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I think it is fine to reply if you reply to every review, as TheInsider is suggesting. However, I don’t care for listings that have a reply to every review because it strikes me as insincere and cluttery. Other hosts prefer it because they feel it shows an actively engaged host.
However, if you only reply to bad reviews, it makes those reviews stand out. My own approach is, “this is such a crazy thing to say, it doesn’t warrant a public reply.”
Again what you’ve been told is the way it works is contradicting what we as hosts are actually experiencing.
Language and location…90% + of my guests are American. And I just used a VPN with a European IP address and a non-logged in Incognitio window and the reviews on the first two pages are in chronological order. Most guests aren’t going to read that many anyway.
Weird, I want to look more into this now. What I stated was actually a summary of what is in the help center article titled “why aren’t my reviews in order”. So now I’m curious as to why it is policy but users are realizing it’s not that simple. I will check into it this week and update everyone.
I totally agree @Xena. In this case, there’s nothing to be gained by posting any additional comments for this guest. At a certain point it becomes a negative reflection on the host. Extreme example: There is a host in my area, that gets less than stellar reviews and always posts negative follow up messages. Not someone that I would ever stay with… not sure how she manages to get so many guests, except for her location and low prices. I just cringe when I read her comments. Very unprofessional, IMO. So, let it go and move on…
Nicely on point @KKC. That has also been my experience over the last 5 years. And @TheInsider missed the point. One 3* review, in the long run, isn’t going to have any significant affect on this hosts rating or ability to attract guests. I too look at the negative reviews by both guests and hosts and then I also look at how people respond to those reviews, or don’t respond to them. You don’t have to allow yourself to be baited into posting any additional comments. You made your point. Move on.
Reviews are shuffled out of order on paper for these reasons, but in reality to hide fake inaugural reviews from showing together – blatant and obvious – as a cluster on the host’s last page.
Ask me how I know!
MAGNIFICENT observation. This supports my own conclusion that Air began shuffling review order circa March 2016 to hide fake review rings.
@TheInsider, this cockamamie policy BLEW UP on every host forum out there in early 2016 because a) it made no sense whatsoever b) it was essentially a lie, as @KKC points out.
The real reason, as noted, is fake inaugural review cartels operating in numerous U.S. states, and Russia and Israel, probably a LOT of places, that are out of control.
The fakes are slightly harder to notice when shuffled throughout legitimate reviews. and EASY AS PIE to spot when they (usually three in a row, as the first three reviews ever) are clustered.
A network of corrupt investor hosts share details on how to get their fake reviewers up and running.
I have no doubt that AirBNB Trust and Safety + AirBNB Data Science people, who study every atom and molecule of what goes on, on the platform, are aware of this.
And someone made a conscious decision to NOT address this @ Air. Probably because it is so rampant.
PLEASE NOTE: Amazon banned reviews by family members, friends, business colleagues and people living under the same roof ~ 2011. Ever wonder why Air hasn’t done the same? It’s because investors w/ expensive property do NOT allow John and Jane Q. Public to provide their nitpicks in the “launch” reviews. The investors get blemish-free, over-the-top raves from their friends. So, Air must have decided:
“Too big of a problem to address.”
“Too fatal a problem for an IPO.”
“Let’s pretend we want to shuffle review order for nonsensical reasons.”
You can respond to the review, but if you’re responding with a novel similar to the review you were at first suggesting, it will make you look like a mad man. If you want to respond, run your response through this forum first. It’s just an advice .
If you feel you must, remember you are addressing FUTURE guests, so only correct the incorrect statements. Ignore the “not what I expected” and address the "no cell reception"and the “light shining in my room”. The “had to do their laundry” doesn’t make sense to anyone that reads the review without knowing a lot more information and I would not pay any attention to it as a potential guest.
I see some hosts fly off the handle-bar in response to fairly innocuous comments, like, “it was smaller than expected.” The host will write an emotional treatise. On these reviews, the negatives are at the end after the MORE tag (which most future guests won’t click) and then the reply makes the negative just jump right out.
Relatedly, I started a thread a while ago where I shared review responses where hosts respond public to private feedback. This is even worse than replying to public negative feedback, in my view!
But this review just made me chuckle. Even knowing the history…
“I had to do their laundry” makes me want to reply “and you did a lousy job on the laundry, and I told you to change my oil too, but you left without doing it.” But people just don’t get sarcasm, so probably best if you don’t reply. Most people who read that will scratch their heads and move on.