Should I Ask to Have a Weird but 5-Star Review Removed?

Great guest who is planning on returning left me a perfect rating all of the way. They said some nice things and they also said, “Supplied lots of drinks, snacks, and pharmaceuticals.”. !!

These seemed like normal, nice folks. We didn’t meet them, they were out and about but they didn’t say anything else weird to us in the messaging. I think it must be a really unfortunate auto-correct. My guess is that she was thinking to something about all of the toiletries and bathroom stuff we supply. You know, stuff from a drugstore; however we don’t provide pharmaceuticals. And I don’t want other guests expecting them :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I keep looking at the listing page and it is the top review, the first one everyone will look at and it is too weird. And I could see someone thinking it was some kind of code or something. It would seem strange to me if I saw it on a listing I was thinking about booking.

I’m thinking about asking Airbnb to take it down. We all know they are not very reasonable and probably won’t. What do you think?

Delighted that the iboprofen was useful!


I would respond to the review just to clarify and say something like “I wanted to clarify that when guest refers to pharmaceuticals she/he is referring to a first aid kit that contains aspirins, Tylenol, antibiotic ointment, saline solution, and bandaids.”


I didn’t even think of responding to it. I haven’t ever responded before. You don’t think it would draw more attention to it?

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I think this is the only time I would highly recommend responding to a review. Nothing negative, just something like @Ritz3 said.


Maybe try some humor?

“In order to manage the expectations of future guests, and preserve our reputation (consistent with our actual personas) as nice but boring, non-partying hosts, we must clarify that the term ‘pharmaceuticals’ in the gracious review above refers to toiletries and over-the-counter first aid items acquired at the local market, and not substances sold by some nameless gentleman behind a building or out of a car trunk.”

Nah, better not.


No, I think you’re right. If I have to respond I think humor makes sense. It’s really hard for me to imagine responding at all so that will make it easier. I appreciate all the advice.

Maybe, “Future guests please note that there are extra fees for the pharmaceutical amenities”.

The complicating factor is that the guest who wrote the review said that they return often for work and that my place would be their preferred place to stay. I don’t want to do something to run off a potential regular. They were excellent guests. And I know they will get a notice that I responded.

After some research, hoping to find out that someone calls toiletries pharmaceuticals somwhere, I believe it was just an auto-correct. The first aid kit is not even in the apartment.There’s nothing remotely pharmaceutical, just lotion, toothbrushes some (non-medicated) lip balm, stuff like that.

I guess it could be a translation issue. The profile says they were from the States but since I didn’t speak with them and messages were very brief, it’s possible that English is not their first language.

Does anyone think that it’s not that big of a deal? That potential guests will just assume some kind of translation error or some kind of regionalism? That it’s obvious that I am not providing guests with prescription medication? Is one option to just leave it alone?

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I agree it’s not a big deal but a brief “Thank you for taking the time to share your experience & looking forward to having you back; I don’t know where the “pharmaceuticals” came from but glad you enjoyed them ;-)” kinda thing.



We have a tendency to overanalyze here. I wonder if most guests even read reviews. If they don’t read the listing text why would they read reviews? And if I were concerned about a word like pharmaceuticals but otherwise thought the place was right for me then I would just ask you about it.


I’m kinda looking forward to those inquiries :joy:

“Nope, we had to stop providing pharmaceuticals but I can hook you up with some edibles if you’re into that.”


I have no idea about “most”, but my guests do- I know because lots of them have commented that “You have great reviews”. And my very first guest, when she arrived, said “You didn’t have any reviews!”.


No way to know I suppose. Several hosts say being a superhost doesn’t matter but I’ve had dozens of guests mention it to me. Of course when you’ve hosted 800+ people you’re going to get some of everything. But the “guests don’t read” consensus here surely must apply to reviews as well as listings.


No, they won’t. As a guest, I have had reviews responded to by the host, and have never received notice from Airbnb about that. I saw the responses only when going back to the listing to look something up.
I agree with most here who say humor is the way to go with this one. Because the guest will be looking you up again, I would use one of the suggested one-liners about bandaids if it were me. It’s a balance of “no big deal” but “we need to be clear”.


Thanks @lawre. I am still sorting it through in my head. But I am currently working on having the review removed, which I think would be ideal.

Surely it sounds like a fool’s errand but looks fairly hopeful. I have been moving up the chain of the airbnb command. Everyone think it’s hilarious. Case managers have never sounded just so human, lots of snorting laughter.

I have already been given the option of me asking the guest to contact Airbnb and then they will let her amend her review (interesting). However, I would prefer to not involve the guest in case it wasn’t an autocorrect, in case she is just eccentric with her words and because she would like to come back. Also, I hate to subject anyone to calling Airbnb. But I might have to take the opportunity and the risk of offending or inconveniencing her. Holding out for now. Going to run that Airbnb gauntlet and will report back!

That’s good to hear. The reason I thought that is because I wrote an unfavorable review of a guest and I got an alert that she had responded to it. But it sounds like a host thing, so that’s good.

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I just got a great booking! From exactly the type of guest that I thought might be alarmed by the pharmaceuticals.

I hope she’s not expecting any.


Hey! can’t you contact them to ask them what did they want to say with that comment? let them know it is just to shake the curiosity hah

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To be honest, I’d see that as being a waste of time. I don’t think that guests read reviews closely and strange (or even bad) reviews are buried on another page quickly.

Of course it’s up to every host to act the way they think is correct but I wouldn’t waste my time. When I see ‘pharmaceuticals’ I assume Tylenol or something.

I once had a review that said I was very ‘contentious’ which I hope was a typo and they meant ‘conscientious’. :slight_smile:

I hope so anyway…


I agree. It’s seems obvious to me, that is, the guest doesn’t mean illegal (or formerly illegal depending upon where you live :grin:) drugs. Just like the Air support people laughed at it, I think we all did (or most of us). I take my review stuff wayyyy too seriously and I would never remove this. I’d take the opportunity to show potential guests I have a sense of humor. :smiley: