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Can I double check here please - can I get a review removed if the guest broke the rules in quite a big way? Magnet man, some of you may recall him, was totally happy with all except the scaffolding, and even offered me a free magnet therapy, but then turned sour when I asked him to leave due to him inviting a client in to his room for a therapy! He had been offered a full refund, even for the night stayed (as I felt the inconveninece was my responsibility), and he was supposedly waiting for his pal to pick him up, but was actually waiting for his client! During their therapy session, I texted him to say he would need to leave immediately after. Then he left me three stars.
I know it doesn’t matter much at the end of the day, and that there is generally no recourse for unfair reviews, but if there is anything here that might mean I stand a chance in getting it removed, then I will try. I mean staying on after being refunded in order to see a client, and lieing telling me he was waiting to be collected was too much. Really, with the fact coming to light that he had been intending to conduct therapies in his room, it calls in to his question the entire validity of his refund request in the first place. Of course he couldn’t have that if he was conducting business in there! Do I really have to take his revenge review on top of everything else?
I don’t know of any rationale of removing a review other than that the review does not conform to the review guidelines. The guest breaking a rule, even egregiously, is not one of those guidelines.
I put in my rules that if a guest broke a rule that they could not leave a review and that the Host was the sole arbiter of whether a rule had been broken. That rule was criticized here at the forum (probably appropriately so) and I have no idea whether Airbnb would honor that rule. I doubt it and will probably remove it as it would be off-putting to a guest who read it. If Airbnb is unlikely to enforce it, what’s the point?
Sorry that this happened to you. Would it make sense to share the words of the review to see if anyone here can see a violation of the review guidelines?
Thank you for your input and I appreciate your understanding. There wasn’t anything in the wording to violate the guidelines, nor even the stars. My only hope was if it could be removed due to his actions whilst staying
There’s a saying that you miss every ball you don’t take a swing at, something like that.
So unless someone comes up with something better, you have nothing to lose by trying to get it removed.
Maybe folks here could take their best stab at wording the OP could use in trying to persuade Airbnb’s support to remove the review. But @Bosty64 I think it’s just a roll of the dice. Under Airbnb’s procedures the review should not be removed. We’re just hoping for one of the incompetent CS’s to break our way. Here’s my stab:
"I am writing to request that the review of [fill in blank] on [date] be removed as this review was in retaliation for an egregious violation of my House Rules that do not permit commercial activity on the premises and a violation that threatens public health. When I caught this guest with a client for whom he was performing magnetic therapy, I asked him to leave, which he did and then promptly made his review. This review was the direct result of my action, which was to protect public health and safety.
In the alternative or in addition, given that this guest used an Airbnb to provide ‘magnetic’ therapy – a fact that Airbnb is by this message now legally aware – and the potential risks of this ‘therapy’ are not known to me or Airbnb, I suggest that you remove the guest from the platform for using Airbnb Host properties as the site for these commercial and ‘physical’ activities, all without permission, and all at potential harm to the public.
If your house is not zoned for commercial activity (or commercial activity without a business licence), you could make the argument that he was kicked out for engaging in illegal activity for which you could be held accountable (and fined? I don’t know the law)… and that – when asked to leave for breaking Airbnb guest rules against illegal activity in a property – he gave both you and, by extension Airbnb, a revenge review.
This is a stronger argument than “I kicked him out because he was a dick and broke house rules.” If he used your property for illegal activity, he should (you could argue) be banned from Airbnb and his reviews purged.
If you don’t already have it in your house rules, here’s two that could prevent this from happening in the future.
1, Only registered guests are allowed in the STR during covid
a) Or if you don’t want to be that strict, you can request that all visitors are required to be pre-approved with full name, address and age) and mention that photo id may be requested upon arrival.
(I actually don’t do anything with this info nor ask for ids but this seems to stop the unauthorized visitors).
The second house rule that might help is that no commercial businesses may be conducted in the STR.
Thank you I am going to try this angle. I would be curious to know whether other hosts recommend calling or emailing Airbnb about this kind of thing? I have always called in the past, and three out of four times Air have removed the reviews. However, calling is hard work, and I know purely a luck thing, and am wondering whether others have plus arguments for messaging instead?
I’m curious to know what happened with this situation. I suspect this was not illegal per se. At least where I am, you can provide personal services in a private home, like fitness classes or reiki, unless it’s otherwise regulated, like massage. But I’m pretty sure you can’t run a business serving in person clients out of a hotel or STR without permission of the owners.
I am just going to message Airbnb about this now. Yes I agree - the illegality of the practice would be related to it being a STR. Working from home is permitted here, at least in terms of most professions. Not sure about therapies now that you mention it, but I will be emailing them with the assumption that it is illegal practice for STR, or certianly against Air’s Ts and Cs
I’m curious to know what happened with this situation. I suspect this was not illegal per se. At least where I am, you can provide personal services in a private home, like fitness classes or reiki, unless it’s otherwise regulated, like massage. But I’m pretty sure you can’t run a business serving in person clients out of a hotel or STR without permission
Update - I got a very long email from Air, with what looked like lots of copied and pasted text, somewhere within that it said that they would not be removing the review 'as we cannot conclusively state that it violates our ‘review content guidelines’.
My email to them emphasised that they should not have been operating a business from an Airbnb and that in doing so they were avoiding checks etc, and putting clients at risk, as well Air and I at risk in terms of potential litigation. I saw in their guidelines that people cannot leave biased reviews, so I also said that the review was biased, as he was biased against me because I kicked him out. .
I’m sorry that it didn’t go your way . . . yet. Let’s see if anyone here comes up with a more meaty reason why the review violated if not guidelines some other sacrosanct principle of Airbnbs.
Meanwhile, I’m curious on how folks here would feel about a rule that says: “No commercial activity that brings clients, customers or patients on to the property is permitted.” Perhaps the rule should go on to state “Violations will be met with ejection and cancellation without refund.”
I hope that’s not micromanaging, or inappropriately micromanaging. It seems a reasonable rule because such foot traffic would not only mean more wear and tear of the property but more disruption to the neighborhood, parking issues, changing character of community. Also, I would think that such business activity would create more liability for the Host.
What do folks here think about that being a best practice, at the very least in ‘bedroom type communities’ though not limited to that?
On the Airbnb Community forum, there are lots of hosts saying they have tried to take advantage of this supposed new retaliation review removal policy and have not been successful. The CS reps just keep quoting the same old 'it doesn’t violate our review policy". One even had a message from the guest threatening a bad review if they didn’t get an undeserved refund, and CS ignored that.
Either the CS reps haven’t gotten the memo or it’s all just a bunch of PR BS.
If hosts are trying to get retaliation reviews removed, I’d suggest they start off by saying they are asking for it to be removed under the new retaliation review policy, not the “violation of our review policies” route and keep saying that to the reps if they fail to acknowledge the new promise of removing revenge reviews.
I did that.
i’ve decided to define “retaliatory” as the guest made a mistake and felt like an idiot, so instead of admitting fault they’ve given me a bad review
this sums up 100% of my 3 and 4* reviews.
of course, no luck, yet. but i just keep responding to the messages… we’ll see how long we go for.