Uber & Lyft: Unfair and Unsafe - Liberal Resistance

Uber & Lyft: Unfair and Unsafe

I’ve done some work for both Uber and Lyft over the last 4 months. I’ve worked for Lyft slightly less because it took them over 3 weeks from the time I signed up until they would actually processed the paperwork.

 Most of my experiences were positive; however, over the last couple of days I’ve had some major issues with both companies.

Two days ago with Uber, I only did 2 rides.  Both were the same person.  Both rides were long pickups.  I did everything exactly as it was planned from the moment I clicked to accept the rides.  I was supposed to be paid for my time and then the distance I drove.  Both trips required me to go to a rural area where cell phones don’t catch. So because of that then I got short changed on both of the rides. I tried to fix it on the phone and it wouldn’t correct properly.  Unfortunately, I ended up having to call their customer service in what sounded like India. The woman didn’t seem to know what she was doing and then insisted that they couldn’t fix it and call me back.  I asked how much do I get paid for them wasting over 25 minutes of my time.  I was told they don’t conpensate drivers when they waste their time trying to get paid correctly.  Early on the conversation I asked to speak to a supervisor that might know more and actually fix my problem in a timely manner.  She insisted there were no supervisors whatsoever to resolve any problems.  I had many choice words for her for wasting so much of my time.  She did eventually adjust both of my rides slightly up but she still did it incorrectly and I got short changed.  I get that they don’t care because they turned a profit for themselves on both rides as it cost them next to nothing.  However it is the driver that supplies the labor, time, car, and gas.  They really don’t seem to care if the driver is short changed because they made money no matter what.    I then put in a written ticket that it still wasn’t done correctly.  They never wrote me back or fully paid me for the service I had contracted with them.  Of course they never paid me for my time that they completely wasted either.  

They want the drivers to give good customer service to the riders, but it is clear to me they don’t care if they as a company give their drivers decent service.  They pitch themselves as being “convenient” but the reality is their technology doesn’t always work and if anything does go wrong it can be a nightmare to get it fixed.  

My issue with Lyft yesterday was I realized just how unsafe it was to drive for them.  They allow the riders to use fake names, fake or irrelevant pictures, and input fake addresses as the destination.  I ended up giving someone a ride to a place I would NEVER have agreed to go had I actually known what was going on and where the destination was.  When I did finally realize where the actual destination was I realized I had quite likely just been stalked on Lyft.  I called and complained to Lyft that their app easily allows people to be stalked and is very unsafe because they allow riders to use fake names, fake pictures or irrelevant pictures, and fake destination addresses.  I have no idea if they will actually correct this problem or start giving the driver the relevant information they need to know to decide if they want to actually take a trip.

I get it that they don’t care and they just plan on replacing everyone with robotic automated cars eventually.  It is amazing to know that “high tech” companies can’t write a few more lines of code to make their technology actually work right and ensure drivers are paid properly and not being put in unsafe situations. I have a hard time believing that having to call India and wait on the phone for long periods of time is really “high tech”.  I get that they want the app to do everything and not require much human assistance, but that would require their technology to actually work right and work right all the time.  If any competing company came along and had the technology down better no one would probably drive for Uber or Lyft.

 Also, another thing that seems quite unfair with both companies is on very short rides both companies take such a large percentage of the fare that in my opinion it is unethical.  Of course they never let the drivers know that it is going to be a short ride.  Both companies never let the driver know the destination either until after the person is picked up.  

So it will be interesting to see if both companies deactivate me for publicly complaining about their unfair and unsafe practices even though I have pretty high customer ratings.  Luckily, after my recent experiences with both companies I don’t really care if they do at this point.  It has made me question if this is something I should ever be doing even on a part time basis?  Any positive cash flow that is generated is easily offset by gas bills, vehicle depreciation, and repairs.  Plus, I also learned quickly in an area that it isn’t very busy one has to always be simultaneously on both the Uber and Lyft apps to be able to earn any money at all.  So at times it seems unnecessarily complicated to constantly be turning them both off and on all the time.  

This is my mind is just another example of how America is in the race to the bottom when it comes to any type of employment.  In today’s America workers have less job security, are responsible for more of the financial burden, are put in more potentially dangerous situations, and overall receive less pay than they would have in the past (when the amount is inflation adjusted).