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Airbed & Breakfast Evolution

Airbed & Breakfast is a kind of commercial variant of Couchsurfing that has been around for over two years now, and which has been valued at $1 billion. They just had a massive safety-issue and therefore “will be implementing a $50,000 Airbnb Guarantee, protecting the property of hosts from damage by Airbnb guests who book reservations through our website.”

Last month, the home of a San Francisco host named EJ was tragically vandalized by a guest. The damage was so bad that her life was turned upside down.

According to Wikipedia, in June 2011, a user who had rented her house for a week came back to find it trashed and missing a great amount of money and valuables. And Airbnb’s policy of not letting users know until the last minute who they’re renting to was criticized as a contributor to the incident. The company recently responded to it with a blog-post and newsletter.

With regards to EJ, we let her down, and for that we are very sorry. We should have responded faster, communicated more sensitively, and taken more decisive action to make sure she felt safe and secure. But we weren’t prepared for the crisis and we dropped the ball.

Changes will also be made on their website in terms of trust-levels.

Our updated user profiles chronicle their public history on Airbnb, giving you more insight than ever about a potential host or guest. Along with standard social information, you’ll also see if a user has verified their phone number, connected to their Facebook account, and whether the majority of their reviews are positive or negative. And as always, you can read their reviews and references.

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