Airbnb says it will spend next year checking that all 7 million of its listings are correct and that the houses and rooms offered for short stays meet basic quality standards.
It's one of several things the San Francisco-based company is doing to improve user confidence and make it easier for guests, hosts, and others to report issues and get reimbursements when things go wrong.
The changes come after a tough week for Airbnb. Last Thursday, a shooting at an unauthorized Halloween party at an Airbnb rental in Orinda, California left five people dead.
Meanwhile, a story from the Vice newspaper revealed a scam of Airbnb hosts who placed guests on inferior properties after claiming that the ones they booked initially were unavailable. Guests told the Vice that they had trouble getting refunds from the company and that they received negative reviews from the obscure hosts.
And on Tuesday, voters in Jersey City, New York, approved restrictions on short-term rental companies in a referendum in one of Airbnb's most important markets.
In an email sent to employees on Wednesday, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said the company will take the most significant steps to improve confidence since its founding in 2008.
“People need to feel that they can trust our community and that they can trust Airbnb when something goes wrong,” Chesky wrote.
■ Check all listings on your platform for accuracy in photos, address, and other details. Properties will also be checked for quality standards including cleanliness, safety and basic amenities. Those who meet Airbnb's quality expectations will be labeled. Airbnb has said that all listings will be reviewed by 15 December 2020.
■ As of December 15, Airbnb has announced that it will reschedule guests for a new listing or refund their money if a property does not meet its accuracy standards.
■ By 31 in December, Airbnb will release a 24 hour hotline made up of a rapid response team in the US so that neighbors, guests, and others can report a problem. The hotline will be launched globally over the next year. The company asked Charles Ramsey, a former Philadelphia and Washington chief of police, and Ronald Davis, a former chief of police in East Palo Alto, California, to act as consultants and help train the response team.
Source: The Associated Press