Is Uber Really This Bad?

A short time ago I joined Uber’s ranks as a driver. If I knew then what I know now, I not only would not have worked with them, I also wouldn’t use any of their services. Uber fromUber the face is not the same as Uber from the inside. Now do not misunderstand, Uber is a great idea, is a money maker from top to bottom, and provides a much needed service to the places it serves. But, Uber also has a very dark side.

Do you remember the movie “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy and Dan Acroyd? Remember the 2 old guys pulling all the strings to make things happen? Well, I picture 2 guys at the top of Uber’s food chain betting each other a dollar as they do everything they can to screw over everyone they come across. It doesn’t matter if it be competition, government, or their own workers, Uber screws them all . . . Except their internal Operations/Administration. “Hey Travis, I bet you a dollar that I can screw these guys out of their entire profit margin.” “Okay, I’ll take that bet!”

I joined the driver ranks last August when Uber would help you get a car and you could make 5k per month. . .

The Auto Purchase Program is ridiculous. Uber partners with what may as well be local loan sharks that take every advantage they can of drivers trying to get a car. First the drivers fall for the scam because they believe Uber to have ethics and at least a little honesty, they don’t. The end result is drivers falling for this scam are stuck with a car that carries an interest rate or a lease payment close to $1,000.00 per month ($250.00 per week by Uber payroll deduction) and the end result is the car will cost the driver at least twice the value of the car. This program is intended to cause the driver to fail as the life expectancy of the car is at least one year less than the loan/lease of the car. But, drivers look at it as an investment that the believe Uber will provide the ability to earn adequate profit to pay the excessive car costs. Part of this program and one of the primary draws to this program is the program claims that participants will receive discounts from the Dealership, discounts from Uber, and good financing. None of this is true. And this situation gets even worse for the driver.

Uber reserves the right to change Rider Fares at their discretion. There is no contingency to discuss changes with the drivers or anything at all to protect the riders income at all. That 5k you could make as a driver in August, was significantly less by the end of September. Remember the drivers that purchased a car through Uber. At that time they were no longer able to earn a profit that could be considered a living wage, by the second rate cut in December these drivers could no longer drive their cars as their income was less than it cost to operate their cars. Some drivers advised Uber of this and were told to work more hours to earn more money, but Uber failed to do the math as even if these drivers worked full-time their income would be less than $500.00 for the month after paying the car note and driver expenses. Uber dumps all responsibility for driver expense on the driver and as of todays date does not provide adequate income for any of their driver to earn minimum wage earnings.

The most recent idea of Uber’s was that rates could be dropped so low that drivers would have much more riders and the drivers would be able to earn twice as much as before. In essence, work twice as much for half as much to earn more. In reality, it provided Uber 2 to 3 times more earnings of the $1.00 rider fees, while cutting driver earnings by 47%. Uber’s next idea is to cut rates by $0.20 thereby increasing ridership to such a degree that Uber drivers always have a passenger in their car, thus earning higher earnings. And, of course the end result of this idea will further impact drivers adversely.

Uber’s ridership is predominately young “Tech” people, most earning at least $25.00 and higher per hour incomes. The reduction of rates to below minimum wage for Uber drivers to accommodate middle income wage earners is absolutely ridiculous and an offense to employment practices and laws of today. Uber’s own internal employees make an obscene income with benefits such as:

  • 401(k) plan, gym reimbursement, nine paid company holidays.
  • Full medical/dental/vision package to fit your needs.
  • Unlimited vacation policy; work hard and take time when you need it

And, their administration gets all this while Uber drivers do not even get minimum wage.

Uber drivers are many, about 160,000 in total if Uber’s figures are correct, but they are disorganized and do not know what to do to respond to this ridiculous treatment by Uber. They have no union to support them, no bargaining support, and Uber is just railroading over them as though the driver deserves nothing for their days work. The rider’s at best are a selfish lot, lacking concern for the plight of the drivers so long as rates continue to fall. Many drivers that have done the math have stopped driving at this time, but Uber must have foreseen this situation as they flooded most cities with  drivers last month to accommodate a less active driver crew today. Riders using Uber services this Superbowl Sunday will likely be picked up by a brand new driver that has not yet used a calculator to see if he/she is actually making money driving for Uber.

Probably the most offensive act of Uber is their claim of doing so much to help the US economy by hiring so many drivers. What Uber has provided the US economy is lies, frustration, and loss . . . Nothing more!  Yep, Uber really is this bad.

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