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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Client sets high expectations on routes and prices

An Uber client informed their UberX driver of a particular route she has taken for many months and this trip always remained the same price. However, she indicated the price has gone up a $1.50 over the last month. It is hard to generalize her claim that this same route would produce identical prices, especially when such prices dropped back in September 15, 2014 and different scenarios and road conditions could affect prices. Clients set high expectations on routes and prices.

An UberX driver had a discussion with his Uber client about fares and prices. This Uber client shared that she paid the same amount for this route, but noticed an increase in prices between October and November for this same route. She even went on to say that prices have risen since last month. But for the most part, UberX prices have stabilized and now are cheaper than ever.

This UberX client requested her driver to travel down Divisadero Street during road work. In result, the trip lengthened and the trip cost more than her previous rides. According to this client, the price has remained the same for many months. Uber introduced a 25% promotion this past Summer that dropped trip prices, so the cost of this current trip in discussion would be far less than now.

Back in September, a mere 2 months ago, UberX reduced overall prices 14%. Mileage cost reduced from $1.50 per mile to $1.30 per mile. Cost per mile also went down $.30 to $.26. Basic fare dropped $.80, down from $3 to $2.20. A safe ride fee of $1 remained the same. There is no way this same route during the busy morning could produce the same prices as early morning trips.

This UberX client requested to take Divisadero Street, where a particular stretch of this road is undergoing heavy construction. Construction personnel directed vehicles because of this road work. As a result of this road construction and time of day, the total time of travel took a few minutes longer.

How can the price of a particular ride remain the same for many months? Why would a client share that her ride increased from $7.50 to $8.67 since last month. Prices decreased two months ago. She noted that no surge pricing were factored into these trips. Would you believe a trip beginning at Pacific Heights and ending near 16th and Mission Bart Station could cost $8?

Any factors such as road constructions, routes, time of day, stoplights, and seasonal periods could alter prices. Under perfect conditions, a trip from Pacific Heights to 16th and Mission Bart station could cost $9. We don't see this trip ever costing $7, unless summer promotions are factored into this price formula.

This Uber client is confident that prices have increased between October and November. Without surges, the price of a trip taken last month and today would be the exact same cost under ideal conditions. As mentioned, different factors could influence this price. Sharing that prices increased 15% since last month discredited this generalization, based on that statement alone. Prices haven't changed in the previous month. However, prices reduced 14% on September 15, 2014.

Clients set high expectations on their confidence in routes and prices. In the end, drivers are expected to deliver or lose out to star ratings. What happens when this client reviews her trip summary and sees a price $3 higher? She won't be happy. But the most part, this client selected this particular route. She noticed construction workers performing road work. It was close to noon, which many vehicles were out on the road. Divisadero Street is far too busy.

Ridesharing drivers are put under intense scrutiny to deliver constant results. They dedicate valuable resources to provide ridesharing services. When this is all said and done, customers expect the world for pennies. Clients can try to be reasonable, understanding that different factors may change the outcome. In essence, the cost of UberX is much cheaper than previous months. Unsurged rides provide great savings to clients, but a loss to drivers performing this ride service.