Cancelling as a host

We got some major red flags for a booking that is scheduled for tonight (in about 5hrs) and decided to cancel on our end due to risks of safety.
On Peerspace it says the cancellation is pending, since it’s so last minute I want to make sure it definitely gets cancelled and is confirmed but Peerspace support aren’t accepting phone calls right now and their email customer service business hours dont include weekends.
Any advice! we’ve never cancelled before so not sure how long it takes to go through!
Hopefully this guy doesn’t show up!

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yikes I wish there was some way to be in contact with Peerspace for emergency reasons. This guy is saying he wants to take legal action because we cancelled. The cancellation has been on “pending” for an hour.
We’re handling it to the best of our ability but would love to know if anyone has dealt with something similar!

Update: The cancellation request successfully went through!

Hi! We received the cancellation request and just processed it. We also followed up via email, feel free to reply there if we can be of further assistance.

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@Smac_M so sorry to hear about this, glad the cancellation went through. I have passed on many bookings because they did not feel right, but have not had this happen before. I definitely believe you have to trust your gut, and if the guest cannot alleviate your concerns, you have to pull the plug. It could be useful to others if you can share a little about the red flags, clarifying questions we should be asking, etc, and I hope the guest will just move on.

Your space looks great, love the creative sets, very fun for a variety of shoots.

absolutely.

During the week they requested a studio tour, which we were happy to schedule. There was already a bit of difficulty with communication on their end with typing/grammar etc. which made for a lot of back and forth trying to understand but we did our best. Anyway, they were a no show for the scheduled tour, we waited and waited and they didn’t seem to understand the importance of an appointment. It was hard to understand why they didn’t show and it was even harder to reschedule which took a weird turn with them making it quite personal and giving unrelated personal life details about themselves. There was also many text messages/phone calls asking for videos of the space and repeated questions, none of which we ignored or handled disrespectfully, it was just a lot of repeating and explaining basic formalities.

Today, the morning of, they asked if we have security and if people can walk into the studio freely. I assured them we have a closed door policy and said we aren’t open to the general public and a host is on site the whole time too, to let them into the studio etc.

Then they dropped some red flag info saying that they held auditions and wanted to make sure the door will be closed because lots of people were upset they didn’t get the job and have been making serious threats and now he was scared they will follow him and try to lie to us saying they are supposed to be on set.

From our judgement, he had shown signs of being problematic and was difficult to deal with already so even though the details came across confusing and somewhat exaggerated we decided there was just no reason to risk the drama or our safety for a 3hr booking for 5 people. After we cancelled they did say they would take legal action, and then he also took back all he said, now claiming there were no threats or anything at all. We assured them they will get a full refund.

We’re still new to Peerspace but are definitely going to be more strict. Starting with if they’re a no-show for even a studio tour then we’ll consider passing on the booking.

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Indeed, when they bring up security, or ask if we provide a security guard, that is always a red flag for us. If that is a concern, we probably don’t want to host the event. If it is an event with alcohol, I may bring up security, just to gauge their reaction. Same if they are asking about a teen event (sweet 16, high school graduation), I stress that there can be no underage drinking or other illegal activity, and then I get a vibe from their response. The guests that are planning to let the kids drink typically go away, or the guests who are serious about not allowing it will stress that to me, and I have to decide if I believe them. I had one bad teen event (my first event, and I was quite naive), but have had a number of teen events after that have all been fine.

I sometimes enjoy communicating with the conmen (and women) I encounter on Craigslist & other various sights. (It’s a sick hobby of mine) I usually spot them right away. And I must say, your story, including them giving a lot of personal irrelevant information, reminds me of the con artists. You did well to avoid them.

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You did the right thing to cancel, and yes, it is super important to do a good job vetting guests. It would be better on our part though to try our best to do this a couple days before the booking so they have time to make other arrangements. I understand in your case the guest told you new and worrisome information at the last minute, but it could be a lesson to ask more detailed questions farther in advance (maybe before you accept their booking).

Also, I know your event was a production. But for any evening dance party with alcohol, I would always require an add-on paid security guard that you hire (not them). Some security guards will work for $20-30/hr which is affordable enough to have some extra peace of mind.

Ugh how stressful! Glad you canceled: My minimum booking is 4 hours, too much work for 3; I always have required a scout visit but now with the new COVID rules, it’s advised we don’t allow those any longer. Any health & safety rules they don’t show you up front is a no go to me. Glad Peerspace came thru! Wish they had 24/7 hours too for an emergency.

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Wow, so sorry you had to experience this, Smac_M. I suppose you were giving them leeway because they were young? I find that I let some things go and give young people a chance to answer questions when what they inquire raises flags. I haven’t had this bad of experience with Peer space but with Airbnb. The guy started giving me cryptic messages and unrelated info as to why he needed to cancel but never hit the “cancel” and got upset with me that he wasn’t seeing a refund on his card. Just because the person said he did not threaten you, please remain vigilant, the person has the location.