Airbnb Rating System Deceives Guests and Hosts

We’ve been hosting on Airbnb for six years. However, we easily went from being Superhosts to “your account might be suspended.” Why, you ask? A couple of malicious reviews and Airbnb’s rating system, which is not averaged. Because we had so many guests, we were unable to keep track of individual reviews and when we got five-star ratings for six out of seven of the features we assumed that we still scored a 4.8-4.9. That is not the case; we got proof recently when we received a review for a new listing. Our guest rated us four out of five stars for the Overall Rating, however he also rated us five stars for everything else (locality, cleanliness, communication, etc). Our listing showed a four-star rating when he was finished. Since we didn’t have any other reviews we were able to finally see why our overall rating on our listings dropped below 4.4 stars while all along we were receiving at least four- or five-star ratings out of the six. We called Airbnb and our guest. Airbnb quickly changed the rating from four to five stars. However, our guest said he never leaves a five-star overall rating, as that would be the equivalent of a room at the Hilton. We seriously don’t blame him. The star rating system for food and accommodations has been around forever, so much so that is almost a subliminal message. He genuinely thought that if six out of seven ratings were five stars, the overall 4.8 would be more than adequate for a $50/night room. That was not the case as apparently Airbnb is using the Yelp system without advising their users about it. This is not even a fair Yelp rating system. At the end of the day, they’ll give you a four-star overall rating even though we scored six out of seven five-star reviews and only a four star…

Posted in Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .

4 Comments

  1. To Janet. If you try to take money directly from a guest and the guest tells airbnb (which they most likely will because no one likes to be asked for money), airbnb will squash you. They want all payments to go through them (so that they get their pound of flesh).

  2. Ratings do matter when you go from powerhost to a 4.4 rating and they ask the guest to rate everything but all that is considered is the Overall Rating.
    Also it takes 4.8 stars to be a Super host or to have your listing rated ready for business and we always seem to fall just shy of their requirements.
    It looks like Abnb is moving from individual hosts to property management hosts, people with several hundreds listings.
    As for contacting the guest;
    It was a repeat guest that we offered the entire suite for the price of one room (half the price) and with whom we got along great.
    We simply asked if there was something we could improve and he said everything was perfect but he routinely gives 6 out of 7 – 5 star reviews….
    When we asked airbnb about it they immediately changed the overall rating from 4 to 5 stars as our rating only showed in search the overall 4 star.

  3. Actually it turns out AirBNB takes the reviews very seriously. They just suspended our account after one of our guests gave us a one star review when we asked her to pay what she thought was too much for damages that occurred at our house during a drunken bachelorette party. In the futrue we will ask guests directly for the deposit, because AIrbnb did nothing to help resolve the situation and we were left with the cost of damages, and a one star review which effectively removed our listing from AirBNB for a week. They’re good at instantly removing your listing, but try to resolve anything and it’s a no go. When I asked Airbnb to remove the review while we worked out the dispute with our “guest” , they said it could take up to a month.

  4. Sounds like a lot of whining about reviews. I don’t get why you would contact he guest back because you didn’t like the revie you received. Hosts need to chill out when it comes to reviews and realize that nobody takes the Airbnb review system seriously as it’s a completely flawed system meant to hold both sides hostage for good reviews. It’s completely dishonest.

    The only true reviews that matter are guest reviews where the host cannot rate the guest. It’s the only way you get a true review for the property.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *