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When does the option to leave a review expire?

Hello everyone,

See the question in the title. One would think that Airbnb would easily be able to answer this question, but apparently not. Here’s a message I wrote to Airbnb recently.

As background to this, see

Short short version. Problem guest. Stayed twice. First time August 20th to August 22nd. Second time August 26th to August 30th. Second visit ended very badly. I want to leave a review, but plan to wait to the end of the second review period. But I decided to check with Airbnb about when the first review period expired. The email below summarizes a bit of back and forth. I had a similar (but slightly worse) exchange with someone else (I think) on Twitter AirbnbHelp. This person told me the review period had expired when it had not! If anyone cares, I can post the details of that exchange too.

Hi xxxxxx,

I’ve now asked you the same simple question twice. You still haven’t
answered the question. I’m not sure why this is so hard. Here’a a
recap.

FM> Can you tell me exactly how long I have to write a review for
xxxxxxx xxxxxx? I’m referring specifically to his stay of Aug 20
- 22, 2016, reservation code xxxxxx. Can you give me the precise
date and time, preferably in terms of Indian Standard Time (IST),
that the option of leaving a review for this stay will expire?

AIRBNB> You have 14 days to write a review for xxxxxxx and he has
the same amount of time. So it looks like tomorrow is the
deadline.

FM> Yes, but what is the exact date and time at which this expiry
happens, please?

AIRBNB> That would be September 5th (tomorrow).

If you read what I said, you’ll see I asked for the date and the
time. Twice. You just gave me the date. Which in fact was
incorrect. See below.

In fact, what I observed is that as of 5.30 am IST on the morning of
6th September, the review was still open for editing. However, at
12.30 pm IST on the afternoon of 6th September, it was not. So, some
time between 5.30 am and 12.30 pm IST, 6th September, the window for
submitting the review for the stay from August 20th to 22nd closed.

So, for the third time, what time was that, please? Thanks in advance.

I’m not holding my breath for a response.

So, does anyone happen to know the answer to this?

Here are my current thoughts. It seems unlikely that Airbnb would tailor the expiry time to individual hosts. So it seems unlikely that it would be tied to my individual checkout time, which is, for the record, posted as 11 am. How would they get code to use that value automatically? Similarly, it seems unlikely it is tied to a particular time zone. There are many time zones. Here one of the responses on Twitter seems relevant

@AirbnbHelp: Hi Faheem, the review period is calculated based on UTC time. Hope this helps!

But as with the other person, he or she did not answer the question.

Now, as I mentioned in the email above, the time-out occurred sometime between 5.30 am and 12.30 pm on September 6th. Note that this was approximately 15 days (not 14) after my official checkout time of 11 am August 22nd. I’d appreciate it is someone could confirm this is correct, so I know my brain has not turned to cheese.

Based on the Twitter mention of UTC, I thought the expiry might happen at 5.30 am IST, which is midnight UTC Sep 5th/Sep 6th. But that didn’t happen - I waited a bit past 5.30 am.

To the question still remains, what time does the review period end?

ADDENDUM: Just heard back from the rep who I sent that email to above. Her response:

I am not sure of the exact time, But the time frame has expired so there will be no review.

You know how the review emails are coming at weird times now? Just a thought but I wonder if somewhere in the glitchy system, the deadline is now 14 days from when the review email is sent?

2 Likes

Calculated by a server with a poorly set internal clock.

I mean really… I am getting those darn reminder emails at all the wrong times these days. Used to be reliably 2 hours after check out time, now it is rare that I haven’t received one before the guest has gotten out of their morning shower.

Honestly, I think this whole ploy to “wait until the last second to post a review” is ridiculous. I see no REAL, provable gain from waiting. You can’t see their review; they can’t see your review – until both are posted. If you’re going to give someone a bad review, just do it and get on with life!

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Hi @KenH,

You make a good point. The thinking here is, of course, to try to avoid a review from a hostile person, like my ex-guest clearly is, in this case. Normally, I don’t wait to post a review, and don’t really concern myself with what the other person might say. But I also normally don’t get yelled at by a stranger in my own home.

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Waiting until the last second to post YOUR review has absolutely nothing to do with what the guest can or will say in his/er review. It can’t The guest can’t see what you are going to say. until after s/he posts his/er review.

Getting yelled at in your own home is perfect grounds for leaving a very bad review for the guest. Make sure others who are hosts understand just how rude and unacceptable this guest’s behavior was.

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Waiting until the last minute does two things. First, the guest doesn’t get the additional reminder/pique their curiousity notification of “your host left you a review” until it’s too late for them to leave one. Maybe they were mad at their host but got busy or decided to blow it off and here comes Airbnb whispering in their ear, “Don’t you want to read what the host said about you? You can read it right now if you’ll just post your review now.”

Second, they can’t leave a response to your review after time has expired. (I think. If I’m wrong someone please correct me.)

I’m not interested in playing the review game so I wouldn’t use this strategy. But I understand why others do.

This has been confusing, and I apologize for my part in some of the confusion. This tactic was first suggested to me by an Air CSR, and I got it to work like clockwork. Pardon the pun.

However, the strategy has more to do with the guest deadline than your own. For example, I wanted to leave Portland party girl a bad review. She is three hours behind me. So, her deadline to leave ME a review was 9:00pm, HST, or midnight PST. As long as I left the review before midnight my time, I could still do it but she could not. Get it? It does take some timing. Just to be on the safe side, I had it ready to leave by 8:59 her time and punched it in. Voila. Review for her and none for me. And I am helped most of the time with mainland US guests because Hawaii time is one of the very last time zones on the planet.

If you leave a bad review right after they leave, and you have both had a not so good visit, it’s just common sense that they will have nothing to lose by smacking you back.

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Hi @konacoconutz,

Can you spell out exactly what your understanding of the expiry time is, please? With the proviso that Airbnb may have changed the rules, or that the expiry time now may be random as @jaquo suggested, which, (coming to know Airbnb as I am), would not particularly surprise me.

How many times did you employ this tactic, and do you not employ it any longer? And if not, why not? Because you can’t be bothered, or for some other reason?

You probably meant that Portland party girl is ahead of Hawaiian time by 3 hrs., rather than behind.

I assume the time zone of the rental doesn’t have anything to do with the timing of the review, right? …like if the parties are in the same time zone and the rental is in another. So, I guess if I waited until near midnight to submit a review, it would be a crapshoot because the guest could also happened to be up late.

Darn it. You’ve got the better situation.

Yikes… YES… that is what I meant. She is ahead of Hawaii. [quote=“SandyToes, post:10, topic:7842”]
I assume the time zone of the rental doesn’t have anything to do with the timing of the review, right? …like if the parties are in the same time zone and the rental is in another. So, I guess if I waited until near midnight to submit a review, it would be a crapshoot because the guest could also happened to be up late.
[/quote]

YES… exactly. Depending on the time zone, you may not be at an advantage with this technique.

That is what I did above… except to make the correction SandyT caught.

Only once… because I only had this ONE bad guest that I needed to review…since February 2015 when Portland quiet professional party girl stayed.

Spoken like it is. Case closed!!

Thx! It will be my first ever negative review but since the whole point is to alert hosts to a personal negative experience with the guest, I’m going to give it a whirl.

I won’t muddy the waters with the specifics and plan to only allude to it in general terms:

“If adherence to the House Rules and timely and courteous communication are important to you, then [‘Teri’] and her extended family may not be a good match for you.”

(…dunno, I’m still working on it.)

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Oh, I am so adding this to my response list! I, of course will modify it if I ever need to use it. But I am like Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail” - I can never come up with the response I need when I needed it… Nothing - just blank!

I dunno… I would turn around the syntax and say it straight.

Hey, don’t leave me trying to figure out that five-dollar word… : )
just rewrite the dang sentence for me (plee-ze)!

I know it reads awkward but I don’t know how to fix it. (It’s the can’t-see-the-forest-for-the-trees thing.)

The guest was not a good match for us. She disregarded the house rules and communication was poor. Cannot recommend.

Thanks again!

Note to self: Remember to call upon my inner-konacoconutz when no-nonsense verbiage is sought.

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