After more than 250 hostings over three apartments in the last 15 months, I received my first super-negative review. I’m actually on vacation myself at the moment, in a lovely Airbnb as it happens. At three minutes to midnight, I’m alerted by the Airbnb app that a guest from 13 days, 23 hours and 57 minutes ago has left me a review. Can any of you work out what they tried to do with the timing of the review submission?
This was the single most demanding guest I have ever had. I was anxious the whole three days they were in my apartment. On reflection I know I ran after them too much and despite my efforts would either (hopefully) get no review or a negative one. A few days after they left, I thought the golden and silent rule of “I won’t review if your don’t” was being adhered to. I even jokingly said to my partner “I would not be surprised if they throw a negative review at me at the last minute to prevent me from reviewing them back.”
Aside from being demanding, they were not respectful of the house rules. I won’t detail them as it would not be fare for them to be identifiable.
As soon as I realised that they had submitted a review and at the time that they did, my heart sank. They had deliberately waited until the last conceivable moment to submit as to prevent me from writing them a review. Trembling with adrenaline, thanks to my 70 WPM typing I flung an honest review back at them. I hit send and prayed it would be published. It was.
I then read what they had to say about their stay. It was shocking. They had detailed far more than what they had already complained about and looked for things to say that simply was not true. Thankfully I was able to respond in very a very reasoned way to deflate their comments. There were a couple of minor things they picked up on that I could not dispute and acknowledged and apologised for that. But I think when you read their review and how I have responded, the reader can see that the problem is in fact with the guest and not the host. And every review before them reads fantastically.
I shouldn’t let these things get to me, but I happen to care about many guests and their experience. Perhaps too much. It’s one thing to get a negative review. But if it’s an honest appraisal, then I have to be big enough to accept it. But when their review is reporting subjective or incorrect details and the guest is submitting it at a time to deliberately prevent the host from writing a counter review, it’s upsetting and I regard as spiteful. It’s simply not fare game.
Thankfully this is the only horrible experience I’ve had with Airbnb and I hope it never happens again. I don’t enjoy having to respond to a negative review when I am on vacation myself and after midnight! But if I suspect this might happen in the future, I’ll write the review well in advance in a separate document and should I need to, just cut and paste it in an instant and then submit.