To delete or deactivate my airbnb account?
That is the question
It is imperative to remind airbnb that their decision to delist Jewish properties is not just a moral error. It is a commercial blunder. Remove yourself and tell them why.
What option do I choose?
Writing to airbnb resulted in a form letter, including instructions on how to deactivate my account. Readers may not be aware that if they have ever used airbnb they have an account with possibly much personal detail.
Continuing with the deactivation, apparently airbnb’s preferred option (see screengrab on right) I discovered, to my surprise that would not be the end of the matter, although it did give yet another opportunity to express my disgust with the company.
All deactivation does is hide your profile or your listing. Account data will be retained. Reviews may remain visible.
Do you really want such a company to retain your data?
Deleting my account, the alternative to deactivation is more complicated and requires navigation through their contact system. I decided to message and not call. The customer care operative on the other end (sitting in Bangalore?) is not responsible for decisions made way above his or her pay grade. I neither want to hassle whoever answers my call nor, even worse, enter a political argument.
Even after deletion, I am informed, “some of the data may remain in our systems if we are legally required, or while we are legally permitted, to retain it”. What data might that be?
Four days after I requested to be deleted, a member of the team who can better assist me has yet to be found.
I hope they are swamped with work.
Stay tuned for further developments.
Probably at the back of airbnb’s executive committee’s collective mind was the thought that Jewish rentals in Judea and Samaria are an insignificant percentage of their global total. The cost of their moral flag waving would be a tiny hit on the bottom line compensated by the love it would generate from “many in the global community” that is BDS activists and supporters.
What they didn’t take into account is:
- The massive bad publicity their move would generate,
- The gain in new customers would be negligible if not zero, while loss of existing customers would be large,
- Competing short-term rental companies such as Tripping.com, FlipKey, HomeAway, VRBO, HouseTrip, VayStays, VacayHero, Luxury Retreats and Wimdu would receive great exposure as a result†,
- The likelihood of huge, drawn-out, very expensive lawsuits generating even more bad publicity, win or lose‡,
- Israeli government active support or even subsidisation of renters in Judea and Samaria.
- Delete or deactivate your airbnb account. Tell them why.
- Airbnb’s act of corporate anti-Semitism, David Harsanyi, New York Post, 20 November 2018
- Airbnb faces Israeli class-action lawsuit for delisting settlements, Ori Lewis, Reuters, 22 November 2018
- Class action lawsuit filed against Airbnb by Israeli settlers, Ynet, 22 November 2018
- Yachad, Airbnb and a new untogetherness, Politically-incorrect Politics, 25 November 2018
† Five minutes for Israel has no personal familiarity with these sites and can’t give a recommendation or a ranking.
‡ There may even be an unpredictable result with an American court ruling that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not illegal. The French made a similar ruling in a commercial case involving tenders for Jerusalem’s light rail. Wouldn’t that be great?