Santa Barbara, CA Level 1
Just had a very poor experience with Airbnb. Their process for dealing with reviews is an absolute joke. We had stayed in a shared apartment in Florence Italy and the host accused us of taking her towel. Initially she phoned and asked if we took it to which we said that we didn't. We said we had left everything in the room. The host asked us to leave the keys to the room on the table in the room when we left. So the room was unsecured with other guests present. The host then hang up on us and logged a complaint via airbnb demanding a refund for her towel. We told them that we could show that we were travelling with small back packs and that we had moved onto our reservation in a hotel in Venice which had ample towels. We also highlighted that the room was left unsecured with other guests able to access it after we departed. The claim was quickly dropped and then the host wished us a good holiday. Upon our return the host made the same accusation as their review. I raised this with Airbnb and they stated that they could not have the hosts review removed as it was not an infringement of their policy as it was the hosts experience. I stated that their was no evidence that we had taken the towel and therefore the accusation was defamatory and unjustified. Experience surely should be based on some tangible facts one would assume. Airbnb gave me a lot of empathic nonsense which was purely lip service as they did not listen at all to my view despite offering to give them evidence to prove that we wouldn't have taken some silly towel. I could have produced boarding passes which proved we had back packs. And they could have seen our reservation at the hotel for proof that they would have supplied towels. But no they just kept saying a load of nonsense about the hosts experience. It would appear they are completely biased in favor of hosts and cant be bothered to resolve things with any basic logic or understanding. Needless to say we wont be using them again. Never had any issues like this with Booking.com. So we will just use them in the future.
“Experience surely should be based on some tangible facts one would assume.”
This is where your assumption loses its legs. Airbnb doesn’t get involved with trying to decipher what events really occurred. As far as reviews go, they consider any guest or host experience a valid perspective. To do otherwise would involve them in long and lengthy investigations with thousands of hosts and guests. Airbnb can’t justify the cost of that. In short, they leave it up to the host and guest to sort themselves out.
Believe me, untrue reviews are experienced by hosts also, and yes, it feels very unfair. In fact, if you were to ask the members of the hosting community, I’m pretty sure the consensus would be that Airbnb sides with guests more than hosts.
Having said all this, I’m sorry this has soured you to Airbnb as a whole. Your host’s actions are extreme - I would guess that most of us, including myself, consider things like the loss or damage of an occasional towel or two to be part of the cost of doing business, and don’t try to go after it with a claim and/or a bad interchange with the guest.
As @Mike-And-Jane0 said, this issue is more between you and the host, rather than you and the platform. Most hosts are not like this.
Sorry to hear about this.
I have passed details of your issue over to the team, noting what you've mentioned in your post, and I've asked them to investigate and then to reach out to you. I can't promise it'll change the decision already made, but it's worth a shot.
@Christopher1644 most hosts let things like this go .Especially if the guests say it did not happen. I am very sorry that this happened to you. the host has the problem not you and to put this in a review ,without proof is defamatory . I would ask that this be removed once again . this is not the 'hosts truth ' as they did not immediately either check the room or the towels or anything else ,but left a room open to anyone. I would have suggested that maybe they look elsewhere for the towels .all the best . take my word for it , this is not usual... H
The only way to get this review removed is to persuade the host to ask Airbnb to remove it. Christopher could send a legal letter to the host at the address he stayed demanding the review be removed and threatening action if it is not
@Mike-And-Jane0 the reason Mike and Jane is all guests have a right to defend their good name if they consider the host to be 'dishonest' also all guests are allowed to add' context'. As you are no doubt aware unless all towel numbers are counted each time then it would be easy for towels to go "missing ' sometimes previous guests have dropped them down somewhere or refolded soiled towels or all types of things. Mostly I recommend Chris has another try at removing a review that says she is a 'thief ' because I believe her... H
Sorry to hear about your experience with your host. I had a similar experience but it was the guest who gave me a terrible review. I m a supper host with over 150 Five Star reviews. I called Airbnb and received the same information. I was recommended to respond to the review explaining my side of the story. So far it has not affected my bookings. Unfortunately, you cant make everyone happy.
@Christopher1644 Your issue seems to be with the host not the platform. Airbnb doesn't arbitrate for truth in reviews as they just cannot decide who is lying and who is being truthful. I can assure you this is far more damaging for hosts than guests as an untrue review can and does get hosts suspended or removed entirely from the platform.
I assume you have left a short, considered, response to the review so future hosts will not hold it against you.