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Posts Tagged ‘Airbnb’

Bad Headlines Keep Coming for Airbnb

airbnbA PR pro in Manhattan wanted to make a little money while out of town over a recent weekend, so she “rented” her apartment to a woman claiming to be an active service member who just wanted “a place to hang out before she got shipped out.”

The rest of the story is, at this point, predictable: the publicist got a call from the cops after a man who was visiting her apartment for a “massage” slashed the woman paid to provide it; on re-entering her abode, she found the telltale signs of illegal activity.

One anonymous sex worker (aka the world’s most reliable source) told The New York Post that “It’s more discreet and much cheaper than The Waldorf.”

So it is. The point here is that Airbnb’s promise comes with some very unique challenges.

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Startups Like Airbnb Are Getting Better at Addressing Viral Scandals

airbnbAllow us to overgeneralize in writing that tech startup founders can sometimes come across as…what’s the word…aloof. Arrogant. Condescending.

Maybe all that adulatory media coverage goes to their heads. The point, as Valleywag reminds us every day, is that they don’t always respond to challenges in the most effective or sympathetic way.

Yet a PandoDaily post this week argues that companies like Uber and Airbnb are getting better at crisis communications, and we have to agree.

You probably read the viral story about one Airbnb client whose apartment served as the set for a “XXX Freak Fest” (NSFW). Rather than dismiss his complaint as the cost of doing business, the company changed his locks, paid for his hotel stay and wired him thousands of dollars to cover the literal clean-up cost.

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Airbnb Offers Journalists Solutions to Their #SochiProblems

We’ve covered a weighty topic or two today, so we’ll end the week on a lighter note: as Brian Morrissey of Digiday noted this afternoon, the famously responsive Airbnb decided to make the most of the many journalists documenting their terrible experiences with Sochi hotels by doing that thing they do and directing them toward alternatives in the area.

It started last night with this announcement:

The company’s social team followed up by interacting directly with those journos in need of a better place to rest:

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How Much Will Airbnb Damage the Hospitality Industry?

Fancy pants.We’re going to take a wild guess here: your travel and hospitality clients hate Airbnb.

Why wouldn’t they? Vacationers and business travelers alike are quite keen on the idea of saving time and money by renting someone’s room for a few days. Despite the fact that this subletting practice is illegal in some states, recent cases reveal that the government and the hotel industry may not have much power to stop it.

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman wants to crack down on Airbnb just like he cracked down on the firms that pay for fake client reviews on Yelp and Amazon, but the courts have told him “not so fast”. And just like the “reputation firms”, these newfangled sublet companies will almost certainly keep popping up.

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Airbnb Founder: ‘We’ve Had a Crash Course in Crisis Management’

Over the past week or so, we’ve heard crazy stories of houses vandalized and goods stolen from people who rented their places using the travel service Airbnb. Besides the physical and emotional damage detailed by the owners, Airbnb has been catching some serious heat because of its lack of response.

Now Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of the company, has announced that on August 15 it will launch the $50,000 Airbnb Guarantee that will cover owners in case of vandalism. In addition, the site is launching a new safety section, instituting new safety measures, increasing access to customer support, and Chesky has made himself available to clients for questions.

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