1 Bad review has ruined my 5 star rating

So I have been a host for over a year now. I have had moved properties during this time and not once have I received a bad review. I guess there is a first time for everything but I pride myself in making sure all my guest have a pleasant stay.

So basically I had a booking for 1 night on the Saturday- a couple who was here for a wedding. They seemed super friendly during the booking process and I allowed them a early check in (3 hours earlier) and a later check out (which I told them I don’t usually do but made the exception as I didn’t have any guests arriving that day)

Due to a unforeseen circumstance I had to go away that weekend and because it was so last minute I didn’t want to cancel their reservation the day before they were due to check in as it probably would have cost them much more. A friend of mine kindly offered to stay at my apartment (I rent out a private room on Abnb) and look after my guests. When I returned home everything seemed fine and my friend in fact told me they were super nice and no issue at all.

I got the noticication that they left me the review and I couldn’t see it until I wrote them one. I was pretty keen to see what they had to say considering I wasn’t here so I left them a 5 star review (as I usually do) mentioned how tidy the room was when they left and in the private feedback I apologised again for not being there myself!

Boy I wish I could take it back!! They gave me a terrible review- 2 page essay stating that the “stand in host” was scruffy and made them feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed. They warned other guests to stay clear and this is now public on my listing despite all my other reviews being 5 stars.

I sent them a message apologising for my “stand in host” and offered them a discount and a much better experience from me if they decided to return. I will most definitely NOT be accepting them again but I hope I made them feel guilty as they tarnished my 5 star review!!

I just think it is unfair that they left that review publicly as it was a once off situation and I thought I was doing them a favour by not cancelling. I guess you can’t please everyone! Rant over x

It’s worth it to call Airbnb and ask for the review to be taken down especially if you have a long positive history.


Well, since it wasn’t you there, I’m not sure why you expect to get the same reviews you normally would?

I wonder if your friend is something like a person I know… constantly apologising, saying sorry where no apology is necessary. Hey, can we have tea in the kitchen ? Sorry, I guess you can, as you know Krodda isn’t here, sorry about that. Say that a few times in a few situations and suddenly the guests won’t see you’ve done them a massive favour by not cancelling, they’ll only see things to complain about.

I guess the lesson is more: if I can’t host, it’s not worth asking someone to stand in.

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It really isn’t worth the time it takes to a) worry about it or b) reply or contact the guest.

I don’t understand why you offered them a discount after they’d stayed. Did I misunderstand what you said?

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You might try appealing to them to edit. Remind them how you did the favours of early check in and late check out. Your situation was an emergency and couldn’t be helped.

But I don’t understand what you mean about moving houses. You mean you move and start a new ABB?

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I think he/she meant a discount on a future stay. Though if someone gave me a bad review I’d be too busy mentally constructing little wax images of them and sticking them with virtual pins to think about discounts.


Hahaha, @faheem me too. The last thing I would want to see is their stupid faces again, even if they offered to pay 3 times the normal rate.


I meant for a future stay, and yes @faheem I won’t be accepting again in future! I just hope they feel guilty and silly now for leaving such a horrid review- kill them with kindness! (While trying very hard to bite my tongue lol)

Yes I moved houses and started a new air BnB but all my reviews are still on my profile :slight_smile:

Oh, I thought I was the only one who did that!
:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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Why don’t you write a short sweet response.

'I was disappointed that you didn’t enjoy your stay, I let you check in 3 hours early and leave after check out time and asked a close friend to act in as a ‘stand in host’ to avoid cancelling your trip, as I was unexpectedly called away.

I wish you had raised any issues during your stay. As my previous 5 stars review show, I’m dedicated to making sure all my guests enjoy their visit. This is the first time anyone has anything other than nice things to say about my listings.

What was the point in offering them a discount for a booking you have no intention of honouring?


I agree with @Helsi

I also wouldn’t worry too much about it because it can be explained away. It’s an outlier.

Cancellation option in my opinion is not the best way,It shows up in the profile and if i’ m not wrong host loose the opportunity of superhost for 1 year.
I’m thinking in every kind of situation, if the host try to be crystal clear in communication with guests, about any change that will effect their accommodation, with helpful information and of course communicate (always directly with guest) the second day and one day before arrival, First host gives guest the freedom of choice be throwing the ball of liability, second host is sure from contact (him/her self the guest) during guest’s accommodation that everything is OK with them and if it is not OK the least host can do is act for making their accommodation better and third the result from the above always in my opinion host minimize risk odds of bad review. why? because guest understand that if something goes wrong it is not host’s mistake because host already tried to do the best he/she could. The better we communicate the less problems we will have. (this not goes in my English grammar ;-))


I’m pretty sure nothing went wrong with the property, the OP is a very experienced host and will have set it up the same as every other time.

What went wrong is the host changed.

Were their only complaints about the stand in host? How could they fill up 2 pages with a description of that? Were there other issues they weren’t happy with?

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This is probably the explanation. With the best will in the world a ‘friend’ who has no experience of hospitality or of your own rental isn’t really equipped to look after guests in the same way as an experienced host.

The friend might have been as nice as pie but this is specialised work after all.

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