Big Bear Lake, CA Level 9
So there used to be an unwritten rule that if, guest would not show up and haven't seen the property, even if they would write a review, that review would get deleted. Now I got a such review and CS refused to remove it, saying that it had been canceled 4 hours before check in time. Anyone had a similar situation before?
I agree with @Mike-And-Jane0 that you don't have any valid reason for this review to be removed as it wasn't a 'no show', nor did the guest cancel for reasons beyond the host's control. YOU cancelled on the guest last minute. You may have valid reasons for doing so (and I trust you got Airbnb to cancel the stay for extenuating circumstances) but the guest still has the right to leave a review.
And your response to the review really makes no sense and does you no favours. If I was you, I would ask Airbnb to remove your response. Remember that it is potential future guests that will read it and you should always write your responses keeping them in mind.
"I have to let you know that review violates several airbnb review and content policies." Erm, no it doesn't, as has been explained already.
"If a guest never arrived for their stay or Experience, or had to cancel due to circumstances unrelated to that stay or Experience, their review may be removed." This doesn't apply to your case because, as mentioned before, this was not a no-show/guest cancellation but a host cancellation, and, even if the guest had cancelled, the circumstances are not unrelated to the stay, are they? You had a burst pipe.
"Main complaint in review is about guests not receiving a refund on time, which made a retaliatory motive to write in it and according to review policies above "Members of the Airbnb community may not coerce, intimidate, extort, threaten, incentivize or manipulate another person in an attempt to influence a review, like promising compensation in exchange for a positive review or threatening consequences in the event of a negative review. Reviews may not be provided or withheld in exchange for something of value—like a discount, refund, reciprocal review, or promise not to take negative action against the reviewer."
Erm, what? Where is the extortion? Did the guest threaten to leave you a negative review if you didn't compensate them? If not, then they have not broken this policy at all. All the guest said was that, because you cancelled so last minute, they were left without the funds to book somewhere else, which I suppose is quite likely as the refund hadn't been processed yet. It doesn't matter if you hadn't been paid and the money was still with Airbnb, there is no extortion here. The guest is simply stating what happened. The guest did not withhold/provide the review in exchange for a refund, did they? They were annoyed that they did not get refunded quick enough and that's understandable. Is it your fault that Airbnb takes time to issue the refund? No. But you were the one who cancelled last minute, so it's not surprising the guest was annoyed.
"review unrelated to that stay or Experience, their review may be removed." guests complain was not related to reservation, it was related to airbnb's refund timing."
No, incorrect again. The guest's review was not only related to the timing of the refunds but the fact that you cancelled the booking last minute. It is therefore relevant.
You would have been much better off writing something more accurate and sympathetic such as:
"It was very unfortunate that we had to cancel X's booking but, as we explained to him, a pipe burst in the neighbour's apartment above, causing substantial damage to the ceiling and the water also had to be switched off, so the listing was uninhabitable that day. Of course, X received a full refund. However, Airbnb receives and processes the payment for bookings. The host only receives their share some days after the guest checks in so only Airbnb can issue the refund, which does normally take about 48 hours. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to X and wish there was something we could have done about it, but both the burst pipe and the timing of the refund were totally out of our control, and this was obviously an unusual circumstance."
I appreciate your thoughts, however I'm not sure that discussing my reply will help. I am curious if this is something that happened to other people too. We run 29 properties, most in old buildings (some are over 100 years old) with neighbors upstairs who haven't renovated plumbing for decades and these types of situations happen from time to time. If this is something that will keep happening then there should be a solution for this.
Guys, I am not arguing here if I am right or wrong. Policy updates clearly say that if guest never came then review can not be considered as a relevant one.
I looked at the review and especially your comment on it.
IMO the review itself does not violate Airbnb policies, it is just an opinion from the guest how he experienced a (cancelled) reservation. But your comment is at risk to be removed, as it is about (and quoting from) Airbnb policies.
I am more concerned about your recent review from R. , which is terrible..... !
In terms of no-show and the review policy, what changed in January this year is that if a stay is canceled on the day of check-in and the guest chooses a reason beyond the Host's control (for example "my travel dates have changed"), they cannot leave you a review.
From what you've explained, my understanding is that this specific review doesn't fall under this policy and therefore couldn't be removed - however if we've misunderstood something please let us know! I hope this helps. 🙂
@Cam26 So YOU cancelled the booking 4 hours before check in and then expect to get away without a bad review?
The review is entirely fair and accurate and I have far more sympathy with the guest than with you.
Your response is dire (although very amusing). You would be far better off explaining why you let this guest down at short notice if you want future bookings.
It's a weird one first check to see if they did cancel,
You would think if it was a no show they are not allowed to leave a review but as far as the system is concerned they dont know it was a no show, unless you told them, If it was a no show and you got paid as normal then they can leave a review,
I have had over the years a couple of no shows. but also no reviews,
They were refunded in full, we had a pipe burst from the neighbor above us, the whole ceiling had to be removed and water had to be shut down. Guests assumed that we kept their money, but it was not even paid to us, from what I understand it takes about 48 hours depending on the bank for airbnb to refund guests. That was their main concern, however new policies clearly state that if guests were not present and haven't seen the place then the review can not be considered relevant.