So I took a bit of time off from blogging and it’s amazing how a company can fall apart in a month. I know that the news cycles have been keeping this in front of us drivers so I don’t think I need to recap but I’m going to just add a few comments . . .
Uber also muddied the original legal definitions between black cars and limos that had to be prearranged and cabs that could be hailed on the side of the road. Then it tossed out professional licensing schemes altogether with services like Uber X, which it introduced around the world after Lyft and Sidecar had pioneered ride-hailing in California.
This among other things that Uber does like running a sale that never really ends & impacts driver’s pay. Hiding the fact (from passengers) that drivers are allowed to take tips. More recently, quoting “flat rates” to passengers which shorts the driver, and sometimes causes the passenger to over pay.
Then you tell the world that self driving cars are the wave of the future, simultaneously sending a message to the workforce that built your company that they will be out of a job soon…. and oh, by the way, those self driving cars were on the streets, running red lights, without a permit.
When you are running a company that skirts the edge of ethics, dwells in the gray matter of the business world it’s only a matter of time before things all come to a head. As they did after Trump signed the ill-fated immigration order. And the chaos for Uber became a nightmare when over 200,000 people deleted the app. Even Kalanick’s departure from the Trump panel couldn’t stop the hemorrhaging.
Then let’s talk about the disaster that was the public Q & A with Uber CEO Jeff Jones. There are numerous accounts reviewing that whole debacle. I took the time to actually count the number of times certain topics were mentioned. The number 1 topic was, of course, rates. Surprisingly, adding a tip function was barely mentioned.
And we all know that Jones only responded to 12 of the comments, the majority of which were cut and paste links to their sad online information. If you say you’ll be available – be available! How hard is it? These are only the people who are keeping your business alive.
Here’s one you might have missed – A former Uber senior executive, who once served as Barack Obama’s campaign manager, was fined $90,000 by the Chicago Board of Ethics for illegally lobbying Mayor Rahm Emanuel on behalf of Uber. David Plouffe violated city ethics rules. Surprise, there’s that ethics thing again.
If you notice it seems to be a top down thing – the company leadership does unethical things and the rest of their contingency follows suit.
That brings us to the revelation that *shock* Uber has a sexual harassment problem. Yes, it happens in a lot of companies – and women drivers certainly understand because we frequently are the brunt of male innuendos and inappropriate behavior when driving. What makes Uber special is, well, they are so full of hubris that they keep finding ways to implode. And this is just another example of the poor ethics. They’ve hired Eric Holder to investigate, if you ask me, it’s a little late since they were given plenty of opportunities before they lost a top engineer and the story broke.
Another sidebar . . . there is a bit of rumbling that the incentives offered by rideshare companies encourages risky behavior in the rush to meet trip quotas. Tired drivers, drivers rushing through fares and breaking traffic laws . . .
And on the heels of that story, another Uber engineer (management) has resigned because, no surprise here, he was accused of sexual harassment at his former job at Google. Uber apparently doesn’t do *that* good of a background check. Either that or they don’t care. And since I’ve seen evidence of poor / no background checks on drivers . . . it really could be both.
Finally, Uber is getting sued yet again. This time it’s probably going to stick. The engineer working on their self driving cars stole his proprietary information on how to get it done from . . . you guessed it, Google. And they have the money to see this one all the way to the bitter end . . . possibly the end of Uber.
You know you’re in trouble when your app store rating is 1.6 – that’s about the time the app usually gets pulled. Will it stay just because it’s Uber? Who knows. It’s probably a good thing Uber hasn’t gone public because this kind of month would cause a drop in stocks so low that they would be bankrupt!
Oh wait! It gets even better!! Travis was on a dash cam telling a driver take responsibility for his own problems…. these are problems that originated with the Uber rate decreases!!
In my next blog I’m going to tell you about my experience (as a passenger) with Uber, Lyft & UZURV on my recent trip to Dallas. Here’s a hint – the Lyft drivers were far superior and were making bank.