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Posted at 09:26 AM ET, 07/29/2011

Airbnb burglary victim says company tried to quiet her

Airbnb is a popular alternative to hotels and hostels. (Helayne Seidman - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
Blogger “EJ,” who wrote about her experience with Airbnb, updated her blog Thursday night saying that the company had asked her to remove the post, fearing bad press.

EJ wrote last month that renters she found through the site burgled and trashed her home. The San Francisco police confirmed the incident Friday and said that they have arrested a suspect in the case.

According to the latest post, the blogger said that one of Airbnb’s co-founders contacted her asking her to shut down her blog, and later asked her to update her blog to complete the story. But since her blog post went up, EJ wrote, the company’s customer service department has not contacted her about her case.

Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment about EJ’s latest post.

EJ also contradicted several of the claims Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky made in a Wednesday TechCrunch article, including the implication that the company has helped her deal with the fallout of the burglary.

“The positive contribution mentioned in this statement might very well refer to the criminal investigation and communication with police; I can’t know for sure. But the staff at Airbnb has not made a positive contribution to me personally or my situation in any way, particularly since June 30,” she wrote.

She said she did not know that anyone had been arrested in connection with her case, as Chesky and the company have referenced in statements.

“Trust and safety are Airbnb’s highest priorities and as such the improved safety processes are being implemented immediately and will roll out of the coming days, weeks and months.  Furthermore, these procedures will continually evolve as we strive to make the service we provide as safe as possible,” an Airbnb spokesman said when asked about the incident Thursday. “Whilst we are truly shocked and saddened by this incident we are relieved we had the systems in place to be able to assist with the investigation and the authorities now have a suspect in custody. We are now focusing our attentions on how to prevent an issue like this happening again.”

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By  |  09:26 AM ET, 07/29/2011

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