Extremely malicious review

I’ve been a host for about two years and I have seen my fair share of odd guests, but this one really goes over the top.

The stay was ok, the only oddity was that they took down mall my pictures from the wall. (6. Drawings of naked cartoons, burlesque show posters and Marilyn Monroe pictures) we decided not to comment on that and I left a good review. During the stay there was no word of complaint.

Then I got this! With additional complaints in private feedback:

Although it can be seen from the initial images that décor is, indeed, tasteless, Melitta really outdid herself in making the flat both as ugly and as useful as possible. She stuck nasty nudes on the walls and cupboards (NOT burlesque, burlesque is art! This was badly drawn porn!). The bedding was old, cheap and uncomfortable, and the bottom sheet provided did not even fit on the sofa bed (extra bedding in cupboard equally as useless). The pillows were thin and cheap. The “towels” were threadbare rags- you could see light through them. The kitchen was empty, when the site describes it as stocked- the promised “coffee” was an empty coffee jar with dust in, the tea was only herbal, not even enough pasta for one portion. So all lies there. No wine glasses (for a holiday apartment! insane!) or even crockery… There were two pages printed off Google maps for the “local guide material”, all the rest was crappy broken magazines from 2009. Another lie. There were DVDs but no DVD player, both the fans were ancient and useless and the flat was BOILING all the time. The hammock was broken. The pole was gone. The handsoaps and shower gels had all been filled with Tesco value washing up liquid. There were bibs, baby toys etc not even tidied away. Part of the kitchen floor had been “fixed” with tape. There was a weird shop’s mannekin left on the balcony for us find after we arrived at midnight- three girls alone, thanks. The terrace was overgrown and full of weeds. We asked Melitta’s parents to help book us a taxi as we spoke no Hungarian. They refused, told us to get a shuttle and offered no help in booking that either. We booked a taxi with FoTaxi online (Melitta’s only true and useful tip!)… Such a shame because Budapest was otherwise a beautiful city full of lovely helpful people. We loved the Gellert and Rudas baths (especially the rooftop bath!), the ruin pubs in the Jewish quarter, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. The only sad part was coming back to this ugly, sweaty dump at the end of each night. Not cheap enough to justify it! Melitta- buy some new towels/bedding, don’t lie about stocking the kitchen and throw out the ancient “guides”, they’re all outdated!! Also a paint job in this place wouldn’t go amiss! Such a shame because the location is alright and Budapest otherwise is amazing! DO NOT RENT IN SUMMER IT IS SO HOT YOU CAN’T SLEEP!

I did contact airbnb over it, because other hosts needs to know about this.

I’m not saying my flat is perfect, sometimes we run out of a thing or two, but I checked and most of her complaints were just made up and obviously without sense. She also complained about things that were clearly stated in the description like the removal of the pole for safety concerns and the warmness of the flat.

On top of it in private she made it clear (at least somewhat politely), that it is personally against me, as my parents (who actually do all the work) were nice, but I was one big liar and she accused that my reviews must have been fake…

All this for about 15 euros per night per person…

Anyone dealt with this kinda crazy guest?

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It is hard to comment about this without reading the review. Can you repost it here if you would like our opinion?

Sorry I hit the publish button before finishing writing, its up now

Mellita, first I want to say that I absolutely love your lovely city, I went there twice in one summer, and I stayed in hotels, not Airbnb.
What country were the girls from? The reason that I am asking because I a, from Eastern Europe and live 25 years Iin States. I grew up with a single mom with no money whatsoever . My standards are still very acceptable of anything I am offered, and I deffinitely realize a price I am paying.
As a host I hosted many people from all over the world, and guests from US are the pickiest. They are the ones who gave me lower rating even on value, and it was of season so my rates were half of winter rates, I just couldn’t go any lower.
I would ignore complains about sheets, towels, and glasses. This is just silly. I don’t also understand why it was so important for them to have a DVD.
With that said, there were other things that were in reviews that made me think twice.

  1. Coffee. Was coffee promised in your listing and then you just didnt have any available?
  2. Nude drawings. I don t tnink it’s such a good idea to have them displayed. You never know what religious background your guests will be.
  3. No AC. That’s the major one for me. I never read your listing but I cant imagine you would put there something like: my appartment gets unbearably hot during summer. How exactly you described the level of warmness?from the review it sounds like t was quite an uncomfortable condition to stay in. You know your appartment better than anyone else, you know how hot t gets during summer. May be after all it’s not such a good idea to rent this appartment out during summer? It’s just a thought, of course you do what you want, but to rent out an appartment without AC even portable one for 150$ that you put In a window or on a floor, or even without a fan for me is to call for reviews like this one. Imagine, these girls went sightseeing all day, tired, they know they have to go back to an appartment where it’s exausting to be in and hard to get any sleep because of the heat.

In their review these girls stressed out the issue of being mislead. I think if we digged dipper, I am positive the major reason for this was the temperature of the appartment.,and then everything else just was thrown in. This is obvious that the girls couldn’t realize from your listing how warm appartment gets during hot summer days and nights and when they were faced with these unbearable for them conditions, they felt that they were lied to.
Also, I don’t really understand what was the story with your parents not wanting to call taxi for them. It’s such a simple thing to do, what was the story?

I think this is the type of guest who books a 15 euros flat and expects the Ritz. Idiots. As long as you are marketed as a budget place and guests are reminded that this is what 15 euros gets. I’m a budget place too and have had complaints that my NON advertised kitchen did not have granite counters and a dishwasher. Eye roll.

Hey, I refill my handsoap containers the same way with cheap Walmart soap… Again, I ask… just what do you expect for 15 Euros a night!!!

Clearly unfair to complain about things that were disclosed in your listing description. I have had this kind of guest. All is sunshine and roses when they check in and while there, and then can’t wait to smack you down hard in a review. I dislike the use of the word LIE everywhere. You “lied” about coffee and glasses?

Also you are booking a room, not a concierge service. Most cab companies should be able to speak English. Maybe your parents were recommending the shuttle over the cab as it is easier and cheaper?

This review system is one thing I really don’t like about Air BnB. You will never please everyone…

That said though, as much as it hurts, sometimes reviews can help us improve things we had overlooked. Reread your description and edit for accuracy…perhaps you COULD take an honest look at upgrading the towels if you can really see through them, or tidying the baby items. Are there photos of the flat decor showing the nudes? If so, your guests don’t have a leg to stand on and should not have removed decor from the walls. I am guessing these guests are Americans too-- the pickiest and most entitled of nearly all guests (I’m American and agree with Yana!) I wish I knew their names… so if they ask to book my place I can turn them down! :slight_smile:

Not much you can do now that it is posted… Possibly ask them if they could tone down some of the language and harshness? They have 48 hours to edit. Air won’t change it, they will just tell you it’s part of the honesty and transparency of using their platform…Maybe you can change YOUR review of them?

At the least I would publicly reply to the review along the lines of "I’m so sorry you were unhappy. I wish you had let me know while you were staying so I could address your complaints. Yes, my flat can be hot, and I do not have fancy linens, which is why my rate is so low, at only 15 E a night. I could upgrade everything, that’s true, and then, I would upgrade my price. I prefer to offer a budget accommodation for those that need it. Of course, it’s not for everyone.

But I do agree with Yana - lose the nudes. There’s a time and a place, but a flat you’re renting to John Q Public - maybe not. I take my kids to art museums and don’t hide anything, but, my son would be mortified to see such art in a place he was staying.

Also contact them to try a personal exchange of what, really, they were unhappy about.

And yes, as an American, I can say - they don’t have a clue as to European or Asian accommodations.

The cost was $15 euro per person, so I am assuming girls paid 45$ per night, For Budapest it’s not that cheap. Only last summer during busiest season we stayed in Three corner Bristol 4* hotel for 40$ / night with gourmet breakfast buffet and cappuccino😀. Other hotels were ranging from 40-70$/night on Vaci street right in a center like Arts hotel also 4 stars with everything high quality.

Thanks everyone for the feedback, I believe these guests to be English and I think this was their first reservation, also instant book if I remember right.

The first thing was going through all my descriptions to see if I had make mistakes, checking missing amenities with my parents, who clean and deal with guests.

In fact, there was coffee, pasta and rice, earl grey as of black tea was not, yet a variation of fruit teas were on stock. I even checked with my current guests and they were fine stating that. 3 different types of pasta were to be found… maybe real coffee (not soluble) was not coffee for them?

I indicate the absence of the pole for safety reasons and the warmth of the flat, also the possible jungly state of the grass, as also seen on the photos to begin with.

I tried to talk to her only receiving more hate in at least a nicely put manner, keeping suggesting that I am one terrible liar… so she is happy to tell this to airbnb again. Oddly in private she says she doesn’t want to hurt my parents, because all is my fault as I lie about my flat (then again my parents do the actual work, I only do the communication)

I can’t even imagine what baby toys she was talking about… they either asked my parents for any taxi calling, which they would have not refused.

And so on.

We have over 70 reviews and are mostly in and out the superhost status, 4.5 -5 star reviews…

My conclusion of it all:
I will just stop providing all these extras
I will stop allowing the instant book option for unreviewed users
And just forget about this…

Yana you could tell me where you book those hotels, because I can’t find those prices, I revisit my hometown and a hostal with shared everything goes by 10 euros by night.
Yet those seem fine examples how desperate the market is becoming, the other day someone publishe a blog about why she decided to stop hosting and that was hitting the nail on the head.
Its more more unreviewed new users, asking for discount for a two night stay with a sign of trouble on their face…

All through these last two year of hosting we had towels destroyed, living room table destroyed, hair dryer gone missing, even a fan gone missing, every season we change the carpet.

It still pays off, but every time less.

Sadly my review was written way before hers, I hope though that airbnb lets it be changed, as I think other hosts should know about this behaviour. (and since other than the odd removal of decoration all was fine with the girls) so I left a good review, which I regret now.

Sorry… have been there with leaving a good review and getting shocked with a smackdown in return. DO post a reply, but try not to make it sound defensive. Great line too… “It still pays off but every time a little less.” Well said.


Sorry to hear about this high maintenance guest. I hope you do respond to the review before the time runs out. It sounds like she was really angry about something and then wouldn’t stop with all the nit picking. Do your sheets fit the sofa bed, and what is the condition of your towels? Was all of that a lie?

Regarding the nude drawings/photos…I find it a bit ridiculous that three women could not deal with this, and she had to remove them from the wall. Maybe her ex cheated on her with a playboy bunny, and it just set her off. The whole review is highly dramatic. No DVD player? Do you advertise that guests can watch DVDs? I am not understanding her complaint. She was with her friends in Budapest…not understanding why she needs to watch a DVD.

I think it is petty for her to complain about the tape on the kitchen floor too. Do you have baby toys and bibs?

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Ussualy I go to hotels.com as I have one night free if I book 10 nights, or booking.com. I like to book ahead of time, so I find cheaper rates.

Yes the sheets do fit the sofa bed, I can only assume they didn’t know how to open it into the double bed it is?

We have towels of various state, nothing see through, my mom generally preparing two big towels (in this case she said so), one normal and one beach towel, both size big (as our expeeience was that these were always taken out by the guest. One thing is for sure, over the time we ended up not having our stash of towels and bed linen in the wardrobe, as not once, guests just took out 10+ towels during a two-three day stay…

I promise no Dvd player, people generally have laptops.

I have no baby toys and bibs there so with that I’m puzzled and obviously nothing is just thrown on the floor… (I just had a baby boy myself, but still did not get to visit so no baby toys could travel there - with this I’m just starting to feel a bit paranoid, as you can only know this stalking my facebook account…)

I make no secret about the fact, that I am an artist, a burlesque circus artist, so from there expecting that my flat would be decorated let say with landscape photography is kinda foolish. My mom is always asking me to get a poster or photo of myself printed so that she could show the guests who I was… so there you have her telling me, what burlesque is as well…

Booking.com does have discounts with early reservations, then again, last minute nothing is that cheap, this reservasion was withing two weeks of arrival.

Hi Melitta,

I saw your listing. As all of the other reviews are overwhelmingly positive, I would try to shrug this one off. These guests seem to have developed a personal vendetta against you, which is strange because apparently they didn’t meet you.

It is weird to complain on the one hand that your pictures were too sexual for their tastes, then on the other hand to complain about the lack of a pole for pole dancing.

It is clear in your description that pasta is an example of what might be in the kitchen, not a promise.

Again, I wouldn’t worry. I know that when I read reviews and there is only one negative review among many positive reviews I discount the negative review.


Melita, the reason I didnt book through Airbnb when I was in Budapest is because hotels were so affordable. Even now if you go to hotels.com your will see prices in very nice hotels around 40$-50$ for 3 people, and it’s not even Euros.i traveled to more than 40 countries using airbnb the past 5 years, but before I use this type of accomodation I always check hotel prices. I am going to Peru now, hotels are so affordable there , I might as well stay in a hotel with all the amenities, breakfast in a morning, pool, concierge service, etc.,
I like my privacy, I like the AC, but that’s me.
I am a host also, and believe me I know how much it hurts to get reviews like this. I had one out of many who put 1 star on everything, and brought my score so much down. I was steps away from Superhost. I live in a tropical climate, and we were in a high termite season, he found 2 dead termites In a room, took a picture, accused me of not washed sheets, and then put a horrible review on line.

That made me a bit paranoid, honestly. I need these money, for right now this is a substantial part of my income, and reviews like this can jeopardize it. That’s why now I literally inspect every inch of my 2 rooms that I rent out. I clean right before my guests move in and inspect again for bugs.

Last guest I had said that he turned his head and pillow case ripped. Yes, they were old. I don’t want this to ever happen again, I went and bought 3 new sets of sheets.
Of course we can all adapt an attitude; " this is what I offer, it’s cheap, and if you don’t like it go somewhere else". But at the end it will hurt us, the hosts.
Though my "bad"guest was the only one out of many who gave me bad review, it’s still did damage to my score. Now I put an extra effort to avoid it In a future.

We can of course insist on keeping the rental space just the way we want it, but at what cost? Your berlisque pictures still bring a doubt in me. There are so many scenariums with different types of people who would not appreciate it on display: families with small and grown children, religious backgrounds. Not everyone is open minded and accepting of whatever. Nudity on display is very controversial.
AC issue: you are renting out an appartment that gets very hot during summer. You know about it, so there is always a risk of someone going through sweaty nights without any rest and complaining about it. A small investment, probably of 1 week rent can solve this problem forever.
Though the review in question is full of anger and negativity, perspective guests will get the message about unbearable temperature of the appartment, and frankly if it was me reading the review, I would not think twice of not renting it based only on this fact.
About stolen towels: are you charging a deposit?,may be that’s an idea?

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Finally, I ended writing this public reply:

"I am terribly sorry that X’s stay did not results as pleasant an experience as the experience of all of our other guests before her, and that she did not comment on any of her issues during or right after her stay, and we had to get to know about her complaints in this manner, because we would have been happy to address her problems at the moment.

We try to give our best hosting, I do not know X, so I cannot judge her reasons or expectations or understanding of my description of the flat, so again, I am very sorry that this summer’s heat and minor changes of decoration have caused her to write this vitriolic review over my property and it’s supposed state."

You see, it is hard to compose a thanks for the feedback I will better kinda reply, when 70% of the review is straight up lie and the rest is so overexagerrated and hateful, that is why I didn’t even want to go point by point explaining to you people here.

As for this person, she claims to be a well traveled Londoner, that lived almost a year in Asia, yet this was her first airbnb reservation seeminly.

Yana, thanks for the feedback on the AC, we have the flat up for sale, so that is why AC was not happening this summer, yet it would come with a higher nighly price, which I find risky in the current market of the city.

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We have to be sooooo very careful posting responses, as we don’t want to come off sounding hostile, even though taking a defensive stance is our first natural reaction. New guests will want to see how we react to complaints. The only way is to be apologetic, unemotional and factual. I discovered it’s sometimes better not to leave a response at all because somehow the site displays your complete response, drawing even more attention until that review and your COMPLETE response has dropped off the first page of reviews…

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Saying something like “Wow, I had no idea you were this unhappy! And while I can see this has been an emotional experience for you, most of your complaints do not make any sense given the facts of my apartment. Are you sure this review is about my place? You did indicate you were travelling on. Could it be you’re confusing my place with another?”