Impossible to believe, even for a novice

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum (although I have been browsing for a few months) and new to the job of driving (UberX) as a 'partner' with Uber.

After only a few dozen rides I have noticed these things:

1) The so-called 'phantom surge' seems to be a very real issue. I have on several occasions noticed that even though I am in a surging area (the area surging for hours before, during, and after the trip), I do not get a surging request most of the time. For example, on the Sunday during Caribana weekend, the entire downtown core-- extending from Parkdale to the Beaches and from Lakeshore all the way to Bloor was surging all morning and into the afternoon (at least on my app). Right in the middle of it all, I only got two surged rides. I wrote to Uber regarding the issue, although I got a dismissive non-response.

2) My life as a driver would be much easier if I knew where the passenger was going before I accept. I had several instances of driving for nearly 10 minutes to pick up a passenger, only to have a short $3 ride, usually with groceries that I loaded and unloaded from trunk. In fact, I've had more of these rides than I have of surged ones. Obviously, had I known, I would never have accepted. This information should be available to us, and would likely be a significant difference in our earnings. If the PAX needs to wait a few minutes longer, so be it. It might even improve the system for everyone.

3) Belligerent riders might be rare, but we do sometimes drive them. I can handle my fair level of stress, but we should be able to rate our riders without fear of 'retribution' and them rating us poorly just because we rated them appropriately. Someone drunkenly playing with my radio (blasting the music to deafening levels), yelling through the window at pedestrians, punching my sunroof, and making physical contact with me while I'm on the highway, should be barred from ever ubering again. A lower rating for PAX means nothing if there aren't any consequences. However, I think the lower the rating, the more they (PAX) should pay. There should be a threshold, and it would likely do wonders in improving their behaviour-- it should also be a bonus given only to the driver for an obvious job hazard.

4) Speaking of job hazards-- we are literally on the road for hours on end. This increases our likelihood of vehicular accidents by a large margin over the general population. We are given no special training as most other people who drive for a living do, nor are we compensated as fairly. I don't know about you, but this stinks of premeditated exploitation.

5) I mention 'premeditated exploitation' because it seems like the business strategy is to prey on those (us) who happen to be in a financial bind, between jobs, or currently unable to otherwise find gainful employment-- selling us on the idea of a great experience driving 'when we want' (even though that would only mean at certain times to make a livable wage) and not once in any of their ads mentioning what the realistic income will be for most of us.

6) We are considered 'private contractors', yet Uber insists on calling us 'partners'. Although this may seem like semantics, it is very much disingenuous in that it makes us feel as if we're on even standing, yet we couldn't be further from it (Uber makes billions, most of us make beer money at best). Before you say "Uber is barely profitable", they're willing to admit that burning billions in China was sustainable. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., were all 'unprofitable' companies, yet their CEO's are billionaires, they currently make billions, and/or were sold for bought for billions on the premise of extreme profitability.

7) No tipping. I find it absurd that they would go out of their way to make the passenger think tipping is included. In fact, I bring it up every time a passenger asks "How's driving for Uber". Many riders feel that the tip is already included (amazing how people can actually think this), but it isn't surprising when your employer makes it a point to discourage any form of tipping to the driver and has some nonsense $2.50 fee which the riders think is going to the driver. Every single person in the service industry gets regular tips except for us-- taxi drivers, barbers, waiters, bellhops, etc.-- and they all make more money. I mentioned this to one rider and was given a small tip. He said had he known, he'd have always tipped, and will make it his own personal policy from now on. However, we shouldn't have to mention it to passengers as if we're complaining or begging. This policy is absurd at best and downright malicious at worst.

8) I mention Uber as our 'employer', because for all intents and purposes, they are. We aren't tradespeople, don't own a shop, nor are we CEO's. We drive a car on a platform that is only possible through technology provided by Uber. We are unemployable in any other company by Uber standards. We aren't free to do as we please, and in fact get punished if we refuse rides or get lower ratings (for whatever reason). We aren't 'free' to do as we will. We need to follow their guidelines, play by their rules, and then give them a non-negotiable cut. As far as I'm concerned, a non-negotiable pact isn't fair, nor should it ever be considered proper business. To everyone thinking "nobody is forcing you to drive Uber", please read the last point.

9) Uber cannot exist without us, the drivers. We have rights. We should be treated as human beings who expect to make a decent wage considering all of our costs and hazards of the job. We should be a unified entity with clear demands and negotiable terms with our employer. It's impossible for me to believe that we cannot somehow unify to force some of our terms on Uber.

As long as they depend on us to exist (before phasing us out with robot cars) the ball is, and always will be, in our court. Collectively, we hold a lot more power than we think.

Btw, their $250 incentive to recruit new drivers for them says everything about the absurdity of this business model for the drivers. We will get paid a small amount only to over-saturate an already over-saturated market for us, the drivers. In the end, the payout only (obviously) means less earnings for us. It just goes to show how highly Uber thinks of our intelligence. They are like the payday loan sharks in poor neighbourhoods or the insanely high interest credit card that you know you'll need to use because you're broke-- they know we need money, even if to our detriment, and they don't care in the slightest.
 
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UberZF

Well-Known Member
1 - Dont chase Surge.. especially when low - Remember driver app is 2-5 min delayed...
2 - You can always call and Ask... -- If I'm over 5 min out, Thats what I do.
3 - Give them 5 star... 3 days later drop it down through help - (you were in a rush).
4 - Go get defensive driver training. or something like it. -- I do annual winter skid/recovery training start of each winter.
5 - Run your numbers and keep a close eye on it. Then you will know if it's worth it for you or not
6 - If you ever thought you were on even standing, mistake #1
7 - There are ways around it. Including education of pax.
8 - Think of it as an agent.... if you perform well, you get good stuff.. and if not.. you loose out.
9 - With so many willing drivers, and so few to stand up against them... They're pretty much in full control
 

Flarpy

Well-Known Member
Btw, their $250 incentive to recruit new drivers for them says everything about the absurdity of this business model for the drivers. We will get paid a small amount only to over-saturate an already over-saturated market for us, the drivers. In the end, the payout only (obviously) means less earnings for us.
That's a typical pyramid or MLM scheme. MLM pyramids never last, they're essentially ponzi schemes and require an endless pool of suckers because everyone is recruiting their own competition. Once the pool of suckers begins to dry up, the last suckers get completely hosed and the pyramid collapses. Only the first ones into the pyramid make good money.

FYI, it's already too late to be one of the "first ones in." That happened in 2012 and 13. Everybody signing up as a driver since about 2014 is getting hosed. Anyone who was smart back in 2013 or so should have eschewed driving and spent his time prospecting for driver referrals (getting more people into the pyramid). That's where the big money always is in pyramids -- getting more people in, not actually selling the product or service (in this case taxi driving) that the pyramid purports to offer.

Anyone who drives for Uber/Lyft has already lost. The only ones who won were the guys getting referrals years ago. They're long gone now and have moved on to greener pastures. Only suckers drive for $15/hour.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
1 - Dont chase Surge.. especially when low - Remember driver app is 2-5 min delayed...
Oh I understand not to chase. That wasn't my point. My point was that I was in an area where I had observed surge for hours before, was in the surge area for the duration of my rides (Let's say before every request and after every drop-off), and had continuously observed surge for a few hours after I finished for the day. Yes, I understand it's in 'real time' and that we are 'delayed', but explain to me why a surge appears at 2.2 only to disappear into nothing, as opposed to dropping slowly to 1.6, 1.3, and so on? And while we're on this point, why is our app delayed?-- Of all people, shouldn't we have as close to a real time representation as possible? Just another absurdity.

2 - You can always call and Ask... -- If I'm over 5 min out, Thats what I do.
My friend, I'm driving. I make it a point not to call or text as I'm driving. It's against the law, and I know how distracting it is first hand, not only as a driver, but as a witness to what's happening on the roads on a daily basis.

3 - Give them 5 star... 3 days later drop it down through help - (you were in a rush).
Please explain why this isn't common knowledge? Why doesn't Uber make this information plainly visible? Why don't they just make life easier for us? Am I not doing enough for the little pay, or should I waste more time on their behalf, for nothing?

4 - Go get defensive driver training. or something like it. -- I do annual winter skid/recovery training start of each winter.
More money out of my pocket? Is Uber servicing these places? How would they know who is doing the testing?

The bigger question is, why don't they care?

5 - Run your numbers and keep a close eye on it. Then you will know if it's worth it for you or not
It sure as hell is worth it if we have no other choice. This is why we drive, and this is also why so many of us are miserable about our earnings. There is a dishonest approach by Uber when they sell us their idea of the benefits of driving for them. We cannot do this job for anyone else. We aren't free to seek gainful employment by any other company similar to Uber. There is a reason we don't call ourselves, nor are we considered 'cab trivers'. We are literally the first and only 'uberdrivers'.

6 - If you ever thought you were on even standing, mistake #1
We aren't, and I don't think anyone in their right mind believes that, but it isn't lost on me on why they would call us 'partners' as opposed to 'contractors'. They play a lot of headgames with us, and they pay people an insane amount of money to not only keep it that way, but to keep winning.

7 - There are ways around it. Including education of pax.
There is no other service company that discourages tipping it's employees or contractors. There is absolutely no reason for them to do this. It was a grand idea at first, but there is absolutely no need to keep discouraging it. They should, in fact, encourage it (now) if for no other reason than to make us just slightly happier.

You, again, expect the Uber driver to do even more work.

8 - Think of it as an agent.... if you perform well, you get good stuff.. and if not.. you loose out.
Right. Not sure I understand your definition of 'agent'.

9 - With so many willing drivers, and so few to stand up against them... They're pretty much in full control
I really don't think it needs to be this way. I hope we can agree on that.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
That's a typical pyramid or MLM scheme. MLM pyramids never last, they're essentially ponzi schemes and require an endless pool of suckers because everyone is recruiting their own competition. Once the pool of suckers begins to dry up, the last suckers get completely hosed and the pyramid collapses. Only the first ones into the pyramid make good money.

FYI, it's already too late to be one of the "first ones in." That happened in 2012 and 13. Everybody signing up as a driver since about 2014 is getting hosed. Anyone who was smart back in 2013 or so should have eschewed driving and spent his time prospecting for driver referrals (getting more people into the pyramid). That's where the big money always is in pyramids -- getting more people in, not actually selling the product or service (in this case taxi driving) that the pyramid purports to offer.

Anyone who drives for Uber/Lyft has already lost. The only ones who won were the guys getting referrals years ago. They're long gone now and have moved on to greener pastures. Only suckers drive for $15/hour.
Is there not some kind of law against this? I'm not familiar with the law.
 

Flarpy

Well-Known Member
It only becomes illegal when the moneys made from referrals greatly eclipse the moneys made from actual work (providing the service). Since Uber/Lyft usually require drivers give a certain number of rides to get the incentive, they sidestep this issue. It's actually quite ingenious. But it will come crashing down. The only question is when.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
It only becomes illegal when the moneys made from referrals greatly eclipse the moneys made from actual work (providing the service). Since Uber/Lyft usually require drivers give a certain number of rides to get the incentive, they sidestep this issue. It's actually quite ingenious. But it will come crashing down. The only question is when.
It really is brilliant. Think of the original 'UberBlack' now being all but completely phased out in favour of 'UberX'. UberBlack is now the luxurious option (according to their site). Very Pyramid like, if I don't say so myself.
 

Fuzzyelvis

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum (although I have been browsing for a few months) and new to the job of driving (UberX) as a 'partner' with Uber.

After only a few dozen rides I have noticed these things:

1) The so-called 'phantom surge' seems to be a very real issue. I have on several occasions noticed that even though I am in a surging area (the area surging for hours before, during, and after the trip), I do not get a surging request most of the time. For example, on the Sunday during Caribana weekend, the entire downtown core-- extending from Parkdale to the Beaches and from Lakeshore all the way to Bloor was surging all morning and into the afternoon (at least on my app). Right in the middle of it all, I only got two surged rides. I wrote to Uber regarding the issue, although I got a dismissive non-response.

2) My life as a driver would be much easier if I knew where the passenger was going before I accept. I had several instances of driving for nearly 10 minutes to pick up a passenger, only to have a short $3 ride, usually with groceries that I loaded and unloaded from trunk. In fact, I've had more of these rides than I have of surged ones. Obviously, had I known, I would never have accepted. This information should be available to us, and would likely be a significant difference in our earnings. If the PAX needs to wait a few minutes longer, so be it. It might even improve the system for everyone.

3) Belligerent riders might be rare, but we do sometimes drive them. I can handle my fair level of stress, but we should be able to rate our riders without fear of 'retribution' and them rating us poorly just because we rated them appropriately. Someone drunkenly playing with my radio (blasting the music to deafening levels), yelling through the window at pedestrians, punching my sunroof, and making physical contact with me while I'm on the highway, should be barred from ever ubering again. A lower rating for PAX means nothing if there aren't any consequences. However, I think the lower the rating, the more they (PAX) should pay. There should be a threshold, and it would likely do wonders in improving their behaviour-- it should also be a bonus given only to the driver for an obvious job hazard.

4) Speaking of job hazards-- we are literally on the road for hours on end. This increases our likelihood of vehicular accidents by a large margin over the general population. We are given no special training as most other people who drive for a living do, nor are we compensated as fairly. I don't know about you, but this stinks of premeditated exploitation.

5) I mention 'premeditated exploitation' because it seems like the business strategy is to prey on those (us) who happen to be in a financial bind, between jobs, or currently unable to otherwise find gainful employment-- selling us on the idea of a great experience driving 'when we want' (even though that would only mean at certain times to make a livable wage) and not once in any of their ads mentioning what the realistic income will be for most of us.

6) We are considered 'private contractors', yet Uber insists on calling us 'partners'. Although this may seem like semantics, it is very much disingenuous in that it makes us feel as if we're on even standing, yet we couldn't be further from it (Uber makes billions, most of us make beer money at best). Before you say "Uber is barely profitable", they're willing to admit that burning billions in China was sustainable. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., were all 'unprofitable' companies, yet their CEO's are billionaires, they currently make billions, and/or were sold for bought for billions on the premise of extreme profitability.

7) No tipping. I find it absurd that they would go out of their way to make the passenger think tipping is included. In fact, I bring it up every time a passenger asks "How's driving for Uber". Many riders feel that the tip is already included (amazing how people can actually think this), but it isn't surprising when your employer makes it a point to discourage any form of tipping to the driver and has some nonsense $2.50 fee which the riders think is going to the driver. Every single person in the service industry gets regular tips except for us-- taxi drivers, barbers, waiters, bellhops, etc.-- and they all make more money. I mentioned this to one rider and was given a small tip. He said had he known, he'd have always tipped, and will make it his own personal policy from now on. However, we shouldn't have to mention it to passengers as if we're complaining or begging. This policy is absurd at best and downright malicious at worst.

8) I mention Uber as our 'employer', because for all intents and purposes, they are. We aren't tradespeople, don't own a shop, nor are we CEO's. We drive a car on a platform that is only possible through technology provided by Uber. We are unemployable in any other company by Uber standards. We aren't free to do as we please, and in fact get punished if we refuse rides or get lower ratings (for whatever reason). We aren't 'free' to do as we will. We need to follow their guidelines, play by their rules, and then give them a non-negotiable cut. As far as I'm concerned, a non-negotiable pact isn't fair, nor should it ever be considered proper business. To everyone thinking "nobody is forcing you to drive Uber", please read the last point.

9) Uber cannot exist without us, the drivers. We have rights. We should be treated as human beings who expect to make a decent wage considering all of our costs and hazards of the job. We should be a unified entity with clear demands and negotiable terms with our employer. It's impossible for me to believe that we cannot somehow unify to force some of our terms on Uber.

As long as they depend on us to exist (before phasing us out with robot cars) the ball is, and always will be, in our court. Collectively, we hold a lot more power than we think.

Btw, their $250 incentive to recruit new drivers for them says everything about the absurdity of this business model for the drivers. We will get paid a small amount only to over-saturate an already over-saturated market for us, the drivers. In the end, the payout only (obviously) means less earnings for us. It just goes to show how highly Uber thinks of our intelligence. They are like the payday loan sharks in poor neighbourhoods or the insanely high interest credit card that you know you'll need to use because you're broke-- they know we need money, even if to our detriment, and they don't care in the slightest.
Now tell us something we don't know...lol.
 

djino

Well-Known Member
1) The so-called 'phantom surge' seems to be a very real issue. I have on several occasions noticed that even though I am in a surging area (the area surging for hours before, during, and after the trip), I do not get a surging request most of the time.... I wrote to Uber regarding the issue, although I got a dismissive non-response.
You have to think of this from a riders prospective. Riders will value the need for an immediate ride vs waiting at a later time for the price to come down. All it takes is for 1 rider to accept a surge rate in a given area for the area to surge. And the area will stay as such until a driver is close to that specific rider and there are no more riders in the same area that have put in a request for a driver and are waiting.

Most riders who come on, seeing that the area is in a surge, would likely just stay offline. Especially if the immediate need to leave where I am isn't that great. I myself have done such as a rider. We are all cheap, and will be willing to wait it out for the price to come down. You as a driver in the area, won't benefit unless you are close to that specific rider who accepted the surge rate. Every other rider, will simply stay offline until that rider has been picked up and the surge goes away.

2) My life as a driver would be much easier if I knew where the passenger was going before I accept... This information should be available to us, and would likely be a significant difference in our earnings. If the PAX needs to wait a few minutes longer, so be it. It might even improve the system for everyone.
You also need to think of this from a rider's perspective. If the app provided this information prior to starting the trip with the pax in the car, would lead to a exceedingly high number of cancellations of trips prior to arrival. This would therefore result in a unreliable/poor Uber experience for the rider.

This therefore means, there is little incentive for Uber to provide this information to the driver ahead of arrival. Uber's priority is to make the experience better for the rider, so that riders keep coming back for more (even if this is at the expense of a driver).

3) ... A lower rating for PAX means nothing if there aren't any consequences. However, I think the lower the rating, the more they (PAX) should pay. There should be a threshold, and it would likely do wonders in improving their behaviour-- it should also be a bonus given only to the driver for an obvious job hazard.
If you Uber drive in fear of getting a low rating, you are doing this wrong.

Although having a high rating is important, it SHOULD NOT be a priority above safety, respect, efficiency , and most importantly; being fairly compensated for your issues.

Accepting any out of the norm issues during a trip while at the same time, giving the pax a 5 star, and not reporting the issue to Uber, makes YOU as a driver, part of the problem. You, as a result lower the standard, as that pax will continue on believing that this is acceptable behaviour.

Sure the pax can rate you low as well, but if you have done everything you should have (which includes reporting the pax for their inappropriate behaviour), Uber won't be so quick to deactivate you for low ratings.

You putting a priority on receiving a good rating, will only eventually lead to your downfall, as your own behaviour will lead to you accepting disrespect from your passengers, which could result into more expenses for you in the future.

4) ...I don't know about you, but this stinks of premeditated exploitation.
Of course it does. Its obviously evident that you and all drivers are being exploited. But this will not change.

The only thing you can do for you, is to try your best to get out of the Uber driving game as quickly as possible. If you are doing this full time, you are likely doing it because you haven't been able to find other employment opportunities. But at the sametime, you complaining about all these factors, should mean that its time for you to make a honest effort at getting out of it.

Perhaps you have given up on getting back into the business/career path you were on prior to Uber. Its likely time you find your way back to it, and quick. Hoping for the Uber driving experience to improve, isn't going to happen.

5) I mention 'premeditated exploitation' ....
Uber has zero incentive to be upfront with how much their drivers on average truly make. They know that if you decide to drive for them full time, its likely because you have no other options and are less motivated to find an alternate career path. There are thousands of you in the same boat. Uber is not going out of their way to make things better for you, only you can do that by getting out of the game as quickly as possible.

6) We are considered 'private contractors', yet Uber insists on calling us 'partners'. Although this may seem like semantics, it is very much disingenuous in that it makes us feel as if we're on even standing, yet we couldn't be further from it (Uber makes billions, most of us make beer money at best). Before you say "Uber is barely profitable", they're willing to admit that burning billions in China was sustainable. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., were all 'unprofitable' companies, yet their CEO's are billionaires, they currently make billions, and/or were sold for bought for billions on the premise of extreme profitability.
Does this really matter? Would you feel differently if Uber only made millions (instead of billions). How Uber handles their money isn't the issue. The issue is that you have accepted this way of making a living, when you need to be out there spending the majority of your time trying to find something else and/or improving on your skills/education to make you more employable.

7) No tipping. I find it absurd that they would go out of their way to make the passenger think tipping is included. In fact, I bring it up every time a passenger asks "How's driving for Uber". Many riders feel that the tip is already included (amazing how people can actually think this), but it isn't surprising when your employer makes it a point to discourage any form of tipping to the driver and has some nonsense $2.50 fee which the riders think is going to the driver. Every single person in the service industry gets regular tips except for us-- taxi drivers, barbers, waiters, bellhops, etc.-- and they all make more money. I mentioned this to one rider and was given a small tip. He said had he known, he'd have always tipped, and will make it his own personal policy from now on. However, we shouldn't have to mention it to passengers as if we're complaining or begging. This policy is absurd at best and downright malicious at worst.
This I absolutely agree with. I can't really say anything more because you are absolutely right.

8) I mention Uber as our 'employer', because for all intents and purposes, they are. We aren't tradespeople, don't own a shop, nor are we CEO's. We drive a car on a platform that is only possible through technology provided by Uber. We are unemployable in any other company by Uber standards. We aren't free to do as we please, and in fact get punished if we refuse rides or get lower ratings (for whatever reason). We aren't 'free' to do as we will. We need to follow their guidelines, play by their rules, and then give them a non-negotiable cut. As far as I'm concerned, a non-negotiable pact isn't fair, nor should it ever be considered proper business. To everyone thinking "nobody is forcing you to drive Uber", please read the last point.

9) Uber cannot exist without us, the drivers. We have rights. We should be treated as human beings who expect to make a decent wage considering all of our costs and hazards of the job. We should be a unified entity with clear demands and negotiable terms with our employer. It's impossible for me to believe that we cannot somehow unify to force some of our terms on Uber.
The fact is, Uber has made the situation impossible for Uber drivers to organize (which is brilliant to be honest). You may not be willing to put up with such issues, but thousands of others who have no choice, will.

Uber doesn't really need to care about your grievances because if you had other options, you wouldnt be here complaining about it, and would simply move on. The fact that you care so much for the experience to improve, shows a bit of dependence on the system, which makes the incentive for Uber to change it even less.

I'm sorry to say it, but yeah, if you don't like it, don't do it. I understand, that you may have little choice at the moment, but at the sametime, business is business for Uber. Unless they are regulated to do the right thing by drivers, they simply won't.

The sooner you come to the realization about everything I've written here, the better off you will be. I wish you luck, and hope you can get out of this dependency on Uber, REAL SOON.

djino
"Good luck!"
 
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Token44

Well-Known Member
Let me have a go at some of these...

1. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Surge is dynamic, meaning it changes often. When the surge rate changes (eg. 1.5 to 2.0, or 1.6 to 1.2) in either direction there is a brief period of time in the passenger app that the surge goes away. I've used UBER as a rider many times, and have observed this myself. Savvy riders will have the ride all queued up and ready to go. In the 30-40 seconds of time that the surge rate is changing there will be no surge on the passenger app, and they request at that time. THIS WORKS! I have personally tried it , and done it!

2. Your life would be easier, but this is NEVER going to happen. In order for UBER to provide the "level of service" that they want, you'll never see this info before a pickup. It really is part of the bargain. You either accept it or not. I've had rides that are 7 minutes away that went less than 1 km, and others that were literally standing outside my car when they requested, and were over $100.00. Luck of the draw.

3. You should be rating the riders how you feel it is fair to rate them. I don't let people play with my radio, and anyone punching my sunroof, or touching me would be an immediate stop and GTFO!
Your theory of making pax pay more based on low ratings will also NEVER happen. If it did, so many drivers would rate everyone a 1* regardless, just to be able to make more off of each pax. This too is a pipe dream.

4. Before logging on to the driver app for the first time, you know that you will be driving on public roads. It's only reasonable that the longer you're on the road, the more likely an accident will happen. These things are a given, and shouldn't be a surprise. By clicking "Go Online" you are acknowledging acceptance of this risk. Pretty straightforward.

5. Playing Devil's advocate here, I've NEVER seen UBER advertise driving for them as a "path to a new career" or that a driver should believe that this is going to put them on their way to "financial independence", or even that you'll get a "livable wage". They have always been consistent in their marketing of driving for UBER as a way to make some "extra money" using something you already have (car and time). In a recent TV ad I've seen several times they actually do talk about driving a few hours a day and taking home $300 a week, they even go on to say "it's actually a little bit more" in that ad. This is basically true. If you drive for even 3 hours a day (21 hours a week) in a reasonably busy area $300 per week is entirely doable.
Can you live on $300/week... No, but it was never promised or advertised as a way to make a living.

6. Not exactly sure where you're going on this one. The inventors, and UBER principals make a butt ton of money. Just like the top brass of any large company that has a lot of income.

7. UBER will not openly support tipping. They are in business to make money for themselves, and they make 0% of any cash tips, so there's no incentive for them to support it.
You will not see tipping in the app either. All payments processed through credit card gets charged a percentage by the CC company. No way UBER is going to absorb those costs. If they passed those costs on to the drives they would be screaming that riders left them a tip, but UBER kept some. That would upset some riders, and UBER is just not willing to take that chance, for no return.
A LOT of pax know exactly how the "tipping" works in UBER, but choose to be cheap, and use the company's "cashless transaction" and "Tips not required" as an excuse not to part with their $$$.

8. In a way you are free to do as you will. If you choose not to drive for UBER, you can do whatever you want. If you decide to drive UBER then you agree to following their rules. This is not totally unique. If you were a subcontractor on a building site, say a bricklayer building a house. You have to lay the bricks the way the general contractor says, you can't just do as you please. You'd know before laying the first brick what the job pays, and exactly how you are to complete it. You then decide to accept those terms and start mixing mortar, or don't accept and go home. Sure there may be other general contractors you can work for on other job sites, but with UBER they are the only game in town at present, so you either agree or do something else completely.

9. True, UBER cannot exist without drivers. However, as long as there are drivers that are willing to work within the current business model there is no incentive to change anything for UBER. It's really a very old business model. They are using fear as a motivating force. Drivers fear losing their ability to make money on the platform, and as such, are willing to accept the current (and future) environment.

Expecting to make a decent wage from a platform that sells itself as a way to earn some "extra cash" is simply not sustainable, and I'm not sure why people believe they are entitled to make decent pay because they believe they are working hard for it. If the pay is not acceptable, then it's up to the individual to move on.

That being said, there are a lot of people who have decided to drive for UBER as their primary income, and have found a way to make it work for them. This is a conscious decision, and comes with it the acceptance of UBER's business model.

On the other side of that coin, there are drivers who the UBER business model works perfectly for, me included. Those who are doing this part-time and just looking to make an extra few bucks instead of sitting at home and watching TV are likely very happy. They don't really care about their ratings, won't put up with poor pax behaviour, and if they are deactivated... So be it. They will not be loosing any sleep over it, and go back to sitting on the couch catching up on Netflix.
 
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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
You have to think of this from a riders prospective.
My point is that the surge map stinks of Uber basically scattering peanuts and watching the monkeys climb over themselves to get them. If the driver app is delayed and a non-surged request comes in (even though you are currently seeing yourself in a surge area) then the entire point of the map is lost. If a rider can simply just wait a few minutes and keep trying, doesn't Uber also lose out in fares? Improving the surge would benefit both the drivers and Uber. And so long as Uber remains (even if only slightly) cheaper than taxis, it will not lose much, if any, of its customers.


You also need to think of this from a rider's perspective. If the app provided this information prior to starting the trip with the pax in the car, would lead to a exceedingly high number of cancellations of trips prior to arrival. This would therefore result in a unreliable/poor Uber experience for the rider.
There are many ways in which this could be addressed. Firstly, by the same token of not wanting to take very short rides, some of us will also not want to take very long ones. Secondly, the entire system won't suddenly collapse because Becky had to wait a little longer to get a ride. I'll gladly take the short trips, all of them, so long as I'm less than 3 minutes away. With the amount of drivers currently on the road, it should take a mere few more minutes of waiting to still get their ride. I don't think it's a bad trade, and again, I see no danger of Uber losing clients. Heck, a few people have been very apologetic about their short ride requests, so they know very well how much it sucks for us. Introducing a minimum fee, somewhat similar to the no show fee we get would help tremendously. And no, riders haven't stopped using the platform because they're charged if they're late.

This therefore means, there is little incentive for Uber to provide this information to the driver ahead of arrival. Uber's priority is to make the experience better for the rider, so that riders keep coming back for more (even if this is at the expense of a driver).
The point of the original thread is that regardless of the incentives for Uber, we should be treated fairly and not everything has to be "at the driver's expense". If we can organize, we have a lot of power to negotiate with Uber on fair terms. There is no Uber and there are no riders, without us. There are laws out there that protect us from exploitation, there have to be.

Just because the large print giveth and the small print taketh away doesn't mean that Uber can do what they will with us. They start people off by allowing them to make more money than they will be in the long run. They incentivize us with pyramid-like rewards (almost always at the beginning) and then slowly take away our earnings. After a year of driving, Uber has become a full time job for many people, whether Uber or anyone else call it a 'job' or not. These are human rights issues.

If you Uber drive in fear of getting a low rating, you are doing this wrong.

Although having a high rating is important, it SHOULD NOT be a priority above safety, respect, efficiency , and most importantly; being fairly compensated for your issues.

Accepting any out of the norm issues during a trip while at the same time, giving the pax a 5 star, and not reporting the issue to Uber, makes YOU as a driver, part of the problem. You, as a result lower the standard, as that pax will continue on believing that this is acceptable behaviour.

Sure the pax can rate you low as well, but if you have done everything you should have (which includes reporting the pax for their inappropriate behaviour), Uber won't be so quick to deactivate you for low ratings.

You putting a priority on receiving a good rating, will only eventually lead to your downfall, as your own behaviour will lead to you accepting disrespect from your passengers, which could result into more expenses for you in the future.
You mention not worrying about your ratings in the same breath as saying "Uber would be so quick to deactivate you". I had one passenger that did all the things I mentioned in my first post. They were a group and the male sitting next to me was drunk and being stupid. It's part of the job, I get it. I should report them, and will. However, my original point about rider retribution still stands. The lower I rate the passengers, the lower I myself will be rated. It's a no-win situation because, as we all know, Uber almost always sides with the passengers, and there is no punishment for them whatsoever. For us, it could mean deactivation. There is a huge problem with how this works, especially for us. It makes a lot of us put up with BS that we really shouldn't have to be putting up with. The system makes for a master and servant relationship.

Of course it does. Its obviously evident that you and all drivers are being exploited. But this will not change.

The only thing you can do for you, is to try your best to get out of the Uber driving game as quickly as possible. If you are doing this full time, you are likely doing it because you haven't been able to find other employment opportunities. But at the sametime, you complaining about all these factors, should mean that its time for you to make a honest effort at getting out of it.
This is so defeatist that I wonder what kind of psychological toll driving for these slave runners is taking on drivers. I'm low on money, out of work, and out of ideas. I am a skilled tradesman who can no longer work due to chronic injuries. This by no means allows for a company to take away whatever dignity I have left. I'm doing a great job, have a high rating, and should be compensated fairly-- just like anyone else driving for a living.

Perhaps you have given up on getting back into the business/career path you were on prior to Uber. Its likely time you find your way back to it, and quick. Hoping for the Uber driving experience to improve, isn't going to happen.
I am befuddled by this attitude. We absolutely can change how Uber treats us as long as we organize and make ourselves heard collectively.

Uber has zero incentive to be upfront with how much their drivers on average truly make.
They advertised for two or three months (Mar, Apr, May of this year) right here in Toronto, guaranteeing $4700 per month on a 40 hour work week. This was obviously false advertising on what income to expect as a driver. They didn't guarantee it for longer than a month, and yes the small print always says something that protects them, but the truth is that most people read the headline, and most don't expect to be so blatantly mislead.

Does this really matter? Would you feel differently if Uber only made millions (instead of billions). How Uber handles their money isn't the issue. The issue is that you have accepted this way of making a living, when you need to be out there spending the majority of your time trying to find something else and/or improving on your skills/education to make you more employable.
Again, I think most of us are in some kind of a bind and this is why we accept their terms so easily. Uber knows this. And yeah, the difference between a billion and a million is about a thousand millions, so it does matter to me. There is literally no other company operating on this continent that is exploiting their workforce to this extent.

This I absolutely agree with. I can't really say anything more because you are absolutely right.
Awesome!

The fact is, Uber has made the situation impossible for Uber drivers to organize (which is brilliant to be honest). You may not be willing to put up with such issues, but thousands of others who have no choice, will.
I actually have little choice at the moment. Yes, it's going to be hard to organize, but it isn't impossible. This forum is a great example of that. With the help of media, social media, and maybe even politicians, we can surely get something going.

Uber doesn't really need to care about your grievances because if you had other options, you wouldnt be here complaining about it, and would simply move on. The fact that you care so much for the experience to improve, shows a bit of dependence on the system, which makes the incentive for Uber to change it even less.
Again, this wouldn't be the case if we collectively approached this and our attitudes weren't so defeatist in nature.

Unless they are regulated to do the right thing by drivers, they simply won't.
Thanks.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
1. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Surge is dynamic, meaning it changes often. When the surge rate changes (eg. 1.5 to 2.0, or 1.6 to 1.2) in either direction there is a brief period of time in the passenger app that the surge goes away. I've used UBER as a rider many times, and have observed this myself. Savvy riders will have the ride all queued up and ready to go. In the 30-40 seconds of time that the surge rate is changing there will be no surge on the passenger app, and they request at that time. THIS WORKS! I have personally tried it , and done it!
If this is the case, it should be in the interest of not only us, but Uber as well, to fix the issue.

2. Your life would be easier, but this is NEVER going to happen. In order for UBER to provide the "level of service" that they want, you'll never see this info before a pickup. It really is part of the bargain. You either accept it or not. I've had rides that are 7 minutes away that went less than 1 km, and others that were literally standing outside my car when they requested, and were over $100.00. Luck of the draw.
Just because it is this way now, doesn't mean it has to stay this way forever. Changing this policy would only mean PAX having to wait a few minutes longer.

3. Your theory of making pax pay more based on low ratings will also NEVER happen. If it did, so many drivers would rate everyone a 1* regardless, just to be able to make more off of each pax. This too is a pipe dream.
Agreed, implementing something like this would likely be impossible. Still, I'm sure we could collectively find a fair middle ground. As it stands, we have very little power to change the status quo if riders are allowed to do (ride) as they please, regardless of their rating.

4. Before logging on to the driver app for the first time, you know that you will be driving on public roads. It's only reasonable that the longer you're on the road, the more likely an accident will happen. These things are a given, and shouldn't be a surprise. By clicking "Go Online" you are acknowledging acceptance of this risk. Pretty straightforward.
This is how it works in Uberworld, but it sure as hell isn't a driving industry norm. Just because things are the way they are, doesn't mean they have to stay that way. My point is that they make it as easy as possible for people while completely disregarding the safety of both drivers and riders.

5. Playing Devil's advocate here, I've NEVER seen UBER advertise driving for them as a "path to a new career" or that a driver should believe that this is going to put them on their way to "financial independence", or even that you'll get a "livable wage". They have always been consistent in their marketing of driving for UBER as a way to make some "extra money" using something you already have (car and time). In a recent TV ad I've seen several times they actually do talk about driving a few hours a day and taking home $300 a week, they even go on to say "it's actually a little bit more" in that ad. This is basically true. If you drive for even 3 hours a day (21 hours a week) in a reasonably busy area $300 per week is entirely doable.
Can you live on $300/week... No, but it was never promised or advertised as a way to make a living.
Just a few months ago they advertised a $4700 guarantee per month. They also actively advertise "drive part time, full time, any time" and if they could get away with it "all the time" would surely follow.

6. Not exactly sure where you're going on this one. The inventors, and UBER principals make a butt ton of money. Just like the top brass of any large company that has a lot of income.
With the small exception of all top companies having to abide by labour laws.

7. UBER will not openly support tipping. They are in business to make money for themselves, and they make 0% of any cash tips, so there's no incentive for them to support it.
You will not see tipping in the app either. All payments processed through credit card gets charged a percentage by the CC company. No way UBER is going to absorb those costs. If they passed those costs on to the drives they would be screaming that riders left them a tip, but UBER kept some. That would upset some riders, and UBER is just not willing to take that chance, for no return.
A LOT of pax know exactly how the "tipping" works in UBER, but choose to be cheap, and use the company's "cashless transaction" and "Tips not required" as an excuse not to part with their $$$.
Nobody is calling for a tip button. Simply encouraging PAX to leave cash tips as opposed to discouraging it is so easily do-able and wouldn't make the tiniest dent in their bottom line. A rider paying $10 for a service they would have had to pay $20 for isn't going to suddenly stop ubering because they feel like they need to tip a buck or two.

8. In a way you are free to do as you will. If you choose not to drive for UBER, you can do whatever you want. If you decide to drive UBER then you agree to following their rules. This is not totally unique. If you were a subcontractor on a building site, say a bricklayer building a house. You have to lay the bricks the way the general contractor says, you can't just do as you please. You'd know before laying the first brick what the job pays, and exactly how you are to complete it. You then decide to accept those terms and start mixing mortar, or don't accept and go home. Sure there may be other general contractors you can work for on other job sites, but with UBER they are the only game in town at present, so you either agree or do something else completely.
The huge difference being that as a carpenter I can choose between jobs. Many of us agreed on completely different terms. The game has changed, as have the rules, but the players are the same.

9. True, UBER cannot exist without drivers. However, as long as there are drivers that are willing to work within the current business model there is no incentive to change anything for UBER. It's really a very old business model. They are using fear as a motivating force. Drivers fear losing their ability to make money on the platform, and as such, are willing to accept the current (and future) environment.

Expecting to make a decent wage from a platform that sells itself as a way to earn some "extra cash" is simply not sustainable, and I'm not sure why people believe they are entitled to make decent pay because they believe they are working hard for it. If the pay is not acceptable, then it's up to the individual to move on.
Most part time or second jobs are considered 'extra pay'. It doesn't mean that someone working part-time should be exploited because they aren't making the bulk of their earnings at that job. It's a silly argument, and by that logic we'd have a pretty lawless society if it were widely tolerated. This is Canada, where people have safe spaces, trigger warnings, and people are charged for rather benign things they might do or say because they hurt someone's 'feelings'. Surely our grievances are just as important-- we are people too, right?

That being said, there are a lot of people who have decided to drive for UBER as their primary income, and have found a way to make it work for them. This is a conscious decision, and comes with it the acceptance of UBER's business model.
They change how they play the game multiple times. People who were driving for $2/mile and are now driving for $0.80/mile likely didn't agree to those terms when they first started.
 

djino

Well-Known Member
My point is that the surge map stinks of Uber basically scattering peanuts and watching the monkeys climb over themselves to get them. If the driver app is delayed and a non-surged request comes in (even though you are currently seeing yourself in a surge area) then the entire point of the map is lost. If a rider can simply just wait a few minutes and keep trying, doesn't Uber also lose out in fares?
No they wont if that same passenger waits until the surge is over and then requests (which is more than likely to occur).

Improving the surge would benefit both the drivers and Uber. And so long as Uber remains (even if only slightly) cheaper than taxis, it will not lose much, if any, of its customers.
Uber benefits more so, if there is no surge as that increases rider satisfaction, which means they are likely to request again.

A surge trip only benefits Uber due to the increase rate of pay, but then that comes at the expense of rider dissatisfaction while at the sametime showing how unreliable the platform is, which they would prefer to avoid.

There are many ways in which this could be addressed. Firstly, by the same token of not wanting to take very short rides, some of us will also not want to take very long ones. Secondly, the entire system won't suddenly collapse because Becky had to wait a little longer to get a ride.
The system wouldn't callapse, I never imply this. But if you are unwilling to pick up Becky, what makes you think that all of a sudden the next driver who accepts will (once they find out where Becky wants to go). It could come to a point where Becky has to make 5-10 requests for an Uber because each time a driver accepts and then cancels. In this scenario, Becky becomes frustrated with Uber, and no longer considers it reliable and thus does not consider it as a means of transportation.

There is no incentive for Uber to make the Uber experience worse for Becky to improve it for Driver Itscometothis . If you think of this from a business prospective, you would understand why it makes sense NOT to provide this info to drivers before hand. Instead, the best they can do is put out an option in which you specify your offline destination, and Uber will provide your next trip going in that direction (which is what has been implemented).

The above feature does not interfere with Becky's experience and allows the driver to get home with minimizing his dead miles.



The point of the original thread is that regardless of the incentives for Uber, we should be treated fairly and not everything has to be "at the driver's expense".
Uber is a for profit business, that up until recently was bounded by very little regulation. Any business would act the same towards contractors they have working for them. For profit businesses will not go out of their way to do the right thing, unless they are regulated too. You would be delusional to expect more than that (no offense).

If we can organize, we have a lot of power to negotiate with Uber on fair terms. There is no Uber and there are no riders, without us. There are laws out there that protect us from exploitation, there have to be.
The question you have to ask yourself is, how do you plan to achieve this "organized" effort?

1) How do you get to communicate with a significant amount of drivers?

2) If you are able to do #1, how do you provide them with the incentive to listen to you?

3) If you are able to do #2, how do you stop those who can't resist going back online when they see a surge?

You will soon find it impossible to get any of the above done. And without being able to do ALL 3 above, Uber won't take you seriously.

Just because the large print giveth and the small print taketh away doesn't mean that Uber can do what they will with us. They start people off by allowing them to make more money than they will be in the long run. They incentivize us with pyramid-like rewards (almost always at the beginning) and then slowly take away our earnings. After a year of driving, Uber has become a full time job for many people, whether Uber or anyone else call it a 'job' or not. These are human rights issues.
Again, Uber can continue to do so, because you and thousands of other drivers still continue to go online and accept it. The only way you can get Uber to change, is to have the discussion with your city Councillors and have them introduce new regulations that require Uber to treat drivers better. I doubt this is going to happen anytime soon, if any further regulation is to happen at all

You mention not worrying about your ratings in the same breath as saying "Uber would be so quick to deactivate you".
Actually I didn't say that. I said "Uber won't be so quick to deactivate you." :smiles:

I had one passenger that did all the things I mentioned in my first post. They were a group and the male sitting next to me was drunk and being stupid. It's part of the job, I get it. I should report them, and will. However, my original point about rider retribution still stands. The lower I rate the passengers, the lower I myself will be rated. It's a no-win situation because, as we all know, Uber almost always sides with the passengers, and there is no punishment for them whatsoever. For us, it could mean deactivation. There is a huge problem with how this works, especially for us. It makes a lot of us put up with BS that we really shouldn't have to be putting up with. The system makes for a master and servant relationship.
If you truly feel that way, why are you driving? Why would you put up with such disrespect? How far does this disrespect need to go before you say "enough is enough"? Complaining on an Uber drivers forum, may help as a place you can vent, but it doesn't change your situation now, does it?

This is so defeatist that I wonder what kind of psychological toll driving for these slave runners is taking on drivers. I'm low on money, out of work, and out of ideas. I am a skilled tradesman who can no longer work due to chronic injuries. This by no means allows for a company to take away whatever dignity I have left. I'm doing a great job, have a high rating, and should be compensated fairly-- just like anyone else driving for a living.
You can no longer work due to chronic injuries, but you are able to drive for Uber what 40-60 hours / week to make a living?

I completely understand having to do what you got to do to make a living, but if you are "injured", isn't driving excessively as you likely are doing with Uber, making your injures worse? I appears as though you have your priorities mixed up here.

I am befuddled by this attitude. We absolutely can change how Uber treats us as long as we organize and make ourselves heard collectively.
lol, see my 3 points above and then tell me how you will achieve it. And just as an FYI, I've had the grouping of over 100 drivers in Ottawa in an online group, and still could not achieve success because every driver has a different personality and different goals from what they want out of Uber. And there is no way to force them to go inline with any agendas you have.

Again, I think most of us are in some kind of a bind and this is why we accept their terms so easily. Uber knows this. And yeah, the difference between a billion and a million is about a thousand millions, so it does matter to me. There is literally no other company operating on this continent that is exploiting their workforce to this extent.
So what you are saying is if Uber was only making millions, yet still treated just as bad, you would be more willing to accept it? This is what I mean by, does it really matter how much they are making. Your focus, shouldn't lie with the fact that Uber is making billions.

I actually have little choice at the moment. Yes, it's going to be hard to organize, but it isn't impossible. This forum is a great example of that. With the help of media, social media, and maybe even politicians, we can surely get something going.
This won't help. There is likely a 100 happy Uber riders to every 1 unhappy Uber driver. The public has no incentive to fight for better treatment of Uber drivers (such as higher rates), as that would simply go against their Interest. As a result, the media won't see it being a big story. They could print a story (I have once had an Ottawa Sun/Citizen reporter contact me, and as a result of my communications with him, printed a story about Uber).

I mean. Something like the above will only negatively effect Uber for 5 minutes, and then the world moves on, without any positive progress for Drivers.

djino
"Now as Beyonce says..go pick up Becky with the good hair"
 
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NFIH

Well-Known Member
1. I don't bother driving toward "surged" areas. Instead, I just drive toward high-density areas (downtown Toronto) or areas where there's a high propensity for area residents to take Uber rides (Liberty Village). I do believe surge is a manipulated metric used by Uber to herd drivers toward areas where it thinks it can generate the most business and maintain its reputation as always having drivers available. But as you say, there are surprisingly few actual surge rides in those areas, and that includes downtown. I hit the road at 6 or 6:30 am on a weekday and head downtown. The entire DT core is bright red. But as I get closer the surge coloring fades and by the time I'm at say, Spadina and Bloor, the map is back to white--dead in the middle of early morning rush hour. So yes, I think Uber is playing games so I ignore their surge heat maps.

However, it's worth pointing out that because of the nature of the relationship between time and distance, you're not going to get majority surge rides even if there was no gaming going on. By that I mean the time you spend taking one surge ride from point A to point B is time another driver is taking one of your potential surge rides on another trip. So because the surge rides are spread across numerous drivers, it's not possible to get many surge rides in one shift (say, 3-6 hours)--unless they are *all* exceedingly short and none take you out of a surging area, which comes down to pure chance. On a really good day I find about a third of my trips might be surged, but 90% of the time it's easily less than that. And none of this even takes into account riders "gaming" the system as others have also pointed out, which also dramatically lowers the chance of getting surged rides.

2. Yep. It would be easier for us as drivers. But as others have said, this is a non-starter. Talking to riders, anger with the incumbent taxi services almost always starts with the refusal of cabbies to take the rider where the latter wants to go based on the destination. As you may have heard, such behavior may even have contributed to the shooting death of a girl at a Drake party a couple of years ago. The fact that Uber doesn't allow this is a MASSIVE advantage over traditional cabs, and I actually agree with it. It's a complete dick move for cabbies to refuse service in this way. But maybe there could be a happier meeting where inconvenient rides are somehow charged differently (e.g. a lot more) so that it's fairer to the driver. At the very least the time and distance spent driving to the pickup only to do the drop-off for a third or a tenth of the distance should all be compensated by Uber (I dread that moment where I've driven 8 clicks or whatever, pick up the rider, tap for destination and discover they're going 2.4 kms). I know--good luck with that!

4. I'm not interested in taking any extra training--and certainly not at my own expense since Uber doesn't pay anywhere near well enough to justify that--but I do wonder about these drivers, whether Uber or taxis, who allegedly drive 10-12 hours per day. IMO, because of fatigue that is absolutely not safe and you're endangering yourself and everyone else on the road.

5. Agreed. Did you know the average Uber driver does it for six months? Because that's about the maximum time you need to realize that the job makes little economic sense. If you have to do this more than 10-20 hours a week, it's because you have no other options. Because beyond that total, you're putting far too much wear and tear on your car, which will gut your earnings. And moreover, your hourly earnings don't meaningfully increase since the 10-20 hours already covers all the driving sweet spots (e.g. morning rush, Friday night, etc.). Who really wants to work 40 hours a week for $10-$15/hour with no benefits whatsoever?

You may also be aware that Ontario lost 36,100 jobs last month, according to last Friday's job report. I would wager this means a guaranteed influx of new drivers as the newly uu- and underemployed scramble to make ends meet (depending on their EI situations, there could be some lag). My theory is that the worse the economy is doing, the better it is for Uber (and for most operators in the so-called "gig economy") because the more people are out of work, the more they'll be pressured to do work such as Uber, which has a minimal barrier to entry and which can start generating cash flow almost immediately. None of this is a good sign for society as a whole, but that's another discussion.

7. Yeah, the lack of tipping sucks. But I understand why Uber does it. Again from having talked to many passengers, one of the big issues they have with the incumbent taxis is the pressure--and this is distressingly common among female riders--they feel to tip. It's awkward and uncomfortable and, especially with female passengers, has led to some really shocking confrontations. So making the entire transaction cashless is something riders *really* appreciate. That said, I don't see why Uber can't do what I hear Lyft does and make tipping through the app an option. No one has to see the other party and it's all good. Because yes, the fares alone--30%-40% cheaper than a taxi--are pitiful.

9. Agreed. Every job should come with dignity and I reject this idea that it's "lump it or leave it." Like you, I'm in a particular situation where I don't have another option at the moment (which is exactly the circumstance a declining economy generates, but which creates opportunity for highly exploitive business models like Uber to flourish and then we call it "innovation" or "disruptive") so I'm stuck for now. But you better believe that all I do is look for work back in my actual profession so I can leave what I feel is a genuinely terrible job in Uber--and yes, payday loan sharks is exactly how I would characterize the business model. So I wish you luck as well in doing the same. I do what I can to raise awareness but I've got mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay, so it's difficult to say I'll stick around to help organize for better conditions for those who can't get out (yet).
 

Hannibalb

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Of course Uber drivers should organize and I agree they do have more power than they think. Don't know why people are discouraging others in doing this.

This attitude that Uber drivers aren't entitled to a liveable wage like any other service job is ridiculous. Of course they are and its clear they are currently not being compensated appropriately simple as that.

Can Uber do all sorts of things that would cost them almost nothing that would greatly benefit the driver? Yes of course. We all know Uber gives very little thought to the driver, all they care is that there are cars on the road. Uber is a thoroughly psychopathic corporation. They have no social conscience. Great for growth in the short term but a disaster long term.

Honestly expecting Uber to reform itself in a major way is not realistic IMO. The creatures that run this company are too delusional and socially stunted to change course and the type of organization Uber is has already been set. But they do need to be fought. There is nothing sustainable about their business model. The bottom will drop out from Uber eventually but ridesharing is here to stay. Competitors will come that will take away the bulk of their 'taxi' style business while Uber will be stuck chasing bus riders for no profit. You don't treat your service providers like trash constantly and get away with it in the long run.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
No they wont if that same passenger waits until the surge is over and then requests (which is more than likely to occur).
Uber benefits more so, if there is no surge as that increases rider satisfaction, which means they are likely to request again.
A surge trip only benefits Uber due to the increase rate of pay, but then that comes at the expense of rider dissatisfaction while at the sametime showing how unreliable the platform is, which they would prefer to avoid.
So what is the point of having surge pricing? If Uber is losing customers because of it, they wouldn't have implemented it in the first place.

The system wouldn't callapse, I never imply this. But if you are unwilling to pick up Becky, what makes you think that all of a sudden the next driver who accepts will (once they find out where Becky wants to go). It could come to a point where Becky has to make 5-10 requests for an Uber because each time a driver accepts and then cancels. In this scenario, Becky becomes frustrated with Uber, and no longer considers it reliable and thus does not consider it as a means of transportation.

There is no incentive for Uber to make the Uber experience worse for Becky to improve it for Driver
As I mentioned before, I'll gladly pick up Becky if I'm a reasonable distance away (under 3 mins). I'm sure most other riders would as well. It just gets a bit sketchy when you have to drive for 10 mins or more. Surely with the amount of drivers out there, someone else will quickly come along within a reasonable distance.

Itscometothis . If you think of this from a business prospective, you would understand why it makes sense NOT to provide this info to drivers before hand. Instead, the best they can do is put out an option in which you specify your offline destination, and Uber will provide your next trip going in that direction (which is what has been implemented).
And it's been limited to twice a day, which is hardly a good solution, and isn't meant for this issue in particular. So they haven't actually addressed anything.

The above feature does not interfere with Becky's experience and allows the driver to get home with minimizing his dead miles.
You're assuming I want to go home after I drop Becky off.

Uber is a for profit business, that up until recently was bounded by very little regulation. Any business would act the same towards contractors they have working for them. For profit businesses will not go out of their way to do the right thing, unless they are regulated too. You would be delusional to expect more than that (no offense).
Congratulations Captain obvious. They are making a shit ton of money and they can surely afford to share it more evenly with us. This is my entire point. There are ways to organize and force them to change.

The question you have to ask yourself is, how do you plan to achieve this "organized" effort?

1) How do you get to communicate with a significant amount of drivers?

2) If you are able to do #1, how do you provide them with the incentive to listen to you?

3) If you are able to do #2, how do you stop those who can't resist going back online when they see a surge?
1) This forum is good start, as are others (Reddit). I'm sure there are people with experience in organizing and running unionizing efforts that can help.

2) The incentive is a better working environment and higher pay. I don't think you need much more convincing than that.

3) With the continued lowering of pay and higher costs of living, I imagine it to be an inevitability that less and less people will be willing to drive. If it reaches a critical point and the system becomes unreliable for the riders, something will inevitably have to give.

You will soon find it impossible to get any of the above done. And without being able to do ALL 3 above, Uber won't take you seriously.
Alone, they won't. With a solid amount of drivers, they will have to. I know you're jaded, but it doesn't mean everyone else is.

Again, Uber can continue to do so, because you and thousands of other drivers still continue to go online and accept it. The only way you can get Uber to change, is to have the discussion with your city Councillors and have them introduce new regulations that require Uber to treat drivers better. I doubt this is going to happen anytime soon.
Ah, so it is possible to implement some change after all.

Actually I didn't say that. I said "Uber won't be so quick to deactivate you. :smiles:
Yeah, as if the point of what that means is any different. :rolleyes:

If you truly feel that way, why are you driving? Why would you put up with such disrespect? How far does this disrespect need to go before you say "enough is enough"? Complaining on an Uber drivers forum, may help as a place you can vent, but it doesn't change your situation now, does it?
It was one ride. I'm new at this. Pay attention. Also, I think I pretty much summed up quite clearly why I drive for Uber.

You can no longer work due to chronic injuries, but you are able to drive for Uber what 40-60 hours / week to make a living?

I completely understand having to do what you got to do to make a living, but if you are "injured", isn't driving excessively as you likely are doing with Uber, making your injures worse? I appears as though you have your priorities mixed up here.
It appears as if you assume way too much. I don't drive 40-60 hours a week, never said or implied that I did. You have no idea what my injuries are, nor are you a doctor. Suffice it to say, my injuries do not prevent me from driving Uber, nor are they getting any worse because of it. If they did, I may as well return to being a carpenter and make a lot more money, right?

lol, see my 3 points above and then tell me how you will achieve it. And just as an FYI, I've had the grouping of over 100 drivers in Ottawa in an online group, and still could not achieve success because every driver has a different personality and different goals from what they want out of Uber. And there is no way to force them to go inline with any agendas you have.
Nobody needs to force anyone. But I think there are certain things that we can all agree on. Tipping, minimum earnings guarantee, improved surge app, not have to worry about declining rides, etc. It's a matter of properly communicating with fellow drivers and having clear goals most of us can agree on. It will be difficult, but it isn't rocket science either, and hardly an impossibility.

So what you are saying is if Uber was only making millions, yet still treated just as bad, you would be more willing to accept it? This is what I mean by, does it really matter who much they are making. Your focus, shouldn't lie with the fact that Uber is making billions.
It actually does matter when we factor fairness into the equation. It matters a lot. This isn't the wild west. We have laws set up to protect people from exploitation. For example, certain countries in Europe don't allow a CEO/President of a company to make more than 20x the average wage of the employee.

This won't help. There is likely a 100 happy Uber riders to every 1 unhappy Uber driver. The public has no incentive to fight for better treatment of Uber drivers (such as higher rates), as that would simply go against their Interest. As a result, the media won't see it being a big story. They could print a story (I have once had an Ottawa Sun/Citizen reporter contact me, and as a result of my communications with him, printed a story about Uber).
100-1 ratio? You sure about that? Man, you just love to make assumptions, don't you?

I mean. Something like the above will only negatively effect Uber for 5 minutes, and then the world moves on, without any positive progress for Drivers.

djino
Yawn.
 

djino

Well-Known Member
Of course Uber drivers should organize and I agree they do have more power than they think. Don't know why people are discouraging others in doing this.
Why have you then not attempted to organize drivers? Or is it simply easier to sit back and wait for someone else to take the proactive approach?

I am discouraging this organizational effort to improve the driver experience, because I've tried it, and I can understand and appreciate why our group failed. I understand that every driver who drivers for Uber comes with a different background, personalities, and goals for what they want out of Uber which will result in conflicts of interest.

This attitude that Uber drivers aren't entitled to a liveable wage like any other service job is ridiculous. Of course they are and its clear they are currently not being compensated appropriately simple as that.
I believe that everyone deserves a living-wage for the work they do. I have criticized Uber from rate practice. But in the end, if they are not forced to change (via regulations), they simply won't. Any organizational attempt among a insignificant amount of drivers to change this, will be futile.

Can Uber do all sorts of things that would cost them almost nothing that would greatly benefit the driver? Yes of course. We all know Uber gives very little thought to the driver, all they care is that there are cars on the road.
I agree, there are a number of things Uber can do to enhance the driver experience, but if any of those things come at the expense of the rider experience, you can be sure it would not be implemented. There is no incentive for such actions.

djino
 
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