Fake Surges for Real?

Lurking

Active Member
I know there's been a lot of discussion about Fake Surges. It seems to mostly be frustration caused by drivers sitting in a big surge for a long time and not getting a single surge request. This has happened to me many times. There are a variety of possible explanations:
  • Cheap PAX waiting until the surge disappears.
  • PAX willing to pay surge prices mostly make requests in the first half of the surge. Fewer, if any, requests in the second half of the surge.
  • Oversupply of drivers trying to "chase the surge". Generally, not recommended.
Uber has publicly stated that surges are intended to draw additional drivers to high demand areas. This benefits drivers, Uber, and passengers willing to pay surge prices. I have not yet seen any explanation of why Uber would create a "Fake Surge". How would decreasing drivers profits benefit Uber, unless Uber directly takes that money for themselves (like a booking fee or Uber cut)?

However, that would be different if you have evidence of a ride where a passenger paid surge, but a driver received non-surge for the same trip. Screenshots would be helpful.
 
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Raccoon

Member
I agree with you 100%. Mostly, I think people who complain here about "fake surges" haven't taken any time to consider the customer perspective.

Most PAX already know they can wait out a surge--especially since surges in most markets mostly last less than 10 min. Some of them will even get an UberXL, UberSelect, etc to avoid an UberX surge, rather than wait.

That, paired with timing differences and the presence of surge-chasing drivers, explains away "fake" surges.
 

Jo3030

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Do you mean - "All are fake" news, surges, people on this forum, or life in general?
Do you include yourself in all this fakery or are you the one real thing?
All surges are fake at this moment.
They're just the difference between what Uber will 'let you have' vs 'what they can get away with'
If they realize no one will do a ride for 1.2x, they will systematically raise the surge to see who/when people bite.
That's all it is now.
 

Raccoon

Member
All surges are fake at this moment.
They're just the difference between what Uber will 'let you have' vs 'what they can get away with'
If they realize no one will do a ride for 1.2x, they will systematically raise the surge to see who/when people bite.
That's all it is now.
Well, yeah. That's basically the entire idea of how surge works, so I'm not sure what aspect you're referring to as fake.

Though, a more helpful force vs force thing to think of isn't "uber vs driver," but "supply vs demand." The price balances at a point when the number of drivers willing to provide service matches the number of customers who won't seek alternatives or wait.

Uber sets the rules of the game, but the drivers and riders are the players who very directly influence its outcome. Most often, there are so many drivers willing to work for less than minimum wage that there is no surge.

I only drive during surges. I may not get as many rides, but I won't work for crumbs. If more drivers got their act together, and decided not to drive for base fares, the whole system would balance out more in our favor.

But as things are, the supply of drivers grossly outstrips the demand for them.
 

Jtdub

Well-Known Member
TGhey fake surge the aiport at night all the time. I sit there offline wating for it to surge because there is one car in the queue. No surge for like 15 minutes ands still one car. So they decide to surge everywhere around the airport except the airport. If you drive out of the queue into the red area you will get a ping for the airport over and over no matter how many times you cancel.
 

hulksmash

Well-Known Member
I've seen surges placed when there is no demand in anticipation of expected demand. The idea is to get drivers there waiting online before actual demand happens, like say the end of the game. Then boom, turn it off once actual demand kicks in. Other than a few lucky guys, majority have the rug pulled out from under them and either have to take a base ride or nothing at all. A few smart drivers refuse to fall for the trap,while most just take the base fare just to get something for the their time.

Another method I see is at events with an Uber zone. The surge will be centered away from the Uber zone, so the highest surge will be in an area with no requests, so that the area where all the requests are made will be in a lighter shaded, lower surge area.
 

Lurking

Active Member
I agree with those saying that Uber may generate a fake surge to preposition drivers in anticipation of a huge demand, like the end of a concert or sports event. If the supply of drivers arriving on scene exceeds the anticipated demand then the surge may disappear.

I disagree that Uber will suppress or eliminate a surge without cause (like an oversupply of drivers). That would depress the profits of Uber and drivers alike. Similar logic applies to an "Uber zone", where the highest surge is centered away from the most requests. Once again, that would depress the profits of Uber and drivers alike.

However, that would be different if you have evidence of a ride where a passenger paid surge, but the driver received non-surge (or lower surge) for the same trip. Screenshots would be helpful. Now, Upfront-pricing is another matter entirely, where Uber has found a legal way to shaft drivers.

As you may see, I have a simple test. Will a particular action increase Uber profits? If not then I am skeptical. I assume that Uber has minimal concern for the effect of any action on drivers' profits, but their own profits are a different matter entirely.
 

hulksmash

Well-Known Member
I agree with those saying that Uber may generate a fake surge to preposition drivers in anticipation of a huge demand, like the end of a concert or sports event. If the supply of drivers arriving on scene exceeds the anticipated demand then the surge may disappear.

I disagree that Uber will suppress or eliminate a surge without cause (like an oversupply of drivers). That would depress the profits of Uber and drivers alike. Similar logic applies to an "Uber zone", where the highest surge is centered away from the most requests. Once again, that would depress the profits of Uber and drivers alike.

However, that would be different if you have evidence of a ride where a passenger paid surge, but the driver received non-surge (or lower surge) for the same trip. Screenshots would be helpful. Now, Upfront-pricing is another matter entirely, where Uber has found a legal way to shaft drivers.

As you may see, I have a simple test. Will a particular action increase Uber profits? If not then I am skeptical. I assume that Uber has minimal concern for the effect of any action on drivers' profits, but their own profits are a different matter entirely.

Uber does not like surge because it drives away some of their customers. They don't care about your profits because they still get their guaranteed fee either way. If they can find a way to get their customer a cheap ride during peak times, then everyone except the driver wins. Below is the evolution of their business model:

1. Uber lowers rates to attract more riders
2. Drivers quit amid low fares so surge is rampant
3. Uber offers hourly guarantees but they are easily gamed.
4. Uber offers boosts and quest to pay drivers more without raising rider fares.
5.Uber gets tired of losing money so they lower incentives
6. Drivers quit again so rampant surge returns
7. Uber still has demand but doesn't want to raise fares nor keep paying incentives so they draw drivers in with fake surge in anticipation of high demand
8. A few unlucky riders are sacrificed to the surge monster but most get a low cost ride from grumpy drivers who couldn't get a surge ride but need to make at least something for their efforts. Uber and the rider win and the driver loses.

Along the way, surge killings feature are implemented...I.E pool, stacked pings, airport rematch. get impelememtrck
 

Howie428Uber

Active Member
Outside the urban centers almost all the surges are some form of bait and switch. What you're forgetting is that the Uber system has advanced knowledge of many of the trips, i.e. trips are either scheduled or they follow a known pattern such as when a regular user leaves work each day.

So the system knows or guesses when cars will be required based on the data it has. If it looks like the required number of cars is not going to be available then they have the option to trigger a surge. If the system was fair to all sides the surge would trigger as the trips were coming due and would remain in place until the under-catered for passengers took their trips.

The reason drivers get annoyed is that the system is set up to trigger the surge ahead of time in order to bait drivers. By the time the known trips come due the surge will have ended.

Uber might argue that this is customer service for passengers and that some drivers are getting the benefits of the activity. For me, it doesn't seem like a fair practice and it ultimately negates the value of the system. Drivers who hear "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" all the time soon stop listening. Also, the unlucky passenger who randomly comes on line when the bait surge is active might not be that happy about paying a higher surge because Uber is pulling in cars for other people who don't need them now, but might need them in 15 minutes.

I never drive to these surges. Also, if I find myself in one that comes to an end and then I get pinged, I'll frequently decline the ping. I figure that behaving erratically like that might teach the system that the bait and switch can't be relied on.

Of course, for us to prove that this is how it works would be tough, but this fits with my experience.
 

pruagent98

New Member
Outside the urban centers almost all the surges are some form of bait and switch. What you're forgetting is that the Uber system has advanced knowledge of many of the trips, i.e. trips are either scheduled or they follow a known pattern such as when a regular user leaves work each day.

So the system knows or guesses when cars will be required based on the data it has. If it looks like the required number of cars is not going to be available then they have the option to trigger a surge. If the system was fair to all sides the surge would trigger as the trips were coming due and would remain in place until the under-catered for passengers took their trips.

The reason drivers get annoyed is that the system is set up to trigger the surge ahead of time in order to bait drivers. By the time the known trips come due the surge will have ended.

Uber might argue that this is customer service for passengers and that some drivers are getting the benefits of the activity. For me, it doesn't seem like a fair practice and it ultimately negates the value of the system. Drivers who hear "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" all the time soon stop listening. Also, the unlucky passenger who randomly comes on line when the bait surge is active might not be that happy about paying a higher surge because Uber is pulling in cars for other people who don't need them now, but might need them in 15 minutes.

I never drive to these surges. Also, if I find myself in one that comes to an end and then I get pinged, I'll frequently decline the ping. I figure that behaving erratically like that might teach the system that the bait and switch can't be relied on.

Of course, for us to prove that this is how it works would be tough, but this fits with my experience.

I was in Asbury Park Fri and Sat I had Uber and Lyft on There was a surge for both but I like to do Uber so I shut off Lyft
I reject 4 Uber rides cause there was no surge even though surge was showing There was no surge to show so I cancelled ride turned on Lyft and got a Lyft plus request with a 250% surge 12miles for the ride and 70 bucks in my pocket
Sat nite Uber is still F'***n with the drivers
So when bars close I keep Lyft on and shut Uber F them We are out there to make money not take it up the ass !!!!
 
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Sueuber

Member
Example of Fake surge around DFW airport. Take a look here.
 

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Surge Sweeper

New Member
I have regularly sat smack in the middle of a large surge area in Melbourne for 15 mins, no job, then get job 13 mins out of surge area. Your kidding, really, a surge due to "high demand" then get pulled 13 mins out of surge zone. There mere fact your pulled 13 mins away is almost justification that the job you are on your way to would also be surge.
 

Trafficat

Well-Known Member
With upfront fee surge doesn't work like it used to. Uber charges the pax whatever they want to in an up-front fee. The passenger agrees or disagrees. I don't know if the pax still see surge sometimes or not, but Uber could easily increase their upfront fee without calling it surge if they could get away with it. On occasion I've noticed where Uber has collected a higher amount for themselves than is paid to the driver.

Conversely, I think a lot of times the pax pay the same amount but Uber will pay a larger cut to the driver during a driver surge where they want more drivers. The up front fee is often so much higher than the old cuts anyway that Uber can take a slight hit to their cut while still charging the same amount to get drivers on the road without losing fares.

A lot of the upfront fare could be based on route calculations to accommodate bad routes, but it could also have elements of surge rolled into it too.

This article hints at that possibility:
https://www.theverge.com/2016/6/23/12017002/uber-surge-pricing-upfront-fare-app-update-announcement
 

heynow321

Well-Known Member
Outside the urban centers almost all the surges are some form of bait and switch. What you're forgetting is that the Uber system has advanced knowledge of many of the trips, i.e. trips are either scheduled or they follow a known pattern such as when a regular user leaves work each day.

So the system knows or guesses when cars will be required based on the data it has. If it looks like the required number of cars is not going to be available then they have the option to trigger a surge. If the system was fair to all sides the surge would trigger as the trips were coming due and would remain in place until the under-catered for passengers took their trips.

The reason drivers get annoyed is that the system is set up to trigger the surge ahead of time in order to bait drivers. By the time the known trips come due the surge will have ended.

Uber might argue that this is customer service for passengers and that some drivers are getting the benefits of the activity. For me, it doesn't seem like a fair practice and it ultimately negates the value of the system. Drivers who hear "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" all the time soon stop listening. Also, the unlucky passenger who randomly comes on line when the bait surge is active might not be that happy about paying a higher surge because Uber is pulling in cars for other people who don't need them now, but might need them in 15 minutes.

I never drive to these surges. Also, if I find myself in one that comes to an end and then I get pinged, I'll frequently decline the ping. I figure that behaving erratically like that might teach the system that the bait and switch can't be relied on.

Of course, for us to prove that this is how it works would be tough, but this fits with my experience.
You are 100% correct
 

BioEvil

New Member
I have to agree that most surgeries are all fake cuz where I'm from there's never one and if you do go to one you're sitting with the whole bunch of other people
 

d0n

Well-Known Member
I know there's been a lot of discussion about Fake Surges. It seems to mostly be frustration caused by drivers sitting in a big surge for a long time and not getting a single surge request. This has happened to me many times. There are a variety of possible explanations:
  • Cheap PAX waiting until the surge disappears.
  • PAX willing to pay surge prices mostly make requests in the first half of the surge. Fewer, if any, requests in the second half of the surge.
  • Oversupply of drivers trying to "chase the surge". Generally, not recommended.
Uber has publicly stated that surges are intended to draw additional drivers to high demand areas. This benefits drivers, Uber, and passengers willing to pay surge prices. I have not yet seen any explanation of why Uber would create a "Fake Surge". How would decreasing drivers profits benefit Uber, unless Uber directly takes that money for themselves (like a booking fee or Uber cut)?

However, that would be different if you have evidence of a ride where a passenger paid surge, but a driver received non-surge for the same trip. Screenshots would be helpful.

This is old, Uber has been stealing your surge money since last year, there were many screenshots of people who had proof from the pax side payment and what they were paid, then brief talks with CSR who sometimes would fix it awarding them the money, this was created right around upfront.

They mark your area 2x and give you 1.5x, you, being clueless take it and enjoy your trip.

Uber is scum.
 
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