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My first 1* rating


#1

In the “I knew it had to happen some day” category. Frequent reader, first time poster to this forum. I just wanting to vent and check in with you all before I post a reply to my latest guest’s review. We have a room in our house that we use for Air. We’ve been hosting for over 2 years and mostly get guests here in Silicon Valley for 2-4 day conferences or conventions. We have 73 reviews and a 4.9* rating. Reading what people say about us and our listing makes me proud. This guest wasn’t at all interactive but I did ask both her and her husband at least once a day if there was anything they needed help with. She seemed like kind of a sour person, but I just gave her space. They left this morning…and she gave me a 1* overall review, with 3-5*s on the break-down reviews (???). Here is what she said: “Possibly good for 1 person visiting university campus, not suitable for a couple re sleeping arrangements, bed quite comfortable otherwise. No tv, street parking only. Tiny shower stall, bathroom shared.”

Here is what I plan writing on my response to her review (thank you all for your consistent advice on keeping to the facts). I’m mostly not sure if I should leave that last sentence in (please…mother may I?): "Our listing clearly states that the bed is a full size bed, that the bathroom is shared and that parking is on the street. Our shower is a standard size shower stall & a TV is not listed as an amenity. Perhaps a standard hotel room would be more suitable for these guests.

UPDATE (Nov. 9): GOOD NEWS! Taking mrichman’s advice, and in the “it’s worth a try” category, I decided to call Air to see if they would be willing to delete the review. The agent on the Superhost line was very responsive and after reviewing the nasty review, my listing and my rating & review history she told me she would escalate my request to one of their Case Managers. Only an hour later, I received an email from the Case Manager telling me they were taking down that review. I checked, and it’s gone…Score one for the team! Thanks to mrichman for the great advice and Thank You Airbnb!


#2

Is it their first time?


#3

Truly, I wouldn’t. Opinions are pretty divided here. Some hosts don’t agree with responding to reviews and I’m one of them.

Your response will make the review stand out and most guests will think that the person who wrote it is a plonker anyway - you have other reviews and the facts are in your listing so her review is just making her look daft :slight_smile:


#4

We were their 2nd Airbnb, unless there were others that were not reviewed.


#5

If you are going to respond then perhaps add: “This is an opportunity to remind people considering our place to fully read the listing to make sure it is suitable for you before booking. We want all our guests to have a comfortable and pleasant stay”.

Whether she read it or not deflect criticism back onto the other person by implying they didn’t do due diligence. And finish on a positive note. They don’t get to respond so…


#6

Thank you for your feedback we are sorry you did not have the 5 star experience we strive to provide for our guests. I am grateful for your comments, hopefully the next person who does not read the listing description may benefit from your experience.

RR


#7

LOL! But, WAY too subtle for this person, I’m certain. Plus I’d rather swallow my dust rag than tell her I’m “grateful for her comments”.


#8

It’s not for her, it’s for future guests. Take the high road. Or just do not reply.

RR


#9

If you never respond to the positive reviews responding to this one will highlight it. Remember responding to a review is for future guests, not the one that left.

Because it’s the first 1*… congratulations we all need one. She will come across as petty and an outlier, someone that clearly didn’t read your listing. But if you respond when you do you come across as someone that can’t take criticism even though they were in the wrong. Because basically, they didn’t read the description, I would want to say…

“I’m sorry your reading skills are lacking and you didn’t read our description before you booked our place…” Ahhh guests.


#10

I had a dreadful one a few months ago and just bit my tongue and now it’s buried down deep. The guest seemed perhaps tipsy…? when she wrote her review and message to me. I let it go and feel better for it. And every once in a while I do myself a solid and read all my other reviews and feel a tiny bit better.

My saga here: Need help with response for a review

It’s hard but it rolls off…


#11

I would not respond. It will make it stand out.


#12

Hmmm. I seem to be in the minority here. I always respond if there are inaccuracies in the review. If people don’t read reviews (and I think most don’t) then they will never see either the review or the response, but if they do read them (and some do) then I don’t want them to make their decision based on inaccurate information.

I do agree it is best not to get personal in the response, or use the response to vent your frustration or anger at a guest. Just correct any factual inaccuracies.


#13

I you absolutely MUST respond to the Review (I’m one who does not think it’s a good idea) The what you wrote is perfect:

“Our listing clearly states that the bed is a full size bed, that the bathroom is shared and that parking is on the street. Our shower is a standard size shower stall & a TV is not listed as an amenity. Perhaps a standard hotel room would be more suitable for these guests.”


#14

Thanks Natalie. I just read about your review situation…How terrible! My guest gave me a bunch of low stars but at least didn’t make up stuff to justify. Just the short complaint under the 1*. since they were fine while they were here (a bit stand-offish, maybe, and not very pleasant), I gave them a nice simple review. Other than the husband smelled like a tobacco factory, I had no reasonable reason to rate them poorly. Still, grrr…


#15

Thanks everyone. It really helps to vent before acting. After reading your suggestions, I realized that I’m in the “reply” camp, and needed to say something. I modified my original to read: “I’m very sorry that our guests did not take the time to read our listing before booking. If they had, they would have seen the following: bed is full size, bathroom is shared, parking is on the street. In addition, our shower is a standard size shower stall & a TV is not listed as an amenity. Perhaps a standard hotel room would have been more suitable for these guests.”

I really appreciate all your feedback!


#16

When a guest mentions in their review things that are clearly listed I write a reply I either:
a) Do as many other said and just leave it alone and let it drop down
but
b) If I feel the guest has misrepresented something that is important, then I say: It’s important that guests to take the time to read the entire listing to make sure that it is compatible for their needs. I then specifically address the comment they complained about briefly.


#17

I liked @RiverRockRetreat better. Remember, guest doesn’t care and often doesn’t read your response. Future guests always want to know how friendly and welcoming the host is. You response is for future guests.

I used to be the opinion that “no response to negative review” was the best. I’m on the opposite side now as more and more people complaining about vengeance reviews with the main goal TO HURT host’s business. 1-star review in your case is exactly that type of review.

I would use RiverRockRetreat version. It’s shows you are friendly and know how to deal with difficult people. Your version shows that you were hurt by the guest (that’s exactly what happened and what your guest wanted). DON’T SHOW YOUR FUTURE GUEST YOUR FEELINGS


#18

Probably not a likely outcome, but oddly enough, back when I received my first and only 3 star review, I wrote a LENGTHY, barbed, witty (if I do say so) response to this miserable woman. I learned a year later that one of my guests had actually CHOSEN to stay in my listing for that response.

Now, I am not gonna say it didnt turn away a few or advise anyone to do so, but in that particular case, I felt vindicated. :slight_smile:


#19

I like jamjerrupSunset’s idea, because it is elegant, simple, and because it clearly states that your boundaries around rules are firm.

Puts a damper on the potential jackass guest, too.


#20

Before you respond, I would call Airbnb and tell them that the guest was complaining that the rental was exactly as described, which isn’t appropriate.

I had a problem like this, and Airbnb removed the review (In my case, the guest was complaining that my listing didn’t have windows, and photographs contradicted that)


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