Airbnb Has a Hidden-Camera Problem – You telling me?

Airbnb monitoring warning
You would never guess it was a listening device from the picture

I was reading a piece in the Atlantic about Airbnb and the camera problem.

Of course this has super relevance to me after my experience of a Airbnb in Barcelona last year.

Airbnb’s rules allow cameras outdoors and in living rooms and common areas, but never in bathrooms or anywhere guests plan to sleep, including rooms with foldout beds. Starting in early 2018, Airbnb added another layer of disclosure: If hosts indicate they have cameras anywhere on their property, guests receive a pop-up informing them where the cameras are located and where they are aimed. To book the property, the guests must click “agree,” indicating that they’re aware of the cameras and consent to being filmed.

I do find it really interesting because Airbnb class listening devices such as Amazon Alexa as cameras too. I did think this would be very difficult to police. The transparency is welcomed, as before you had to search pictures for anything which looked suspicious.

In January, Bigham discovered cameras in his rental that he says were never disclosed. After he reached out to the Trust & Safety team, representatives told him he and his family had in fact consented to the cameras because they were visibly displayed in photos on the listing. After Bigham’s blog post on the ordeal went viral, Airbnb apologized and refunded his money.

But Bigham says customer-service representatives for Airbnb twice sided against him before reversing their original decision, and only after his blog post was widely shared online.

“No one really seems to know what they’re doing,” Bigham said in an email. “And it seems like it’s only going to get worse.”

In a statement, Airbnb said: “We have apologized to Mr. Bigham and fully refunded him for his stay. We require hosts to clearly disclose any security cameras in writing on their listings and we have strict standards governing surveillance devices in listings. This host has been removed from our community.”

As usual the public stink causes Airbnb to actually do something. I wonder how many complaints get shoved under the carpet?

5 years ago, I was discharged from hospital

Ah the end is just the beginning

GREAT NEWS!   Ian was discharged from the hospital this afternoon!  He is going to Bristol for a while to recouperate with his family and asks that people leave off contacting him directly for a bit as he’s got a month’s worth of email/messages to get through already and his phone is playing up at the moment.  He hopes to be back to his usual online presence soon, but for now just wants to relax and enjoy being ‘on the outside’.  As always, thanks for all your messages and kind words, and you are welcome to continue leaving messages in the guestbook here.

Ian and his mum have made a formal complaint to the hospital today, and Ian wrote the following about his experience last night around 10pm:

Yes 5 years ago I was discharged from Salford Hope hospital. It was quite a ordeal the last part of my recover in the hospital. I would say this is where things went wrong, as you can read in my complaint.

The first thing I did when I left?

My mortgage adviser (Billie) came to my flat with the papers to sign. She was amazing and honestly without her persistence, I most likely would have lost my great apartment at Islington Wharf.

Then I slept and disappeared down to my parents place for a week!

Of course my thank you  and thank you 2 posts capture my state/thoughts of amazement living through something most don’t. No need to do a bad version of timehop anymore.

I’ll be celebrating with friends and family this weekend… Thank you everybody! These two tweets really got me…

Oh and I had a totally surprise to see my my email I sent (I forgot many things around that time) to the UK Wired after seeing their top 100 UK people earlier in the year.

A quick letter of complaint to Fevermedia

After the year of love self destruction, I’ve been holding off sending them exactly what I thought of them. Everytime I go to write, I get pissed off and start repeating some of the thoughts in my blog entry from earlier…

So in the end I wrote this because I needed to write something short and being 2 days later, it just needed to happen…

I’m still days later, generally peed off about what happened on Saturday… I wrote a blog entry which you may or may not be interested in.

I personally was interested in the experiment and meeting my match through science or more like alchemy. But it never happened on the day.
Someone at the end said they would match people via email, but as I wrote I doubt most will agree after such a terrible experience in the name of science… 🙁 Even wrote a blog to encourage people to give it a try…
So I’m still interested in carry on the experiment but wouldn’t be surprised my partner wasn’t interested and it never made the tv… Robbed is how me and many others felt, no wonder there were the signs of frustration by 7pm. As a bbc employee I was also upset to hear people say negative comments about the bbc…
I await answers…
Ian Forrester – number 2135
There’s been a number of Facebook groups/pages setup but the most active is The Year Of Making Love Contestants. Some people have gotten replies but frankly there not very apologetic about the whole event.
There’s also a number of contestant created events happening around the country, including Manchester! If Fevermedia were smart they would back some of these user created events. Something like hardship to bring people together much tighter than almost anything else.

Updated

And just when you think Fevermedia would have put their heads down.. There’s talk on Facebook that they are calling up matches and saying this…

Hi we got your e mail’s we understand you were unhappy with your match.

Can we re-match as we are are still kean on filming you and following your progress through-out the year.

Even if you don’t get on with your match think of the exposure you could get, We won’t pay you but I’m sure you guys can make money out of this.

Your new match is happy to go ahead so it just comes down to you, if you say no thats fine but just think about it as this is a great opportunity.

If this is true and honestly I wouldn’t put it pass them to do such a under-handing thing going on previous experience. I certainly won’t be involved… It goes from being a unique experiment to a freakshow, and thats not what I signed up for… As far as I can see, the contract I signed was void when I didn’t get matched first time.

So much for the science, maths or alchemy…! Once again I’d refer to my last blog

A letter to the hospital

My ex-wife rewrote my rant about the Hospital into something official sounding. I think you will agree its much better that my efforts. It sounds kind of weird my ex-wife helping me out like this but shes been excellent the last few weeks helping out where ever she can. So we’ve really made up and who knows we may actually be friends following this. Its a shame it took this to get us to talk but its a positive which has come out of this whole experience. I even met her little son the other day which is slighly scary because I didn’t know quite what to expect.

Anyway, here’s the letter we’re using for the complaint to the hospital (I’ve been told not to put the name of the hospital, just in case they are checking the internet for complaints or something) If you’ve been paying attention, you will know which hospital it is…

Following my verbal complaint at my discharge on 17 June 2010, I am putting my concerns in writing so as to be clear about the matters I believe need attention and/or investigation.

1. Lack of information to family members in ICU

My family was unhappy with the amount of communication during my stay in ICU. Some nurses would come along and do things but not tell my family what they were doing or why. My parents received next to no information about what had happened to me or what my prognosis was. In one instance, my mother was treated to an inappropriate lecture about hospital pay instead of getting an update on my condition. They were not encouraged to ask questions and generally felt uncomfortable approaching some of the staff. The consultant was never available and my family ended up having to book time with him several days in advance just to be able to speak to him. They (and I) feel more should have been done to make sure they understood what was happening.

2. Problems with ward management

After I left ICU, I was moved twice within two days which was very unsettling. It seems that no one knew quite where to put me, so the first ward I went to proved to be unsuitable, and in the ANU I was with people who were pre-surgery while I was recovering. Maybe there isn’t really a suitable ward for my situation, but I would have thought it made more sense for me to be with other people who are recovering from surgery (oppose to a medical ward). I also did not receive any sort of ward orientation and was not advised until several days into my stay that I was permitted to leave the ward.

One particular problem with my ward was another patient who needed constant care and attention and didn’t receive it from the staff. As a patient, I should not have to look after other patients, but I felt obligated to help as the patient next to me was constantly trying to get out of bed (risking a fall), trying to pull his tubes out, and asking me ‘when are we going?’ On most days, I had to call the nurse to deal with him several times, sometimes every five minutes, to stop him from hurting himself. I found this very stressful and certainly not what I needed with my already high blood pressure.

3. Missing medication

The most serious complaint I have about my time at the hospital is that I was not given my medication, though it was signed off in the chart that I’d received it. On 16th June the chart was signed in the morning, but I am certain I did not have the pills. There was one pill that was very bitter, and I have to be awake to take it, so I am absolutely positive it was not given that day. I am also certain that there were other days I did not get my pills. On the afternoon of 16th June, I told a nurse I hadn’t had my medication. She looked at my chart, saw that it had been initialled, and dismissed my allegation with no further investigation. The ward sister was told, seemed unconcerned, and did nothing. When the night nurse came on shift, I also told him I hadn’t received my medication, and fortunately he believed me. He opened the medication box and found that my blood pressure medication pill packet was empty. This begs the question, how many doses did I miss? Why did the morning nurse sign that I had my medication when I didn’t? Why didn’t the person who used the last pill arrange for more to be sent from the pharmacy? Why didn’t the afternoon nurse and ward manager investigate my allegation immediately? If they dismissed my allegation because they thought I was having memory problems (which I wasn’t), why didn’t they do something to prove to me that I was wrong (which, as it turns out, I wasn’t)? Without those tablets, I was at serious risk of a relapse. I am thoroughly disgusted that whilst I was at a vulnerable point in my recovery, the hospital’s medication management procedures allowed me to go for days without essential medication. This is serious medical negligence and I will expect to be informed of the disciplinary proceedings that surely will arise from this matter.

4. Lack of care/attention to special patient needs

I have a serious needle phobia which I made everyone aware of. When I’ve had hospital treatment for other conditions (including an operation needing anaesthetic), they were very accommodating as far as helping with alternatives to injections (i.e. using gas to put me to sleep before any IV was started). It was written in my chart that I am terrified of needles and should be approached with care. Until I was well enough to protest, I was given heparin injections in my stomach. I was told this was very important to prevent blood clots, but when I said I didn’t want injections this was taken as though I’d said I didn’t want treatment. I was willing to take alternative treatments, but as discussed below, my doctor was never available to ask about possible alternatives.

5. Lack of communication and attention by the doctor in charge of my case

After leaving ICU on 07/06/2010, I only saw my doctor once. The other patients on my ward saw their doctors on a daily basis and were told what was happening with their care. On the one occasion a doctor did see me, I still wasn’t told what was happening. After social services assessed me as fit to go home, I had to wait for 3 days to be discharged, ultimately by a different doctor because mine was never available. When I complained about this after my discharge, my doctor who we (me and my mum) had never seen admitted he hadn’t even realised I was still in hospital; he said he thought I’d self-discharged. Then he stated he had been ‘following’ my case, but had no answer when I asked how that was possible when he didn’t even know where I was. Basically, for three days I was taking up a bed that someone else could have used because my doctor didn’t know where I was and the ward staff didn’t seem to be able to communicate this to him, despite the fact that he was in the same building. I had been left in the ward to hopefully get better.

6. Lack of respect for patients and their visitors

Visiting hours on my ward were restricted to 2.5 hours per day, and that time is very precious for patients and their visitors. On one occasion whilst my mother was visiting, a nurse interrupted us and insisted that I put on a nebuliser mask. The nebuliser mask makes it impossible to speak to your loved ones, and there was no particular reason it had to be done at that exact time. It was very rude, and for the sake of an hour this nurse could have waited until visiting hours were over.

Additionally, I felt ignored most of the time I spent on the ward. The nurses were friendly to the other patients and addressed all of them by name, but for some reason I was left out. Perhaps it was the fact that no one seemed to know why I was there or what was supposed to be happening with my care due to my doctor forgetting about me. I was quite surprised when I was told by one nurse that she didn’t even know what had happened to me. I thought that was essential bit of information when a nurse is going to be caring for a patient.

In summary, the time I spent at the hospital was very disappointing for me and my family. The overall lack of communication meant I stayed in hospital much longer than I should have and that caused a lot of distress. With all the people that were supposedly contacting the doctor on my behalf (PALS, the ward manager, nursing staff), I do not understand how my doctor could ‘forget’ his patient is languishing on a ward. I have huge concerns over how medications are managed and I am appalled that when I brought the matter of my missing medication to the nurse’s and ward manager’s attention, I was not taken seriously. For a more non-communicative patient, mistakes like that could be a matter of life or death. I certainly feel safer out of that ward where I know that my medication is my responsibility and I do not have to depend on negligent medical professionals to get what I need.

I do expect a thorough investigation of these issues, particularly with regard to the missing medication and my doctor’s neglect of my case. I look forward to hearing what steps you will be taking to ensure my experiences are not repeated with other patients.