Airbnb Host Melts Down After Negative Review

This is what happens when you leave a bad review for this nightmare host in Athens, Georgia. We stayed at this listing. There were some maintenance issues: a completely clogged bathtub drain that was loaded with the entwined hair of previous guests, a mattress with no mattress pad that had a huge stain on it, and stained pillows. I let the host know before we left that these were some things that he might want to address. I would never stay there again but I was polite and just told him. No reply.

Upon returning home from a long road trip over a week later, I had an email from Airbnb reminding me to write a review. I wrote an honest but fair review three days before the deadline. Although the host had many positive reviews, I felt that being honest was the best thing to do. The host never reviewed me but I received this email from him last night. I did contact Airbnb to report it and had him blocked from contacting me again. They say that they are escalating it and will contact me… I’m not sure what that means. Keep in mind when you read it that I never met this guy and we wouldn’t even know each other if we passed on a sidewalk. I actually posted this doozy on Facebook and people were floored. It makes me wonder whether posting honest reviews are really worth it. I have never received anything like this from anyone. Ever. This is what I originally wrote to him, the message he never replied to:

We should be leaving soon though. We loved it here and wanted to let you know about a couple of maintenance things that you might want to address. The bathtub drain was completely clogged with hair and was not draining at all last night. My husband unclogged it but you might want to keep an eye on it because it was pretty gross. Also we stripped the bed this morning and there’s a huge stain on the mattress. You might want to think about a good mattress pad that’s waterproof. I want to say that they are under $100. The pillows have stains on them, as does the comforter cover. We’ve left it pretty clean for you and thank you again!

We have his response:

You seem pretty bent out of shape that I didn’t heed your advice or reply to your email so I thought I’d share the message I started to write on July 10th that I never sent:

Thanks for the feedback. I had my handyman over just now and he couldn’t find anything in the drain. He also said the drain cover hadn’t been removed so please thank him for using his magic skills! There’s a brand new stain-free Tempur-Pedic mattress in my garage just waiting to go into that bedroom, but I get consistent and overwhelmingly great feedback about the current bed so I’m afraid to rock the boat. I’m almost to 350 reviews! It’s a shame about the stains, though as I have a boatload of pillow and mattress protectors (I have to keep them for my Tempur-Pedic warranty!) I’ll alert my cleaners.

Thanks for stripping the sheets. No one has ever done that before. I’ve not inspected the duvet cover enough to notice a stain other than a small ink stain, and I can’t justify replacing it for that reason alone. I’ll be sure to check. It’s washed frequently so it must be permanent.

I never finished or sent that response because I didn’t feel your suggestions were offered genuinely, rather masked insults, and I don’t let things like that get to me if I can help it. You like to complain. That’s okay. It won’t matter; did you see I have 350 five-star reviews? The issue isn’t with me or my listing…. it’s time to soul search.

I’m very on top of things at my house and with my listing and I almost always make adjustments based on guest feedback. However, you didn’t have any positive comments of substance. I just didn’t value your opinion. I do want to remind you, however, that you received a house manual upon booking. I spend a lot of time maintaining that house manual to ensure every guest has what they need prior to visiting. Immediately upon booking you get a message from me with every single thing you need so there’s no need for me to send an additional message. Did you want me to ask your favorite color? I’m very communicative.

Again, it’s obvious you don’t like me and you don’t even know me. Whether I responded to your email of “suggestions” is pretty much irrelevant in reviewing your trip, but bringing it up in your review lets me (and the countless guests I will have in the future) know just what kind of person you are. Not hateful. Just strange. Perhaps entitled. Certainly one who thinks highly of her opinion and someone who lashes out when she feels ignored. Thanks so much for giving me two weeks to respond to your critique. Do you realize how it sounds that you “gave me a chance” to respond? I didn’t feel the need to review you. You have almost two dozen positive reviews. What good would it have done to say anything negative about you? Your issues aren’t specific to traveling. You’ll be who you are forever and that sucks for your husband and daughter.

Also… who cares whether I park in my driveway? I explained why I keep the area in front of my house available and that’s for my neighbors. I’m not sorry you had to walk 30 feet. You’re insane. And catty. And you mask negativity with exclamation points. Best of luck!!!!

The comment about the driveway is referring to the fact he wanted me to park in the street 2-3 houses away from his. It’s not a big deal – he has a thing about anyone parking in the driveway including him – but he claims that it’s only a few steps from the house and it isn’t. Since it’s a sketchy neighborhood, this might make a difference to some people.

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11 Comments

  1. This seems so petty. I agree with the guest. Also, she doesn’t seem catty. The host seems quite arrogant. If you have time to cyber bully a guest, which is a crime (in this case, harrassment) depending on your country, you have time to fix things in your home. I would never book your listing. You might have 350 positive reviews, how many people are on air bnb though? Millions. And it goes without saying that people are afraid to leave an honest review. Fearing they will be deemed petty. I demand air bnb transparency and I am thankful for this guest’s confidence in her opinion.

  2. I’m actually a great guy — and if you take a moment to read any other review of the 350 reviews on my page you’ll see that Liz is one-of-a-kind. Possibly the only negative review I’ve ever had.

    I’m sad to see she didn’t get the traction she was expecting on this post. Not only was every one of her complaints unfounded (no blockage in the drain, no stains anywhere, etc.) but Mm is right. Why did I even have to respond to Liz? Is she the Airbnb police? I knew inside that her issues were either exaggerated or simply false. So I didn’t acknowledge her insanity.

    I do see Mercurius’ point about my reaction, and that’s true – it appears I flew off the handle. Sometimes you have to pick and choose. I actually reacted immediately to Liz’s original message. First it was nice. Then sarcastic. Then it was mean. And decided I needed to cool down before addressing her pre-review. I was offended that a guest would be so disappointed in my efforts to provide one of the best Airbnb experiences in our area. Unfortunately I took too much time to “cool down” and missed the review period and that was simply unacceptable to Liz. So, yeah, I decided the second time around I would defend myself against her delusion and racism. (Yes, racism. She called my neighborhood sketchy and those remarks are purely based on skin color.)

    Read the other posts on this forum. They are all LEGITIMATE nightmares. Liz didn’t experience a nightmare in staying with me. The nightmare is within.

    (Also I got about 6 messages on Airbnb notifying me of this “crazy woman” who posted about me — on a website I’ve never heard of. They all wanted me to know this message was out there and I truly don’t care. They saw my listing and my reviews and immediately saw how nuts this woman is.)

  3. I don’t get it, why did the host need to acknowledge your suggestions with a reply? I’m sure he is checking the plug hairballs on every single clean now, perhaps ordering a mattress wrap to encase that sucker from future prying eyes – that’s implementing a suggestion.

    I used to forget to empty the used coffee pods until a guest mentioned it. Never did I again!

    In the scheme of things your grievances here become very minor when you see that price point.

    I’d have made brief mention of the pubes in the review, ticked 3 stars clean and have left it at that.

    • If I were a host (at any price point) and had a guest that had to clean out a drain full of hair from previous guests, I would have at least apologized and thanked the guest for performing a nasty task. That would have gone a long way. Period.

      • Ellen — I knew she was lying (or at least exaggerating) and combined with her other complaints I knew she was simply a complainer. Not replying was the kindest thing to do, in my opinion. I stress the value in my price point but my place is cleaner than listings three, four or ten times the price. I charge $1,800 a weekend versus the $45 she paid. I treat every guest exactly the same.

    • Thank you! I actually had my handy-man out the hour after she left and he told me there’s no way anyone cleared the drain as the cover had never been taken off! I did actually have a slow drain once (like coffee pods) and I will NEVER let it run slow again!

  4. Wow, the host was crazy to get this angry about suggestions. I didn’t find the e-mail you sent him even harsh. There was no reason to get personnal. He just got full of himself.

  5. I wonder how Warren will react to some of life’s greater conflicts and problems if a couple of justified suggestions (I can’t really even see them as complaints) create this kind of reaction. What a guy…

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