Should I Respond To This Bad Review?

Hi, I recently received a pretty bad review and I’m wondering if I should respond at all?

Here is my listing:

The bad review:
“I wanted to like this property because Hopey is so friendly and responsive, but I can’t recommend it in its current condition and probably not at all for a visit during the heat of summer.

The geographic location of the listing is excellent, but the actual property looks like it was an older, kind of rundown former apartment complex that was converted into a condo complex. That said, Hopey is in the final stages of a very nice remodel of the Airbnb unit.

I say “final stages” because the remodel is not finished but the unit is listed as though it’s complete. Closet doors are missing, the diffuser on the kitchen light is missing, the lighting in the bathroom is inadequate, and there are various places where patching and painting are still in progress. Presumably the ugly faux brick peel-and-stick wallpaper in the kitchen and on one wall of the living room will be replaced as well.

But the biggest shortcoming of the unit is a poorly designed heating and air conditioning system. The supply diffusers for the A/C were just inside the bedroom doors (as well as the living room and kitchen) which put them no more than 10 feet from the return air intake. The result was that the supply air is sucked right back into the return so there was no air circulation in the rooms which left the bedroom I slept in hot and stuffy (and presumably the other one as well).

The outside temp was 95 degrees when I arrived at 5 o’clock and the overnight low was 77 degrees, so opening a window wasn’t an option. I found an oscillating fan on the kitchen counter that I positioned in the doorway of my bedroom to circulate some air, but it was still a hot and miserable night.

The supply grilles should have been installed along an exterior wall away from the door (preferably over a window) so the return air grille in the hall would draw the supply air through the room. The only comfortable spot in the entire place was the little hallway between the bedrooms where the return air intake was located (as well as the thermostat unfortunately).

I can’t say what it would be like the rest of the year, but it seems like you’d have the same problem in the winter (only too cold instead of too hot). In the spring and fall you could at least open the windows to get some air movement.

The place has so much potential but is a big disappointment in its current state unfortunately.“

Some pertinent background info:

  1. I do not have any future bookings for this property. I have a guest (not from Airbnb) that will be staying for 3-6 months and have blocked off my calendar for now.
  2. This guest was supposed to be doing a cross-country trip with his daughter. She canceled last-minute so he ended up at my 2-bedroom condo solo. It is definitely not a good value for a single-person staying for a single-night.
  3. I lived in this condo for 5 years and only recently moved out. I’ve never had any problems with the a/c or heat. Also have never had any complaints.
  4. This property is not in the process of being remodeled. There is no patching or painting going on and I have zero plans to replace the wallpaper or lighting that he disliked. We leave the sliding closet doors completely open so guests can see the extra bedding options. The only comments I’ve ever had is a guest suggesting a lamp for the living room- which I did add.

Appreciate any thoughts from the community!

He sounds like a nut. That review is OTT. I better keep an eye out and hope he doesn’t book with me.

I’d try to get it removed due to false information.


I would actually try to get this review removed, based upon irrelevancy and inaccuracy, as the place is not being renovated. Guy sounds like a building inspector wannabe.

If you can’t manage to get it removed, yes I would leave a response for the benefit of future guests. Short and factual- "I am quite confused by this review, as this listing is not being remodeled at all, it is pictured and described accurately. Nor has any guest ever had issue with the heating or AC. There are also no missing closet doors- the closet is left open so the extra bedding and towels are easily seen by guests.

Please refer to my other reviews for an accurate representation of what to expect when booking this listing."


Thanks so much for the replies! I was a little bewildered when I first read the review and was feeling self-conscious about the property I actually lived in- and really liked- for so many years.

I’ve never tried to have a review removed before. Any advice on the best approach?

Look up the review policy and have it in front of you when dealing with customer service. You often have to spoon feed the policies to the clueless outsourced reps. This falls under the “irrelevant” category for removal. He has inaccurately stated that there is a renovation going on, as if it were a fact, which is not at all true, when it sounds like he simply didn’t like the decor.

I have never had to ask for a review to be removed. But in dealing with CS about other things, I prefer to message them rather than call (other hosts may feel differently), as I can be clear about the issue without them trying to talk me in circles. Also, they will never call you back even when they sound sincere about doing so. With a message stream, you have written documentation, and can keep it going if further explanation is needed.

Just be dead simple and concise when messaging them. Use short sentences, in bullet point form, not paragraphs, don’t be wordy and leave out anything extraneous. And quote the section of the review policy regarding irrelevancy.

If he had just said the place was old and run down and he didn’t find the AC adequate, there’s no way they would remove it, that’s his opinion and experience. It’s him stating as fact that it is under renovation and that the heating/cooling system is improperly installed that makes it irrelevant and inaccurate, because those things are factually untrue.


I took a look at this guy’s profile to see if he has had Airbnb stays before and how he reviewed. This is something that always is a head scratcher for me- he has left nice, normal, non-nit-picky reviews for his other 3 hosts. What prompts someone to suddenly go full-on Mr. Home Inspector/ decor critic? Are they just bored? Maybe he had company on his other stays and didn’t have time to take a full inventory of everything that didn’t conform to his standards and aesthetics?
Just musing. It seems so weird.

I suspect it has something to do with his daughter canceling on him. He seemed really disappointed when he told me she wouldn’t be joining. It’s possible she’s also the one that picked my property- her demographic is my more typical guest. It really is bizarre.

On the plus side, the guest that is staying for the next few months is settled in and really happy with the place. No complaints about the a/c and she works night shift so she’s sleeping during the day when it’s 100+ outside :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


I’m sorry to be an outlier here but this review read to be VERY reasonable and thoughtful to me, except for your saying that int is just factually inaccurate.

I’m not sure if you can prove to Airbnb that the review was not factual. Can you? For example, do you have pictures/video for the day the guest checked in?

I am wondering if the guest who, you say, was doing a cross-country trip possibly confused your property with another? Could you reach out to him and suggest nicely whether that might be the case because so many of the facts don’t match your property?


That’s because it’s EXACTLY like the one you would write except he left out the brand name of the fan, the thermostat, and the supply grills.

When I read it I thought of you straight away.


Snort. As did I…



Yes, good point @KKC ! Why weren’t those brand names mentioned??

My God, he IS a nut!!


I’m sure you are in a bit of shock right now but it’s really not that bad. I don’t think you should respond. Responding will only bring attention to it. If you do respond, be careful to not come across as defensive. It will be difficult to not sound defensive because his complaints are generally subjective.

I don’t know what part(s) is inaccurate or true or not, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter. Airbnb will not remove a review for being inaccurate or even for being wholly dishonest. It does not go against the review policy which is obviously unfair, but I don’t want you to waste your time on it.

Sometimes it helps to break it down:

  • This is not your only review. You have 52 other great reviews that negate this guy’s.

  • He mentions that the complex looks rundown. You have another review that says the same thing so I have to give it some credence. It is not a big deal. If you’re worried about you could mention it in a lighthearted and/or humorous way in your listing. But the exterior of my house is the underpromise part of underpromise-and-overdeliver and that approach works as well.

  • He says you’re in the “final stages” of a remodel. Even if you were in the final stages of a remodel, that is a temporary state and everyone will presume that it’s been completed by the time you reopen your listing. It could be a good thing - “oh, it’s been remodeled”. And your fancy bathroom proves it. You shouldn’t worry about this.

  • The wallpaper is in your front photo and no one cares about this guy’s decorating sense. Don’t worry about it.

  • The rest of (and the bulk of) his review is him obsessing about your HVAC system. He says he had a “hot and miserable night”. It would not deter me from booking because I am not temperature-sensitive. And because none of your other guests have mentioned it, I’d assume that it was unusually hot during his stay or that he likes a ridiculously refrigerated bedroom.

However, some guests may be deterred, so if you respond to this review make it about the HVAC system. Mention “record-breaking heat”, thank the turd for his feedback and say that you’ve had the system assessed and serviced as a precaution. Use the response to make yourself look good (even if it’s inaccurate :wink:


By the way, I like how you had pictures of nearby places a guest might want to go to, with the mileage and time to get there. Nice touch!

BTW, $500/night – I imagine you’re doing very well financially, and all your guests love it.

Very well done!

1 Like

Thank you SO much for all of the feedback. It’s very helpful.

-The HVAC complaint is my biggest concern. I especially like the idea of mentioning we had the a/c serviced and that it’s functioning properly. This is something I do twice a year anyway.

-My building IS atrocious. I have pictures of the building, complex entrance, parking, etc after booking but for safety reasons have never included it in listing pictures (it would be really easy to find based on the general area provided by Airbnb). I am going to update the listing to mention that it’s an ugly building built in the 1950s though. My target demographic won’t care but it might scare off guests that would be a bad fit for my property- assuming they read the listing which I know most people don’t :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

  • My place is unfortunately not $500/night (I wish!). I would be a lot more understanding of a nitpicky review at that rate! Guests pay $125-175/night. I had a problem with Airbnb allowing guests to book dates that were blocked on my calendar. Long story short, I could not get CS to understand or fix the problem so I set my default nightly pricing extremely high to keep it from happening.

I’m still going to take a stab at getting the review removed- I might as well try- I’ll let you know how it goes! Thank you again for all the help!

You might have been the brunt of disappointment with his daughter for canceling.


I looked at your listing and also noticed that it was $500 a night. I wonder if there is another glitch on the platform changing prices because you just clarified that it’s $125-175 yet it’s showing $500.

Nevermind, I just saw your sentence in which you explained that it’s your default pricing.

Oh for goodness sakes. The guy claimed the place was in process of a renovation. It isn’t. He claimed the AC/heating was incorrectly installed, and wrote a friggin technical manual on it, as if his show-off “expertise” is appropriate material for a review. She’s had the same system for years, lived there herself, and hosted scores of guests and no one has ever had issue with it before.

Read her reviews.

One thing I do appreciate about you- you’re a very good sport about the razzing you get here. :+1:


I like this idea. You need to get in front of this potential objection.

I was going to suggest: “The HVAC system is serviced every six months, is properly designed/installed, and has never been the source of any complaint. In record-breaking heat at 95F the system maintained a 75F temperature.”

But actually I like better (this one time!) @Muddy’s suggestion:

Short and sweet, I like to say. [You are new here, right?]

You could add: “Thank you for your review. I hope you’ll think of us if you return in the spring or fall. Oh, and the wallpaper will still be here to greet you.”

BTW, the reviewer’s comment on where the supply vents would be ideally placed makes sense to this layman. But in our home the vents are also placed within 10 feet of the return; we’ve never had any problem. Closing the bedroom door would slow down what he describes but in our home whether the door is closed or not, the bedrooms are cooled. [Now I’m wondering ‘Why?’]

Your bathroom and kitchen are stunning!

You didn’t ask but the bedroom and living room decor looks a little bare and unappealing to me. Just doesn’t match the color and elegance of the kitchen and bath.

Your reviews demonstrate that you’re an accomplished, responsive and personable Host. Good for you,

The guy sounds like he was in a bad headspace and took it out on you. Others have given some excellent suggestions on replying to his review.

I’ve got a little feedback for your listing. Just my opinion, as people on here were kind enough to give a critique of my listing.

  1. ‘Simple Condo #B in Amazing Location’ You describe your former home that you just remodeled as 'simple"? I’d suggest something like ‘Newly Renovated 2 Brdm Amazing Location’. You’ve put a lot of money into making the place look really great, brag it up!
  2. Back up a little when taking photos so potential guests see more of the living room and bedrooms. (I’m guilty of doing this too)
  3. Mention your rainfall showerhead and the spa experience it obviously provides.
  4. Your kitchen remodel is thoughtful and beautiful. With all that counter space and your long-term guests, I’d buy a couple of muffin tins, cookie sheets, mixing bowls and say it’s perfect for baking. Guests probably won’t bake, but if they can imagine themselves baking and entertaining, it’ll give you a leg up against your competition. Sell the experience your place offers in addition to the very convenient location. (Yes I DO work in marketing)
  5. I’m seeing ‘comfortable bedrooms’ with ‘ample closet space for all your things.’
  6. You don’t list how large your TV is, I find listing it helpful.
  7. Your walls are a little bare, Etsy has some cute Salt Lake City wall art.
  8. Add a fan in each bedroom in case you host another disgruntled HVAC person. I recommend Vornado b/c they’re small and move a lot of air.

People are gonna read your long list of excellent reviews and recognize that some people are just angry with life and choose to take it out on their host. I’ve had the same thing happen. Drown it out with five star reviews.