You’ve heard the stories about all the things that can and do go wrong with Airbnb rentals—horror stories include guests that turned a rental into a brothel, or the ones who simply refused to leave a Palm Springs apartment, citing tenants’ rights law.
But how does Airbnb handle such matters from their end? A docuseries is planned about the elite crisis team, often people with a military or trauma background, that handles serious incidents that occur in its six million-plus rentals worldwide, according to Deadline.
The safety agents, as they are called, handle dire and often grisly consequences of peer-to-peer rentals gone wrong. The series will be based on a Bloomberg article by Olivia Carville, titled “Airbnb is Spending Millions of Dollars to Make Nightmares Go Away.”
Think “kidnappings, hostage cases, murder, and rape,” says Carville in a video that accompanies her article. Many of the safety agents play a dual role: to “protect the user in crisis but also the brand’s public image.”
If they do their jobs right, they can prevent embarrassing or grisly incidents from finding their way into the media and possible viral infamy.
For example, when a woman was raped at knifepoint inside a Manhattan Airbnb, a member of the trust-and-safety team quickly moved the woman to a hotel, according to the Bloomberg story. They also flew her mother in from Australia to be with her, then eventually flew them both home, all costs covered. Airbnb also offered to pay for any healthcare or counseling costs related to the incident.
But that was just the beginning. Airbnb paid the woman $7 million—in exchange for a signed agreement that she not tell anyone about the settlement, “or imply responsibility or liability” about the rape on the part of Airbnb or the host.
The story stayed out of the press until Bloomberg exposed it.
Queer Eye production company Scout Productions is pairing with Bloomberg to produce. So far, there is no release date or network connected to the show.
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