A couple weeks ago I was ready to write a short reflection on customer relations gone super-sour, featuring Airbnb. Luckily, I have a black belt in procrastination, which gives these situations time to spin out some more and to make a more interesting story.
The background: a few weeks ago a woman named Emily in San Francisco rented her place through Airbnb and had it thoroughly trashed by a renter in what seems to be a fit of gleeful nihilism by a person bent on bringing as much destruction and pain into a home as possible. The victim had been working things through with Airbnb and decided to blog about her experience, cautioning others and, I think, just venting.
In the days that followed, Airbnb’s actions and lack of actions painted a picture of a company caught in a vortex of legal paranoia and public relations handling from the 6th circle of hell. Fast forward ten days and we find they’ve managed to really turn it around. The missteps as well as the fixes make a fantastic case study in how to do wrong, and then right, by your customers.
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