Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another Reason To Have A Crisis Plan

A relatively new San Fransisco  business that brokers rental properties....helping travelers find homes to rent, temporarily, or helping home owners to find temporary renters....found out the hard way why they should have had a crisis plan.

Airbnb is the company that helped a San Fransisco woman find a temporary renter for her home.

When the woman returned from her trip, she found her temporary renter gone, along with her camera, laptop computer, iPod and her birth certificate and social security card.  They had been locked in a closet, but the closet was broken into.

The woman took her awful experience on-line, and it became a national story.

The woman talked to Airbnb several times, before she went public with her experience.

Company CEO Brian Chesky ended up doing the "right thing" for his client and his business, but not before significant negative publicity did it's damage.

Eventually he issued an "unconditional apology," and in a company blog, he wrote about the woman, "we let her down, and for that we are very sorry."

He added, "We should have responded faster, communicated more sensitively, and taken more decisive action to make sure she felt safe and secure."

". . . we weren't prepared for the crisis and we dropped the ball.  Now," Chesky said, "we're dealing with the consequences."

San Francisco Police have a suspect in custody, and Chesky now insures his clients for up to $50,000 in damages and losses.

It doesn't matter how small or big your organization may be, or whether its for profit or a non-profit, it should have a crisis plan, and key members of the organization should be trained in using the plan.

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