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daemon13 1390 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite

AirBnB customer support here.

We're really sorry about the inconvenience, and for your troubles...

actually I'm just messing with you. Does this look like AirBnB?

If you can't get your issue resolved, just do a chargeback, get your money and book a hotel like a normal person.

If you want to bitch on the internet, there are thousands of review sites on the internet. This is not one of them.

Am I bitching?

I was under impression that this site is about start-ups and what they should and should not do to grow and achieve success.

If you want to listen only to good music, there is Pandora and plenty of other sites like that. Not all medicine is sweet.

I think the biggest problem he (and probably other readers) has with your post is this line:

> I would really appreciate if someone @AirBnB would help to intervene the existing ineffective process. No need to return the money - just return the booking to my wife, make us happy :-)

This is a specific plea for action from a company, but it's directed at a forum of people who are almost all completely unrelated to that company.

Given HN is a part of YC, and AirBnB came out of YC, the chance of him finding someone on here who can help or point someone from the company to the post is much, much higher than if he was posting on some random forum. Plus it sounds like all the traditional options have been exhausted and in panic mode you pursue all avenues.

I know AirBnB is a YC-funded company, so I understood why OP posted it here. I didn't flag the post for that reason, and my comment was just trying to explain the reaction.

This post in general reminds me of a lot of a criticism of many AskReddit posts, where the poster is accused of trying to relate their own story while tacking on a "Whats your best $topic story?" question on the end to try to make the post relevant.

More specifically, these customer complaint/"bitching" posts illicit a 4chan style "not your personal army" response in a lot of people. While the post might to some good for the OP in getting a response from the company, to most readers it's just noise drowning out the signal they come here for.

I'm not normally one to complain about these types of posts (and again, I'm not trying to do so right now either), but I do understand why some readers might be less than enthused by their presence.

Sorry, I misread your post as you complaining rather than explaining the complaining.

It is a bit of noise to signal, but if I was in the guys position I'd probably leverage as much as possible to get the problem solved.

That's my fault; I could have been clearer.

I often play devil's advocate, and the risk of that is that you can be misinterpreted as supporting a position when you didn't intend to.

Without making any arguments about this particular person's due diligence, I think it's clear that over the last couple of years, "raise a ruckus online" has become a reasonable tactic when dealing with companies that have poor customer support systems.

I'd prefer not to see this kind of thing on HN too. On the other hand, customer support does seem to be disappearing as a trend. I'm not sure what other recourse a customer has in cases like that.

(We once battled with Sage technical "support" on behalf of a client; we spent two days navigating various support channels, including paid support, before finally giving up and writing a post to our website, and then forwarding a link to that post to Sage's PR department. The very next morning we got a call from a technical specialist who was suddenly very eager to resolve our problem. Folks, this is not how you take care of your customers!)

Understand, agree that it may be perceived as plea, which it is not. I can sort out my stuff myself :-)

The point is - the AirBnB support process looks broken. Is their fix-my-mistake process also broken?

While you may have had a point you were trying to make, that point was buried in one paragraph of a seven paragraph post, sandwiched between a "rant" about a personal experience and a call to action directed at a specific company.

I can understand why many users could misread your intent, and I was just trying to explain why you received the reaction you did.

thank you, I appreciate, hope that wise people will see through the bush...

kinda. most of the post, both title and ending are focused on you and your anecdote.

That's because this happened to me.

I am not a journalist or consultant to post about cool start-up or how to set-up a proper customer support process across markets.

>Does this look like AirBnB?

Doesn't look like Paypal either but hey it's the top story at the moment.

Sad but sometimes posting on HN is the only way some people manage to get any attention to their issues it seems like when they've exhausted other channels to no avail. Of course HN isn't the only major source but its definitely one of them. On top of that, AirBnB is a YC company. Not that it changes anything but still worth noting. Its not exactly irrelevant.

I also had a bad experience with airbnb, just last month. I am officially done with their service. I'd rather pay the extra to actually deal with a human at a hotel. It's what I ended up having to do anyway, while in England. Airbnb's fine print apparently allow them to keep what every they want, even if you don't stay at the location.

AirBnB typically has great customer support. They have helped me out with a few bugs in the past and are quite prompt. I agree with the others, chargeback your CC, and deal with this later since you are on a time crunch with your visa. However, I'm sure they can get this all resolved for you, once you get ahold of them.

The keyword is 'once you get ahold of them'.

I didn't mean for that part to be taken in that tone. It's very easy to get ahold of them. They have always answered my emails very quickly. Lots of options available here: https://www.airbnb.com/contact - Everything from live chat to phone.


Live Chat is not Live Chat [see above], it is a web form sending e-mail.

Phone experience described in my post above.

E-mail - sent.


Clicked Live Chat - Chat Now --> was presented with web form, filled form, pressed send.

Live Chat is not a Live Chat :-)

Will measure response time for my e-mail.

Checked - I cannot choose reservation option from the dropdown because mine was deleted and the system does not allow this.

I can only choose other question/option -

- Job Enquiry (nope)

- Partnership (nope)

- Press (may be later)

- Feedback (don't feel like that, want my issue fixed)

- Law Enforcement (yep, if money will not be returned ))

I tend to view support/contact options as suggestions rather than rules. If there is no option for your problem, you choose either the closest one or the most general one.

The worst case scenario is that you're ignored, so the only cost to you is the time it took to send the message. The best case scenario, however, is that the message gets forwarded to the proper department and someone fixes your issue.

The cost/benefit analysis here is pretty clear. If I were you, I'd send a message to the Feedback department.

Message sent, will measure response time KPI.

>Don't feel like that

What the? This is your support channel; Even if your inquiry is unrelated to feedback (or any of these), it would be the place to start.

The fact that you 'don't feel like' contacting them and instead come here to moan is absolutely incomprehensible. It shows that you are simply trying to throw dirt on them!

From the AirBnB website

>> If you have feedback for us, please submit it via our feedback form. Our product team regularly reviews these submissions.

Why don't you just try the Feedback? What could possibly get worse..

Call your CC company and ask for a chargeback now.

You can book a hotel for free and get a reservation for your visa, you can deal with ABnB later.

try HomeAway or VRBO instead. :)

flagged, but the frustrating thing here is that i suspect hn is reluctant to kill this for looking biased.

i really don't want hn to become full of people complaining about yc companies in the hope that "a friend on the internet" will fix things.

This is a yc site. I understand your position but if a consumer is having problems contacting a yc company why shouldn't they post here?

This is not a complain.

This an example of how not to do roll out across intl markets prior to thinking through the basics, customer support process being one of this.

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