To review or not?

Hello All
We are a new B&B with three ensuite bedrooms in our home - so we have plenty contact with our guests as we serve them breakfast, help them find places to visit, eat etc. So far about 18 superb guests and reviews.

BUT a recent 2 night guest was a real moaner - eg managed to turn off the isolator switch for the bathroom radiator, and moaned about it not working, and we had a very temp problem with hot water for the shower- solved almost immediately we got the message. The guest had made a complaint to us via the AirBnB message system on these two problems, but he could have spoken to us directly as we live in our B&B, serve breakfast etc.

The problem is he has now done a review- I haven’t, and need to do it within a couple of days- but what to do with this one?

Give him a good review or not- as I suspect he may have given us a bad review and being new this will affect our ratings badly. He has just two ratings.
Any ideas?
Many txs in advance

I would be careful to note facts in your review regarding the fact that the guest had problems, one of which he caused, that you quickly resolved. Perhaps state that he appears to prefer bringing concerns to Airbnb directly even when the host is available. Hosts will get the message. Mark him down on communication. When I need to say negative things about a guest I always sprinkle in anything I can say that is positive. Did he leave the space tidy? Was he friendly to other guests? When I read reviews I give greater weight to guests and hosts who see both positive and negative aspects of a stay.


Give an HONEST review. You should not temper your comments based on ‘what ifs’ or assumptions.


I wouldn’t dock them for messaging you on AirBNB - sometimes folks are more comfortable through message rather than face to face. Atleast they made you aware during their stay so you could fix! We always hope guests will be understanding of hiccups, but we also will sometimes drop off a little treat if we can sense they felt inconvenienced (flowers from our garden, some locally made cookies, etc). Doesn’t cost much and helps smooth things over.

I wouldn’t leave a crap review just because you think they’ll leave you one. Just be honest.

(Edit: did I misunderstand? Did the guests message you through AirBnB or did they go to AirBnB and AirBnB messaged you??)

For me it always starts with….would I have them back?
You are on site and they message through the app?
He is a resounding NO from me!

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Yes, I would give an honest review. I’ll like how Christine worded the reply.

Also, in my checkin message (that I send as soon as I’m alerted via my camera notification) I let them know to bring their concerns to me to give them an opportunity to make things right. This way I can show to airbnb that I reached out to them and asked if things were ok so that they know that it’s the guest that was complaining and not the host the was negligent.

Here’s my message:

Welcome to the Melrosian Airbnb Guest Suite:

We just wanted to check in and make sure that everything was as you expected.

If you have any concerns, please message us via AirBnB message system so that we can address any issues that might arise during your stay. In most cases, Airbnb wants you to communicate with the host directly so that we have an opportunity to make things right during your stay.

Pleasant dreams and enjoy your stay.

Warm regards,


New hosts have to make it a priority to leave honest and factual reviews. When writing a review the host has to consider what other hosts will want to know. This is how the Airbnb system works and it’s what it relies upon.

Many hosts choose their guests by vetting them and that can’t work unless a guest has honest reviews. Leaving no review or copping out by saying ‘better suited to a hotel’ is not helping the community.

We rely on honest reviews. One way to look at it is this - if you had a dreadful guests who had, for instance, three great reviews you’d think ‘why haven’t those other three hosts written honest reviews to warn me?’

Be sure to be unemotional and factual.


Sorry, I misunderstood and thought that they contacted Airbnb directly. If they just messaged, no big deal. I have a home share and still message with guests. It also gives you a record of responding quickly.


Thanks all- I have done my review at last- and the guest review was as expected- not good.
And ratings lowered. In spite of welcoming them 90 mins before check in with tea etc.

I have had positive reviews, but this one was very odd - to even message me via the AirBNB system about extra towels- and extra given, when they had 5 towels- incl 2 huge bath sheets, 2 large, one hand towels, 2 face cloths - plus extra towels in the pool room for guest use. somehow they also needed 6 large pillows - as they used 2 extra from the cupbd.
All very disappointing. But clearly not welcome back.

Thanks for the advice HudsonNY
In fact they used the AirBnB messaging system- when we were around, plus they also had our web site’s messaging service (but decided not to book directly).
I felt he had an idea that the robots would record his complaints… I am not sure they are that clever! :slight_smile:

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Thanks Christine
As I was a few rooms away a word in my ear would have been faster- after all I don’t live on my lap top where messages would arrive.

Here is my review suggestion because I would not want them back…

I would not host guest again, they turned off the heat in the bathroom then complained about no heat. We are in home hosts, available 24/7 yet they never spoke to us directly regarding any issues during their stay.

Then I would rate them a 1 for communication, sorry but app only communicators are a PITA for this host and at tops a 3 overall.

I do not sprinkle positives in reviews when I would not host again.



Ouch. May we ask how many stars overall?
Nothing can be made totally “idiot proof” but perhaps that isolator switch should be locked, disabled or labeled?

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Ug, so sorry. I have two very old (1800s) rural Airbnb’s and we get the occasional high maintenance city guest. It could help to tweak your descriptions to set appropriate expectations- but sometimes little hiccups are inevitable and unfortunately it sounds like your guests were not very forgiving of your work to right the issue.

What did they say in the review?

Just a couple of things…

I wouldn’t mention that in the review (that the guest turned off the switch) because it’s not something you can prove.

Bear in mind that there are some guests who are chatty and friendly and others who prefer not to mingle.

Neither one is right or wrong but in the days of a pandemic, he could have just been reacting on the safe side.

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Some guests may be reticent about disturbing you by knocking on your bedroom door, or while you may be on your computer,or whatever. I have sent messages to guests who are up in their room, as I don’t know if they are napping, or anything else where they may not appreciate an intrusion. If it isn’t urgent, I’ll just wait until we cross paths.

And believe it or not, there are many home share hosts who also appear to feel uncomfortable about simply talking to their guests about an issue- I’ve read plenty of those posts. They’ll stew for a week, super irritated that guests are taking over the kitchen constantly, instead if just saying the first time it happens, “Hey, XX, you are totally welcome to cook, as it says in my listing info, but we should work out a bit of a schedule, so I can prepare my dinner without us crowding each other or finding no stove burners available”.

I think we are all aware that proof is not a requirement for an Airbnb review. :joy:


Many txs HudsonNY
He continued to moan in the private message- about all and anything - a long moan.
In the actual review he just said he was not happy with us. But clearly low ratings as we dropped quite a bit- and previous guests rated us highly.
He was chatty and friendly, not shy, so no problem to speak to us. and we arranged an alt shower as we have 5 bathrooms available, and as for the isolator for the radiator in their room, the switch is close to the plug for the tea tray- and no one even mentioned the radiator problem before.
We are now re-thinking staying on the AirBnB platform. We have our own website now- and could then reduce the price.

All very frustrating! Some people think they’re helping by being overly critical. We have been in lockdown and I’m not sure I’m ready to put my flak jacket back on ha ha.


hi can someone look at my profile to see guest rating? us guests are not allowed to view the actual rating.