Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Chicago, IL
Level 2
210 Views

Hi all, today I was given the worst review that any host can ever get and that was the bed bug review. Long story short my guest stayed one day and checked out last Friday. I happened to stay at my airbnb right after this guest and I always look for bugs of any kind. I stayed at the house the entire weekend along with my family and no bugs nor bites. Mind you the guest never contacted me and just wrote her review today (4 days after her stay). In the public review she said she seen bed bugs (plural), in the private review she said she seen a bug on her sons pants. However, I was never contacted about he situation. Today I was able to get an exterminator on site and he examined the entire house and found not bed bugs, no eggs, droppings or evidence of any kind. He did see a few spiders but said no such findings of bed bugs. He examined every nook and cranny per my direction and said the house showed no evidence. I then contacted airbnb and they said they would not remove the review. I, stupidly, responded to the bad review right away and noted I would take care of everything right away. I had no idea that I wouldn't be able to follow up a second time. Airbnb told me that they were not going to determine if a guests review was true or not. I even offered to provide the written professional invoice from the exterminator but they said it was not up to them to mediate between a host and guest and determine who is telling the truth. Any advice?

13 Replies

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

This is a favorite scam.

 

If Airbnb continues to allow these scurrilous, undocumented claims we will all be subject to extortion from greedy guests and just plain vindictive chronic complainers.

 

Does this person even know what a bedbug looks like?

 

If she does, maybe it’s because she has them in her own home and brought some with her.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Chicago, IL
Level 2

@Brian2036  I really do think she could have brought them in as she mentioned in the private review she seen it on her sons pants leg. Or this could have very well be a tick which is likely given the location of my cottage. Overall, just very upsetting to me.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Jacqueline228 

 

There are bedbugs.

 

Brian2036_0-1629774877380.jpeg

 

Perhaps you could note somewhere in your listing that you have been targeted by someone who was apparently mistaken about the bug she claims to have seen and you have gone to extraordinary lengths and expense to prove that you have no bedbugs in your house.

 

You might attach the exterminators report.

 

Even mentioning bedbugs might discourage some of the more squeamish customers, but maybe you don’t want them anyway.

 

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Chicago, IL
Level 2

At this point my only choice is to mention it in my listing as I know this will discourage people from booking. I just find the lack of support from airbnb upsetting.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Jacqueline228 

 

These are look alikes 

 

Brian2036_0-1629775446445.jpeg


Not really all that similar, and you don’t want them either, but they’re no big deal.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Jacqueline228 ugh I am sorry. Sounds like this lady was one of my earliest guest who did a "white glove test" for dust, looked behind our washer dryer for evidence of poor cleaning,  etc. Sounds like she went through the place-- under cushions, checking items in the fridge, etc. Did you have any inkling she was this way? 

 

I think your response was good to show you are being proactive about the feedback but I might have said something like:

 

"This is the worst feedback a host can get as every stay offers the risk that a guest could unintentionally bring vermin into our space. We have regular extermination service but I am arranging a visit immediately to determine if any insects this guest saw were bedbugs. I only wish the guest had made this claim during her stay so that we could have resolved the issue on the spot. We take this very seriously and will find out if this is an accurate review ASAP. If so, future guests need not worry-- the space will be fully fumigated. If the guest was mistaken we hope she will be more careful in publicly posting this information for her next hosts. Thank you."

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Chicago, IL
Level 2

@Laura2592I had no idea she would be like this. Because I wanted to give a quick and prompt response I didn't think things through and responded with emotion, which I know one should never do. I should have waited until the exterminator came so that I could have responded with a more complete statement. I somehow thought I would be able to follow up but according to airbnb that is not possible.

Thanks for the response as you know we try to do our best to care for our homes and our guests and this is just a bummer.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

Wonder if she is an aspiring host in your area? I have definitely heard of cases when someone stays to get ideas or leave poor reviews right before launching a competing listing. I remember one thread where a host in the UK or Ireland had someone copy down to the more specific colors and decor details, her tiny house listing. It was a former guest who built an identical space and even left the same type of check in treats for guests. There are definitely people out there who will play dirty to get a leg up on competitors.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Chicago, IL
Level 2

@Laura2592Well I will say this much. I do happen to be involved in a lawsuit with a neighbor over my lake rights and they highly dislike me! I even mentioned this to airbnb today but that didn't seem to matter.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Jacqueline228   I would lobby Airbnb to let you rewrite your response based on the fact later documented that there are/were no bedbugs in the house.  

 

I'm not sure there is any positive to putting something permanently in the listing regarding this issue.  I know if I saw something on a listing about either bed bugs or even routine fumigation I would probably pass it by, because it would make me think that there are/have been bug problems and that the place was saturated with toxic chemicals.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Jacqueline228 yes  I would try again to at least get your response amended. This is also a brand new guest for whom you left a nice review. I wonder if you can post something on her profile to warn other hosts about her claims?

 

I would also limit your guest numbers to the amount of beds people can comfortably sleep in. Seems like you will get poorer quality guests with a lower per person nightly charge. 

 

Maybe take a pic of the exterminator's report and add it to your photos with the caption "For those concerned about Paula's review, we do not have, and have never had, bed bugs."

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

I cannot imagine how disheartening it must have been to see this in B&W. I feel for you. What I don't understand is why Airbnb won't take it down on the basis it isn't a factual review, as proven by your exterminator. 

In the short term, I'd see if you can get your review response removed, @Jacqueline228, as it sounds more than a little 'we're guilty'. 

Gutted for you.

Re: Inaccurate bad review about a bed bug

in
Chicago, IL
Level 2

@Gordon0Thanks for your words. I thought with all certainty airbnb would be willing to do so given that I had written proof but no dice.

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