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Get ready to pull your hair out - mind boggling stupid explanation from Airbnb

review-assistance
#1

Ready to be pissed off beyond belief !?! :

“Unfortunately, even if a review is untrue or vindictive, it’s not one of the reasons we would take it down.”

A guest claims to have lost an envelope of cash while staying in my apartment. Naturally he’s now accusing me or my staff of stealing from him, saying someone must have come into the apartment and taken his cash out of his luggage. My smart lock logs each time the door is opened, and the Ring camera captures videos. I’ve provided all of this to Airbnb that directly show the guest is lying. The video also shows he checked in and 8 hrs later had his luggage delivered from the airline, which means the luggage with cash in it was out of his control and unattended for multiple hours before it arrived after his check in.

None the less, here is the idiotic response I get from a “Senior Case Manager”:

Airbnb Support

8:17 PM

Hello Stephen,

My name is Matthew, and I am a Senior Case Manager here at Airbnb. We understand you would like us to remove the review left by Immanuel after their reservation with you.

Unfortunately, even if a review is untrue or vindictive, it’s not one of the reasons we would take it down. In my several years here, I’ve seen us take down reviews only a few times. It’s very rare, and would have to be for one of the reasons described in the policy:
www.airbnb.com/help/article/546

I know that reviews are so important. They not only impact the success of your business, they’re also personal. You put a lot of thought and care into your hospitality and it’s frustrating when you receive a review that’s uncharacteristically low—be it a mistake, a misunderstanding, or an unfair assessment.

Other hosts have raised concerns about this, and we want you to know that we hear you and we’re taking this issue really seriously. We’ve invested and will continue to invest a lot of thought and effort into how we can make the review system more fair. While I can’t take down this review, I can promise that we are making progress on coming up with a fair policy.

At the Host Q&A, in June, our CEO said, specifically, that we’d look into outlier reviews. To be clear, one-off low reviews can be considered outliers when a host has otherwise great review scores, but a single guest leaves a bad rating that seems out of place and the system will flag it.

The tools we are working on for this aren’t available yet, but we are always looking for ways to improve the system. Please share your feedback with us at www.airbnb.com/feedback.

I am sorry we won’t be able to remove the review this guest left, but you did leave a response and that is the best way you could let the rest of the community know how you truly are as a host. I appreciate you taking the time to contact us, i’m out of the office the next two days, but can follow up with you more then.

Best wishes,

Matthew.

I’m really starting to think critical thinking and analysis disqualifies one to work for Airbnb.

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#2

Why is this mind-boggling? It’s the same explanation they give for every review that doesn’t explicitly violate their policy. You just joined a new club of hosts frustrated with the retaliatory nature of guest reviews.

So, what does the review say?

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#3

They always say that in hopes you will drop it.

I would respond as follows:

Matthew thank you for your response but I do not consider this matter resolved. Just because Airbnb has not implemented automated tools to flag outlier reviews is no reason not to use the tools available, meaning the humans like yourself who can read. I have submitted video evidence that clearly shows nobody but the guest was in the unit. If you are unwilling or unable to remove this review please forward this case to your manager for review.

Kind regards.

Pissed off host

RR

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#4

Most guests surely have the ability to see this too? If a ‘system’ can, then people can too. (Okay, maybe there are some people out there who can’t but would you really want them as guests?)

If Airbnb removed a review every time a guest or host complained, then we might as well do away with reviews altogether. If they are easily removed, doesn’t that mean that the system is open to abuse? If I write a review of a guest saying that I strongly recommend that hosts avoid them, then couldn’t the guest argue the point and have it removed?

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#5

I am willing to bet it is easier for a guest to get a review removed than a host. Just a wild guess

RR

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#6

That’s one club I’m not looking to join. I’ve had every defamatory review that contains lies removed, every time.

One Star:

I honestly wouldn’t rent from this guy ever again. We left all the money (Euros) we had taken out for our next portion of our trip to Cuba in my girlfriend luggage and proceed to leave the Airbnb. As we prepared to leave for the next portion of our trip to Cuba, we girlfriend noticed the funds were no longer in the luggage. We contacted the host, who said his maid didn’t see anything. I asked him if he could provide us the camera footage from the door so we could file a proper police report and he didn’t respond to that portion of our request. The camera he has on the door is one of the ones that tell you when someone is coming and someone is going, so he would know when we were there and when we weren’t. We have gotten Airbnb in several countries and have never had this experience. We also woke up with bug bites as well. I suggest you get travel insurance.

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#7

This was my response - to the Case Manager, to their twitter handle in the US, and the Airbnb help handle:

I have reviewed the the Content Policy https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/546 … Based on my understanding of the policy, Immanuel is in violation of it and his review should be removed. “The following are violations specific to the type of the content on Airbnb: Reviews Reviews that do not represent the author’s personal experience or that of their travel companions” - I have provided direct evidence that proves that guest has lied, therefore his review does not represent his personal experience - therefore his review is in violation of the Content Policy and should be removed. The guest review states: “We left all the money (Euros) we had taken out for our next portion of our trip to Cuba in my girlfriend luggage and proceed to leave the Airbnb. As we prepared to leave for the next portion of our trip to Cuba, we girlfriend noticed the funds were no longer in the luggage” - The recorded timestamps of the smart lock being opened and the related videos - all of which I have provided, directly show this is not true. The guest review states: “I asked him if he could provide us the camera footage from the door so we could file a proper police report and he didn’t respond to that portion of our request.” - You can clearly see from the message history that this is a lie, I responded to him immediately and explained that nothing was left behind or found in the apartment. The guest review states: “We also woke up with bug bites as well.” At no time was I made aware of this, the guest never said anything about this during his stay, and has provided no evidence of this. Clearly someone who has stated proven lies can not be held said to have left a review that represented their personal experience. Therefore, by Immanuel’s review containing lies his review does not represent the author’s personal experience. The Content Policy also states: “The following content is never allowed on Airbnb: Content that is illegal or that violates another person’s or entity’s rights, including intellectual property rights and privacy rights” I have the right to be free from libelous and defamatory accusations about my character. I have the right to run my business free from tortuous interference. The review as written makes a defamatory statement about my character by accusing me of theft. The negative impact of this statement is having and will continue to have a tortuous interference on my business. Immanuel’s review has violated the Content Policy in multiple instances, any single one, and certainly all of the as outline can result in only one fair conclusion. The conclusion as is required by the Content Policy for violating the terms is to the remove the review.

4 Likes

#8

The alternative is this reality, as I explained to the CM:

In the interim, while I am waiting, there remains a false and defamatory review up on my listing from this guest Immanuel. I have already provided video proof that proves the guest is lying. Why is this review allowed to remain in place? I have already had one future guest cancel a booking, how many other potential guests will be avoiding booking with me while Airbnb allows this defamatory review to remain in place? What is the recourse against the guest for this ? He essentially is being allowed to lie, harm my business, and Airbnb is doing nothing about it. This is extremely frustrating and no one from Airbnb is giving me dedicated individualized attention to this matter.

2 Likes

#9

Frustratingly so. And I was sure to mention that to the CM. IF I was a guest having an issue you all would be tripping over yourself to offer some immediate solution - but since I’m the host, you’re fine sticking it to me and affecting my business by allowing someone to defame me in a review.

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#10

I’m not so sure. We left a pretty scathing review for a guest and she tried to have it removed, citing privacy issues as it explicitly mentioned her partners name. Our response to CS was that she had booked it, mentioning her partners name, therefore no privacy issue.

To and fro for a bit, end result review still there. Her response to it is a bit of a rant which probably makes her look worse.

JF

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#11

Yes, the guest should be able to argue and have that review removed -if they can offer and show proof the review is a lie. As I have done about my guests’s review.

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#12

That’s an opinion and you are entitled to express it, and AirBNB acc. to its policy permits this.

False facts are where hosts and guests get into trouble. “So-and-so sells drugs in the kitchen … so-and-so assaulted my partner” … things that are untrue, create harm and are left uncorrected (negligence).

So reviews need to be removed if they are defamatory (false, create damages, left up in place despite falseness which equals negligence) not every time someone complains.

Tell (calmly and factually, don’t threaten) the Case Manager that you will be filing legal complaints against the guest for defamation and against AirBNB for an injunction to remove the review and legal costs. See if you get a response. If not, time for those Small Claims forms …

EDIT: Small Claims would work for the suit against the guest. Depending on your jurisdiction, you would need to file in a higher court for an injunction (& that is more filing fees). BUT a small claim even if you can’t seek an injunction will get Air’s attention and possibly the review taken down.

2 Likes

#13

No need, a guests can easily open a new account.

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#14

As can hosts. The main difference is a host typically has far more reviews and it’s harder on a zero review host than a zero review guest. But hosts get shut down for multiple low reviews and just keep playing their shell game.

1 Like

#15

if you don’t mind a dumb question – do they need to get a new / different phone number to do this?

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#16

I don’t know. All I know is that booted listings sometimes reappear. I’m sure they have to do something different, I don’t know what though.

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#17

On this one I am going to have to disagree. Accusing a host of theft is both a criminal matter and character assassination. This is a business, and I cannot imagine a platform where such obvious malice would be supported.

Start with advising Air and the guest that you are opening a police investigation, and contact social media.

Enough is enough.

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#18

@justMandi I agree with Mandi; accusing a host of stealing money is serious stuff…

1 Like

#19

@JustMandi and @MissMiami , the guest does not accuse the host of stealing in the review.

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#20

@Brian_R170 Not directly but it is clearly implied.

1 Like

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