When “Sharing Economy” Goes Wrong: Case BlaBlaCar


When I used BlaBlaCar, the European based ride service that has a terrible app and equally horrible website, I wrote about my positive experience here from Tarifa to Seville.

Bla Bla

Yesterday, however, the service didn’t work as intended. I was on my way from Barcelona to Andorra and decided to give the service a second try.

I booked a same day trip from Barcelona to Andorra and messaged the driver both within the app and by SMS. The SMS didn’t go through indicating that the number was not in use.

There was no replies to the messages left within the app and I had to rush to the bus station to catch a direct bus that turned out to be an almost private experience. The bus was great and only had two other riders.

Bla Bla Refund

BlaBlaCar has apparently processed a refund after I notified them that the driver didn’t show up. Well, there was no refund request option for not being able to communicate with the driver about the pick up place.


The problem I have with all these “sharing economy” providers and apps is that they are not really standing behind their promise at all. They only provide you a refund regardless what hassle you might have gone through. You usually then have to then rely on the trusted form of firms and services that have been around for ages.

Would I ever use Airbnb, because I cannot be sure that the host would show up regardless of the rating they might have like was the case with this non-existent ride with Monica?

And the problem also is that you cannot leave negative feedback for these people. You can only rate them if you had successful transaction. I would have wanted to give a low score to a few Uber drivers that have canceled the ride after waiting for them.

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