Blackmail for a Good Review? Navigating a Guest's Coercive Tactics

I’m facing a troubling situation where a guest demanded to leave early in exchange for a good review, clearly violating Airbnb’s review policy. Despite their coercion, I didn’t agree to a refund for their early departure. The result? I received the worst review imaginable.

I’ve been trying to get Airbnb’s support to address this, given the clear evidence in our message thread, but I keep hitting walls with delayed responses and the frequent “my shift has ended” excuse. It seems like a new, frustrating norm in their customer service approach.

Has anyone here successfully navigated through a similar issue? How did you manage to expedite the review removal process with Airbnb, especially when faced with undeniable policy violations? Any advice or insights would be incredibly helpful.

1 Like

Send it in writing and then call. That way it’s easier for the support person to read (reading is faster than listening for most people).

I usually do it that way and have successfully removed many reviews (though nothing in the last couple of months).

When a guest is being difficult, I also try and bait them into threatening me and saying something that I can use to remove the review.

1 Like

They reject the removal, no explanation why.

It’s so hard to suggest what to do in these situations. It seems there is little rhyme or reason to whether you get a successful outcome or not.

I always try to be as brief and factual when dealing with CS as possible. In your case quoting the Airbnb extortion policy and the guest’s message indicating the extortion.

I had a situation a couple months ago with a guest whose booking had blocked my calendar for 6 weeks, had exchanged some friendly messages with her, then things got weird,I won’t go into the details.

Next thing I know, I get a call from Airbnb saying the guest wants to cancel if I’ll give her a full refund (this is 24 hrs before her check-in). If not, she would keep the booking. She told Airbnb I was “pressuring” her to communicate off-platform, which wasn’t true and I told the CS rep no way was I agreeing to a refund.

Then, at 4am I get an alert that she has, in fact, cancelled. Fine, I’ll get paid according to my moderate policy.

Then, I see that this guest, who never came, has left a review. I know it’s going to be some complaint.

I messaged CS, said this guest had cancelled hours before check-in, as they could see, so she had nothing to base a review on, that I had no intention of leaving a review for her, and that her review should not be published as it would be irrelevant. Airbnb did not publish her review.

So I didn’t do anything special, or employ any “tricks”, I guess I was just lucky that they agreed to not publish her review. It’s a little different from getting an already published review removed, though.

I think you might have had better luck if you had contacted Airbnb about your guest’s extortion threat before she left a review, rather than after. Although I know their response to that is often “Well, if the guest leaves a bad review, we’ll remove it”, but then they renege on that.

I did contact them as soon as she blackmailed me, this was still during her stay, and that cs said nothing to worry about, we will remove it if she writes a bad review.

CS told you that over the phone? Or via chat/in writing?

Even their calls should be recorded and I would insist on them sticking to their word (and policies).

This would be very unfortunate if Airbnb would not remove that review since such early leave inquiries are not a guarantee for any guest to be reimbursed - something they should be aware of when they book and they are able to take any necessary actions by purchasing additional insurance for example to be covered for any unforeseen events besides the ‘I just don’t feel like staying here any longer’ and the hosts have to deal with lost revenue due to locked dates.

it was via message in writing

So what did they say when you showed them their own message saying they would remove it if she wrote a bad review?

The delayed responses and that Airbnb CS seems to always give the “shift has ended” or “I’ll be away from my desk for the next few days” excuse is highly annoying, but you just need to be patient and persistent. It seems you haven’t been told they won’t remove it, so hang in there.

If it was in the Airbnb messaging app then you are okay. The proof is there and airbnb is pretty good about removing this type of thing. Let us know how it pans out, but you should be good.

they said this:


This is Sheila from Airbnb. Thanks for reaching out to us.

Congratulations on being a SuperHost with Airbnb. Thank you for your dedication to providing exceptional hospitality.

I hope all is well!

Again, we can’t be able to remove the review. I know that the solution presented was not in your favor but rest assured that I have looked into all possible options to help you resolve your concern.

Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience you’ve experienced during their stay. It is always upsetting when you have the best intentions at heart, and it’s not reciprocated in the same way.

I just wanted to follow up and make sure you received my reply to your inquiry. Please let us know whether we can still be of help; otherwise, we’ll close out this issue for the time being.

Thank you for reaching out to Airbnb Community Support Team, we are here for you whenever you need us at:


We have been very fortunate and have not had a similar situation. Are you using the 415-800-5959 number for Airbnb? I usually get good results calling with that number. The only way to rebut a bad review is to provide comments after the review. Your comments are like the “last word” You might want to copy some of the communication that you had in the chat and put it into the response. Just an idea.

1 Like

I wouldn’t take “Sheila’s” message as the last word. As I mentioned, patience and persistence is the name of the game. I have read hosts saying it took months to get something like this resolved. You just have to weigh whether it’s worth your time.

My next message to Airbnb would be to quote the message you got saying not to worry, they’d remove the review if it was bad, and say you need to have confidence that when CS tells you that, you expect them to honor their promise, that otherwise, they are completely disrespecting you, and that placating words like "thank you for your dedication to providing exceptional hospitality " are meaningless when Airbnb lies to hosts.

1 Like

I’ve had CS give me the wrong answer and then – after I repeatedly pushed back with “that doesn’t make sense!” – got it corrected.

Then, after the correction, I went at them again for causing me grievance by getting it wrong on their way to getting it right and blasted them for putting poorly-trained people on the service desk. Twice I have been astonished by effusive apologies from Airbnb for the initial error.

(I have a couple of examples from my own experience of companies I have dealt with that have flawless customer service – really know their stuff. I throw this back at Airbnb and contrast it with many of their reps who “do not even understand the business – they just read scripts that pop up on their computer screen in response to a couple of keywords, and don’t even understand the words coming out of their mouths.”)


I have also gotten apologies after pointing out how their non-on-point answers with links to Help pages that didn’t address my issue is a waste of both their time and mine and that it’s those type of responses that lead to bad press about Airbnb CS.

I don’t say things like that in a nasty way, or insult the rep, just state it factually and have gotten apologies and then actual on-point answers.

1 Like