Airbnb launching 40 'trust' features after vandal scandal

Airbnb launching 40 'trust' features after vandal scandal

Summary: Airbnb is putting 40 new "trust and safety" features in place after a terrifying story from one client stirred up a storm.

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Last month, the risks of renting on Airbnb became brutally apparent when one woman's home was vandalized and trashed after renting out here apartment on the startup's website while on vacation.

Since then, the story caught like wildfire, much of which didn't make Airbnb and its founders look too good, especially as it became clear that there was a lack of communication going on between the victimized customer and Airbnb reps.

Airbnb has been on damage control, going so far as to instill a $50,000 security guarantee to make customers feel protected.

Today, the San Francisco-based company is going a bit further with 40 new "Trust and Safety" features designed give renters on both ends of the deal some peace of mind.

A full list has been posted on Airbnb's website, but some of the highlights include guest names in full, address verification, verified photographs and a 24/7 hotline - all of which really could have come in hand in the case that initiated all of this.

Here's the statement that went out in an email to all Airbnb customers on Monday in full:

The birth of Airbnb is a unique story. But the founding of our company simply does not compare to recent events. Two weeks ago, Airbnb got a wake up call. We experienced what felt like a rebirth, and we have since committed our company to trust and safety. Since the beginning of August, we have designed, built, and shipped over 40 new trust and safety features. Check out a list of the new features in our Trust & Safety Center.

Some changes you will see right away (video profiles), while others are working hard behind the scenes (advanced fraud algorithms). They all come together with today's launch of the $50,000 Airbnb Host Guarantee.

We are also proud to announce another key member to our team. Today, Monroe Labouisse joins Airbnb as the Director of Customer Support, after 10 years at eBay and PayPal where he managed consumer protection programs.

When we started Airbnb, we originally built the features we needed to use our own service. Now, with a community in 17,000 cities and 190 countries, it's become less about what we want, and more about what you need. Over the last two weeks, I have personally received close to 3,000 emails from our community. I can't tell you how much this means to us. We will continue to work hard everyday, remembering that Airbnb is built for you. You inspire us as much now as you did when we were only three guys, starting Airbnb in our apartment. We are at your service, now and always.

Thank you for being a part of this amazing community.

Sincerely,

Brian Chesky CEO, Co-founder Airbnb

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Topics: iOS, Apps, iPhone, Legal, Mobile OS, Smartphones, Start-Ups, Wi-Fi

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