Stealth review by guest minutes before submission cut off, thwarted!

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.



Awe… so sorry. I’ve been there in your shoes. Malicious, nasty, mean spirited review left for no reason other than to slam me because I wasn’t their maid and they didn’t understand Airbnb.

C Heck it over for violations, check the guidelines. If you find something,call in. But in all the years I have been doing Airbnb, I’ve never ever ever had them remove a review.

Their review system is unnecessarily strict and inflexible. I hate hate hate it.


Glad to hear this is your first unpleasant guest.

I am surprised though that when you had such unreasonable and demanding guests, that you decided not to leave a review to warn other hosts.

I’ve never heard of a ‘golden rule’ of I won’t review you if you don’t review me.

I review 99% of my guests because a) if they are good guests I want to help them get further bookings b) if they aren’t I want to warn other hosts about them.

@konacoconutz will tell you it is a common trick that hosts use to put in reviews about bad guests at the last minute. Looks like guests are now catching on and doing it to hosts they want to leave a bad review about.

As a side note with three properties do you not have a co-host to help manage your Airbnb’s when you are on holiday.


There is no such thing as a “golden rule” this is the “screw the next host rule”.:rage:

I do not feel bad for you at all, you had the chance to help fellow hosts, but you decided not to.
Now it backfired.

So I hope you learned from this and leave an honest review next time to help other host.


I am sorry to hear that. I am sure anybody looking at your place will notice the 250+ great reviews and not the 1 bad one. As you have a picture of Jesus as your avatar perhaps the best thing is to take his advice and turn the other cheek.


…Hilarious :smile: @JamJerrupSunset


I am firmly in the “review all guests” camp. I’m amused by the idea that this is some stealthy trick move when the guest does it but fine when we do it.

Anyway there are multiple threads about the importance of reviewing so no point in beating that dead horse again.

I’m glad you were able to get that last minute review in, I’m sure they were surprised to see you were just as clever (or conniving depending on viewpoint) as they were.


I couldn’t agree more about reviewing all guests. That’s what reviews are for. They are a resource for other users to determine if they want to deal with that person.

I’m also in full agreement about the comment that “when hosts do it, it’s fine, when guests do it, they’re breaking the rules”.

This seems to happen a lot, and it’s been bothering me for a while. The biggest example I see is hosts accepting third party bookings from guests without business accounts. It’s against Air’s rules, but some hosts don’t seem to care, they want the money, so they won’t enforce the rule, although they’ve agreed to do so.

And yet these same hosts are the ones who complain if a guest breaks an Air rule and inconveniences them. You can’t have it both ways. As a host, if you pick and choose the rules you want to follow, you can’t really complain when a guest does the same thing!

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How many hosts write about checking reviews of guests but have no problem skipping doing themselves? Or only show up on the forum to post when they have a problem but never bring us anything in return. Plenty of people have no trouble thinking only of themselves.

I’ve read multiple reviews lately where a parent made a booking for a child and reviewed the host favorably. I’m sure many hosts don’t even realize it violates the TOS.

Plenty of this everywhere I suppose. Still, quite disappointing to see some of the things hosts posts here that they think is perfectly acceptable.

It’s complicated. My partner and I take turns to go on holiday. But this is a ludicrous arrangement. We are now looking at cohosting. Thanks for your response.

I’m on a learning curve and I agree I should be submitting reviews sooner, irrespective of what guests might say. Thank you.

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Erm, it didn’t back fire. At all. I left her a deserved review. Read my post again.

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Looks like Stoner Jesus. LOL.


Yes, I agree with your sentiments. As you say, from now on all guests will get a quick and honest review. Thank you.


But Jesus seems to be smoking something! :joy:


NOT the bad ones! If they are bad you want to leave it at the 11th hour! Last second!

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The guests have our home address as they have stayed with us. Is no one concerned if we leave a bad review they might cause mischief? It crossed my mind but I have still left guests honest reviews.

Crossed my mind? Yes. Really concerned? No. I get mostly road trippers. If I had someone truly bad I’d be waiting unitl the last minutes, 14 days later. By then they have returned home or are far away. I also have security cameras in the front. Could some crazy vindictive person spend $100s to come back and attempt something in person? Unlikely but possible. OTOH, it’s very likely that a host will use my review of the guest to their benefit, or maybe the guest will learn something from it, maybe they will leave the airbnb system.

Well since you are in Hawaii and I assume most of your guests will be visitors, the chance of that should be slim to none.

The review system like KONA is killing me. I feel like revenge reviews are an excuse for guests. I do whatever I can as far as cleaning, accommodating and hosting but they always want more. I’m surprised by what they get by writing a negative review. People are still going to come. I got a 1 star review from a guest because I gave them their privacy and airbnb stand by like whatever the guest is saying is accurate. I have fought several times with airbnb saying that what the guest is wrote is untrue but airbnb did nothing and said its their experience (Yah right in their mind). Air bnb needs to change their policy in reviews anybody want to start a protest with me ;). We are just hosts not making a lot of money or become super rich by hosting. We are doing ourselves and the guests a favor by giving them a cheap rate in our home and us some money so we don’t loose our home. I mean come on airbnb! This is not fair!

KONA- There are a lot of friends of friend that people send, chances are slim, just crossed my mind. Thanks! BTW are you ok with the storm in Kona. We had a lot less guest coming and a lot of cancellations.