Some claim Airbnb canceled reservations due to inaccurate criminal background checks – Boston 25 News
BOSTON — Chris Perry says he planned a “last minute trip” to Oak Island, North Carolina “went on Airbnb, got lucky, and found a place to stay.”
Perry says he felt pretty good until a day or two later.
“[I] receive an email stating that the reservation has been cancelled, that we have refunded your money, that your account has been permanently deleted, etc. because of a criminal background check that showed I had committed crimes in Louisiana and Texas,” he said.
Pear does not have have crimes in these or other states.
“[I was] worried someone might have stolen my identity… frustrated because they canceled our booking and as it was last minute there wasn’t much availability there,” Perry said . “They’re sort of judge, jury and executioner all at once,” he said.
WHO DOES THE BACKGROUND CHECK?
Airbnb uses Inflection Risk Solutions to perform its background checks.
Perry says he challenged Inflection’s findings and won. He says Airbnb gave him his account and the whole process only took about a day – but by then he had already booked elsewhere and for more money.
“I’m just trying to educate people, I guess, and find out if they could have a better process to do it – so many people aren’t bothered,” he said.
OTHER COMPLAINTS AND LAWSUITS
Several consumers recently sued Inflection, claiming the company reported incorrect criminal information about them.
Michelle Drake is representing the plaintiff in one of the cases, Tony Taylor. They are asking the court to make it a class action because they believe it is such a widespread problem that others should be able to join in.
“Not really giving human beings that affects the attention they deserve,” Drake said. “If a company is spreading misinformation around the world, that means people are starting to think that background checks aren’t reliable and that’s impinging on all of our security because, if you don’t trust the information, you you’re trying to keep people safe, so he’s not sending his aim.
As for other complaints, one person told the Better Business Bureau: “[Inflection] provided false information to Airbnb claiming that I am a convicted felon who is currently incarcerated for assault with a deadly weapon.
Another wrote: “I was denied an Airbnb rental because the background check provided by your company incorrectly indicated that I was guilty of multiple crimes…”
INFLECTION BBB RATING
But, when last checked, the BBB still gave Inflection an “A+” rating. The BBB said this was because Inflection had relatively few complaints compared to its volume of business and the company dealt with those complaints quickly.
Inflection says it “has partnered with Airbnb to ensure the Airbnb community has an accurate and fair background check process with the goal of creating a safe platform for hosts and guests.”
When asked specifically if it checks every Airbnb customer’s background every time that person books something, what percentage of background checks Airbnb customers dispute, and how Inflection compiles background checks – specifically, from where the information comes from, the company would not answer any questions.
Airbnb did not respond to multiple attempts to comment.
If you think your background check is wrong, consumer experts say you should dispute it, especially if you need the background check for a job application or renting a home.
First, find out the name of the company doing the background check. Request a copy of your report. Legally, you are entitled to it. Request a free copy and see if it works.
Then make sure it’s accurate. Otherwise, you have the right to challenge it.
Start with the company that performed the background check – in this case, the company is Inflection, not Airbnb.
You can contact the company on your own. Having a lawyer can help. And believe it or not, many will do this kind of work for free because they want to make sure everything is done correctly if you end up in court.
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