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Here is why Uber Comfort is a big insult to drivers

I've mentioned numerous times on this forum that Uber Comfort is a trojan horse for Uber to bring in more revenues by charging the pax more and taking more from the drivers at the same time. That's all its purpose. Not for bringing in a new option to cater to a certain group of pax who may want this specific kind of ride. But I doubt it's easy to see that it is a trojan horse of Uber's pure evilness without some math. So I brought the maths here.

I'll keep it simple. The fare calculations don't include the HST. So all the numbers are tax less. If you put up the destinations I mentioned here in Uber pax app, the numbers will be a little different as HST will be included on the app and also it'll be upfront pricing. Everything here is calculated theoretically based on the rates Uber has provided.

Also this whole thread is a comparison of how much Uber benefits for bringing Comfort vs You, not comparing how much more revenues it brings each ride. And I am comparing X, Assist, Select and XL against Comfort. I know Comfort is a 4 pax service and I shouldn't include XL but I am sure a lot of XL cars pick up a lot of Comfort so I included it just to get an extra perspective while I'm at the maths. Also, it isn't a thread to compare if getting a Comfort eligible car is worth it.

So I'm gonna use some sample trips to show my point. But first thing first, the rates I'm using from the latest addendum agreement.

rates list.png



Sample trips assume that:
- Rider was ready to board upon arrival, so no wait times charges are included in calculations
- No rides was cancelled, so no cancellation fees are calculated in the comparison
- "Uber's cut" amounts include the flat fee they take that is the booking fee
- All sample trips are assumed to be Comfort trips
- Trips times are calculated in times of no traffic congestion (4 AM etc)



Sample 1: A short trip

Casa Loma to ROM

short trip.png
short trip fare.png


Analysis:

Revenue gained scenario: Comfort vs uberX
  • Let's assume this was a Comfort trip. In this case, Uber made 37.5% more than it would have if it was an uberX ride but for the driver, that increase in earning from uberX to Comfort is only 30.8%, less increase than Uber. That means, the pax choosing to request Comfort trip was more beneficial to Uber than the driver in this case.
Revenue gained scenario: Comfort vs Assist
  • This one is nasty. The increase in revenue is much more higher for Uber in this case. Uber gets increase pay of 58.2% while the driver gets only 15.4% - if the pax choose Comfort instead of Assist! That's insane. This is a much more FU by Uber to the Comfort driver.
Revenue loss scenario: Comfort vs Select
  • Let's imagine the pax requested a Comfort instead of Select. That means there will be a loss to the Select driver that he's doing a Comfort trip in his Select car. As you can see in the numbers above, Uber would make $5.62 instead of $6.41, which is a 12.4% loss but for the driver it is 38.3% loss! Since he'll be making only $5.24 instead of $8.49 if it had been a Select ride.
Revenue loss scenario: Comfort vs XL
  • Here Uber lose nothing on this trip if the pax picked Comfort instead of XL. Let's say it's 4 big dudes who don't fit well in a regular uberX car, so they ordered Comfort instead of XL hoping that they'll get an XL car. So the XL driver here will lose 33.2% than if it was an XL. A big spank in the arse for the driver to take 4 big men who should've ordered XL but gamed the system by requesting Comfort until they get an XL car and Uber helped them game it as it doesn't affect them - 0% loss for them.



Sample 2: A long trip

Westin Harbour Castle (hotel) to Pearson Terminal 1 Departures

Ignoring the Pearson fees

long trip.png
long trip fare.png


Analysis:

Revenue gained scenario: Comfort vs uberX & Assist
  • As you can see, the longer the trip, the less gains you get for accepting a Comfort ping over uberX or Assist. For example, look at the uberX, if you took this Comfort ping you will make $23.95 vs $20.53 with X, that's $3.42 (16.7% increase) more for having a much more newer car to have it qualify for Comfort. Meanwhile Uber's Comfort gets $12.89 vs $9.59 with X. That's 34.4% increase for them!!! So they will be more glad than you that it was a Comfort trip!
Revenue loss scenario: Comfort vs Select & XL
  • As the fare gets bigger, the loss in revenue for you is much more than Uber's. For example, if it was a Select trip, Uber would've made $17.25 but since it's a Comfort, they got $12.89. They only lost out on 25.3% but the driver lost out on 41.6%. The driver took the most hit in this "rate cut" tier of the ride while Uber's loss is much less, almost twice less than yours.


Summary

  • As you can see from the samples above, the increase you get from taking a Comfort ping over the other ride types is always less than what Uber will make
  • The loss you will take by accepting a Comfort ping is also more than what Uber will have to deal with, some trips it doesn't matter to them (like short XL trips)
  • The longer the Comfort trip, the less worth it is for the driver over other ride types like X or Assist because the increase is only like $4-5 or less. But for Uber the longer the Comfort trip, the better for them
  • So based on these observation, it's clear that the Comfort platform was not meant for the drivers to make bigger fares but instead it was more like for Uber to take more cuts from the drivers and while charging the pax more at the same time. And then also at the same time, since the driver has to provide much newer car and bigger cars to take those Comfort pings, I think the minimal increase the drivers get for taking these Comfort offsets increase earning.
  • Imagine a scenario: you get an X ping with your 2015 Honda Civic (5 year old car) and you earned $25. Another guy made $30 with from his last Comfort trip with his 2016 Grand Caravan. That $5 difference will be a small profit over the X when it costs more to drive the Grand Caravan.
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trip extra earnings are less and less when the trip gets longer.
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trips require most cars to be 2016 or newer (3 year old maximum
  • Compared to uberX, there are much less Comfort demands. That means longer wait times between pings.
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trips require you to offer more amenities or accommodation to the pax
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trips take 28% cut instead of 25% (like the uberX)
  • Compared to uberX, you have to wait longer for the pax until you can cancel and get the cancellation fee
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trips require bigger cars in general, that usually means higher operational costs than X


This is all I have to say for now. Uber is slapping our faces in plain sight and we don't even know it.
 

Comments

phreeradical

Well-Known Member
I've mentioned numerous times on this forum that Uber Comfort is a trojan horse for Uber to bring in more revenues by charging the pax more and taking more from the drivers at the same time. That's all its purpose. Not for bringing in a new option to cater to a certain group of pax who may want this specific kind of ride. But I doubt it's easy to see that it is a trojan horse of Uber's pure evilness without some math. So I brought the maths here.

I'll keep it simple. The fare calculations don't include the HST. So all the numbers are tax less. If you put up the destinations I mentioned here in Uber pax app, the numbers will be a little different as HST will be included on the app and also it'll be upfront pricing. Everything here is calculated theoretically based on the rates Uber has provided.

Also this whole thread is a comparison of how much Uber benefits for bringing Comfort vs You, not comparing how much more revenues it brings each ride. And I am comparing X, Assist, Select and XL against Comfort. I know Comfort is a 4 pax service and I shouldn't include XL but I am sure a lot of XL cars pick up a lot of Comfort so I included it just to get an extra perspective while I'm at the maths. Also, it isn't a thread to compare if getting a Comfort eligible car is worth it.

So I'm gonna use some sample trips to show my point. But first thing first, the rates I'm using from the latest addendum agreement.

View attachment 369986


Sample trips assume that:
- Rider was ready to board upon arrival, so no wait times charges are included in calculations
- No rides was cancelled, so no cancellation fees are calculated in the comparison
- "Uber's cut" amounts include the flat fee they take that is the booking fee
- All sample trips are assumed to be Comfort trips
- Trips times are calculated in times of no traffic congestion (4 AM etc)



Sample 1: A short trip

Casa Loma to ROM

View attachment 369988 View attachment 369989

Analysis:

Revenue gained scenario: Comfort vs uberX
  • Let's assume this was a Comfort trip. In this case, Uber made 37.5% more than it would have if it was an uberX ride but for the driver, that increase in earning from uberX to Comfort is only 30.8%, less increase than Uber. That means, the pax choosing to request Comfort trip was more beneficial to Uber than the driver in this case.
Revenue gained scenario: Comfort vs Assist
  • This one is nasty. The increase in revenue is much more higher for Uber in this case. Uber gets increase pay of 58.2% while the driver gets only 15.4% - if the pax choose Comfort instead of Assist! That's insane. This is a much more FU by Uber to the Comfort driver.
Revenue loss scenario: Comfort vs Select
  • Let's imagine the pax requested a Comfort instead of Select. That means there will be a loss to the Select driver that he's doing a Comfort trip in his Select car. As you can see in the numbers above, Uber would make $5.62 instead of $6.41, which is a 12.4% loss but for the driver it is 38.3% loss! Since he'll be making only $5.24 instead of $8.49 if it had been a Select ride.
Revenue loss scenario: Comfort vs XL
  • Here Uber lose nothing on this trip if the pax picked Comfort instead of XL. Let's say it's 4 big dudes who don't fit well in a regular uberX car, so they ordered Comfort instead of XL hoping that they'll get an XL car. So the XL driver here will lose 33.2% than if it was an XL. A big spank in the arse for the driver to take 4 big men who should've ordered XL but gamed the system by requesting Comfort until they get an XL car and Uber helped them game it as it doesn't affect them - 0% loss for them.



Sample 2: A long trip

Westin Harbour Castle (hotel) to Pearson Terminal 1 Departures

Ignoring the Pearson fees

View attachment 369995 View attachment 369996

Analysis:

Revenue gained scenario: Comfort vs uberX & Assist
  • As you can see, the longer the trip, the less gains you get for accepting a Comfort ping over uberX or Assist. For example, look at the uberX, if you took this Comfort ping you will make $23.95 vs $20.53 with X, that's $3.42 (16.7% increase) more for having a much more newer car to have it qualify for Comfort. Meanwhile Uber's Comfort gets $12.89 vs $9.59 with X. That's 34.4% increase for them!!! So they will be more glad than you that it was a Comfort trip!
Revenue loss scenario: Comfort vs Select & XL
  • As the fare gets bigger, the loss in revenue for you is much more than Uber's. For example, if it was a Select trip, Uber would've made $17.25 but since it's a Comfort, they got $12.89. They only lost out on 25.3% but the driver lost out on 41.6%. The driver took the most hit in this "rate cut" tier of the ride while Uber's loss is much less, almost twice less than yours.


Summary

  • As you can see from the samples above, the increase you get from taking a Comfort ping over the other ride types is always less than what Uber will make
  • The loss you will take by accepting a Comfort ping is also more than what Uber will have to deal with, some trips it doesn't matter to them (like short XL trips)
  • The longer the Comfort trip, the less worth it is for the driver over other ride types like X or Assist because the increase is only like $4-5 or less. But for Uber the longer the Comfort trip, the better for them
  • So based on these observation, it's clear that the Comfort platform was not meant for the drivers to make bigger fares but instead it was more like for Uber to take more cuts from the drivers and while charging the pax more at the same time. And then also at the same time, since the driver has to provide much newer car and bigger cars to take those Comfort pings, I think the minimal increase the drivers get for taking these Comfort offsets increase earning.
  • Imagine a scenario: you get an X ping with your 2015 Honda Civic (5 year old car) and you earned $25. Another guy made $30 with from his last Comfort trip with his 2016 Grand Caravan. That $5 difference will be a small profit over the X when it costs more to drive the Grand Caravan.
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trip extra earnings are less and less when the trip gets longer.
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trips require most cars to be 2016 or newer (3 year old maximum
  • Compared to uberX, there are much less Comfort demands. That means longer wait times between pings.
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trips require you to offer more amenities or accommodation to the pax
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trips take 28% cut instead of 25% (like the uberX)
  • Compared to uberX, you have to wait longer for the pax until you can cancel and get the cancellation fee
  • Compared to uberX, Comfort trips require bigger cars in general, that usually means higher operational costs than X


This is all I have to say for now. Uber is slapping our faces in plain sight and we don't even know it.
Great work!!
How’s the brakes?
 

imsam

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Great work!!
How’s the brakes?
It's great so far. No squealing while driving the whole day. My OEM hybrid metallic brakes made noises if I drive the whole day (just driving a lot at once in general) even though the brakes were still thick.
 

uber_from_the north

Well-Known Member
Thanks for sharing. I noticed that one time. My earnings doesnt make that much difference between airport trip for X and Comfort closed to the same pick up area.
 

Actionjax

Well-Known Member
One thing you are missing is now that there is a comfort option a percentage of riders will only pick that option if they get stung enough times with someone with a car that it barely road worthy or low rated drivers.

They have essentially now carved a piece out of UberX pool that won't be back. Diluting the X bool further per driver ratio. I would only use comfort myself in the hopes to weed out poor quality cars on the platform and I'm willing to pay a bit more for it.


I haven't put this into practice but even when I was using select I would still run up against a lemon of a car here and there. Not sure if Comfort is a better option in general. From a Pax prospective.

But great analysis on things. I think Uber is playing 2 sides here for them and the consumer. Drivers it's another smoke and mirrors trick for the most part.
 

Kurt Halfyard

Well-Known Member
Author
Moderator
I was never a big uber user as a PAX, but I had to earlier this week when I was in Montreal for some work.
I took 7 Uber rides over 2 days. All COMFORT. I'm not fiddle farting around with 4.7 rated drivers.
Since Uber never put in a 'ratings filter' as an option in the passenger app to avoid low rated drivers, Comfort loosely fulfills that requirement (4.85 and up?) for a small fee. Most of my rides were in the $20-25 range (PAX price), so I'm not sure if I was screwing drivers with this or not.
 

imsam

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
I was never a big uber user as a PAX, but I had to earlier this week when I was in Montreal for some work.
I took 7 Uber rides over 2 days. All COMFORT. I'm not fiddle farting around with 4.7 rated drivers.
Since Uber never put in a 'ratings filter' as an option in the passenger app to avoid low rated drivers, Comfort loosely fulfills that requirement (4.85 and up?) for a small fee. Most of my rides were in the $20-25 range (PAX price), so I'm not sure if I was screwing drivers with this or not.
That's the thing.

All of the benefits of Comfort heavily relies on the performance of the driver (his rating, experience, etc) and his car quality.

Yet, the driver benefits less from the pax for taking a Comfort ride compared to uber (the one that doesn't need to offer any extra).

Let me put it this way, in a much more obvious view.

Imagine a membership-only restaurant now offers a higher level option that gives you more nicer services. Let's just call the membership names to be Level 1 and Level 2 (the new one).

Level 1 membership is just an entry to the restaurant and the experience is exactly the same as any regular public restaurant but has a basic dedicated server each table. Costs $25 a month membership. (owner takes $10, server takes $15).

Level 2 members get access to the following nice options on top of just a basic dedicated server:
  • No waiting in line
  • You get nice accommodation from your dedicated server like he can go park your car, go get it from parking, go hang your clothes etc
  • Every dedicated server is young 18-35
  • Every dedicated server speaks French and English
  • Many more...

This one costs $35 a month. Owner takes $15 and dedicated server takes $20.

Even though all the extra benefits really depends on the server's higher performance, the owner gets increase of 50% over Level 1 price and the server only gets 33% increase in pay.

This how Comfort feels like.
 

WillC

Well-Known Member
It wasn’t hard to see Uber was benefiting all of this 81 cents to 93 cents then 28% instead of 25%. This thread proves that most drivers can be fooled easily with math.

In reality though, I noticed increased numbers of XL rides with 4 passengers or less.
When the roads are snowy, people may still prefer a XL over Comfort as an added safety.
 

Gone_in_60_seconds

Well-Known Member
That's the thing.

All of the benefits of Comfort heavily relies on the performance of the driver (his rating, experience, etc) and his car quality.

Yet, the driver benefits less from the pax for taking a Comfort ride compared to uber (the one that doesn't need to offer any extra).

Let me put it this way, in a much more obvious view.

Imagine a membership-only restaurant now offers a higher level option that gives you more nicer services. Let's just call the membership names to be Level 1 and Level 2 (the new one).

Level 1 membership is just an entry to the restaurant and the experience is exactly the same as any regular public restaurant but has a basic dedicated server each table. Costs $25 a month membership. (owner takes $10, server takes $15).

Level 2 members get access to the following nice options on top of just a basic dedicated server:
  • No waiting in line
  • You get nice accommodation from your dedicated server like he can go park your car, go get it from parking, go hang your clothes etc
  • Every dedicated server is young 18-35
  • Every dedicated server speaks French and English
  • Many more...

This one costs $35 a month. Owner takes $15 and dedicated server takes $20.

Even though all the extra benefits really depends on the server's higher performance, the owner gets increase of 50% over Level 1 price and the server only gets 33% increase in pay.

This how Comfort feels like.
Your analysis is spot on. However, anyone who happens to own a comfort qualified vehicle would still benefit from getting the higher fares. However, only an idiot or fool would deliberately buy a brand new vehicle to do Uber full time. In the final analysis, with such pitiful low fares and very few opportunities to get surge, the full timers are the biggest losers in this game. If there wasn't any age restriction on the cars, I would be using a 10-15 year old vehicle, as the low fares cannot justify ever using a new vehicle, unless you are driving XL only. :cryin::cryin::cryin::cryin:
 
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