Posting cease and desist warnings in social media is a terrible customer engagement strategy. The bigger problem is the essential home on-demand challenge: Trust. Consumers will provide access to a home or a pet based on personal knowledge, not just ratings. Trust may start with ratings, but it cannot carry the weight of customer security — think about how eBay’s sales have migrated to public venues where, say, a car is transferred, out of fear of robbery. Combined with threats of libel suits against customers still searching for a pet lost by the company, this demonstrates the local trust problem every on-demand company seeking access to the home must address. It requires people referring or vouching for on-demand workers personally.
Wag Labs Inc., the app’s parent company, did something unusual for a tech company: fired off a cease and desist letter to one of its own customers. “If your retraction and apology to Wag! are not publicly posted to each and every social media platform that you have used to libel Wag! within 24 hours of the time of this email, this office has been authorized to use all available means to bring as swift as possible an end to your lies,” company attorney Mark Warren Moody wrote.
Source: Wag, the ‘Uber for Dog-Walking,’ Is Drawing Uber-Like Scrutiny – Bloomberg
Lalamove has a service and delivery fulfillment platform and $100 million in new funding, brining the total to $130 million.
Lalamove provides delivery services across Asia and says it has around 2 million drivers across 50 cities in mainland China, and six in Southeast Asia. It would be a mistake to think of the startup as simply a personal Uber van delivery service of sorts, for getting furniture delivered on your next move and so forth; Lalamove is a full fledged logistics on-demand service for SMEs.
Source: Lalamove Scores $100M Investment From China: Is This Hong Kong’s Next Unicorn?
Pratical stories of big savings in small businesses using on-demand labor to get work done without FTEs.
While the sharing economy has been a boon for people in general to tap into cheaper and convenient services, some enterprising SMEs are availing of their services to cut costs and boost the bottom line.
Source: Sharing economy serves up savings to small businesses
Real estate comes with a built-in rental option in the on-demand economy. Airbnb inaugurated its first apartment building project in Orlando last week. Residents can rent their apartment almost half of the year. Many municipalities are considering allowing similar developments, all with significant limitations on rental usage to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods.
The 324-unit building was announced last Thursday as part of Airbnb’s new partnership with Miami’s Newgard Development Group and will be known as “Niido Powered by Airbnb.” Upon signing an annual lease, all residents will be able to rent out their apartments through Airbnb for up to 180 nights per year.
Source: Orlando Will Have the World’s First Airbnb-branded Apartments | Travel + Leisure
Two reports today about the negative impact of current on-demand business models, which impart ultimate flexibility to the employer while limiting workers’ ability plan and prosper. The Salvation Army (see quote below) reports seeing many more poverty-stricken workers because of the rise of part-time work. The Center for American Progress graphic below summarizes the plight of the on-demand worker. The CAP’s report makes suggestions based on early efforts in some cities to address the problem.
A new report by the Salvation Army has found insecure employment arrangements are driving an increasing number of workers into poverty.The data, extracted from the Salvation Army’s financial counselling service, show the number of casual and part-time workers seeking support has increased by 140 per cent over a 12-year period, outstripping all other client groups.
Source: The ‘gig economy’ is forcing workers into poverty: Salvation Army report
Uber is retrenching around a better customer and driver experiencd,e pausing its geographic expansion.
The taxi-app has reportedly withdrawn applications for operating licences in Oxford, Hull, Bournemouth, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, and Sandwell in the West Midlands.
Source: REPORT: Uber is being forced to rethink its UK expansion plans – Business Insider
Washington State Legislator Monica Stonier (D – Vancouver) is launching legislation to require on-demand companies pay up to $6 an hour toward a portable benefits plan for workers.
This session, I will introduce legislation requiring gig companies to contribute to a portable benefits fund that would provide contributions to health insurance, paid time off, retirement, and workers’ compensation insurance. The benefits would make a meaningful difference to gig workers without overburdening fast-growing companies with benefits administration. Companies would be required to contribute either 25% of the fee charged to consumers or $6 per hour to an independent benefits administrator. Workers would have a say in the benefits they receive, accounting for at least half the members of the independent benefits administrator boards that administer the funds.
Source: GIg Economy Workers Deserve Benefits
In the U.K., cooperative organizations are becoming a centerpiece of Labour’s approach to on-demand platform companies. Juno, an American ridesharing cooperative, has struggled to gain acceptance, though that could change if Democrats win in 2018.
The Labour leader will set out his party’s vision to ensure that the benefits of new technology are spread widely. Addressing the Co-operative Party conference, he will say: “The technology of the digital age should empower us both as workers and consumers, allowing us to co-operate on a scale . . . that wasn’t possible in the past.
Source: Jeremy Corbyn: Replace gig economy firms like Uber with co‑operatives | News | The Times & The Sunday Times
Customer-focus, not bro-focus, will be an important part of Uber’s turnaround, if Travis Kalanick lets that happen.
“We can’t do anything in a silo anymore — it has to be super-collaborative. And this is a very conscious change,” Graf explained. “We did our strategic planning for the second half of this year, and customer obsession was our key theme, and customer obsession means you don’t develop for your team, you develop for your customer, and that means the rider, the driver, the eater; you do what’s right for them, and that means there are several people who chime in for this.”
Source: Uber product lead Daniel Graf explains Uber’s shifted approach to building tech | TechCrunch
Uber will get its day in British courts on Dec. 11.
Uber lodged an appeal with a British court after the ride-hailing app lost its operating license in London, the company said on Friday. The appeal hearing is likely to be on December 11, according to a spokesperson for the U.K. judiciary office. Uber said that the appeal was filed at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London.
Source: Uber appeals London ban with hearing likely in December