Here’s a question: If you order a coffee at Starbucks and they get the order wrong what would you do? This was question was asked of me as I was driving a very well liked regular passenger. I responded that if I had paid $5 for coffee, I would expect it to be made correctly so I would ask them to fix it.
The conversation continued, “If your burger was wrong at McDonald’s, what would you do?” Thinking a moment, based on the price and expectations of McDonald’s, I replied, “I might let it go but I might ask them to fix it.”
“If you order something from Ebay or Amazon and it comes not as described, do you request a refund?” “Of course!” I immediately replied.
People can get so angry over what, in reality, are really small things in life. Will it really hurt if your burger has pickles when you asked for no pickles? But the funny thing is, as drivers we aren’t getting angry enough about what really matters: How the rideshare industry, and in particular Uber is treating drivers.
When you’re first learning to drive one of the things you’re told is “don’t drive angry.” Then you start working as an Uber driver.
The anger is definitely rising.
In the last couple of years drivers have seen the rates drop, incentives decrease (and disappear altogether in some areas), and there has always been a pretty palpable lack of respect on the part of Uber towards drivers. And sometimes even from passengers towards drivers.
So I ask you this: Why are we as drivers putting up with the crap that Uber keeps laying on us? Why aren’t we switching to the competitor (Lyft)? Yes there are people who will tell you that Lyft isn’t the answer, every rideshare service has it’s problems. Or do they?
You don’t see Lyft executives making horrible business decisions that deliberately undercut the drivers. In fact, they actually pay better the more rides you take. Yes, their rates are competitive with Uber but that is a business decision when trying to stay competitive, on the other hand Uber doesn’t give drivers any extra no matter how much we drive. And, lest we forget, Lyft does allow (and encourage, if you’ve seen the passenger app) tipping.
Why do we as drivers accept the spin, the lies, the distortion and misrepresentation that Uber has delivered?
- It’s been discovered that they were, up until they were caught, running a ghost app to keep regulators off their tails. Drivers have many times thought they were seeing “ghost cars.”
I even had a company employee (in town for a wedding) tell me that yes, they do have ghost cars.
- Many drivers, including me, have caught them “over charging” a fare and giving the driver the “regular” amount – that cheats the customers as well.
- And when even your top CEO steps down after only 6 months citing “ethical differences” that should be a glaring sign.
I know running a company isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come without hard work, integrity and ethics. And maybe it’s been difficult for Travis getting such a huge influx of money and notoriety in a relatively short amount of time but really – is that any excuse for not “growing up?” When you get the gift of a great idea that takes off, don’t squander it by becoming a tantrum throwing, self-centered misogynist.
With rideshare there are, depending on where you live, more than a couple of choices. If you are really unhappy then make the switch. If you have another platform, it doesn’t take much to see that virtually anything is better than padding Travis’ wallet any further.
Don’t settle and don’t be fooled. Some of us have been around long enough that we saw the company grow and then start really taking advantage of drivers. Up until about a month ago my city had only 1 company, but now we too have a choice.
Get your popcorn folks, I think we’re starting to see the collapse of the house of cards. So don’t make the mistake of holding on to the sinking ship – get your other gigs in order now. Sign up for Lyft, Juno, Tride or any other rideshare company you can and most important: tell your riders to make the switch!!! The #deleteUber campaign has made a dent and it can continue to be effective.
Perhaps it’s just easier to control what we can and let the rest be at the hands of fate. Get up in the morning, turn on the Uber app and take those fares. Just like it’s easier to complain to the barista and get your coffee fixed than it is to stand together and show Uber just who is making their money. Perhaps complacency wins because we’re just too lazy to hold Uber accountable.
But deep inside I have a hope that it’s not too late, that there is a way to effect change. That we’ll be able to get regulations and standards in place that are fair no matter what city you drive in, no matter which company you choose to drive for. That we will start to get more angry about Travis and people like him than the amount of ice we get in our venti mocha.