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Oct 2, 2016

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Probes Uber, Airbnb Reviews

Customer reviews left on popular ride sharing app Uber and vacation home rental service Airbnb are being put under a magnifying glass in Australia. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is teaming up with consumer agencies overseas to look into whether companies like Uber and Airbnb are efficiently and legally managing their customer reviews, the Sydney Morning Herald reported

In Australia, it's against consumer law for businesses to produce misleading or false representations in the form of testimonials. 

"Operators of sharing economy platforms must make sure that they have appropriate policies to regulate the use of reviews to avoid misleading consumers," said ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard.

According to the ACCC, businesses like Airbnb and Uber are required by law to be transparent about their commercial relationships. They're not allowed to edit or delete unfavorable reviews. 

This latest move comes as sharing economies continue to rise in popularity across the globe, CNETreported

Rickard said she is positive about sharing economies rising in popularity, but companies need to do right by their customers. 

"Be transparent about commercial relationships and don't let these influence the order in which reviews are published, don't post or publish misleading reviews, and editing or deleting unfavorable reviews may be misleading," Rickard said.

Theoretically, this gives customers a better idea of which websites are honest in their reviews so they can make more educated decisions when it comes to the services they choose to spend money on.

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