Worst review ever and...I found the silver lining

Foreign (non-English speaking) guest booked three months ago for one, said she wasn’t sure if her friend would be coming. No problem - I asked her to let me know before her arrival if there were any changes to the number of guests. (Lesson 1: I should have confirmed the number of guests with her a few days before her arrival.)

She shows up Friday afternoon, could not figure out the keypad/deadbolt combination, and messaged me. We went back and forth in broken English, sending photos with circles and arrows identifying what to do; it was sorted out in 2-3 minutes, max, including letting her know where to park.

Meanwhile, I’ve fired up the Live View on my Ring doorbell and I see there are SIX people outside retrieving suitcases from a minivan. Argh. Messaged guest a photo of the scene through the Air app and said I didn’t realize she had five other people with her, we would be happy to bring more towels…oh, and you need to pay for the extra guests. She is fine with that (even said in her previous messaging she would be happy to pay for extra guests if they came), and gives cash to co-host. (Lesson 2: I should have called Air and asked them to call guest and explain extra guest situation in her native language.) Guest proceeds to introduce her bf, her parents, and his parents to co-host. Lots of nodding and smiling, as none of the extended family members speak any English. Co-host says if you need anything, please come upstairs and ask.

I get messaged the next morning at 6:40am. Guest tells me that fire alarm had gone off at 6:00. Asked my beleagured, bleary-eyed co-host to go downstairs to check. Guest says it stopped by itself very quickly - no one in the group can tell him which alarm went off. Guest does not seem particularly concerned or upset by the alarm, and thanks co-host for checking on things.

Blessedly, there were no other incidents. Co-host helped guests to plan their sightseeing, even drew them detailed maps of the area. Gave them a coupon for the good pizza place when they asked for a recommendation. He brought them extra blankets and turned the furnace up to 72 when they mentioned it was a little cold overnight. (Lesson 3: my co-host is awesome.)
They departed about an hour before check-out, and left all the towels and blankets neatly folded. Guest messaged to say thank you for stay as they left.

She submitted her review today - 3 stars overall, with 3 each for location, check-in and value - but then I realize – it’s IN MANDARIN. Woo-hoo! So her review is at the very bottom, page 8, where 99% of my potential future guests are unlikely to see it, let alone understand what it says. Oddly enough, there was no mention at all of the fire alarm; in fact, the tone of the review (I ran it through Google Translate) seemed neutral-to-positive overall.

At the end of the day, I’m still 5.0 overall, 4.92 for this listing. I can live with that. What a difference a year of hosting (and hanging out here) makes. :smile:


I do think that some people think the star rating system on peer-to-peer hosting is analogous to the Michelin guide. Or the Chinese equivalent.


You can message her to explain 3* is very low for Airbnb. I had couple times get guests to change their rating because they thought it was good . When I read reviews for hotels I see glamorous wording but rate is 7 out of 10. Some people don’t realise what that means

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How dare you deny us of our right to read a whiny rant about a clueless guest that leaves you less than 5 stars. :crazy_face:


If it makes you feel any better, my cleaner texted me the next morning: “OMG!!! The HAIR!!!”

Long, black and plenty of it - everywhere.


You don’t get many foreign guests? Their review will show up at the top for any future guests who speak that language.
If there was something negative in the review you could correct it if it wasn’t factual, to allay the fears of future guests.

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Nope, 92% US tourists. And as I said, the review wasn’t bad, just the stars. The worst thing she said was it was a little far from the city center (which is stated in the listing title!), and that it was suitable for four guests (we have a queen air mattress, usually it’s kids or young adults who sleep on it). So, no, I’m not leaving a response.

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Does Airbnb actually do that? In all my years of hosting I think I’ve only called them twice and although they’ve been very helpful, I wouldn’t have thought that the reps are the brightest buttons in the box. They speak Mandarin?

How can a guest change a rating that was already given?


I could say that almost after every guest, but yeah, some do shed more than others. I also have cats (in the house I live) so to solve all hair problems I bought the Dyson animal vacuum cleaner. 30 min later the house is spotless.

Welcome to my world.


I have a Dyson vacuum cleaner, which probably contributed mightily to my current guests replying to my morning-after-check-in email that the apartments were ”spotless” and “perfect.”

They can. They can even take their review down

my most recent Mandarain review was 4’s across the board, which always annoys me, 4, 4, 4, 4, and in the comments just one word that translates as ‘well’. I think it was the “well” that made it one of my favourite reviews.


Was it “Well!”:grinning: or “weeelll …”:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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We’ll never blimmin’ know!
But I might risk a fiver on the former

I always send a farewell message detailing how I would like guests to leave the property. It also includes: “Please leave a review on Airbnb. I hope you can rate it a 5-star. If it wasn’t a 5-star for you, please help me improve the experience for future guests by letting me know what would have made it a 5-star for you.”

I rarely get less than 5 stars.


Yana I didn’t realise a guest can change their review?!! Is there a time period ?

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I dont know. One guests kept on extending with me …he stayed overall for 3 weeks . In a begining he left me very good review and then at the end he started doing all kind of things ( long story)…so I told him i have another reservation and he left. As soon as he left I blocked him and I think he was trying to book me again and realized I blocked him .
So he removed his good review. He couldn’t leave me new review though.
May be it’s easier just to ask your guest to remove it

How is this even possible unless they told you what they gave you before you published yours?