Is getting a race at Uber difficult? You are not alone in this | Business

The demand for mobility is growing again while quarantine measures are being made more flexible around the country as a result of the advance of vaccination against COVID-19. In this scenario, many passengers have reported difficulties in being able to start traveling on Uber. “It’s horrible! You have to beg them to keep the race going,” reports a user on Twitter — the thread I found this testimonial in has almost 60,000 likes and over 600 comments.


Uber App (Image: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash)

“Boy, don’t cancel, please.” The phrase appears in a print taken by another Uber passenger and published on the social network. In some cases, however, the request does not take effect.

“I won’t do it, sorry,” a driver replied in another conversation within the Uber app, which had the image shared in the publication.

Why are drivers canceling races?

Seeking to understand the reasons for the problems reported by several passengers using Uber, the Techblog contacted trade unions and associations of application drivers.

Duda, president of AMASP – São Paulo Application Drivers Association, agreed to talk to the reporter to expose some difficulties that he and other colleagues have been facing daily in the sector.

“Passengers face problems with the races because the app drivers are selecting the races”, summed up Duda quickly. Then he explained in detail:

“When a driver receives a call, he can identify which region the passenger is going to, and when the driver reaches the point of canceling a race, it’s due to the fact that companies have created race categories for passengers that have the lowest value. than a common race, already known. For example: UberX is the popular category, but there is also UberX Promo which has a lower rate. And passengers focus on these races. What happens is that drivers mistakenly accept and cancel when they see a race in these categories”.

Duda also says that promotional categories, such as UberX Promo, often don’t pay off for the driver. “A race like this makes the driver pay so that the passenger can travel, because the value of the fare that the passenger pays is not enough to cover the expenses that the driver has to reach the destination”.

Wanted by Techblog, Uber claims that the UberX Promo only operates during off-peak hours, when the number of UberX calls drops and the partner driver spends more time waiting between one UbeX trip and another. The company says that:

“As they are promotional prices, users pay less, Uber earns less and partner drivers too. Partners are free to decide whether or not they want to accept UberX Promo trips, but whoever accepts it knows that, with it, the app doesn’t stop playing. And you know that users are mostly people who did not use UberX very often, but now seek to escape the crowds when getting around.”


Driver by application (Image: Dan Gold/Unsplash)

Drivers fear insecurity

Another complaint from many professionals working in the app racing industry is about insecurity, especially in popular apps, more targeted by criminals.

“There is a weakness in opening accounts as passengers”, says the president of AMASP. “The driver feels insecure because of this. […] So, the driver is at the mercy both of criminals posing as passengers, as well as crimes that occur in everyday life — those where you are driving and the criminal comes from outside the vehicle, whether in a headlight approach, closure on avenue… Anyway, we also run this risk.”

Duda, president of AMASP

It is also important to point out that the term “Uber” is often used as a reference for complaints about an entire sector, but partners from other competing companies also tend to face the same issues.

I asked Duda if 99 would have any advantage over Uber, and the answer was as follows:

“In fact, neither the 99 nor the Uber have specific points that attract drivers. Sometimes the migration between one and the other is due to manifestations [por parte dos condutores] — in the sense of ‘let’s run today only on Uber, or just on 99’ — and vice versa. Drivers normally work with both applications turned on.”

The migration to taxi and customer loyalty

A survey by Vá de Táxi, a mobility app created in 2013, showed that the demand for taxis has grown daily in the last semester, at a percentage of around 18% month-on-month.

According to the company, 60% of organic growth is due to the migration of passengers dissatisfied with the quality of service from private driver applications. “It varies from city to city, but in large capitals, where the volume of races is more significant, the percentage is this”, explains Fernando Chavarro, CPO of Vá de Táxi.

It is worth remembering that in June, Cabify, a competitor of 99 and Uber, ended its activities in Brazil after difficulties caused by the economic crisis that took place after the pandemic.

On the other hand, it has become a common practice for the driver to retain customers to provide private services on their own.

“Through the platforms, the driver has a fee to be deducted within the race. When retaining a passenger, he gets the full amount, even if the race gives the same price as the one made by the app. So the profit margin increases a little bit. In view of the increases [nos preços] of fuels that have been happening consecutively, this is a way that the driver has to feed his expenses and make some profit.”

Duda, president of AMASP

In view of the increase in fuel prices, Uber says that despite being something that is beyond the company’s control, it understands the dissatisfaction of drivers, and works to help reduce partners’ expenses.

“Through our benefits program for partners, Uber Pro, we are looking for partnerships like the one with the Ipiranga network. Paying with the Abastece-Ali app, Uber’s partner driver is entitled to 4% cashback without having to spend any of the points of the KM de Vantagens program. This means that, in addition to receiving back part of the amount spent, the partner still accumulates more points that they can use, for example, in oil changes. With Uber Pro, partners also have access to Vale Saúde Semper, which offers discounts on the private health network and on the purchase of medicines, as well as Uber Chip, Surf Telecom’s prepaid plan with special prices and which does not discount data in the use of apps like Uber Driver, Waze and WhatsApp.”

Waiting time reflects high demand, says Amobitec

Wanted by Techblog, Amobitec (Brazilian Association of Mobility and Technology) stated that member companies, including Uber, have not seen a reduction in the number of active partner drivers. The organization also said that what has caused longer waiting times, in some cities, is the exponential increase in the demand for races.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, several surveys have shown that people have preferred to use mobility apps on their journeys, as they consider it a more practical and safe option compared to other modes with greater crowding of people. This scenario of high demand has been intensifying even more in recent months, with the advance of vaccination and the progressive reopening of commercial activities by the authorities”.

The association explained to the report that although each company has its own policy on earnings for partner drivers, the theme takes into account a number of factors, such as the total distance traveled, the time required for displacements, including traffic conditions and congestion , and the demand for travel at a specific time and place.

“It is important to emphasize that, due to the flexibility of operating in the applications, the earnings of each partner are very particular and vary according to personal choices related to the days, places and times they prefer to drive, the model of vehicle used, the type of fuel, etc. ”, ponders Amobitec.

The entity also points out that when a driver repeatedly and intentionally rejects the races, in a way that could harm the experience of other members of the platforms, they can suffer penalties.

If you are having difficulties with Uber, find out how to file a complaint. You can also complain to 99 if you encounter problems using the service.

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