Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Catskill, NY
Level 10
1,753 Views

We are new to AirBnB and had a nice streak of excellent guests until we rented to a very young man without reviews.


He turned our home into a frat party house! He brought in extra guests (we caught him on camera) and huge amounts of alcohol, smoked behind the house, damaged our new jacuzzi, broke a door screen and then stole robes and towels…etc 

 

At the end of his stay he said he really liked the house and would like to return, however, after we confronted him about the stolen items he got angry and left a lengthy malicious 2 star review full of lies.

 

We have asked AirBnB customer service 5 times to please remove his review to no avail, and each time they come back with the SAME cookie cutter reply: “his review does not violate the AirBnB review guide lines”

 

What we don’t understand is the narrow-minded  AirBnB policy of ONLY looking at how a Guest WRITES rather than how a guest BEHAVES  in our homes.

 

We have an excellent 5 star track record with our guests and as you all know, a lot of effort goes into that. We work really hard and strived to offer a top notch product to our guests and to AirBnB. 

This particular guest has contributed NOTHING to the AirBnB community and yet his revenge review is allowed to stand.

 

The obvious question is: why is AirBnB not looking at the entire picture with some perspective, taking into consideration both parties’ track record, and they only make a call on whether somebody writes within their set guidelines??

 

Are we to believe that guests can break the house rules and vandalize our property but if they “write pretty” they are off the hook and there are no consequences for their behavior?!

 

We feel we brought value to the AirBnB experience, but someone who has done nothing is allowed to negatively impact our ability to rent our property going forward. How does that help us or anybody in case?

 

Airbnb needs to review this policy and do better. As hosts, we don’t feel supported or appreciated in this “partnership”. We have one more (return) guest and after that we will take down our listing unfortunately. 

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

81 Replies

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Don-And-Emily0 Unless you report the party and presumably remove the guests from the property then I doubt if the 'party review ' policy applies.

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

Ok.. We've learned our lessons about this, and have come to these conclusions. 

 

1. You're on your own. Don't expect Airbnb to help you. It's guests who pay. They'll almost always rule in favour of the guest. Yes, they have this new party policy and the thing about revenge reviews, but it's still not going to deliver any compensation for damages or the stress of cleaning it all up before the next guest arrives. 

 

2. Per above, the best cure is prevention. No, it's not your fault that you let this guy book. It's his fault for treating your property this way. But there's little you can do about it, other than write a fair review of the guest that warns other hosts. And in the mean time, you have to ask a lot of pointed questions of inquiring guests, particularly if they're young and have no history. This will usually scare them away before they book. Everybody happy. 

 

3. Yes, even then, they still get through the gauntlet sometimes. So, since unfortunately, there's little recourse and you'll very likely lose any confrontation, the wisest thing to do is not mention it to the guest until they've written their review, which under that circumstance, is likely to be far more honest on their part. They thought they got away with it. What's not to like? But you can be equally honest in your review of them. After all, that's about all you can do. Really. 

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
San Diego, CA
Level 3

Ok I agree mostly but…

1. Call Airbnb the second you discover a party and have them either to remove the guest or levy a party fine which should be in your house rules. Ours are $500-$1000.

2. Take and send Airbnb screen shots from the videos that show the people entering until you can show over 20 people but the more the better. I use screen shots because it’s ALOT easier to scrape them as I watch the videos than sending the videos.

3. I just got 2 retaliatory reviews removed but….it was only after I started a message forum.

and I recently got my superhost back and I question it may have made a difference. I still had to escalate two levels…the first levels are of course the scripted responses.

 

hang in there!

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Don-And-Emily0 Was there a reason you chose not to review this guest? If hosts do not review bad guests then they are not protecting themselves or other hosts.

Also, if your house booked for 6 people why did you leave 30 towels for them?

Finally I am not sure it is allowed to de-list your property and re-list it to try to hide reviews. It also doesn't work!!

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Catskill, NY
Level 10

Hi - thanks for your reply 

 

We did review this person and I am not sure why our review review is not showing. If Airbnb took down our review of him, it is adding insult to injury and like you said it does not protect other hosts in the future.


The towel cabinet does not have a lock on it. We provide many towel sets so that guests who stay with us for a week or two don’t have to do laundry if the chose not to.


This particular person packed the house with a lot of extra guests. We saw some on the front camera but it seems some sneaked  in at night through the side windows (where there are no cameras) as we found 2 window screens were removed.


You are correct regarding the reviews being permanent. We took down the listing for a month and the reviews remain attached to the account itself. 

The problem with this is that we have a luxury beach property we would like to list and this malicious review will forever follow us no matter which property we offer.

 

For this reason, we decided to leave Airbnb all together and go to a different platform.  It seems Airbnb values misbehaving guests more than hard working hosts. 

 

 

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Don-And-Emily0  Are you referring to leaving review for this guest, or your response to his review? 

If you mean your response, that is visible, but that is not the place to essentially review a guest. Your responses appear on your profile, not the guest's. So they are for the benefit of future guests, to correct lies and misinformation.

 

You need to actually leave a review in order to warn other hosts so they see it when the guest tries to book with them.

 

If you did so, it doesn't appear on the guest's profile, so you should contact Airbnb to find put why. Hopefully you didn't say something in it that violates Airbnb review policy so the guest was able to get it removed.

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Catskill, NY
Level 10

Hi Sarah - we left  a review for this guest when we received the orompt to do so, and we made sure it did not violate the AirBnB review policy. I’m not sure why it is not showing. I will check with AirBnB to find out. Thanks for letting us know.

Kind regards

 

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Catskill, NY
Level 10

Hi @Mike-and-Jane @Sarah977 

 

I just checked with Airbnb to see why my review of this guest is not showing up. Their response: “ it is hidden because you chose to do so”

 

First of all I didn’t even know that was an option and second of all what is the purpose of a hidden review? The whole point is for other future hosts to see the review be it positive or negative. 

Have you ever heard of a hidden review?

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Don-And-Emily0 

 

To my knowledge there is no such thing as a hidden review, except in the case that Airbnb takes it down. Maybe some CS rep along the way took down your review instead of the guest’s.

 

Your experience is a cautionary tale for all hosts. I hope you find a CS rep with some sense but they seem to be few and far between.

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Catskill, NY
Level 10

@Lisa723  Hi Lisa - thanks for your comment. It seems guests with no track record can trash our homes with impunity and then leave a negative review on their way out.

 

The take away for us is that. @Airbnb protects guests who contribute nothing to our community while hosts are left to struggle with unfair and badly written policies.  

 

This one bad review brought our rentals to a standstill, and yet @AirBnB is refusing to look at the fact that we had 9 five star reviews prior to this one person. It’s beyond frustrating. They just lack common sense.

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Oregon City, OR
Level 10

@Don-And-Emily0 Yes, they do. But I would not be so sure that the review has halted your rentals; I think most people will see through it. I think your response is pretty good; though too long it is professional and focussed on reassuring future guests.

 

Too late in this case, but now you know that in the Airbnb ecosystem hosts, especially hosts of newer listings with few reviews, must carefully weigh the risk of a retaliatory review against the benefit of a damage/theft claim. There is nothing to be gained by alerting guests to the possibility of a forthcoming claim (or poor review) before the fact. If you do decide to make a claim, if possible wait until reviews have posted before submitting it. (But you do have to do it before the next guest checks in, and within two weeks, whichever is earlier.)

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

“Their response: “ it is hidden because you chose to do so”

 

@Don-And-Emily0 This is a made-up response. Airbnb outsources it’s CS to a third party call center who uses contract workers. They are not well versed in Airbnb policy or in how the platform works. Often they will just give what ever answer seems to make sense for the situation at hand. There are many posts in the CC from other hosts and guests who have gotten similar nonsense replies and misinformation from CS. 

While you will occasionally deal with a rep who is competent, overall, CS at Airbnb is a sham, and is the reason behind your difficulties in dealing with the result of your problem guest experience. 

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Catskill, NY
Level 10

Hi @Colleen253  I agree with your assessment.  We have called so many times and every time we get the same cookie cutter reply verbatim. 

Either the CS reps  are not allowed or not able to zoom out and look at the big picture. We have an excellent track record and he has nothing. Yet his vindictive review is allowed to stay up.

 

This is what he said after his stay:

795EB1CC-E83F-4ED4-A365-528A7162D94C.jpeg

He got angry after we  confronted him about the theft and broken items and decided to make up lies in his review like an angry little child. 


How does one go from saying he loved the house and want to return to “they threatened us to call the police on us” ? He is clearly lying, but @AirBnB is protecting him for some reason which is so unfair.

Re: Peculiar AirBnB policy about revenge reviews evaluation…

in
Alberta, Canada
Level 10

@Don-And-Emily0 You are right, CS reps will not look at the big picture or make decisions that alter the course. If you are removing your listing from the platform due to the lack of support as a host, no one can blame you for that. Many of us consider that every day we host. It’s a lot of work to list on Airbnb, as one must be savvy and street smart and able to operate completely on one’s own two feet, with no intervention or help from Airbnb, with every booking. It can be frustrating and exhausting at times. Fortunately, most guests are easy, and there are many strategies to be employed to cut down on troublesome guests and situations.

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