This is yet another example of what happens as a result of the "race to bottom" for wages and compensation for Uber/Lyft drivers.
These drivers are looking for any way that they can to make their work barely profitable, because just letting the algorithm "Manna" them around a city ends up being barely break even after all costs are added in.
So that's why you get the calls asking where you're going so they can get long trips (especially around airports), the "oh not I got into an accident, can you cancel the trip?" calls, etc... Not to mention the drivers who are stuck with high interest loans on cars from Uber.
It's marginal labor inputs for a marginalized workforce - and an increasingly immigrant one, which is great generally but correlates to the easily exploitable. So while I don't condone this kind of behavior, I can see why they would feel pushed into doing it - especially if it's relatively retribution free.
Uber is the worst, especially if you are an Uber Eats driver. They just recently increased the drive radius while lowering pay. The app doesn't encourage customers to tip, either, whereas a tip is default in other apps like GrubHub(then again, DoorDash steals tips so they can pay less in fees).
Unfortunately, not enough people use Lyft so those who don't like Uber are still forced to "multi-app" with Uber rather than relying on it as a sole source of income.
It's companies like Uber that make the US unemployment rate bullshit; people can be independent contractors, get treated like trash by "unicorns" like Uber, get paid shit, and be considered employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can make a living working multiple gig economy jobs, but it's hardly sustainable.
> DoorDash steals tips so they can pay less in fees
I found that hard to believe, so I looked it up, and you're right.
DoorDash uses some pretty fancy wording to try to hide it, but they use tips to subsidize your pay. If a delivery is going to pay you $5 and the customer tips $0, then you get $5, obviously paid entirely by DD. If the customer tips $3, then they give you the $3 tip, and DD only pays $2, so you still drive away with only $5. If on that same delivery, they instead tip a whopping $10, then you get the $10 tip and DD only pays you $1.
But DD is charging the customer the same delivery fee no matter what. If DD charged the customer $7 for this hypothetical delivery, then they keep $2 from the non-tipper, $5 from the $3 tipper, and $6 from the $10 tipper, when really, they should be keeping only $2 each time with the remainder going to you.
Which you report to Weights & Measures if you suspect that since the meters are supposed to be certified and untampered with -- back before uber defanged Weights & Measures (at least in Arizona so they would quit hunting their illegal livery vehicles) this was a serious offence.
> ...intentionally taking a longer route
Everyone has a smartphone and generally don't trust cab drivers so have their google maps open.
The main difference is with a cab the only way they can charge you extra is to call the police and have them make you pay (or give you a ticket for "theft of service"), with uber they just tack on some extra charges and you have to fight them to get the money back. The police are going to ask a few questions and not make someone pay $150+ for a couple mile trip when they can look in the back seat and see there's no vomit.
It kind of sounds like a 3rd world mind set in trying to get people to pay more. Only because they are not getting paid enough to live on, but may have no other options as employment. So they, the drivers become a captive employee/consultant, hoping to make ends meet.
It's a shame our system (USA) allows this type of abuse to happen. Time to bring back unions (at least until they become corrupt).
It’s not just westerners running pig of jobs. The immigration influx in both Europe and America, and wider the people left behind, are also symptoms.
Watching a travelogue this evening in a rural Sicilian town that was mostly empty. The population in the last generation had left. Not to Palermo, or even Rome, but to Berlin and London.
The governemt was keeping the village alive by settling immigrants from Africa there, but eventually, under our current system, they’ll need jobs.
It’s the same story world over. In places looks Tunisia it’s more explicit than in say England, but in today’s world it’s not going to go away any time sooner. It’s like a sinking ship in “titanic”, and as technical experts with the benefot of a western passport and education we’re further from the bow. Eventually though there’s only a few life rafts.
While we still have nominal democracy there is a chance though, doesn’t matter how much voter disenfranchise or brainwashing you have, when 90% of the country is unemployed, they aren’t going to vote for the system that keeps 10% in power.
Yeah, I'm sure some incidents of this kind of fraud have happened, but I'm skeptical it happens often, simply because of driver incentives (ie, why make a quick hundred bucks if it's at the risk of never making any additional Uber income ever again).
Also, I'm totally skeptical of the guy complaining of two vomit frauds committed against him in one evening. Far more likely is that he blacked out and then threw up twice in different vehicles, or he's simply too embarrassed to admit it.
On the flip side, $150 is an insufficient cleaning fee. Driver loses all revenue for the rest of the day and the cost of professional detailing often exceeds that amount. It should be a minimum of $300.
It once took me 4 hours to clean my car after an incident that involved my sliding door mechanism. Cleaning quote for that exceeded $300.
That'd do it, though I was imagining something a bit less severe; think patch of skin caught in the door latch mechanism, a sharp edge in a weird place, etc. Plus, the detailing bill would have probably been a lot higher... probably. Depends on whether the arm was reaching in or reaching out.
I'd assume that the drivers keep a bunch of photos of actual vomit on their phones, and then just use them when they decide to commit a bit of vomit fraud?
If that's the case, then Uber should at least save the submitted photos and implement some minor automated procedures to raise the bar from effectively zero to just a few millimeters above. Check the EXIF data and compare it to the ride data, and compare the photos to old ones. When a vomit charge is disputed, Uber employees could compare the submitted photos to old ones in case a driver took a bunch of different photos from different angles. Or if they want to put more effort into things, control the camera directly from the Uber driver app and only allow photos taken from the app to be submitted.
It wouldn't solve the problem, but Uber could at least put a minor speed bump in front of would-be fraudsters.
I guess you could whip up a batch of fake vomit. But then you have to actually clean up the fake vomit, thereby incurring the very costs (both money and time) the fee was meant to compensate you for. If you use the gimmicky plastic variety, I'd think it'd be pretty obvious in photos. Especially if you only buy one fake vomit piece.
But I was thinking more in terms of catching at least some of the fraud attempts and making it a bit riskier as a deterrence, rather than a foolproof detection method.
After a particularly terrible uber experience in Miami (driver swerved terribly the whole time, didn't understand english enough to recognize that we were asking him to pull over because I was nauseated), I thought this would be about drivers intentionally making passengers motion sick so they could extort cash from them (ie: pay up or I'll report you). But this makes a lot more sense. I don't see a fair solution other than requiring video footage, which unfortunately would just be another expense for legitimate drivers.
I had an Uber driver tell me years ago he would sometimes shake people up extra hard when it was his last ride of the day at 2-3am Fri/Sat and the passengers looked like they were ready to pop. He claimed to know a guy who would be able to clean up for only $50, and Uber would pay him an extra $200 for the inconvenience. It was a nice occasional $150 boost.
Still, doesn't seem scalable. Also not super pleasant to have that done to your car unless you're renting it. Every time I would tell other Uber drivers this story, they would just laugh and not believe it.
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Wouldn't they need the plaintext credit card number to, well, charge the credit card? Maybe not, if they're using a third-party credit card processor that stores the credit card number keyed by an account ID, but I doubt Uber is using a separate processor.
That post reminds me of late-night TV commercials for bizarre gadgets, which try to sell you on their nonsense by showing videos of ordinary people completely failing to accomplish easy household tasks.
My guess is that if they showed people with disabilities using them, able-bodied people would be less likely to buy them. They might admit some product might actually be kind of handy, but seeing it used by the disabled in an ad would implicitly send the message that it's for disabled people and not buy it.