Guest left a bad review without staying in the apartment

I had an issue with one guest recently and I thought I should seek for your opinion.

I am a Superhost and have one listing that can fit up to 4 people. This particular guest sent an inquiry asking if I could accommodate 4 plus one 5 year old kid. I agreed and she made a booking. After a while she came back with rather confusing message asking to change her dates and also mentioning that another 2 persons would be coming. I assumed (wrongly) that these 2 persons would come as visitors and asked her if she would like to make amendments to her booking. She said nevermind, leave it as it is. On the day of her check in she came with 7 persons in total. I said to her that it is impossible to host her and that she would have to cancel the reservation in order to get a partial refund according to moderate cancellation policy. She refused and escalated the case to the Airbnb team saying that she had informed me about these extra guests.

Be it as it may, clearly there was a misunderstanding. The case got resolved with Airbnb shortly after. The problem is that my script sent an automated review although I had cancelled it previously (or so I thought I did). The guest left a worse possible review, affecting my ratings and consequently and probably my Superhost status. I called Airbnb explaining the situation, asking to delete her review as the guest did not actually stay at the apartment so how could she leave an objective review on accuracy, cleanliness, value, etc without even stepping in the apartment.

The Airbnb rep sided with the guest saying that I should have called them on the day of the check in to find a solution and that they understand the distress of a guest that went through. Therefore, according the Airbnb, the guest’s review was true and will not be deleted.

After months of working on nothing but stellar reviews and accommodating wishes of every single guest I got penalized heavily. While I understand guest’s point of view and take it as a misunderstanding I cannot understand Airbnb’s rep decision on this.

Did anyone experience something similar and is there anything that can be done in such case?

Many thanks for your advice.

Hi Polenta

This doesn’t make sense from BNB’s prospective. They state quite clearly on their site that if a guest doesn’t stay they can’t leave a review.

From what you have said the guest didn’t use your property or stay their at all.

I would contact BNB again and see if you can get the review lifted

One area I do agree with BNB on, is that when you knew there was a problem at check in, it would have been better for you to have contacted them, rather than leaving it to the guest to escalate. This would have given you more control over the situation and share your side with BNB first.

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Thank you Helsi for your reply.

Lesson learned about calling BNB. I’ll try to call them again and will keep you posted.

Cheers!

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If they won’t remove the review then I would reply to it and calmly state that the guest did not enter or stay at the apartment and therefore the review is inaccurate.

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Keep calling and escalating. I had something similar regarding reviews, in that my review of the guest was removed on a technicality and that the guest exaggerated in her review as retaliation for not getting more of a refund, but I could not prove this. I posted on their Twitter and it caused a second look case to be opened. In the end, they reinstated my review of the guest, which was a better compromise than nothing.

If the guest never stayed they absolutely positively cannot leave a review.

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Try calling a North American AirBnb representative, not a South/Central American one. I’ve noticed that some of the Eur/Asian and Latin/Caribbean Customer Service people are much less than helpful, and are only capable of following a script – like many companies’ “off-shore” CS efforts.

If you do not get satisfaction, continue to ask for the person’s supervisor, or ask to speak to someone in North America.

This article describes the review policy:
https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/32/can-i-delete-or-reply-to-a-review-i-disagree-with
the very first word in this article is “NO”

the content policy is: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/546/what-is-airbnb-s-content-policy

This review represents the writers personal experience so even though it was angry it’s still their experience so airbnb won’t remove it.
The best way to avoid reviews is to have a cancellation. It sounded like the guests reservation was cancelled… IN this case I thought you couldn’t leave a review.

It’s possible that they wouldn’t have said anything but for your review of them. They likely assumed you were mad and said something terrible so they wanted to get back at you.
One of the downsides of automated reviews. I don’t object to automated communication for the most part, but automated reviews never made sense to me.
Yes, we all got to the point where 99% of our reviews are basically identical, however, it’s not that difficult or time consuming to copy and paste your standard review when needed. and the consequences of automated reviews are bad… especially when you’ve left a good review for a guest another host would prefer not have to deal with.

Thank you Keith for your clarification. The guest did not cancel the reservation. And I didn’t want to cancel it as well as I’d get penalized as a host, if I am not mistaken.

According to the Airbnb Content Policy it says that Airbnb can remove a content in case of

…In addition to the above, the following guidelines apply to specific types of content on Airbnb:

Listings and profiles: Content that is fraudulent, false, misleading, or deceptive
Reviews:
Reviews that do not represent the author’s personal experience or that of their travel companions

The last sentence is pertaining my case. The guest did not stay at the unit. Therefore, how can she/he give comment or give feedback on the issue of accuracy, cleanliness, location, and value? I don’t mind her review explaining what happened. But in no case she should be entitled to give feedback on above topics if the person did not actually stayed in the apartment.

Automated reviews… I fully agree. bad idea!

KenH, thank you for your advice. I am trying to reach them but to no avail. Will keep on trying though. It’s Monday so they might be quite busy.

Try Twitter too. That got me an immediate response.

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konacoconutz, will do. Thanks for your help!

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Finally some success. After writing to Airbnb via Twitter they agreed to remove her comment. Thank you all for your advice!

So Twitter does work the best. Hmm, now I’m thinking I should be more active on it and maybe write something to Trump, I guess? :wink:

All the best everyone!

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When you follow him though he thinks you are a fan, LOL.
See?!! I told you Twitter support was awesome!

Who?

20 20 20 20 20 20

He who shall not be named. The so-called president.

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