Sunday, January 24, 2016

Remove Perks to make a statement

Uber reduced fares again. Many Uber drivers expressed frustration with Uber's decision to reduce fares. This past Summer, Uber reduced East Bay and South Bay fares 15 percent. After this current Winter slowdown, Uber drivers are now forced to drive clients for much lower pay.

Uber's motivation to reduce fares, at the lowest prices ever, is suggested as an internal move to increase production. Secretly, reducing fares may represent a strategy to produce more overall trips to make Uber look better to investors. However, Uber drivers are getting jipped driving clients at these ridiculous prices. Price competition is the worst business tactic to stimulate production.  

One driver reported clearing $9 per hour after all fees were deducted. In & Out employees now make more money than East Bay and South Bay Uber drivers. Uber is guaranteeing East Bay and South Bay drivers $17 an hour during non-peak hours and $20 an hour at peak times.

These guarantees are before Uber fees, $1.35 safe ride fees, and airport fee deductions. Add fuel cost and toll fees into the equation, which will reduce driver net pay much lower to amounts we believe are destroying the ridesharing industry.

Given this information, Uber drivers are making chump change dealing with many entitled Uber clients who belittle Uber drivers. Uber Partners are independent contractors; they don't have to take client abuse. If Uber drivers get harassed, they have a right to refuse service. Uber drivers must teach these clients a valuable lesson, because most businesses would never accept these poor attitudes.

Uber drivers and clients understand these rock bottom prices don't make sense. It is time for Uber drivers to remove all perks (water, phone chargers and etc) and give Uber clients the basic service. At these insanely low prices, Uber clients don't deserve extra bells and whistles. There are far too many minimum fare rides, decreasing average trip average and overall earnings.

An Uber driver shared they only earned $150 driving 14 hours on a Friday night. At one time, an Uber driver could make $150 driving 3 hours. It is obvious where price competition is leading ridesharing. Uber drivers are discouraged to drive at such low prices; soon they'll make moves to choose another job path.

The real truth is that reducing prices is a poor strategy to help drivers earn money. It is a deception, an excuse to use drivers and favor clients. Uber clients choose to use Uber for reasons beyond cheap prices. Recent fare reductions, the third of their kind in the past 17 months, will doom this industry. No matter what, Uber can't/won't push out Lyft.

Lyft has loyal followers. Their avid supporters will continue investing in Lyft. If Uber believes that price competition can/will impact Lyft, they are wrong. It won't happen.

Uber drivers must suffer from price competition. These drivers deserve to earn decent money driving people rather than get burned. Uber wants their clients to believe they are reducing prices to help drivers make more money during this Winter slump.

An Uber client didn't believe in this decision. She stated that now Uber drivers are forced to drive more hours, take cheap rides, increase the number of trips, exhaust more fuel, and become more exhausted to make less money doing more work.

This trickery cannot be ignored anymore; Uber drivers are overlooked for showing professionalism and dedication. Their reward is receiving low pay driving obnoxious riders. Unfortunately, Lyft drivers are outearning Uber drivers right now. Uber drivers are discouraged to drive.

Compare past trips of 2 years ago to now. There is no comparison to how low fares have dropped since then. Clients are much smarter to avoid taking surged trips. Drivers can drive all through these surged regions, but clients refuse to request trips at much higher prices. Nevertheless, clients forget they would pay 70%+ more to hail a taxi cab. The lesson here is that price competition devalues a service. The taxi industry realize their archaic service will always be in demand.

Entitled riders assume Uber drivers must accept their pathetic attitudes. They talk down on Uber drivers, cursing and yelling at them. These clients use the star rating system to manipulate Uber drivers. All this poor treatment is acceptable under Uber, unless clients are exposed in the media, such as an ex-Taco Bell executive and/or the drunk Miami doctor. In these cases, these two drunk people beat their Uber drivers for refusing to drive them.

Driving with Uber is no longer a good career path. It once was a good decision, but entitled riders and cheap pay (Uber reducing fares without consulting drivers) ruined the motivation to drive. When Uber drivers offer extra perks, they are losing money. There is nothing these drivers can do to repair poor attitudes. Drunk riders are the worst customers; they reek of alcohol, burp, vomit, act belligerent and engage in violence. All of this is not worth the time to make $17 an hour before deductions.

Uber drivers assume too much risk to transport people. As fares decrease, Uber drivers are forced to work more hours and take additional trips. Downtime between trips is eliminated to increase production. Back-to-back trips affect the freedom to drive. If drivers must use the restroom, Uber instructs them to ignore a back-to-back ride request. However, Uber will reject guaranteed earnings if drivers fall below 90% acceptance rate. Why not offer drivers the choice to opt out of this feature?

Another lingering issue is launching an in-app tipping feature. Uber promised for 2 years now, that they would introduce a tipping feature. Lyft integrated a tipping feature - into their ride sharing app - long ago. Nonetheless, Uber still hasn't taken the next step to help their drivers receive tips. They say drivers matter most, but it is obvious they don't. Uber decides when to reduce fares, add new features (back-to-back trips) and hold promotions (East Bay and South Bay $17 and $20 hourly and $24 and $30 hourly in San Francisco guarantees before deductions) to manipulate driving behavior (times and hours driven), and refuse to integrate a tipping feature that drivers and clients desire most.

It is time to make adjustments to show self-worth. January of 2016 is the worst month to drive. Lyft can still continue offering their drivers a guaranteed $35 an hour/$1500 weekly. Uber is moving further away from holiday promotions that made driving worthwhile. Their $17 and $20 hourly guarantees insult hard working drivers serving East Bay and South Bay regions. After deductions, toll cost, fuel, constant wear and tear, and other expenses, Uber drivers are actually losing money dealing with some awful riders.

Remove extra perks to confront these low prices. UberX clients should receive basic service. How many drivers will wake up to give peak-time rides at 7:00am-9:00 am, and then return back to offer the same rides at 5:00pm-7:00pm? Not many. Have you seen downtown San Francisco during the evening commute hours? It is impossible to maneuver through this downtown parking garage.

Uber clients still haven't learned to contact drivers when pin drops drag miles away. It is obvious these clients lack respect; they enjoy wasting time but complain when they must wait longer. They still request rides on Market Street, which is a ticket nightmare. There are no designated pickup spots in the busiest downtown areas, so Uber drivers have a right to deny these trips.

We once sided with clients. We felt bad that drivers would call them to request destinations. However, Uber drivers are not properly compensated to travel across toll bridges. The cost of bridge tolls are paid upfront by drivers, and then deducted from riders to reflect this cost in Partner statements. The problem with this is toll cost is assumed as income.

Why expect drivers to deal with toll cost? Several drivers have gotten into serious trouble with Fastrak, where their vehicle registrations are locked down and thousands in toll violations are required to satisfy this debt. These violations are submitted to the state, blocking all tax returns. So much is lost performing ridesharing services for extremely low pay.

At $17 (off-peak) and $20 (peak) per hour guarantees offered in the East Bay and South Bay, and $24 (off-peak) and $30 (peak) per hour in San Francisco, it is clear that drivers must change driving habits and hours to increase their income. This decision takes the freedom out of drive whenever, wherever. The problems with dividing hourly guarantees based on times and regions are that Uber hasn't worked with local cities to designate pickup locations and taxi and in bus lanes/left stop light turns that block TNC vehicles. No Uber drivers deserve citations picking-up minimum fare riders. It is almost automatic that all ride requests coming from BART stations are cheap rides.

It is up to drivers to accept and/or reject trip requests. They are not considered Uber employees. Uber drivers are responsible for handling all costs to operate. Taking $5.35 minimum fares is not worth the time ($3.20 after all fees). SFO trips originating from the East Bay are not worth the time. At one time, a Berkeley to SFO ride would pay $60. In present time, this fare cost only $36. After bridge toll, airport fee, safe ride fee, fuel cost, and Uber fee, a driver stands to make less than $20 driving 30-40 minutes. Some close SFO and Oakland airport rides (5 miles and less) net a driver $4-$6. Why not set a minimum airport trip fare? If there is traffic, a driver is losing money accepting these rides.

At this moment, we understand the reason Uber drivers reject trips at pickup addresses. Uber doesn't reveal destinations, so Uber drivers must wait until they arrive at pickup addresses to view this information. Taxis rejected many riders based on the high cost and loss of time traveling into slow areas. Maybe Uber drivers must wise up and challenge these fare reductions. Since they are not considered employees, they have the right to decline trips. They shouldn't feel sorry, because clients are quick to submit poor ratings and bad feedback. Nice Uber drivers are rated low and treated like dirt.

Uber informs their clients and drivers that reducing fares will stimulate trips and increase earnings. Any person with common sense knows that reducing the cost of anything requires more production to match past sales/earnings.

Take for example, employees are told their pay will reduce 20%. In response to this pay reduction, they can work overtime. Instead of working 8 hours, these employees are required to work 2 additional hours to make up for this loss.

In featuring a conflicting back-to-back trip feature and attaching acceptance rate requirements during incremental hours instead of overall hours, drivers are losing out when they need to reject rides to use the restroom and/or need to take breaks after long periods of driving. It is easy for Uber to reject hourly guarantees during various times. As a result of this, Uber doesn't have to honor any guarantees. Rather than do this, they can tell a driver they didn't meet the requirements to qualify.

An Uber driver earned more in one holiday week than they have in the past 5 weeks. This recent Winter slump and low fares put this driver in a severely bad position. We are confident that many Uber drivers are discouraged to drive right now. Poor in-app navigation, bad pin drops, clients inputting wrong addresses to avoid surge pricing, and long waiting times at pickup addresses influence rideshare earnings. Most of all, these low-priced fares make ridesharing a shell of its former existence. Uber clients are waiting until after surge pricing drops off to request trips.

Uber drivers willing to continue driving during this time must make immediate adjustments. Wait only 5 minutes, and then cancel clients. If these clients are at the wrong address, this is their fault. It is up to clients to verify pickup addresses. Clients who make drivers wait, such as sending text messages to inform them they need an additional 5-30 minutes,  cancel these riders after 5 minutes.

The time invested traveling to retrieve these clients is enough effort. If you drive 10-30 minutes and clients are not ready after 5 minutes, cancel them. In a way, clients are taking advantage of drivers to make them wait. After drivers travel a long way to pick clients up, they are expected to drive another 10+ miles since pin drops are inaccurate and/or pickup address are submitted wrong, while riding on BART. Cancel these riders. Don't drive another 10-20 miles to retrieve them. They made this mistake to request an Uber trip on BART, so don't allow them to take advantage.

No longer will you favor clients for their mistakes. They cost you money. Uber is constantly reducing rates to increase your time on the road. In result, you make way less money. You assume a high cost to operate as a ridesharing driver. Until prices are restored back to normal, take a stand. Until clients show respect, cancel wrong addresses. If they make you wait at concerts and you can't find them, cancel them. Uber doesn't favor their drivers. If they did, they would integrate a tipping feature. They wouldn't reduce fares to bottom out earnings. Moreover, they wouldn't set low guarantees to impact overall earnings. If you want to match $1500 that Lyft drivers earn driving 40+ hours, you must drive double the hours.

Don't believe in this deception that lowering fares will stimulate business, thus increasing your overall earnings. You know this move won't help you make more money. You have experience. You know how much ridesharing drivers should earn. Slashing prices is probably discouraging you to drive. If you choose to drive, change your approach. Entitled clients believe you owe them. You don't owe them nothing. They're lucky you pick them up. You shouldn't accept their abuse. Don't settle for anything less. Take a stand to show your self-worth. Good luck Uberring!