Case Study | Sending a ‘kindness card’: Airbnb’s backlash

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Airbnb has launched a supposedly unique manner to encourage hosts during the pandemic crisis. However, not everyone is welcoming it.

The reason is that, as per USA Today, Airbnb lately sent emails to guests asking them to send “kindness cards” to their previous hosts. The cards are just a digital comment that guests can write a message that encourages the host to deal with hardships, with the option to add money as a contribution to their host.

The campaign involving emails is to aid in all the hardships that hosts had to go through while people stayed at home to evade the ambush of the virus spread.

The Airbnb website instructs guests to click on the email to send a “kindness card” and the hosts they have given for or five stars in the past are displayed. They can then choose a card design, word a message, and decide whether or not to add a contribution to their host. But, not everyone was happy with this idea.

Many people took the issue on Twitter to say that contributing monetary aid to hosts is a bad idea since they were better off financially. One user said that they can’t even afford one house, then why donate to their host? Others have argued that it is not their responsibility to encourage their hosts after their stays that happened long ago. Coupled with this, they also stated that they paid to stay in their hosts’ apartments which should be well and good in terms of monetary support.

There was also another user who experienced some questionable acts from the hosts. He said that Airbnb asked him to send a “kindness card” to the host who had questionable conduct to his female friends, making them feel so uncomfortable they did not want to spend a minute alone inside the room; in case he came back.

However, a few users expressed that they thought the idea was a unique way to connect and develop interpersonal relationships. Airbnb defended the support campaign by saying that it is “in the spirit of rekindling connections.”

Sending a note seems like a good idea and is certainly a supportive way to encourage past hosts who gave their guests the best experiences while traveling. While that is the case, contributing in terms of money was a bit of a stretch for a lot of users on Airbnb.

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