Sunday, July 31, 2011

One House Got Trashed

Ghost?!Image via WikipediaIn one of the greatest novels of all time - One Hundred Years Of Solitude - there is this village that is so new that not one person has died yet. And then one day that first person to die dies. That is what I am getting reminded of with the Airbnb scandal. It is not even a scandal. Have perspective, people. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. The important thing is the right follow up takes place. The police get to do the follow up. Airbnb does the right follow up. And next.
USA Today: Plot thickens in Airbnb vacation rental horror story: a San Francisco blogger named "EJ" wrote a riveting account of how she returned from a week-long business trip last month to find that her home had been ransacked and trashed by a paying guest she'd connected with through the online rental agency Airbnb
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Anonymous said...

Did you get this email? It was sent out to those who have used their services:

"Last month, the home of a San Francisco host named EJ was tragically vandalized by a guest. The damage was so bad that her life was turned upside down. When we learned of this our hearts sank. We felt paralyzed, and over the last four weeks, we have really screwed things up. Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post trying to explain the situation, but it didn’t reflect my true feelings. So here we go.

There have been a lot of questions swirling around, and I would like to apologize and set the record straight in my own words. In the last few days we have had a crash course in crisis management. I hope this can be a valuable lesson to other businesses about what not to do in a time of crisis, and why you should always uphold your values and trust your instincts.

With regards to EJ, we let her down, and for that we are very sorry. We should have responded faster, communicated more sensitively, and taken more decisive action to make sure she felt safe and secure. But we weren’t prepared for the crisis and we dropped the ball. Now we’re dealing with the consequences. In working with the San Francisco Police Department, we are happy to say a suspect is now in custody. Even so, we realize that we have disappointed the community. To EJ, and all the other hosts who have had bad experiences, we know you deserve better from us.

We want to make it right. On August 15th, we will be implementing a $50,000 Airbnb Guarantee, protecting the property of hosts from damage by Airbnb guests who book reservations through our website. We will extend this program to EJ and any other hosts who may have reported such property damage while renting on Airbnb in the past."

Anonymous said...

continue, p. 2

"What’s made us proud during this trying time is the response of our community. Emails of support to EJ poured in; many hosts offered her a place to stay in their homes. It’s been inspiring to see that Airbnb can really bring out the best in people. Like Airbnb, the world works on the idea that people are good, and we’re in this together.

When we first started Airbnb, I told my mom about our plans for the business and she said, “Are you crazy? I’d never do that.” But when I told my late grandfather he said, “Of course! Everyone used to stay in each others’ homes.” We’re bringing back this age-old idea with new technology. Now each day, you and the rest of the community are creating meaningful connections around the world.

Thank you for being part of Airbnb.

Brian Chesky
CEO, Co-founder