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Transportation Businesses Software The Almighty Buck

Uber Drivers Gang Up To Cause Surge Pricing, Research Says (telegraph.co.uk) 164

Researchers at the University of Warwick found Uber drivers team up in gangs to force higher prices before they pick up passengers. How do they perform such a feat? They trick the app into thinking their is a shortage of cars in order to raise surge prices. The Telegraph reports: According to the study. drivers manipulate Uber's algorithm by logging out of the app at the same time, making it think that there is a shortage of cars. Uber raises its fare prices when there is a high demand for vehicles and a short supply of drivers available. Fares are known to increase during peak times such as rush hour, during public events and late at night. Surge pricing can boost the cost of rides to multiple times the normal rate. The study said drivers have been coordinating forced surge pricing, after interviews with drivers in London and New York, and research on online forums such as Uberpeople.net. In a post on the website for drivers, seen by the researchers, one person said: "Guys, stay logged off until surge. Less supply high demand = surge." The researchers said the collusion reflects driver dissatisfaction with Uber's policies regarding them, and exposes the "ethically questionable" nature of its algorithm. It is not clear how much impact the trick has had on prices. Uber denied that the practice is widespread.
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Uber Drivers Gang Up To Cause Surge Pricing, Research Says

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  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @04:45PM (#54928653)
    This is what you get. One hell of a race to the bottom. Seriously, we didn't regulate cabbies because we were poo-pooing all over their fun. It was crap like this.
    • by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @04:53PM (#54928707)

      Are you upset that people who you thing are dumb figured out a way to get money out of you?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        A way that is completely dishonest should be treated as fraud.

        • by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @05:54PM (#54929153)

          A way that is completely dishonest should be treated as fraud.

          I fail to see how it's dishonest. When they're logged off they are unavailable by definition; there's nothing in the rules that says they can't coordinate their unavailability, and the whole point of being an Uber driver is being able to work only when you want to do so. They're simply using the system to their benefit - and if you're upset with that, you need to direct your anger at people way, way farther up the socio-economic ladder, as well as a very long way back in history. And hey - the drivers didn't actually create this specific system which allows one party to take advantage of another - that would be Uber's 'accomplishment'.

          • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @06:27PM (#54929399) Journal

            there's nothing in the rules that says they can't coordinate their unavailability,

            If independent, competing operators collude to raise prices, it's price fixing.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @07:27PM (#54929801)

              But the operators (drivers) aren't setting the prices. Uber is.

            • it'd be called collective bargaining. Everything's screwed up here because Uber is being allowed to break the law by declaring employees contractors.
              • it'd be called collective bargaining. Everything's screwed up here because Uber is being allowed to break the law by declaring employees contractors.

                IMO, the better solution is to make them true independent businesspeople by allowing them to set their own prices. Uber should just be the middleman connecting prospective riders to driver quotes, and taking a percentage cut for providing the platform and processing the payments.

                Allowing drivers to set their prices would make pricing naturally follow the ebb and flow of supply and demand, eliminating the semi-artificial surge pricing, and the ability to game the system. Driver-set pricing would also ensur

                • Yeah, like that fucking worked with metered taxi's.
                  • Yeah, like that fucking worked with metered taxi's.

                    Completely different situation. With metered taxis riders couldn't choose from all of the taxis within a large radius of them, and couldn't know the price they'd pay for their trip before they selected the cab to take.

                    • I still disagree, when you (used to) come out of an Airport your options where more varied and you could pick and choose which cab to take. Didn't really matter because they all cost about the same regardless. I suppose you could say they were price fixing, or colluding or whatever. What makes Uber stand out as well is their policy on how old the car can be, so you don't end up getting a lift from some ancient beat up car.
                    • Didn't really matter because they all cost about the same regardless. I suppose you could say they were price fixing, or colluding or whatever.

                      In most places their prices were set by the taxi authority, by regulation, mostly to make sure you didn't find yourself getting ripped off. This was necessary precisely because there was no good way (unlike Uber) for you to know in advance what your price would be. In the modified approach I suggest, in which drivers set their own prices, you'd still be able to know what price you'd pay before getting in, so there's no need for central control, either by Uber or by government.

                      What makes Uber stand out as well is their policy on how old the car can be, so you don't end up getting a lift from some ancient beat up car.

                      That is nice. Uber could mainta

            • by Retric ( 704075 )
              Nope, price fixing is maintaining a specific level, much like how light bulbs where downgraded to have a vastly shorter lifespan. This is simply reducing supply much like De Beers or OPEC which may qualify as collusion, but not price fixing as the market still defines the final price.
          • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @06:30PM (#54929419) Homepage

            Agreed, this is totally cool. But it's a loophole and if it's a real concern I expect Uber could easily fix this with a little tweak of their algorithm. For example if they see a suspicious dive in the number of active accounts they could start issuing quarantine periods before you can get rides and/or surge prices again or add some kind of "full shift" bonus for accounts that remain active. Unless it's just surge drivers intentionally waiting it out until there's a surge, but even so if you see a large coordinated action who all come online the moment there's a surge they can just play it evil by not surging to see if some will defect to at least make some money and instead take the customer service hit. Or create some kind of decreasing "if there is a surge in the next hour you get X% bonus" to make people break ranks and get their bonus but that eventually with enough joining there won't be a surge. Lots of ways for Uber to pull a Darth Vader on this one, all they have to do is make it attractive to defect and it'll fall apart.

            • by chihowa ( 366380 )

              Why would Uber want to fix this? Surge prices benefit the drivers as well as Uber. I'd be surprised if this strategy wasn't directly seeded by Uber itself.

              • Well they pretend they want to fix this. If you complaion to them that your ride was cancelled several times and then suddenly it went into surge pricing, they want to know your account and when it happened. Sure they make more money but it also makes them look bad when it's a dodgy system being abused.

                They should definitely be able to track something like this though, if they wanted to. I think that's what they did with the driver cancelling thing and now there's a penalty for doing it too much.

          • A way that is completely dishonest should be treated as fraud.

            I fail to see how it's dishonest. When they're logged off they are unavailable by definition; there's nothing in the rules that says they can't coordinate their unavailability, and the whole point of being an Uber driver is being able to work only when you want to do so. They're simply using the system to their benefit - and if you're upset with that, you need to direct your anger at people way, way farther up the socio-economic ladder, as well as a very long way back in history. And hey - the drivers didn't actually create this specific system which allows one party to take advantage of another - that would be Uber's 'accomplishment'.

            Interesting

            I would assume that you are young and college educated, and I assume educated in the US (this all explains the way of thinking)

            It is price fixing + cheating

            I can go on to say what else is wrong with your thinking, but, not sure if you would be able to grasp it

            "Cheating" the system is why this country is so fucked up, and people like you that think it's ok, it is embarrassing sometimes to be an American

            Corporatism, cheating, and greed fucked this country big time, I do miss the 50's and 60's

        • What's the big deal?

          Whenever I've run into surge pricing, I just sit at the bar and have a few more drinks till the rates go back to normal.

        • you have a choice to walk

        • by naubol ( 566278 )

          A way that is completely dishonest should be treated as fraud.

          How is it any different from a strike? Just because Uber automated its union negotiation doesn't make it immoral. How is their collective action fundamentally different from a union?

        • No, since there are no UNIONS anymore, it's only logical that INDIVIDUALS will use the only leverage they have against their CAPITALIST MASTERS to try and get the best compensation that they can from a system that is rigged against them.

          This is only UNIONISM at its finest! If you don't like it, pay the rip-off prices from a regular cab company, instead of trying to stiff the poor schmuck just trying to make ends meet.

          If you don't like CAPITALISM at work, you can just go pound sand!

      • It is not clear that this has actually resulted in higher prices. Schemes like this are hard to coordinate as the number of participants goes up, and you only need a few defectors to trigger a collapse. More savvy riders are also a problem since they can just wait 5 or 10 minutes for the surge to pass, or switch to Lyft instead.

        • like most of the taxi drivers in NYC, most of the uber drivers seem to be foreign born and on the phone all the time. You don't even have to do it as a big group, just organize smaller groups. especially at NYC taxi shift change

      • and 'them' here isn't the drivers, they're victims of circumstance being taken advantage of by their employer. I'm not entirely pleased with the way Uber does business. Such things were banned decades ago when minimum wage law went through. And before you can bring it up we didn't put minimum wage in so teenagers could buy swank cars, we did it because people weren't given enough to live. 20 years of weak wage growth has got us back to that again meanwhile companies like Uber dodge the few protections emplo
        • and 'them' here isn't the drivers, they're victims of circumstance being taken advantage of by their employer. I'm not entirely pleased with the way Uber does business. Such things were banned decades ago when minimum wage law went through.

          Actually, 1099 contracting has been around for a LONG time.

          I make quite a good living being an independent contractor. You have to put on your big boy pants and make sure the bill rate for the gig in question is worth your while.

          The Uber thing, is NOT, repeat NOT at a

      • No, I'm upset that some people were dishonest and manipulated the market to get a different price than what was intended. And that there were already regulations on this industry to prevent this stuff, due to past misbehavior.

        Personally, I consider the customers getting ripped off to be getting their just desserts, however even an unsympathetic fraud victim deserves Justice. I say throw everybody involved with Uber in prison for organized crime, and if they already spent the money so there is no restitution

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We over regulated taxis. Medallions cost too much. Therefore the cabs cost too much. Now we have Uber, a poor management company, getting screwed over by its workers. There will probably be a middle ground. Uber might pay more. Lyft might win more market through better human pay. Another, FOSS implementation might come up.

      • Who sets the price for the medallion?
        Is it set by the city or is it a market rate based on the demand for people to be taxi drivers and the limited number of taxi a city wants filling up its streets?

        • Sort of both. The medallions can be re-sold. That can be used to set a base price when a medallion is added to the system.

        • Who sets the price for the medallion?

          It depends on the city.

          Is it set by the city or is it a market rate based on the demand for people to be taxi drivers

          Different cities have different policies. In cities where medallions can be bought and sold at market prices, the value has plummeted since Uberification.

        • I want a LOT of empty cabs filling the city streets, that is how I find a ride and get to where I am going...

          This whole don't want cabs around because they are an environmental nightmare - that was created by the cab industry to create a false shortage (kinda like what this article is talking about) created by the city to keep rates high. I was shocked when I was in Austin and actually had to take a cab because Uber wasn't allowed there how expensive it was (close to 4x - not even close to the worst surge

      • what about the London knowledge test vs uber drivers that just use google?

    • It is wonderful. Thanks to deregulation, we're getting news like this. Once word gets out (and it will), the public will react accordingly and the market will go back to normalization.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      Isn't deregulation wonderful?

      Yes, it is. Uber is perfectly capable of squashing the algorithm gaming that these drivers are exploiting. If Uber fails and allows drivers to abuse their system then a competitor will emerge. If the drivers won't work for the un-gamed rates then prices will climb. In. Any. Case. customers will still prefer these alternatives to any traditional unresponsive, costly monopoly taxi system. This is a nothingburger and we have no need of your nanny-state ban-hammer instincts.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @05:21PM (#54928897)

      The irony (?) is that /. readership is up in arms when IT jobs in the West are threatened. THEN apparently we need to start taking our laws, traditions, and workforce more seriously. When it's anybody else's profession, then *shrug* that's progress, right? I get my rides and stuff cheaper!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        /. readership

        Where in the US are programmers, designers and system admins purchasing medallions and capturing their market through monopoly laws?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Seriously, as an ex-musician I get a kick out of this discrepancy everytime people justify ripping/streaming/downloading music for free. I'm no fan of the MPAA either but music creators deserve to be compensated for their work. The argument raised is always that artists are rich enough or artists make their money performing and don't deserve to be paid for a recording.

        I know someone will come along and vote this down and have a rebuttal that will get high votes but just remember this when it comes to your
    • Uber has total control the market (of people using the Uber app). They implemented a stupid pricing algorithm which is easy to game by drivers logging off. Rider wait time would be a better measure, since a driver deliberately withholding rides to make riders wait more would mean the driver gives fewer rides per day thus making less money.

      A deregulated market would be a craigslist-type site where people wanting rides post requests. Anybody wanting to give them a ride places a bid (if they're first), o
      • Uber has total control the market (of people using the Uber app). They implemented a stupid pricing algorithm which is easy to game by drivers logging off.

        But only as long as most of them do it. If the ad-hoc union gets enough defectors (call them "scabs"), then the surge price will never hit and the scabs will be making money while the good union boys sit logged out.

        Also, if the pricing algorithm were to become more real-time, it would be impossible because the surge would disappear in an instant. I'd like to see an Uber competitor that does an actual real-time auction, letting drivers set their own pay rates (in terms of cost per mile, per minute of expec

        • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

          But only as long as most of them do it. If the ad-hoc union gets enough defectors (call them "scabs"), then the surge price will never hit and the scabs will be making money while the good union boys sit logged out.

          Some, maybe many, drivers would be fine with this. They don't want to drive unless they will make a certain amount, and often they have other "side gigs" that make more money than non-surge pricing. Since they can't currently demand a certain rate in order to work at all, this is their workaround -- only log in at times they think the surge pricing will be in effect. If I were to drive for Uber or any other such service, that's what I'd be doing. I have better things to do with my time (and the life of my c

    • Aye. If people aren't dicks, there's no behavior to regulate. Yet, people gotta be dicks.

    • Well said!! And well thought out!
  • by killfixx ( 148785 ) * on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @04:47PM (#54928665) Journal

    Not for long.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Learn to edit, thanks.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They trick the app into thinking their is a shortage

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @04:49PM (#54928685)

    Get gamed by the algorithm.

  • they are mostly immigrants and high school dropouts and thought to be stupid and gullible to sign up for those extortionate leases. how is it possible they figured this out?

    • Because average humans aren't stupid, they just typicaly act stupid because that is how they have been trained to act.

  • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @04:56PM (#54928719)
    Well no surprise there. When you have systems that just increase prices blindly when there appears to be less supply, of course the drivers are going to take advantage. The drivers as well as the owners are all playing the same game. And of course, we all lose. The idea of automatically increasing a price due to perceived lack is easy to abuse and fake. The real problem is there is no government agency holding Uber subject to any regulations or lawas that would control such of abuse. This is clearly price/market fixing, but the government agencies always seems to wait until someone does the obvious, look for a platform to exploit for elections, and then they do something very minor (or nothing in reality because the corrupt business greases the wheel). This is what info collected from those apps installed was used for ladies and gentlemen. Apps aren't needed for this service (web portals are fine) but they get sweet info for the business to exploit. The Drivers just made it more obvious and spelled out for us what we would already know if we were paying attention. It's no less wrong for the drivers than it is for Uber. At least Taxi drivers aren't at liberty to do this sort of rate hiking, at least not in North America to my knowledge, but then again, they are regulated. Uber is not. I was never a fan, not because I'm loyal to taxi drivers, but because the history of these services, the mandatory use of an app for this services, as well as the personality of the owner, all pointed to behavior of this nature. We either need more competition to keep Uber honest or people need to boycott Uber until they use a flat model pricing model. Easier to compare against the competition.
  • It will be widespread.
    I'm sure there will be ads like "This one trick will increase your profit from Uber!"

  • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @05:09PM (#54928809) Homepage

    how is this a surprise to anyone?

    It's not only about deregulation but about fair pay. They wouldn't have to do this if the company paid well. If they paid well, then the drivers would think twice about it. As it is, you make people desperate enough, make their lives miserable enough then morals and ideals become secondary to survival.

    • Fair pay? The drivers are the ones supporting this bubble in the first place, and they're doing it as independent contractors. Independent contractors fully have the right to screw themselves over.

    • They wouldn't have to do this if the company paid well. If they paid well, then the drivers would think twice about it.

      You apparently aren't well acquainted with homo sapiens.

  • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @05:17PM (#54928857) Homepage

    So when all the drivers log back in, the supply goes way up. Surge pricing should drop like a rock very quickly if the system is designed correctly. And if you're coordinating all that effort for only 1-2 drivers to get the boost (and likely not you), that ends this behavior almost immediately.

    • Not if there are 10 times more customers than the number of local drivers. As they all log in to claim the surge price, there are still more customers willing to pay extra.

      • Yes, they were trying to raise the surge pricing to a higher surge pricing. But it should go back down to the normal surge pricing very quickly when the supply of drivers appears back in the system.

    • So when all the drivers log back in, the supply goes way up. Surge pricing should drop like a rock very quickly if the system is designed correctly. And if you're coordinating all that effort for only 1-2 drivers to get the boost (and likely not you), that ends this behavior almost immediately.

      Not really, Uber is going to do a lot of smoothing on surge pricing, if users see prices rapidly fluctuating they'll get annoyed and potentially switch to competitors, they also might start delaying their hail in expectation of a rapid price drop, and some of those delayed sales will be lost.

      That means the drivers will always have a short window where they're back and full supply but the price hasn't dropped from surge levels yet.

      There's another interesting aspect, if surge pricing were perfectly efficient

      • if users see prices rapidly fluctuating they'll get annoyed and potentially switch to competitors

        That would also make it a pretty good incentive for the drivers not to do it... On the other hand, detecting a massive sign-off should be taken into account when setting the surge pricing - this could still be fixed with automation.

        1) Uber is deliberately under-pricing their service, meaning Uber (and drivers) can make more in the short term by raising prices.

        This much is already well-known and well-documented. Just another web-bubble example of spend first, monetize later.

      • Good point, except that I think the overall loss of business among the drivers would be felt more on the part of the collective rather than the individual. It is theoretically possible for certain individuals to profit using this, even if there's less to go around for everyone.
    • by Retric ( 704075 )
      Depends on how tight supply is. If you have say10% more drivers than you need everyone makes minimum wage. But, everyone takes a 15 minute break at the same time and the shortage takes over an hour to work it's self out.
    • I wouldn't be surprised, then, if someone went on a forum to encourage logging out, but stayed logged in himself. He would probably be able to pick up a fare on surge pricing before the other people logged back in. It would be a cut-throat moved, of course, and so it would be capitalism at its finest.
  • This is what happens when producers (the drivers) can't freely set their own prices.

    If the drivers are really independent contractors (as Uber claims they are) then they should be free to set their own rates. Staying off the road and waiting for surge pricing is just a clumsy way to get around a missing feature in the app. The result is not really great for anyone.... even the drivers, since they potentially will end up with less total profit in exchange for higher marginal profit.

    • The situation is unstable. The driver that logs back on just before everyone else will get the advantage at the expense of the other colluders. Eventually everyone will log on early, reducing the unavailability window to zero.
      • by fruey ( 563914 )
        Easy to fix though, right? Like make sure people stay logged on for at least a certain amount of time, or cut their surge fare bonuses or something. Quite easy to stop opportunist drivers just working rush hours (fake or real).
  • I am surprised it took this long to game this system or the news to come out.

    Wonder what would happen if a company develops a passengers cooperation platform that allows users to gang up against providers.

    • I am surprised it took this long to game this system or the news to come out.

      Wonder what would happen if a company develops a passengers cooperation platform that allows users to gang up against providers.

      Uber already subsidizes every ride and pays their drivers shit. Uber is a passenger cooperation platform.

  • When there's too much supply prices drop. When prices drop people will start to work less. Now the traditional way of working less is that some work the same amount while others get fired. These guys, however, managed to do it in a more sophisticated way, coordinating between each other so the everybody works less. This helps to cushion the blow of the popping bubble. An advantage of Uber are the flexibles hours, which means it's possible for drivers to work less whithout being fired, and use their extra fr

  • Only drive on nights of games/conventions, when surge pricing gets me $500 or better per ride. Otherwise I'm home with the family or out doing my own thing. But I can handle making $500 per ride for a couple hours.

  • Lookee! (Score:3, Funny)

    by puddingebola ( 2036796 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @05:23PM (#54928921) Journal
    Lookee! It's a market, a free market for transportation! Lookee, pricing is based on supply and demand! Lookee, inside actors are manipulating the market to their advantage! It's like Wall Street in microcosm.
    • Re:Lookee! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2017 @06:09PM (#54929265)

      Lookee! It's a market, a free market for transportation! Lookee, pricing is based on supply and demand! Lookee, inside actors are manipulating the market to their advantage! It's like Wall Street in microcosm.

      Yup. People learn how to use the system to their advantage. One problem with this sytem is Google. If you set a destination and get directions under hire it will show Lyft and Uber fares so if ine has surge and not the other guess who will get the business? Fare transparency overcomes collusion in this case. Unless most drivers drive for both and do this in both cases it is not a good long term strategy. In addition, Uber and Lyft could monitor the drivers and penalize collusive behavior. For example any driver who dropped off and came back when surge pricing started could simply not be given ride opportunities until the surge ended. Thus drivers who didn't game the system would get the benefits while those who do lose money from their collusion.

      • we wouldn't be having this conversation. The drivers would have stopped doing this when they saw it didn't work. It worked because most Uber drivers also drive for Lyft since neither company pays enough to make it to your next rent payment.

        Sorry braw, but the free market fails here. That's why we regulated cab companies in the first place.
        • we wouldn't be having this conversation. The drivers would have stopped doing this when they saw it didn't work. It worked because most Uber drivers also drive for Lyft since neither company pays enough to make it to your next rent payment.

          While it may work short term I doubt it is sustainable long term strategy, at best it will work in areas with few drivers who can maintain the agreement. Otherwise, drivers who don't sign off to drive up pricing will get the higher fares; which increases the pressure on drivers to either not collude or jump back in before the others do. In addition, Uber can adapt it's software to identify such actions and make them unprofitable. As for transparency, as people learn that Google offers fare comparison as we

      • For example any driver who dropped off and came back when surge pricing started could simply not be given ride opportunities until the surge ended.

        Another way of looking at this is that some of the drivers are unwilling to drive when fares are at "normal" price but figure it is worth it when surge pricing is available. Perhaps there is not even collusion in this and Uber is spinning it as collusion to introduce new rules...

        But then, if those drivers were not willing to drive without surge pricing, changing the rules will not make them more willing to drive when fares are low.

        • For example any driver who dropped off and came back when surge pricing started could simply not be given ride opportunities until the surge ended.

          Another way of looking at this is that some of the drivers are unwilling to drive when fares are at "normal" price but figure it is worth it when surge pricing is available. Perhaps there is not even collusion in this and Uber is spinning it as collusion to introduce new rules...

          But then, if those drivers were not willing to drive without surge pricing, changing the rules will not make them more willing to drive when fares are low.

          Possibly, but the drivers in TFA basically said they are colluding to drive up fares. It is in Uber's interest to stop such behavior; which is different from drivers individually, at varying times, decide not to drive.

    • The word you are looking for, by the way, is 'defectors'. As soon as some drivers manipulate the market to increase fares, there is an incentive to defect from the manipulation and reap the additional profits. Of course, that would then counteract the increase. The higher the surge, the more pressure there is on each driver to defect, and so things will stabilize out.

      What's more, other drivers have virtually no way to know who is actually participating and who is 'cheating' the manipulation. A driver can be

  • So reading a website counts as research now? When can I have my PhD?
  • this used to be a site by and for geeks, did anyone on the /. redaction finish high school ?
  • Then they wouldn't have to resort to such questionable tactics.

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      Supposedly, they could unionize... It just wouldn't change their relationship with Uber though.

    • Then they wouldn't have to resort to such questionable tactics.

      True, but I don't really understand how anyone expects to make any real money working for a company that loses money on every sale. Stuffing your pockets with VC money is something only the guys at the top get to do.

    • That's exactly what I was wondering. How is a concerted effort to force surge pricing any different from going on strike for higher pay? In both cases you're engaging in a collective action to refuse to work until your pay rate goes up. The only difference is that it's shorter term (minutes or hours rather than days or weeks) and there's no fixed picket line.
  • with a server. that's what Uber and Lyft are

  • We thought Uber created work conditions where collective bargaining and unions could not exist, and here it comes back again. This is wonderful.

    The only problem is that without relevant labor laws, nothing will prevent Uber from punishing the workers that have been doing this new kind of collective bargaining.

  • The dual of the rogue corporation: the rogue union.

  • The thing is, Uber's fares are already artificially low. As I understand it, the company loses money on every fare. It's also my understanding that the drivers are not very well compensated.

    In any market, the demand side decides at what price it is willing to buy a product and the supply side decides at what price it is willing to sell. When those two overlap, a transaction can be made. These drivers are reacting to an artificially low supply price. The riders are understandably upset that their fares

  • All this article says is that they found drivers who believed this cooperation would work. Pretty typical of advice you might find in a forum. There was no evidence presented that they actually did cause a price increase, TFA even says "It is not clear how much impact the trick has had on prices. "

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