Harry here. Over the past few weeks, our staff here at RSG has been taking an in-depth look at Uber’s upfront pricing. Honestly, I’m surprised this hasn’t become a larger issue nationally, but I think part of the reason why is because the details of the program are so confusing.
But if you’ve been following our articles, you already know that Uber’s upfront pricing pays drivers correctly based off miles/time driven, but they are still over-estimating the upfront prices for passengers and thus overcharging riders. Since we wrote out first article on the topic, dozens of drivers have e-mailed us with similar experiences and, for now, we’ve found a way to ensure you get paid most of what the rider pays. This strategy might be controversial to some, but it’s not about trying to overcharge riders – it’s about ensuring that you are paid 75% (or 80% if you are on the old commission structure) of what the passenger pays on every single ride.
There’s a pretty easy way to “beat the system” when it comes to Uber’s new upfront pricing. But first let’s talk about what fixed price fares are and why some drivers think they are another example of how rideshare companies (especially Uber) are lining their own pockets at the expense of the drivers.
In the past, Uber would give passengers an estimate of their fare and then the final charge would be based off the exact mileage and time. But these days, Uber and now Lyft require passengers to enter a destination, and then they quote the passenger a fixed upfront price. The upfront price is based on Uber’s best estimate of traffic, time and mileage, but there’s a problem.