Seeking advice on what and whether to respond publicly to a 1 star review

I got the following review and am interested in your thoughts on what to respond with, if at all. I guess I also want your impressions as well since I am intentionally giving no other details up front to cloud any judgements or create any biases up front. Thank you in advance!

“I originally booked this place because I needed a place to stay that would welcome my dog as I searched for a new home. This place seemed ideal because I thought my dog would be able to use the back or front yard to run around. The host expects you to have your dog on a liege or in a crate at all times while in her home. The yard use is not possible unless you are able to schedule a meet and greet with her pets and that is only when she is available. I ended up only going to the house to sleep due to this.

She has an extensive list of rules and is inflexible if any rule is broken. In my opinion it’s over the top. One instance I thought this was over the top was when I went to my car to load a bag and air it out before I put my dog in it. I was literally out of my room for less than a minute when she came running outside to yell at me about leaving my dog unsupervised in my room and when I tried explaining it was just for a minute, she continued to follow me around telling me how I broke her “rule”. It was ridiculous.

I have stayed in many AirB&Bs overseas and never seen this before. Additionally, you only get access to a room and a bathroom and the house looks like a hoarders place. I didn’t really need much use of anything else but it was unpleasant to look at. It was a really the most uncomfortable stay. I booked for 16 nights but only stayed for 6 because I was able to find a house for rent and she was inflexible about refunding any money.

She also offers boarding services but I would never board my dog with her if it means she will keep him in a crate at all times.

I was really disappointed because she was a retired service member and seemed really nice at first. Hope whomever books with her has a better experience than I had.”

What is your side of the story?

Well, by your own admission, she’s right :rofl:

If your other reviews are all fine, I’d probably be minded to just let it go and it’ll disappear down or off the first page.


I would only respond if there was something factually inaccurate about a review that I thought important future guests know. For example, if a review said, “there’s nowhere to park,” I’d correct that. Stuff like “she’s a hoarder” is subjective and I wouldn’t respond.

It depends if the review is factual or fabricated. If it is factual, them there is no need to respond but if parts of it are fabricated then you can provide clarification in your response.

I’d like to wait a little to provide that so as to allow for unbiased responses first. (We will see how Kong I wait…lol.)

Exactly! She is obviously telling on herself in this review…

@KKC @Ritz3 There are “factual inaccuracies” and “fabrications.”

If it were I, I would provide clarification but would make it short and sweet. Also you might want to consider removing photos of your backyard since other pets really are not welcome to use it.

Then address those.

I’ll be frank, and this isn’t unbiased, it’s based on reading your posts here for years.

This review rings true to me. You have a lot of rules and seem very controlling. We’ve told you a dozen times that your fines for this and that are unseemly. Nevertheless, you’ve persisted. (h/t Elizabeth Warren)

If you want to argue in your response that you aren’t a hoarder or that it was 10 minutes before you confronted her about leaving the dog in the room, not 1 minute, I can’t stop you.

My advice would be not to respond but I don’t think that is your style.


Why do guests think they are entitled to a refund when they chose to end their own trip?

The entitlement

I, too, would like more info from your side. But in the meantime, if you’re focusing on her review and getting it removed, I would start with the next to the last paragraph regarding your dog boarding and that she would never use your service. That is totally irrelevant to her stay and might meet grounds for removal.

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Nobody likes to be controlled, they are not in the military.

This is the hospitality business, I would be mortified if a guest said that in a review.

I would not respond, there is really nothing you can say that will help.


“…offers boarding services but… she will keep him in a crate at all times”

This is the part that jumps out at me, too. The other things are her own experience and her own reactions, and potential guests and hosts can read and filter them as they will.

The part about the boarding business is speculation and not a reasonable thing to include


Forget it and move on.

Every host has a different style and yours is not the same as mine. But stand by your own hosting style if you wish.

The review isn’t terrible and I couldn’t afford the time to respond or write at length here about it. Not every host is going to please every guest every time.

But I do like this bit:


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You should likely be able to get this review removed with a bit of Airbnb policy savvy.

What? How? It is the guests experience from their perspective and does not violate the TOS that I can see.

What is this AirBNB savvy you speak of?

Do tell.



The term “hoarder” is what would be most off putting to me as a potential future guest reading the review, and for that reason a brief explanatory statement might be in order, that there is a lot of business equipment on the property but not in guest rooms or blocking any exits, for example.

All of it would be off putting to me as a guest. The rules, inflexibility and being YELLED at I would not want to deal with it.

@Militaryhorsegal has posted a lot about her rules and fines and inflexibility here before so I am assuming that part of the review is honest.

Again, I would not respond there is really no making this better.



On one hand, only you see the 1 star. Guests see what she wrote, the overall average and category averages.
Her review “sounds truthful and authentic”. Did you actually follow her around and bark at her when she “merely went to the car for a min”? Adults LOVE THAT. Especially paying adults. Similarly, your place may benefit from a “de-clutter session”.
As you do allow dogs, you need a better way of handling things. You created several areas for conflict and control - without a single “comfort zone” or area of Non-Conflict.
Dogs can not be “always leashed or crated”. That is just silly. Especially for anything more than 1-2 nights. You need a dedicated Your Dog(s) can play here area for your guests
Regardless, @DozerPug pointed out you might have a way out via NOT RELEVANT (dog boarding). You have nothing to lose by trying.

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