I was blindsided by bad review. Was my response over the top?

I won’t give any additional backstory. Based on this exchange, what’s your overall impression? (All of my 25 other guest lefty highly positive reviews.)

GUEST: Apartment is very close to the Staples Center/LA Convention Center and Koreatown, and as I was here for KCON it was very convenient to be within 15 minutes of all these spots. Neighborhood is pretty peaceful but not far from the action. However, I didn’t get offered breakfast or anything like that mentioned in the previous reviews, and that was one of the things that had originally convinced me to choose this listing so it was a bit disappointing. Also, the bed smelled really catty in some parts and when I got home all of my items smelled strongly like cat and I had to wash/air out everything, and even though I like cats it was a little too much for me. Katie and Pin were all right but a little sad my experience wasn’t as stellar as the other reviews.

HOST: I am very sad and disappointed to learn that your stay was so uncomfortable. However, since this was your first Arbnb guest experience, you need to know in the future to always communicate with you host when things aren’t acceptable. Don’t suffer through a miserable experience for a week, and then wait until publicly burning your host in the review. That’s just bad for everybody. I asked you on more than one occasion if everything was ok and you never said anything. I realize that we did not see each other much, but if at any point you would have told me, texted me, left me a note to bring any of these issues to my attention (the house rules clearly state to let me know if you would like a meal.) My schedule was uncharacteristically hectic, and you were rarely in the apartment during the day. However, had you brought any of this to my attention I would have made it a priority to make your improve your experience. My my roommate was in the process of moving out, and we were fostering two extra cats for a week. However, I notified you about this prior to her visit, to which you responded: “I don’t mind anything at all, I love cats so the more cats around the merrier!” I could only assume you meant that you would be understanding about things like cat smell, or at least bring it to my attention. Like I said, I specifically state in the house notes to please let me know if you need fresh bed linens or a meal. If you had only asked I would have made it a priority to take care of it. My guests comfort is very important to me. Though I will admit that because it was a uniquely active week and Amadara’s experience was sub par. However I always do my best to check in with my guests and accommodate any of their requests. If this review gives you any doubt as to the comfort of my home, you need only read the dozens of other positive reviews. NOTE: The two little cats are gone. (Now there is just one) There have been a few upgrades to the space, including an actual twin bed and new bedding in the nook (as opposed to the sofa bed.)

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Yes your response was long winded and over the top. If you are allowed to edit the response, then I would rewrite it with a few bullet points and and apology. You are not writing anymore to this guest…your response is meant to target future guests with responses and answers and explanantions.


Yeah, you’re probably right (I don’t know about frightening…) I always say, I’m a woman of many words. I know I went off a little, but I don’t care. All my other positive guest reviews speak for themselves, and if this girl was too immature to speak up about anything for a whole week, then there isn’t much I can do about it. If people look at this one incident and determine I’m a terrible host, I don’t want those people staying anyway.

Thanks for the advice, georgygirl, about using bullet points. I got pretty emotional - I should keep things more brief and straightforward if this happens in the future.

I am really sick of the negative tone that too often appears here, so I am no longer going to participate in what should be a supportive community. Instead of sparking a discussion and giving hopeful advice, BeachGuy loves to jump on every new post and leave snarky, rude, unhelpful comments. I know I’m not the only one who has noticed this.

Good luck, AirHosts.

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It was a little longer than necessary but it’s not that bad. I have never booked as a guest through Airbnb so I am not sure if the house rules are in their face. Or if they have to click around to find them. If the house rules are in their face and Airbnb tells them to read them, then your guest can only blame herself for not having breakfast - esp. when you asked her a couple of times if everything was okay. How do guests notify you of breakfast typically - are they supposed to tell you the night before? Do you let them know in email that you need so much notice, etc.? I’m just wondering why this guest seemed to have no clue that she was supposed to bring this to your attention.

If it were me and there was too much cat smell, I surely would not have mentioned this in a review right after I told the host I didn’t mind at all and the more cats the merrier. I would have kept my mouth shut. It’s possible your guest didn’t enjoy her trip and it had nothing to do with your house. You never know with people. I would shorten your response if you still have time. I don’t think it’s necessary to apologize for anything. But you can polish it a bit.

Was it over the top? Yes, but it did make me laugh. I think the main issue is that it was just too long. It can be very difficult to respond without sounding prickly and defensive. You almost had it - a strong start, but then…
I think it’s good that you mentioned you’d warned about the cats and quoted her as being okay with that. And I think it’s good you pointed out that she’s a first time Airbnb user and I think it’s good you mentioned that she could have just asked about breakfast - you sound like a very thoughtful host.
It’s too late for this one but next time take those three points, put them into one concise paragraph and write them with some apologetic humour. Then leave it a day before you press 'send’
We learn as we go… and there will always be one that challenges us on how to address it. At the moment I’m trying to work out how to review the young female guest who left a used sanitary pad lying on the bed for me to clean up! All suggestions welcome.

I had a young (and apparently quite virile) man leave me a bunch of used condoms to dispose of lol! I just graded him down on cleanliness and chalked it up to his upbringing :grinning:


my response is not just as a host but as an avid and frequent traveler. yes, the word frightening was accurate. As a potential guest, your response would stop me from choosing your place. You asked the question if your response was over the top, and my answer is a resounding yes. If you can change it I would simply apologize to the guest that her stay was dissapointing and that you have worked hard to make changes to your place to rectify her specific issues. I would also not wait for a guest to request a meal, but simply offer it to them. Make yourself the prima host.


Mariposa, don’t worry! You were right to explain yourself as a host. This is your home, and not a Hotel. I bet she would have had to pay a pretty Penny at a Hotel. If you had Rabbits in your place, as long as the guest knows about it, the guest has the choice. Each home reflects ones Life Style, and it should be the experience that counts. And, yes we are all adults, if something is bothering one there is a nice way to communicate.

Why in the world do other host on this Forum instead supporting one an other ad more salt to open wound. You never know when you yourself ends up on that same end of the stick.

Mariposa, stay around. Your location and the price will dictate how well your place will do. Take this experience for what it is, experience. Dealing with people is never easy, that is why Divorce Lawyers are doing well.

Stay well, and good luck.


Wilburforce, i love your response. Lets support one an other, it is a difficult task to please everyone.


I respect that you don’t want to stay where there are cats and or dogs in the house. No need to air your luggage eight er.
I know more pet owners that are cleaner than those that don’t have pets and who use one rug to clean table and floor at the same time. Have you watched HDTV? Many times more bacteria were found in the kitchen on non pet owners compared to pet owner, go figure…

Beach Guy why do you have such a need to be rood. There is a constructive criticism and destructive one, and you shore like the later.

Thank you. Yes, it’s hard to take criticism when you feel you’ve gone out of your way to please. I just woke up to a review from a guest who wrote kind words, gave me 5 stars for every sub-category, but then rated it 4 stars overall. I just don’t get it, but this is the second time it’s happened and I am no longer on track to getting Superhost status. Boo Hoo. I felt tempted to write him a little note asking where he thinks I could have improved his overall stay, but as my husband pointed out - 'One day you’ll probably get a 1 star review from some a**hole who’s had a bad day or is feeling mean - best just not to worry about it and keep on doing our best.'
Happy hosting!


OMG. I reckon that’s just his way of bragging. LOL!

Beach Guy,

I said earlier that it was my last post on this Forum, but I am troubled with someone who is taking side without knowing the full truth. Have you never heard of people going to a restaurant eating a steak and at tail end calling the waiter to complain how bed the steak was.

Why do you assume that Host is at fault? This Forum is to went, to learn from each other, so that we are not feeling so alone and think it is US. I find commonality in many issues that host have to deal with.

Instead of taking side and pointing a finger, since some day that finger will be pointing at you, and i can assure you, it is called Life. Instead give constructive ideas without shredding the particular Host in to peaces.

She obviously cares enough to come and share with rest of us her frustration which shows that she does care.

Diplomacy was not your strong subject, was it?

Wilburforce, the whole “Star rating” is still foggy for many. Younger generation is growing up with all the changes that are taking place and are able to adapt to the changes easier than the older generation in general. Not all but many. Some guest confuse your home with a Hotel. If your home was a hotel than it would not be your home.
I was in Travel for good forty years. There were special training classes in how to qualify and match customer with a product and for good reason. Bed and Breakfast even than was only reserved for well traveled Travelers.

I had once a customer that i refused to sell a certain Tour after qualifying her, and she ended up booking elsewhere. She returned to to tell me that she was suing the other Agency.

Someone on this Forum did say “expectations” that are met or not. Learning how to qualify the inquiring or potential Guest and accepting or declining them is the key here.

Beach Boy, you are right i do speak four languages.

My point is: where you there in the same bedroom with the guest?

Also it said: bed smelled really catty and personal items smelled strongly like cat. Not cat urine. Big, big difference, and that was in English.
People that do not have pets in their homes are much more sensitive to pet odors, bottom line, and this guest knew beforehand that there were cats in the unit.

Beach Boy as i said earlier, one of this days you will have a finger pointing at you, and i would not want to be the guest…

For God sake use a little diplomacy, it goes long way.

Have a good night, i shell!

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In my opinion your reply was fine and it doesn’t matter how long it was since most people don’t read anything anyway when booking a room!

Don’t mention it in your review. Maybe she left it there by accident.

No, of course not! I left her a very nice review (afterall they were polite nice girls) but sent her a private message just letting her know that as she’s new to Airbnb and maybe didn’t know, it’s important to clean up the room a little afterwards. It wasn’t just that item that was the problem, the room was just left quite grotty - dirty tissues in the bed, foundation spilled in the bathroom, loo not flushed, rubbish not taken out. This is the third booking I’ve had from this nationality and they’ve all been first-time airbnb’ers. Language has also been an issue. They are all incredibly nice and polite and grateful, I think they just have different standards when it comes to cleanliness.

Yes, you are right. People think star ratings and immediately equate it with a hotel experience. In time, each guest will be better informed. AirBnb should prompt guests to remember that they are giving star ratings based on Airbnb criteria, not International hotel criteria. To get 5 stars in most hotels, establishments need to offer 24 hour room service, have a pool, gymnasium or other amazing draw card, aircon, TV, in-house movies, in-room phones, blah de blah. But then again, a juice from the mini-bar could cost you $7 - so a reality check is definitely needed!