Apparently, Uber increased the percentage of fares that it takes from drivers back up to 20 percent after the company had lowered it to five percent in January. The company also began charging drivers a new smartphone fee. Similar to what we’ve heard from aggrieved Uber passengers and blown-off city officials, the uberX drivers complained Uber was unresponsive and ignored their phone calls and emails.
The primary complaints from drivers were:
- No love
- “Our number one demand is take care of your drivers.”
- “You guys tricked us and you lied to us and you owe us an apology right now!”
- No sympathy
- “They don’t know what it’s like going out on the road. They just keep making these decisions from behind the desk.”
- No money
- “We just want to make a living. We don’t want to be gouged!”
- “We work for less than minimum wage! The fares are so low. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Uber responded with pastries. The company also responded that it temporarily hiked the percentage Uber was taking from drivers to make up for slower winter months. By the way, Uber didn’t tell any of this to the drivers. Instead, it informed the media.
Little wonder uberX drivers are frustrated. If they really are earning less than minimum wage, it’s hard to square this with Uber’s recruiting pitch which advertises that drivers can make $21 per hour or $1300 per week.
Time will tell if the protest has any effect. We’ve heard the single best way to force Uber to respond is to tweet at the higher-ups. Shame them. Perhaps we’ll soon see “Uber Drivers Tweeting for Economic Justice” or somesuch.