Bad guest feedback advice

Howdy folks!

We have just hosted a lady and her two friends in our lakeside cottage (our own holiday home which we advertise as a ‘home from home’)

This was just our fourth group of guests and up until now all have been absolutely lovely, I guess law of averages is you have to get a bad one sooner or later and she is our first!

I need some advice in how to write a review for her to help other hosts, and also how to respond to what will I fear inevitably be her bad review and the impact of that on our (formerly 5 star) ratings.

Long and short of it is this guest wanted the facilities and staging better found in a hotel, and didn’t seem to grasp the concept of Airbnb despite being a host herself.

Issues were:

Booking for 7 days (our minimum) at height of our peak season, 1 week prior to arrival she advises she can’t afford 7 nights any more so needs to change to 3 (at this point we make almost zero after cleaning fees) but we accepted her change kindly and graciously, concious it was better to have something than nothing! To be fair if this was the only issue I wouldn’t even mention it

On arrival (self check in) she texts to say 'when was this place last cleaned, there are cobwebs everywhere. The cleaners as it happened had spent twice as long there as normal to do a deep clean just that day. Housekeeper went around immediately and reported back it was a single cobweb OUTSIDE (lots of spiders near the lakes!) and that the guests hadn’t even gone round the rest of the inside of the house

On day of check out guests refused to leave at check out time and stayed an extra 90 minutes, meaning the poor housekeeper only had 90 minutes to get the house completely cleaned and all beds re done for next guests who were checking in that afternoon (guests were aware there were new folks checking in)

Guests gave our housekeeper an earful saying things like the place was overrun with spiders (summer time by a lake, not much we can do with Mother Nature sadly other than try to keep em out of the house), that she was annoyed there was a ‘locked room’ (housekeeper explained that was for the owners personal things, guest said she thought that was unreasonable as the house was, and I quote, ‘full of their crap anyway’… By that we can only assume she means furniture and accessories like books and kitchen equipment which we leave to allow guests to feel comfortable, lol!)

So… any advice on what to write?

Wow, what a nasty. Talking about the law of averages, you need the next 3 also to be good to balance this one out!

I’ll just say one thing here to start with - if you are sure she’ll give you a bad review and you want to avoid that on priority, do not prompt her to write you a review by first writing her one yourself. Just let the 14 days pass praying she won’t write you one as she’s busy throwing a tantrum at another holiday location.

You can take action only if she initiates a review herself.


This host never had any intention of staying 7 nights, played the system and so far it’s worked out in her favor. You have to leave a negative review, I sure don’t want her in my place. I’ve already had one host from hell, wasn’t called Ann by any chance was she lol.
How about “I was surprised and saddened that another host could behave in such an unprofessional manner and cannot recommend her as a guest”.
Agree with @Astaire, wait until they write you a review, and then hit her where it hurts.


Here’s the problem. She’s a crap guest, so my opinion is that you need to warn other hosts by writing a review, whether she leaves you one or not.

We as hosts rely so much on guest reviews to determine whether to host or decline a particular guest. As a result, it really bothers me when I hear that a host chooses not to leave a bad review for a guest because they’re worried that the guest will write them a bad review in return. What happens then is some other poor host has the same bad experience, but the guest continues on her way without any consequences.

On the upside, hosts have the opportunity to respond to bad reviews, guests do not. If she does leave a mediocre or bad review, you can leave a factual response that will always accompany her review.

You will get lower reviews than you’re used to eventually. It’s only a matter of time. You can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try. In the meantime, please take the time to warn other hosts about this guest by writing a fair and factual review.


Ah! The big red flag of greed! I will be surprised if she doesn’t ask for a refund. When a guest changes their plans like this just say NO! I’d personally rather have them cancel than to agree to their terms unless there are truly extenuating circumstances. That said, leave a factual review including the accommodations you made for them and don’t recommend them to other hosts.
So sorry you were nice but the money is never worth the red flags.


You can’t do anything about this now but such a situation is preventable in the future.

Asking for the refund on the 7 days is something you could have denied. Whenever I have had this happen, it’s been a red flag for a bad guest. Burned once by this, and never again. I notice you considered your actions meeting her request to be “kindly and generous.” They were, but i guarantee, that it went totally unnoticed by the guest. So let that be a lesson… don’t do favors for guests like that. The payoff is usually zero.

Then… allowing her to stay 90 minutes after check out? WHY? What were you thinking? You should have been knocking on her door (I give a grace of 20 minutes)… and saying, Excuse me guest, check out was at xxx and the cleaners are here to turn the room. I need you to leave now. Thank you!

Lesson: Take charge here.

As for the review, you can’t mention the refund you gave but you can simply say:

Unpleasant guest, not a fit. Did not respect the checkout time and complained about nature’s gifts located outside the house.


Amen! The more they ask the less they appreciate. I learned this early on. I’ve gotten good at just saying no, no, no! Thanks Amy😛


I disagree with the prevailing view on this board that hosts owe it to other hosts to leave negative reviews for bad guests. I can’t think of a single other business where the business owner is believed to owe a certain behavior to other unaffiliated business owners because they are in the same business. In any case, what bothers one host won’t bother another host so the reviews hosts leave for guests are mostly useless to me. I am more interested in the reviews that guests have left for other hosts. These reviews give me a lot of information about whether the guest will be happy with what we offer.

You are incorrect in saying that only hosts are able to respond to reviews. Hosts and guests have the ability to respond to reviews.


Thanks Kona!

You are right and lesson learnt for next time!

It was our housekeeper at the house for check out time, believe me we didn’t let her stay, according to the poor lady who cleans for us she was just rude and wouldn’t leave. We live a couple hundred miles away so the housekeeper manages it for us and she is so lovely but the guests even really annoyed her!


@konacoconutz is right about the mistake in allowing this horrible guest to get a refund. I would not mention this in the review because you allowed it and therefore it’s not relevant. Keep your killer review short and sharp. Don’t even mention that she’s a host herself - you’re reviewing her as a guest. This is what I would write:

“This was not a good hosting experience and I cannot recommend X. She refused to leave until 1.5 hours after check-out time which seriously inconvenienced our housekeeper who also had to deal with her rudeness. Unreasonable complaints and comments were made about one cupboard being locked for our personal items and a cobweb on the outside of the building. We are located in a rural setting and cannot vacuum nature.”

I would put the details in because everyone has different levels of tolerance and being vague about things is not enough.

And as @Astaire says, wait until the last possible minute to review! You don’t want to prompt her to leave one and you want to wait until your nicer guests have left good reviews!

There’s been a lot of discussion on here (and other places) about how hosts are sometimes The Worst Guests Ever. Sorry you had to experience this phenomenon.


Cheers Mag!!!

You have won comment of the DAY. Brilliant, my lass!


What??? I’m so tired of disagreeing with you EllenN (!) but this is such a weird statement to make. Why on earth are you even on a community forum for Airbnb hosts if you feel like this? Seriously, why? Did I misunderstand something?


@Kat_hon I am so sorry a fellow host behaved in this way. Did you check her own reviews before accepting her booking?

I agree with others I wouldn’t have accepted the last minute change. She knew exactly what she was doing. She paid when she booked in full - so can’t say at the last minute she can’t afford it.

Her behaviour was appalling from the last minutes change to rude comments about your cleaning (I do hope you kept a record on Airbnb to confirm it had received a deep clean and other issues) to her rude comments about your house and late check out.

I think she may complain and even ask for a further discount based on her behaviour to date.

In your situation I would call Airbnb and explain what happened - from the comments about cleaning when you had had a deep clean to her not liking that a room was locked (why would that matter if it wasn’t advertised) to her refusal to check out on time (although I agree I wouldn’t have let her do this), Make sure you follow it up in writing.

I can’t agree with @EllenN’s views about guest reviews. I see us as a wider community of hosts who help each other out; whether through forums like this or by the reviews we leave. Yes we run our own businesses, but we can do it much better when we support each other. Airbnb is built to a certain extent on trust. Of course we should all check our guests out to make sure there is a good fit. However, it does annoy me when hosts either leave good reviews for bad guests or don’t review at all. Leaving the next poor host to have an equally unpleasant experience.


Thank you for your advice all, really appreciate it

This is a minefield to navigate eh :frowning:

So… Based on your advice I am thinking of leaving a simple but factual review for her, along the lines of:

"I hope XXX and her friends enjoyed their stay in our home and got to experience the many local facilities and activities on offer over our summer period in the Cotswolds.

Sadly their trip was a bit shorter than originally booked as guests requested a last minute pre arrival reservation change from 7 nights to 3, and check out was a bit of a challenge for our housekeeper due to guests choosing to remain after check out time.

We work hard to give our guests a home from home experience, but we accept that some guests may be more comfortable in a hotel environment.’

Too long, or too harsh?

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Think again: Every profession that has the obligation to work according to a certain deontology. The purpose is that everyone does a good job, to the benefit of all in the same profession.
In this case there is no obligation, but one could argue that being a good AirBnB host implies leaving correct reviews, to the benefit of all.

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That is WAY WAY too nice. Seriously, this guest was horrible. Think of your housekeeper - she deserves respect and she didn’t get it. You owe it to her to call this person out on their rudeness.


No, no no unless you want more guests to request shorter stays. Just stick to the facts that she made special requests and all the rest about late check in and rude behavior and I adore not being able to vacuum nature!
I agree your review is waaay too nice.


Ok thanks! Will stop the booking shortening out and make it a bit punchier!

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You have every right to disagree with me (which you in fact seem to very much enjoy), but I’m not going to leave a forum because you tell me to.

Not harsh enough in my opinion. I would say something like

"We accommodated XXX’s last minute change to a much shorter booking. Despite an in-depth deep clean of the property just prior to her arrival, XXX contacted us to complain about cleanliness. When our housekeeper returned, she found the property cleaned to a high standard with the subject of the complaint a spiders web found outside our property which is located near a lake in the country and therefore surrounded by wildlife and insects at this time of year.

Unfortunately XXX refused to leave by the agreed check out time staying an extra 90 minutes, inconveniencing ourselves, our housekeeper and impacting on our next guests.

XXX was rather rude to ourselves and our housekeeper, despite us being flexible in accommodating her last minute change and I cannot recommend her to other hosts.