How to address a vengeful guest review that is an outlier from our other reviews

Level 2
Mancos, CO

How to address a vengeful guest review that is an outlier from our other reviews



We have been with Airbnb as superhosts for 6 years. We have more than 400 reviews (377 as a host and the rest as guests) with an overall rating of 4.99. We recently hosted a group who had three extra people that primary guest snuck into the guesthouse. The capacity of the guesthouse is  six. Because he was already there, I simply, directly and courteously asked him to pay the additional fee of $15 per person for each additional person over six. This angered and agitated him. He is new to Airbnb and I feel certain he will leave a retaliatory review because I was direct (while remaining professional and kind) in my communication with him.


What can be done about that kind of a review? It will clearly be an outlier from the rest of the reviews that we have received. What process does Airbnb have in place to address this?


Sincere Regards,

Sarah Syverson

Airbnb  SuperHost

Mancos, Colorado

25 Replies 25
Level 3
Galveston, TX

They should pay and should be embarrassed for attempting to add more than the unit can hold. Its additional wear and tear, cleaning, extra use of everything. Also, the issue of an over the guest limit is a safety issue as well. 


Reply professionally and explain the real issue.



Level 4
London, United Kingdom

If you have more than 400 reviews and an overall rating of 4.99, one bad review will have no impact on your average.     

You can reply politely to whatever he writes, and use it to show how professional you are.   

I wouldn't worry too much 

Level 3
Galveston, TX

I do understand your frustration because we all expect open and honest exchange of services.

After all nothing is free. It should be reported and airbnb should request additional payment. It happens and will continue to happen, everywhere. Some people are just selfish and want to

attempt to get something for nothing. Im sorry it happened to you. I not sure what airbnb will do or if they will act on your report. 


dont look for AIrbnb for help. They wont do anything.  

Level 10
California, United States



I wouldn't have said anything to the guest.  Nothing at all.  Get them OUT as soon as their stay ends and give them the biggest fake smile you can muster.  Open up all the windows.  Clean up the place.  Get it spit-shined and ready for the next guests.  Hope they don't review you.  Wait 13.99 days and leave them the biggest crappy review turd in the history of crappy review turds.  Never host them again.  


What did you ask for, $50?  Really?  For all this stress?  And a possible bad review?  It's just not going to be EVER be worth it.  You are one of the few 4.99s out there with 100+ reviews.  Well done.  You, are the real deal, and there aren't many of you.  You should cherish and protect your 4.99 and be proud of it.  Don't let people tell you it's not a big deal.  It's a big deal.  Guest care about 4.99s.  The algorithm cares about a 4.99.  The people at the call center care about a 4.99.  You care about your 4.99.  Protect your 4.99.  Even if it means losing a few bucks and swallowing a lot of pride.  


In the future, get a JERK like this out of your life and keep your retaliatory review risk as mitigated as possible.  

Level 2
Merstone, United Kingdom

Yes but an outlier review should be ignored for superhost status this is the very unfair outcome

Level 2
Mancos, CO

@Richard531 Great advice!! Thank you so much for such a valuable and worthy perspective.

Level 2
San Mateo, CA

I've noticed guests becoming much more critical and flat-out rude since COVID, and even more so after Airbnb IPO'd. 


It's unsettling and perplexing, especially since things like my cleaning costs and check-out procedures have not changed.  I did NOT raise my cleaning fee while also raising my cleaning standards to be COVID-compliant. I pay my cleaners well, probably more than other hosts in the neighborhood.  And now I have rude guests who are complaining about the fee, asking for refunds and refusing to do the check-out requests. (Is taking out the trash considered 'unreasonble?')  


I also had a prospective guest inquire about a discount.  When I told her that I offer a discount with a non-refundable option, she flipped out on me claiming I was just 'running a business' and threatened to check if my guest suite was 'even legal' in CA because 'she knows zoning laws' (I have an STR license from my city).  I wished her well in finding accommodations that would fit her budget and didn't engage with her further. I'm 99% positive she would have been a headache had she stayed in my listing.


The experience that tops the cake was a guest who broke ALL my rules (every. single. one.) and gave me a poor review.  I fought hard with Airbnb to take it down despite the clear evidence we provided. It should not have been this hard and yet it took perseverence on our part to get them to do it.  (MULTIPLE calls and tickets to Airbnb.)


All of this is mentally exhausting as a host.  I'm not a hotel chain that will take guest abuse, I'm an Airbnb host who has opened a portion of my home so that guests could enjoy a neighborhood feel.  I feel like the expectations of guests have changed now that the company has gone public and people started complaining about fees.  Some days I do question if I want to continue to be a host on Airbnb.

Level 2
Mancos, CO

This is such a good question about remaining an Airbnb host. Has anyone found another platform that serves them better?

I never have refund issues with VRBO but of couse the volume is much lower. Airbnb ALWAYS  refunds the guest and screws the host and I frankly am just tired finghting it. I'm switching 30 day units back to regular rentals.


Level 8
Santa Monica, CA

@Sarah72 I like VRBO.  They don't try to micromanage my business through inane policies, the guests I receive through them are often more mature (not party-ers), and VRBO also has a personal host account manager assigned to me whom I can call or email with any questions, and he has been super helpful, spending time on the phone with me looking at my listing, etc.   I cannot give up using Airbnb though -- I find that I need to use both sites to get enough bookings to pay the house's expenses.  

Level 10
Arkansas, United States

@Deirdre12 @Sarah72 


That’s the problem at the moment. I listed with both VRBO and TripAdvisor several weeks ago and haven’t had a booking or enquiry yet from either of them.


 I got my first booking from Airbnb within a few hours of listing, so I would have to rate them #1 for advertising, which is the main service I need.


They have also maintained my calendar and payments flawlessly so I can’t complain about that either. 5*.


I haven’t had to use customer service and I hope I never do. 

I would have to rate them 3* on their website, which is really not good, but on the other hand this Community Forum deserves 5* and is an extremely valuable resource.

Level 10
Zagreb, Croatia

Post-Covid guests became very critical, nitpicking, and revengeful. Everyone I spoke with said their rating dropped the same as ours although we have the same listing, offer the same service, and didn't change the prices. Maybe one day when there will be no super hosts left and all listings will be below 4* will Airbnb react to save its reputation and will start to remove revenge reviews.

Until then we can do what we have always done. We dont host for reveiws and status but for money 🙂

Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Dominic101 "How about stories from other hosts of AirBnB's inept handling of hosts issues? Thanks"


This discussion forum is filled with that. Thousands of posts and threads about it. Just start reading through a few pages of the Hosting and Help sections. (This is the Host Circle section)

After hosting for years, being a super host and now have a rating of 4.7, we just experienced our first revenge review of 1 star, based on us asking for additional cleaning fees from our home being left in a filthy and disgusting way, plus some of our property needed to be replaced. I followed all the procedures messaged to me, asked for the extra fees, waited the 72 hours for guest to respond properly, then escalated it to the host guarantee (since that is all you can do), only to be told I did not follow procedure and after "careful" consideration there is nothing AirBnB will do about getting me the extra money in cleaning fees nor my property replaced that was damaged. The guest left a ridiculous review naming the numerous issues they encountered (nothing was mentioned to us, matter of fact they were very pleased with the house, cleanliness, neighborhood etc. and messaged us about these things). Then.....wham, all the issues came up in the review, simply because I asked them to pay for leaving my home filthy....of yes and their message about leaving my home in a "lived in condition" was not taken into consideration by AirBnB either...the message stream is CLEAR...these guests have NO clue what is expected. I have 6 listings with AirBnB, however this issue is not making us think we need to go to another platform...and we are stock holders, have always held Air in great esteem, BUT to be treated with such disrespect by our platform has left us shaking our heads and quite upset. How about stories from other hosts of AirBnB's inept handling of hosts issues? Thanks

Level 3
Galveston, TX

It's a big problem. I just had a group with a one night stay have a party and someone broke the upper bunk bed so it became unusable. I had it fixed and I told the truth on the guest. I will see what they write about my listing. 


I reported to airbnb because they say no parties allowed. I found the commercial trash can full with beer cans and alcohol containers. The city trash can is made for weekly trash pick up. They filled it in 1 night. I am no longer offering 1 day stays.



Level 2
D.C., DC

My experience with Airbnb exactly (in February and March of 2021), but thankfully only with a guest that was seeking excuses for requesting (and easily getting) a full refund, and not a guest that damaged my place. Airbnb was quick to refund the guest, and just kept reading me the same script over and over again. It was only after spending about 20 hours on zillions of phone calls that I finally got someone at Airbnb that took the time to listen to me and credited me back the rental income.  Frankly, if there was an equal competitor I would have switched hosting sites from Airbnb in a New York minute. But alas, Airbnb has no serious competition (that I know of) so am still here out of necessity, not choice.

Level 10
Victoria, Australia

Helen744@dominic 101. Hi Dominic , I had a similar review that accused me of all types of things because I asked a young person who expected to have a party in my house with carloads of others waiting in the street to come into the house not to have a party and reminded her that this was against the rules This person contacted Airbnb accused me of making her feel unsafe . She was with two other bookees as well as seven other friends and I can say that at sixty six my intimidating days are behind me.She decided to cancel the booking which meant she recieved her money back from Airbnb who basically told me that giving her money back was the only way this could be resolved . Then Airbnb assisted her or so they said to find other accommodation. She rang me later that night by which time the place was already booked again because it was a super busy weekend . the people with her came into the house in the hour and a half before she left filled the rubbish bins with beer cans stole part of the gaming system and left remnants of drugs. Her review which stood for months said that as well as one star I had made her sleep in a tent. Eventually with assistance from my son who realised this review had nothing to do with the accommodation because she did not stay but was a personal attack on me by someone who did not know me we had this review removed . It practically wrecked my life .Vindictive people like this exist and turn up out of the blue but do not let them. they have not got the right to attack you personally .They can review their stay nothing else . They need to follow your rules . Its your house and if they dont then as my mum used to say "they can nicky woop'.


Level 10
Christchurch, New Zealand

@Helen744 Hi Helen, that sounds absolutely awful. So sorry you experienced that. Let's hope it never happens again. Best wishes. 

Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Dominic101 your situation demonstrates the difficult issue Airbnb face. Both your review and your guest's review appear entirely credible. If I were in a call centre many miles away how would I know what to believe?