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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    NW Oregon Coast
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    IS this extortion

    hypothetical:

    1. you have a rental home, a historic 100 year old home. full home. 3 bedroom, dinning room living room...the whole home.

    2. you rent it to four people for three nights

    3. bats show up during their stay...they call your on site manager, he shows up, finds out where the bats entered, plugs it up and leaves. bats are a protected species. you can'ty kill them.

    4. some remain in the old fireplace flue. a few are still fliting about the house.

    5. your four renters stay the entire three nights.

    6. upon leaving, they call you up, and complain.

    7. you say, alright, let me talk to my husband, my manager, give me three days. i think we will be able to make an adjustment, but I need a few days.

    8. they immediately reject your request for a few days, and demand immediate repayment of their money, or else they will start an intenet campaign against you.

    9. You've had a bad couple of days, so you hang up on them.

    10 yadayaddayadda....they keep calling you back, wanting their money back or they will begin a campaign against you.

    11. they leave a phone message which says "give us at least a days money back or else you'll be sorry."

    12. you have that recorded proof of them threaening your business unless you pay them back some money.

    13. They then begin a campaign, which results in a bad review from them on an internet hoem rental site that you use.


    14. they use their jobs as (say) bank officers in a nearby town as part of this campaign, including their banks official email service for coorespondence, and identifying themselves as bak officers when they are complaining to various entities.



    is this extortion? do you have proof? what would you do?

    thanks for any and all opinions
    IF I PUT IT HERE ITS MY OPINION. apparently i have no idea when i need to say that in a post, so this should cover it....IN MY OPINION anyways,

    welcome to the gates of hell JVDS.




    Jose Baez: “I sincerely believe that when we have finally spoken, everyone, and I mean everyone, will sit back and say, ‘Now, I understand. That explains it.’”



    Jose Baez to da judge :

    ".....that type of testing is unique. we requested that they be allowed to test items and that of course was objected to by the state and and uh the state uh granted or sustained their objection, denied our opportunity to have him test these items due to a very specialized field, subfield, of dna that he is one of the pioneers of uh in the alternative of we were granted the ability to test certain items by an outside lab...."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    12,328
    Wow that's a tough one, and maybe a good question for our legal eagles. If they didn't like the house due to the bats, they should have left. IMHO, calling you after the fact is not an appropriate request.

    I would certainly think that if they posted a negative comment on a web site, you could follow up with your own comment (not in a snarky way - just present the facts).

    I would also tell them if they want to take this further, an on-line campaign is slander (depending on what they say) and to meet you in small claims court.

    They want their cake, and they don't want to pay for it. I might agree to a partial credit, but not all 3 days.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Best of luck!

    Mel

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,939
    I have no legal expertise. But, as my favorite TV judge (Judy) has said, many times, "you don't complain about the meal you ate at a restaurant, but eat the whole thing!" (for your situation...if the stay was that bad, due to the bats, why did you stay the whole time?) To me, that's a forfeiture of any refund.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,034
    Was this a high tourist area where it might have been difficult to find other lodgings?
    Were they offered a full immediate refund if they chose not to stay when they first learned of the bat problem?
    "Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come."
    - Kafka
    "Know the right moment."

    What I type here is mostly my opinion.
    I really don't care if my opinions offend.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    NW Oregon Coast
    Posts
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    thanks...we did the response to the site, and I would have agreed to a partial payment had they not been threatening and unreasonable, by demanding an immediate repayment.

    wonder if their using the email service of their bank and their positions as bank officers to pursue their retribution, which they indicated could be avoided if I repaid them, is a problem for them and something I should complain about. to the bank?


    also is saying, "I want my money back or I'm gonna complain" extortion?


    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie View Post
    Wow that's a tough one, and maybe a good question for our legal eagles. If they didn't like the house due to the bats, they should have left. IMHO, calling you after the fact is not an appropriate request.

    I would certainly think that if they posted a negative comment on a web site, you could follow up with your own comment (not in a snarky way - just present the facts).

    I would also tell them if they want to take this further, an on-line campaign is slander (depending on what they say) and to meet you in small claims court.

    They want their cake, and they don't want to pay for it. I might agree to a partial credit, but not all 3 days.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Best of luck!

    Mel
    IF I PUT IT HERE ITS MY OPINION. apparently i have no idea when i need to say that in a post, so this should cover it....IN MY OPINION anyways,

    welcome to the gates of hell JVDS.




    Jose Baez: “I sincerely believe that when we have finally spoken, everyone, and I mean everyone, will sit back and say, ‘Now, I understand. That explains it.’”



    Jose Baez to da judge :

    ".....that type of testing is unique. we requested that they be allowed to test items and that of course was objected to by the state and and uh the state uh granted or sustained their objection, denied our opportunity to have him test these items due to a very specialized field, subfield, of dna that he is one of the pioneers of uh in the alternative of we were granted the ability to test certain items by an outside lab...."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    NW Oregon Coast
    Posts
    1,821
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan's Mom View Post
    Was this a high tourist area where it might have been difficult to find other lodgings?
    Were they offered a full immediate refund if they chose not to stay when they first learned of the bat problem?
    yes it was a high tourist area. there were other places available.

    they asked the manager for a refund at some point. he told them it was above his pay grade and they would need to talk to us, the owners.

    they stayed but didnt call us to demand a refund till they left, three days later.

    the first we heard they wanted a refund was when they called on their way home.
    IF I PUT IT HERE ITS MY OPINION. apparently i have no idea when i need to say that in a post, so this should cover it....IN MY OPINION anyways,

    welcome to the gates of hell JVDS.




    Jose Baez: “I sincerely believe that when we have finally spoken, everyone, and I mean everyone, will sit back and say, ‘Now, I understand. That explains it.’”



    Jose Baez to da judge :

    ".....that type of testing is unique. we requested that they be allowed to test items and that of course was objected to by the state and and uh the state uh granted or sustained their objection, denied our opportunity to have him test these items due to a very specialized field, subfield, of dna that he is one of the pioneers of uh in the alternative of we were granted the ability to test certain items by an outside lab...."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,034
    Quote Originally Posted by oh_gal View Post
    I have no legal expertise. But, as my favorite TV judge (Judy) has said, many times, "you don't complain about the meal you ate at a restaurant, but eat the whole thing!" (for your situation...if the stay was that bad, due to the bats, why did you stay the whole time?) To me, that's a forfeiture of any refund.

    Disclaimer*I do take issue with the threats of slander and I agree the way that was handled by the renters is wrong.

    The hypothetical answer would really depend on if other lodging was available in the area and what kind of options were presented when the problem was discovered.

    Example: Say my sister is getting married in Florida and wants the family to travel or say someone died and we have to attend an out of town funeral.

    I am a single mother and while I have a decent job, I'm still paycheck to paycheck. I set up reservations for this place out of town and pay for it with my debit visa card. That money is now gone.
    When I get to the rental place, I find out there are bats or something else that makes the place uncomfortable, but since I've already used what limited money I have to pay for this place, I really can't afford to up and get another on such short notice.
    And even if I could get a refund on the rental, it does not go back into my account for about three days, more if this is a weekend. So, I decide to make do with the circumstances and deal with the inconvenience it's caused me and my family.
    Now, do I not deserve some kind of immediate refund since the place I originally rented was not given to me as was presented and promised? Everyone involved was aware of the bats; me, the property manager and the owners, so it's no surprise to those that rented the property to me.
    In fact, I would go so far to say, something should have been offered to the renters at the time the problem was discovered.
    "Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come."
    - Kafka
    "Know the right moment."

    What I type here is mostly my opinion.
    I really don't care if my opinions offend.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,034
    I need to add that while I think something should have been offered to the renters for their inconvenience, the way they went about handling the situation was horrible and reminds me of the type of people that are internet bullies. I am sure I probably would have reacted the same way as the owners of the property.
    "Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come."
    - Kafka
    "Know the right moment."

    What I type here is mostly my opinion.
    I really don't care if my opinions offend.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,939
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan's Mom View Post
    Disclaimer*I do take issue with the threats of slander and I agree the way that was handled by the renters is wrong.

    The hypothetical answer would really depend on if other lodging was available in the area and what kind of options were presented when the problem was discovered.

    Example: Say my sister is getting married in Florida and wants the family to travel or say someone died and we have to attend an out of town funeral.

    I am a single mother and while I have a decent job, I'm still paycheck to paycheck. I set up reservations for this place out of town and pay for it with my debit visa card. That money is now gone.
    When I get to the rental place, I find out there are bats or something else that makes the place uncomfortable, but since I've already used what limited money I have to pay for this place, I really can't afford to up and get another on such short notice.
    And even if I could get a refund on the rental, it does not go back into my account for about three days, more if this is a weekend. So, I decide to make do with the circumstances and deal with the inconvenience it's caused me and my family.
    Now, do I not deserve some kind of immediate refund since the place I originally rented was not given to me as was presented and promised? Everyone involved was aware of the bats; me, the property manager and the owners, so it's no surprise to those that rented the property to me.
    In fact, I would go so far to say, something should have been offered to the renters at the time the problem was discovered.
    Well, that would be like the person in my illustration saying, "hey, I paid for this dinner with my debit card, I can't get a refund, and there was no where else to eat -- everyplace else was booked! So I ate it. But I still want my money back, because I didn't like it."

    Judge Judy would probably tell them to get lost and not waste her time.

    Again, I'm only a consumer, not a judge.

    I think it comes down to "restoration." You have a legal right to be "restored" to your original position, or state. You don't get to have your cake (stay 3 days) and eat it too (get a full refund). You don't get to be restored to "better than your original state."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by oh_gal View Post
    Well, that would be like the person in my illustration saying, "hey, I paid for this dinner with my debit card, I can't get a refund, and there was no where else to eat -- everyplace else was booked! So I ate it. But I still want my money back, because I didn't like it."

    Judge Judy would probably tell them to get lost and not waste her time.

    Again, I'm only a consumer, not a judge.

    I think it comes down to "restoration." You have a legal right to be "restored" to your original position, or state. You don't get to have your cake (stay 3 days) and eat it too (get a full refund). You don't get to be restored to "better than your original state."

    I understand what you are saying, but $5 for a value meal is a lot different than hundreds of dollars for lodging. It's not going to hurt me to lose a meal, leaving an already paid for rental when I don't have the money to get another will.
    And I never suggested the renters should get a full refund, only some kind of partial reimbursement since the lodging was not presented as promised when the reservation was made.
    "Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come."
    - Kafka
    "Know the right moment."

    What I type here is mostly my opinion.
    I really don't care if my opinions offend.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,939
    Just to clarify: my "restoration" comments were not made regarding anyone's meal. It's something I've heard several times, in several different legal situations.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    12,328
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan's Mom View Post
    I understand what you are saying, but $5 for a value meal is a lot different than hundreds of dollars for lodging. It's not going to hurt me to lose a meal, leaving an already paid for rental when I don't have the money to get another will.
    And I never suggested the renters should get a full refund, only some kind of partial reimbursement since the lodging was not presented as promised when the reservation was made.
    I agree on the partial reimbursement. Was the owner aware of the presence of bats? Did the manager call the owner (which I think would be out of courtesy if nothing else). And, did the owner call the occupants and apologize for the inconvenience.

    I think bats are much more of an inconvenience than a bad ham sammich. But that's my opinion.

    I hear ya on the "nowhere else to go". I've been on many pre-paid trips, and I couldn't just up and leave because I couldn't afford to spend "double" at another location. It's really up to the owner to find them another accomodation (just like a hotel - if you don't like your room, they move you to another).

    I've also had the occasion where a hotel was sold out (that I had already paid for) and they put me in another hotel, with transportation. That's an exception though.

    Many different thoughts on this as a consumer, and looking at the owners POV.

    However, I think a smear campaign on the internet is entirely wrong. Extortion - I'm not so sure about. I've certainly given negative feedback even when money isn't involved.

    This is a tough one.

    MOO

    Mel

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Body-Salt Lake City Soul-the Ocean
    Posts
    178
    Your guests were in danger of rabies (common with bats), probably had no money to rent other lodging, and you didn't find other lodging for them when the bat infestation was known. They are in the right to warn other prospective guests. Nobody deserves that vacation from hell.
    MOO

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10,176
    it's not the owner's problem that the lodgers did not or could not for whatever reason, go somewhere else

    in fact, if they really felt strongly about it, they could've gone home and demanded a full refund the first day ... but they chose to live with the bats, albeit temporarily

    however, I do think telling them that an answer would be forthcoming in three days or a few days is unreasonable - they should've had an answer within the hour and at the very least by the end of the day - that's just good business IMO

    I think it's disgusting that they are using threatening language but I do feel that one day's compensation is reasonable

    I would log a complaint with the police just in case this escalates and tell the cops that you're perfectly willing to give them a partial refund but the threats are frightening



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