A week ago, Airbnb - an online service that matches travelers with hosts whose homes they can rent for brief periods - found itself scrambling after a woman who used the service complained in a blog post that the people renting her apartment had vandalized the place, leaving it in shambles for her return.
This Monday, in an attempt to "make it right," Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky apologized and promised his company would officially launch its $50,000 Airbnb Guarantee on August 15, which it says will provide up to $50,000 in insurance for any loss or damages at the property of an Airbnb "host" by someone who made their reservations through the company's website.
The policy, according to Chesky, would be made retroactively, thus applying to the unfortunate burglary victim, known as "EJ."
In addition to the $50,000 guarantee, Airbnb said it would install a 24/7 customer hotline, double the size of its support team, and put in place a dedicated trust and safety department "dedicated to the manual review of suspicious activity," Chesky wrote.
If all that fails, Chesky said that customers could contact him directly at his personal company email.
"These steps are just the beginning," Chesky added. "Improving the safety and security of our system is ongoing. Although we do have these measures in place, no system is without some risk, so we remind you to be vigilant and discerning."Would you be willing to use a service like Airbnb even with a damage "guarantee" in effect?
Check out the video below to see how Airbnb actually works: