Bad guest left 5 star review and now demanding refund

I’m new to this forum but hoping to get some insight from others as our last guest has us rethinking using Airbnb ever again.

I’ll try and keep it concise: we allow up to two small or medium sized dogs, but request that guests crate them if they leave them alone in our cabin, as even well-behaved dogs can get anxious in a new place and chew/knock things over. We do the same with our two dogs when we are at the cabin. This guest knew this as it was clearly outlined in our listing, and went ahead and booked. She seemed pleasant over messages and we have a lock box so did not meet her, and she had no issues during her stay, and in fact left us a glowing review.

We arrived at the cabin to clean a few hours after she left and were horrified at the state she left it in - trash all over the floor of every room, including large pieces of chewed up plastic with her dog’s blood on them (assuming from their gums from having chewed for who knows how long while she left them uncrated), she had used our pristine white guest towels to wipe what appeared to be a pound of mud off her dog, only took out one of the three trash bins she used, spilled red wine down the front of our white cabinets, ruined a baking pan, stole or broke a wine glass, the list goes on unfortunately. We have really clear and detailed check out instructions to try and avoid situations like this, but she obviously didn’t bother to read them.

I left an honest and factual review describing the state she left our place in, and said I would not rent to her again or suggest others do. She responded by publishing my private information (last name, which is only supposed to be for guests not for use in public forums) and rambling on about how I was lying and maybe a ghost broke in and caused the mess and that I should be looking for a maid instead of mortgage help - altogether very insulting and personal.

Airbnb took down the response since it went against the policy of protecting privacy, but then she denied accountability for the damage she caused and they’re still, several days later, “investigating” it - even though I have photos of the damage/missing items and links for the replacements. To add insult to injury, she then submitted a request for a full refund for our stay, saying all her relaxation at our place had been ruined by how terrible I was to her and how I should have politely given her the change to “make it right” before posting a negative review - which is ridiculous considering that 1) I don’t ever want her in our place again and 2) that would require asking her to drive two hours back to supervise her cleaning. She went on to call me a drunk for sending her the damage request on a Saturday evening, which is particularly frustrating since we were giving her the benefit of the doubt in hoping the stains may come out of the disgusting mud-cover towel before charging her but when the laundry was finished that evening the towel was still ruined. She is a lawyer so is very threatening in her tone, and saying I violated all sorts of Airbnb terms of service by essentially hurting her feelings.

All in all, it’s extremely frustrating that Airbnb takes so long to resolve damage claims (they are saying they have to go back to her, even though they can see on the app that she is denying she caused any damage, yet I have the photos to prove it), that they’ve made it so impossible to block someone (after probably 15 attempts of different combos it allowed me to, but they said they couldn’t do it on their end even though I know in the past they’ve been able to) and that there is an option for a guest to request a full refund after leaving a perfect review about how much they loved our place. On top of that, it’s really hurtful to have someone say such awful things about you when they are the ones clearly in the wrong. Has anyone else had a similar experience or found a way to expedite Airbnb’s resolution process?

There’s no way to expedite their process. They don’t have deadlines for themselves like they do for the hosts that enable their existence.

This is where I’d concentrate on dropping the rope emotionally. Reply once to Airbnb about her counterclaim: No issue was raised during the stay, so she is not due anything under the Guest Refund policy. In fact, her stay was so good she left a 5* review.

No need to block her. I’d welcome any additional communication that proves to Air staff that she’s a nutter.

Once your documentation is submitted, only reply to Airbnb. Try to forget her altogether. (I know, easier said than done!) She paid for time in your home and head and now she’s gone. Don’t let her take up any additional “unpaid” time in your life.

These kinds of guests are rare, thankfully, or none of us would host.


Great advice from @Allison_H.

Ignore the woman, You got a five star review so it shows that she thought you were a good host. She sounds a bit unhinged so pay no attention to her. Once you look at the situation dispassionately, you’ll see that, although leaving trash all over the floor is horrible, that things like breaking a wine glass, not taking out a couple of trash cans and spilling red wine down a cabinet front aren’t big deals - I know they add to the general picture of drama but it’s just an accumulation of things that make it seem so bad.

Take a deep breath and pour yourself a drink. Oh, and pat yourself on the back for leaving an honest review so that the rest of us can be spared this person. :slight_smile:


You’re right, I should definitely work on not letting it bother me, but like you said - easier said than done. I’ve had rude guests in the past but her special brand of nasty is especially shocking. And you’re also right most guests we’ve had have been much better!

There is nothing you can do except ignore her and ask Airbnb to block her from contacting you @bk23


Absolutely, if it were just spilled wine (though we make it clear in our listing we expect guests to do basic cleaning up after themselves as our place is remote and even a small amount of food can attract pests quickly) is not in and of itself a big deal, it was the dozen problems with her stay. I think most people who viewed the pictures of how she left our place would be pretty shocked. We’ve had plenty of guests who have missed a few things or let us know they broke something and we don’t penalize them for that. And yes, a drink sounds about right and I agree that it’s important for hosts to warn about the truly bad guests to spare the rest of us!

I know, I just wanted to encourage you to keep it in perspective and relax. The horrible guest has gone now, you’ve probably attended to the cleaning so now forget about her and let Airbnb deal with it. :wink:


Thanks! I haven’t had a situation like this before and am not a fan of Airbnb’s practice of continually putting you in touch with the bad guest (giving them the opportunity to write back and deny damages instead of just making a decision based on the facts and not putting us back in touch) and the fact that it’s ongoing since she decided to send the next nasty message requesting her full refund yesterday. I’d love to be done with her and hopefully soon I finally will be!


Sorry but to me this really doesn’t sound like much of a big deal. This is just what hosts need to do every now and then. Thankfully not all guests are like that but every 10th guest or so these kind of things happen. You even got a 5* review out of it so that’s great. The guest will not get a refund. Granted, if she does get a refund I would be annoyed too but it’s unlikely going to happen.


Wow you have bad luck if every tenth guest is like this. We’ve been hosting every weekend for a year and this is a first.


You make my point rather beautifully. As a host, you have been EXTREMELY LUCKY. You have had 52 guests and this is the first time you’ve had a problem. I’d be very happy if that was me.

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Certainly not the first time we’ve had a problem, but never had someone trash our place so badly and then demand a refund. May not seem like a big deal to you, but I think to many it would be.


So sorry you had such a horrific experience. Do not refund her, it’s obvious she enjoyed her stay because she wrote a 5 star review. I agree with others, ignore and block her!

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The only things that seemed to have been irreparably damaged (or lost) are a baking pan, a wine glass and maybe a towel. How would this cost to replace? Less than $20? Consider it as the cost of doing business.

Yes, the refund is the annoying bit but as I said this seems to be more of an attempt to wind you up after the fact and it is very unlikely going to work. As I said, if AirBnB does agree to the refund, that’s when I would get annoyed. But thus far the damage is pretty much confined to a few replacable items.


Gosh, @Suntory, if you really have this kind of experience every tenth guest, I’m sorry for you.

We’ve hosted for almost three years, had upwards of 300 guests, and never had a guest like that.


No, not every tenth guests is exactly like that. What I meant is that every tenth guest there is a bit of a problem (rubbish not brought out, breakages, spillages, ruined towels, blood on sheets etc.). That’s what I meant.


I never claimed the amount was the issue, I think that’s pretty clear from my original post. The cost is $38, my frustration is that it means I have to keep dealing with her due to Airbnb’s process of letting a guest decide if they want to pay or not and the added interaction involved, and that Airbnb drags out the decision even when presented with photo proof. Maybe you’d feel differently about the situation if you spent four days finding bloody pieces of plastic under your furniture after spending twice as long cleaning as you do after your normal guests.


Yes, these are fair points.

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It is also the lack of respect and the sense of entitlement that comes with this type of guest. I paid, now I can treat your property and it’s contents without any care at all and then the outrage when they are fronted with it.


If you are going to go through the resolution process. I would want to collect more than $38 dollars. Get a bill from your cleaning person for extra cleaning or somehow get the total up. Otherwise not worth the headache.

You may want to look into VRBO, you have a real security deposit, and they are a little more disconnected from the guest / host relation compared to Airbnb.

I book on both, if i had the guest you descibed, I would much rather it be a VRBO booking.

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