Airbnb Founder: ‘We’ve Had a Crash Course in Crisis Management’

Over the past week or so, we’ve heard crazy stories of houses vandalized and goods stolen from people who rented their places using the travel service Airbnb. Besides the physical and emotional damage detailed by the owners, Airbnb has been catching some serious heat because of its lack of response.

Now Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder of the company, has announced that on August 15 it will launch the $50,000 Airbnb Guarantee that will cover owners in case of vandalism. In addition, the site is launching a new safety section, instituting new safety measures, increasing access to customer support, and Chesky has made himself available to clients for questions.

“In the last few days we have had a crash course in crisis management,” Chesky wrote on the company blog. “We should have responded faster, communicated more sensitively, and taken more decisive action to make sure she [one of the affected owners] felt safe and secure. But we weren’t prepared for the crisis and we dropped the ball.”

We’re going to give Airbnb an A grade for its response, even if it was a little late. For the site, these stories can do some serious damage, turning off any potential customers who may have been on the fence about using the service.

Not only is the company offering an apology, but it’s taking action and giving details about what it has learned from the situation so it can be held accountable in the future.