To me, the following experiences with airbnb are alarming:
I have now been told by two different helpline staff members that they are instructed to lie to us if we are phoning about problems with our published listing on their site.
The first time was when I called about my listing not appearing, at all – not on Google, not on Chrome, nor Safari, on several different computers.
The assistant told me it was appearing just fine on his computer.
I asked if he could please explain why it didn’t show on my computer, nor those at the local public library and the University. I was, at the time, genuinely puzzled.
He answered: " The explanation is that we are told to tell you that everything is fine, on our computer, if you’re calling about a problem with your displayed listing. Depending on what your issue is, we can even create a false screenshot to forward to you, as proof that all is well."
More recently, the posted price on my listing is incorrect. It shows as significantly higher than the setting made for it.
The helpline staff member told me she would check it on her computer. We’d developed a bit of rapport during our call, as she sounded stressed and I was empathetic and we talked a little about her job. I said: " Please don’t tell me the price on your computer is accurate, because it isn’t on mine, nor on three public computers I have checked. Also, I have been told by another assistant that you are all instructed to tell us whatever we see is wrong with our listing, shows as correct on your end."
“That’s true. We are told to say that. I’ll check that the settings you’ve made for the price are accurate, and then I’ll see what price shows up on my computer.“
She verified the settings were accurate. But when she looked on her computer, the price showed as several dollars LESS expensive that the set price.
So, the listed price shows as more than it is on some computers, and less than it is, on others.
She will hand it over to the tech. team.
” I actually don’t believe there is a tech team.” I replied.
“Well there is, but we have no way of knowing what they fix, if anything. I hear a lot of complaints that issues continue, in spite of them having been reported.”
I appreciate the honesty of the assistant who first told me that they are instructed to lie to us. I’m grateful the second assistant verified they lie to us. What a stressful and ghastly job they must have…
I will continue to let assistants know that I’m aware they are instructed to tell us all is well with my listing on their computer, when it isn’t on a variety of others. But I doubt this will change the stunning lack of integrity this company has demonstrated to me.
So, what can we do?
To me, it appears the only power I have is to delist with airbnb. But, but, but…
What are your thoughts on this?
Thank you so much.