The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01513

Submission Number:
01513
Commenter:
D Gellen
State:
Utah
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
This is in response to an AirBnB solicitation email telling us to comment about their services. Unfortunately, we cannot be supportive of the AirBnB business model from a host perspective. We have not found it to contribute to our expenses nor can we say that it contributes to the local economy. The system is unwieldy for hosts to appropriately price guest accommodations. It does not allow for breaking out the detail of the overnight rate, taxes, cleaning, or any other costs to the hosts. Everything is reported as a lump sum. Consequently, guests are not seeing a true nightly rate and are always negotiating for a lower rate. These rates are not realistic. The rate of realized occupancy to "inquiries" is about 1 in 25. Virtually 100% of these inquiries do not communicate they will not be staying. There is no way in the AirBnB system to let other hosts or AirBnB know that specific guests just shop around. This is all very time consuming for the potential benefits. Communicating this or any other issues to AirBnB is impossible. Support is nonexistent. When contact is eventually made, the individuals response is just that that's the way it works take it or leave it. They are only interested in taking their "cut". We cannot endorse AirBnB or the experience they are promoting.