Some would say the Uber app has revolutionized the taxi industry – and there’s some truth to that. The convenience and modernized approach that the ridesharing app offered truly saved us time and effort. Hence, the massive undying support from both transportation enthusiasts and passengers.
You may think that a company as widely praised and loved as Uber gets many positive articles and reviews from the media – however, you are wrong. In fact, Uber is the transport industry’s main source of conflicts, issues, debate. This ridehailing giant has made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Still, despite drama-hungry culture nowadays, there are some secrets lurking beneath the Uber HQ.
And we’re going to try and expose them all.
In this blog, we will be giving you 10 secrets Uber doesn’t want you to know about. Keep these in mind next time you book your next Uber ride!
Uber drivers are racist, homophobic, and… fake?
A joint study done by MIT, Stanford, and University of Washington found that black people find it more difficult to get an Uber than other races. The study sampled data from 1,500 trips and took place in Seattle and Boston. The participants were two female passengers (one black, one white) and two male passengers (one black, one white). As a result, black passengers were left waiting longer and often cancelled outright.
Furthermore, there have been many reports of homophobic attacks from Uber drivers. In fact, once in Atlanta, an Uber driver allegedly threatened a gay couple in his car with a gun. The driver also continued to follow and threaten them even after they got out of the car.
Finally, fake Uber drivers are hijacking riders. There had been reports of “Uber drivers” approaching customers aggressively especially in the LaGuardia and JFK areas. Once they arrive at the destination, these fake drivers hike up the fare, sometimes three to four times the estimated amount.
And would you have guessed they managed to bypass Uber’s security system by using clipboards and paper?
It seems that the root of all these problems is Uber’s pathetic and unreliable background checks. Uber uses Checkr to run the applicant’s name, address, and social security number against the sex offender website. On the other hand, taxi companies use Live Scan, which uses fingerprints and looks for a match with the FBI database. In other words, if you’re willing to sacrifice your safety for a quick ride to your destination, then, by all means, take an Uber.
Uber created an app to avoid the cops
Uber does seem to love to dodge the rules – even to the point where they made an app for it!
They called it the ‘Greyball’. According to them, they initially used it for drivers to avoid aggressive passengers. However, Uber’s intentions made a turn for the worse.
One of the features, “ghost cars”, was made to help drivers avoid giving service to police officers in areas where Uber wasn’t allowed to operate. So, if you’re not an officer and you’re in one of those areas, Uber will still give you a ride even if it’s technically illegal for them. They were literally cheating the police just for the sake of business!
Uber used disasters and emergency situations for profit
Here we go with another one of Uber’s “initially for good intention” schemes: price surging. Basically, price surging is Uber’s attempt to balance the demand and supply of their service. The higher the cost, the more drivers are encouraged to drive. Likewise, the higher the cost, the more passengers are discouraged to take a ride.
However, as you may have guessed by now, meeting the demands isn’t just the sole purpose of surge pricing.
Passengers discovered that Uber takes advantage of disasters and emergencies by raising the fare twice the regular amount. Of course, customers will have no choice but to pay the increased cost – especially in situations where transportation is badly needed. This way, Uber can increase profits at the expense of their customers who have been affected by whatever is going on.
Uber did this not just once, but several times. The company increased the prices when thousands of workers were trying to get away from a terror attack in Sydney, Australia. This was the time the #DeleteUber movement started.
Although the company had apologized and offered free rides for those affected, still, it shouldn’t have been implemented in the first place. From the moment Uber decided to increase the costs, it became clear that the company cares about money more than taking care of its clientele.
Their own drivers hate the company
At a glance, working for Uber looks like it might not be a bad job to have. Uber drivers get to drive their own car and they make their own hours.
Well, as wonderful as it may seem, driving an Uber won’t get you anywhere in life. In fact, Uber is ripping off their own drivers. The company won’t listen to their employees – or should I say, contractors, and they won’t notify them of any changes within the system. The lack of transparency and communication between Uber and its drivers caused a few rallies and even lawsuits to take place.