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Timing of reviews - negative review of host expected


I had a guest who checked out on August 1 after two nights at our place. I’m expecting a terrible review from her (Air has already notified me that she has written one) because a smoke detector malfunctioned following a power surge due to a thunderstorm (we believe that was the cause as it tripped a circuit breaker and knocked out the Wi-Fi and bathroom lights as well). Long story short, the fire alarm went off a few minutes before 6 AM, which “ruined“ her trip. I offered what I felt was reasonable compensation, they wanted more (an entire night refunded). My husband was on site in less than 10 minutes (we don’t live in the building), as was the local fire department. We also remedied the Wi-Fi issue in less than five minutes. We did the best we could to deal with an unfortunate circumstance, but you just can’t please some people… In any event, based on my communications with her and her husband, I am fully anticipating a less than five star Overall Experience review.

I have three guests who have stayed/will stay before the 14 day response period is up. Right now I have nine reviews posted - eight are 5 star and one is a 4 star (didn’t like self check in, go figure). I have every reason to believe the two other reviews that are currently pending are also likely to be 5 star based on my communication with the guests. My question is this: should I review the unhappy guest now, or wait until the last moment so I have additional positive reviews prior to hers? Or should I review her now, with the expectation that the next two or three reviews (and, presumably others) will be positive and push hers off the page sooner?


This guest hasn’t reviewed you yet?


If she already reviewed you, wait until the last day but not the last minute. I’ve messed up the timing at least twice and missed the chance to review bad guests.


I’ve been notified that she has, yes.


One other question - is her window for responding to my review the same 14 days, or does the meter start over when I review her and it gets posted? I’m not planning to slam her or anything (I get that it wasn’t fun being woken up by the alarm), just curious.


Then I would go ahead and review. If other reviews have come in already hers won’t be the first one, or won’t be for long. But if she is trying to book more airbnbs we need to be alerted ASAP.

Please do come back and let us know what her review said and what you posted.


It’s the same 14 days and your review will not post until she has written one. It’s a “blind” system


Hello @CeeBee, I think what happened was not your fault. No one can control the weather and prevent incontinence like that from happening, with the fire alarm. The guests have exaggerated and taken advantage of the situation. I would not have given any refund. Please make an honest review for this guest now, the next ones will be above this, that you think will be terrible.


Then write her a review about how unreasonable and unfair she was. For goodness sake it was practically an act of God taking the WiFi out. She wouldn’t have done any better in her own gaff. It wasn’t your fault!


X was a good guest, however when a thunderstorm knocked out the power and caused the fire alarm to go off at 6:00 AM she was upset and asked me to refund an entire night of her stay. We are a small family business and cannot afford to refund for something that was out of our control. I would not recommend X



Wow, that’s ridiculous! I think offering any kind of refund is incredibly generous of you, since what happened was no fault of your own and you remedied the situation in less than 15 minutes! I wouldn’t have refunded a dime unless it was a situation where someone had to leave early because the smoke alarm wouldn’t stop going off or something.


I agree with @Mirta_Gubetta and others who say this was not your fault and any review that does not commend you for such a speedy response is BS. I would go ahead and review her now. Get it out the way. Just state the facts (x left place tidy blah blah, unfortunately there was an outage etc etc. We rectified things as soon as possible. X made it clear that this impacted on their stay. i hope they enjoyed the rest of their stay ). Anyone decent reading a snarky review will see them as harsh and you as fair. The key is to respond to their (potentially) bad review professionally.

Bear in mind that they might actually surprise you and leave a positive review praising your efforts. You just never know.


I realize that they might have something nice to say, which is why I want my review of her to be “just the facts,” stated as dispassionately as possible. She wasn’t a horrible guest, but even before the fire alarm incident, I had a feeling that I wasn’t getting more than 4-stars from her, anyway.


This is what i’ve pulled together (thanks @RiverRockRetreat and @Magwitch):

X was a good guest and left the place tidy. However, when a power surge briefly knocked out the WiFi and fried a smoke detector which caused the fire alarm to sound at 6:00am, she was upset and asked me to refund an entire night’s stay. I was taken aback by this, as the situation was not only out of our control but my husband was on site in 10 minutes to rectify the situation. I hope she and her family were able to enjoy the rest of their stay.

Final thoughts before I pull the trigger? :slight_smile:


You may already have pulled the trigger, but …

I would leave out “However” in the second sentence. Then I’d leave out the “taken aback” and put “As the situation was beyond … I was unable to comply with her request.”

A whole night’s refund for a minor inconvenience?! Sheesh …


Unfortunately, I did give her what she asked for (yes, I learned my lesson). I’m trying to keep my review from mentioning that I gave in to her, as I’d like to avoid other guests thinking that I’m going to do the same for them. :frowning:


Oh, (bleep) me…she did leave me 5 stars!

“CeeBee’s apartment is spacious, very clean and super stylish! Our family of three had plenty of room, were super comfortable and enjoyed being so close to Portland. We enjoyed running around Back Cove and being able to bike downtown so easily. CeeBee was available immediately if we needed! 6 thumbs up!”



oh well, at least you said that she was a good guest.

The review you gave her was fair to future hosts. Her good review of you, doesn’t change the fact that she expected and received a refund.


She got the review she earned, perhaps she will think twice about trying to strong arm a future host into a refund. NEXT!



she gave you a good review because you refunded money. you can always give partial refunds. like the 15 minutes of inconvenience?

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