Huge ratings hit!

Thanks to covid we haven’t had the usual # of bookings. One that we did have, smoked a bunch of cigarettes on our balcony, violating, not only our house rules, but also our strata rules. We didn’t learn of the 20 cigarettes smoked the night before until cleaning. We did notice them smoking the morning of check out, and kindly explained our house rules (which they had to agree to in order to book) and our strata rules. My tone was kind ONLY because I still wasn’t aware of all they smoked the previous evening. So this simple reminder of our house rules, and asking them to please not smoke, illicitled a 3 star review. Because of covid and the limited number of guests this past year, it dropped us to a 4.6 rating and a stripping of our superhost title. Airbnb is looking into it. If it stands as is, we will leave the airbnb platform on principle, and for lack of support.

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Gotta pick ur battles. There is no upside to correcting “outside smoking”. One can always bite one’s lip and handle it accordingly in your review.


Naw, smokers are one thing, inconsiderate smokers are absolutely a battle I choose to pick. We’ll happily leave the platform if they don’t want to fix it. It was in our house rules. We live there. We share the space. Only one without a spine would bite ones lip and get them in the reviews.

I’m not entirely sure what “support” you’re looking to get from Airbnb, because as long as the review is within their guidelines, generally speaking, they won’t remove it. Retaliatory reviews are are what they are, usually left when a guest has broken a house rule or indulged in anti social behaviour.

If you already have other marketing channels then great, bump Airbnb if it makes you feel better. However, they won’t miss you and won’t make any effort to convince you to stay. From Airbnb’s perspective, hosts are are now a fairly disposable commodity, irrespective of how long they’ve been on the platform and irrespective of how good their reviews have been.

The problem with that statement is that you haven’t chosen a battle with the smokers, you’ve chosen a battle with a large US based corporation.

When it comes down to it, they are just an advertising and payment processing facility, and their sole purpose is to maximise profits for Airbnb. In that respect, they are no different to BDC, VRBO et al, they just dress it up differently.

Good luck in getting them to remove the review/rating, but anecdotal evidence from other hosts would indicate that you’ve chosen an extremely uphill battle.



We’ve always had good a rapore with airbnb support, and have always done the right thing by guests - even when it wasn’t deserved on one occasion. You say they won’t care? As a business owner myself, I say that they will. We went from plus hosts, to below superhosts with one undeserved review. There has to be somebody out there that has the same sense of fairness as us. It appears they don’t exist in this forum…ta.

Sincerely wishing you luck, as the customer service has now been outsourced and the bots are reading from a script. Please let us know if you are successful.


Well, they certainly didn’t care when they blocked the calendars of all the hosts in Australia & New Zealand (and many other countries) when they didn’t sign up to the enhanced cleaning protocol, on a point of principle, relating to mask wearing.

They didn’t care when they suspended multiple hosts who happen to have certain key words in their listings, irrespective of context.

As I said, good luck with it, and I meant it genuinely. I’m perfectly aware of how an outlying review can damage someone’s business, but when there’s a queue of willing hosts to replace those that leave, there’s no incentive for Airbnb to really care.


The experience of many thousands of other hosts, would beg to differ, that they will somehow treat you better than other hosts who have been in your situation with unfair/retaliatory reviews @Hrdlr110

Your best bet is to find something in the review that you can say breaks their review terms.

Whatever happened to that Airbnb plan to drop the outlier review? Such teases!


AirBnb does not care, it will only hurt you.


I was curious about that too. I checked Airbnb help function and the Airbnb community. Looks like Chesney talked about dropping outliers then didn’t follow through.

Of all the things talked about in his town hall chats, dropping an outlier review was probably one that appealed to me the most. Disappointing but not surprising.

What is this? Is this like a homeowner association? I googled it and I don’t think the definition for your usage appeared.

@Jefferson is correct

No Smoking out of doors is a tough one to try to enforce. As long as they were outside, unless they didn’t dispose of the butts correctly, there’s not much to complain about.

By the way 20 cigarettes isn’t a a lot for 2 people over a 24 hour period. I smoke maybe 2x a year-social & usually when sitting outside chatting on porch. I can go through 5 or 6 and I’m not a regular smoker.

Ok. But how did you phrase it? Did you blame the Strata and mention your neighbor who looks for excuses to turn people in and you can get fined? Did you ask for their understanding and assistance?" Did you inquire as to how they enjoyed their stay with a smile?
So - did you ask for their help and a favor? Or, did you remind them of your rules during their checkout? (with that strong spine of yours)?"
Style matters, especially when they are paying. The 3 star review implies your pitch was less than optimal.
So, out of curiosity, what did their review actually say?

It isn’t a matter of what anyone on this forum thinks is fair, it’s a matter of knowing how Airbnb operates. But you seem extremely confident that Airbnb will treat you differently than they treat other hosts, so I guess you’ll have to find that out for yourself.

I’m not sure what the point of calling the guests out in person when they were checking out was. It’s not like it could be undone. It would have been smarter to just call them out in the review.


Like a condo association.

Hrdlr110 has previously posted that he is in Australia.

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Strata is like your HOA rules. They can set rules, but can’t go outside the residential tenancies act. Currently there is a push to allow pets in apartments.


Suggest you review the Airbnb policy and try to fit your beef into one of their review removal categories:

“This review is irrelevant to the guest’s stay because they complained about the weather.”
“This review was biased because the guest refers to my ethnicity.”
“This review was extortionate because the guest said they were downgrading me for not giving them a refund.”
“This review was a conflict of interest because the guest recommended that other guests stay at their relative’s Airbnb.”
These are simplistic but you get the idea; include one of the review removal buzzwords to get Airbnb’s attention. If you can’t make a case in one of those areas, you are probably out of luck.

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