THe infamous one star review

It seems that our lovely guest who wanted his own check in time, and for me to check his parking, and who felt the host should flush for him has given me one star right across the board.

I know that many of you have suffered the same fate. To add insult to injury, they state that his review “Worst place ever” stands. What else can you say to the down duvet, the new 32" smart tv, the dressing gown and slippers…for $19 a night?

My metrics are shot, but worse, Air sent me a notice that my listing is in trouble. One more guest like this and I am history.

I don’t know what happened to the one punitive review a year stuff, but for now this man child takes priority. This is one heck of a way to do business.

Now not that I am a drama queen (who? me?) but enough is enough. People need to know that this is happening everywhere. So I have advised them that I will be publishing an article tomorrow afternoon about what happened.


Please share - I have a similar revenge review that I am dealing with at the moment.
3 booked, 6 stayed and treated my Heritage home like a cheap backpackers. Burnt and ruined pans, smoked inside and a filthy kitchen and a missing iPhone charger.
To add insult to injury I am now getting warnings! Over 60 positive reviews, but this one is upheld by the powers that be.
You can’t win!


Thanks for sharing, Deb. If any of you would care to repeat a similar story, fire away.

ALL ONE STAR: Review: The heater was in the room and it was a lot of noise, it was impossible to sleep and if you turn it off you die of cold. We found the apartment quite dirty when we arrived so we had to clean it and buy our own sheets because they were full of shit, the same with towels. It is very far from the center and the bus is expensive, it is certainly more profitable to rent something better on airbnb.
MY RESPONSE: Hello Maria, thank you for your review. We have now replaced the door that you smashed and the paint matched perfectly, thank goodness. AirBnB were great in helping us with the money for that. The stench of smoke has also left the flat after much cleaning. I wish you had noticed it is a no smoking property, but never mind we have cleaned it thoroughly, walls, floor, furniture. I will let our professional laundry know about the linen, so sorry to learn now that you had to buy your own. You should have mentioned it to us when you were there, or when you left with effusive praise for my home. Sorry you wont be staying with us again. You are right though, it is probably better you stay somewhere else. Best wishes for the future. Anna. Oh, and that big stain came out of the rug, lucky huh! Cheers

Some background: good advice on this website suggested leave no response to a bad review. First time ever did that the other day - nothing. Airbnb considered and would not take down my horrible review. But they did pay for the door so it was clear that this was a problem guest. Did lose my Superhost though. This has affected my bookings. Really just mentioning this to say it does happen.


Yes, we usually suggest not to reply to bad reviews. If you do, the reply should be addressing your potential future guests. Your nasty guest isn’t going to come back and read your reply, and it just looks like a pissing match to potential future guests who may find the host unhinged.


I made a rebuttal noting the extras in the listing.

Contact AirBnB, send them a message on how this guests treated you. You would have understood a 4 or maybe a 3 star, but this 1 star is unfair and clearly retaliative. And how review messes up your ratings, and that AirBnB is now threatening to close your listing.

Ask AirBnB for their help on how to handle this, keep the message short and factual (no whining), do not demand anything, and do not start about removing the review!

There is a big chance you will find a helpful person, and the review will be removed for violating the terms.

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I did Chris. To the case manager who heard the whole story from the beginning. And it’s all down on platform.

I asked for the removal of the review because it was disrespectful. “Worst place ever” serves no purpose but to insult.

Asking for removal mostly does not work, they will reply that they are not allowed to.

They have to come up with the idea to remove it…
Often some reverse psychology is required when handling the AirBnB helpdesk.


I feel you on that one. I got a similar review (all 1s except 3s on cleanliness and location) and it was from someone who didn’t even check-in!!! It was in my best performing listing more than 7 months ago. Since then I have only gotten ONE booking in that listing and it was my guest from hell who used the kitchen in my non-smoking property as an ashtray, compost heap and garbage dump, among other horrible things. She didn’t leave a review either so I still have a review that says “Find somewhere else.” and then goes on to give a bunch of lies. I called and was told by a low level phone answerer that it would be removed because they never even checked in but the case manager said no because it didn’t violate terms of service. I still will be pushing the issue again periodically to try. Perhaps after such a high performer has had only one booking now they may take notice to the fact that they are causing themselves to lose money as well.

I look forward to your article.

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I wonder if it’s worth just duplicating the listing and turning off the one with the bad review. The bad review will still show on your profile but not on the new listing.


This is why you also need to be on and FlipKey and any other listing site. And why your focus should be working on getting as many direct bookings as possible.


One star here as well: a guy from Russia in his 30s. He needed guidance on the phone to find my property. I was surprised - dudes his age have smart phones, know how to use Google maps etc. Not this one. So I acted as his personal “OnStar” and guided him to the house. He was alone in the entire 4 bd house for one day. AFter 2 nights he was supposed to check out and I kindly messaged him to make sure he is out by 11am - check out time, because I had a group coming in.

He started to plead with me that he needs internet and could he stay more. Bottom line i had to argue with him; I sent the cleaning person there; I gave him a list of nearby starbucks with wi-fi and he left at 1PM. He then left me a 1 star review with a dot as a comment “.”. He gave me 4 and 5 starts if each category but an overall 1*. I tried to ask CS to remove the review but they wouldn’t. It took me a long while to recover from this and become a superhost again.


I would focus all my energy on getting the review removed. Did it violate the TOS in any way? Call, tweet and FB. Every communication should be ended with, I do not consider this resolved. Be persistent.

Good Luck



At $19 a night I have to wonder if it is worth the effort. Have you considered a long term renter?


I don’t get how that even comes close to penciling out. I think $19 a night would attract the worst type of guests.


Speaking of writing an Airbnb article about your awful experience and guest review, does everyone receive the mailed Airbnb quarterly-magazine at their home?

The 60-page magazine is very well-designed with superb photographs, and printed on top-quality paper. But its articles and overall information for Airbnb hosts are useless!

Airbnb headquarters should stop spending money producing and mailing this magazine. Instead, use the money to buy TV and online-streaming advertising.

Currently, VRBO and are bombarding me with their frequent television ads in my Northern California viewing area. How and where is Arbnb advertising to the general public, who are looking for a vacation-rental stay?

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There’s a very interesting stat in this book –

basically making the point that there is a built-in turnover cost for a hotel (which has all kinds of economies of scale) of $30-40 a night. I similarly look at an AirBNB as having even more of a built-in floor of say $40 a night to be remotely viable.

When you see lower rates, you can guarantee that the listing is bought in cash to launder money, using a fraudulent loan, violating zoning by cramming 8 unrelated people in an area zoned max 4, stuffing dorm-style beds into each nook and cranny without a boarding house variance, etc.

EDIT: In some cases the host may be naive or well-intentioned, not realizing that, the $19 a night model isn’t viable.

Here’s a screen-cap of pp. 17-18:

Not surprised. I suspected as much from the blurbs on the cover, so I toss it straight into recycling.

You cannot guarantee that!
Lots of people buy second homes with cash and they are not laundering money. I sell 30-40 houses a year, primarily second homes and probably 25% are all cash. Not one of my clients are drug cartels laundering money.