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Citizens communication at City Hall

LaustinAustin

Well-Known Member
While I am in 100% support of your complaint, if I was on the city Council, I would tell you "thank you for the information, but quit wasting my time and go talk to Uber about your complaint."
He speaks wisely. But there may be something we can approach them with that garners their interest. Always follow the money. what gripes do they have with UBER? Are any of them similar to ours and if so, can we fashion our 2 minute speech to piggy back on their complaints? UBER's lack of transparency on the number of trips taken from the airport comes to mind. Just sayin
 

Native Austinite

Active Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Two things get council listening: fraud and money. Tie the two together, and point out the city is allowing them to operate this way (enabling).

The fraud is all over the place; from the radio ads/ craigslist ads that tell you how much you can make to the artificial surge price gouges.

The article on background checks reveals that UBER is being sued by "attorneys (who) argue that ... Uber is making "false and misleading" claims." So if that is grounds for a lawsuit, just fill in the blanks. Keep it simple.
 

BramasoleATX

Well-Known Member
And your end goal then is to shut Uber down for fraud?
Radio ads and print ads are carefully crafted and if you read the fine print they always are backed up by a guarantee. Once the guarantee expires the driver is on his own.
The artificial surge theory will be impossible to prove.
I think the only real item that could get attention is that it is impossible for Uber X drivers to make a living at the bare-bones rate being currently charged.
Then any intelligent person would just ask the independent contractor why they would subject themselves to such an agreement and to move on to something else more lucrative. Uber is operating in a free economy and can negotiate any rate it wants with independent contractors as long as there are people willing to sign up and do it.
With all of the Uber drivers in Austin & around the country bragging about their $400 surge trips and $2000 a week income and $90,000 a year income, you better bring a lot of data from different independent contractors to prove that the story is different for full-time drivers. (And tell those bragging drivers to shut their trap! - we all know they are lying or exaggerating.)
And if you are doing this part time no one will care what your story is.

Bottom line, all energy to make change should be focused on organizing drivers and getting Uber's attention directly
 
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ATX 22

Well-Known Member
Surge is nothing more than price gouging the customer, and it won't be that hard to prove that they're faking it on our side of the app. The lag time between a surge ending and when we see it end is significant. A few screen shots will bear this out.

What Uber's doing isn't free market and we are told what rates will be, no negotiations, so it's a take it or leave it arrangement. I'm sure when Uber sent out their last sirvey of drivers everyone said, "please lower the rates so that it's near impossible to turn any profit as a driver."

All of that said, I agree that the best course of action is to unite drivers and get Uber's attention directly.

I had a conversation with a media member I happen to have gone to school with. He's already written one article calling out some of Uber’s unethical business practices. His suggestion was to get in front of the local media with no more than 3 bullet point arguments in our favor. We have to monitor the news cycle, and piggyback onto a story about Uber. "Media thrives on controversy" were his exact words to me. He has also offered to do a final edit for us on our talking points. We just need a written plan, a spokesperson and an already negative uber news story to piggyback on.
 

Native Austinite

Active Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Bottom line, all energy to make change should be focused on organizing drivers and getting Uber's attention directly
I'm just typing. I'm not doing anything other that offering information, do with it what you want.

Believe all the free market crap you want, UBER only operates in Austin because the city ALLOWS them to. The city makes requirements all the time that businesses have to deal with. Its give and take down at city hall.

So the goal is not to make UBER go out of business, it is to have them comply with fair business practices as determined by our local and state leaders.
 

Tx rides

Well-Known Member
I'm just typing. I'm not doing anything other that offering information, do with it what you want.

Believe all the free market crap you want, UBER only operates in Austin because the city ALLOWS them to. The city makes requirements all the time that businesses have to deal with. Its give and take down at city hall.

So the goal is not to make UBER go out of business, it is to have them comply with fair business practices as determined by our local and state leaders.
Uber operated illegally for a long time, and has yet to comply with the pilot ordinance. Regulations mean nothing to them. Uber demanded free reign, drivers came out in numbers to show that they were unstoppable. They won.

The city is not going to do anything to stop Uber, nor help the drivers, (who have proven they will not be stopped).
The city Council does not care about "fair business practices". For crying out loud, they make black car services own and operate big gas hog stretch limousines. They set minimum fares for us. They still expect our drivers to have trip sheets and proof that reservations are made in advance. They have no desire to change that. Does that make it clear that "fair "is not on their agenda? :-(

To be blunt: The city doesn't care about your earnings, they don't care about surge rates. Unless there is a newsworthy tragedy, expect nothing. You could try nailing those who pushed the ordinance, but I can tell you, after dealing with them, hearing their feedback, witnessing their attitudes, especially in recent weeks; this [city] horse is dead.

The city plans to keep demanding money out of the chumps like me, (just got our notice for special permit fees last week!) They target us because we have marked cars and registered employees.

Meanwhile, The secret is out…gypsy operators know there is no real enforcement of unmarked vehicles anymore, so anyone can come to to town to drive for hire. There never was much enforcement; most of it was applied to permitted operators. Ironically, the enforcement salaries are paid largely by the fees paid by those permitted operators. Go figure.
 
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