A Review Response Question

Hi! I am new to AirBnB, and have enjoyed two set of guests (two different couples) in my private room for 1-2 people with one matter during the stays.

The first guests were to arrive after 6pm but they got there early and called me at work to say that the key did not work in their door. I left work early, bringing work home, although by the time I got home I recalled that I had left the guest room door open. Plus the key was tested and worked.

I got home to a wide open guest room door. They came back, and said they had thought the garage door was the door to their room. They had been in the room but thought the room door was the garage door so they were obviously quite confused. I was able to show them around and it was nice to meet them.

Then, the couple’s reservation maker gave me a 4 on “arrival”. I would say my coming home to deal with their confusion was my service to grade on, not their having their confusion. Otherwise it was all a 5. I did add two signs after that- outside the door identifying the room and on the pull down bed identifying the bed. I don’t believe they had seen the profile, photos, nor got that info from their reservation-maker.

My question is what would veteran Airbnb folks do?

  1. point out to reservation maker that her review is making AirBnB give me notices that I am sub-par for my area while my service was personal for her confused guests?
  2. Respond to the review on the web site and chalk it up to experience?
  3. 1 + 2
  4. Live and learn?
  5. Other?

Thanks for all I have been able to glean from your posts!

What did the guest write in their review?

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@SheilaS - Post a constructive response to their review. Something like “Our goal is to make your arrival as easy as possible, and we were hopeful our goal had been accomplished. To ensure our future guests do not get confused, we have added some signs to make things easier. We do hope you come back and see us again”


They wrote kind things but the number 4 on Arrival is bringing down the score.

Thanks @PitonView! I appreciate the sample copy too

The arrival score is not part of AirBNB’s calculation for your “score.” If they didn’t mention the arrival in the review, do not respond. Never respond to private feedback!


Aren’t the stars given for check in counted as arrival? I’m a bit confused as to what the OP is referring to.

Checkin and Arrival are the same [new vs old nomenclature.] My suggestion is that hosts should not respond to anything that is not explicitly in the written review unless they want to reinforce a particular bit of their listing.


I see. I agree not to point out things that might not have been mentioned in the review but I think the OP is upset that they got 4 stars for check in. Not much they can do about it though. We always get 5 stars for overall experience. Do you know if those are the stars that guests see on the listing when they search? We have a couple of 4 star and one 3 star for location but overall 5 stars and are Super Hosts for what that’s worth.:stuck_out_tongue:


Do you mean to say ‘do not respond to anything in public except those bits the guest has posted in public’?

That has been my philosophy, unless you want to reinforce something. If there was a comment about something that all guests would encounter, such as creaky floors, in the private comment, it might make sense to respond with something like “Our creaky floors are part of the character of this historical home” to alert future guests that you have creaky floors and you think that they are an asset.


Is this person different from the guests who stayed there? If so I would note that in the review or in your response. Something to the effect “thank you for your comments though you did booked on behalf of someone else and did not stay there.”

For the key issue I wouldn’t be bothered by it but if you do want to comment I would say something like, “sorry for the checkin confusion.You arrived 3 hours earlier than you stated and I was not there. Unfortunately you tried to get in at the wrong door and the key only works on the correct door.”

Agree. I find it quite funny when a guest has said “Had a great time at John’s place” and the host reply goes “Sorry about the leaky bathroom tap, have fixed it now”.



The “reservation maker” was not one of the guests? If not, the “reservation maker” cannot leave you a review (as s/he was not a guest). (As well as being a violation of terms of service) If this is true you should be able to have the review removed.

Ouch! She already knows that as we were in close communication. I did make sure to use the airbnb messaging. Thanks for your feedback.

a violation of terms of service - that is interesting. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

I was upset, initially, when I found a guest had left a stellar written review but had counted 4 stars on a couple of things. I even wrote to one lady and asked what I could have done to give her a 5 star experience. She wrote back and said she “never, ever gave 5 stars”. I believe that the use of stars in defining a stay – or a purchased product or anything in today’s world – has changed. I can remember a time when 5 stars was only given for over-the-top, more than expected and 4 stars was not counted as “bad”. Even three stars wasn’t a killer – more like saying this is average and ok with me. That seems to have changed, though, and I don’t know if it was vendors or clients or younger generations making that change – but it took me by surprise when I first encountered it in a business setting (I was selling on Amazon). Nowadays, it seems that anything other than 5 stars is “bad”.
However, I did find that, even if a guest gave a 4 on a single aspect – such as location or value – it doesn’t show when folk are browsing the site – they just see the 5 stars. Also (and this way news to me) it seems that anything beyond about 3 sentences isn’t shown on the initial page – the viewer would need to click “read more” to see the rest.

Unfortunately, you can’t hope to maintain superhost if people are not giving 5 stars. I put a note in the room documents that says ‘if you are inclined to give less than 5 stars please contact me right away to meet your standard.’

I have had 3 people give me 4 stars, one on value, the lady above listed location and value and another gal left me a 4 on cleanliness. I did ask her about it; told her I needed to know to be sure my cleaner kept doing a good job and she told me it was the kitchen floor. The vinyl in the kitchen has some marks where a previous tenant (regular tenant) caught a pan on fire on the stove and ran out the door with it so there are some burn marks. And there are a few spots that don’t clean up, however it doesn’t bother most people because they say the place is sparkling clean. I will replace the vinyl when I can afford but it isn’t possible right now so, I guess I will just put a line in my house manual that says (in a professional way, of course) that it doesn’t look clean but it really is.
However, I am still well above the 80% required as I am at 97%.
Funny thing is, the guest who leave the 4 for cleanliness broke my house rules by eating all over the house. We found popcorn and popcorn kernels everywhere and a piece of bacon in the bedroom. My house rules say no eating outside the kitchen… which is mainly targeted at children (she had two). The children also tour half the cover off of one of the coloring books (I keep toys in the house for kids), scribbled one page in another and then threw it away and we found crayons in the front yard. I don’t care about the coloring books but that and the food all over the house seemed to show a little disrespect for my property. But that’s how people are. Part of running an AirBnB.

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