Fascinating stuff. I remember reading The Dice Man, and wondering, briefly, whether I would do something like that. Then I moved on.
Maybe they'll start to take communications professionals seriously ...
I wonder whether I'd have any of the same reactions if I re-read it, 20 years on?
One starting point is the old proverb, “Don’t wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and the pig enjoys it.” There’s truth in that. We just need to find a version that doesn’t dismiss our opponents as pigs.
And there's the rub, really. You have to get over thinking of them as pigs.
Even if my scammers had been slightly foiled, there was no guarantee that they couldn’t just start fresh with new profiles. The system was still in place. Airbnb has created a web of more than 7 million listings built largely on trust, easily exploitable by those willing to do so. Maybe it’s not so surprising that the company would rather play a half-assed game of whack-a-mole than answer basic questions about its verification process. For every person who doesn’t receive a complete refund, Airbnb makes money.
I've had good experiences on Airbnb so far, but this sort of thing makes me wary about continuing to push my luck. The hotel aggregation sites are little better.
The cost of ownership is up front and visible; the cost of access is back-dated and hidden.