Another hiccup for Uber: Some drivers had been being charged for giving rides

Another hiccup for Uber: Some drivers were being charged for giving rides

“On my 40-minute ride home, I was thinking about how I just lost money driving somebody,” stated the motive force, Kurt, who requested that his final identify be withheld for privateness causes.

Kurt stated he submitted a request within the driver app for a fare evaluate however the firm stated his fare was calculated appropriately. (Uber informed Source Business this was an automatic response despatched in error.) He known as driver assist, which indicated that brokers had been unavailable throughout the weekend. He despatched a direct message to Uber Support on Twitter, which was met with generic responses.
As a final resort, he publicly tweeted out a screenshot of his earnings receipt, which went viral. Shortly after, somebody from Uber’s assist workforce known as him instantly to debate what had occurred.

“All it takes is a tweet to get a million impressions and you can get a real person at Uber,” Kurt, who has been driving for Uber for 2 years, informed Source Business. “They compensated me for the glitch or whatever — it shouldn’t even be possible. It should literally never happen.”

Kurt is considered one of a number of drivers Source Business spoke with, all working within the Chicago space, who reported dropping cash whereas giving a number of rides as a consequence of what the corporate stated was a software program glitch after which struggling to repair the problem.

“Due to a software bug, fares for certain trips booked through our new Reserve product were miscalculated. This was a terrible customer experience for drivers, and for that we apologize,” an Uber spokeswoman stated in an announcement to Source Business. “We’ve ensured drivers have been paid in full for all affected trips, fixed the bug, and have put new safeguards in place.”

The firm didn’t say how lengthy the bug was impacting drivers, or what number of had been impacted, however these seen by Source Business occurred in latest weeks.

Uber introduced Reserve in November 2020, which permits riders to e-book journeys as much as 30 days prematurely with upfront pricing, amongst different perks. The spokeswoman acknowledged that drivers who skilled the problem with sure Reserve bookings weren’t appropriately supported when reaching out in regards to the problem and claimed to be reevaluating its assist course of so points could be higher addressed once they come up sooner or later. The spokeswoman stated the corporate adjusted journeys impacted and offered extra funds to drivers for the inconvenience.
It’s simply the most recent latest hiccup that highlights the precarious nature of working for Uber or different on-demand firms as an unbiased contractor with few advantages and protections. The firm reportedly provided to cowl some medical health insurance prices for employees final month accidentally, solely to later rescind the provide and clarify it was meant for California drivers, the place it’s legally obligated to supply well being care subsidies for sure drivers. Additionally, latest buyer complaints about costly fares amid a driver scarcity have drawn attention to Uber’s apply of upcharging clients in periods of excessive demand with surge pricing with out instantly funneling that cash into larger earnings for drivers. (In response, Uber’s CEO claimed “drivers are getting a higher cut of the fare hike,” regardless of the way it decouples surge pricing from driver pay.)

These points come at a difficult second for the corporate. It is attempting to draw drivers again to the platform after demand for its service plummeted throughout the pandemic, however it’s doing so amid a broader labor scarcity that has given employees extra leverage and put extra strain on companies to enhance compensation and circumstances.

Anthony Novales, one other Uber driver, informed Source Business he was docked $44.64 after a latest 34 minute experience. After reaching out to Uber, he was informed there was an “outage,” one thing Kurt stated he was additionally informed, and that the corporate was investigating. (Uber informed Source Business it thought of the problem an “outage” as a result of its methods weren’t performing as meant.) Several days later, he stated the corporate messaged to say: “Uber incorrectly charged you amounts you should not have been charged and/or failed to ensure that you received your earnings.” The firm stated he would obtain a $25 credit score “as a small thank you for your patience,” and it might take away incorrect fees.

“It seems kind of weird to me that a company of this size can’t fix this matter [on the spot] when you can clearly see what the problem is,” stated Novales. He informed Source Business he was uncertain if he even obtained the credit score, however both approach feels it is not sufficient. “Not only did I lose money but I didn’t get paid for the trip itself.”

For his half, Kurt stated he obtained a number of credit to his account after his expertise went viral and caught Uber’s consideration: A $50 reimbursement for the journey, with an extra $150 for his troubles; a $36.67 cost, with an extra $25 for his inconvenience; a $25 cost, in keeping with screenshots seen by Source Business.

“I don’t know how I feel about the resolution,” he stated. “I just feel like they really don’t care about drivers.”

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