Laws, taxes, and regulations governing short-term rentals and hotels vary from location to location, and home-sharing platforms like Airbnb remind their users that they are obligated to comply with all relevant restrictions in their area. But when it’s clear that many users are not following the rules, should the company be held responsible? [More]
Though you might think of Uber and Lyft drivers as employees of those ridesharing services, the companies maintain that drivers are independent contractors who simply use the Uber or Lyft platforms to connect with passengers. That now means that several thousand of these independent operators in San Francisco must each obtain a business license.
For a few years now, Starbucks has been rolling out a plan to make some of its stores a more festive place to gather in the evening, which serve beer and wine. In San Francisco, the company applied for three licenses, and the city didn’t want to approve them, citing how many businesses with liquor license the city already has, and not wanting to set a precedent for approving booze in chain eateries. [More]
Less than two months after Uber agreed to pay $28.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of misleading consumers about its “industry leading” safety procedures, the ride-hailing company is ready to put another case behind it. The company will pay $25 million to settle a civil lawsuit with the district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco over nearly identical allegations. [More]
If you’ve been renting out your home in San Francisco through services like Airbnb and HomeAway, you’re about to start paying more taxes. The city is notifying hosts that they’ll have to submit an itemized list for items like dishes, bedding, and any other supplies they purchase for their rentals. [More]
While Google is based in the San Francisco Bay area, the closest the Internet biggie has come to bringing Google Fiber to the region is listing San Jose as a “potential” Fiber market for the future. But today, Google announced that at least some people in San Francisco will be able to get its high-speed data service. [More]
With visitors coming to town for a high-profile sporting event next week, two high-rise buildings in San Francisco sold exterior ad space to Verizon and to Visa. There’s a problem, though: the ads, which are 15 and seven stories high respectively, are illegal, and the city wants them to come down before the Super Bowl. [More]
If you’re planning on heading to California on Feb. 7 to catch the Super Bowl showdown between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, be ready to have your bank account sacked. Tickets for the big game are currently selling for record-high prices.
If you don’t live or work in San Francisco and you aren’t an AirBNB host, you probably haven’t heard of Proposition F. The proposition asked the people of San Francisco to decide the future of short-term rentals through AirBNB and similar services, limiting the number of days per year a space could be rented to 75 and creating stricter penalties for hosts who disrupt their neighbors’ lives. The measure failed. [More]
Companies that send vehicles on demand also enjoy giving people the ability to summon other things with the power of their smartphones, like when Uber let people in select cities summon puppies and kittens or free fruit deliveries when the company was suspended from giving rides in Germany. Lyft’s Halloween publicity stunt is less cuddly and more spooky: they’ll send you zombies on demand if you order one. [More]
Fixed is a smartphone app that tried to help drivers dispute parking tickets, but that aspect of the service is no longer usable in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Oakland after those cities blocked the company’s access to their parking enforcement websites. [More]
A San Francisco man who fancied himself a landlord and building manager — but who apparently failed to do more than just collect rent that he didn’t always pay up the ladder — has been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to tenants who paid exorbitant sums to live in “squalid” conditions with phantom appliances, exposed wiring, and rodents run amok. [More]
After years of running its Google Express service — which offers same-day delivery on merchandise and packaged foods from a variety of retailers to customers in a handful of markets around the country — the Internet giant is now reportedly confident enough to try its hand at bringing fresh food and groceries to consumers’ doors. [More]
Comcast’s low-cost Internet Essentials program, cooked up during its acquisition of NBC as a way for the company to look good when trying to appease lawmakers and regulators, has been criticized for having eligibility standards that effectively lock out the elderly and childless. The company even recently fought back against California’s attempt to expand eligibility for the program. But today the company announced that it’s expanding Essentials coverage to include older low-income users, but only in the San Francisco area. [More]
Following a bit of consumer confusion related to rolling its ride-hailing and food ordering options into the same app back in June, Uber has finally pushed out an update aiming to ensure people looking for a ride don’t order a sandwich instead. Along with now prominently displaying separate buttons for requesting a ride and ordering via UberEATS, the update includes an expansion of the food delivery service to San Francisco. [More]
The next time you see a Google Street View car cruising down your block, it might be doing more than just snapping photos — it could be tracking air pollution.
NFL Sunday Ticket — a pricey add-on sports package that offers live access to every out-of-market Sunday afternoon NFL game — is exclusively available through DirecTV, and will remain that way for years to come. But some bar owners allege that the satellite company’s deal with the NFL creates an illegal monopoly. [More]
The city of San Francisco and Airbnb have a somewhat contentious relationship, most recently involving tens of millions of dollars in back-taxes the short-term rental company agreed to pay the city earlier this year. Now, to ensure things continue to go smoothly for renters and rentees of services like Airbnb, the city has created a new office for the sole purpose of enforcing rules regarding vacation and short-term rentals. [More]