Airbnb Review was Blocked after Bad Experience

On my first morning, I refused room service because I was sleeping and the host contacted me later on the same day to give me a hard time. I decided to leave the room early, but I could have done that regardless as the cancellation policy was flexible. I left the room by following the official Airbnb process and wrote a negative review. My review was hidden because it “violated the terms of service by including social commentary” – even though that’s nowhere on the policy – and I didn’t receive any notification, nor did I have the chance to edit it. It simply got blocked, secretively. However, the same review was visible to the host, who retaliated with a negative review even though I was an exemplary guest. The host’s review – untrue, biased and vindictive – was posted on my profile immediately. After some back and forth with customer service debating the issue this is what I received: “As of now, your review has been removed from Cristina’s profile. This will be regarded as our final decision in this case.”

This seem to be a rigged system designed to protect hosts and curb negative reviews to create an illusory five-star marketplace where hosts and guests can only scratch each other’s back. I’m not the only one to think that. This system may seem pragmatic and effective at first but it’s not sustainable. By turning your back on the guests and censoring their reviews, eventually they will stop using this site, one by one, even though they have only five-star hosts. A straight and honest review system built Uber and the lack of it will shut Airbnb down.

Negative Airbnb Review in Middle of Investigation

Airbnb customer support is horrific. Every time I have sought help, I found no help whatsoever. I have been cut off, told investigations have been opened which resulted in negative reviews, and they do not consider them in violation of Airbnb guidelines. They treat their customers with disgust. I will not be making money for their company any longer. When I unlisted my account I was told to send an email which brought me to a support page that purposely deters people from actually contacting customer support or leaving feedback. The pretense that they are here to help is false, and obvious. They do little to nothing to help, let their agents give horrific advice and support, and let their customers take the fallout for it, all while taking their money.

Their business practices are shameful. I was told to open an investigation with my guests about stolen headphones, which resulted in a negative review (a direct response to the investigation I was directed to open by Airbnb’s support team). The evidence that the review is negative due to this is written in the review. I do not see why that is acceptable. If somebody steals my things and I have to look into it, they are apparently allowed to write that as a negative for their stay. It violates Airbnb’s policy but they have no issue with it. They are making me do this despite the fact the headphones were not in a common area, and should be covered by their host guarantee, which you can never seem to avail yourself of. It is a lie. I do not see why once an investigation is opened, a review can still be left reflecting that. The only reason is simple: they do not want hosts (or guests) to open investigations because it causes them more trouble. They want you to accept your losses as your own and not start an investigation. “Be a good little customer, and there will be no bad reviews and no trouble.” It is that simple.

They deter you from using customer support and their guarantee as much as they can. I was directed to open investigations by their support team regarding my stolen headphones because they stated it was necessary to do so to reclaim the loss. I have now done so, and received negative reviews as a result. This is a direct result of their support team’s advice, and they do not consider it an issue that this is easily possible for reviews to be left in the wake of open investigations that they told me to open. The review does not directly state the entire issue, but does most certainly make reference to it. As Airbnb policy states, a review is disallowed when there is “content that refers to an Airbnb investigation.” It most definitely does refer to it. It is not hidden. And it is through their support that this has occurred. Contact with Airbnb has been meaningless at best. They will not honor their guarantee and they will not honor their own policies when their policies support you. However, they will take 20% of the total booking income, and do their best to make it look like they don’t. I think they need to seriously rethink their policies and staff training.

Unusually Warm Airbnb Stay with Frenemy

I stayed in Temecula to train my dog as my service dog. My host knew I had a medical condition. She came across as pleasant and friendly. I left her some private feedback as I didn’t want to affect her business. She took it very personally and left me a bad review. This happened after staying three separate times at her home, being invited into her pool, and using her goggles! Service with a smile, right?

After the final review she left me I don’t know if anyone will let me book with them. And I had given her all stellar public reviews. Now I’m going to give the true review to let others beware staying with her. There was no toilet paper in the designated bathroom when I arrived. I had texted her about this and didn’t get a response as she was at work. I had to search through a strangers home while I desperately needed to go poo! Imagine after driving three hours in a heat wave!

There was also no use of the air conditioner except during the party she had on my next stay; she let the air stay on for that! The host does not use an air conditioner and the full house fan system is not enough to stay cool. Temecula is a desert community. It’s regularly in the high 80s or 90s and during my first stay there was a heat wave, with the temperature around 110 to 115. Private feedback was given. The host did not provide obvious hand towels in a restroom shared with others. Again, I gave her private feedback. The screen to the bedroom window was broken at the bottom. She’s in horse country and a lot of horse flies were coming in. She did fix this by my 2nd visit. The privacy curtains block air flow and without curtains there is no privacy.

This room never cools down. I brought a temperature gauge on my second visit to make sure I wasn’t going crazy and it stayed 76 to 84 degrees in the room. There is no breeze at night. Even though the temperature can get down to 60s late at night the room never gets a chance to cool down, even with a room fan. Again, I communicated this information privately on my first review. Wanting to get along and realizing I’m going to be staying in a person’s home which is different than a hotel on the rest of the stays, I didn’t give my host any more private feedback and tried to stay on the positive side of things as there were very positive things.

I mean was I not supposed to tell her that flies were coming in…? That I didn’t know what towels to use because her brother and son were sharing the bathroom..? She also put towels in the room in a nice basket, well I guess these were only for decoration as when I opened them naked and wet in the bathroom they were off white and I saw light yellow and brown stains. Yuck! I had to put my clothes on when I was wet and get towels in the hallway. There were new looking towels hanging in the bathroom for her son and brother, but the Airbnb guest towels were really worn and a bit hard on the skin. I left private feedback that this was noticeable as a guest and the towels she left confused me as I guess they were for decoration only.

I don’t know because she never got back to me about that. I brought my own towels and toilet paper for my second and third stay, as well as a cool water bottle and baby wipes. I’d never put towels in a guest’s room and not expect them to be used. I don’t know… maybe that’s just me? I told her about all these things so she could be a better host. I mean if I had flies coming in and my guests were sweating it out… I mean I didn’t sign up for a sauna experience! As retaliation, this host said I didn’t clean up after my dishes in the kitchen. Well this is true as her brother came home during my first visit and offered to do them. I guess I was supposed to decline….? I can’t believe this was used against me and gave one side to make me look bad.

She claimed I didn’t clean up after my dog. It’s actually a big pet peeve of mine for people not to clean up. I cleaned up every time. I think maybe she wanted me to use a hose too. She could have let me know at any time during my three almost consecutive visits. She did stress energy and water conservation. I’m pretty sure she would have put it negatively in my review in either case. Knowing how she left me an unfair and slanted public review with no communication about these issues I would really not trust this host in my opinion. As a matter of fact, during my second stay she said I could leave the dishes undone, but my boyfriend did them. Talk about a two-faced, lying… well, you fill in the blanks. She also invited us to her pool to swim with the family on my last visit. I thought this was a nice gesture, but say it with me again: “Two-faced blankety blank told me everything was fine and left me a terrible review.”