The latest govermnent to impose rules on short-term rental site Airnbnb is New York: while the law is statewide, it’s mostly intended to clamp down on whole-apartment rentals that critics say are affecting the supply and prices of housing in New York City. The governor signed the law on Friday, and Airbnb immediately sued. Now the state won’t enforce the law until the lawsuit has been resolved. [More]
Visiting an American Girl Doll store is an amazing bit of “experiential retail,” which is a thing that people actually say. The stores offer a historical fiction and a highly customizable world designed around school-age girls. The company’s flagship store in Manhattan is at the end of its lease, and is moving to a space in Rockefeller Center that will be even more easily found by tourists. It will include a “media studio,” massive party rooms, and other features for an immersive brand-centric experience. [More]
The people who drive for Uber in New York City are independent contractors and not employees of the ride-hailing service, at least according to current laws. Drivers know that, but want a union-like group that would advocate for workers’ concerns with the company, even if it doesn’t engage in collective bargaining to set fares. Uber has agreed to work with a non-union, the Independent Drivers Guild, which will meet with the company and help drivers appeal when they’re “deactivated,” or fired. [More]
You might remember last week that we reported about Uber’s plans to cut fares by about 15% in New York City. Customers are surely delighted, and some drivers are happy to have less downtime, but other drivers are less thrilled, and around 1,000 drivers are expected to go on strike today at noon. [More]
For the last half of 2015, Whole Foods has been coping with the fallout from admitting that yes, its stores in New York City priced some items that were packaged and weighed in the store incorrectly. After paying an $800,000 settlement last year in California for pretty much the same thing, Whole Foods has will pay the penalty and submit to quarterly audits. [More]
There are dog watchers, dog walkers, dog hotels, and dog salons, but when you just need to keep your pooch pal outside of a store for a couple of minutes while you run an errand, do you resort to the old “tie the leash to the parking meter” technique? A startup in NYC is betting that you’ll be willing to pay for the convenience of stashing your dog in a “curbside kennel” while you shop. [More]
We’ve all heard stories of airline passengers being removed from planes because of apparently minor disputes with the flight crew, but a Dallas man says he wasn’t even allowed to board his Virgin America flight because he made the crew uncomfortable. [More]
In an era where retail is increasingly moving online, some shoppers still prefer to deal with actual human beings when they go to the store. But the folks at Best Buy believe that some in-store customer service tasks may be best done by automatons. [More]
In Uber’s quest to take over the world, expansion is key — the more drivers it has on the roads picking up passengers, the better its business will do. But in New York City, the company will have to fight to grow its fleet as local authorities consider putting limits on just how many for-hire vehicles will be cruising the streets.
In 2014, California regulators caught Whole Foods overcharging customers, and things have only gotten worse for the upscale grocery store chain, which is currently under investigation for similar allegations in New York (where it also faces a civil suit from customers). That’s why Whole Foods’ co-CEOs issued a joint, heavily qualified, mea culpa about the situation. [More]
Every city has its own rules on how Uber drivers are allowed to operate, and in New York City that means black and livery cars can’t cruise around trying to pick up passengers on the streets. As such, officials impounded the cars of 496 Uber drivers this spring in a crackdown on illegal pickups.
It costs a lot of money driving into New York City through the Hudson River tunnels or over the George Washington Bridge, and subways and cabs certainly aren’t free. So you can’t fault tourists who assume they have to pay to ride the free Staten Island Ferry — but more than $200 per ticket? [More]
Cable company installation horror stories usually involve things like poorly run cords, maybe a dead gecko, gaping holes in walls, possibly having your house condemned, and the occasional tech who pees into a bag instead of in the bathroom. But a woman in Staten Island says a disagreement with her Time Warner Cable tech escalated to the point of him assaulting her in her house. [More]
You may be familiar with Bolt Bus: they’re a discount line that provides direct service between cities in the Northeast and on the West Coast. Some passengers traveling from New York to Boston were fortunate to escape their vehicle before it was engulfed in flames about 15 minutes outside of Boston. [More]
Getting paid to spy for your government isn’t just something for the movies: In New York City, lawmakers are introducing a bill that would reward citizens who report drivers of idling vehicles and submit a video of the act as proof.
Two-thirds of the flights scheduled to arrive today at New York’s LaGuardia airport have already been canceled, mostly due to the latest snow storm to slam the Mid-Atlantic region. And there are 130 who probably wish their Delta flight to LGA had called off after it slid off the runway this morning. [More]
If I get arrested for stealing a car, that boosted vehicle probably isn’t waiting outside the police station for me to drive away in when I make bail. But a man in New York City who was recently arrested for stealing a home from its rightful owner was able to move back into the house he’s been accused of taking. [More]
While 52 other mayors from around the country were recently reminded that Comcast is an important contributor to election campaigns, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City has been busy warning the FCC that the pending merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable is fraught with potential problems. [More]