April 3, 2020

A riddle over coronavirus rebates

April 3, 2020
The Hustle
TOGETHER WITH
IMA

Big week for all of us here at The Hustle:

  • Sam shaved his head into a mohawk and looks like he’s about to start a mosh pit at a Fall Out Boy concert (🎶 Sugar, he’s goin’ down swingin’ 🎶).
  • Katy started carving hand soap into tiny, beautiful butts.
  • Amy got a dog (she’s allergic to dogs).

Oh yeah, we also got so bored of being inside that we joined the hordes of tweens and made a company TikTok. On the bright side, we’ve got a fireball of an email for you today. Happy weekending!

Money Back Guarantee?

The great coronavirus refund debate

The pandemic put a pin in your Parisian vacay and you want your payments back, pronto.

It sounds simple, but forking over cash to frustrated consumers can be complicated — and controversial.

There are rebate riddles everywhere…

…and they’re especially touchy in the travel and live-entertainment industries, whose itineraries have been totally scrambled.

One reason why travelers are angry: The refund might not actually BE a refund. Some airlines are offering vouchers instead, but some customers say we don’t want no stinkin’ coupons.

  • This week, 9 US senators sent letters to airline CEOs pressing them to offer customers full refunds (since, y’know, the industry just got a whopper of a bailout).
  • Some international carriers are getting stingy. Thirty of them told a ticket-processing company that only the airlines themselves can give the money back.
  • On the high seas, cruisin’ took a bruisin’. Cruise companies are offering extra perks (shipboard credits, ahoy!) to entice customers to reschedule. But if you do postpone, you lose the right to a refund.

Another wrinkle: When a middleman is involved, things can get REALLY hairy.

Just ask Airbnb and StubHub

Airbnb is basically letting customers who booked trips through the end of May cancel them for a full refund. But the new policy wreaked havoc on the OTHER end of Airbnb’s business — its hosts.

  • So this week, Airbnb said it was committing $250m to do right by them. Bookings have disappeared fast, though, and some sellers have said the money isn’t enough.
  • VRBO, an Airbnb competitor, has taken a more laissez-faire approach — and pissed off LOTS of customers in the process. It’s nixing service fees and “strongly encouraging” property owners to issue “at least a partial refund,” but otherwise says it’s just a middleman.

As Axios reported this week, the giant online ticket broker StubHub said fin to refunds for now.

The ‘hub’s president said they’ve had more than 20k events called off. She said the old canceled-gig refund policy (which involved issuing refunds to ticket buyers for canceled events before collecting money from sellers) wouldn’t work at such a high volume.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter
Coping With Coronavirus

A company that places travel nurses is trying to keep up with a flood of requests

We asked readers to tell us about how their businesses are coping with the coronavirus. We’re featuring highlights of those conversations here.

Hospitals in the hardest-hit US cities are straining to care for a rush of COVID-19 patients. Next Move, a 1-year-old agency that places travel nurses, is helping to fill shortages — and seeing business take off as a result.

The company is part of a rare club. Unlike others that have drastically lowered their revenue projections this year, Next Move is doing the opposite. 

Its founder, John Nolan, expects to do $13-14m this year, up from the $8.5m in revenue the company was shooting for at the start of 2020.

He’s frank with the nurses who have approached the company asking where they can help.

“There’s no way to comprehend what it’s like to go to work for 18 hours and have all your patients die, not be able to take any breaks, be way understaffed, and not have enough protection equipment,” he says. 

Next Move is also fielding lots of questions about those shortages of protective gear: What happens if I get sick? Nolan says he’s reserving extra money that’s coming in to support nurses who fall ill.

Trends subscribers get access to the whole story — and much more. Start your trial today.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter
Sponsored

Top 5 Reasons to Become a CMA

Okay, so you’ve been in your accounting or finance position for a few years now and are ready to level up. 

The good news is, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification can inject a little jet fuel into your career and get things moving up and to the right faster than you can say “earnings premium.”

Don’t believe us? Here’s what it can do for you. 

  1. Earn more: CMAs earn 63% more in median total compensation compared to non-CMAs (according to IMA’s 2020 Salary Survey)
  2. Boost your career: Earning a CMA immediately shows CFOs that you are prepared for advanced strategic roles.
  3. Prove expertise: Fortune 500 companies hire CMAs due to their ability to strategize, plan, and execute.
  4. Open doors: Build useful professional connections with over 125K accounting and finance pros around the world.
  5. Prep for the future: CMA certification will prepare you to evolve with any new technological advancements, so you can help lead companies into a new world.

If you’re a high-level thinker, a game-changing strategist, or just really dang ambitious, you gotta check out the CMA today. 

Let’s go →
Tube Times

Will we run out of TV? Some channel-surfin’ stalwarts say no way

Our national stockpile of trashy television is safe. Whew!

So say the execs at more than a dozen ringleaders of the remote control, who told Variety that their programming pipeline will flow smoothly — even though the pandemic punched huge holes in TV-production plans.

How are they doing it?

Fins up for a Shark Week marathon, baby

This weekend, Discovery is compressing its summertime hit Shark Week into a 2-day-long marathon.

It’ll feature fan favorites from years past. (Did you know the first Shark Week aired in 1988? For the love of Jaws, we’re gettin’ old.)

Change the channel already!

OK, OK, don’t get your sweatpants in a wad. 

Stacked episodes of E!’s “Botched,” a show about plastic surgery that went, um, as well as the title suggests, are up 40% from before the Bad Times.

Hungry for somethin’ else to binge watch? Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer at Discovery, told Variety that the Food Network’s viewership is going bananas: “I have enough ‘Chopped’ episodes to go well into 2021!”

At this rate, she may need ‘em…

…because people are spending a LOT of hours zonking out in front of the tube. Time spent on streaming platforms was up 34% in the beginning of March, and total TV usage wasn’t far behind.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter
GreenChef
Sponsored

Get $80 off America’s #1 meal kit for eating well — talk about a sweet deal

Not sweet like sugary. Sweet like “you save a bunch of money on meals full of organic ingredients and can pick from diet types and get it all delivered straight to your doorstep.” That kind of sweet.

Yep, right now GreenChef is offering homebound Hustlers $80 off plus free shipping on your first box. Here’s how the #1 meal kit for eating well works:

  1. Pick your meal plan (Keto, Paleo, Balanced Living or Plant-Powered).
  2. Choose your favorite weekly recipes — chef-crafted, no less.
  3. Get your pre-portioned organic ingredients and easy recipes delivered — goodbye, grocery store.
  4. Follow their simple instructions, and you’ll whip together the kinds of healthy and delicious meals that’ll impress your friends and family.
Get cookin’ →
Rubber Match

Condom makers stiffen production to meet shortages, but can they keep it up?

If you’re reading this, Ma, sorry about the puns. I’ll FaceTime you later.

For everyone else who’s still with us: Condom-makers are cranking up their operations to meet global demand for contraceptives, at a time when lockdowns are disrupting the rubbery supply chain.

Here’s a crazy stat you probably didn’t know

A company based in Malaysia — Karex Berhad — makes 1 out of every 5 condoms in the world. You may not be familiar with Karex, but you’ve probably heard of Durex, one of its most well-known brands.

Karex recently restarted its factories with a reduced workforce. Prior to that, The Guardian said its 3 Malaysian facilities hadn’t produced a single condom in more than a week. They got permission to resume because condom factories do count as essential businesses.

Elsewhere, Bloomberg reported that Thailand’s biggest condom manufacturer is at “maximum output.” 

  • The Thai Nippon Rubber Industry Co. expects to churn out as many as 1.9B condoms this year — a 27% increase from its average annual supply.

The pandemic is causing problems for other forms of contraception, too — social distancing measures (not to mention layoffs that disrupt access to health insurance) have made it more difficult for some women to get birth-control prescriptions.

So is a coronavirus baby boom in our future?

You’ve heard the jokes: The generation of babies born 9 months from now will be christened coronitas, right? 

Keep your pants on. The fact-checkers at USA Today found that there’s not much evidence to support the idea that a boom is inevitable. Experts said people tend to postpone kids in times of economic uncertainty. At best, it might be a “baby blip.”

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter
Snippets

📉 Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. 10m Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past 2 weeks. People who don’t have direct-deposit info on file with the IRS may have to wait months for their stimulus checks.

👰 Yesterday we told you about people who aren’t letting the pandemic stop them from tyin’ the knot. Here’s a new one: This couple held their wedding in Animal Crossing.

🏈 The Patriots got patriotic. Massachusetts needed a way to get 1m+ N95 masks to the US from China. They did it with the help of the New England Patriots’ team plane.

🎧 Now you can try to beat Grimes at her own game.

🐻 Families in the Bay Area are #GoingOnABearHunt. They’re placing teddy bears in their windows so kids can search for them on neighborhood walks.

Want snippets like these in your browser? Download our Chrome extension here.

Shower Thoughts

Another week on the couch, another round of Shower Thoughts. Life goes on, my friends… life goes on.

1. According to Led Zeppelin, heaven is not handicap accessible. According to AC/DC, hell is.

2. Detention desks in art school must look amazing.

3. If two people each find the other person’s laugh funny, it might result in an endless cycle of laughter.

4. It’s a bit weird that every country has a theme song its people have to memorize.

5. A chicken nugget is a meatball. And nothing can change that fact.

Via Reddit

Share The Hustle
Ambassador Rewards

Refer coworkers, get exclusive Hustle gear

Step 1: Peek our sweet, sweet rewards

Step 2: Copy your referral link below

Step 3: Share your link across social media and beyond

Step 4: Collect rewards, rinse & repeat

How did you like today’s email?

hate it

meh

love it
PODCASTJOBSADVERTISECONTACT USTRENDS

Today’s email was brought to you by Penny Pintzer, (Miserly Budget Officer), Nick “No Refunds” DeSantis, Bobby Durben, and Meg Furey-Marquess.

FbIgTw

251 Kearny St. Ste 300, San Francisco CA 94108, United States • 415.506.7210

Unsubscribe

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.