Review period - the definitive thread?

Re: Airbnb reviews: “After 24 Sep, the review period will be over and you won’t be able to write a review”.

I tried writing a review on Sept 24 at 3:00 PM and was not allowed. Guest was from Munich, Germany, Time there was 9:00PM. Check out was Sept 10th. Why could I not write a review? It was not after Sept 24th. Am I reading the review period info incorrectly?

I had the same experience as you and after discussing it here I came to the conclusion that different geographical areas have their own rules. I am in Europe (Spain) and was told definitely by an Air Customer Service Rep (who was actually quite on the ball) that the review period expires 14 days after checkout and the time limit is your checkout time (i.e. not the actual time the guest leaves) So if your checkout time is, say, 11a.m. then 3.00 pm would be too late. She said it had nothing to do with the guest’s time zone.

Hosts from other parts of the world have had different explanations, so if I were you I’d call a representative in your area for (hopefully!) a definitive answer.

The guest time zone only has to do with the last minute THEY are allowed to respond. That’s if you want to do a last minute sneak attack. But in the case of the OP, that’s odd, maybe they do tie it to Airbnb PST??

Funny: for me, it’s reviews week, because I am developing a component for my business around reviews.

Reviews are opened for 14 days from the moment they are created. 14 days are 1 209 600 seconds. A review created at 10 am will be closed 1 209 600 seconds later. It most likely will be 10 am (might be ±1 hour if you have daylight saving time).

When is a review created? You know for sure when it is, because that is the moment the “Write a review for” e-mail is sent.

That is not the moment of your defined check-out time. It’s… something else.

There is something strange (or magical) playing here, because Airbnb seems to send reviews after the guest is out, irrespective of the define check-out time.

I believe Airbnb can take a hint from the location of the guest on their Airbnb mobile app (or any IP communicated in any way to Airbnb). If the distance between the guest and the Airbnb unit is greater than a certain number of kilometers on the check-out date, the guest is assumed to have checked-out, so a review should be created.

Necessarily, there is also probably a likely fallback time, but I haven’t observed that so much. Do you always receive reviews alerts at the same time? I certainly don’t.

It might also be “something else” because Airbnb doesn’t focus a lot of resources on the “creation” of reviews. This might be the case that during busy periods, such as week-ends, the reviews take more time than the rest of the week to be created. This not what I have found.

I am looking at a review for a host based in California, for which a review was created at “2016-09-17T16:10:40Z”, so more like 09:10:40 PDT. His check-out time is 11am. Wouldn’t make any sense to a simple machine.

Now, for a (very busy) host based in the Benelux. There is no pre-defined check-out time on his listings, but he basically imposes a check-in by 11am. Here follows the moment when his next reviews will expire:

10-Oct-2016 11:32:03 CEST.
10-Oct-2016 11:15:19 CEST.
10-Oct-2016 10:46:13 CEST.
10-Oct-2016 10:27:20 CEST.
10-Oct-2016 09:51:10 CEST.
10-Oct-2016 09:12:33 CEST.
10-Oct-2016 08:19:51 CEST.
10-Oct-2016 06:05:35 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 12:00:22 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 11:02:26 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 09:52:30 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 09:10:11 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 08:50:22 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 08:47:57 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 08:42:45 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 08:40:46 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 05:04:23 CEST.
09-Oct-2016 04:48:42 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 10:38:03 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 09:23:40 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 09:13:11 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 08:53:05 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 08:18:46 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 08:07:36 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 07:54:19 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 05:34:16 CEST.
08-Oct-2016 03:14:45 CEST.
07-Oct-2016 10:55:53 CEST.
07-Oct-2016 10:48:20 CEST.
07-Oct-2016 10:04:54 CEST.
07-Oct-2016 08:29:27 CEST.
04-Oct-2016 02:19:37 CEST.
03-Oct-2016 08:15:55 CEST.
01-Oct-2016 12:12:44 CEST.
29-Sep-2016 13:08:09 CEST.
26-Sep-2016 10:02:53 CEST.
26-Sep-2016 08:37:26 CEST.

The time of expiration of reviews doesn’t seem to sustain any kind of definition. It obviously isn’t random, because there would be an even distribution across all hours. There are very few reviews after 12am.

I am ready to bet that his very early reviews (between 02:00 and 06:00) might be from people who took a plane in the morning.

This is a very long answer for a very simple question. Check the time of the “Write a review for” email. You have 1 209 600 seconds to write a review since that time.

Replying before the check-out time is a simple rule, but it would hardly work. In fact, for the examples above, the host in California would have no opportunity to submit his review at 11am. If the host in the Benelux would only submit reviews 14 days after their creation, at the check-out hour (11am), the review would have expired in 83% of cases.

Source: I run an Airbnb automation company, and I am busy retro-engineering Airbnb’s API.

I have definitely had review reminders sent to me while the guest was still here. (It’s a room in my house so I know for sure they are here, with their phone.)

And @Louise just posted in another thread that she left a review after 14 days because the case was pending resolution.

I absolutely did too, and I have a private room as well. It obviously happens, but I do not believe this is the principle.

When I have received the review before the guest actually checked-out (which was not so frequent in my case), the guests’ didn’t have data on their phone (or didn’t have a smartphone), or had late check-outs that was not discussed on an Airbnb conversation.

I have also had cases when I received that email after the guest had landed somewhere outside of Europe (and no data roaming). An 8 hours delay doesn’t make sense.

I have also received those emails 45 minutes after guests checked-out at 6 am to take a plane (but they had data on their smartphone).

I will never know for sure, but I think on the basis of data that I get and try to find a way to explain it.

That is definitely a very special case. Is the review visible on the guest’s profile?

My check-out time is 11 a.m. My guests left my place today at 9:30 a.m.; flight departed at 3:50 p.m. No review request, yet, from Air. I usually get them from 3-5:30 a.m. :rage:

3 am… Pretty chime from Airbn iPad app.,
Wake up, hope to see money calling!
“Please review xx guest”. (Who are sleeping downstairs and will check out in six hours.)
Back to sleep… Or not.

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:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:Exactly! :weary:

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My alerts have been particularly erratic lately. Wish I could figure out the pattern; but fundamentally, I am not going to invest the energy to figure it out. I would have to know if they have a data plan on their phone, do they have the AirBNB app on the phone as well; etc etc etc.

I admit that I have DO NOT DISTURB activated at night so I am not woken by the chimes. I really, really, really like my sleep. I would have to charge FAR more to be woken in the middle of the night.

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I WISH I could do that! Alas, I have a teenager …

Don’t you have a favorites list that can ding you in the middle of the night regardless? My kid can reach me. Airbnb can not.

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I’m a bit of a cell-phone idiot. I didn’t know that was an option! Thank you! :kissing_closed_eyes:

For once, I wanted to give credit to Airbnb for something that I thought might be a clever use of technology. Turns out, I should go for the safer option, and take my pills :smile:


I just looked at his profile, it doesn’t show. But it does show on mine. Here’s his link

Here’s my listing.

I always thought they just A/B test to try to figure out best results for getting the most guests to leave a review. And same for host side. Who knows…

That would work too in theory, but I don’t think this is what is happening.

For example, Mailchimp has a feature like this to automatically determine when is the best time for an email recipient to receive their email. So a bartender in Spain would not receive emails early in the morning, but an US lawyer probably would.

Airbnb doesn’t use Mailchimp, but they might have given this approach a shot. Or not at all. Considering the amount of reviews they send, I think they should have figured out that sending emails at 4am is not good practice.

That makes more sense – you were able to leave a “rebuttal” but not an actual review for Junwoo that would show under his profile. Thus, when he goes to book another Airbnb, the host will not be able to link back to your listing to see what you had to say.

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BTW, my review request from Air came in at 5:51 a.m.

I believe the word you are searching for is bug. And you might be searching for patterns in randomness. My limited experience with Airbnb gives the impression of controlled chaos. Like Third World software, but with better English.

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