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Monday, February 01, 2016

Uber increases promotion hourly guarantees in SF

Finally, January has passed! The worst month in the past few years has passed us, buried forever. Uber drivers are still struggling to make money transporting clients for low fares. Good rides, those that were 38 miles and longer, once cost riders $100+.

An Uber driver reported giving a 38 mile ride that took 40 miles with no traffic. What was the payout? $35. After all fees, this Uber received $29. Wow!

Catch after catch, Uber is making driving an unprofitable venture. According to a company who has an investment in Uber, the goal of Uber's price competition is to not help drivers to earn more money during this slow time. He reiterated, reducing prices is merely an economic device to push out competition, mainly the taxi industry. Folks, this strategy is working in a dark way. 

Within the past few weeks, Yellow Cab of San Francisco filed for Bankruptcy. On December 31, 2015, one of the original ridesharing companies, Sidecar, closed their doors, going out of business because they couldn't withstand competition from rivals Uber and Lyft. 

If fares don't increase, soon many Uber drivers will be forced to choose another side gig. There is a limit to giving rides at cheap prices. If a minimum fare trip reaches 10 minutes, then drivers will start driving less. 

Please Uber, don't think offering guaranteed hourly promotions with worse loopholes than a sweepstakes contest. Uber drivers are measured based on hourly increments. They can't lock in San Francisco hourly guarantees unless they start 67% of all trips there. Given this information, Uber drivers are expected to complete 2.2 trips per hour at peak time to lock in this guarantee for these specific hours. 

How can Uber drivers complete 2.2 trips per hour when clients are dropping pins in the Bay, inputting wrong addresses, there is intense rush hour traffic at 5-7pm in Downtown San Francisco, and clients make drivers wait for extended periods of time like private chauffeurs? Flush these hourly guarantees down the toilet; they truly suck! 

Why not allow any Uber drivers to enjoy San Francisco hourly guarantees at any time? If an East Bay Uber driver arrives into the city, allow them to lock in these guarantees driving several hours there. But, it doesn't work this way. Uber will only guarantee San Francisco rates if drivers start 67% of their trips in San Francisco. Drive all weekend, but get excluded from San Francisco promotions. 

Want San Francisco hourly guarantees? You must drive in this dark city 67% of the time, with 2/3 of your trips for the week originating from the city by the Bay. Better yet, you must complete 2.2 trips per hour during peak time hours. If traffic is dealing your trips a blow, you will not reach these stats. Given UberPool trips and UberX trips arrive without warning, you may find impossible challenges in meeting trips per hourly requirements. 

Maintaining a 90% acceptance rate during time increments is another obstacle. Back-to-back trip feature, the worst feature Uber introduced yet, will likely disqualify you from this guaranteed hourly promotion. Need to use the restroom? Tough luck! Once you reject a back-to-back trip, you may fall below trip requirements in your time slot and this will disqualify your hourly match, that is if you missed the mark in earning the guaranteed fares to reach hourly minimums. 

These terms and conditions manipulate drivers, taking them out of their comfort zone to transport clients in a busy city with poor pickup locations, ticket-hungry Parking Enforcement who need a lesson on how to treat people, entitled clients, unpunctual clients, poor road conditions, major traffic, crazy motorists, jaywalkers, and all the other setbacks San Francisco deals out to unfortunate drivers. 

Uber increased peak hours in their Winter Slump promotion. San Francisco Uber drivers will now receive $35 guaranteed hourly rate, if all conditions are met in their entirety. East Bay drivers still receive $20 per hour driving during peak times. Keep in mind, special conditions are required to meet this promotion. 

This past holiday season, Uber offered excellent promotions to reward drivers. They measured all hours, applying overall trip requirements, trips per hour, acceptance rate and hours driven, It worked to motivate drivers, inspiring them to transport thousands of clients to their destinations. 

However, current promotions use nitpicky tactics to disqualify drivers by a hundredth of a percentage. Uber doesn't round up, they just disqualify driver for a match during increments of time. Miss the condition by a trip? Don't accept a trip to use restroom? Too bad, Uber doesn't care. You will get disqualified for a miscellaneous payment. 

We have confidence Uber will make adjustments to be fair. Their drivers are being fair to transport clients for ridiculously low fares. Ridesharing is entering dark times. It's not as exciting to operate as a ridesharing driver like before. Uber used to be awesome. In this present time, Uber is unappealing. They're being overly strict disqualifying drivers for missing conditions that are too specific. 

When surge pricing is activated, drivers can barely see which cities feature the best surges. Uber should incorporate a "List" button so drivers can at least see specific cities and their surge pricing.  

At least Uber hasn't increased East Bay peak time hours. Hourly matches are at $20. Whatever the case, East Bay drivers can choose to avoid driving in San Francisco, unless they get rides there and choose to accept trips in SF. Uber will still disqualify drivers for SF matches. 

If Uber reintroduced their holiday promotions again, Uber drivers would be more successful. They can regain lost income taken from them following fare reductions. Fare decreases bottomed out trip cost. To drive clients from the East Bay to SFO is not worth $35. Bridge toll, airport fees, Uber fee, safe ride fee, time spent in traffic, and gas cost reduce driver net pay to less than $20. 

Maybe Uber drivers may think about declining trips because they are not properly compensated for trips. If you can't go to SFO, you should have a right to decline this trip upon arrival. Waiting to get paid for past trips can block drivers for affording bridge tolls. In the past month, an Uber drivers cleared $700 on over 200+ trips. Of course, this is minus fees, lease and gas. Previously, Uber drivers could earned in excess of $4000 minus all fees. Making this kind of money would help them stay on the road longer and accept all trips. 

Minimum fares are the worst. Minimum-after-minimum arrive, which consume 15-20 minutes of driver time. Complete 3 of these trips per hour and only net $9.60. No wonder Uber drivers are discouraged. Clients point the finger at drivers who ride profile, calling them to ask for destination, rejecting client for low ratings, and declining SF trips on poor compensation. 

An East Bay drivers netted $10 after completing a Berkeley to SF downtown trip. It took this driver 30 minutes to complete this trip in the rain. Uber charged ride $20. Driver paid $5 toll. Minus safe ride fee, Uber fee, and fuel cost, this driver made less than $10. This trip once paid $40. Berkeley to SFO trips once cost $60. At $35, it is not financially beneficial for East Bay drivers to leave their comfort zone to enter the city and get disqualified for not starting trips originating from the city 67% of the time. 

Integrate a tipping feature to help Uber drivers. What is the problem!? For two years now, drivers and clients have requested this tipping feature. Is Uber too far behind innovation to build a tipping feature and add this on the client app? Sidecar app, now a distant memory, featured a tipping feature on their ridesharing app. Lyft allows for tipping on their ride app. Uber's way to defeat competition is to reduce pricing, so drivers will get discouraged and stop driving. That's what will soon happen. 

Focus on better promotions. Throw out impossible requirements that you know will disqualify good drivers to receive compensation under the Winter slump promotion. No Uber drivers should be averaging $15 and less per hour driving for an entire week, especially when they used to earn $40+ an hour. There is a limit to how low fares can go. Once fares reach this minimum level, drivers will leave. That's a guarantee. 

Clients matter most to Uber. Drivers don't matter much. Clients can make drivers wait forever without any penalties. They cause drivers to receive tickets, but Uber doesn't care. Drivers must be quick to pick clients up, or face cancellations, complaints and/or low ratings. Uber won't start charging clients at the moment a driver reaches a client's pickup address. According to an Uber employee, Uber doesn't want to burden the client. Lyft app starts a trips upon driver arrival. 

Why does Uber allow clients to burden Uber drivers? We don't hear this starting trip at pickup address a problem for Lyft. If the client is inconsiderate to not contact driver ahead of time, they should get charged on re-routes to new pickup address. Moreover, clients are disrespectful to make drivers wait after traveling 15-30 minutes to retrieve them. This is more than enough time to get ready. 

Drivers must change their driving habits. Arrive at pickup address. Wait 5 minutes. If client doesn't show, cancel the trip. If client calls and tells driver they are greater than 2 miles away, cancel them as wrong address. Drivers can't keep accepting poor behavior. They can't rely on a company that doesn't listen to their needs. The last time we checked, drivers make it possible for Uber to be successful. 

If Uber is going to set strict trips per hour requirements via promotions, drivers can also make adjustments. All the time clients waste influence drivers to miss trips per hour conditions. It is not the driver's fault. As a matter of fact, clients are extending waiting times. inputting wrong addresses, setting wrong pins, making drivers wait, at the wrong location, move away from pickup address and etc. So Uber is acting petty with disqualifying drivers for hourly matches, drivers have a right to cancel trips choosing the appropriate selection. 

Longer trips should be worth 1.5 trips. What if a driver receive 5 long trips in a row? They may earn enough to meet hourly requirements, but traffic may consume time and disqualify them. 

How many fans will you actually driver between Super Bowl and the city? Whenever there are events, you may get lucky to get a ride or two. Drivers shouldn't stop what they're doing to get a ride. They are better at giving rides to all those in need than to expect SB demand. Surge pricing can rescue drivers out of this current funks. We rarely see any good surge pricing to reap the benefits. 

Know your value drivers. You make ridesharing possible. Don't settle for less. Repeated fare drops are sinking ridesharing earnings. The cost to operate, in relation to pay, is not worth your time. If you must drive another 20 hours per week to make what you earned before price cuts, this is unfair.