If you’ve been through dozens of Airbnb profiles, you would notice that there aren’t many Airbnb bad reviews. For host who want to try their hand at using Airbnb, this fact may raise an eyebrow. Airbnb users themselves will not be able to hide, alter, or remove any reviews on their profiles. Are the reviews being hidden? Are Airbnb guests just too timid to leave scathing criticism? Many people have been scratching their heads over this question. Of course it’s likely that there is no one absolute answer. This is why we decided to compile all the most plausible explanations and lay them out to you one by one.
Some guests might just find it awkward, especially since the host has their contact number. So if a guest’s stay was so-so, they wouldn’t really bother dwelling on negatives if there are many positives anyway. Also, some people might find it awkward to mention even just tiny constructive criticisms in their review. This is because, more often than not, they would already have some sort of friendly rapport with the host they stayed with. A lot of foreigners would feel immense gratitude to just have the opportunity to stay in an affordable New York room thinking, “they let me inside their home, I should be grateful”. In short, writing a critical review that contains bad points is a hassle. Also, leaving a bad review could get you a bad review in return. However, if a guest had a truly horrible experience leaving him or her no desire to go back to a particular host in the future, none of these will stop a bad review from popping up.
Then they create a new one, just to get rid of the bad review. It’s a technique some people employ so their “new” house will have a fresh and clear slate. But it’s not foolproof. The bad reviews will still be visible as “user” reviews. However, there are some guests who only check the reviews for the property only.
One just can’t discount the fact that maybe, just maybe, almost all Airbnb experiences have been positive. Perhaps their system really works and hosts really do get motivated to provide top quality. Perhaps most people’s lack of faith in humanity needs to be reconsidered. Whatever the case, it is not impossible. Of course if you search online, you will find horror stories. This is because horror stories are much juicier and therefore are more likely to get shared around. Also, if you had a good Airbnb experience, you might not have to rant about it. But if you had a bad one, you will really want to rant about it online. So even if only 10 percent out of a hundred Airbnb experiences are negative, that 10 will be very visible.
This one is controversial. Does Airbnb delete negative reviews? They do. As stated in Airbnb’s review guidelines:
“Airbnb’s default position is not to delete, censor, or edit reviews. However, there are rare cases in which we may take the extraordinary step of removing a review or disallowing review responses, according to the review guidelines found in our policy center. We reserve the right to remove portions of reviews that violate the guidelines.”
And just what are the “rare cases” when Airbnb will remove bad reviews?
- The Review Goes Against Airbnb’s Content Guidelines (violations include messages that have: spam, endorsement of illegal or violent acts; personally identify a user’s full name and his contact details; religious, social, political commentary; content used for extortion; and false, deceptive or slanderous content)
- The Person Leaving the Review Has Been Suspended Due to Violations or Any Safety Reasons
- A Legal or Law Enforcement Request is Given to Airbnb
So this means that if your review is false, was used for extortion (a guests tells you he will give you a bad review if you don’t give them their money back), or is “deceptive”, then it can be removed. Now, some people disagree or feel that this policy is a loophole for Airbnb to remove negative comments and promote business. However, the fact is that the policy is reasonable and necessary for keeping order and stopping the misuse of reviews.
All in all, there can be many explanations for why there are so few negative reviews. In the end, these explanations are probably all true in their own way.