Uber has recently been caught in a tussle with its driver partners due to low earnings in the U.S. Thus, the ride-hailing behemoth had the bright idea of holding a public question-and-answer session on its Facebook this Thursday. The session was organized for grieved driver partners, but it did not turn out as Uber might’ve expected.
The task of handling the driver’s queries had been handed over to Uber President Jeff Jones, who ended up answering only a mere 12 questions on the public post. At that instant, the Q&A session had more than 500+ comments that left everyone wondering whether Jones was actively answering the grievances or not. He was indeed there, taking his jolly time to reply ‘Hey!’ to someone’s comment reading ‘Hello!’ (facepalm!)
The session was turning out to be a disaster, which was looking more like a grievance board for Uber drivers rather than a discussion. The complaints against the ride-hailing behemoth varied from low fare prices, even lower earnings, and hated services like UberPOOL. On the question about earning potential outside of metropolitan areas, Jones said that Uber plans to currently invest in getting more riders on the platform. But, on receiving criticism from even more drivers, he continued to expand saying,
We are fixing the way we communicate with you and provide support to you — these are 100 percent about treating drivers with respect and as people. There is a lot that goes into earnings… things like earning on your way home with driver destinations or back-to-back trips or paid wait times beyond two minutes. Also, ensuring Uber is the first choice with riders. I am making sure that the Uber team knows drivers are our customers… our job is to make driving with Uber feel rewarding and worth your time.
These questions were, however, not limited to complaints from drivers. The conversation was also joined by The Independent Drivers Guild, who made a remark about Uber’s self-driving vehicle tests being conducted across the country. Their comment read:
What are you going to do about YOUR DRIVERS when driverless cars come on the road?
Will you be giving drivers stock options once there are driverless cars on the roads?
Has Uber forgotten that drivers built their company?
Why should drivers be put out of work when they were the ones made Uber successful? (and pay your salary)
But, that was it for Jones. He stayed for 30 minutes and answered 12 questions before disappearing into thin air. When he didn’t have the resolve to type out the answer for certain questions, he started sharing links to Uber support pages (like seriously). So, you can say that the session ended in failure. And driver continued voicing their negative views saying “Bottom line: Uber doesn’t care about us, and neither does Jeff Jones. This was a poorly planned, poorly executed attempt at pacification”
The ride-hailing behemoth has recently also been facing immense backlash for their founder being a supporter of Trump’s decision, a conclusion derived from his presence on the Presidential advisory council. Travis Kalanick has since quit the committee, though over 200,000 anxious people have ditched the service. This has resulted in an increase in usage of Lyft’s services, who peaked at the 7th spot in the app store.