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Uber's 180 days of change reviewed: June 2017 - Earnings

As many drivers and rider have noticed over the past few months, Uber has run into several huge PR issues involving every aspect of the company; from it's riders starting the "Delete Uber" grassroots campaign to the now ex CEO Travis Kalanick being forced out by his own board of directors, everything Uber related has been under scrutiny. With Uber having realized that it needed to do an about face and start a PR campaign to counteract #deleteuber, it rolled out the "180 Days of Change" initiative in June of 2017.

All of the hyperlinks will direct you to Uber's specific webpage that addresses the subject, please use them for more information

This is part 1 of 6, or to put it better, the first 30 days to be reviewed!

June 2017: Earnings

Before I became a driver, I had always tipped any Uber driver I used (if I had cash); the problem always was that I rarely did and I usually felt bad because that are some great Uber drivers out there who go above and beyond for the $5 minimum fare that Uber pays them. Now with tipping integrated with the Uber app, it has made it much easier to get some extra money. While I can only speak from personal experience, most of my tips actually come from UberPOOL rides, which I find peculiar. Although tipping is a great solution to help retain drivers, one thing that does need to be improved on is reminding riders after their ride, then maybe again an hour after their ride to review (and potentially tip) their drivers. The majority of conversations I've had with riders on the subject revolves around being reminded to do so, because right when you get to your destination, you are not concerned with the ride you just took, but rather, what you are about to be doing. I'm sure many people share the same sentiment.

Verdict: Great addition!

One of the more annoying aspects of using Destinations was the fact that the trips didn't count towards your goals. Although I have never been on the cusp of completing a goal only to have it be disqualified by a destination trip, I always thought of it as a form of entrapment, forcing drivers to stay online and then put the destination mode on once they've completed their goals to be able to go home. Personally, not a big deal, and I believe the same is true for others, mostly because if your out there for a goal or quest, you will put the extra time in to make sure you complete it.

Verdict: Meh... thanks I guess

Paid waiting time could be one of the best improvements, if it wasn't for the fact that you make close to $0.10 per minute. If a passenger asks me to wait while they continue to get ready, I am usually okay with it and play it off as being a non issue, but at $6 per hr rate, it makes absolutely no sense to do so! Rule of thumb, don't be nice unless you are having a slow night or are picking up from a neighborhood that isn't close to downtown (likely longer trip). If you cancel when it allows you to, it can't effect you negatively and you will receive $3.75, which is worth over 35 min of wait time. If they would up the wait time rate after the first 3 minutes to $0.50 or $1, then that would be a different story, but until then, don't wait.

Verdict: Passengers probably wouldn't sit around waiting for others for more than 5 minutes at their day jobs, so make it worth while for drivers!

Living in a smaller city that often involves drives from downtown to the suburbs, it is a welcome change to see a cancellation fee charged after 2 minutes (originally 5 minutes). After dropping someone off and getting a request is always a welcomed surprise, but when you have to drive 8 minutes to pick them up and they cancel while your on the way, it sucks a lot. There are rumors that the more distance you have to drive to pick up a passenger, the more the cancellation fee will increase. Regardless though, thanks Uber!

Verdict: about time

While this has never been an issue for myself because I have never done the instant pay option, I could see this being very annoying for other drivers who Uber full time. I never really understood the logic behind withholding a part of your earnings until the weekly pay run, but hey, now it isn't an issue.

Verdict: becoming less annoying

The day after this went into effect, I was taken aback by the numerous options now available to me on my destination tab; metros you can chose to want rides to, up to 6 destination options, now easily able to toggle between UberX, UberPOOL, UberSelect, and UberEATS (which to this date I still have not done).

While I don't think I'll ever find myself needing to use the 6 destination options, the metros are very welcome. While I have yet to find any article online which can help point towards the logic behind pairing a rider up with the driver and how these filters would come into play, I do believe that (barring any ratings issues) drivers with these filters enabled are more likely to receive rides than those who don't have them enabled; if you're smart, you could cash in big!

For instance, lets say that there is a football game that is being let out in the South West side of the city, you can enable your destination mode to the North East of the city. Chances of you picking up a passenger going anywhere around the city is very high, so this would ensure that you would receive one of the longer rides. Granted, Los Angeles drivers should not follow this advice because they currently don't have any fans...

Verdict (post update): What exactly has changed? Nothing...

July 2017: Support

.... Coming shortly....

*** As always, all of the views expressed in this piece are the views of the author. No one has been paid or compensated for this piece, nor do they expect to ***

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