After the two horror stories about Airbnb (1,2), the company has tried their best to fix the situation. Airbnb offered an apology and announced that on August 15th, the company will be implementing a $50,000 Airbnb guarantee.
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.
In regards to EJ, Airbnb apologized and said that they should have responded faster and communicated more sensitively. Airbnb said “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.”
Airbnb also created a new safety section on their website at: http://www.airbnb.com/safety. Below are some details about Airbnb’s safety:
Starting August 15th, when hosts book reservations through Airbnb their personal property will be covered for loss or damage due to vandalism or theft caused by an Airbnb guest up to $50,000 with our Airbnb Guarantee. Terms will apply to the program and may vary (e.g. by country). This program will also apply retroactively to any hosts who may have reported such property damage prior to August 1, 2011.
24-Hour Customer Hotline
Beginning next week, we will have operators and customer support staff ready to provide around the clock phone and email support for anything big or small.
2x Customer Support Team
Since last month we have more than doubled our Customer Support team from forty-two to eighty-eight people, and will be bringing on a 10-year veteran from eBay as our Director of Customer Support next week.
Dedicated Trust & Safety Department
Airbnb now has an in-house task force devoted to the manual review of suspicious activity. This team will also build new security features based on community feedback.
Contact the CEO
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