Blog 15 of 74

What Goes Around Comes Around for AirBnB

By Ron Lee
Published: 08/22/15 Topics: Advertising, AirBnB Comments:

How soon big companies forget, at least in the collective memory.

Perhaps today's lodging usurpers like Expedia, Priceline, HomeAway and AirBnB could learn a thing or two from the advertising history of major newspapers.

Long ago Newspapers like the Seattle times had a field day. They were big and bossy and brash. They could charge any advertising rate they wanted, and increase the cost incessantly.

If the advertiser did not like it, "Tough": said the Times, take your business elsewhere knowing full well the advertiser had no viable alternative. If companies complained the Times would refuse to sell them space or relegate their ads to the nether world of seldom read pages.

Flash forward several decades when, due to plummeting readership and nimble online news sources, newspaper ad sales reps must go begging for advertising scraps.

How prophetic then for the online travel agencies and vacation rental classified ad sites.

Ask AirBnB superhost Kelly Kampen who went public recently, saying his AirBnB superhost account was terminated with no explanation and a canned emailed.

Lovely that AirBnB said something like, "We are not obligated to tell you a reason.."

And did he provide bad housing, or treat guests poorly? No all he did was question AirBnB and just like the long ago world of advertisers who questioned newspapers, he bit the hand that feed him and he will now be starved slowly to death.

Worse yet, AirBnB cancelled Kampen's future guests. Interestingly, AirBnB heavily penalizes hosts for canceling a booking and yet reserves unto itself the right to commit the same sin.

Way to go AirBnB,. Many hosts report similar or lesser instances where AirBnb staff seemed callous or, worse yet, unaware that what goes around comes Around.

We can only hope that one day we'll look back at the hubris of Internet companies with the same grin we now reserve for those formerly cocky newspaper rags.

Author: Ron Lee – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0412 – 08/22/15

Comments: 0

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