whether he responded to your review. It won't affect your rating at all. No review, no rating, your profile page stays exactly as it was.
@Marta1078 As Sarah wrote both you as a guest and the host got 14 days to write a review. The host won't be able to read your review or comments before the host submits a review her/himself OR after the review period is over. So that could be the reason she/he hasn't answered your questions yet - if you wrote it in the review? The review system is blind so you and the host are able to leave an honest one. If only one part leaves a review it will get published when the review period is over 14 days after check-out.
Thanks for the clarification, but I wonder then why my review was published within days of my stay, without the host review. I left a personal message with a couple of other things (strong smell and tv remote that didn’t work). I’m not worried, I’m just trying to understand the process. I’m often torn about mentioning things that don’t seem quite right, which is supposed to be the purpose, to help potential guests, but I, and seemingly others are concerned about retaliation. I get a message at the end of my stay asking for a 5 star rating, but no response when I do send a private message.
there seems to be a big gap in standards, and it sometimes feels that property ads are misleading. One thing that really irks me is when a host has a long list of rules duties and restrictions in a binder at the property, but are not posted in the ad. I understand that the property is the personal property of someone, but they are also being paid for its use as a business. You can’t have it both ways. I get that some hosts have horror guest stories, but the strict rules (ie no guests, no cooking allowed, be on site fir service employees, restrict use of rooms etc etc ) are a turn off by people who are good guests. I try to stay in an Airbnb when I travel but when I have a bad feeling, I opt to stay in hotels. That’s why truthful reviews are so important. After all, a review doesn’t have to be nasty or adversarial, just a truthful account of what did and did not work for a persons stay. If someone would have posted that on site parking was not available I would not have booked the property. This host has many Airbnb properties, so this is their business. Their ad has not been corrected.
@Marta1078 It does sound odd that your review was published before the 14 day period was over, if the host didn't submit a review for you. I've never heard of that happening. You might contact Airbnb to ask them to explain why that would have happened. It could have been a tech glitch, the site has many.
You say this was a host with many properties- I'm not sure what type of Airbnbs you've booked before, but property-managed listings, where they have many listings, may not be nearly as responsive to guest communications as a small-time host with only one or a few listings. They might not consider it important to respond to a private message, although personally, I think that's just rude.
And yes, a host should be clear in the listing info as to what is provided, and what is expected of guests, or at least send you a list of cleaning duties they expect you to be responsible for before check-out soon after you book, so that if those aren't amenable to you, you would be within the time period to cancel with a full refund. They definitely shouldn't just spring it on you in the house manual.
But to be fair, there are many guests who fail to thoroughly read through all the listing information, clicking on everything and scrolling down to the bottom where house rules are located. I know Airbnb doesn't make it easy to see everything, you have to keep clicking on "read more" and such. But it's always important to do that, as all Airbnbs are quite individual and you can never make assumptions about what is provided or allowed. Some hosts may offer use of the kitchen, some may offer it, but only expect light meal preparation, some may not have any cooking facilities at all. Some may just ask that guest leave the place clean and tidy, some may expect guests to strip the beds, take the garbage out to the dumpster and start the dishwasher. There are many guests who arrive with expectations that have nothing to do with what was said in the ad. Some even book a private room in the host's home and arrive thinking they are getting an entire house to themselves. They just didn't read all the info.
It's true that some hosts have had bad guest experiences, so end up with a lot of house rules. There are home-share hosts who used to offer kitchen use, but after several guests didn't clean up after themselves there or took over the kitchen for hours, the host felt they were being pushed out of their own kitchen. So they discontinued kitchen use. I allow guests full use of my kitchen, and none have ever abused that, so I continue to allow it. Once a host decides to scratch something like that from the amenities list, they really can't just make exceptions because a guest says they are responsible or has some good reviews- it's pretty impossible to know how a stranger, which is what guests and hosts are to each other before a stay, will behave. Unfortunately, not everyone leaves honest reviews, and hosts have had guests with 5* reviews who ended up leaving their place a mess or damaged things and refused to pay. As with much in life, the bad people ruin it for the good.
So you need to make sure that the criteria you use to book a place fits what is offered and if you find things not clear or have questions you don't see an answer to, message the host before you book to decide if it's right for you.
If you give a low accuracy rating to a place that advertises things which in fact, are not available, like on-site parking, the host will hopefully take his ratings to heart and make sure he's not offering things that aren't available. But some of those management companies may get so many bookings, regardless of a few low ratings, that they don't really care. Which is in no way acceptable.