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"Tell the host what they could do better" (in a Review)


#1

My problem is with the way airbnb actually directly encourages people (guests mainly) to write negative reviews for hosts. How? I’ll try to explain my point of view on this from my recent personal experience.
I have three last reviews from guests who write about my broken shower door that is hard to open. It does close and open eventually, but it’s true, you do need to use a little force to operate it. I admit it’s broken, and I have a repairman ordered for next week andI have always told about this issue to all of my guests, mentioning that the repair is due soon, and apologized.

Yet, those guests (pretty cool, down-to-earht and friendly people) still write in reviews about this minor issue they would normally dismiss or overlook. because otherwise my apartment is impeccably clean, I am a Super host for a 3rd quarter now and the experience with me is 4,9 star on average! Thank you! :slight_smile:

So why is that people do mention this small issue that they’ve been told about in advance and were given a personal apology for? Well, because Airbnb is ENCOURAGING guests to write negative reviews by the unfortunate wording in their notification emails and messages that reads: “Tell what you liked about XY’s listing and what they could do better”!
The “TELL WHAT THEY COULD DO BETTER” part, in my opinion, is actually encouraging people to think of the small negatives and blunders and actually put it in the review even though it is many times not necessary to mention those at all and it would never occurred to those guests to actually write about it or even think about it when writing a feedback. I personally think it is a bad choice of words.

Why? Well, I think everybody knows what it means to write a review online. And everybody who is deeply dissatisfied with one thing or another about their stay knows they have a great opportunity to voice that if they feel like it.

The thing is many people tend to remember just the good stuff and dismiss the tiny imperfections or negatives that didn’t bother them that much in otherwise overall great experience. By telling guests directly to “tell what the host could’ve done better” airbnb makes them think and dig in their recent memory about small insignificant negative stuff to put into review. And they will always find something! And vast majoruty WILL actually put it oin the review. They have been asked by airbnb, after all, haven’t they?! That’s how the human subconscious mind works.

People tend to write positive review even if not everything was five star hotel experience like. And we are just airbnb hosts trying to do our best, not a five start hoteliers. And those bad hosts will get bashed by negative reviews regardless whether airbnb tells the guests to write what the “host could’ve done better”!

I know that the intention on airbnb’s side is good, but it’s very suggestive and brings people to write negative stuff that harms many good hosts in the long run.

Please, airbnb consider removing the “Tell the host/guest what they could do better” wording from your emails and messages you send out to people. A simple “Please review your recent stay with XY” would suffice, Don’t you think? Thank you.


#2

OMG, I can’t read that. I’ll lose half my morning :anguished:


#3

Are your guests writing about the shower door in the private feedback section or are they adding this to the public review?

Yeah…the improving feedback can be annoying when you know the guest is trying to think of something. Some guests give thoughtful “improvement” feedback while other guests take it waaaayy too seriously.

Some of the other sites do this too. I believe FK asks “what did you like least about your stay” - Booking.com specifically asks what you didn’t like. Both of those are public and not private.

I think the intent may have been to politely give a host feedback in private, but then it turned into guests thinking they are supposed to pick everything little thing apart.


#4

Yes, cabinhost, they all vented in a main review, not in the private section. I would be totally ok with that.
Funny thing, all three recent guests (two young couples and one middle aged) were all airbnb virgins and my review of them was their very first one they had ever received on their airbnb profile. They were all totally amazing guests I must say, so my reviews were all 5 star and excellent recommendation. What irony! :)))
In return I got three somewhat good revies but all of them also included criticism about the darned shower door and one of them actually gave me 3 star for over all experience (!), which is a first for me and a huge disspaointment too!!! Oh, well. :slight_smile:
I find it douchy, though, no matter how nice a people they were, to mention it in the public feedback when I acknowledged the problem and APOLOGIZED for it at the check-in.
Whatever! Thank you for your undestanding reply. It helped me a lot knowing somebody agrees with me on this one. Didn’t know about the Booking.com and FK doing the same thing, and even worsely worded. LOL! Peace!


#5

Ha ha! Well, then don’t! :slight_smile:


#6

Yes, I cringe anytime I go to check a Booking.com review. Oh…and they don’t even ask the guest to choose stars. They have them choose “poor, fair, good, or excellent” - so if someone selects “good” for value or another category - it will convert that to 7.5 stars out of 10. My last review on booking.com - the guest said she didn’t like the number of beds for the size of the house. It was 3 adults (2 sisters and their mother), and it is a 2 bedroom place. The King and Queen bed was just not enough for the three of them. Why didn’t they rent a 3 bedroom then? Sigh…

It sounds like your newbies are mentioning the shower thing because they are not creative enough to come up with their own review. I think a lot of people do that. They will read through previous reviews to help them shape what they might say. And then they just follow suit and kind of repeat the same things. I would bet that if the first person would never have mentioned anything publicly…nobody else would have either.


#7

What also bothers me in just the same way is the high placement (for both hosts & guests) of the Resolution center button. It almost begs a guest to push it and try to get a deal!

"Your host, [name]
Need to pay extra money for your stay or ask for a refund from your host? Use our Resolution Center."
BIG RED BUTTON screaming PUSH ME!

or

[name’s] trip has finished
If you need to offer or request money for an issue from the trip, you can use our Resolution Center."
plain white button NOT screaming push me.

You’re right… it’s all somewhat subtle subconscious manipulation. I agree the button needs to be there… but why so high up and visible… and why red for the guests and plain white for the hosts? Hmmmmm


#8

If you can’t stand criticism or suggestions about what other people think you can do better, then perhaps you should get out of the host business. Often those private comments contain real gems which you never even considered before.

You are not perfect. Neither am I or any other host – super of not. There is always room for improvement, and you should be open to those suggestions.

Why have you delayed repairing (or having repaired) a shower door? One mention of something like that is too many!.

Nice or not, told about it in advance or not, I would certainly zing you for that because it shows sloppiness and a “don’t care” attitude that no host should have.


#9

I once had the support of the bridge to my house and to the guest flat starting to rot. Sometimes I would prop it up temporarily but that was still never enough. I even got some caution tape and asked guests to step over it. Eeeek. I always apologized but I’m really lucky I never got dinged.

You may have been like me putting off that shower door repair. It’s an easy and inexpensive fix. Don’t make your guests go through that every time they get in the shower.

Yes it is perturbing to have them mention it publicly when privately would do… But I tend to wonder if they were actually quite perturbed by an obnxoious shower door and that’s why they felt the need to mention it…I would have been. No matter how the host tried to explain it away.

My bridge cost $600 to fix. Looking back I should have just made the repair!


#10

That’s so totally annoying. It’s a shower door - how petty of them to mention it publicly!


#11

But the comments were not private - they were public.

And it can take a very long time to get a reputable repairman to get to the house. I’ve had a $15,000 construction project I’ve wanted to get done since February - it’s hard to even get someone to call us back.


#12

omg I never thought of that!!! (the repeating other reviews thing).


#13

Yes! The pile on theory!


#14

Never heard of that Kona…did you make that term up…lol?


#15

Well damn Ken. I hope my incoming guests (here in an hour) don’t zing me for the broken kitchen trash compactor and the broken popcorn machine (an amenity of the theatre room) - I just discovered these today when other guests left at 11 a.m. And I honestly do not believe the previous guests knew the items were broken…they still kind of functioned. I’m not blaming…just the cost of business in this case. Accidents happen.

But I brought back the outdoor trashcan (that was removed in early Spring) and am hoping all the bears have eaten enough this season, and won’t touch it. I tried my best to improvise with indoor trash cans that won’t be unsightly and in their way. And I rearranged the popcorn area to make it appear that I surprised them with a popcorn/candy gift basket in case the machine doesn’t work. It might work but my partner ordered the part anyway.

And I just pray they don’t mention anything about the wifi being glitchy every once in a while. I have a brand new modem waiting to be installed but haven’t been able to coordinate exact time with my computer guy and back to back rentals.

We are not hotels where we can just relocate guests to another room out of 100.


#16

Did the exiting guests break it? I hate discoveri things when guests are due to arrive any minute.

I have guests coming today who say they are escaping the Disneyland style resorts we have up north. Already sound like they will be appreciative of me, hope so!

Also guests here for conferences have a 5-star rating with me, hope these two also will… :slight_smile:


#17

Honestly, I am not exactly sure about the trash compactor. I used it when I first arrived to clean and that is when I noticed it was a bit crooked. So it did actually function, but wasn’t set right. Then my partner spent a couple of hours trying to fix it and no luck. So he ordered another one for overnight delivery. These guests are only staying 3 nights, so he will likely try to install the new one on turnover day.

As far as the popcorn machine, he thinks the guests accidentally broke a part of it. He tried to fix it and went ahead and ordered another part - won’t be here until Thursday. But I think it was just one of those things where it was an accident. He did put it back in the machine (after he worked on it) and said it might work, but not sure if the repair will hold up in the heat of the machine.

Hopefully the gift basket will make them happy. It’s not realy a gift basket I went out and bought…I just rearranged things and added five more boxes of candy and loaded all the microwave popcorn and theater box candy into a basket to present it like it was one. I wish I had a pic but was running like crazy. I found a dirty old basket in storage and blew and shook the dust off. Took two autumn colored dish towels (thankfully clean in storage) and covered the inside of the basket. And then transferred all the microwave popcorn from it’s normal location. Took the movie candy off the theater seats. Placed them all in the basket and then added 5 more boxes. Total added cost was $5 since each box is a $1 at Walmart. Talk about a redneck thrown together gift basket…lololol.


#18

Perhaps it is best if Airbnb woud change it to: "Tell the host what they could do better; in the private section"
Really, I don’t think potential guests at large are terribly interested in reading about a shower door not working perfectly. If they were, that would be incredibly small of them. I would be more interested whether the guests enjoyed their stay overall.

I do agree however, the shower door thing is one of those ‘priority #1’ type of issue and should be jumped on immediately.


#19

Yes… air is responsible for prompting a negative review sometimes. They should tell the guest, this will be public and not retractable so please choose your words carefully.


#20

This summer, we stayed in a really nice VR and had the luxury of His and Her matching bathrooms. His glassed-in shower and door worked perfectly; mine did not. When I stepped out to dry off and let the heavy shower door close, the weight caused it to pass the rubber trim and end up on the inside the shower ~ which meant the door now swung inward!

I didn’t notice it until the next time when I realized there was no way to turn on the water unless I was inside the stall. I couldn’t figure out how the door got that way because I had not pushed on the door after exiting.

Mr. Fixit solved the problem by using a butter knife and running it down the rubber flange-thing and gently pried the door back to the outside. He was sweating bullets worried that the glass would break.

The next time I showered and stepped out to dry off, the door again swung on its own and again went through the rubber edging! Again we used the butter knife to get the door on the right side. I emailed the host about the problem and followed up again the next day. No reply.

About the 5th shower, I was good and pissed and tired of having to enter the shower with the door swinging inward and me having to stand in the cold water until it turned warm. I blurted out a few choice words well-known by sailors and gave the door a vigorous push outward – thinking at the last second that it might shatter. Luckily, the door went past the rubber trim and ended up on the proper side! The rest of the month I gingerly left the door ajar as I stepped from the shower.

A defective shower door might have been a ‘minor issue’ per the OP but as a guest it was truly a significant inconvenience and extremely aggravating. For the OP to allow at least four sets of guests to experience the defective condition and not consider it important enough to have it repaired immediately is appalling. Instead, the OP is grousing that the negative feedback should have been presented privately rather than publicly because the guest was ‘informed’ about the problem in advance. Doesn’t hold water with me. It might have been justifiable with the first guest but not a series of guests.

In my case, the host asked for a review saying it would really help their rentals but I chose not to. It was disrespectful of them to ignore my reports about the problem door and as a result, there would be no ‘reward’ of a review.

.


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