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Email to Mr. Chesky resolves issues...thank you!

I just wanted to give kudos to AirBnb for quickly addressing my concerns following denial of claims for guest damages. I actually wrote Brian Chesky (see letter below), and I received a response within the week. And Airbnb paid for all damages. I recognize that it is highly unlikely that Mr. Chesky viewed my email, but really appreciate AirBnb addressing and resolving my concerns. Not sure if it will help others with denied damage claims or issues with customer service, but I thought I would post.

Dear Mr. Chesky,

My name is Richard XXX. I have been a loyal Airbnb host in Indianapolis, IN for 10 years; I have not used any other platforms to rent my house. I really appreciates the services your company brings to guests (and hosts), and I am a great admirer of Airbnb’s social consciousness. Although I do not travel in the business world, I have seen very few businesses that have the standards and moral compass that Airbnb strives for and largely maintains.

That being said, my faith in Airbnb has recently been shaken. I recognize that the issue on how I was treated by Airbnb as a host is relatively inconsequential and unimportant as renting my residence grosses under $40K/year. I hope though that Airbnb will train its representatives to be more knowledgeable of the company rules, and strive to accurately communicate the policy to Airbnb hosts.

My situation in brief: I had a guest who stayed at my house at the end of July who vandalized my property during a party. Although I made it clear (both on the Airbnb host site and in a subsequent written communication with the guest) that parties were not allowed, they still had a party that resulted in about $700 in damages. After the guest checked out I noticed the damages, and immediately reported this to Airbnb. Through subsequent communications with Airbnb representatives (over two dozen exchanges over a week?), and going through the resolution process, and following escalation of the issue, I was told verbally and in writing that the guest had paid $500 for the damages, and I should receive the money in 15 business days. At the conclusion of this time period, I contacted Airbnb and indicated that I had not received the money, and they then told me to escalate my request to Claims. I followed again their advice, but Claims denied my request because it was beyond the 30 days after the damage was noticed. Although I talked with an Airbnb supervisor, and relayed to her that I followed precisely all of Airbnb’s advice and direction to obtain the money for the damages (I also suggested to her to read my written exchanges with Airbnb support, as well as review my recorded verbal communications with Airbnb to validate my claims), she said it does not matter…it is beyond her control, and she will make no exceptions to the 30-day rule since it was stated on the document that I signed. I was also told I cannot appeal to Airbnb.

Although the Airbnb representatives I spoke with were courteous, thoughtful, and appeared to sincerely display tenacity in trying to resolve the situation, the supervisor made it clear that their advice was incorrect and she is sorry for what happened (and indicated the guest was disciplined), but she could not do anything for me. She said the written rules are what mattered. I am now completely disillusioned as a host with Airbnb. Clearly following the advice and suggestions of Airbnb ambassadors was a mistake. And the supervisor was probably correct in that I did not read closely read what I signed. But to follow precisely what I was told to do by Airbnb representatives, and then get penalized is not a good business model.

Anyway, I am left with a significant (at least to me) dilemma: is it still in my interest to host guests through Airbnb? It is not clear the risk (to my house) benefit ratio is conducive to using Airbnb’s platform, since I cannot rely on Airbnb’s ambassadors to give correct advice if a similar problem arises in the future.

Finally, I do not expect a response or even expect that Mr. Chesky will see or read this message; my hope is that Airbnb will train its representatives to be more knowledgeable of Airbnb policy, and to see hosts as individuals who sincerely want to support Airbnb’s mission…not people who can be readily discarded.

With respect and sincerity,

Richard

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So, what exactly is Airbnb’s mission, other than to make as much money as possible for the shareholders?

JF

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I’m glad you got a successful resolution, but are you serious about the above? Airbnb has got to be one of the most immoral businesses I have run across, in terms of the disrespect shown to hosts, and their largely abysmal customer service department filled with reps who don’t know Airbnb policy and continually give out terrible advice and erroneous information.

As for their “standards”- there are terrible listings and terrible hosts who Airbnb allows to remain on the platform, despite repeated complaints from guests, because they bring in lots of revenue for Airbnb. They also refuse to remove listings the homeowner tells them are being illegally subletted.

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So if you had the reimbursement in writing for 500.00? Did you eventually get the money?
Not sure what issue got resolved if any at all.

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John, I agree that a primary goal of a company (Airbnb) is to maximize shareholder value. But Airbnb is now espousing their corporate social responsibility in a number of areas. And I believe this is commendable. I am though under no illusion that there actions are purely altruistic; I recognize that a (significant?) part of their motivation is likely publicity and to appease the public, stakeholders, etc.

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Lovely prose! What was the final outcome? 500? 700?
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Oh and would you mind providing the email address you used? We hope to never ever need it but would love to have it on file just in case.

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I understand what you are saying and I see your point… I also realize that I am not the most informed about their business practices. But generally speaking, based on my experience, I have not had any major issues over the last 10 years I have been on their platform (except a few times recently…ie, the last year and a half or so) with Airbnb’s customer service. I recognize though my experiences may not be representative. Also, I was not aware that there was a significant issue re terrible listings and hosts on their platform. I am not surprised though, and I appreciate your points.

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More flies are caught with honey than bile, as Richard is very astutely aware.
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The real lesson is a single email to the right person got the job done. For us of us who have open stays and are actively hosting, this is useful and insightful!

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I did receive the $500. Airbnb contacted me within a few days of my letter, and said they were trying to resolve. I received the money in about a week after I wrote Mr. Chesky. To be honest, I wrote it out of frustration and to just say what was on my mind. I actually did not expect to receive a reply from Airbnb or for them to resolve the issue.

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Hi Jefferson, the email I used was brian.chesky@airbnb.com. I really hope this helps. Maybe though I will receive a message from the man (I know…extremely unlikely that he would write me…) not to further publicize his email address (it did take me a little bit to find it online…but I am not the best online sleuth…).

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Thank you. I hope that none of us ever need it. The usual advice when Air fails to do it’s job is “post to Air’s FB and Twitter accounts”.
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I think we may well add to that long-held mantra, “email Brian” to get stuff done! It stands to reason that he has at least one dedicated assistant who deals with stuff like this on his behalf.
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THANK YOU VERY MUCH! And gosh but hopefully it will sit on a shelf and never get used again.

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I’m glad (& surprised) you were able to receive reimbursement.

Frankly, I am super glad for Richard (always applaud a win for us!) but this kind of makes me :rage: as well as :slight_smile:

How many of us have had similar scenarios with their mindless (yet always falsely empathetic) CS reps? I have come to hate that phone greeting:” Hello Super Host, blah, blah…” and this fake notion that this is some dedicated line with what, better service? Not!

I’ve taken to calling back or escalating until I get them to do the right and logical thing. Or until I run out of steam. But why should we have to do that? Or pull the golden ticket and have our email “answered” by the big guy for them to do what should have been done all along.

Impressive would be them acknowledging they have created a major problem that is self-fulfilling as they allow bad guests (take the fools who just tried to burn down my house/smoked it up) to keep booking! They “disciplined” those party people who did the $700 in damage (but paid only $500). How? They will still be able to book on the platform. I hope you killed them in your review, @richard1.

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That’s because their customer service has been rapidly devolving. It didn’t used to be this bad. When Covid hit, and bookings were being cancelled like crazy, they let thousands of customer service staff go. Now all their CS is farmed out to a 3rd party overseas provider, the employees of which get paid in accordance with how quickly they close cases, they couldn’t care less about making fair decisions, and they are mainly clueless about Airbnb policy.

Called Airbnb yesterday, was routed to somewhere in Asia. The person I spoke to had a very thick accent and had no idea about anything.
The background noise included a child and crowing roosters…. Is this the definition of 3rd world service?

Actually a very funny romantic comedy…but thought you’d relate to the trailer :cow: :chicken: :grin:

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Sounds like Park Slope to me :joy:

Totally agree with AirBnB Support off shore 3rd world abysmal. Chesky & Company have been losing $MXXX’s last few years and they’re trying to stop the bleeding especially 2020 when they went Public. I expect to see major changes next year or so if $'s don’t dramatically improve as Chesky & senior Ex’s start their short timers calendar. They’ve forgotten who their customer is being us the Hosts NOT the Guests. Witness the latest Head Hunter bounty $280 if we refer a new Host to AirBnB, rumor is their losing Hosts to other VR platforms. I highly encourage others to be listed on multi VR platforms to avoid being captive to AirBnB…

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I think they think the opposite since we PAY them no money and the money all comes FROM the guest.

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Not to mention there are far more listings than guests to fill them. We’re expendable. Guests aren’t.

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