Both AirBnB and Uber have been getting a lot of press lately and most of it hasn’t been positive. I’ve been using both frequently on my trips to Ottawa, but I’m re-thinking the services as of late.
With the fight against the taxi companies sort of behind them, scandal after scandal the past few weeks has #deleteuber trending on social media. The story I read that turned me off was the blog post of a former employee who was harassed by management and then ignored by HR.
For me, this story was enough to turn me off Uber, despite the significant savings the service offers me when I travel. When I last took a taxi, the ride cost me nearly 3x what I had paid for the same trip with Uber. Working at a non-profit, whether I’m expensing the ride or it’s out of my pocket, those savings are hard to ignore.
As we have learned though, those savings come off the backs of drivers. Whether or not Uber drivers were ever supposed to be able to live off ride-sharing doesn’t take away from a deplorable corporate culture that is against everything I believe. Bye Uber.
For AirBnB, there has been major criticism lately in cities like Toronto, where the home-sharing service has put demand for rental units at an all-time high and is creating a real shortage of housing for people.
A personal encounter with a neighbour on a recent stay also reminded me of the risks you run using AirBnB. Risks like having your car dragged onto the street for parking in the wrong spot. Thankfully, this didn’t happen, but it was threatened.
He was very annoyed at both the fact I was a stranger, and I was in the wrong parking space. The fact someone else was in my spot was no matter, and I could sympathize with this guy who likely deals with this problem all the time. When parking is at a premium in your neighbourhood, ignorant visitors are surely the bane of your existance. The cost of living in a trendy neighbourhood maybe, but tiresome nonetheless.
It’s a common problem in condo buildings also where AirBnB units are allowed. Guests take visitor parking leaving no room for residents’ visitors. The constant revolving door of strangers would also concern me if I lived in one of these buildings myself.
For me, it was also a stark reminder that AirBnB isn’t welcome everywhere, even when it’s being used as originally intended to rent out a space or your home to other travellers. And while I’m not giving up on AirBnB, I am going to be even more selective on where I stay and when I use it.
Finally, I’m pretty stoked to share that I won an annual membership to Wanderful and I can’t wait to check this community out more. Wanderful is a travel community for women, offering its members everything from travel discounts to homestay opportunities to local tips and more. A huge thanks to Lindsay at I’ve Been Bit for running this giveaway!
Funny enough, Lindsay and I live in the same city and she also loves doing Grey-Bruce trips. Small world!
Have you had any experiences with the “sharing economy” which have made you re-think its value? Do any of the concerns raised lately worry you?