How to Write a Polite Negative Guest Review on Airbnb

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As an Airbnb host, you may have doubts when it comes to leaving a negative review on your Airbnb guest. You feel that doing so can harm your business as the other party may get back by writing a negative review on you.

This is why you may feel like allowing a terrible experience to simply slide even though you are really tempted to sit in front of your computer or grab your mobile device and start typing a negative review on your Airbnb guest. Truth be told, it is perfectly fine for you to write a negative guest review on Airbnb.

However, don’t just write a negative review. It’s a good idea to write a polite negative review to keep other Airbnb guests and hosts from thinking that you just want revenge.

So, how do you write a polite negative guest review on Airbnb? To write a negative guest review on Airbnb that is polite, be respectful of the Airbnb guest. Other than stating reasons for the negative review include positive things about the experience, too. It will also help a lot if you include some suggestions that could benefit the guest and Airbnb hosts.

Especially if this is the first time that you are considering writing a negative guest review on Airbnb, it is understandable why you are having second thoughts on composing it.

Take note that other Airbnb hosts are doing it if it’s really necessary. The whole point of writing a negative guest review on Airbnb is not to retaliate.

The goal is to point out to the Airbnb guest what the problem is so that the individual may realize that he or she did something that wasn’t quite okay. By pointing out what went wrong, you are helping the Airbnb guest to do better next time he or she makes a reservation.

Also, writing a negative guest review on Airbnb allows other Airbnb hosts to have an idea of how the person is like as an Airbnb guest.

If you are eager to write a polite negative guest review on Airbnb, read on. Below you will come across some important matters that you need to know about it for your peace of mind, and also to keep complications at bay.

Feel Free to Say It If the Customer is Not Right

There is a popular phrase that businesses follow by heart, and consumers oftentimes use it to their advantage. It’s none other than “the customer is always right.”

When this adage is considered, then it would seem like that leaving an Airbnb guest a negative review isn’t right because it goes against the fact that the customer, who is the Airbnb guest, is always right.

As an Airbnb host, would you contradict this saying by pointing out that your Airbnb guest is not right?

It was back in the early 1900s when the said phrase first came into being. It was coined by three successful retailers, Marshall Field, Harry Gordon Selfridge, and John Wanamaker. They learned very early on in their careers that the success of their stores depended on the satisfaction of their customers.

However, they didn’t literally mean that the customers are right all the time. They came up with the phrase to tell their staff members that they should make their customers feel like they are special. Such is true even if the customers are not really some of the most pleasant customers on the face of the planet.

Because of this adage, instead of being treated as brainless people who would fall for every marketing ploy, customers were regarded with respect.

As you can see, the saying “the customer is always right” does not mean that your Airbnb guests are always right in all situations.  If one of them gave you a massive headache during his or her stay in your home, then the person is clearly not right. Giving a negative guest review on Airbnb, based on the situation, is quite fitting.

Keep in mind, however, that this does not give you the right to disrespect the guilty Airbnb guest. Just like what the real meaning of the phrase “the customer is always right” says, you should still treat the person as a customer that needs to be regarded as someone important, and not as an adversary.

This is why a polite negative guest review on Airbnb is the one that you should post instead of a review that’s completely rude.

It Won’t Really Place Your Business in Jeopardy

There are a couple of things that may be keeping you from writing a polite negative guest review on Airbnb.

First, you may fear that the Airbnb guest may get back at you by writing you a review that is far more negative than the review that you made on him or her.

You may be scared that the individual may make up things that are not true, such as you are a bad Airbnb host or your home doesn’t smell nice, just to get even.

Second, you worry that you may end up with a tainted Airbnb host reputation because of the negative review an Airbnb guest wrote in response to your negative review on him or her.

You may fear that no one will choose to stay in your home, most especially if the negative review on the Airbnb guest is quite convincing. We are all aware that to spoil the entire barrel, it only takes one bad apple.

The presence of one nasty review, which is not true at all because it was written by an Airbnb guest just as a form of retaliation, may render all the positive reviews you have pretty much useless.

Well, there’s good news: according to experts, writing a polite negative guest review won’t affect your business.

As a matter of fact, it may make it known to everyone that you are, in fact, a decent and sincere Airbnb host for standing up for the truth. Definitely, having that kind of image is good for your business.

It’s important to note, however, that you should refrain from writing a negative guest review on Airbnb. The importance of writing a polite negative guest review on Airbnb cannot be stressed enough!

Again, the customer is always right. But this does not mean that you should write nothing but a positive review, even if the experience was terrible. What you need to do is write a negative guest review on Airbnb that’s polite.

It’s the kind that makes it clear that you are treating the customer respectfully and that you are a well-mannered Airbnb host. By doing this, you can be sure that your business is safe despite giving an Airbnb guest a negative review.

Taking Revenge is Virtually Impossible to Do

Do not worry that the Airbnb guest that you wrote a polite negative review about will exact revenge by also writing a negative review on you as an Airbnb host. With the unique way that both hosts and guests can post Airbnb reviews, getting even with one another is practically impossible to do.

Writing a negative review as a form of retaliation is prevented by Airbnb by means of its double-blinded review system. Such is done by the company by making sure that the Airbnb host and guest won’t be able to see each other’s review until the time when both of them have written a review.

If only one of them has written a review, it will not show up on the website of Airbnb until the review period is over. The said review period lasts for 14 days, which starts as soon as Airbnb sends a notification to leave a review to both the Airbnb host and guest at the same time.

Because of this, you and the guest won’t be able to write a review based on the review on each other. Again, the reviews of the two of you become visible on Airbnb’s website simultaneously.

Thanks to this review system enforced by Airbnb, it’s unlikely for your business to be harmed by a negative review that a bad guest may write based on your negative review on him or her. So go ahead and post that negative review that your guest deserves.

But then again, make sure that you do so in a polite manner because being rude is the one that can, in fact, harm your business. Being polite can also save you from making enemies.

It’s okay to write a couple of polite negative reviews. However, having nothing but negative reviews of your Airbnb guests may cause future guests to question you as an Airbnb host.

They may fear that you may also give them a negative review, which they don’t want, and that is why they may simply look for another Airbnb host.

Writing a Negative Review vs. Not Writing Anything at All

Other than writing a polite negative review, there is another step that you may take if your recent experience with an Airbnb guest is not particularly pleasing.

It’s none other than not writing any review at all. Especially if writing something negative about your Airbnb guest is making you feel guilty, avoiding doing a review may seem like a nice option.

This is especially true if the other party had a wonderful stay at your home and would probably give you a positive review.

You may also choose to write a positive guest review on Airbnb and simply forgive and forget the unfavorable experience that you had with your Airbnb guest. However, this may leave you with more guilt than when writing a negative guest review as you are not truthful to yourself.

And when the guilt is simply too much for you to handle after some time, you may feel frustrated upon learning that you can no longer edit your review.

You see, Airbnb allows hosts and guests to edit their reviews of one another only within 48 hours after submitting them. This is unless the review has already been posted on Airbnb’s website as both parties have already written their respective reviews.

Because the time that you can edit your review is limited, you should make up your mind quickly if you want to be honest or pretend that nothing happened.

Unfortunately, not writing a negative guest review on Airbnb even if it’s necessary is not helping anyone.

It’s not helping you to be an honest Airbnb host. It’s not helping the Airbnb guest to become a better guest. It’s not helping other Airbnb hosts to avoid guests that they should be avoiding.

Writing a negative guest review, as you can see, actually comes with benefits. However, it should be written in a way that’s polite.

Failure to stay polite may cause your negative review as well as the review on you by your guest to be removed by Airbnb itself. This is most especially true if it violates the company’s review policy. Some of them include:

  • Direct violation of the content policy of Airbnb.
  • Unbiased review coming from a competitor.
  • Commentary about the individual’s political, social or religious beliefs.
  • Name calling and profanity.
  • Mention of services that are not related to Airbnb.
  • Inclusion of things that are beyond the person’s control.

So yes, if your Airbnb guest leaves you a negative review and it violates the review policy of Airbnb, you may report it to the company. If Airbnb sees that the negative review contains violations, it may be removed from the website.

Similarly, an Airbnb guest may report your negative review if it violates Airbnb’s review policy. You don’t want this to happen because repeated violations may lead to your suspension or the deactivation of your account as an Airbnb host.

Just like when posting anything on the internet, it’s a good idea for you to think before you click.

The Best Way to Write a Polite Negative Guest Review

Not all Airbnb guests make for excellent customers. Some of them can make your life as an Airbnb host a difficult one. For as long as you are an Airbnb host, there is always a possibility that you will encounter guests that break the rules. Sooner or later, you will have no choice but to give an Airbnb guest a negative review.

However, there is a world of difference between writing a negative guest review on Airbnb and writing a polite negative guest review on Airbnb.

The former usually has no regard for the party that is being reviewed. It can definitely offend the Airbnb guest and even make an enemy out of you.

What’s more, writing a negative guest review that completely disregards the feelings of the person concerned may affect your business unfavorably. That’s because potential Airbnb guests of yours may simply look for a different Airbnb host in fear of them getting negative guest reviews, too.

A polite negative guest review on Airbnb, on the other hand, maintains a level of civility on your part. This means that you are informing everyone about your not-so-favorable experience with an Airbnb guest but without completely hurting his or her feelings. You can think of a polite negative review as a form of constructive criticism.

One of the best ways to write a polite negative guest review on Airbnb is by mentioning some of the positive aspects of the guest. By looking back, you may remember a few nice things that you could say about the individual.

Was he or she easy to communicate with online and in-person? Was the individual quiet, especially at night? It is generally a good idea to start your polite negative guest review on a positive note.

Then you may start mentioning some of the reasons why the Airbnb guest is not one of the best guests that you had. It’s important to stay objective, honest, and of course, respectful.

Consider ending the review with your two cents’ worth, such as suggesting the Airbnb guest to avoid hosting a party or eating the food of the Airbnb host.

Here’s an example of a polite negative guest review on Airbnb:

James was a friendly and courteous person. We had some great conversations about his hometown, which I have always wanted to visit. However, he invited some friends over, which I do not allow my guests to do. I would suggest that he carefully read the house rules of an Airbnb guest before making a reservation.

Sample Airbnb Review

Before You Start Writing a Review That’s Negative Yet Polite

Don’t feel terrified of writing a negative guest review on Airbnb if it’s really necessary. Just like what’s mentioned earlier, it is for the benefit of everyone — you, the guest, and other hosts.

However, don’t write a negative review because you want to exact revenge. What you need to write is a negative review that is polite. Doing so won’t hurt the feelings of the Airbnb guest as much as a purely negative review would, and it won’t also hurt your business.

Here’s one more tip before you write a negative review on Airbnb: let a day or two to pass before writing it. This allows any animosity that you have towards the person and what happened to subside.

After all, you are given 14 days by Airbnb to write a review, so it is a good idea to refrain from writing a negative review while you’re still enraged.

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Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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