The topic of ratings is raised frequently in these forums. And it seems to me that the biggest issues still aren’t being addressed in an effective manner by Airbnb.
I love the sharing economy and what Airbnb and Uber have brought to my city and myself personally but there are many misconceptions out there and I don’t believe Air is doing enough to address them. I want to know if others feel the same.
Star Ratings - a wise person once told me people don’t care what they pay as long as they feel they are getting value for their money. In other words, if you spend $29 to stay in a dormitory with a share bathroom in NYC and it’s clean, safe, the host is responsive and helpful and the space is what you expected, then in the Airbnb world it should be 5 star. On the other hand if you pay $1000 per night in an apartment with swimming pool, doorman, gymnasium, but the internet never works, the space is dirty and you can’t get hold of the host to address these issues, then it’s not 5 star (regardless of the facilities at the location). In this way, star ratings are very different in the Airbnb world to the hotel world. This is not explained to guests and creates all sorts feelings of frustration for hosts as well as spawning masses of articles from journalists being agog that the majority of Airbnb properties are 4 or 5 star!
Lack of accuracy regarding guests. - Yes, they have been verified, but there should be rules. No photos of cute puppies as profile pictures and no pseudonyms. You can’t check into a hotel in Europe and present a photo of your dog and a homemade ID saying ‘Rover’ so the equivalent shouldn’t be allowed in the virtual world on Airbnb where we are taking total strangers into our homes. It’s apparently against Airbnb rules to book on behalf of another person, so why not complete the trust by being thorough about knowing who the guest is.
Rating Guests vs Rating Hosts. It’s difficult to rate guests as you are not commenting on a space, a location, comfort, etc, but rather making an observation that is personal. So hosts are limited. We get to give guests a star rating on cleanliness, observance of rules and communication (I think that’s the 3), but no future hosts ever get to see those stars. Surely if a guest is a repeat offender in any of these areas, knowing that their ratings will be seen by future hosts could make them lift their game.
I would be really interested to know if others agree.