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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Editorial: Airbnb Condones Unprofessional Behavior And Discrimination By Its Hosts

Airbnb
San Francisco, California

I have noticed a recent trend on Airbnb, in Eureka, California at least, where hosts have either canceled after having made a "confirmed" Instant Booking or ignored my requests to reserve a room posted as "available" on their calendar during the applicable dates.

I requested a reservation on two different occasions at Jennifer's Garden View Room for a upcoming trip to Eureka, changing the dates due to unforeseen circumstances, but never getting a response despite promises to get back to me the "in next day or so". Here is the transcript of messages:
July 6, 2016
Hi Jennifer! 
I'm thinking of coming to Eureka for at least a week. Your calendar looks clear and I'm finalizing the rest of the details, but want to make sure your place is available and for how long before I make reservations in other towns. 
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thanks!
Chris
--------
July 6, 2016 
Hi Chris! 
Nice to hear from you. I will have to check with a couple of possible renters and get back to you in the next day or so. 
Thanks! 
Jennifer 
 ----------
July 9, 2016 
Change of plans out of my control ... Please let me know if your place is available (during these dates) or know (of) another option. Not much available in my price range in town during that period. 
Thanks! 
Chris
------- 
July 9, 2016 
Hi Chris. Good to hear from you. I need to check my calendar tomorrow and get back to you. 
Jennifer
------ 
Not one, but six days later and no response from Jennifer, I sent he another message: 
July 15, 2016 
I'll take the silence as a no. Not having much luck with Eureka hosts. Thanks anyway! 
Chris 
------ 
July 16, 2016
Sorry Chris, I haven't been able to check my phone or work on your questions. But I think I'll pass on this one. 
Extremely unprofessional behavior and bordering on discriminatory, considering the fact that the room is posted as available, but she refuses to accept my reservation. Maybe I should change my profile:
About Me 
School: Los Altos High School (Hacienda Heights, California); California State University, Los Angeles, California 
Work: Retired Air Force Officer, Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in the treatment of PTSD with military and Veterans 
Languages: English, Italiano

After being ignored, then refused, by Jennifer, I checked Airbnb for other options in Eureka during those dates and, oddly enough, Jennifer's Blue Room - Arcata, CA, United States was still available for the exact dates I was requesting. It seemed obvious that Jennifer did not want me staying with her for some reason. Maybe she does not like Veterans because that was all she knew about me based on what is in my profile, that and the countless positive reviews from hosts we have stayed with.
As I mentioned earlier, I made an "Instant Book" reservation (for the very first time) at Terri's "Serene Views", a different private room in Eureka, California. Instant Book is a feature that allows you to enter your dates of travel and if a listing's calendar has no occupancy during that time, you can get an instant "confirmed" reservation instead of waiting for the owner to get back to you. Sometimes it takes days to get a confirmed reservation from some of these ding-a-lings, so when I saw what looked like a nice place at a good price, I cancelled a reservation I had made on another site in the interim and booked with Eureka Terri ... BIG MISTAKE!

An hour-and-a-half later, I got a message from Terri:
"Looking forward to meeting you!"
BUT ... nearly four hours later, as I was prepping for my trip, I received this surprising, inadequate and unprofessional excuse from Terri:
"My family requests a visit during this time. Hope you find a suitable replacement. Thank you."
Here is Airbnb's CONFIRMATION OF MY CANCELLATION:
UNSAT ... FUBAR ... My week in Eureka was now Tango-Uniform  and I scrambled to find a place to stay in my price range ... thanks, for nothing Jennifer, Terri and Airbnb!

I had to pay hundreds of dollars more because a couple of Airbnb Airheads, an unprofessional newbie and a tree hugging liberal, could either not keep their calendars up-to-date or simply discriminate against guests based on the information in our "verified" profiles. It makes Airbnb look bad because they condone this unprofessional behavior and it should not have been allowed. 

What is the purpose of Instant Book if your confirmed reservation can simply be cancelled on a whim by the host? Useless ... both Instant Book and Airbnb's response to the situation ... because when I sent them a message communicating my dismay, all I got was an automated response telling me, to paraphrase: "we're too busy and important to respond to every customer ... sorry, you are on your own bub!"

Here is the message I sent to Airbnb, telling them about the discriminatory behavior by their hosts:
I requested a room for these exact dates on two occasions with Jennifer and she told me there was no availability (just yesterday), yet this room in her home is advertised as available during that period. She told me twice that she'd "get back to me" the next day, but failed to contact me after more than 5 days both times, leaving me hanging without a reservation. 
She is the second inconsiderate host in Eureka, having Instant Booked a room at another house (with Terri), only to have (her) cancel four hours later.
Airbnb should police their hosts a little better to prevent unprofessional behavior and/or outright discrimination against Veterans (and many others according to the NY Times and numerous lawsuits). It's obvious that these "liberal" hosts don't want a male, conservative, retired, military officer staying with them and that is not just wrong, it's illegal.
If you don't do something about it, I will. 
Thanks!
Chris S
I have yet to receive a response from Airbnb, hence, I am writing this editorial. If you would like to read the New York Times article on Airbnb's condoning of discriminatory behavior by their hosts, you can read more here: New York Times: Discrimination by Airbnb Hosts Is Widespread, Report Says

CombatCritic Gives Discriminatory Jennifer, Cancellation Terri And Airbnb 1 Bomb Out Of 10 And A Spot On MY WALL OF SHAME ... More Bombs Are Better!
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Title: Editorial: Airbnb Condones Unprofessional Behavior And Discrimination By Its Hosts

Key Words: Airbnb, room, apartment, stay, Jennifer, Terri, Eureka, Arcata, CA, California, accomodation, hotel, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, service, review, Yelp, Zomato, Tabelog, airbnb.com

Translation for Civilians: FUBAR = "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair"

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