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400+ completed trips, Superhost status ... and now today, my first bad review (and how I got it removed) ;-)!


Has any host gotten a “low” review," notice from AirBnB only to be told by a customer service rep that we are not allowed to know what was said? I don’t mean which guest, just what the complaint was. How can that possibly further the interests of AirBnB or help hosts do a better job?

I’m in my second year of hosting, and was delighted to be made a Superhost. I rent out the lower floor of my house near Yosemite as it’s nearly a complete apartment with two bedrooms, a common room w/kitchenette, and two large decks with panoramic forest views plus a completely private hot tub… I always have more requests to book than I can accept, I’ve been told by seasoned guests that they have never experienced a rental that was so thoughtfully stocked and presented.

I’m over 60, and doing this takes every ounce of my energy and time. I spend at least $65 with every booking buying food and drink staples and other goodies, and that doesn’t include the cost of paying someone to help me clean. My PG&E bill has doubled since I’ve become a host, from $160/mo. to $325/mo. I’ve gotten only wonderful reviews, except one of my earliest guests who was clearly mentally ill and wrote a laundry list of things that needed fixing, including changing all my switchplate covers (?) and letting him look into the “secret room” which I kept telling him led, into the basement and nothing was there but spiders and bats (true). His number one complaint was "dirt on the floor behind the toilet, which turned out to be the place where the glaze had worn off the tile a few years ago due to a little leak I didn’t know was there.

I have met people who are now friends and we correspond regularly. So when I got AirBnB’s monthly view for July, telling me that I have “two low reviews.” I was stunned and upset. I knew who one of them was – a tall, handsome young man who was completely full of himself – just graduated from an Ivy-League college – imagined that I was his personal servant during their stay. He wrote that he had dinged me a star “because of the traffic” from my home to Yosemite, which just happened to be same weekend that President Obama was visiting our beautiful National Park. Since my close friend* Barak* didn’t call me like he usually does when he’s in my literal neck of the woods, I thought this complaint was ridiculous, petty and hateful.

But what was the complaint put forth in the second mystery review? I called ABnB customer service and the young man told me that we’re not allowed to know that information. I don’t think that can be right – how can a host fix a problem that could conceivably cause more “low” reviews and loss of Superhost status – if ABnB won’t tell us what the guest complained about?

I thanked the rep but asked to speak to a supervisor, and he refused to transfer me. Some reps are better and/or more experienced than others. If what he said is true, that would make the review system one big witch hunt, and it simply defies logic. I never asked which guest left the review, only what the complaint was, because it sure isn’t in any review that I’m allowed to read, and ALL my guests have left me sweet little notes thanking me, and I never ask them for that.

Has any host gotten a “low” review but then was told by AB&B reps that hosts are not allowed to know what the complaint is about? How can that possibly further the interests of AirBnB, who write on their site that reviews are a way hosts and guests learn how to be better hosts and guests? How can I fix something if I don’t know it’s broken? I don’t know where to go from here and it’s driving me nuts.

Any response from other hosts would be appreciated. And Barak Obama is not really a close personal friend.


Sorry about this. It happens to the best of us. Truly. Don’t take this douche bag so personally.

Would you consider posting this bad guest on our private wall of shame? Only bona fide hosts can see it. Then it can save the rest of us from booking this diva.

Just a question…OK… unsolicited advice. :smile: I think you are spending way too much money per guest. I don’t think the added costs for these extras will pay off in the end. If you can’t bear to cut it off, just cut it by half. You’ll still get great reviews! I love Yosemite!!!


It’s that last box in the review system “is there anything else you want to tell us - your feedback won’t be shared with the host” or something along those lines. It’s the nark box. The “I’m telling on you” box. So, one of your lovely guests felt compelled to tell on you about something. I imagine whatever was said wasn’t anything that Airbnb felt compelled to act upon, or they would have done so by now. The right answer from the rep should have been something along those lines…they could have put your mind at ease without breaking the confidentiality of the guest.

Pure speculation of course!

Hi to Barack :wave:


I could tell since you are misspelling his name.

You are right, this is completely inane. But I think it would be best if you marked it up to “busy tourist season,” and moved on. Re-read the nice comments. Read the entries in your guest book. Open a nice Pinot Grigio and go out on the porch.

I have to agree with K here, especially since it is stressing you out.


I like your profile pic as I am slowing transitioning from Bernie. :smile:


Thanks. I don’t want too be too political and I honestly like everyone on this forum (yes, everyone) so I don’t want to alienate anyone but… I feel it’s important. I don’t think Trump is like Hitler but I do think his supporters are like Hitler’s supporters and I think bystanders are quislings. Ok, rant over.


You, if anyone, are very qualified to discuss Hitler, especially the rise of Hitler and his appeal to the masses in that time period. I have a very interesting article I want to share with you. Would love your opinion. Will PM.


Make sure you contact them privately, don’t respond to their review! One of the best pieces of advice I learned on here, that way it isn’t public & dies down quickly.


There is a reason why politics is a taboo subject in many forums; #1 is because they are geared towards a specific subject - in this case hosting. #2 is that politics is a risque incendiary subject that oftentimes clouds what otherwise would be a neutral and unemotional start to a conversation; once someone goes there however, the conversation rarely could start that way.

BTW, most of my guests are more well to do, on the conservative side, and their almost universal hate is ~big government~ (180% opposite to Hitler’s supporters); interesting. Nonetheless, my response to any political conversation is always: “Say, what do you think of the new fish pool and observation tower I just added to the island?”. I will embark on my personal political crusade another time. :sunglasses:


Just to be clear, K9Karma is a retired history teacher and set me straight once regarding my layman’s Hitler history statement… That’s why the Hitler reference.

That said, one should probably never discuss religion or politics in good company. :smile: It usually never ends well. :smile:

With no further ado, let’s replay this classic from last year! One of my faves!


Couldn’t resist this one also!! Sorry… If I am wrong I don’t wanna be right!


Haha well done kona. :laughing:

K9 - we do have a lot in common, European History has been a personal passion of mine all my life; the years 1900-1945 however, I have found forever haunting. :v:


@Mearns I understand the misgivings one might have about talking politics or even my political avatar on this site. I feel strongly about this election and if someone finds it offputting, oh well. I’m quite impressed with the range of opinions, the frankness of participants and everyone’s willingness to step in with a clarification or a bucket of cold water if it gets heated.

All that said, if I’m in violation of some forum rules I’m certainly willing to leave the forum.


I’m sure that you’re not in violation :slight_smile:

I’m very lucky in that although I live in the USA I’m a legal resident and not a citizen so I don’t have a vote here. That lets me off the hook completely :wink:


I mentioned it because politics is such a touchy subject, nothing more. I happen to really admire people that have a strong believe system under them, like you.

@jaquo It amazes me how many times exactly what I was thinking or about to say, you post. I can’t vote this time because some confusion about which state I am now resident of. ‘Bummer’.


@Mearns Got it. I really hope I get the chance to bring my left of center energy to your atoll to bring some balance to the juju there. I have it book marked, I just don’t know if I can plan something 2.5 years in advance. LOL


Same with me and Brexit … having been out of the UK for 15 years I wasn’t entitled to vote. So, although unlike ALL other expats i know I was a little bit brexit-y in my sympathies I could legitimately hold my hands up to my strongly Remain husband and kids and go “Don’t blame me - I was disenfranchised”!


Ah, I’d wondered at the time whether I could have voted but I’ve not lived in the UK for twenty two years so I guess the answer is no. It seems that I can’t vote anywhere! Which is fine by me - ‘not my fault’ :slight_smile:


Having been born in Holland and returning frequently to visit family, I can unequivocally tell you that “Dutch Food” has gone the way of the Dodo bird. Most of Holland now has so many international restaurants that finding “Dutch Food” is harder than finding Asian Food.


We had one terrible review (2’s) and the reasons were really odd (they said our cleaning chemicals “reeked,” etc.). It turned out that the lady who reserved didn’t actually stay, but her partner did. We were able to have it removed.

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