“But”, I squeaked, “I post every now and again … I’m on Facebook most days to check on my friends and relations.” This, however, was not enough to convince Airbnb I existed. And, as I didn’t exist, I could not book a room.
Helpful Casey had another suggestion: why not upload a video of myself saying why and where I wanted to book. The problem with that, I explained, was that the Airbnb link supplied was incompatible with my iPad 2. Use your smartphone, suggested Casey. I didn’t have one, said I. There was an audible intake of breath.
Have you ever been told you don’t have enough friends – and are a Luddite to boot? It’s crushing. And more to the point, I had a flight booked to Bremen in Germany, for two; I had tickets for the Glocke concert hall; but I still had nowhere to stay on the first weekend of November – that of the Freimarkt, the oldest fair in Germany – one of the busiest on the Bremen calendar.
Earlier that week I had logged on to Airbnb for the first time in search of a room for two. I found one (with “Sabine”) that ticked the boxes, filled in my credit card details, and booked … or so I thought. Back bounced an email saying that I was not acceptable to Sabine, and my money had been returned. So I tried to book with “Harald”. The same thing happened. “Viktoria” (“Nice room, near park”) rejected me, too.
I’m a middle-aged mum of two, I’m a school governor, I have an impeccable credit record. But I couldn’t book a B&B. Not when I didn’t have enough “friends”."