I've been a host for over 10 years, and it used to, of course, be much easier to call their offices in San Francisco and talk to someone about questions or problems. I still stay on the line, navigate all the prompts, and persevere to talk to someone when I need to resolve something with a guest, like getting their money refunded if they cancel, and I'm still a Super Host. But in the past few years I have noticed that I never talk to a native English speaker, and often the representatives they have, while pleasant, are very hard to understand or don't really seem to understand me, just reading some kind of written prompts they have and not able to engage in a real conversation with me. **
As much as I love AIRBNB, I just have to say it: so many Americans or others whose first language is English are out of work because of Covid, and would love to do AIRBNB work from home. But it looks to me like AIRBNB is outsourcing now, for no other reason than its cheap labor. If the calls are coming from the U.S. or England, send them to an English speaker. If they are coming from China, send them to someone who speaks Chinese. And pay everyone a decent living wage.
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If Airbnb was to use all customer services based in English speaking countries it would be much more expensive and host and guest fees would go up . Would you be happy to pay the extra fees?
Most large companies outsource to cheaper overseas operations @Lauren18
I have worked many years for large customer service organizations and run call centres in Canada with English-speaking representatives who understand the culture. Overseas labour is cheaper in the short term and a bonus to shareholders during the quarterly reviews.
Over time most companies see the ineffectiveness of the overseas model and move back to regional models when someone (usually a consulting company) can show them the return on investment.
With Airbnb going public and wanting to create shareholder growth I believe this is their short-term strategy with their mission statement "Belong Anywhere" they will need to move back to a regional system or the whole company will be in trouble from a customer service perspective.
We will have to wait and see. Changes like this take months and years. I hope it is not too late.