Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Chasing After Bonuses Translate into Exhaustion

Uber drivers performing ride services such as UberX, UberPool and/or UberEats delivery services face extreme challenges accomplishing driver bonuses. Driving for Uber is no longer as fun, especially because drivers cannot stop thinking about missing trip requirements that could cost them hundreds per week. Chasing after weekly/weekend bonuses translate into exhaustion.

Uber Partners have shared with clients that reaching weekly/weekend bonuses are incredibly tough. They have no idea why they miss the trips required to activate these bonuses. Unlike past promotions that gave drivers the opportunity to focus on multiple bonuses, the current quest to accomplish weekend bonuses put clients in an unfavorable position to get canceled once a conflicting trip is revealed. It's make or break!

Drivers and clients get the short end of the stick. Both parties are under pressure, under time constraints to reach destinations. We feel that Uber should introduce a second bonus on weekends to improve client service. If and when drivers fail to meet trip requirements to earn weekend incentives, there is no second option beyond the primary 65 trip bonus. Drivers either earn, or they lose out.

Ask any driver if they're willing to complete a trip that will eventually result in lost earnings. Moral drivers are willing to make all trips, no matter if these rides cost them weekly/weekend bonuses. Without filters to remain in specific regions, concealing destinations until trips begin, major traffic clogging the road, clients taking too long to claim rides, and other contributing factors, drivers are basically driving blind. They're losing money. They're struggling to meet financial obligations. The impact of chasing after multiple bonuses create mental and physical exhaustion.

The Uber platform is most likely aimed at saving the corporation money. This means that drivers are at the mercy of a system, playing a losing game against an algorithm designed to block the majority of drivers from reaching the mark. If drivers don't invest additional hours and work in busy areas that will deliver a high number of trips, they will fail to make these bonuses.

In the past, long trips were recognized as moneymaking opportunities. However, Uber is incentivizing trips using a specific number of trips to earn bonuses. Once drivers reach the trip requirements and meet all guidelines (i.e. acceptance rate above 75 percent), a particular bonus is awarded. Uber drivers are put in tough positions where a long trip may eliminate them from contention. As a result of this fear, some drivers will reject driving clients.

How can Uber can solve this problem? They can calculate longer trips as multiple rides. For example, 30 minutes or less is equal to 1 trip, 1 hour is 2 rides, and so forth. Traveling outside of the Bay Area could jeopardize driver bonuses. Drives do not get credit for trips taken outside of the zone. Requesting a driver to travel outside of a non-qualifying region may result in a canceled trip.

The truth behind ride rejections is that drivers have a right to deny rides. A court ruling identified Uber drivers as independent contractors, not employees who must work assigned schedules, service certain regions and accept all trips. Some drivers will accept most requests and complete all trips. Nevertheless, there are hungry drivers focused on making money through completing weekday/weekend bonuses and choose to reject clients with conflicting trips.

Clients are left in the dark; they don't understand why drivers refuse to drive them. It can become an awkward exchange for drivers and clients, alike. Drivers instruct their clients to exit their vehicles, a decision that can/will save them time and protect their chase to reach the bonuses. During the weekend, time is super critical since there is only one bonus available. Missing the bonus by a trip or two will disqualify drivers.

Uber drivers are increasing their time on the road to avoid missing the weekend bonus. Most college students are on summer break, so ride averages are spiraling downward. If drivers once trusted completing trips at certain times, now they must adjust their time to meet trip requirements. Traveling to distant locations during crunch time could/would compromise this bonus. Lack of ride requests leading up to the deadline may frustrate drivers.

Uber drivers won't make decent earnings without weekly/weekend bonuses. Keep in mind: Fares have dropped as much as 65 percent--over a 3-4 year span. UberPool, UberEATS and UberRush trips are helpful to complete bonuses. In contrast, there are drawbacks to taking these trips. Solo UberPool trips pay small fares and take up a lot of valuable time. These pool trips may travel into areas where ride requests are scarce. Delivery trips may involve long pickup times, long waiting tips, a single order, and long delivery time to customer.

Eliminating all bonuses and increasing all fares would make long trips appealing. Long trips will make drivers good earnings once surge pricing or boosts are applied to trips. For the most part, past hourly guarantees gave drivers another option to earn.

The current landscape is exhausting drivers. After the weekend, drivers may feel under the weather. They lose out driving on Monday, a great day to locate valuable short and long trips. On the opposing side, heavy traffic will decrease ride averages. Constantly revising the bonus structure is forcing drivers to make adjustments. As you may know, driver earnings are much lower than the latter part of 2015 and Spring and Summer of 2016.

The important thing to remember is that calculating the number of rides completed per hour determine how many hours Uber drivers must work to achieve weekly/weekend bonuses. Unfortunately, the Uber platform is smart enough to connect drivers - on the verge of completing a bonus - with conflicting trips they may not normally receive at another time. In the end, these drivers lose the game to time. They miss the trip requirements to activate these bonuses.

Because Uber drivers are at the mercy of Uber, they have no real way to predict conflicting trips. Uber hides all destinations, which clients assume that drivers know ahead of pickup. Uber drivers have no way of knowing destinations unless clients send text messages, call, mention destination before trips start, and/or see the address when trips begin. If clients assume drivers cancel them based on their destinations, this is inaccurate. Pickup addresses that are too far, drivers taking restroom breaks, fuel fill-ups, clients with low ratings, and other factors motivate drivers to cancel trips. Try your best to avoid last minute travel.

Uber drivers are growing wearing of clients pointing the blame for them being late. Submitting low stars can/will impact drivers. If you're running late, don't take this out on your driver. It's morally wrong to be rude and/or give low stars to drivers because of your time management issues. Making drivers wait at pickup addresses or even failing to acknowledge critical mistakes with inputting wrong addresses may influence drivers to miss their bonuses. Request, cancel, request, cancel, request, cancel client actions block drivers from connecting with serious riders.

The most egregious action are that of clients canceling trips while in moving vehicles. If this trip represents the qualifying bonus requirement to reward a driver, your action to press the cancel button will disqualify them. Uber seems to ignore the potential fallout of a mid-trip cancellation. What if an accident occurs without an active trip going? Will drivers leave rider(s) on a bridge? How should a driver handle a mid-trip cancellation? The pressure in taking the final trip and this taking place at the deadline will make drivers feel uneasy. Eventually, Uber will reject Partners after a courtesy payout.

Uber and clients are responsible for elevating the stress levels of Partners. There are actions both parties do that complicate the chase to reach driver bonuses. Unfortunately, drivers are at a disadvantage when it comes to accomplishing weekday/weekend bonus. Drivers are not surprised to get connected with a trip that disqualifies them. All it takes is one conflicting trip to end the chase.

Rest up drivers! Be strategic in how you chase the bonuses. Know all requirements. Avoid last minute chases to preserve incentives. Best of luck!