Our world is changing rapidly. Many services are getting closer to us through the Internet and mobile applications. The American company Uber has created a program that allows you to search for, call and pay for private drivers. Now this application works in many cities around the world.
The customer gets the opportunity to reserve his car online, and then track the movement right on the map. Payment is made using a bank card linked to the application, part of the funds goes to the account of the developer company.
The idea of such a business appeared in 2008 by Travis Kalanick, who still could not get a taxi in Paris. Uber is already coming to Russian cities.
True, the business model is not yet fully understood by many users, so they are openly afraid to use the service. Many people, even if they have heard of Uber taxi, still believe the numerous myths about this service.
Uber drivers can be successful, earning up to $ 90,000 a year in America. Even for America, this is a large figure of income. This myth began to spread itself Uber in May 2014, wanting to attract more independent contractors. They were promised the opportunity not only to make money, but also to change the whole world. In New York, independent drivers with their own cars were promised a salary of $ 90,000 a year, and for San Francisco - up to $ 74,000. Licensed taxi drivers can expect to earn three times less. However, UberX drivers (economy cars) began to complain that they actually receive less than even the established minimum wage limit. It is not clear how it is generally possible to dramatically increase the driver's earnings. And the promised bag is rather vague. It is not confirmed by any calculations or calculations, but simply appears as a fact that must be believed. In this case, we are talking generally about revenue, and not about net profit. That is, of this amount, a part of the service itself has yet to be given, and a considerable one. It is not clear how many days or hours to work. If a driver has to be behind the wheel for 100 hours a week to generate that kind of income, then this does not paint the company. Plus, Uber often cuts its fares for a while. As a result, the driver may receive an unexpectedly lower amount. This question interested journalists who tried to find out the real income of the Uber driver. However, they prefer to keep silent about their earnings.
Uber pays some of the drivers' expenses. Uber keeps prices low by placing all costs on the driver. As a result, he has to pay for car repairs, refuel it, carry out maintenance, and carry out insurance. Given that all contractors are, in fact, private entrepreneurs, they still have to pay taxes. If an ordinary taxi driver's tire blows up, the company will pay for the repair. The Uber driver will have to make repairs at his own expense.
The surge in Uber prices is associated with the desire to earn extra money from customers. The company's pricing policy is quite flexible. Taxi prices may increase during peak hours or on holidays. In theory, this is due to the increased demand for cars at this time, and the number of drivers remains the same or even decreases. But the impact on tariffs is determined by both the patented decision-making algorithm and the human employee. Sometimes the decision plays against the company itself. For example, at the end of 2014 in the very center of Sydney, a terrorist took hostages, and Uber immediately quadrupled tariffs for those wishing to leave the area. The company claims that tariff hikes do happen. But this was done to encourage drivers to work actively at such intervals and take more orders. Usually independent taxi drivers go home before the bars close. And to keep the ability to provide customers with cars, Uber is offering its contractors more money. This mostly works, but not always. You can remember the same Sydney or New Year's Eve 2012 with a 6-fold increase in prices. For ordinary people it looks derisively expensive, it seems that the company is manipulating prices. In most US states, this is illegal.
Technically, Uber is illegal as it provides transportation services without a license. And again we will have to talk about a vague area from the point of view of law. Likewise, one can argue about medical marijuana and group travel services. It is likely that this violates some local or state laws. The legality of UberX is a complex issue that does not have an easy answer depending on the jurisdiction. Other Uber services, like black limousines, are legal. The drivers have a license and are paid taxes to the state. Many states and countries simply banned Uber as soon as they discovered it. And South Korea directly accused the founders of the service of launching an illegal taxi service. As with everything Uber, the risk is with the drivers. The passenger cannot be fined or more money withdrawn from him, but some drivers were financially punished.
Drivers mainly make money on numerous short trains. They give up long routes that take a lot of time. In fact, the situation is just the opposite. Because of the prices and Uber fees, it’s better for a driver to get one long ride to the airport or to the outskirts of town than a bunch of short ones to drive the club-goers. The service takes a dollar from each trip as a safety fee and 20% of the remaining amount. The $ 40 ride from the airport will earn Uber a dollar and 20% of the remaining $ 39, or $ 8.8. And delivering four bar visitors for $ 10 will bring the company a dollar from each trip and 20% of the remaining $ 9, that is, a total of $ 11.2. Drivers quickly master this math and understand how much they actually earn and what type of trips are beneficial to them.
Uber drivers should not be trusted because they are not checked. The fact that Uber is a new, popular and famous phenomenon is riveting increased attention to it. Any crime committed by the driver of this service will immediately hit the news. This is how the myth emerges that Uber is a lawless roulette wheel. Taking a mobile device in hand to place an order, a person risks his life every time. In fact, this is not entirely true. Uber does background checks on its drivers to see if they have had a history of drunk driving, violent crime, sex crimes in the past seven years. But all these checks are carried out online, while the official taxi even takes their employees' fingerprints for verification. The same 7 years is the statute of limitations for allegations of violation of carrying a weapon or crimes on the roads. But in an official taxi, this period is only 5 years. So the passenger has a great chance to be a victim in this service. In fact, there is no official data on whether regular taxis are more or less safe than Uber. But passengers' moral concerns about group travel are understandable. Riding with a stranger in a car always requires caution, be it an online app or an official service behind it.
The driver does not need to tip, he has no right to take them. Since Uber has appeared on the market relatively recently, the customs for it are all new. In a regular taxi, we usually leave a tip, but in this case, the money is withdrawn from the card without additional bribes. Uber deliberately focuses the attention of customers with the slogan "there is no need to tip" and does not even offer the option of monetary incentives for the driver in its application. But a competitor, Lyft, has that opportunity. But Uber drivers don't mind cash and are happy to take it. This is a personal matter for each passenger. But it is worth remembering that the driver has to pay a lot to the company for its services. Why not compensate him at least partially for these expenses, since he managed to save money with the help of Uber.
The driver's rating is not important. For drivers, rating is very important. UberX requires drivers to maintain an GPA of at least 4.7 to be able to continue working. A few bad reviews can end your taxi career at Uber. A passenger cannot order a car again until he has rated the previous driver. And the taxi driver himself also gives points to his passenger. If a client accumulates bad reviews, then he may be ignored in the future when calling a taxi. So both sides have reasons to behave in a civilized manner during the trip.
Uber is the transportation of passengers. At one time, the service was launched with the slogan “Personal driver for everyone”. The client requests a ride for himself using the smartphone app. It is selected by the driver, and the navigation systems automatically calculate the distance and fare. And then the application withdraws money from the card. As a result, everything happens faster than in public transport, more convenient than in a taxi. Uber argues that it's also cheaper than driving your own car. However, the company now sees itself as more than just a travel broker. And its investors feel the same way. One of them, by the way, was Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post. It is believed that the constructed complex system can allow transporting not only passengers, but also cargo. And the company has already begun experimenting with this complex idea. A courier service was launched in New York and trial deliveries in Washington, DC, offering everyday necessities such as tampons and toothpaste. The company plans to arrange transportation of not only people, but also the things they need in general - furniture, diapers, dog food. So Uber will move away from the image of just a personal taxi. This long-term plan will allow it to compete with powerful rivals: UPS and Amazon. And clashes with traditional taxi services will eventually look like a trifle. Uber hinted at its ambitions when it updated its slogan to "Where lifestyle meets logistics."
Uber is a service for the rich. So you could say when the company just started. Luxury black cars were offered as an alternative to traditional taxis. Since then, however, Uber has brought forth a number of services aimed at a wider audience. For example, UberX is the most democratic option. A ride in the back seat of a stranger's personal car is suggested. And it can even get cheaper than a regular taxi. The company has launched a new service, UberPool, which will make travel even cheaper by transporting several passengers unfamiliar to each other in one car. Demographically, Uber claims to provide a more reliable service to minorities while operating in underserved areas that have historically been ignored by traditional taxi services. And user reviews confirm this. Uber arrives for orders in places where other carriers refuse to go. The passenger only needs a smartphone and a credit card.
Uber opposes the regulation of this market. At the very beginning of the development of the project, this was indeed the case. The company believed that excessive market regulation would stifle all innovation in the market. She believed that the free market would be able to independently solve the problems of the regulator. Consumer ratings would remove dangerous drivers, and flexible rates allow you to adjust when the car arrives. However, unanswered questions soon appeared in this dispute. They concerned, first of all, insurance coverage for non-professional UberX drivers. In this case, private machines were used, and background checks were carried out. In many markets, the UberX service, which allows almost any driver with a vehicle to become a taxi driver for a while, has proven illegal. That is why in some cities: Portland, Philadelphia, Brussels and New Delhi, they tried to sue Uber or even ban it. In such a situation of legal uncertainty, Uber admits that it will have to resort to regulation of the service. This is the price you have to pay for your own survival. The company is doing fine with common sense and trying to achieve the rules that will benefit it. Not long ago, a law was signed in Washington to allow people to offer transportation for money in private cars. Under the new rules, companies like Uber are required to provide $ 1 million in insurance. And the data on the drivers themselves and their vehicles must be verified. Uber happily responded to this experiment, touting it as a possible model for the rest of the country.
Uber employs sexists. This is exactly what the criticism of the company's top managers sounds like. Once in an interview with GQ magazine, Travis Kalanick unsuccessfully joked that he calls the company "Boob-er" (that is, "Boobs"). This did not go unnoticed by women. Senior Vice President Emil Michael caused the company's worst public relations scandal of all time. He decided to fight critical journalists by allocating funds to publish compromising materials on them. The first victim was Sarah Lacey, editor of PandoDaily, who accused Uber of sexism. Uber's “brotherly” culture is clearly not keeping pace with the growth of the company as a major global service. Many women were annoyed by such antics, including Lacy. Due to accusations of sexism, some have ostentatiously removed the Uber app on their phones. But the company's culture does not necessarily extend to the drivers themselves. Their business model keeps them at arm's length. And the drivers are independent contractors. Often these are former taxi drivers, unemployed, half-day actors. They don't have to believe in the principles of Uber itself. These people just want to make some money with their car. And the drivers themselves criticize the service management for the constantly changing conditions of cooperation. And although the top of the company can really show sexism towards at least journalists, thousands of serving drivers are absolutely adequate people.
There is nothing wrong with collecting customer data. Every time a customer orders a ride on Uber, the company collects a certain amount of data: where to pick up a person, where he is going, what time of day it happens, how much the trip cost. All this information is a valuable service asset. This allows drivers to be satisfied in advance and to manipulate rates during peak hours.By itself, this data seems harmless, especially if the location of any person can already be tracked using his smartphone. But privacy advocates say leaking this information could have consequences. By analyzing the magazine, you can see many trips from one place. This is how Uber learns where the customer lives. You can find out how often he appears in certain hot spots, whether he goes to treatment or to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. The company itself blurted out in its blog that it monitors the night trips of its customers and predicts their return back in 5-6 hours during the so-called "trips of glory." This news caused a scandal. Recent antics and statements by management raise questions whether it will be able to deal responsibly with information that has fallen into their hands, or will begin to use the personal data of its critics for the purpose of compromising, as Emil Michael hinted. Privacy advocates fear that information could fall into the hands of hackers. As the company grows, it will not only need to convince people to use these services, but also learn how to protect customer data obtained in the course of work.