Can't access guest reviews unless I've got Instant Booking

So I’ve just turned down a booking request from a a guest who wants to rent my entire apartment for a group of 4 during the spring races which is the most drunken event of the year.

I initially turned him down because there was no profile picture, no written profile and no prior reviews (I also turned him down because he did not quote the code word hidden in my house rules to ensure that they read them all), but in further inspection it appeared that this guest has been a member since 2015 and that I can no longer access guest reviews unless I have activated the “Instant Booking” feature.

I realise that Airbnb have been trying to push people toward “Instant Booking” but honestly withholding reviews now? How the hell are we supposed to make any kind of judgement on guests if we have no access to their reviews. It;s enough to make me abandon their platform altogether.

I’m very concerned about setting up the “Instant Booking” feature with my entire apartment as I an not around to watch over guests.

I had set it up for the single room listing only (as I am still on premises with the guests) but even with the filters to exclude certain guests, they seem to still be slipping through.

Are other people experiencing this? When did this firewall to guests reviews happen? Has anybody had any experience with other platforms that are less evil in this respect?

Are you sure the guest has any reviews? I’ve had guests who were long time Airbnb members with no reviews.

Sometimes on my phone app it shows as no reviews, but if I log in on my laptop the reviews suddenly appear. Could this be the case?

I see guest reviews for declined guests on my phone app

You mean after you’ve declined them? Yes I think I do too. Too little, too late!

No. I checked them out on my laptop specifically because I could not see anything on my iphone or IPad and this was BEFORE I declined them.

I have IB so can’t really help much. I was just going to mention that I know the review stars can only be seen if you have instant book so maybe it’s a glitch? Or a test (that hopefully will fail for your sake). I would not be surprised if Airbnb eventually goes to all instant book.

Under the section where it says
"About this guest" There is a green link that says " Learn how to access guest star ratings". When I click on that I get

Access guest ratings with Instant Book

When you let guests book instantly, you’ll be able to see how other hosts
rated them on cleanliness, communication, and how well they followed
House Rules. Guest ratings will be available for any booking you get
while Instant Book is on.

If you’re ever uncomfortable with a reservation, you always have the option to cancel penalty-free. Learn more

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so it’s possible that another guests who has prior written reviews might be still visible to me without Instant book?

Hosts being “allowed” to see the Star Ratings is a very recent addition, and it is only available to Instant Book hosts. They didn’t take anything away from you; they never gave it to you to start with. You should be able to see the written reviews, just not the star ratings.

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You could try calling Airbnb and asking. Like if you get a booking request and it says “member since 2015” you could ask the guest if they have reviews, or you could call Airbnb and ask them. Unfortunately many hosts seem to follow the rule of “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” So they get a guest that they wouldn’t recommend but they are afraid of a retaliatory review. So they don’t review. A poor guest could use Airbnb dozens of times and just insinuate they weren’t happy, are going to leave a bad review or otherwise black mail a host to not review. I have new guests all the time who have no reviews and I’ve had no problems but I don’t have the same situation you do. In your case I’d only want to rent to someone with reviews for the special event.

@smtucker
Ok thanks I was worried that I might not be able to see ANY reviews that would help me make an informed decision w/o having instant book. I just didn"t think this guy did not have any prior reviews since 2015.

@KKC yes for the listing of the entire flat I require prior reviews.

thanks for you help everybody.

@retromodern

You’ve got a code-word embedded in your rental description that the guest should give you to prove they’ve read the information? So simple! Brilliant!

In the rental description, do you ask them to mention it when they make their booking request? Do you offer an incentive to get their buy-in like “to get an extra 5% off your booking price mention the code word “beachbum”?”

I think @Allison_H does as well.

So how did this turn out? Are you able to view Potential Guests reviews &, more importantly reviews other Hosts made BEFORE you Accept or Confirm?

Most Guests are fine. But occasionally I’m wishing we had a better sense of how a Guest respects/disrespects House Rules re additional guests or pets.

Can you see ratings other Hosts left of Guests?