20 Secrets Uber Doesn't Want You To Know

If you have ever been on any type of job website the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s probably inundated with ads from Uber. They are constantly looking for new drivers, for many reasons. First of all they, are always in competition with the local taxi companies. Secondly, they are usually always in competition with Lyft as well. Mainly though, the reason they are constantly running ads for new drivers is because they just don’t stay around for a long time.

There are several reasons for that as well. Today we will take a look at a lot of those reasons. Some you may know and some you may not. Uber does go to a lot of trouble to hide some of these things but once someone exposes them, well, they are out there for the world to see.

At face value it looks like it might not be a bad job to have. After all, you drive your own car and you make your own hours. How could you go wrong with that right? Well, you are about to find out many things that could be wrong with it.

First of all when you are in training, you shouldn’t believe a word they tell you. Yes, you will drive your vehicle and yes you can choose when you work (for the most part) but that’s it. Everything else you’ll learn is fabricated to make the job sound better than it actually is. That’s just one thing that they don’t want you to know. Read on because there are plenty more!

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

20 The Company Used A Hostage Situation For Profit

via Mashable

I’m sure that most of you have heard the term "price gouging." It’s used when there is some kind of natural disaster or just regular disaster. Companies will raise the prices of their products to take advantage of the situation. A lot of times the customer has no choice but to pay the increased cost. This way the company can increase profits at the expense of their customers who have been affected by whatever is going on. It’s wrong on so many levels and in the United States if a company is caught doing that, they face some very stern punishments.

Uber did exactly this when there were thousands of workers who were trying to get away from a terror attack in Sydney, Australia. In some cases their prices were hiked up four times higher than they previously were. This obviously sparked a huge outrage and the company was forced to publically apologize and offer free rides to people to make good on all of the money they stole from riders.

It’s never good when you are found guilty of price gouging. That’s a company that very clearly cares about money more than taking care of its clientele. What they should have done in that situation is offer free rides during the event and make it public knowledge. That kind of action would certainly gain them plenty of lifetime customers.

19 They Created An App To Avoid Cops

via The Verge

There is an app out there called Greyball. It was initially created by Uber so drivers could get away from dealing with aggressive passengers. That’s not a bad idea at all because dealing with the public is not always an easy thing to do.

However, one of the features, “ghost cars” was used to help drivers avoid the police in areas where Uber was violating driving regulations. In other words, it was probably used wherever Uber was operating its business!

It was a good app that had good intentions but as with anything else, someone found a use for it to skirt the law.

18 Gay People May Want To Avoid The Company

via Click2Houston

There have been so many incidents of Uber drivers treating gay people poorly that it’s hard to come up with an actual number. There was an instance in Atlanta where a driver threatened a gay couple with a gun.

There was another incident in Chicago where a driver took a gay woman to an area off the beaten path and kicked her out of the car. The driver threatened a physical assault if she didn’t comply.

It’s not just a United States thing either. There was also an incident in London where a driver threatened to pull a gay couple of out the car by force. Their crime? They kissed inside of the car.

17 African Americans May Want To Avoid The Company Too

via Jacobin

Three different, very well respected universities conducted research that confirmed that black people are also treated poorly by Uber drivers.

The University of Washington, Stanford and MIT each confirmed that Uber can be a very unpleasant experience for non-white passengers. A survey of 1,500 rides in Boston and Seattle found that they waited much longer for their rides. And that’s if their rides actually showed up. In many instances, the rides were scrapped completely. That’s not a good thing when you are stuck somewhere and need to get home or to work. It’s not a good business plan at all.

16 They Can’t Operate In Denmark Or Italy

via EUobserver

Uber has taken their product global but not every country is pleased with the service they provide. Italy and Denmark have outlawed the company from operating for numerous reasons.

One sited several instances of the company having improper (and sometimes illegal) business practices. Another reason is that local taxi driver unions and some politicians find them to be unfair competition for the local taxi drivers.

Good for them standing up for their local workers! If that happened everywhere Uber would find the company needing to make drastic changes, not just the Band-Aid changes they make from time to time. It’s really crazy some of the things they get away with here.

15 Blind Riders Should Also Probably Avoid The Company

via Mirror

This one kind of baffles the mind. The National Federation of the Blind actually sued Uber in California back in 2014. They claimed that the company had violated the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

It had been reported that over forty blind passengers had been turned away for rides across California.

What could the reason for this be? It’s not like a blind passenger can tell them they are going the long way purposely or give them instructions on a faster route to take. Why would you possibly not want to give a blind person a ride? That just makes no sense.

14 Your Driver May Be Waiting At A Local Bar

via youtube

When you work for Uber, you have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. When that call comes in, the company wants you to accept or deny it in rapid fashion. Like, in fifteen seconds or less. The only way to do this is to be at the ready at all times. However, this could get boring for a driver on a slow night. On more than one occasion a bored driver decided to wait for a call at a local bar. And they weren’t drinking soda or water.

Many Uber drivers have been stopped and received DUI’s and one even crashed into a bus.

13 Driver Requirements Are Very Loose

via YouTube

When you decide to take an Uber you have no idea who is going to come pick you up. In 2015 the California District Attorney, George Gascon, brought a case against the company because he was outraged at what he found upon looking into the company.

Taxi companies can’t hire anyone with a criminal record but Uber does so regularly. According to Gascon, "We have drivers who are convicted sex offenders, identity thieves, burglars, kidnappers, and a convicted murderer, and this is just in LA alone."

To that claim Uber said "No means of transportation is 100 percent safe today." Are you kidding me? WOW!

12 The CEO Bought Escorts For Their Employees

via sticky quotes

When Travis Kalanick was running things he did quite a few things to give the company a black eye. One thing that not too many people know about is when he took a bunch of employees out for a night on the town.

He and several other Exec’s took a bunch of employees out to a South Korean escort bar back in 2014. Yes, that kind of escort!

Now you may think that only a cool boss would get prostitutes for their employees, but a good part of society would disagree you. There is no word on who drove that night though.

11 They Lie To Their Employees

via Sri Rangachary

It’s been an ongoing debate for many years now. Uber drivers say that the company lies to them, while the company of course denies the allegations. However, in 2017 the company was forced to pay out a twenty million dollar lawsuit settlement to its drivers.

They claimed, correctly apparently, that the company “underestimated” how much money a driver would make, and topped it off with “underestimating” how much they would have to spend on financing a vehicle.

The drivers got upset, sued, and got a judge to agree with them. Sounds like the good old American way. Company lies, gets caught and has to pay for it.

10 They Will Spy On Their Own To Dig Up Dirt

via Credit

Uber spares no expense when they are facing off with a former employee. Spencer Meyer brought suit against the company for what he said was price gouging. They responded by hiring the firm that was created by none other than the former Director of Counter-Terrorism of the White House National Security Council.

The company was given orders to find something and when they were coming up empty they fabricated evidence against Meyer. A man running the investigation, Miguel Santos-Neves, who isn’t even licensed to be a private investigator, lied to everyone he talked to, in hopes of spinning things in favor of Uber.

The judge found these allegations to be true and anything that came from Miguel’s work, was not allowed to be used in the trial.

9 The Fakes

via Who's Driving You

If you order an Uber you’d better make sure that you actually have one before you get into a car. CBS New York has reported that thousands of people are duped every day in New York City and when it comes to the end of the ride, sometimes the cost can be up to as much as four times higher.

Uber wants you to know this because they want to keep their customer base. But at the same time, they don’t want you to know that because it’s a major problem they are facing. And as of right now, there really isn’t anything they can do to control it.

8 There Is Discrimination Among Drivers

via The Zebra

Uber doesn’t want the fact out there that there is a huge discrimination taking place amongst its drivers. That’s not good for a company that is always hiring new drivers. Who would want to work for them knowing those facts? Well, if you are a white male you have nothing to worry about. If you aren’t though, you’d better watch out.

A report on the company said that only nine percent of the driver roster is black. Eighty-five percent of the technical workforce is male, and leadership position jobs go to women only twenty-two percent of the time. Those numbers fall far short of the equality everyone seems to want to see.

7 Drivers Have Seen Their Pay Slashed

via Bloomberg

When Uber came out with new requirements, requiring drivers only work twelve-hour shifts, drivers got insanely angry. Some went on strike and plenty of others did several other protests against the company.

A lot of drivers use Uber as a sole source of income and these new requirements put a damper on their paycheck.

But in reality, most cab drivers have the same requirements because of safety reasons and a lot of truck drivers can’t even drive for that long. Most truck drivers can’t go past ten hours. So while this was done for safety reasons, Uber doesn’t want you to know that a lot of their drivers took major pay cuts.

6 They Steal Trade Secrets

via Lumoid Blog

Uber has been accused of a lot of things over the years. One of the surprising ones was when they were convicted of stealing trade secrets. You have to admit though, how they did it was kind of slick, even though they got caught.

Waymo, a self-driving company owned by Alphabet, who owns Google, said that a former employee stole the company’s trade secrets, shortly before starting their own company. That new company was called Otto and was shortly purchased by Uber shortly after it was started.

You can do the math, just like the judge did, and surmise that Uber pulled a calculated move, and got busted. Good try though!

5 They Play Childish Games With Competitors

via Skift

Some people say that competition brings out the best in people. That’s not always the case though, at least not when it involves Uber drivers. CNN once reported that nearly 180 Uber drivers called their main competitor, Lyft, and booked almost 5,000 rides, only to cancel every one of them.

Obviously this type of action cost Lyft a lot of hassle, time and money. It could also take a toll on drivers who are making trips and not getting paid for them. It’s a ruthless thing to do and it doesn’t affect just the company Exec’s. It plays hell on the poor drivers who are just trying to make a living.

4 The Boss Might Hop In At Any Time

via pinterest

Whenever you are working you always run the risk of coming across the boss. In a lot of cases the boss works closely with their employees so it’s not that big of a deal. However, when you work for a national outfit, you probably think that you’ll never actually see the boss. What would the chances of that be, right?

When Travis Kalanik was running things he got into a car one time and had a very interesting chat with the driver. Granted, the driver was complaining about the financial hardships that he was facing while working for the company, but the reaction of the boss was even more interesting.

He berated his driver and got into a flat out argument with him. The best part is that it was all caught on tape so neither party can deny their part. Now in this case the driver did indeed know that the boss had got into his car. He used the opportunity to get a few things off of his chest. He quickly learned that Uber doesn’t have an open door policy for talking to Execs.

The whole world saw the video and one of the things they didn’t want the public to know was exposed… the fact that they obviously hold drivers in very low regard!

3 It’s Not A Long-Term Career

Via Fortune

If you are looking to make some money, Uber may be a good option to look into. Everything about it looks like it should be a pretty easy job where you could make some decent money. But, as we all know, appearances can be deceiving.

A poll was once taken by “The Rideshare guy” and what they found was that close to 50% of the Uber drivers talked to were unhappy.

Another surprising find was that the same amount of drivers actually said they preferred working for Lyft. In case you live in a cave, Lyft is the main competitor to Uber. You have to wonder how many of the drivers that were interview actually work for both companies. How would one know what a driver does when they are off the clock? It may be a good way to maximize a driver's weekly take home pay.

When Uber talks about the people who drive for them, even they say that most of their new drivers are gone within a year.

2 Not A Friendly Working Environment (If You Like Money)

via AutoNXT

It’s no secret that when you go to work you’d like to get paid for your troubles. That’s the whole point of having a job isn’t it? Uber is always recruiting new drivers and there are plenty of reasons for that. A lot of people don’t appreciate it when their company reaches into their pocket and takes money out.

Uber will allow its customers to set their own rate for their trip, before they even get into the car. Now when is the last time you knew of someone given this opportunity and not trying to get it as low as they possibly could? On top of that, Uber takes a 25% commission from the trip, plus an off the top booking fee. So what’s left for the driver? That’s right, you guessed, not very much.

If that isn’t bad enough, there were plenty of drivers around the country who started to notice a few dollars missing from their pay here and there. Now, if you take a few dollars here and there, and multiply it by the number of drivers the company employs, well, you can easily see the millions of dollars the company is keeping in their own pockets.

1 Harassment Is A Major Problem Within The Company

via The Pool

With all of the Execs and celebrities that have been brought up on charges and called out by women across America, there haven’t been any major developments with Uber. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t coming.

Susan Fowler said that gender discrimination is a huge problem within the company and former engineer, Keala Lusk, released several allegations of transphobia, along with plenty of malicious actions and exploitation with company interns.

It may not be too long off in the future that you see the Uber name on the news, involved in one of these suits that are filling up courtrooms across the country.

Sources: grunge.com, scribol.com

More in Car Culture