Suggestions on receiving a 3 star rating and having to write a review

Zandra - I completely agree. As I told my friends when they first arrived - who the hell comes in the middle of winter to the Jersey Shore and asks where they can rent a kayak???

The thing too about nothing being open - the bus station is 4 miles away, there is a bus that stops two blocks from me that would have taken them there - it has DIRECT busing to Atlantic City (1 hour) and New York (1 1/2 hours). I gave them all the bus schedules for that. The old saying - “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.”- very much applies to these guests.

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Yes but in terms of total time to get to New York how long would it be?

For me if I was coming to NY I would find Jersey to far. But I may not realise it was too far until I did some research (and it sounds like these guys didn’t do any.)

I stayed in Brooklyn and found it too far. I thought it would be ok as a Londoner I’m used to long travel times but the journey was around 50 minutes door too door which was too much for me. Still have the host 5 stars.

Actually Brooklyn is just a borough of New York City - it is actually just a part of the city, So even though you were in Brooklyn - you were still in New York City. :slight_smile: There are parts of New Jersey - such as Jersey City and Hoboken, which are easier to get to Manhattan than it is from Brooklyn and only takes 10 minutes to get across the river from.

But yes - they obviously did zero research and didn’t listen to me when I told them that it was off season and not much to do around here at this time of year. I at least thought at the time they would have a car though - in which case you can actually go places. There are lighthouses, museums, historic sites, state parks, etc all open - but you need a car.

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This sounds like it’s probably a one time problem that a guest booked during the off season and didn’t have a car. If it becomes a recurring problem you can add to your house rules that all guests must have a car during off season.

For civil matters you only need balance of probabilities with regards to the consequences (Bringinshaw v Briginshaw), given the only consequence for them is a 1 star review (which I hope they get), I think the accusation of theft would stand as it’s not like the cops were called. I too have found out too late about every guest that stole from me, like my $25 brand new Tupperware container recently (really??? Get a life). Now all guests so are prohibited from using any containers or even opening that cupboard. Hopefully all these a@&eholes get bad karma).

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Stop worrying about Star Ratings! One 3-Star rating is not going to kill you, and most guests don’t know/understand what the stars are all about anyway. In most businesses, 3 out of 5 stars would be “good”; the Star system is poorly done and vastly overrated!!


  • Instant Book is not such a good idea.
  • Renting to under 25s/spring break folks is not a good idea. Who has Spring Break in March, anyway?
  • You went 'way overboard researching things for these twits. Do you not have a ringbinder Book of house rules, wifi code, things to see and do, restaurants, bus schedules, tours and tourist attractions, etc? If not, why not?
  • Your prices are 'way too low.

I now copy and paste the review stats every couple of days into a word document so if an anomaly shows up I can be sure I can see where it comes from.

I don’t understand why I have had 2 horrible people out of 97, 1 gave me a 2* and 1 a 3* and those are worth 1% each. It doesn’t matter how many 4 & 5*'s I get the 2 and 3 still stay at 1% - surely they are .25%. I know it’s not important but we all know how hard we work and how upset we get when we aren’t appreciated.

Overall rating
Total reviews
5 star reviews
Ratings (97)

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I would just leave a short, factual review. Considering what you’ve said, I would suggest you give them a thumbs down (i.e. do not recommend), and this will prevent them from instant booking in the future.

“X and her two friends visited for spring break . They were not self-sufficient and required a significant amount of attention. After their departure, I noticed they punctured my air mattress but failed to report the damage. They will probably be more suitable for AirBNB in a few years and until they mature, I cannot recommend.”

I am slightly surprised that you challenged the guest on leaving 3* without having read the review. I find this to be most bizarre.

The fact is that not every guest and host will get along, and some guests will be w@nkers. The other fact is that the remaining guests you’ve had have given you 5*. AirBNB (and other guests) will see this lovely little princess’ for exactly what it is - an outlier.

Do not invest too much in this issue. You’re a great host that just got stuck with a bad guest.


They didn’t need an airbnb they needed a babysitter! Given the missing taffy and the damaged air mattress I’d say you lost money on this booking.

However, I don’t see that they broke any house rules and they left things tidy. I like Kona’s wording about them being ill-prepared. They were certainly annoying. But putting that in a review? I don’t know. No one made you rent to them at $12. No one forced you to take a third person or provide taffy or bus schedules. You’re kicking yourself for allowing that and now you want to kick them just like they did to you. I’d try very hard to keep it factual and dispassionate. You can definitely give them a thumbs down and say they are not well suited to your rental in the winter.


Ken must you always be so harsh? She said she was a new host. She just started and she’s only experienced off-season clients so far. And also, stars do matter, they help you get to SH, if that’s important, and too many low ones and you get the unwelcome scolding email from Airbnb. Plenty of places have spring break in March. UH Hilo is about to go on SB March 27. Of course the binder is a good idea, but you sound like a parent meting out a scolding. “If not, why not?”

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They stole her MAIN stash of taffy… that would be like having guests steal all the Kona coffee in my house because I gave them one cup a day. It’s unacceptable to touch anyone’s personal property without permission!! And clearly an egregious violation. I don’t think we have to add to our house rules, no stealing personal property.

To each his own but I personally like reading “colorful” reviews with all the gory details. :laughing:

I don’t leave bad reviews often…maybe three in all the years I’ve been doing this? But when I do, you can bet they leave no stone (or in the case of my last guests) no piece of trash unturned!

I would tell it like it is. Why mince words? These little brats already telegraphed they had left a crap review by leaving the three stars. What has JD got to lose by hitting them with her best shot?


If I accuse a guest of stealing something without proof and they complain and get the entire review removed then I haven’t accomplished much have I? All they have to say is, we ate it because we thought it was for guests. And you know what, maybe they did. They thought it was 5 pieces per person per day and when they ran out they went downstairs and got more, just like the toilet paper. Why was it left on the counter? So they could help themselves!

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Instead of saying that the taffy was stolen, the original poster could say that the guests took the main supply without asking.

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I don’t think you need proof, other than it was there this morning, and now it’s gone. The guidelines state the experience in your review has to be your own.

I had a review removed because I stated my co host had a certain experience of the guest while I was on holiday. But Air agreed, a co host DOES represent me in my absence and can be used in a review. They reinstated the review.

Best to check the guidelines when writing so you can be sure. It’s your word against theirs. They stole something? It should be listed in the review!

The bad guest I refer to above also broke a wine glass and didn’t report it. One of the lesser things that they did. I have a detailed inventory that I check my property against when they check out. If the guest is honest and tells me about breaking a wine glass, fine. I let it go. Wear and tear. If they hide it, I might say it in a review. It’s the principle, you know? That they tried to hide it, and I find that reprehensible. So I may put it in the review. Stemware was missing and not reported. I think it’s valid.

Have you checked with your brother to be positive he didn’t move the taffy? Like I told another poster yesterday - be damn sure it was them before you say anything online about stealing. Also, I would call Air and run your final review by them to get confirmation that the guests cannot deny and get the review removed. Tell the rep. where it was located, where you last saw it, and who the others were in your house, and that you already checked with them.

I’d let these girls have it. I can’t believe for $12 a night (for 3 guests) they they had the audacity to steal. I would state in my review that you allowed the 3rd friend to stay, and they broke your air bed, didn’t report the damage, and kept asking to borrow your car even after they were told no. These types don’t deserve any “compliments” of how friendly they were.


$12 a night and they felt a 3 star review was justified. Just wow.

Though I have to ask; Why on earth did you set your minimum so low ?

About the taffy, how about saying:

‘They helped themselves to my personal items’

It’s vague enough that you’re not directly accusing them, but more than enough to put off a potential host

but add “without asking.” But honestly, Garden. they did more than that . they removed the whole thing. They stole the entire bag.

I don’t see what’s wrong with saying, “My entire bag of salt water taffy supply, stored downstairs and not in the guest area, was missing from the home after checkout.”


Yes yours is a better suggestion, factual without putting the blame directly on them. But hosts will read between the lines!

I have never seen the point of letting hosts "read between the lines."
Just give the whole story along with all the pertinent facts. Tell it like it is!
If i have a guest enquire, I do not want to guess as to what a host meant or if they were trying to communicate something between the lines. I appreciate a fair and honest assessment about guests and their behavior from previous hosts so I can asses quickly whether I want to accept them in my home.

If someone clearly stole a $40 bag of candy from me I would say so. What is the difference between that and grabbing two $20 bills I left on the counter?