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UberNOT4me

Member
http://ondemandeco.com/the-daily-life-of-an-uber-driver-as-told-by-an-uber-driver-verbatim/

“A Day in the Life of an Uber Driver

Almost a year ago, I began driving for Uber. At the time, I was struggling to get by on my income as a freelance graphic designer and professional musician, and it seemed like a good way to create additional income. I could set my own hours and days, and the theory was that if I had a paying art or music gig on a given day, I could do that, and if not, I could drive.

At first, it seemed like a good fit…on days when I had nothing else going on, I’d drive for four or five hours and pick up a few extra bucks. As the months passed by, the graphic design and music gigs all but disappeared, despite my constand scanning of Craigslist and enrollment in gig-oriented websites such as TaskRabbit and Errand Buddi. The two days a week became three, then four. Flirting with financial collapse on a weekly level, I sought to make more money driving. I had been keeping a schedule where I might start driving around 7:30 am and go til mid-afternoon, not wanting to deal with a second rush hour. Typically I made around $100 a day, but I was still strapped every week as the Wednesday payday approached.

Uber would send me e-mails suggesting that I drove during busier times, with charts of when those times were. Not surprisingly, Friday and Saturday nights were identified as “busy,” as a large portion of Uber users are folks who like to drink and not have to worry about driving. But I saw that 4-5 am on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays were “busy” hours, so I adopted a schedule where I awoke at 3 am, made some coffee and tried to be on the road by 4. Sure enough, the hours between 4 and 7 were filled with road warriors flying out at 5 am, financial types needing to be at work early to deal with East Coast markets, and other types of early birds. As ridership falls off noticeably after 10 am, I found that those early hours were much livelier than the late morning/early afternoon, and I was making more money and finishing earlier.

But things were far from well. To keep the wolf from the door, I had to resort to driving six days a week. My well-worn Prius is sporting nearly bald front tires, hasn’t had an oil change in 10,000 miles, and my left headlamp cuts in and out. It was in this context that I finally had to face the truth that I had always suspected was the case. By the time you factor the cost of car ownership and maintenance, I was not making a living wage. Today I realized that it isn’t even close. In fact, it’s embarrassing.

Thursday, April 14, I headed out at 5 am. Although sometimes I would be fortunate to pick up a Marin rider going to SF or the airport, today there was no such ride. As I approached San Francisco, I got a ride request in the avenues, which I accepted. Two minutes later they cancelled. I got the same trip request again, and again they cancelled. I drove a guy to his job in the financial district, and on the way I got two pool ride requests, both of whom cancelled. I took a couple to the airport. Leaving SFO, I got a request from Burlingame that wanted to go farther south in Burlingame. One thing about Uber is that the driver never knows where the rider wants to go until they are picked up…I guess this keeps drivers from rejecting trips if they know the destination in advance…but it does give one the feeling of being a leaf in the wind, in that you could wind up almost anywhere.

And today, that’s kind of how it went. A trip from Burlingame went to San Mateo. From there I went to Belmont, then San Carlos. The next trip took me to Sunnyvale. After another trip from Sunnyvale to somewhere else in Sunnyvale, I decided to head north on 101 towards San Francisco, hoping that I could get far enough north that if I was turned around again, I woudn’t end up in Gilroy. I nearly made it all the way, picking up a couple of people in South CItry that were headed to SF. From there I proceeded north to Marin, eventually shuttling a lady from Lucas Valley to Mill Valley before finally heading home.

Once home, I took stock of the day’s proceeds. I had been logged into the Uber app for 7.8 hours, taken 15 trips and made a total of $117.80. I had also driven a total of 215 miles. Using the IRS allowance of 55 cents a mile, it cost me $118.25 to drive all those miles. You don’t need a degree in mathematics to see the problem here. Even factoring in Uber’s incentives (I can make extra money if I take 50 or 80 trips a week) at best I’m making a dollar or two an hour after car expenses.

This is Uber’s dirty little secret. I recently read a blog post by someone who writes about the sharing economy, and he likened Uber to a pyramid scheme, where Uber advertises constatly and throws crazy referral money at new drivers, knowing that nearly all of them will burn out in a month (or figure out how little they are actually netting) because the Uber machine needs to be fed a steady diet of new drivers. The main reason I’m still driving is that at 64, my job prospects are not wonderful, and with a family to support I don’t have the luxury of time to get involved in anything that doesn’t pay off immediately.

If anyone reading this is in a position to offer me employment of some kind, please get in touch. You will get a mature, intelligent and thoughtful worker with an outstanding work ethic. And it won’t take top dollar for any such job to be an upgrade in my case.”
 

Banditjump

New Member
Thank you for a thoughtful, cogent discussion of your experience.

You might also have added the peculiar customs, behaviors and spectacularly rude, boorish nature of many, many riders. And perhaps the overall impact of the shortsighted, counter-productive and amateur "management"conducted by a company provided with a huge amount of excess capital.

Their youthful exuberance would be almost charming were it not for the manner in which they consistently shoot themselves, and more importantly, drivers, in the foot.

I'm very happy you have had the opportunity to fully realize the folly of ubereconomics. Your financial, employment and career challanges may remain, but I believe you're significantly further ahead now.

As many on the forum believe and discuss, the two ends of the spectrum are where "success" MIGHT be found. You're driving an older, fully depreciated and very fuel efficient vehicle, carefully cherry picking the days, times and areas in which to drive, using your painfully gained experience to milk guarantees, and counter-program all the dreck issuing from the propaganda ministry.

Or, you're operating in one of the higher service tiers, perhaps driving full time, and again using hustle, intelligence and experience to enable YOU to always zig, when the TNC's implore you to zag.

Between those two poles, success may be achievable, and as you, and so many others lament on this forum, it ain't easy.
 

Digits

Well-Known Member
I liked your post without even reading it,however, the last paragraph caught my eye. Thought I'd stick to the title of the tread.
 

ABC123DEF

Well-Known Member
This was outstanding. There will always be people that come on here calling those of us who call Big Foober out on its evil practices as negative, whining, and complaining people. All of these gig-economy companies do nothing but suck the time and resources out of the people who sign on to work for them and they need to be put out of business yesterday.
 
Uber is pure garbage. If you know an Uber rep named Jeffrey, tell him to go to hell. He is responsible for your uber issues. Do Not work for Uber or use Uber. I have a large, large following on Instagram and will be sure to let them know as well. I have been ignored by Uber they don't want to reply to email so I promised them I would ruin their lives. It's nothing but a scam, before you know you have done wear and tear on your car. One of their reps even insulted me. Just use Lyft or delivery driving for various restaurants that pay 22/hr. Just went in for orientation. Try apps like handy and hire vue. Trust me you won't regret it. Uber sucks. @@@@ you Jeffrey
 

Micmac

Well-Known Member
Uber is pure garbage. If you know an Uber rep named Jeffrey, tell him to go to hell. He is responsible for your uber issues. Do Not work for Uber or use Uber. I have a large, large following on Instagram and will be sure to let them know as well. I have been ignored by Uber they don't want to reply to email so I promised them I would ruin their lives. It's nothing but a scam, before you know you have done wear and tear on your car. One of their reps even insulted me. Just use Lyft or delivery driving for various restaurants that pay 22/hr. Just went in for orientation. Try apps like handy and hire vue. Trust me you won't regret it. Uber sucks. &%$@!* you Jeffrey
Dude you are smart !!
 

William1964

Well-Known Member
Pizza delivery. Not going to be much of an improvement. Have you tried looking for a lower rent?

I made a little over $17 drove 37 miles using $3.45 in gas. Picking up single moms from the laundromat in an hour and a half. Never left my neighborhood.

I have an example of an entire year. This is all driving.

$4,500 car payments
$1,000 in insurance
$2,500 in gas
$800 maintenance
$500 candy and car washes
$400 legal fees

It's a little less than 1/3 of my income last year of which $12,000 cash. If it was just uber it was a net loss of about $3,000.

This year

$5,500 car payment
$1,300 insurance

Not going to guess on the gas I'm out but I'm shooting for 50 miles a day. Which is closer to 18500 miles. 7000 miles less than last year. Maintenance no oil changes will be free. Anyways

There's also a $5 tip on the last trip. So I'm paranoid her mom is going to report me . I mean some paranoid mom who gave me her address as the pickup location and then proceeded to call me every 5 minutes until everything was okay. Her daughter doesn't speak English
 

Uber hypocrisy

New Member
As well as the lack of actual profit. Their arbitrary rating system will deactivate you below 4.6 then want you to pay $100 to be reactivated. Anybody checked their app rating on Google play 4.3. I think they owe us some money if they want to stay active. Fortunately it only took me 3 days and 44 trips to decide I won't be driving for them unless they make some serious changes.
 
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