Your opinion wanted on my review for complaining guest

My most recent guests complained that the house was dirty. I’m a super host, not that that is something super special, but it does mean that I have had a good track record. I like to think that I keep my house very clean. I do have a Golden Retriever but I vacuum the entire home just before I mop the entire house as the last thing I do before leaving it for my guests. 50 or so guests back I had a complaint that there was dust under one of the beds, so I make sure to vacuum under the beds each and every time. This guest complained of dog hair, a dirty sliding glass door and a dirty refrigerator. My view was that all of these things were very clean. Anyway, they wanted a nights rental fee returned to them for having to put up with the condition of my home. They also said that I could pay them through Zelle and that if I didn’t they were going to complain to Airbnb support. Well, I did just that, went straight to Airbnb support and told them the whole story. Long story short, I did not pay them back. I thought about refunding the cleaning fee, but I did not.
Anyway, the reason that I bring this all up is because the guest has written me a review and I’d like the group’s opinion of how I should write theirs. I know what I “want” to write. I’m leaning towards just telling the truth with something added in like you can’t please everyone. I’ve had over 60 reviews in the last year, all of them positive and almost all of them all 5 stars. Oh, and I bent over backwards for them. I blocked out the last day of their stay so that they could stay late as they requested. And, their communication was really bad, I sent several messages with no reply until they had left. On the plus side, they left the house clean and followed 99% of my rules with the only exception of not putting their clean dishes away. These guests had no other reviews. They provided photos of the dog hair and dust which the Airbnb support person said were very superficial. Suggestions before I write their review?

Did they have pet allergies? Do you mention a dog’s presence in your listing with a photo?

I’m going with the assumption that you do the cleaning, and you know it was clean:

It sounds like they were trying to extort you. As a host, this is something I would want to know about. It’s every host’s worst nightmare.

I’m not sure about using the word extort in the review, but maybe keep it simple with something like:

“The guests were pressuring me to send them money outside of Airbnb for cleanliness issues that I know were imaginary because I did the cleaning myself. I believe this is not in the spirit of Airbnb. Would not host them again.”

Ps: fear of this sort of situation is why I take detailed photos before check-ins.


First, is their extortion through the Air messenger app or via text? Screen shots if via text message to give support to Air CS because of extortion for refund. Because asking for a refund via Zelle means they know they’re in the wrong. And if they aren’t first time Air users, then they know the game and this is how they fund their travels.

It’s been said on this thread that we all have different standards of cleanliness. So your clean might leave someone else feeling a bit icky. I clean my sliding glass doors and windows on a regular basis, but this if Southwest Florida. Rain, humidity, fog, living on a salt water canal… these things make getting everything pristine pretty impossible. So I have a pic of the canal in relation to the house and hope people figure it out.

I’m also assuming that you mention that you and your dog are there when guests aren’t, so people are aware they may encounter superficial stray dog hairs.

3 * for communication
4 * for house rules
don’t recommend

Write what you want to write and we’ll all hop on and edit! :wink:

I wouldn’t say “imaginary.” Maybe “incorrect."


Funny that you mention taking photos. The Airbnb support person asked me if I had photos from “before”. I thought how inconvenient would that be, but wish I had. Maybe I’ll start doing that. Do you organize the photos somehow, or just rely on the date stamp associated with each picture? Thanks for the advice!!

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The gripe about the sliding glass door was the only complaint that had a little validity. I had put new tile down in the kitchen and my hand print was on the door. They posted all of their comments through the Airbnb app! Airbnb support said that “I” wouldn’t have to pay anything which left me wondering if they paid on my behalf (I hope not). I’ll post my proposed review and see what you folks think. Thanks!!

I do mention my dog in my listing and I add that I try to vacuum up all of the dog hair but that I may miss a few. I go on to say that if you are sensitive or have allergies to dogs you may want to book somewhere else. (or words to that effect). I’ll need to revisit what I’ve written and update it if necessary.

Thank you for the reply

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Bordering on extortion. If their review is bad, this might be enough to have it taken down.


I don’t want to state that support said extortion, but that was the word that came to my mind and is echoed here several times. I’d like to think that they didn’t know the process and just wanted to be reimbursed for their “suffering”

Regardless, if they leave a bad review for you. Make sure you call Airbnb support and see if they will remove it since extortion violates Airbnb policies.


Definitely extortion.
First of all, if they were so bothered they should have complained upon arrival, in which case you would have responded.
Just iterate the facts. Remember you write the review for future hosts but also for your future guests, so no matter how upset you are, keep it simple and stick to the facts. Everyone will reach their own conclusions.


They did complain upfront but didn’t ask for any compensation. I replied but got no response from them until hours later. They had asked early on if they could check out late. I had told them before booking that they could leave 2 hours late IF no one booked the day of their departure. Once she complained, I blocked out the day of their departure and told them that they could check out 4 hours late as compensation for having put up with the cleanliness issue. Much later she thanked me and said they might not need that much time, but ended up leaving 3 hours after standard check out time.

Here is the a rough draft of what I’m thinking of writing as their review:

Too much detail??

Martha did not feel that my home was up to her cleanliness standards. She complained about a dirty sliding glass door, a dirty refrigerator and dog hair in places on the floor. I cleaned the home myself so I know this was not the case. While everyone has different opinions on what is considered clean, I have a long standing history from many guests that gave my home 5 star reviews for cleanliness and comments about how clean the home was for them. Martha is certainly entitled to her opinion. When Martha complained about my home I attempted to reach out to her via text and phone. Replies came hours later or not at all. Martha and her guests did leave my house clean when they left and they followed all but one trivial rule. Martha asked for one full night’s refund through the Zelle app which is not allowed per Airbnb policy.

Ok, no replies and I want to be done with this, so the above is pretty much what I am going to post. Thanks everyone - definitely a learning experience…

Sometimes it can be a few hours before replies come in, due to time zones, sleeping or work patterns.

If you have not posted your review yet, please do cut it down to simple facts, as posted earlier on in your thread. You are right that you offer too much detail, but we all do this when venting, even in our heads!

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if I’m taking lots of photos, and wish to create an obvious border between collection, I hold the camera to my leg and click, producing a very dark photo. As I’m scrolling through, I can quickly see where a fresh set of pics start.
This saves having to select each photo to check the date.
Also, if you always end with photos of bathroom, that will make it easy to see where one collection ends.
Rather than fill up your phone, you can get very cheap digital cameras second hand now, and pop a big memory card in, have a dedicated device for the after cleaning shots. Here’s one, less than $20 .


yes, way too much detail. GardenGnome gave you a perfect review that summarize the situation

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Understandable you want to get on with it. It is 7 am here so I will chime in.
Like others, I felt like it was too wordy, I kind of dropped off attention span wise.

Seeing as you have posted your review you must have seen the guest’s review!
Care to share what they wrote in their review?

Already posted - and the guest’s review was horrible. I contacted support and asked that the review be removed but they denied my request. I posted a LONG rebuttal (venting as mentioned). Oh well…

I like the photo suggestions - the black shot between is a great idea.

Thanks everyone - case closed…

For next time, I understand wanting to get it done with, but it pays to be patient.

If you think the review is going to be negative, it’s best to wait the full 14 days to write your review so that their review isn’t on your listing any longer than necessary. Meanwhile, you can prepare for the fall-out by getting more bookings.

Also, in that 14 days, you could get reviews for stays that occurred after this one so that by the time the bad one posts, there are others above it, pushing the bad one down the page.