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Leave public response or not?


I’m trying to decide whether to leave a public response to a 1 star review or whether to bite my tongue and not say anything. Here is the review I received:

“I had high hopes for this room, especially at the price I paid, also do not decide to come here if you will have visitors as they will cost an extra 10 pound- well that’s what he may say, as I was surprised with a charge of 15 pound a night upon check out- accompanied by “where is my money” as I exited. Also, after loosing my key, the host was not very ready to help me re-enter the property. When I asked to drive to him to collect a key, I was told to ring another time as he was going for a ‘stroll’, so I had to be let in by the other renters much later that day. And even though overall the property is clean, be prepared to check the bed for spiders before you tuck in.”

This is what my brain wants to say although I realise that posting so much will bring attention to the bad review and might also put off other guests by my defensive stance. However I do feel like I should be able to put forward my defence otherwise his review is very one sided.

"After 160 bookings with not a single rating of less than 4 stars I think this review says more about X as a guest than about my property.

X booked a single room with a maximum occupancy of 1 person and knowing that I was away for a few days he smuggled his girlfriend into the room for some nights without notifying me or the other guests. Another guest saw him leave, assumed the house was empty so set the burglar alarm. X’s girlfriend set off the alarm, the first I knew of it was being woken by my neighbour phoning telling me my alarm had been sounding for quite a while and was disturbing the other neighbours. After talking my neighbour through entering my house to disable the alarm he notified me that there was a blonde female alone in my house, I had no idea who she was. After being caught out X wasn’t happy about being charged the same rate as I charge for other rooms for an extra guest so has decided to slate my property in his review.

He left his keys in his room and thought he had lost them outside as he hadn’t followed my instructions to deadlock the door properly when leaving each time, then failed to turn up 3 times to collect keys, standing me or my other housemates up each time. Instead of turning up for a 4th arranged meeting in the evening he decided to phone me out of the blue in the afternoon and ask if he could collect the keys from me. I was miles from home with a crying baby on the way to an appointment and didn’t have the keys on me at the time. I told him I would let him know as soon as I got back with the keys which I did as helping guests is a top priority for me. He describes this as I “was going for a ‘stroll’”

I have no control over whether X or other guests open windows or doors to let in spiders, the same as any other property. I remove any that I see and vacuum webs the same as any other host. My home is better sealed than most older properties so should contain less spiders, no other guest has ever mentioned any."

What would you suggest I do? I could just use the first paragraph or just try and summarize it but it might be better to not say anything or use the “I’m sorry you feel you didn’t enjoy your stay, …” approach which makes me feel a little sick inside.


I’m also having to bite my tongue at this as I gave him a 20% discount on the room, I don’t want to mention this as all guests will then want the same discount


What a shitty guest! Make the reply shorter.
Paragraph 1 This is a revenge review from a nightmare irresponsible guest… Paragraph 2 He smuggled his girlfriend into the listing and as a result she set off the burglar alarm which woke up all the other guests and neighbours. Paragraph 3 He locked his keys in his room as a result of continually failing to deadlock the door then failed to turn up for 4 appointments to get the spare keys. This guest is not suitable for Airbnb.


Did you not leave this information about XXX when you left your original review of his stay? If so you do 't need to duplicate but refer to your earlier review.

If you didn’t I would say something like…

"XXXX booked a single room, paying for one person, but contrary to my house rules smuggled his girlfriend into stay, without notifying me or other guests, or offering to pay the additional person fee. He then got upset when asked to pay for her stay.

"His girlfriend, tripped the alarm when she tried to leave the property, resulting in neighbours being disturbed in the early hours. When a neighbour I gave instructions to, went into the property, to turn it off, you can imagine how shocked we were to find a woman sitting there who turned out to be XXX’s girlfriend.

"XXX contacted me as he thought he had lost his keys. He failed to turn up three times at pre arranged times to collect replacement keys from me. Instead of turning up at a 4th pre-arranged time, he phoned me, when I was miles away from my home on my way to an appointment. I informed him that I would let him know as soon as I was back. He describes this as me ‘going for a stroll’.

"To top it all I had to ask him and his girlfried to leave, as they were still in his room an hour beyond check out and left the room in a mess.

"I cannot recommend him to future hosts.

“I have hosted over 160 sets of guests and pride myself on how I look after them and my listing resulting in four and five star ratings. I was so disappointed to have this guest provide such a misleading review and mark me down to 1 star, because of his own actions”.


Reading your post again when you say things like helping guests is my top priority I wonder if you are too helpful? When guests mess up the responsibility is on them. Do you expect guests to be polite, considerate and understanding like you at all times? If so you will be continually disappointed.


I’d rather be too helpful than not helpful enough, even for the worst guests such as this one I’d rather know that I had done my job to the best of my abilities. He was polite and well mannered at all times in person and sent loads of airbnb messages apologising for his actions during his stay, I get the feeling he knew I’d give him a bad review so decided to retaliate to make it look like my fault.


Normally I would say to not respond or minimally but I think in this case you are right to go into detail about each accusation. I would recommend following @Helsi more compact version. If nothing else to warn future hosts.


I left the following review for him which was trying to point out his positive points as well as the negative (nothing in his review was positive):

“X booked for 18 nights and extended his stay by 4 nights. He rang after midnight during his stay to say he’d lost his keys and could he come over and borrow my set. Later that night he let me know he’d found somewhere else to stay. He arranged to collect keys a couple of days later but then changed his plans. Eventually he found he’d left his keys in the room which was a relief. On a later date his girlfriend who I didn’t know was in the house set off the burglar alarm whilst alone in the house and I had to talk a neighbour through turning it off. He was always polite, well spoken and apologised lots for his actions, with lots of well worded airbnb messages. The other guests said that he was quiet and considerate, kept the kitchen clean and they didn’t see him much. There was no permanent damage to the room or house during his stay.”

There is less detail in the original review which is why I wanted to add the extra detail. Your summary of the details does provide extra information whilst being shorter so I might use a version similar to that so thanks for taking the time to write it :slight_smile:


I also forgot to mention in the review that an hour after the checkout time he was still in the room with his girlfriend and seemed quite annoyed that he had to leave at all, even though I’d sent a reminder to him on airbnb about his checkout time that morning. I also had to get airbnb involved (the first time I had to get airbnb involved due to a guest) as his second payment to extend the stay for 4 days hadn’t gone through (credit card cancelled or over limit?) and it was the evening before his checkout so I was concerned he’d do a runner, hence why I made sure he paid for his girlfriend staying the next day before he left. Airbnb did reimburse me before he left so his account was all clear as far as I was concerned.

His private feedback of me contained the following gem:
“Next time don’t change your prices, your money orientated attitude prevailed through my stay and I felt very uncomfortable and unsatisfied when leaving the accommodation.”

This is after I gave him a 20% discount and the only thing I charged extra for was his girlfriend staying the extra 2 nights, I didn’t even discuss an extra charges for anything else, even providing him with free laundry liquid etc.

He also arrived a couple of hours later than he said he would for checkin but I’d count that as minor, even though it was quite an inconvenience for me. The sheets were the worst stained of any guest but they came out in a hot wash and he left lots of litter around the room, food in cupboards etc. He also dried his underwear on a drying rack in the shared lounge which I’m sure the other guests appreciated whilst watching TV :smiley:


I am just saying that often with guests like this we can become embroiled. Like quicksand the more we try to help the worse they get. I aim to be helpful and fair with a healthy degree of professional detachment. Don’t feel it’s your responsibility if guests lose their keys, they will then feel blame towards you for their actions and the resolution of the problem. Like you said their review was a preemptive strike.


I like the quicksand analogy, I know that feeling. In this case I feel I was pretty professional and detached, when he lost his keys he suggested that he drive over to collect them. If I’d been quicksand managing I’d have said that I would drive over immediately to let him in, but I didn’t (a bit difficult to do when looking after a young baby in the middle of the night). Maybe that was what first annoyed him as he didn’t show in the end. He didn’t say anything though.


i think unfortunately your initial review was far too positive. I would have focussed on the bad, rather than the good.

Personally I wouldn’t have allowed him to stay after discovering he had sneaked his girlfriend in and set off the alarm disturbing my neighbours because he hadn’t told her about the alarm. I would have asked Airbnb to cancel the booking. And certainly wouldn’t allowed him to extend his stay.

I have edited my original post to take into account the additional information about the guest you mentioned in your later post.


The desire to be helpful is more a feeling than word or deed. Thoughts like ‘I must fix this’ or ‘I really want them to be OK’ spring to mind. I’m like it with my 20 year old son as well, I need to let it go and it’s not always good for me or them to be super helpful.


I think your review is far too positive and doesn’t really give an idea of what a pain he is!


in that case I’m 6 foot under, send a rescue team!


Well, he was very apologetic for his actions, both over the phone and in messages, he seemed very sorry for the trouble he was causing so I felt like maybe he was a decent guy. When he left he had fully paid up, even for his girlfriend and I was expecting a positive review because of all the hassle and extra effort that his actions had caused. It wasn’t his actions that I am upset about (apart from the girlfriend that I mentioned in the review), it’s the fact that’s he’s given me the worst review I’ve ever had by a long way.

If I’d made the review really negative he’d just delete his profile and create a new one anyway (he probably still will) as he had no other reviews. He’ll probably just instant book his next visit or use a different platform.


The alarm was set off on the penultimate night of his stay and at the time I just really wanted to get back to sleep (sleep deprivation with a small baby that is not sleeping well meant that I didn’t want to spend an hour or two dealing with it over the phone to airbnb or having to drive over to the house). His payment for the last 4 days hadn’t gone through by then and I thought I might lose that plus the extra payment for the 2 nights. I did phone airbnb the next day to raise my concerns but they assured me I would be paid and things would be ok. By then there was just 1 night to go and I was concerned about a bad review and also how it would affect him if I kicked him out for the sake of 1 night. All lessons learned I guess.


That makes complete sense, he only booked at the last minute even though enquiring early as he needed to get the last payment from his student loan into his account. He also said his credit cards were maxed out. I wonder if he ever paid airbnb or whether they paid out to me but didn’t chase him for the balance?

I contacted airbnb as soon as I got the review, they were sympathetic and agreed with me that it was a revenge review but would not remove the review unless it had racism, identified my property, had hate speech etc. Lying is apparently not a good enough reason even with proof from all of the messages being sent between us confirming my side. They could see all of the stuff in the private feedback was lies as well, like booking a single room (the clue is in the listing title) with a single bed and then complaining the bed wasn’t large enough. Where would I even buy a bed that is smaller than a single bed? I’m not an Estate Agent.


He lied, he stole, he disrespected your security, he disrespected your time… How many more reasons do you need to give him a bad review? Why wouldn’t you? Of course he tried to creep up to you with a load of BS, that’s what people like that do!
It’s unlikely he would be able to set up a new profile as Airbnb are pretty hot on I D, credit cards etc… So what if he did, it would be a major hassle for him and he can’t keep running forever. If not for yourself then think of other hosts, write clear reviews!


Normally I would agree with everyone and say keep your response short, but in your case the truth is so wildly different to his review that I think it’s in your interest to post the full story.
If I was reading that as a potential guest, I would be shocked that a host wouldn’t provide another key because they were out for a ‘stroll’, but reading your reply that he had failed to turn up on 3 previous occasions would make me see that his review was vindictive.
Don’t mention that she was his girlfriend as he doesn’t call her that and your response could be removed for inaccuracy.
Take out the word “blonde”.

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