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A New Video Shows Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Arguing With a Driver Over Fares (bloomberg.com) 187

A new video published by Bloomberg shows Uber CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver over fares. It all started when one of Kalanick's "companions" appears to say that she's heard that Uber is having a hard year. Bloomberg reports: That pleasant conversation between Kalanick and his friends in the back of an Uber Black? It devolved into a heated argument over Uber's fares between the CEO and his driver, Fawzi Kamel, who then turned over a dashboard recording of the conversation to Bloomberg. Kamel, 37, has been driving for Uber since 2011 and wants to draw attention to the plight of Uber drivers. The video shows off Kalanick's pugnacious personality and short temper, which may cause some investors to question whether he has the disposition to lead a $69 billion company with a footprint that spans the globe. Uber declined to comment on the video. Here's part of the conversation:
Travis Kalanick: "So we are reducing the number of black cars in the next few months."
Fawzi Kamel: "It's good."
Kalanick: "You probably saw some email."
Kamel: "I saw the email [says] it starts in May. But you're raising the standards and dropping the prices."
Kalanick: "We're not dropping the prices on black."
Kamel: "But in general."
Kalanick: "In general but we have competitors. Otherwise we'd be out of business."
Kamel: "Competitors? You had the business model in your hands you could have the prices you want but you choose to buy everybody a ride."

You can read the transcript of the conversation here via Recode.

UPDATE 2/28/17: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has issued "a profound apology."
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A New Video Shows Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Arguing With a Driver Over Fares

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  • by quonset ( 4839537 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @10:31PM (#53950807)

    Wasn't there a recent story about how Uber is doomed?

    Oh right, here it is [slashdot.org].

    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @11:58PM (#53951167)

      Wasn't there a recent story about how Uber is doomed?

      Maybe we should calling them, "Übel", instead of "Über" . . . ?

      • by RCL ( 891376 )
        Isn't Uber "Over" in German anyway? Kinda prophetic.
        • I don't think it's that meaning of "over". I think that it really means "above".
          • I don't think it's that meaning of "over". I think that it really means "above".

            I don't remember much from GCSE german but basic directions is one thing and uber die brucke is over the bridge, so its uber 9000 and all that.

            • Yes, but "over the bridge" does not use the same meaning of "over" as "Uber is over".

              "Uber is over" uses this definition:
              (esp. of an event) finished, completed, or ended: [cambridge.org]
              Iâ(TM)ll be glad when the meeting is over.
              The game was over by 5 oâ(TM)clock.
              I'm worried about the test, but at least it will be all over (= completely finished)in an hour.

        • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @04:29AM (#53951785)

          Isn't Uber "Over" in German anyway? Kinda prophetic.

          In English, "Over" can mean "above" or it can mean "finished". The German word "Uber" shares only the first meaning, but it can also mean "superior".

          These sorts of unshared dual meanings are one of the things that makes machine translation difficult. For instance, in Chinese the word "kai" can mean "open" and it can also mean "turn on". So when a native Chinese speaker is learning English, they will sometimes ask someone to "open the light". This can be especially confusing since the English phrase "close the switch" when properly translated to Chinese is "open the switch".

    • There's an anti-Uber story every 2-3 days now it seems. Now, I've always hated Uber and been shitting on them for years on /. because I think the "sharing economy" is a scam, but this looks like a coordinated media hit to me. Either Uber really is just the most god-awful shithole in every way imaginable and everyone just suddenly now realized it...or somebody's got it out for them.

  • grand plan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @10:32PM (#53950817)
    I thought Uber's single goal was to put all possible forms of transportation out of business and essentially become a gatekeeper that will exact a toll from people who need to travel around and be mobile.
    • Re:grand plan (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @11:24PM (#53951001) Homepage

      Gees, no, where it the money in that. The goal is to create the illusion of profitability to pump and dump in an IPO and wander off a scamming billionaire. This with the full backing of the psychopathic banskters who control the US government.

    • I thought Uber's single goal was to put all possible forms of transportation out of business and essentially become a gatekeeper that will exact a toll from people who need to travel around and be mobile.

      I think their goal is best summed up by their corporate motto: "Be Evil".

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @10:34PM (#53950823)
    you never....drop the price?
  • The video shows off Kalanick's pugnacious personality and short temper, which may cause some investors to question whether he has the disposition to lead a $69 billion company with a footprint that spans the globe.

    "Pleasant temperament" doesn't seem to be a requirement for being CEO.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @12:01AM (#53951175) Journal

      >> may cause some investors to question whether he has the disposition to lead a $69 billion company with a footprint that spans the globe.

      > "Pleasant temperament" doesn't seem to be a requirement for being CEO.

      I think the issue here isn't pleasant or unpleasant, but losing his cool a bit in a situation that shouldn't get a mature leader riled up. There's a time when being a dick might be the right move, when a smart person might *decide* to be aggressive. It doesn't look like he *chose* that as a tactic in this case, rather he lost his cool, he let emotions dictate his actions in an immature way. That's not the guy you want handling a billion dollar business deal - someone who will screw up a major deal because it's annoyed about some inconsequential thing. I want the opposite in a leader - John F. Kennedy very much kept his cool during the Cuban missile crisis, and possibly prevented World War 3 by being cool, calm, and collected - though not at all wimpy.

      Anyway, back to "pleasant disposition". It seems to me that being pleasant isn't a strict rrequirement, but it does help. There *is* a type of effective leader who might be described as "brutally honest", "clear", "no bullshit", or "tough". MOST CEOs who are successful over the long term aren't the tough type, though. MOST are very easy to get along with, they are the type of people that inspire loyalty in the people they work with, the kinds of people board members want to work with, and make friends with all different kinds of powerful people who can make deals happen. You don't make a billion dollar deal with Ford by being a dick to the Ford people and pissing off the Ford CEO. Contrast Obama and Trump - Obama is likeable (even though I disagree with him) and became CEO of the country. This a year after he himself said it would be irresponsible for him to run for president because he had no relevant experience or qualifications - but people *liked* him. People were surprised Trump even got the R nomination. Trump is "tough", "says what he means without sugar-coating it", "asshole". That type occasionally rises to the top, but likeable is more often found on top.

      It appears that the Uber CEO may understand that this is a weakness for him, that for him to continue as CEO and be successful, he needs to not be a prick in the future. Here's what he wrote on his email to all Uber employees:

      Team -

      By now I'm sure youâ(TM)ve seen the video where I treated an Uber driver disrespectfully. To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement. My job as your leader is to lead...and that starts with behaving in a way that makes us all proud. That is not what I did, and it cannot be explained away.

      Itâ(TM)s clear this video is a reflection of meâ"and the criticism weâ(TM)ve received is a stark reminder that I must fundamentally change as a leader and grow up. This is the first time Iâ(TM)ve been willing to admit that I need leadership help and I intend to get it.

      I want to profoundly apologize to Fawzi, as well as the driver and rider community, and to the Uber team.

      • If he actually learns from this and changes, then he will be an example of an incredibly good CEO. How many of us don't have interpersonal flaws? Someone who notices problems and improves is rare indeed.
        • by Sun ( 104778 )

          Yes and no

          This email sounds sincere, which is, indeed, a good sign. On the other hand, this is the third time Uber has come up in similar context over the past month. Taking this long to notice such a severe problem is not a very good sign at all.

          Let's hope that part of that help he said he'll seek, he'll also work on improving the improvement process

          Shachar

        • If he actually learns from this and changes, then he will be an example of an incredibly good CEO. How many of us don't have interpersonal flaws? Someone who notices problems and improves is rare indeed.

          This is the "reformed child rapist" school of logic, which has a fairly obvious counter-argument.

          • An excellent use of rhetoric: comparing him to a child rapist has a huge emotional impact. It's notable that you didn't actually make a point. Your post is all rhetoric, and omits any rational point. Nicely done.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        There's praising a great leader, which is fine, but then there is being misleading about on of their mistakes - not cool.

        John F. Kennedy very much kept his cool during the Cuban missile crisis, and possibly prevented World War 3 by being cool, calm, and collected - though not at all wimpy.

        WTF? It was a mad scramble to accept the second deal in case a third was worse. It was a long list of fuckups that among other things resulted in the death of a U2 pilot who was only there to add to some sabre rattling.
        K

        • The Cuban missile crisis was not Kennedy's best work.

          What was, then?

        • It was a long list of fuckups that among other things resulted in the death of a U2 pilot who was only there to add to some sabre rattling. Kennedy did a lot of good things but the Cuban missile crisis was a result of very stupid brinkmanship.

          Are you talking about Powers? Because he didn't die and was shot down on Eisenhowers's watch, but other than that. Or was another U2 shot down that I'm not aware of?

        • As another example, there are a lot of good things to say about Churchill but nobody praises him for his Gallipolli plan. The Cuban missile crisis was not Kennedy's best work.

          Gallipoli resulted in the ultimately futile deaths of tens of thousands of men. The Cuban missile crisis averted WW3. I don't see how that is a valid comparison.

          • by Megol ( 3135005 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @09:03AM (#53952605)

            Averted WWIII? Now that is a stupid and wholly incorrect way to put it, let me put the main points down and if you are interested to some reading:

            . The US placed nuclear missiles close to the USSR border on the territory of an ally.
            . The soviets didn't like that. not. one. bit.
            . So they arranged to place their missiles on the territory of one of their allies, close to the USA border.
            . They built missile bases on Cuba.
            . They began transporting missiles to those bases.

            . The US freaks out and want to sink ships legally sailing on international waters, bomb Cuba and a lot of other shit.
            . This is reported in media as if the USSR want to start a war (they didn't) and it is an incredible provocation (doing something that the US already had in place).

            . After a while the US secretly agrees to withdraw their missiles from the USSR border and the USSR says "okay, that's what we wanted in the first place" and turns their ships around.

            . This is painted as a win for the WESTERN WORLD against the eeeevil COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY and that the USSR weakened when shown the STRENGTH of the FREE WORLD. In reality the US fucked up and then tried to either start a war or do serious international crimes against other states.

            The ones that could have caused WWIII was the USA leadership and military. Anybody sane would realize that trying to make decapitation strikes possible against the enemy in a MAD world is... well, mad. That the USSR wouldn't try to change that state by doing something similar is beyond stupid.

            • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @09:59AM (#53952925) Journal

              > The US freaks out and want to sink ships legally sailing on international waters, bomb Cuba and a lot of other shit. ...
              > The ones that could have caused WWIII was the USA leadership and military.

              Absolutely, there were high-ranking leaders, military, intelligence, and civilian leaders, who very much wanted to escalate the situation. Air strikes on Cuba were favored by many of Kennedy's advisors. My understanding, both from open sources and personal conversations with my uncle, an air force colonel who was involved, is that the people who wanted to escalate the situation were stopped by President Kennedy, with the advice of his brother. Another president may well have allowed the Pentagon to escalate the situation. A particularly timid president might have allowed the missiles to stay. According to my uncle, and many people who have studied the situation, President Kennedy went against the advice of almost everyone (other than his brother) by ordering them (in no uncertain terms) not to bomb or otherwise escalate the situation. Kruschev's foreign minister, Andrei Gromyko, agrees with the general consensus that Kennedy amd his ambassador also expertly manipulated Kruschev into a situation where he had to remove the missiles and couldn't demand much in return. That's agreed by both Soviet and American leaders involved (though Kruschev himself didn't admit he was outfoxed).

              • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

                couldn't demand much in return

                So the USA removed their Jupiter missiles from Turkey out of the goodness of their heart? Pull the other one, it's got bells on.

                • More specifically, the US proceeded with what they had already planned before the events in Cuba - replacing Jupiter missiles in Cuba with Polaris nuclear ballistic missiles. The Politburo got rid of Kruschev soon after because despite the fact that they didn't know the Jupiters were going to be removed anyway, they still saw that the USSR got the worst of the deal.

                  Chief of Staff USAF General Curtis LeMay and others didn't want to make that deal - they strongly encouraged Kennedy to invade Cuba. In fact, th

            • I find it interesting that Khrushchev lost his job over this.

              sr

      • For a lot of us that are natural assholes, it isn't a matter that you might "decide" to be aggressive for some purpose, but rather just that it is a casual situation away from work and it is just a personal luxury to argue with some moron. Obviously the moron is consenting to argue, so what is the problem? For me that is what it comes down to. If I feel like somebody is being an asshole, I assume that means I have permission to be one too.

        If they were only pretending they wanted an argument, just to make a

    • The video shows off Kalanick's pugnacious personality and short temper, which may cause some investors to question whether he has the disposition to lead a $69 billion company with a footprint that spans the globe.

      "Pleasant temperament" doesn't seem to be a requirement for being CEO.

      If you watch the video linked in the article...Kalanick is getting a ride - he gets to the end, and the driver strikes up a conversation with him. The driver starts getting riled up about fares dropping and (car purchases?) or something, which cost him "minus seven thousand" - so I'm assuming his car has negative equity or something.

      Point being, Kalanick disagrees with the driver over "black" - asks for examples...and the driver gets loud and ...well, I'd call it shouting. CEO guy gets irritated, tries t

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        You're fired."

        That would've been a tacit acknowledgement that Uber employees are indeed such, with resultant legal and financial commitments unavoidable for Uber.

        Probably best for him that he didn't say that.

    • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tehcyder ( 746570 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @07:54AM (#53952339) Journal

      The video shows off Kalanick's pugnacious personality and short temper, which may cause some investors to question whether he has the disposition to lead a $69 billion company with a footprint that spans the globe.

      "Pleasant temperament" doesn't seem to be a requirement for being CEO.

      The point about being a CEO is that you are supposed to sublimate your more sociopathic tendencies in the pursuit of profit. Wasting energy on arguing with your minions is a clear sign that your priorities are not straight, this is why Uber's CEO now has to admit that he needs leadership training.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The plight of uber drivers? With their compulsory employment? I got tired of working for my employer and when I met with my director who was asking for my feedback on how we could bring back employee morale, he told me that my ideas were all good and on point, but our VP would never agree... so I looked for employment elsewhere. I voluntarily severed my relationship with the company and established a new one, again under voluntary terms. There are workers in the UAE who have their passports held where t

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @11:43PM (#53951101)

      They are indentured. As a UberBlack driver, he has a lease with Uber. That's the $97,000 he's talking about.

      • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

        If you lease an apartment, are you indentured to the property owner? This is as stupid as college brats complaining that they're in debt for six figures. Don't sign something that you think is too expensive. You have that option. If more people did it, those contracts would become more reasonable by necessity. What you can't do is agree to something and then complain that it's unfair. You opted in to that arrangement!

        • Sure. Thre's always the choice of spending a lifetime doing jobs that don't require a college education instead.

          Come back when you learn the concept of a Hobson's Choice.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Considering the lied about lease terms and cancelling their leases can cost them thousands....
      • by stdarg ( 456557 )

        Are you saying they lied about the lease terms, meaning that what they said about the lease terms was different than the actual lease terms? And then people signed up for the lease without reading the actual lease terms?

    • I quite agree w/ this. Looking at the transcript, I came upon this gem from Kamel:

      But people are not trusting you anymore. Do you think people will buy cars anymore? ... I lost $97,000 because of you. I'm bankrupt because of you. You keep changing every day. You keep changing every day.

      Since he did not elaborate, I'm assuming that the only way he did it was spend $97,000 on a car. $97,000? To use as a cab?If you have the money to buy a $97,000 car, you are too rich to need to raise money from Uber, and if you do, you'll trash the value of your car in no time. If you need to earn your living doing Uber or Lyft and you don't have a car, you look for one below $20k, maybe a second hand car, and the

  • An uber driver finds he's been removed as a driver and blacklisted.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @11:25PM (#53951007)

    The only thing he's sorry about is the fact he got CAUGHT. If there was no video, he certainly would NOT feel "ashamed", and the need to "grow up", and that driver would probably be finished. But his bitch-ass got caught, now he's sorry. What a douche.

    • Oh for the love of mod points...
    • Character is indeed an important attribute to good leadership. Something the valley seems to be lacking more and more.

      No matter what he says or how many PR firms he enlists it will not change who he is at his core.
      Thoughts lead to actions, actions repeated over time lead to habits, habits build character. This is not something that can change on a whim.

  • Looks like even in his private life he can't help but break the rules and be unsafe.
  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2017 @11:33PM (#53951041)
    I read linked article, and nothing in the transcript there stands out as wrong. You buy a $100K car to run Uber?! Take responsibility for your actions if it doesn't work out.

    Yes, Uber shits on everyone. Yes, Uber isn't socially responsible company. No, in this case CEO wasn't wrong in pointing out that it was driver, and not Uber that f-up.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You buy a $100K car to run Uber?! Take responsibility for your actions if it doesn't work out.

      Depends - if you buy the $100K car because of representations made by Uber, then yes, Uber would have a case to answer for. (In some jurisdictions, you can actually sue for things like that [investopedia.com]- although I don't know how easily or if it would really work.) Of course, you would have do your own due diligence too.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @12:21AM (#53951243)
      Slightly over a month ago they were fined by the FTC for lying about the money drivers earn, lying about vehicle financing rates, lying about lease terms. Seeing a pattern here?
      • by sinij ( 911942 )

        Slightly over a month ago they were fined by the FTC for lying about the money drivers earn, lying about vehicle financing rates, lying about lease terms. Seeing a pattern here?

        Let me turn it around on you. Do you think the driver has any responsibility over his decision to borrow $100K on a quickly depreciating asset to engage in no-guarantees gig? That is, your position is that he had no agency whatsoever over this. Along the lines of getting colorectal cancer - one day you wake up in pain and turns out you have $100K loan and you now have to drive UberBlack?

    • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @03:25AM (#53951669)

      I read linked article, and nothing in the transcript there stands out as wrong. You buy a $100K car to run Uber?! Take responsibility for your actions if it doesn't work out.

      Yes, Uber shits on everyone. Yes, Uber isn't socially responsible company. No, in this case CEO wasn't wrong in pointing out that it was driver, and not Uber that f-up.

      That defence works for most scams as well, so what if it's a bad deal? You shoulda seen it, Buyer beware.

      The problem here is Uber's business model, and UberBlack really exacerbates it.

      Since the driver has to supply the vehicle (and for UberBlack they probably have to buy or lease one) it means they're taking a huge investment upon themselves.

      But then they don't have a lot of control over how that investment performs, Uber does. If Uber lowers the rate (as may have happened, it's unclear) you're suddenly getting a pay cut, or even if Uber has another PR disaster that drives away customers it's going to eat into your pay, and you don't have a lot of options other than abandoning your investment entirely.

      That's the whole problem with this concept of Uber drivers and contractors. Sure they have flexible hours, but they don't have the job mobility of other contractors. The driver wasn't mad at Kalanick because Uber dropped their fares, he was mad at Kalanick because Uber told him it would be a great idea to buy a luxury car and be an UberBlack driver, but then Uber didn't deliver the business he needed to recover his investment. But he's still stuck being an UberBlack driver because he bought a really expensive luxury car and there's nothing else he can do to try and recover the investment.

      • by stdarg ( 456557 )

        But then they don't have a lot of control over how that investment performs, Uber does. If Uber lowers the rate (as may have happened, it's unclear) you're suddenly getting a pay cut

        Nobody has more control than that over how their investment performs. You see that right? Hey Warren Buffett just said people should invest in a low cost index fund.... but if I follow his advice, I might lose money. I don't control the S&P 500's performance.

        Furthermore, why do you think the driver is fully reliant on Uber? I did a quick search and found http://therideshareguy.com/how... [therideshareguy.com]

        Excerpt:

        If you currently only drive for one TNC, you may be wondering why you would ever want to complicate your life by running two services at once. Well, running two apps at the same time actually increases your chances of getting a request and in turn will increase your earnings.

        Can you explain to me why that's wrong? He goes on to say you should also sign up for a delivery service since

        • by epine ( 68316 )

          Nobody has more control than that over how their investment performs.

          Hmmm. Where have I heard that refrain recently?

          Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.

          Actually, some of us (dare I speak here for more than myself?) do know the score on both fronts—such as the difference between productive capital and investment equity.

          News flash, brother: any damn fool with quality prescription eyewear knows (A) that the American healthcare delivery system is so damn complex it could make your head explod

    • I read linked article, and nothing in the transcript there stands out as wrong. You buy a $100K car to run Uber?! Take responsibility for your actions if it doesn't work out. Yes, Uber shits on everyone. Yes, Uber isn't socially responsible company. No, in this case CEO wasn't wrong in pointing out that it was driver, and not Uber that f-up.

      You and I seem to be the only ones who picked up on this. If you as one person are dumb enough to invest $100,000 in one car and hope to make it up driving for Uber, well, you just may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  • The video shows off Kalanick's pugnacious personality and short temper, which may cause some investors to question whether he has the disposition to lead a $69 billion company with a footprint that spans the globe.

    I thought investors loved assholes, given the number of them that are (supposedly) running major companies.

    • I thought investors loved assholes

      No, investors like greedy, competent, intelligent psychopaths whose interests are aligned with their own. They don't like assholes who fuck people over without making them and the asshole money.

  • Let's see... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bferrell ( 253291 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @01:14AM (#53951375) Homepage Journal

    Uber's corporate philosophy is do it and if you get caught, say you're sorry... And keep doing it.

    His "apology" seems as if it may be worthless

  • Maybe Kalanick will wake up tomorrow to a news story that all this bad PR is all a plot by Lyft to destroy Uber. Oh wait, all of the bad PR is actively being generated by those associated with Uber.

  • That's nice that Kalanick apologized. Now when will he raise the rates to a sensible level that provides a decent return, yet still remains competitive with standard taxi services? Going way way lower than standard taxi fares is stupid.

  • by RubberDogBone ( 851604 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:24AM (#53951523)

    The driver is 100% right. Uber has set the fares so low, it is very hard to break even, much less make money. Under $3 to carry someone across town is not paying for anything. It's bullshit.

    At the same time, they are onboarding hundreds of new drivers every single week in my city. So they have tons of drivers competing with tons of drivers and everybody is losing money on damn pool rides. The worst thing is these new drivers are lured in with Uber fuel cards and Uber car leases they can get, but the fact is, you have to pay Uber for all that shit first before you make a dime. So if you lease a car from them, you are in the hole for $200 or more a week, before you turn the key and burn gas and your time.

    When I drove for Uber, it was very rare that I made $200 a week working 8 hours a day. The money wasn't there, once pool went live. So if I leased a car from Uber, I would owe my soul to the company store into infinity and not make a dime. My lawyer does bankruptcies and she says she sees tons of clueless Uber drivers who got into these leases promised a way to make them pay and then they find out there is NO way to make the lease payment and keep the car fueled, much less make any take home money.

    As long as clueless new drivers show up with dollar signs in their eyes, Uber will be happy to put them on the roads and ensure neither the existing drivers nor the new ones make anything.

    This will eventually fix the low fare issues as drivers just quit and new ones stop signing up. But then Uber will probably be entirely irrelevant anyway.

    Right now, Uber still sends me messages begging me to hit the road and drive. Guarantees of $20-40 an hour for making ONE trip per given hour. All sorts of promotions promising to double my earnings if I recruit someone else to drive. Who pays for this? Investor cash. Watch it burnnnnn.

    I would be tempted to drive for $20 to $40 an hour and make that one required trip, but I hate Uber so much at this point I don't give a shit. I am DONE driving for them. They can ripoff somebody else.

    • Even in India, Uber and Ola are competing with each other at the cost of drivers profits. ~50 cars every month are confiscated because drivers were unable to pay the EMI for the loan. There was no need of such low pricing. Moderate pricing would work. The drivers have teamed up and are protesting.
  • by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @03:04AM (#53951621)

    The sad thing is that Uber as a concept was a great idea, but it has slowly spiraled into an evil disaster of a company. It is very likely rotten from the top, and if I were a shareholder, I would kick this CEO to the curb and find someone who was both competent and fair to clean house and shape up the company. Uber has been on the wrong side of so many stories lately. I suspect that their strategy is to try and hold on and keep marketshare until they can introduce autonomous driving cars, which will net them massive profits and let them kick all those pesky "contractor" drivers to the curb.

  • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @05:13AM (#53951865)

    Saying they started at 20 dollar and are now down to 3.75 is totally bullshit. 20 is a pomotion for the first hour you drive. Noone expects the promotional rate to last forever. This is not Sirius XM.

  • Uber has no differentiating factors from Lyft or Taxis besides price, and the driver is free to also or exclusively drive for Lyft. One could argue that the company should find ways to distinguish itself (electric cars? some special driver skills?) and upsell (food and beverage service?). But these things do not just happen overnight.

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