Wednesday, October 08, 2014

UberX clients admit to not taking surge rides

Ever since Uber slashed prices on September 15, 2014, UberX clients have admitted to waiting until the surge passes to request a ride. This is bad for UberX drivers who drive into the surge priced areas.

UberX clients are requesting the cheap rides during non-surged times. Unfortunately, UberX drivers are moving into the red areas and not getting surged rides. One UberX driver shared that they drove right into the center of high surged areas and got nothing in those 30 minutes. This has occurred several times, in both the East Bay and San Francisco regions.

Soon after the surge wanes, the ride requests begin to arrive quickly. In a ride, an UberX client noted that Uber thinks they can charge me more for a ride, I'll wait until this surge passes. She feels that surge pricing has increased since the fares dropped. San Francisco can be surged the entire day. Is demand really that high for rides? If demand exceeded supply, then drivers would get rides right way.

This is not the case during surges at night. A driver will not score a surge ride. They know a surge ride can improve their night, but instead a non-surge ride will reach them and they must travel 20 minutes to pick up a client. The problem with this issue is no filters to allow drivers a preference in choosing distance of pick-ups and drop-offs. SideCar has a built-in filter to give their drivers the freedom to choose the distance.

What if an UberX driver is requested to travel 30-59 minutes out? And if this driver is on a promo and is in the back of SF near the Marina, they must eventually take these requests to protect their acceptance rate. It is a trap when there are surges hitting all of SF. Unfortunately, this UberX driver must leave SF out of the Golden Gate Bridge and pick up a client who needs a short ride.

Uber still hasn't addressed ride filters, which we heard is a major problem. GPS issues are plotting clients at pick-up locations a few miles away. This wastes time and cost drivers money. When surge pricing activates, drivers don't get these good rides because clients refuse to request rides. It appears that a client must be drunk and/or in a big hurry to accept surge prices.

Several UberX clients have admitted to passing up surge pricing. They share concerns that surge pricing  is more consistent since the recent fare decreases, which they believe is a way to make up for the earnings their drivers lost in fare wars against Lyft.