Consumers call for regulation of sharing economy industry

Following the recent collapses of MilkRun, DashMart, Deliveroo and others, Australian consumers believe a regulatory body is needed for the sharing economy.

A recent poll by Software Advice showed that 82 per cent of respondents believe the government should make greater efforts to supervise the commercial practices of the sharing economy.

The study gathered responses from over 5000 consumers in Australia, the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Germany, and revealed that Australians are the largest users of sharing economy services at 38 per cent.

Of those concerned about the sharing economy, 43 per cent stated a clear need for a regulating environment, while only 29 per cent who utilised the sharing economy considered this a negative due to grey areas in some businesses that the government does not regulate.

Andrew Blair, Content Analyst at Software Advice, said the biggest advantage of sharing economy practices that include food-related services, such as food delivery services, is convenience.

“Businesses looking to stay competitive in this area must offer their customers the convenience they are accustomed to when these services are dissolving.”

The sectors respondents think are most in need of government regulation are accommodation at 50 per cent, education at 49 per cent, transportation at 43 per cent, and food services at 40 per cent.

Over half of Australians who expressed concern over the sharing economy said their biggest issue was labour exploitation, while 66 per cent of respondents said they check to see if their consumer rights entitle them to a repair, replacement, or refund before purchasing a product or service.

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