Absolutely. Not only are most review comments irrelevant, people take off stars for reasons that either have nothing to do with the booking, or things they would have seen if they had actually read the listing.
Today I received a review where they knocked off a star and said “Would book again parking was a little difficult”
Last time I checked, I wasn’t renting parking. The review has nothing to do with my job as a host or my space. It’s not likely to cost me bookings, but it’s a dumb review and it muddies the waters of Peerspace with irrelevant pointless comments. It would be like knocking off a point because the weather was bad, or because they didn’t like a song on the radio.
I pointed this out to the guest and he responded with “not liking your response. I’m going to see if I can change my review” (presumably to a lower review, out of revenge).
My listing states:
“There are dozens of free four hour street parking spots right in front of our building, but be aware that these are first come, first serve and not guaranteed. There are also several paid parking lots right across the street from us as well. If you have a crew with multiple vehicles, you will more than likely end up using one of the paid lots.”
It seems like that should be clear. He was parking downtown at 7pm at night…welcome to LA, there’s no street parking at night. I could petition Peerspace and ask to have it removed, but they have better things to do and I try to not be a pest to them.
Sometimes I ‘stalk’ other listings. I often check to see what reviews my guests have left for other spaces and sometimes I just look at other listings to see what reviews they’ve received.
I started doing this after I received two four star reviews in a week for no reason but to leave a lowered review. The comments stated things like “the place was AMAZING and the host was great!”
So I looked to see what reviews the guest left for other hosts and sure enough, they were all four star reviews.
When he told me that he wanted to book again, I politely declined because of his lowered review and told him I would not book him again. My technique worked, because he has since begun leaving five star reviews for other hosts since then.
Every host that has a cat (and gives fair warning in their listing!) has multiple lowered reviews where guests claim a fake ‘allergy’. All of those reviews should be removed, provided the host mentions they have a cat.
Star reviews are pointless and most comments are completely irrelevant, with the chance for slander or untruthful comments. A simplified “recommend” or “do not recommend” is a much more honest and sensible approach.