review system

Booking.com's review scoring DOES NOT serve its clients (owners) - it is based on mathematical calculations that do nothing to help owners when they are unjustly given a low score by a vindictive or difficult guest. Further, by working in whole units they degrade previous high scores achieved by owners. The way in which Booking.com calculates scores means property owners with high ranking scores will find their overall score will decline, and one uncharacteristic low score can make it impossible for an owner/property to regain its former ranking. Following the awarding of a low score the current system requires the owner/property to receive a significant number of consecutive maximum scores (in double figures) to regain its lost average - a statistically impossible scenario for the owner.  This is significantly worse for owners with scores of say 7 to 8 as they have an impossible task of significantly raising their score, no matter how much they put into their property to improve guest experience.

By way of example, a disgruntled guest (angry because he hadn't realised when he booked that the venue was non-smoking, even though it is extensively advertised on Booking.com pages) gave a low score of 4 (the property had been at 9.8 before Booking.com changed the system) - calculations show that 18 consecutive maximum scores of 10 would be needed to regain the previous score! And this would be compounded for owners with lower ranking scores!

In addition to this nightmare scenario for owners is the fact that they have NO protection from vindictive, disgruntled guests who have totally unrealistic or unwarranted expectations and feel they can take out their selfish feelings on by awarding low scores - if Booking.com cared about its owners it would allow them to review the guests or be more supportive in the vetting of guest comments. 

Aaltje B.

Hi Lee. 


yes, this happens and it is a pain! I am totally with you. 

Could you take a photo yourself of a sign of no smoking and put that as one of your first in the row on your listing. Some may not like it, but I am sure most people will, and even prefer a fresh room. or rooms. No words needed, just pictures. Assuming that future guests will take the time to look at them. Often most people do look and not read well. So this should help. 

Take a deep breath. Many things in this industry are not fair, but you do what you can, and do well. Really well. People will come to your place because it is so great. And they would love to come back or recommend. 

Tomorrow is a new day. Soon a new year. 

May the sun shine for you, Lee. 



Aaltje B. 


Aww, I love your reply, Aaltje! Thank you for good spirit. 

I also having issue with scoring.  

First, guest don't see or don't want to see that this is the house and no hotel. After booking , they want to cancel, but last minute there is a no-cancelation fee. I have many pictures showing that it is the house.

Still, guests  are not happy and than write a bad review.

Another big  issue: Somehow when guest is trying scroll line bar to the 10 out of 10, it stock on 7.5 . I contacted few guests who did that and they swear they selected 10, but it showing 7.5.  Does anyone having the same issue?

Thanks, Marita

Happy New Year!




I would suggest that you create an automatic message template with some additional info written by you that guest receive right after they make a booking. 


If you received an overall score 7,5 it means that you received a score by the old review system (an average score from all categories). The new scoring system is not yet fully implemented for all guests. 


I do have the template respond. They do not read it ! Like last guest.  I even sent additional message : "Please note that this is not a hotel, this is the house";

She didn't respond my 4 messages, and I thought she will cancel. I left for the Christmas party. But she arrived, and start complaing that she thought it is the hotel. Then she needed extra bed, and I have fee for extra bed. She didn't see it . 

I left party and got back to accommodate her.  She was so angry that she throw my pillows and blankets , made a mess and made pictures. She requested a refund at 9:30 pm. 

After seeing her craziness I refused. I marked her as no-show to make sure she won't write review, but she was able to. Luckily Booking.com took her review out. I spent hours on the phone though. 

Aaltje B.

Wow , Marita . BDC team took the bad review out . Great work. And your perceverence. 

May your house be filled with joy at the new year !! 

Do you host families with children ? 

They can be fun too ! 

And last : (trying to put myself in your shoes) if your second photo in your listing would be your house and you write on it : not hotel with big letters  would that help . 

Or :  change the name of your listing . 

Like : Marita's house for four  or something like that. 







Marita, that's just part of this business industry.. You'll meet all kinds of people. Luckily for us majority of guests are fine.


I think this particular guest is an exception, just looking for trouble and she lives in her own little fantasy world. I beleive that it must be quite obvious that your house is not a hotel. So I wouldn't do any extra special changes on this part just because of one "psycho". :) 

M Adamopoulou

Positive thinking!!! Always helps Ella...

You are so right...soon a new year...let’s celebrate ? 

Happy New Year to all of us!!!

Aaltje B.

Thank you Maria! Happy New Year to you too! Any many lovely guests!!

Aaltje B.

And happy new year for you PiboMarco, with many lovely guests !! 

Nigel Standen

I have just received yet another review of average of 9, with six 10/10 scores, how can the maximum score be averaged to a 9.

This is the 5th time this has happend to me this year.

I will be leaving booking if this happens again.

Ismini Karali

Dear Nigel,


This is the new review system of Booking.com, for 2 years now.

The guest can rate all 6 categories and then it asks for an overall score from 1-10.

Nothing else to do really, as they seem to keep it