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We've created a marketplace built on trust, transparency and authenticity

Not if this quote from the linked article is true, you haven't...

airbnb.com tightly controls the communication between host and traveler, disallowing the exchange of personal contact information until the point in which a reservation is already confirmed and paid for.

No? It's built on. Controlling the communication is about avoiding "20% discount if you pay me in cash up front" scams, and yes, about protecting AirBnBs revenue stream.

It's a trade-off: This process enhances trust since you know your host doesn't get your money until you've checked in and found everything to be in order - and the host knows that the money is held and that he won't have to deal with late or no payment.

I don't get this focus on the personal contact issue. What exactly could the victim gain from having exchanged personal contact information prior to the booking, that he was unable to do after he got the contact information? He admits he didn't even catch that the guest misspelled his own name?

If someone comes from Craigslist, you can at least Google for their name, try to find a Facebook page, etc... BEFORE they enter your house. At best, the way it is for the author, she could have done some checking, but at that point the freak is already in her house.

> If someone comes from Craigslist, you can at least Google for their name

You mean a name. Who says it's their name? The reason that we trust AirBNB and choose to host travelers is because if we do come home to find all of our things missing, AirBNB at least has a credit card on file, and can at least prove to the police that someone was staying at your place?

> AirBNB at least has a credit card on file

Might be stolen especially in the light of this case.

No, after the booking is completed, still well before keys are handed over, personal contact information is made available. Sure, it's inconvenient if you have to turn someone down after researching them but after they paid, but that's hardly the issue here.

If effective protective measures can only be taken after the sale has been made / contract signed / whatever, then the marketplace really isn't providing "trust, transparency, and authenticity". In fact, it is actively working to prevent them.

But the author of the article makes a point to say this was too late a point in time, as they were already out of town.

He also writes:

If anything, I blame myself. In retrospect, and as I read through my initial email exchanges with Dj, I recognize now that something was “off” in his manner of communication, that I trusted too easily, and probably did not do my due diligence to properly protect myself and my home.

There is nothing in the article that indicates that the situation would have turned out any different if he had access to "Dj"s contact information earlier.

He could still have a fake Facebook account. Their method of trading contact info is not at fault.

IF they can catch this guy based on the information AirBnB collected when he signed up, then they're fine. If not they need to have a more strict membership sign up process so that if and when this does happen, the guilty can be made accountable.

This information is correct.

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