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Question about giving a bad review


Just had 3 women stay at my house. Seemed fine. Then after they left, they asked for a full refund saying they did not feel safe in my house. Apparently the curtains were too sheer (I’m trying to see it, but it’s hard, and nothing is beyond those windows but woods. The said there were gaps in the shutters over the bathroom window and they put a towel over them. I don’t see that either - there’s no way anyone could see through that unless they climbed up and looked through them at the perfect angle, which would take a pretty good sized ladder.
So either this was a scam, or these women are so paranoid they shouldn’t leave the house. Would you as hosts want to know about this? Should I leave them a bad review?

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I would not host these guests if I read that they stayed through the duration of a full reservation, never complained, then requested a refund after checkout.

If you don’t provide us this info, you are doing us all a disservice.


It’s not really a case of a bad review, but an honest review.

Firstly, as you know, if they want a refund they need to contact Airbnb and prove with photographs or other evidence that the accommodation was in some way not as described; dirty, no HVAC, no kitchen when one was shown in the listing etc. etc.

I believe that they are firstly supposed to bring up any issues with the host so that the host can rectify them and then if they are not done, then they can request a refund from Airbnb but at once, not after they’ve stayed.

Secondly, what we hosts want to know varies enormously. If guests are quiet and leave the place in good condition, that’s all I care about. Other hosts have very different criteria.

Your review is supposed to be an honest reflection of what it was like hosting these guests. It’s not supposed to talk about their personalities or anything other than the stay.

If it wasn’t for the refund thing, it seems that I’d host them but if they were finding fault about every little thing - and pestering you with phone calls every two minutes - I’d want to know.


Thanks. They never contacted me about a thing, and when I saw them as they were leaving and asked if everything was okay, they said the mattress was really comfortable. That was it. I felt pretty blindsided.


Thank you. This helps. I have never given anyone a negative review, and I am uncomfortable doing so, but I agree with you.


Sounds to me like review extortion. Guests are getting better at gaming the system. They know they can’t complain during the stay, because then you will fix whatever supposed “issues” they have. Then they ask for a refund after checking out but prior to leaving a review, knowing your first thought will be “if I decline the refund, they will leave me a bad review” in the hope that you just acquiesce. Don’t do it. But will Airbnb leave up a host review that says something to the effect of “Guest said everything was lovely, no complaints whatsoever, and then after checkout asked for a full refund”? Or is the “R” word banned in reviews? Because I think any other host would like to know that this is the kind of guest they would be dealing with.


I have a full time job and this is just something I do on the side to keep out of foreclosure. I don’t have time to fight them so I gave them the refund. I think you are right. I would have loved to know that they were capable of this before accepting them! Thanks.


My gut feeling is: ‘asking for a full refund’ is banned and they would take down your review.

As a host I would want to know about what you encountered as they will try this scam on the next unsuspecting host and so on. I have IB, but when reading this I might just go look for a cancellation if they ever decide on my place.


THIS was you mistake. An easy one to make for a new Host. NEVER, EVER GIVE A REFUND FOR ANYTHING. If a guest wants a refund they MUST contact Airbnb, not you.

You just got scammed, or extorted, or however you want to think of it – they stayed for free, and that’s wrong.

You review needs to be calm and honest.

“Cannot recommend Guest Name. After an apparently nice visit they asked for a full refund “because they didn’t feel safe” and yet provided no evidence as to how/why.”


In this situation, what you do is call Air and tell them that the guest is attempting review extortion. And keep all messaging on the Air platform, when you talk to them summarize the conversation with an Air message to them, so that Customer disService can see the messages. In the future just say no refunds, under Air rules you should have contacted me about these so-called problems when they first occurred instead of waiting until you left, and do it with Air messages.

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I generally prefer to consider most people honest and caring, but when it comes to guests I assume that they could be capable of the most horrid behavior. My city is a cruise ship destination port, and we say that cruise passengers leave their brains at home. People on vacation seem to leave their inhibitions at home and do things they would never do where they live.


@Sue728 why give them a refund? How much time would it have taken to tell them “NO”? I would have put up a fight.
It’s not about them being picky guests, it’s about them being scammers…
Ken is generally outstanding in his wording suggestions, however, I would say not mention that they “didn’t feel safe” and, instead, write that “while the guests gave no indication that there were any concerns during their stay or on their way out, they subsequently complained about an unsubstantiated issue and requested a full refund. I can’t recommend this group to other hosts and would not welcome them back”.


I’d just relate the facts in the review. they are pretty bad. what they do is extortion. did they ever complain to you while staying there? If not, ignore. If they did, did you reply and offer to do something about it? if you did, ignore. if not see if they open a ticket with airbnb and explain the whole situation to CS.
some guests are like that. you’ll grow a thick skin eventually

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Then you have even more reason not to refund. :slightly_frowning_face:

I’m sorry this happened to you. I can understand how someone who is worried about losing income they need to stay afloat might panic and cave to a guest’s unreasonable demands. But long term, that’s not a good strategy, and I’m sure you see that now.

If/when something like this happens in the future, please come here for advice first, before you take action. If you had, I’m sure someone would have gladly helped you wordsmith a bulletproof reply to the guest, and perhaps told you to reach out to Airbnb customer service preemptively to (calmly, factually and professionally) give them your version of what’s happening. Getting out in front of things with customer support, and documenting your (again, calm, factual and professional!) interactions with your guests on the platform can go a long way toward protecting yourself from crappy reviews and loss of income.


We recently had a guest who left without staying and got a refund. ( She directly threatened a bad review off platform. ) She said if refund given she would not write a review, so when she did that, (5* btw) , she got this below review from us: Written with help from a wonderful mod here!! Update --she called air to get them to ask me if I would delete it. I said no.

“Husband grumpy due to overwork. Both of them were unfamiliar with local wildlife and it seemed to scare them. Said that the fully functioning AC wasn’t working (we had it professionally checked and it was working perfectly soon after they left). Demanded a refund causing me stress and heartache because I work so hard to ensure that our guests have a wonderful time. Not a good experience.”

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I will add and reiterate here… just because you refund does NOT mean a guest cannot leave a bad review! I would also have not refunded.


Thanks - “local wildlife”! Ha!


What?! You can neither delete nor edit your review once it’s posted and Airbnb does not allow the guest and host to mutually withdraw reviews (e.g., Like eBay). And every host for the past 2+ years says the only way to get a review removed is if it violates Airbnb’s terms or service.

Are you saying Airbnb called you on behalf of the guest and asked if you would withdraw your review? If so, when did this take place?

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I don’t really care if they leave a bad review. I have as much business as I can handle and most of my reviews are pretty stellar. They did go through AirBnB to ask for the refund and posted pictures of my crimes. I do like all the reviews suggested. I think I’ll write something like, “the guests were quiet and clean. They left the place nice and tidy. I never heard a peep from them and then when they left they complained that they felt unsafe in my house and requested a refund.” You guys have been great. Thank you all.

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Why say anything good about these rip-off artists? I vote for Miss Miami’s review wording.

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