Uber is steadily paddling through a rocky PR shitstorm. Over the weekend, following news of the Muslim Travel Ban issued by the Trump administration, thousands of angry citizens turned up at JFK airport in NY to stage an open protest. The NY Taxi Workers Alliance additionally called for an hour-long halt in services to further protest the ban.
And that's right about where Uber issued a tweet saying they'd halt surge prices, and continue providing rides to and fro the airport. Some folks took this as an insensitive ploy to swoop in and capitalize on profits otherwise being willingly forfeited by taxi workers, eager to put on a display of outrage and unrest over the Muslim Travel Ban. Hundreds, if not thousands of people went on to delete the Uber app from their phones, and these are some of the more colorful reasons for why:
Ah, Uber. The revolutionary mode of transportation is a popular app used by millennials everywhere, and as expected, filled with funny and wild stories, which are mostly told from the passengers POV ... but what about the drivers? They hear everything. All day long. And here are some of the funniest things they've shared with the rest of the world:
Y'all deserve a serious pat on the back for making it through Terrible Tuesday. Or perhaps a Popeyes chicken sandwich, since that's what everyone is talking about. Whether you decide to indulge in fast food or physical rewards, these memes will make low-calorie way of lifting your mood after a boring day or even one that feels as though it were spawned in hell.
Uber passengers are sharing on a recent AskReddit what led them to give their drivers 1 out of 5 star ratings. The resulting stories are filled with fails and general uncomfortableness. If you're an Uber driver and you find yourself with 1 out of 5 stars, you're likely doing something terribly wrong, or there's a slight chance that your passenger is full of sh*t.
Wouldn’t be great if your Uber driver didn’t have to put their hands on the wheel and could spend all their time looking at their phone?
That Utopia is now a reality for San Fransisco users in need of a ride somewhere.
Uber, the ride-share company that has all sorts of problems with labor and drivers assaulting riders, is cutting out the driver entirely. They are launching a fleet of self-driving cars to pick people up and drive them to the airport.
Of course, there are still people in the driver’s seat for the time being, but it’s only a matter of time before Uber realizes that the car can just drive itself, hence the name “self-driving car.”
Actually, there's a spefic reason for the driver: Legal loopoles! Because they’re the bad boys of the ride-share industry, they don't have to follow the law for these cars, which aren’t really street legal yet.
According to NPR, “Uber has started offering rides in self-driving cars in San Francisco without a permit for autonomous vehicles — defying state regulators, who say the permit is mandatory.”
“Wired magazine suggests Uber is exploiting a loophole of sorts, noting that the regulations, as written, apply to cars that have ‘the capability’ of driving without a person monitoring them. Uber is effectively arguing that its cars' autonomy ‘isn't good enough’ to require a permit, Wired writes.”
Isn’t that great, putting your life in the hands of a company who exploits a loopole because self-driving cars are cool or something?
As if Über’s problems with sexual contact in their cars weren’t bad enough, now they’re politely asking their passengers to stop being so creepy.
QZ points out that, since it’s release, many people were using Über Pool as a place hook up. They write, “Pundits called ride-sharing cars the 'four-wheeled yentas,' 'the new Tinder,' and, you know, a way 'to get laid now.' One driver ran a dating game show in his car.” This comes hot off numerous, awful accounts of people complaining about drivers making unwanted sexual advances on passengers, and the company not doing much about it.
The ride-sharing company has updated their Community Guidelines, particularly those using Über Pool, asking passengers to “give riders and drivers personal space”:
We all value our personal space and privacy. It’s OK to chat with other people in the car. But please don’t comment on someone’s appearance or ask whether they are single. As a passenger, if you need to make a phone call, keep your voice down to avoid disturbing your driver or other riders. And don’t touch or flirt with other people in the car. As a reminder, Über has a no sex rule. That’s no sexual conduct between drivers and riders, no matter what.
Whether or not this will actually help Über’s problem with sexual contact is still unknown, but until then, Über would like to remind you that its service is not Tinder, so just use Tinder, you creeps.
Uber has officially decided that the people of Pittsburgh are disposable, as they have started using self-driving cars to pick people up there as their first test location.
Pittsburgh is known for having dinosaur-sized potholes...
With Pittsburgh's confusing-to-navigate-roads, the cars (and passengers) def have their tests ahead of them.
The reviews are in, and folks aren't pleased, but technology always marches onward...
Hey, it could be worse I guess.
In what seems like a WIN, but--as always with Uber--is really a FAIL for humans, Uber has teamed up with financial firm Betterment to offer fee-free retirement accounts to drivers in Seattle, Boston, Chicago, and New Jersey, with options to expand to other cities soon.
Drivers can access the retirement plan from their phones, but Uber won't make any contributions to the accounts, making this "benefit" fall flat.
The accounts are free for only the first year, with fees afterwards calculated at Betterment's regular price, which they say is less than the fees typically charged by traditional financial advisers, but definitely not free. With driver's already hurting for fares...
...we all know Uber, who often works against their workers through "union busting" politics, can do better.
You may remember the belligerent woman who attacked an Uber driver while trying to get a ride home in the wrong car. After the incident, Dr. Anjali Ramkissoon was put on leave during an investigation at her work and publicly shamed on social media.
She also says that in addition to hateful comments, she's received threatening personal messages and that her family's address has been leaked.
Now she's done the only thing she could think of to pacify the unforgiving public which is to go on national television and apologize.
NSFW Warning: She starts throwing around some salty language when she starts getting really belligerent.
This woman tried to hop in an Uber and steal the ride from the unrelated group of people who originally called the car. At least she knew it was time to go home, unfortunately she took out her anger on the driver and his car when he told her he would not be the one to take her.
The description of the video tells the story up to the start of the video:
We were on the phone with this uber driver while he pulled up to our location. Out of nowhere the girl in the video gets in the backseat of his car and won't get out. We told the driver it was ok, to just cancel our ride, but he did not want to take her anywhere so he kept telling her to get out.
Eventually the driver gets out and says he's calling the cops to get her out of the car. After a couple of minutes of the driver pretending to talk to the cops (im assuming he was pretending because they never showed up at first), the girl decides to reach into the front seat, grab his keys, and start walking away with his keys in her hands.... That's where the video starts...
According to the video description, she managed to walk away without being arrested. Her name has been released as Dr. Anjali Ramkissoon and according to University of Miami Medicine, she has been placed on leave pending an investigation.
If potential career obliteration isn't enough retribution for you, don't worry. The internet hate machine was primed and ready to pick up on this incident.
In the video she can be heard saying, "Oh no! I have lost my mind", while throwing things out the window of the car. Although she was saying it sarcastically, truer words have never been spoken.
Taxi drivers are blocking traffic in Toronto in protest of Uber taking away profits from taxi companies. It's not a secret that taxi companies don't like dealing with Uber which gets around many of the regulations that taxis have to follow by labeling their service as "ride sharing".
Does that mean it's okay to try to break a stranger's window because you suspect them of being an Uber driver? No.
At least some people have a sense of humor about the incident.
Many people on Twitter think the taxi driver protest is just making people hate the taxi industry more.
Others are making the point that the taxi industry's real problem isn't Uber, it's that they need to adapt and get better at service and technology.