Beware Hosting on Airbnb: One Negative Review

To potential Airbnb hosts: beware of Airbnb. I’ve had it. The rating system is a complete joke. I’ve had a number of great reviews from people that love my two units, but I just had someone give me a one-star review because the dishwasher wasn’t working (took one minute to unclog) and a light bulb in the hall was out.

Clearly the man was in distress as he was visiting Philly to get his wife medical treatment, and he said he had never stayed at an Airbnb before. When he was clearly unhappy, I offered him a full refund, including cleaning fees. He took the refund and blasted my apartment, lying through his teeth about the apartment, and the neighborhood, stuff that is just total nonsense, and easily disproved.

This cost me almost $400 for the stay, but then my listing was put on hold for five days because it dropped below 4.2 stars. In his review, this guy said the “neighborhood is dirty”, which honestly, I’m not even sure what that means. The property is exactly one mile from UPenn on a main drag, in University City in West Philly. If he wanted an apartment in Center City, he would have paid double what I charge for mine.

Anyway, I contacted Airbnb to see if they would consider removing the review, knowing that the robots that work for them would stick to the script. Honestly, somebody should tell the management that the people who answer the phone are not helpful at all, ever. I really think they are automatons. They follow a formula/script whenever you call in, taking calls from a call center somewhere outside of the US, and they never stray from the set procedures for their precious review system.

If someone doesn’t post something universally offensive, no matter how preposterous, they will not change a guest review. Airbnb pretty much always sides with the guest. It’s a very lopsided review system. Again, this guy had never stayed at an Airbnb before. He may never again. I’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into this property and have given Airbnb so much, and they don’t care about me.

Well, I’ve had it. I’m going to try out the competition, and I hear good things about them. I could bring so many more properties online with this company, but will I? Airbnb now offers me $700 now to refer hosts, but they don’t seem to value me as a host.

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


  1. I am a soon-to-be ex-host of Airbnb. I’ve made some money hosting on Airbnb but at the end of the day all the hassles that both guests and Airbnb put me through is just not worth it. Airbnb is designed to make money off of the system illegally. Airbnb never pays taxes itself, lying on marketing materials, never disclose anything about the risks it creates to hosts, shady things all done behind the curtains. Because Airbnb itself is illegal, it can’t do anything right at its core. They are getting bold because they are big now. And yes, there’s easy money on the table. The reason guests feel entitled is because Airbnb lets them. Someone has to put an end to this. I’ve came across this. What do ya’ll think?

  2. Many guests feel very entitled, expecting 5 star hotel service from Airbnb hosts at a fraction of the price of a hotel. It’s the way it is. It’s a financial transaction. Some people are nice and reasonable, so the transaction is pleasant. Some people are entitled prats and unreasonable, and you heave a sigh after the transaction is complete, and being as nice as humanly possible. And cross your fingers and hope for the best. And if not, move on. Always making sure you list with as many platforms as possible. So if one platform plays foul, you are not reliant on it.

  3. The guests don’t see “stars” in their review. Check it out. It’s not what you think it is. Give a little, and you’ll get a lot. It’s not us versus them, it’s our business, you’re the host, and it’s a transaction. Give like you expect to receive. Come on!

  4. This is a common problem, one pissed off guest will ruin your announcement with his 1 star review. Considering the amount of inadequate people travelling, the fact that they ban for 1 month (!) an ad with 4.0 rating is just ridiculous. Let’s say you had 3 guests who were happy with everything and gave you 5 stars, then comes one guy who says that the towels were wrong size or made of wrong material and the host did not allow a late check out, blablah , etc., gives your ad a 1 star review and here you have it – an average of 4.0 stars and a ban for one month. I am not even saying that many people who were happy with everything still give you 4 stars because they want to be “objective and critical”, and wanna give 5 stars only to the top listings.
    And regarding their support, they are very customer-oriented, and their customer is not you, but the guest. Once I wrote in my review about the guest that he is a crook – it was removed from his profile the next day. Some time later the same was written about me, and they didn’t bother to remove anything from my profile upon my request, because according to them, “every situation is different and should be treated separately” (just another script that they were given).

  5. Why on earth would you provide a full refund for a clogged dishwasher and a burnt out light bulb unless the guests contacted you about them and you didn’t fix them during the guest’s stay. Either you’re naive or there’s something you’re leaving out.

  6. Airbnb’s guests have become super entitled. I don’t even host one, but I routinely see reviews dinging hosts a star or two for the dumbest stuff imaginable.
    One review was 3/5 stars and their only complaint was that a murder had occurred a few blocks away a few weeks before their stay.

  7. I agree with you about when you call them they just fob you off. I am not a host but did try to get a result many times from them after me contacting the host directly to fix the problem, only time I got any response was when I said I was going to fair trading which I eventually had to do. Having said this we stayed at a lovely place before this with excellent hosts, I gave them great review and they also gave me one

  8. Yes, the guest can blatantly lie, but unless the review breaks Airbnb’s terms of service, they won’t remove it, and this is also true for hosts’ reviews of guests. Hosts that consider giving full refunds need to think twice about doing so, because guests can still give them scathing reviews for a free stay.

    I hope you at least left your guest a factual review as well.

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