Does this explain the horrendous deterioration in customer service?
Unfortunately @Christine615 that happens in many industries with outsourcing - the telecommunication, & IT sectors are the worst for it.
Add to the mix there's serious issues with Data Protection Regulations with cross borders bc of the internet.
thank You very much for sharing that link. This is one of the most interesting articles I've ever come across.
I got confused though when I read this:
She (an external service rep) could offer a credit on a customer’s bill no more than once per 15 calls, and if she determined a customer was indeed owed money, any refunds or deductions had to average less than $2.50 per call.
But how come that airbnb CS reps are refunding hundreds and thousands of $$$ to guests?
I thought about it again and realised, that they are not refunding airbnbs but hosts money.
That of course explains my initial confusion.
@Christine615, may I thank you for sharing the link. For I know we are in a global age, but I'm still gobsmacked by this extensive and well written article...…..
Scoring for using an empathetic sentence? What about feeling it and acting upon it?
I think what I find shocking is
1. that Airbnb doesn’t understand that it’s core engine is personal interaction and guest/host relationships. THAT is how you grow the business.
2. That a company based on social capital then outsourced one of its most important functions to a third party that then outsources to desperate, marginalized people who are then penalized for solving the problem correctly.
This trend of “gig workers” fueling the economy on minimum wage salaries is egregious particularly when you consider they won’t benefit from the stock offering because they’re not employees.
I think the point is, that every time we call customer service the person who picks up the phone first is an external one man show entrepreneur with no access to the airbnb booking software. They can't do anything to help us. Their funktion ist to say hallo, thank You for calling, thank You for Your patience, sorry for the inconveniance.
Then they take notes and foreward the issue to a „Supervisor“. But these aren't real supervisors, these are standard airbnb CS people who do have access to the airbnb software.
To me this looks like a pretty timeconsuming procedure.
Interesting that Your real important thread draws very little attention. People are more concerned about badges and bells and whitles than about the real issues of the platform.
And they are not going to get unemployment very easily when laid off or social security, assuming it still exists, when they are old. Not to mention health care.
Excellent piece of investigative journalism that should - but, sadly won't - be read by all. The agents referenced in the article would only be the US-based support staff, of which there were 599 laid off earlier this year, I believe. However, there were thousands more in call centres around the world who were operating under pretty much the same standards and conditions, who were also unceremoniously dumped. Below is a comment I posted on another thread about CS, back in August.
In reality, the "Airbnb laid off 25% of its workforce" story - accompanied by Brian Chesky's "I love you all.. it's not your fault" global press release/open letter to his 1900 ousted and devastated employees - was only the one part of the picture that the company wanted the world to see. And by several accounts, they went to some extreme lengths to keep the real figures hush-hush (see Reddit thread below) The Community Centre's own Nick did however post some figures back in May, stating Airbnb had lost almost 80% of their global support network, which - given the dearth of available support agents over the past several months - would appear to be much closer to the mark, and more accurately reflect the complete breakdown in the support services that we've all been seeing in recent months.
Whilst the 1900 official Airbnb employees who received the endlessly-publicised super-generous severance packages of 14 weeks' pay plus benefits were indeed reasonably well compensated, what was kept very much quieter was the low-key dumping just two weeks earlier of thousands of contingent workers around the world - in US, Barcelona, Cork, Bucharest, Berlin, Manila etc - who learned of their own demise over a Zoom-type video call, with no forewarning. A high proportion of those contract workers were call centre/customer support staff - by definition, low-paid workers, disproportionately from marginalised, minority and underrepresented communities - and most received only a single week's pay to see them on their way. A number of the contractors had also been at Airbnb for several years and some were doing exactly the same jobs, with the same duties and responsibilities, as Airbnb’s official employees - yet received radically different treatment when the axe fell.
Those unfortunate workers were the collateral damage we didn't get to hear about, but we certainly do get to experience the effects and consequences of their absence, on a daily basis.
We're now being assured by the new Global Head of Hosting that Airbnb is "working hard" on hiring and training 2000 new customer support staff to meet the unprecedented levels of demand, and that the new hires should be on board "within two months". And it does appear that Telus International (formerly Voxpro) - the company to which Airbnb outsources its call centre operations - has begun recruiting again in Cork and Romania, and that Directly is currently canvassing for hosts to act as "Community Experts".. but whether or not all those brand new hires will have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of Airbnb's exceptionally complex and fluid policies and processes to provide an adequate and efficient service, remains to be seen
Which begs the question though.. why suddenly decide now - when we seem to be heading towards the tail end of the pandemic (and just as Airbnb are loudly trumpeting their miraculous "rebound" story) - to recruit and train a small army of inexperienced newbies, while thousands of tenured staff who might have had some idea what they were doing, were given the boot at the very pinnacle of the crisis, when demand for customer support would surely have been at the highest ever levels in the history of the company? Could the thousands of layoffs possibly have been for the sole purpose of making those all-important, life-or-death (literally) Q2 and Q3 2020 balance sheets appear much more healthy and robust for the IPO submissions, and to boost investor confidence? It's rather challenging to come up with any other logical explanation.
Airbnb Quietly Fired Hundreds of US Contract Workers - I'm One Of Them
"It Was The Most Tone-Deaf, Bizarre Q&A Format I've Ever Seen"
I'm speechless. A rare thing for me.
I talked to other hosts in the area and they're not that high on VRBO or Homeaway after they were acquired by Expedia. So that gives Airbnb and opening - it COULD be the only platform that is host-centric. The rush to revenue and savings is myopic and as they say in Star Trek demonstrates two-dimensional thinking.
I was hopeful when the woman from Disney came on board but with the new terms of service, beginning to think the company is too close to the forest to see the obvious trees.