Yet One More Reason to Choose VRBO or AirBnB

Posted on August 19, 2016

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As a VRBO/AirBnB Host myself, I usually seek out one of their rental offerings before even looking at a hotel when planning a trip.  However, this past weekend, my girlfriend and I just felt like getting away for a short one night weekend adventure in midtown Atlanta.  We had amassed a list of restaurants, pubs and hot spots in that area we wanted to check out and experience.  Since we were only staying for one night and wanted to be close enough to the targeted area to lessen our commuting time and Uber costs, we did the unthinkable. . . .

We chose to stay at a hotel.

Gasp!

Like a feeble human who can’t resist shiny objects, I was enticed by a $99 special for the Atlanta Hilton.  I can’t remember the last time I stayed at a Hilton, but its name has evoked distinction and quality in my mind and I succumbed to my gullibility with the click of a mouse.

Well, first off $99 was turned into $134 with a $35 parking fee which is outrageous.  Then I booted up my laptop upon arrival to check directions for the evening and low and behind, they wanted a $6 fee to access the wireless Internet.  Excuse me, is this 2004?  I haven’t paid for wireless access in six years!  McDonalds and many other eating establishments gives it to me for free.  I later found a lovely sitting area that normally would have people congregated there with their wireless devices checking Facebook, answering emails, etc., except no one was there since one must pay for access.

Despite those little annoying attempts to access my wallet by the hotel, we had a wonderful time that evening and arrived back at our room around midnight.  Just as we put ourselves to what was a comfortable bed, someone evidently got a business license to open a dance club on our floor.  The music was so loud it was vibrating the walls and we expected the generic looking hanging artwork to come crashing down any second.  After laying there for five minutes hoping for divine intervention, I finally got up and called the front desk and listened to a voice who lacked total empathy to my problem.  Finally, I capitulated with frustration, got dressed, and set out to find someone who cared.

I stood in line at the registration desk as seven people in front of me were attempting to check in at 12:45 in the morning.  As I patiently waited in line, I asked an employee walking by to speak to a manager.  She said she was in that office as she pointed to it and walked away.  Unfortunately, I had to get past the gatekeeper at registration in order to access the manager’s door which hopefully wasn’t going to charge a manager access fee.  I did get to talk to someone at the front desk who showed me what lack of empathy looked like as well.  Rather than submit myself to an unwinnable argument, I walked away and quietly returned to my room, wishing I had a large stereo system to crank out some old George Jones music to combat the onslaught of noise pervading our $134 plus tax private space.  Finally, either by divine intervention or by some unseen caring soul on staff, the music stopped and we got to sleep. 

Contrast this experience with that of our Uber commutes that same evening.  Each driver picked us up in your everyday car, but each was impeccably clean and spotless.  They were both friendly, courteous, kind, considerate treated us like valued customers.  This is because they their own ambassadors.  They are business owners who value each and every customer and can’t withstand unhappy passengers and negative reviews.  This is what you get with AirBnB and VRBO.  You deal with the owner of the property directly.  The owner is the one most likely cleaning and preparing the property for you.  They are the ones who want to make sure you enjoy your stay to the max.  There are no hidden fees.  You don’t pay for Internet.  You don’t pay for parking.  You don’t pay for coffee.  And you don’t have to worry about a night club opening up down the hall. 

Whether it is Uber, AirBnB or VRBO, the sharing economy empowers both the owner and the customer.  We live in an incredible age today in which ordinary people can compete with the largest of corporations on their own turf – AND WIN, which means that their customers win too! 

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