Thursday, April 28, 2011

Re: [Airbnb Community Support] Re: iPhone Support Request

Dear Airbnb, (CC'd to the same Blog as before)

please do me the courtesy of at least reading what I write.

Which part of "I don't want you to help me track the information down" did I write in such a way that it was so easily misunderstood?

Now I am not only a customer who feels that he is not in Control of his data but also a customer who infers from your actions that his concerns are of no real importance to you.

Yours, Michael

On 28 Apr 2011, at 17:07, Cathy H <> wrote:

-- Please respond above this line. --

Cathy H, Apr-28 08:07 (PDT):


Our records indicate that your reservation with Hannes in Vienna has been accepted. As payment you supplied us with a Mastercard ending in nnnn and were charged: $nnn / €nnn EU This charge was pushed through manually a moment ago, because when you entered your payment information you forgot to select the country you live in. We've done that for you and now you should see the charge on your credit card.

Your request with Eva in Vienna is no longer possible because she did not respond to your request within 24 hours. You were not charged for that.

Please let us know if we can provide further assistance.

Kind regards,

Cathy H
855.4.AIRBNB (Toll Free) or 415.800.5959
Help Airbnb win a Webby Award, vote now!

Michael Mahlberg, Apr-28 07:14 (PDT):

Dear Airbnb, (CC'd to one of my blogs)

In the meantime the registration has expired and /after that/ the payment information is visible on the website - for a brief moment until I confirm the information. Then it's inaccessible again!

So, in the name of open Business-2-Customer relationships, here is what I would expect:

I don't want you to help me track the Information down - I want control over my data!

I want to be able to see /exactly/ which data you have on file for me.
I want to be able to see, which transactions are pending right now!

As much as I like the idea of your service, I don't feel comfortable if you play it so unreasonably close to the chest.

( @MMahlberg on twitter )

Cathy H, Apr-28 06:57 (PDT):

Hi Michael,

We'd be happy to help you track this down. Can you please provide your reservation code?


Cathy H
855.4.AIRBNB (Toll Free) or 415.800.5959
Help Airbnb win a Webby Award, vote now!

Michael Mahlberg, Apr-26 09:18 (PDT):

Please enter the details of your support inquiry below:

User Information
Name: Michael M.
ID: 533213

How can I find out, which of my credit cards I used to make a reservation?

Situation in case: 6 credit cards, one booking with airbnb - no movements on any account. Host has not yet (21 hours) responded.
Which c-card is on your files? which one can I max out?

Cheers Michael

User Information
Name: Michael M.
ID: 533213

(von unterwegs gesendet)

Airbnb Community Support
Phone: 1-855-4-AIRBNB | 415-800-5959

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why Google-Checkout sucks - at least for me

I just tried to buy the electronic version of David J. Anderson's Kanban book, because I'm traveling the world quite a bit right now, left the paper book at home and wanted to look up a few specifics for the design my own personal kanban system.

Two things delayed my decision to buy it - and actually will delay it for a couple of days to come. Which is unbelievable for a process that takes a mere minute on amazon and the pragmatic bookshelf.

1) I have to buy the eBook twice to read it in iBooks and on the Kindle [see below]
2) I have to become a Google-Checkout Customer (which is the dealbreaker)

The Problems with Google-Checkout

  • They (Google Checkout) added my credit card info to the currently logged in google account
    Really? The currently logged in account? That's just silly.
  • They (Google Checkout) stored the credit card information
Actually Amazon also stores the credit card data. But amazon is a store - Google is a search engine and an information broker. So I'm supposed to give my credit card information to an information broker, who adds new services to it's portfolio every day?
So, what I'll have to do now - to get the electronic version of a book I already own - is to get a prepaid credit card, put some money on it, connect that to google checkout, buy the book, disconnect the card from google-checkout.
[Aka: No, I don't want others to be able to control my credit card and identity management. That's where I really want a push system]
What a waste of time!

The Problem with buying the book twice

I use the Kindle for reading and the iPad for Browsing, and since the Kindle UI is only mediocre compared to iBooks I would love two have both formats available as it is possible with the pragmatic bookshelf. I admit that the Kindle UI is not as bad on the iPad as it is on the Kindle itself, but still it's a drawback compared to the iBook experience. So the current option for buying the book online isn't "quite" as pleasant as it would be to buy it from the pragmatic bookshelf - or perhaps I'm just spoiled by the latter's focus on customer value.