The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01242

Submission Number:
01242
Commenter:
Ellen Highfield
State:
Massachusetts
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
To Whom It May Concern I have been both a host and a guest utilizing Airbnb for several years. I highly regard this business model and, I depend on it for both supplemental income, and finding safe places to stay for my own vacations. I have used Airbnb in Israel, Puerto Rico, England as well as numerous places in the US. As a host I know that Airbnb backs up their promises of keeping both me and their guests safe. Not only can I see a potential guest on line before I allow them into my home, but, I can comment on them publicly as well as have an opportunity to report any untoward behavior off-line directly to Airbnb. This allows for a very fair and safe situation. I have never had an issue with any Airbnb guest, but, knowing that I can review the guest on line, so that future hosts know about whom they will be dealing, with is a great bonus. I have run a small bed and breakfast out of my house for many years. While I do speak to potential guests before allowing them to book, when they come in through my own website, I have no protection, and, if they are unreasonable (sloppy, rude, destructive) I have no back up what so ever. With Airbnb, I have recourse. With guests that book through my website it is a one-way review process - if they are dissatisfied with my accommodation, THEY can complain on line through several review services like Trip Advisor, but, I cannot report back on their behavior. Airbnb provides a more transparent, safe and ultimately successful method for both hosting and being hosted. I wholeheartedly support their model, and, I depend on it for income. I am more then happy to expand on this should you care to contact me in person. Thank you, Ellen Highfield