What review to give to a guest who faked an issue to get a full refund?

Hi, my first bad experience with a couple of guests and I don’t know how to review them. These guests requested Airbnb for a full refund on the first night stating bad smell. Obviously without proof and with limited time to respond I panicked and approved. I was at a hospital tending to my father and had received this request for the first time ever in my 5* rated property. Later after reviewing the situation, I got to know that the guests faked the issue to receive a full refund. They stayed the night, got a full refund and have now left a review which I’m yet to see. What should my review be to them?

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“Guest requested full refund for smell. After their departure the next day, we did not find any smell.” Give one star and click on “would not host again.”


Exactly what I thought. Thanks for this



Ah, what an experience hosting these guests! Their unparalleled talent for detecting mysterious odors left me in awe. Despite my genuine concern for their comfort, I fell for their well-rehearsed act and granted a refund without hesitation, as I was attending to a family emergency. Little did I know that this was their stage to claim a free night’s stay.

Upon closer inspection, it became evident that the air was as fresh as ever in my well-maintained and 5-star rated property. It seems their olfactory prowess may have misled them. Perhaps they should consider a career in theater, for their performance was truly remarkable!

As a host who values honesty and open communication, I hope future hosts have the pleasure of witnessing their spectacular theatrics. I wish them the best of luck on their future travels and hope they find accommodations that meet their impeccable standards


Hi thanks for typing out this message. I’ll definitely refer to it and get on with their rating

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@balivilla Your review suggestion is WAY too wordy! Reviews need to be short, simply written and truthful not fanciful.

“Cannot recommend Guest who requested full refund for “smell”. We found no smell of any kind the next day”


I like @KenH 's review, except add that they stayed the night:

“Cannot recommend Guest. Stayed the night then requested full refund for “smell”. We found no smell of any kind the next day”


Thank you for sharing your thoughts about my review suggestion. I understand your point that reviews should be short, truthful, and to the point, especially when it pertains to guests rather than the stay itself. However, I believe that providing some level of detail in the review can still be valuable for hosts and the Airbnb community.

While it’s true that guest-focused reviews may not require the same level of in-depth information as reviews about the property or stay experience, a few additional details can help hosts understand the context better. By sharing a bit more about the guest’s request for a full refund based on a perceived “smell,” hosts can get a glimpse into how certain situations may arise.

In this case, simply stating, “Cannot recommend Guest who requested full refund for ‘smell’. We found no smell of any kind the next day,” could potentially leave hosts questioning why the refund was requested and how it was resolved.

I would not care how it was resolved. I’d interpret that as the guests were scammers and I would not accept them.


I enjoy your cleverly written responses!

I have’t thought, however, that you were suggesting that we literally use these in our responses to reviews or guests. Yours are the reviews we would like to write, but really can’t – not just because we might not have the same gift with words but because we really do need to keep our responses as @KenH says, 'simply written and truthful not fanciful".

But, please, please, please as @lisanddavid might say, keep those fanciful, clever words keep comin’.

They’re fun, and a Host here can dream.


Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I’m so grateful for all your support and review suggestions. I wish I’d written here the day the instance occurred. Would’ve known what to do. As a first timer, had no idea and with Airbnb’s harsh words ‘accept or Airbnb will look into the matter’ made me so so scared.
I’m truly grateful for having found a community here.


Airbnb likes to try to scare hosts into doing what they would like you to do in order to placate guests or have settings and pricing that leads to more bookings, when those settings may not suit the host at all.

Hence if hosts decide to turn off Instant Book, they get messages telling them how devastating this will supposedly be.
Their price tips should be ignored- they are insultingly low. (My “price tips” are half of what I charge, which guests have told me is a very fair, or even too low of a price).

They tell you to have a flexible policy, which isn’t a good idea for most hosts (those that get a lot of last minute bookings and don’t mind that, are ones for whom “Flexible” works. For most everyone else, it will likely result in last minute cancellations, full refunds and dates that can’t be rebooked on such short notice).

So don’t let Airbnb try to intimidate you into refunding against the terms of your policy, or anything else. There are currently about 12 things on my “opportunities” page that Airbnb urges me to do, which I will never do. (Accept pets, take last minute bookings, take long term bookings, accept one night bookings, etc, etc.) I don’t have any problem getting bookings with the settings and prices that work for me. I ignore Airbnb’s endless proddings and “advice”.


I agree. We so often say here that guests don’t read and yet we know that hosts don’t either!

Long responses or reviews are unlikely to be read.


I spent the last five years of my professional career making presentations for the Board of Directors of a major international energy company. The guidance was to write as if the readers were at a fifth-grade level. The reason was to focus on the message and not the delivery.

It was surprisingly hard, especially since most of the Board members had no experience in our business so I couldn’t use many technical terms. I did it by writing as if they were my mother. She was very intelligent, but not knowledgeable about the topics we had to cover.

That’s my guidance for emails, website and reviews. Most important thing first, and make the message clear and simple.


I suspect that many hosts who find they aren’t getting the help they need from CS is because they don’t know how to be concise. Long paragraphs going into all the details doesn’t work with CS, many of whom are not fluent in English to start with.

If the main issue is that there are 12 people at a house booked and listed for 4, that you want Airbnb to instruct to vacate the premises, don’t clutter up the narrative and the support you’re asking for by saying they traipsed across the carpet with muddy shoes, or drove on your grass. You can pursue the damage claims later.

Short bullet point format, outlining the issue in chronological order, without extraneous details, quoting any policy that pertains, is the most effective way to deal with Airbnb, in my experience.


Coincidentally, I was just talking about this a couple of days ago. A long time ago, maybe at the beginning of this century, I was studying official ADA documents regarding making websites accessible.

My (then) company was doing a lot of web work and increasingly our clients were organisation that by law had to provide ADA approved websites. I appointed myself the ADA specialist.

It was fascinating work and I was astonished to see that the ADA documentation said that a large percentage of the population had cognitive difficulties to some degree.

This meant that, as @PitonView said, anything to do with the internet (websites in particular) should take this into account and ensure that the reader is led through the intended website process as simply as possible. This demanded brevity, ease of understanding and conciseness.