Airbnb removes best host in Asia from service without explanation – TechCrunch

“Sharing economy” companies like Airbnb, Uber, TaskRabbit and others have become popular for bringing new types of work and, by association, additional income to people around the world. While earning a little money is helpful, an uplifting tale from a top Airbnb host in Asia shows the potential dangers of becoming too dependent on these services.

Last week, Airbnb suspended the account belonging to Bangkok-based Kelly Kampen, one of its “super hosts” and one of the main Airbnb ambassadors in Asia, with immediate effect and without explanation, as it has. explained in an article on Medium.

The move is all the more bizarre given that Kampen was a prolific host, having hosted over 700 guests at his Bangkok-based home over the past two years, earning him over $ 40,000 in income. as he previously revealed. Kampen is also well known within Airbnb. He had to express himself to Airbnb’s “Open” event in Paris next November – with the company covering its flight and accommodation – and had been implied at company community events.

Kampen told TechCrunch he didn’t know why Airbnb terminated his account. Although he received notification of his suspension by phone and email, none of this correspondence or subsequent conversations with company representatives explained Airbnb’s decision. An email he sent to the three Airbnb founders prompted a response from CTO Nathan Blecharczyk who vowed to review his case, but there was never a follow-up.

Airbnb declined our multiple requests for comment on the Kampen suspension, but provided a general statement in response:

We do not generally discuss confidential information regarding hosts and individual guests. There can be many reasons why people are being taken off the platform, including quality or safety issues. Dedicated members of our team continually review host and guest profiles. While these decisions are difficult, there is ultimately nothing more important to us than the safety of the people who use Airbnb.

In that case, you might think Airbnb might be inclined to be more specific – as other hosts may well fear they are going through a similar nightmare, too – but that’s all we’ve got.

Kampen told TechCrunch he doesn’t believe user safety – an aspect pointed out by the company’s statement – is an issue. In the event that a traveler lodged a complaint against them and their rooms – and there is no evidence that this is the case with Kampen – you would expect Airbnb to look into the issue and weigh in on the history of the traveler. ‘a host, rather than making a quick decision to delete them based on a single comment.

Another area of ​​security could be that it appears Kampen’s account has been accessed by a third party. Upon examining his account, he noticed that an iPhone had logged in under his name from various locations in the United States over the past two months. As Kampen hadn’t left Bangkok during this time – and he confirmed he didn’t have a VPN client on his phone – it wasn’t him. He reported the issue to Airbnb, but did not get a direct response. If your account has been set up by a third party, terminating your account in this way is certainly an extreme answer.

Interestingly, according to Kampen, Airbnb representatives in Thailand and the regional team in Asia told him that they had “fought” to retain him as a host. Since the decision was never overturned, it stands to reason that it was made by Airbnb headquarters in the United States and was contentious. Conspiracy theorists might argue that the company didn’t like Kampen’s very public statement of his earnings, or perhaps felt he had become too influential a figure, though he didn’t. there is no evidence of either of these motivations.

Whatever the reason, this example is an example of caution for others making money from Airbnb listings.

“Cover your income with other services,” Kampen warned other hosts. “I’m already on 9 apartments, Flipkey and others [but] before that, I had never seriously thought about other services.

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