Airbnb has announced that it will review and verify all 7 million listings on its site by the end of next year. The news, along with other information, was published in an email sent by Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community, Brian Chesky to employees. In the email, Chesky wrote that December 15, 2020, every home and every host on Airbnb will be reviewed with the objective of 100 percent verification.
The task is being undertaken to ensure that every home listed on the platform is accurately advertised. The company says it will verify the accuracy of photos, addresses, and listing details and make sure the properties adhere to the company’s quality standards. The listings that meet the company’s expectations will be clearly labeled on the platform.
While the verification process is underway, Airbnb is instituting a new policy for customers who find that the rental they booked doesn’t meet the company’s accuracy standards. Starting next month, these guests will be rebooked at a new listing of equal or greater value or receive a full refund. Airbnb’s platform is currently available in 191 countries and has more than 600 million members.
The company is also launching a “24/7 Neighbor Hotline” to be staffed by a rapid response team. Airbnb says the hotline will let anyone call the company “anytime, anywhere in the world and reach a real person at Airbnb.” The number will be prominently displayed on the homepage, in the app, and made easily searchable on Google.
The moves by Airbnb come after a Halloween party shooting at a rental house in Orinda that left five people dead and a massive rental scam that was uncovered last week. For the scam, criminals used fake identities and other methods to create multiple fake Airbnb profiles, post inaccurate listings, and take advantage of home renters. The FBI is reportedly looking into the claims.