Bad review from a really weird guest!

Hi guys ,
just thought I’d share this experience of a weird girl who came to stay recently…

The red flags were there in her initial messages so I should have known better than to accept her booking really… not much information about herself , seemed a bit overly needy and got agitated if I took more than 20 mins to reply to a message. Also no reviews. But I thought I’d give her the benefit of the doubt as she was young, new and everyone has to start somewhere…

So first of all, she arrived to early and is waiting outside the wrong house, 10 doors up. I have to go up the road to find her.

I get her checked in and she seems really shy and shifty and a bit weird (but some people are like that, so whatever).

She was complimentary about the house and seems happy. I give her some tips for things to do in the city (she doesn’t seem to have any particular itinerary). I let her know that if she has any questions or needs anything she can message me anytime.

So I go out for a few hours and come back and head up to the top floor (where Guest rooms and guest bathroom is) just to check the bathroom (because I have another guest arriving later that eve) and notice she’s left the shower running with water splashed everywhere. I’m just rectifying the situation when she comes out of her room and tells me she’s leaving immediately because she’s too cold. I’m quite taken aback by this because the house is a comfortable 19c but I offer her an extra heater for her room. She declines , saying “no it’s nothing to do with you or your house” I take this to mean that she found the city in general to be too cold.

Shortly after she leaves I gets a message from an Airbnb rep saying she’s asking for a refund on the basis that the listing is too cold and there was no hot water. I check the shower and taps in the bathroom to see if there’s a hot water issue - but there isn’t - it works beautifully. I explain this to the rep together with the fact the house is 19c and extra heaters were available/offered.
“Thanks for clarifying, your cancellation policy will apply” he says.

Then I get the notification she’s left a review :roll_eyes:.

I’ve waited for the next guest (perfectly lovely and normal) to come and go and post his lovely review before I deal with hers. I post my review for her which reads as follows -

“ After leaving, this guest contacted Airbnb for a refund based on the claims of no available hot water (the hot water worked fine) and that the room was overly cold (it was 19C in the room and extra heaters were available/offered). Needless to say - since these claims were not true, we could not comply.

I was also surprised she left the shower in the bathroom running with water splashed everywhere.

Quite a peculiar experience. “

Now cue her 1 star review (a stark contrast to the rest of the 2000+ 5 star ones ) which simply reads -

“I didn’t even stay 1 night and my poor poor money. I chose this place for the good reviews but it’s just terrible”

I contacted Airbnb in the hope that they’d remove this in the light of the fact that she’d tried to get a refund based on lies, failed and left this out of malice. They say it doesn’t violate any of their policies. But I think it doesn’t because it doesn’t actually provide any relevant information :joy:!

I suppose I don’t mind having the odd blip on my otherwise very good record and I’ve got my review response ready -

“This guest’s travel plans changed and she left early. Unfortunately, she then decided to try Airbnb for a refund based on false claims (then leaves a 1 star review when it didn’t work). It’s very sad that someone would choose to do this… it was a very odd experience and I genuinely hope she’s okay.”

…But to be honest I’d rather just get the review removed!

Should I try again, or once one rep has said no is that it? Also think I remember reading that once you’ve replied to the review you’ve blown any chance of getting it removed?

Any insight greatly appreciated x

I wouldn’t post your draft to her review. Given your stated record of 2,000 5 star reviews, her review will clearly be a blip and future guests will know that. I also think your review response (the second one) is off the mark, too defensive.

If you insist on posting something, I would just say “The guest experience was primarily due to her not understanding how to turn on hot water in the shower. Please read our other reviews to know what you can expect as a guest”


Got it, thanks for your thoughts x

I would definitely not post that draft response. Saying her travel plans changed is speculation and Airbnb is known to remove reviews and responses which speak of their involvement in a case.

My response would be, “Guest left within xx hours of check-in, citing being too cold (I offered her an extra space heater, which she declined) and no hot water (completely false).
Please refer to our other reviews for accurate accounts of past guests’ stays with us.”

You can keep trying to get the review removed- sometimes persistence pays off, but I don’t think you’ll have any luck- it doesn’t violate review policy, nor make false statements about your place, it just states her own opinion that it was"terrible".

And FYI, I would not consider 19C to be “comfortable”- I would also be cold indoors at that temp. Average indoor “comfortable” temperature is more like 21-22C.


Sure everyone’s ideal temperature varies, hence the extra heaters in case anyone’s a bit cold… thanks for your input, I’ll rain-check the reply…

For sure, some people like it cooler than others. My daughter’s house is always too cold for me, as she has always “run hot”. And if you are homesharing, most hosts are going to keep their home at a comfortable temperature for themselves.

What I was referring to are studies which have determined what the average comfortable indoor temperatures are for the majority of people.

19C may be comfortable for you, and as it is your home that you want to feel comfortable in, fair enough, but is a bit below the low that the average person considers adequate.

I have argued with AirBnB about a clearly false review and after they kicked it up, to a supervisor, they agreed with me and took down the bad review and extortion attempt. They even suspended the guests account. Tough to argue with a 5 star review, right before the bad review followed by a 5 star one directly after, plus my housekeeper sends me digital photos or videos as they are leaving the house so I have time stamped proof of what it looks like… and they will take photos when they arrived should the place have been trashed……

Not to jinx myself but never had a bad guest who did damage… but we have had some weird ones! Like the one who insisted she couldn’t sleep there because of the bad Fung shui… And I had to believe her as she was an interior designer and Fung shui master! Actually a housewife per her profile but we are all entitled to our fantasies!

I have had people insist it is too cold or too hot but they don’t adjust the thermostat or insist upon leaving the windows and doors open as documented by the alarm system. So I adjust the temperatures remotely or shut off the HVAC as the house rules and manual state that the doors and windows must be closed if or the system to operate. Such a waste of energy; and so bad for the planet


You have better luck getting a review removed if the guest makes proveably false accusations about specific things, and if they threaten you in writing with a bad review if they don’t get refunded.

Unfortunately, the OP’s guest didn’t do any of that, just said the place was terrible. And Airbnb maintains that guests are entitled to voice their opinions of a listing.

Luckily, guests aren’t so stupid as to believe every review they read. An outlier like that won’t be taken seriously in the midst of hundreds of great reviews. The only bummer is a 1* rating, but if a host has hundreds of 5* reviews, it doesn’t make much impact.

Claiming that there was no hot water WAS a false claim according to the host. So that should qualify for a takedown then.

The issue with the room temperature is ridiculous as everyone prefers an ever so slightly different environment both during the day and night. There won’t be a host who will satisfy 100% of their guests but that’s why thermostats exist plus responsable hosts who assure that guests can reach out to them in case they need help (like a heater…) or have questions.

Offering an additional heater was a logical and sensible offer which the guest refused (!!!) and then decided to mention that it was too cold despite being offered an additional heater. Plus mentioning to the host ‘that it’s not them or the building’ :man_shrugging:t2:.

Paired with ‘shifty’ behavior and other signs this has to be written off as a blip.

However, based on your track record ABB should understand that this review is a lie and therefore be removed.

We had a guest who left bad feedback because he didn’t like the way our smoke detector LED blinked. :man_facepalming:t2:


But the guest didn’t say that in the review, she claimed there was no hot water to Airbnb to try to get a refund. All she said in the review was:

“I didn’t even stay 1 night and my poor poor money. I chose this place for the good reviews but it’s just terrible.”

Airbnb won’t take down a review based on what a guest may have falsely claimed to Airbnb on the phone or by message. The actual written review has to violate policy.

Of course we all know that the 1* was retaliation (or at the very least due to the guest’s weirdness, certainly nothing to do with the accommodation or the host), and of course it seems highly unfair for a long time host who has 2000+ 5* reviews to have Airbnb not recognize the no-brainer of the host not being deserving of a 1* review and taking it down, but good luck trying to convince Airbnb of that.

Airbnb has even refused to take down retaliatory reviews by horrible guests who were trashing a house and had their booking cancelled and told to leave immediately by Airbnb after the host reporting it. How insane is that?

Airbnb policy states that they don’t adjudicate on the truth of reviews. A guest saying a place is terrible is just the guest’s opinion, is Airbnb’s stance. If the guest had actually said in the review that there was no hot water, or no heat, a host might have a better chance of getting it taken down.

Some hosts, if they are persistent, may end up convincing Airbnb to remove an obviously undeserved 1* rating, but it can take endless frustrating back and forths with them. Might be worth the time and aggravation for a newish host with few reviews, but doesn’t seem worth the effort for a host with 2000+ 5* reviews. It’s so obvious an outlier.

I did have Airbnb remove a guest’s review that hadn’t even been published yet, so I don’t even know what it said (but I knew it was going to be bad, as she had called Airbnb the day before with some lies, trying to get a full refund, and had then rushed to leave a review the minute she got a review notice) She had cancelled at 4am the night before her check-in day, after holding my calendar hostage with her booking for 6 weeks. As they could see her cancellation, and that she never even arrived, they agreed to remove it before it was even published.

Appealed twice to have it removed - both requests met with endless smoke being blown up me for being a superhost , followed by a “no” :joy:. I ended up posting a simple reply saying something like “had concerns about X from the beginning but thought she deserved a chance. She does not seem well and I hope she is okay” which is pretty much the top and bottom of it.

Although you can never say for certain what someone will be like, I guess this is a reminder to be mindful who we let stay with us.

I hope the review I left might at least prevent her from doing it to someone else.

It’s all a bit unpleasant but as people have pointed out, it doesn’t make too much of an impact on me - it seems unjust that this could happen to someone else just starting out.

I did have another very strange woman come and stay quite early on in my hosting journey and her review was much much worse. I managed to get it removed based on her “unrealistic expectations” as the rep put it. The guest said since she was in the UK that I should have served her a full english breakfast every morning with bacon and sausage. In hindsight it was quite funny and maybe I should have left it.

I know it’s too late but if I were a guest and a host said that about me I’d be trying to get it removed. How would you like to read a review that said the same about you?


Well if I was the type of person to go round lying to try to extort money out of people, I’d probably take it as a compliment.



Something similar when a BDC guest booked for his parents but failed to tell that he won’t be the one staying.

Once they arrived they were negatively surprised to hear that we do not offer breakfast, which is nowhere mentioned! But since THEIR son was making the reservation how dare I claim that we do not offer breakfast :man_facepalming:t2:

We explained that this is something that can happen when people who do not stay here simply do not even read or ever see our listing.

We recommended them an excellent bakery just 5 minutes by foot away from our place that offers delicious breakfast. We’re already priced at the bottom of the competition as we don’t have a kitchen but facilities to make coffee, fridge, toaster, kettle etc.

Well, this didn’t stop their son from giving us 3 out of 10 stars for misrepresenting our accommodation (9.2 average rating) also giving staff a 5 star rating and it was only me talking to them (German native language) trying to read their wishes from their lips. We live on site and can always respond if necessary. Received their direct phone ne number and communicated over WhatsApp. Well, some people cannot be satisfied.:clown_face:


And if the guest complains to Airbnb about it, they will likely remove it.

Hosts really should never speculate about a guest’s motives or mental state in a review or response. Not only is it presumptuous, it is likely to be removed, which of course makes it pointless to submit in the first place.

Reviews and responses should only state facts or the host’s personal experience with the guest. For instance, there’s nothing wrong with a host saying, “The state of the place after these guests left made us feel very disrespected”, and it’s not grounds for removal, but “These guests left the place a mess- they are pigs and obviously have zero respect for anyone” would be.

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Right, I think when you consider the wider picture of what this person tried to do (lie with a view to extorting money, then when she didn’t get her way - leave a malicious review intending to harm my business) suggesting that a person might not be in the best head space is probably as diplomatic a response as you’re going to get, compared with what could/should have been said.
I think anyone who engages in such dishonest behaviour is clearly not in a good place (mentally or otherwise) and obviously not being the best version of themselves.
All just my opinion of course!

If course that’s true, but speculating on a guest’s mental state in a review or response isn’t okay. Stick to facts or “I” statements.

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I think there’s a lot of things about this that aren’t okay and where normally I’d be inclined to agree with you, given the context of this , I’m not sure I do. My response was nothing short of kind as far as I can tell. A stark and telling contrast to the original review it’s replying to. I couldn’t find anything to support what you’re saying in the TOCs but it may well be there … I suffer with ADHD and am terrible with documents and in things like this :face_with_spiral_eyes:!

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Yes, even a person without ADHD could go cross-eyed reading through their TOS.
But the review policy guidelines isn’t there, I don’t think, it’s a separate policy.

The wording is typical ambiguous Airbnb wording, full of “mays” and “coulds” regardling review andrespinse removal, so it’s open to interpretation by CS reps.

For instance, it says, “Reviews may not contain explicit, discriminatory, harmful, fraudulent, illegal or other content that violates our Content Policy.”

So a guest can phone up and say that a response, which speculates on their mental state, is “harmful” or “discriminatory” and the CS rep could agree or disagree that it is.

It all usually depends on the CS reps you are dealing with. I’ve read posts by hosts who had bad guests, who the host had to talk to about their behavior, say in the review, out of retaliation, that the host was racist. That would seem a clear violation of the “no discrimination”, but Airbnb refused to remove it, saying the guest is entitled to describe their experience (even though it’s a lie).

I can understand Airbnb not being able to want to determine whether a guest or host is lying- if a guest claims the host called them the “n” word, that isn’t disprovable. Maybe the guest is lying, or maybe the host really did.
And usually, Airbnb considers hosts to be guilty until proven innocent.

All sounds about right. In my 10 years on Airbnb I think I’ve had 3 reviews removed. If I remember rightly none of them particularly violated policy - I was just lucky to get reps who sided with me! That’s going back a few years though and things might have tightened up since then…