Here are screenshots of the Twitter exchange with AirBnB that started this whole thing.

It all started when I tried to book a lodging in Queens. While I should have been suspicious of the very low price per night, the fact was, the listing came up on a search of lodgings with one bedroom and one bathroom. What I got instead (along with a bunch of other shit that I’ll tell you about another time), was one bedroom of many in a single house, and that bedroom shared a bathroom with another unit.

Note how there is no shame in this response. There seems to be no embarrassment at the fact that their failure to include a fundamental parameter in their search caused me to waste hours of my night on a fraudulent listing.

And there it is. Those execrable words. Already I hated them. There was not even a hint of assurance that the “product team” would be briefed on the incident that their fuckup caused, and certainly not one that they themselves would reach out to me to apologize. And most of all, no chance that they were going to fix the problem that led to this fiasco.

Inherent in those words is the notion that what I have to say is just “feedback”, a mere suggestion rather than an imperative from a paying who got royally screwed by them. This blithe arrogance pervades the entire culture of “ ” at these companies.

Sensing the middle finger being thrown at me, I decided to escalate things. One would think that the customer service would want to pass me on to their idiot just so they can deal with me since they created this mess. Instead, I get the kind of blockheaded obstinance that I would expect from a government bureaucracy.

They clearly aren’t getting the hint. If this idiot cannot answer my question, he/she should forward it to someone who can, because someone made this product decision. Instead, they have gone into mindless robot mode, kind of like this phony Brazili Jiu Jitsu instructor who got caught.

Amusingly enough, they threw in this parting shot. This did more damage than they expected, because it illustrates how lousy their search is. It places the onus on the user to engage in non-standardized communications with the host to get a piece of easily machine-searchable data. In particular, trying to communicate this question to the host that night whose English seemed limited would have been a lot harder than just clicking a checkbox.

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