Wednesday, June 1, 2016

US reviews vs the rest of the world

From my more than 4 years as an active Airbnb host I’ve discovered some curiosities. One of the things I’ve noticed is how reviews from US guests in general tend to differ from reviews written by people from other countries.

Whereas most reviews tend to be accurate and balanced, many guests from the US seem to have a strong urge to tell the world, loudly, how disappointed or happy they are about something – often in a very exaggerated way.

Like the elderly couple who didn’t like the bedding (although we changed the bedding twice for them to find something to better suit their taste). After their stay they rewarded us with a one-star score on every parameter, including location, communication, accuracy and arrival. As a host taking pride in making my guests feel comfortable and wanting to improve I asked them what was wrong apart from the bedding. “Nothing” they wrote me, they just needed to make me and everyone else know how disappointed they were with the bedding issue, by scoring EVERYTHING to the lowest score possible.

From my experience, US reviewers tend to use very strong words and characteristics to express how they feel, which can often make things look very different from what really happened and can easily be misunderstood by other readers. That being said, US guests often leave super positive reviews too, if they are happy. It’s like everything is black or white.

I have no problems taking constructive feedback and criticism, but from my opinion descriptions and reviews should be accurate, balanced and honest, not blown out of proportions. As a host it's very frustrating when people try to make an impression of lots of problems that didn’t exist.

Is it only me, or has anyone else noticed the same? Comment in the comment field below or see the discussion I started on the Airbnb host forum

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