Are Airbnb Reviews Really Accurate?
Relying on informative reviews from customers who can offer a first hand account of an Airbnb stay may be harder than you think.
It would make sense that the company would protect their hosts from unscrupulous reviewers who’s only goal is to maliciously attack people. But, if you take away every rebuttal or negative review, then you are only left with a lopsided view of what the host really has to offer.
Our last two visits through the Airbnb website have been anything but spectacular. In response we offered to let future guests know what exactly they would be getting into when they arrived. The site relies so heavily on getting both parties to leave a review that you are constantly reminded to do just that via email and prompts when you log onto the site.
It wasn’t until I posted my review that I could even view the hosts comments. My truthful and polite guest review was taken down (I was told that it didn’t fit the guidelines of the company’s review policies) and yet his host review remained. So in a nutshell, the owner could review me and yet I couldn’t review them.
Airbnb stated that my guest review wasn’t ‘relevant’.
They did not use words like ‘offensive’ or ‘hurtful’, but just irrelevant.
Personally I would rather read an accurate, unbiased, and unedited review from an actual customer than something that was determined to be relevant or irrelevant by a third party. But the third party isn’t really that detached from this whole process. In fact, the third party really has a lot at stake here considering that by moderating these interactions and keeping the hosts protected they are in fact keeping their own business going.
As long as everyone keeps inflating the Airbnb hosts egos with how awesome everything is and doesn’t expose the ugly side of anything, then we can all pretend that every property rental is it’s own little paradise, and we’re left to experience it first hand to determine whether or not this is actually true.
So why even bother leaving a review on Airbnb? We have stayed at some really nice places and met some really wonderful people through Airbnb.
Accordingly, we left a review that reflected that experience. Apparently this was deemed relevant as they posted it to the account without any hassle. There were also some mediocre places and hosts that shouldn’t be renting any part of their house out at all. Good, bad or ugly, we always offered a first hand glimpse into these places through the reviews that we wrote. In all fairness, we were reviewed in return. I truly believe that this two way street of lodging reviews offers a checks and balances to keep people civil and not trouncing on each other.
The bottom line to “are Airbnb reviews really accurate”?
In a day and age where more customers are relying on what other people think about a product, service or place to stay, we always assume that we are getting both unbiased and unregulated responses.
If you don’t believe that you are getting an actual account of something, than you will more than likely look elsewhere for that information or simply take your business elsewhere. That’s what we’re going to do.
We have canceled our Airbnb account and will use VRBO from now on.