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Airbnb to combat dodgy hosts

View profile for Tim Field
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Airbnb has been riding the wave of the ‘sharing economy’, along with sites such as Uber and eBay, to create a success story in the hospitality industry. However, it has not been all plain sailing. 

Horror stories from both guests and hosts has resulted in a number of global lawsuits against the company since its origin. Such issues are nearly always found with new and innovative companies, and ultimately Airbnb has transformed the lodging industry for 150 million users. 

The ‘sharing economy’ and social media platforms have joined forces to create a culture where our actions are based on the opinions of others. Whether it is a criticism of a solar-powered lamp on Amazon, or an appraisal of a sea-side restaurant on TripAdvisor, our online purchases are influenced by what other people think. This is also the case for Airbnb. 

With an estimated 500,000 Airbnb renters every night, it is predictable that thousands of people wish to share their opinion with browsing users. Currently boarders have just 14 days after their trip to write a review, and cannot write any form of review if they cancel their booking. Customers who are repulsed upon arrival, or leave the accommodation early, are not entitled to critique the host on the Airbnb website, meaning another poor unsuspecting traveller may suffer the same misfortune. 

Well no longer. Thankfully, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has stepped in. Following a UK investigation, the CMA has forced Airbnb to change its online review policy in the UK. Somewhat virtuously, Airbnb has exceeded expectation, and aims to implement this policy globally by 31 August 2017. The keyboard will continue to be the strongest weapon to combat dodgy hosts.

Written by work experience student Rob Aherne.

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