Uber Deactivated A Bunch of Drivers as an Intimidation Tactic

Harry here.  In case you missed it, I’ve been gone for a week hiking Machu Picchu and without internet.  I’ll be back in a couple days but today, RSG contributor, Christian Perea, picks up the slack while I’ve been gone.  I heard about this issue as I was leaving and Christian spent the week researching what happened, talking to drivers and figuring out what went down.

On September 17th and 18th, a large group of UberX drivers in Los Angeles and the Bay Area attempted to log into their Uber app only to find out that they were no longer Uber drivers. Drivers reported having not received any information prior to being deactivated and the resulting loss of wages for drivers affected their ability to make ends meet. Further more, the resulting surge pricing while Uber “wait-listed” its drivers, gouged passengers in need of a ride.

Drivers in Los Angeles also learned that Uber had decided to close its local offices the following day preventing them from getting the answers they needed to get back on the road.

Upon contacting Uber, the drivers were eventually informed that they had been “wait-listed” for 24 hours due to having a high cancellation rate, even though many had not been notified or warned. During this whole process, drivers were still unsure whether or not they were even going to be able to drive again.

Cancellation Email

Redacted to protect drivers privacy.

This particular driver from the Bay area pointed out that there was no provision in the Uber partner contract regarding the cancellation rates for drivers. There was a provision concerning accepting requests, but none on cancellations. The Uber representative simply directed the driver to provision 12.2 of the partner contract.

terminated

Basically “because we can…”

One LA driver from the Uber Woman Driver’s Network on Facebook stated that Uber had sent out texts to some drivers warning them to maintain a high acceptance rating even though her acceptance rating was above 90% per Uber’s weekly stats email that it sends out to drivers. After an extensive back and forth with Uber support, the driver was reactivated with a “sorry, you are all clear” e-mail. But she still wasn’t able to work during the time she was deactivated.

This LA driver was instrumental in rallying a group of drivers to go to the Uber office when it reopened and pointing out the segment in her contract where it explicitly states that partners have the right to decline rides pursuant to Uber’s current cancellation policy (which is not stated or communicated to all drivers, and even difficult to obtain from an Uber CSR.). The Uber representative only agreed to help one member of the group that arrived.

Most of the drivers that I spoke with did not want to be quoted or revealed, due to a prevailing fear of being deactivated or intimidated further by Uber. This isn’t unwarranted as it has happened to other drivers.

I spoke with Brian Navarro (@tncmylife) who gives drivers advice on how to be profitable. He received no texts, emails, or notifications from Uber until he had been wait-listed and wrote into Uber’s team to ask why. He said that his primary worry during the entire debacle was on how many other drivers were affected by Ubers actions. He also stated that.

Uber markets to drivers that they are independent contractors and have all of this freedom as a recruiting tool. Yet they deactivate them for exercising their freedoms as an independent contractor and we are all left wondering what the rules and relationships are.

Apart from these drivers, many other drivers posted the ensuing chaos to their local Facebook groups as they collectively tried to piece together what was happening to them. It became clear from the mass posts that this was a large scale action against drivers and further fueled anger and speculation within the lounges.

Resulting Driver Shortage = MASSIVE SURGE PRICING

Enough drivers were wait-listed to cause a massive amount of surge in Los Angeles.

It’s one thing to be so cavalier as to punishing drivers but it’s another to pass it on to passengers. The resulting driver shortage created surge pricing that would turn a $15 dollar ride into a $75 dollar ride.

In this particular case, surge blew up because there weren’t enough active drivers as a result of Uber deactivating so many drivers. The resulting skyrocketing prices may have helped Uber curb its losses from taking a large portion of its “partners” offline for 48 hours.

As a driver, had I logged into see this EVEN on a Friday night in LA I would have logged off and started checking the news for things like “Zombie Attacks” and “Russian Land Invasion of Los Angeles”.

Massive Surge!

“Rider Requested Cancel”

For the uninitiated, many drivers have been known to accept an Uber request and then cancel it under “Rider Requested Cancel”. This allowed drivers to screen calls without lowering their acceptance rate with Uber.

Many drivers would do this and wait until a surge request came in to take a call at a higher price. Uber claims that this practice makes the user experience less dependable while drivers claim that they should have a right to accept or deny requests.

Although many consider this tactic to be questionable, it has become more commonplace as Uber has ruthlessly lowered driver pay throughout most markets, thus forcing drivers to be more picky about the rides they give.

In many markets, Uber drivers earn as little as $2.40 for a minimum fare ride. Even though these rides often require the driver to work for up to 30 minutes while fulfilling the request. Keep in mind that drivers foot the bill for all expenses along the way. Drivers colloquially refer to these as “free rides”.

So in effect, Uber squeezes its drivers, then the drivers end up squeezing passengers. We all end up with a terrible experience.

Mob-Like Intimidation

Uber is valued at 50-something billion dollars right now. It has the wherewithal to investigate drivers on a per-case basis upon flagging them and it has a whole fraud division staffed by many capable employees.

It also has the ability to flag these drivers as engaging in these behaviors since that is exactly what they did.  They still refused to send a text, email, or dare I say…phone call to its drivers to warn them that they are at risk of being deactivated and to stop cancelling so many rides.

So to me at least, it is very clear that this was a calculated action meant to shake up Uber drivers and to create buzz. I will say it certainly worked.

The fact that the Uber office mysteriously closed the following day just adds an extra slap in the face to drivers. Uber did this to demonstrate that it can deactivate drivers at will and is willing to do so to make a point. The resulting increase in surge pricing for its customers also demonstrates a lack of empathy towards its very own customer base.

At the end of the day, the effective message Uber sent to its driver workforce was “You will play by our rules or we will cut you down!”

In the end, this stands out as a huge example of the sort of uncertainty and unpredictability that 1099 workers face everywhere. It is a blatant example of how a company like Uber can completely screw its workforce in an instant and without notice.

So meet the new Boss. Same as the old Boss.

I would like to thank the many drivers who reached out to me for helping me with this article. You know who you are ; )

I reached out to Uber for comment and have no heard back from them at this time.

New Uber Drivers Get Up to $1,000!

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-Christian @ RSG

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In 2014, Christian left his job at a mental health center to drive full time for Lyft and Uber. Since then, he has driven for mostly Lyft with a little bit of Sidecar and Postmates thrown in for experimentation and Uber when he doesn't feel like talking to people. He likes to talk about Politics and Economics over a good beer to whoever will listen to him.
  • Tim Reinhart

    This sounds so “Uber” to me. Of course they think they can teach a few hundred drivers a lesson for having learned how to make the system work to their advantage. As a driver, you have to be very customer service oriented to keep a star average over 4.8 but a passenger with under 4.8 is a potential problem, what does a passenger have to do for a driver to rate them poorly?
    Oh, right…. some drivers give an automatic 4* for passengers that don’t tip.

    Another casualty of Travis’ war on tipping. Passengers that buy into that “not necessary” malarky from Uber tend to have lower ratings than passengers that part with their pocket change in exchange for a clean safe ride home.

    Uber needs a formidable competitor to teach them to be better behaved. I advise all Uber drivers to give Lyft a decent chance to survive in this market, to become that formidable competitor.

    When Uber riders have to wait for a pickup are they going to open their Lyft app and see if there’s a closer alternative driver? Of course they will.
    All I am saying, is give Lyft a chance.

    • Tim are you under 30? Were you paying attention in history class? It doesn’t sound Uber to me, it smacks of the same tactics the Robber Barron’s of the early 1900’s used to intimidate workers.

      Don’t be lulled into thinking because Uber is a corporation of individuals, that a group of bad actors are inside the company approving or allowing these actions that some may know about but CHOOSE TO DO NOTHING! Again go back to what I said above there’s no solidarity. So even if you see something wrong, you won’t tell in fear that you’ll lose your job.

      Especially in a hard depression era job market.

      This is why if your going to live in such an environment you better have Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.

    • Christian Perea

      Thats the thing. As drivers earn less and less, and feel powerless against Uber they take it out on passengers. Bad service. Bad ratings, etc. Which is why you hear more complaints about the service lately from passengers. Everyone has a “bad driver” story now just like they did when they used cabs.

      • A lot of that is because they’re hiring Cab drivers that think they can treat people like they’re in a yellow cab. This is what I’m hearing. A lot don’t speak english now and people get frustrated with that. A customer last night that I had said he got that kind of Uber driver once and he told him he was going the wrong way, when he did, the UBER DRIVER (cabbie), stopped the car and told him to get out of his car! I couldn’t believe it. I can guarantee you though, after the customer complained, I’m sure he’s not driving for Uber any more. Good riddance to the types that don’t understand what customer service and gratitude are.

        • MooreGreen

          I agree with this statement. I drive Uber a bunch, 4.9 rating, 100% acceptance. I have been a rider twice and both times my Uber driver spoke poor English and did not know how to get around in the city even with the app. I truly felt like I was in a yellow cab.

          • Please allow 24 hours and sometimes more for a response. If this is urgent, please red flag your email and put urgent in the heading. Thanks, RUBY

          • Mo

            I know the area and Uber or lyft passengers insist in directing me, or not telling me the destination only turn by turn directions. I have to interrupt and say hire far are we going? They need to understand their n ot driving the car.

          • Astral Writer

            Being in a Yellow Cab is not bad if you ride in New York City. It is definitely a memorable experience.

      • Mo

        I think it’s annoying when the first thing a passenger does is complain about the previous uber driver yelling at them or not being able to find them. We can’t do anything about it and it just brings negativity.

    • Astral Writer

      Lyft is the problem. Their customer support team doesn’t respect their drivers. They give bad advice to drivers. Tell them to purchase better cars, and then deactivate them a few weeks later. They deactivate drivers just for the thrill.

      Lyft Performance review Department uses overall ratings as a indicator to make deactivation decisions. A few years ago, drivers were deactivated for reaching 4.79. Worst of all, poor Lyft riders who are antisocial use socializing with them as a reason to rate 1 star.

      Uber is a far better user experience. A much better pool of riders, unlike what Lyft attracts often. Both Lyft drivers and riders balance out the problem. Riders have also shared some poor Lyft experiences with bad drivers.

      The primary problem is drivers refusing to provide good customer service. It is more than just being a driver, it is everything these drivers do for their riders. You can never go wrong if you go above and beyond to give your riders an adventure to remember.

  • Tim Kelly

    Is it a coincidence that Uber manufactures a surge in some of the biggest markets at the end of Q3? Great way to boost your numbers before you have to give a quarterly earnings report to your investors! Uber is out of control.

    • Seems so, so they pick on those with less than 90% acceptance rate. This would be a signal to shape up or ship out as it were. But this is also why you work for the competition so you can continue to make money even if you are frozen for a day or so.

      • Christian Perea

        For what its worth, it appears that the drivers who were protesting price-cuts by cancelling definitely got their attention.

      • Leticia Alcala

        My acceptance rating was 94-97%. There is no offical cancellation rating and Uber refuses to tell us what it is.

        Standard response is, remain offline.

        • Don’t you love their cut and paste responses while they never actually answer your direct questions, ever?!

          • Leticia Alcala

            Lol yuuuup. But this last one will hurt them.

          • Please allow 24 hours and sometimes more for a response. If this is urgent, please red flag your email and put urgent in the heading. Thanks, RUBY

      • I have a 57% acceptance rate, but a 4.9 rating. Maybe it depends on your rating too for not getting booted?

        • When there are large events here and let’s say somebody doesn’t show up or you can’t find them and someone else yells “I have Uber App, will you take me?”…every time, they get in the car, we both turn on apps at same time so I can “grab” them….but 3 other names in a row pop up, even though they are in car. Last night, I said “F” it, told em they’d need to pay me cash if they wanted the ride, I didn’t want to risk having to click cancel immediately again due to the issue it could raise. I hate when that happens!

          • Brad Codd

            Your understanding of the Uber ride allocation process is incorrect. In the case of high demand areas (such as events, airports, etc.) Uber assigns riders using a FIFO (first in, first out) algorithm.

          • Please allow 24 hours and sometimes more for a response. If this is urgent, please red flag your email and put urgent in the heading. Thanks, RUBY

          • beechnut79

            What you really are supposed to do is verify the name of the person who ordered the ride. You can get cited for picking up the wrong rider(s).

          • Please allow 24 hours and sometimes more for a response. If this is urgent, please red flag your email and put urgent in the heading. Thanks, RUBY

        • beechnut79

          In my opinion you should only be totally booted for things at least bordering on criminal activity. I never cancelled a ride on anybody except a couple of times per rider request. Accepted nearly every ride that was offered to me and still got booted for low ratings. You prefer to have a clean car but I let it slide a bit and got kicked to the curb because a couple of riders apparently objected. This I don’t feel is a serious enough issue to get booted, and I had informed them that I had taken corrective steps and yet still got booted with apparently no chance of getting back online. In their view any rating below 5 stars might just as well be zero.

      • beechnut79

        Does anyone know if Lyft is anywhere near as cavalier as Uber? Bottom line here is that you are your own boss ONLY in the sense that you can log on and off at will and not work on someone else’s schedule. That means that you might as well be considered an employee even if technically you are not. But the majority of the mainstream employment market seems very cavalier these days. Does anybody have current information on plans to organize Uber drivers, and would it help those who feel their terminations were less than just. I just got supposedly permanently cut due to low ratings and am wondering if I have even an ounce of recourse.

  • Ourson

    Why not use social media to get all uber drivers around the country to agree to take a day off (close their offices) on the same day to see how uber benefits from the price surge?!

    • Ourson because in today’s society, there is no such thing as cohesiveness. If a handful of people agree on something great but as soon as anything threatens how they earn a living; they will jump off that bandwagon so fast it will make your head spin.

      They used to call that solidarity, that is long gone in a society that promotes the self over everyone else. Far too many people will take a further reduction in worker rights and pay to continue to believe they are far better off than the next guy.

      Until that ends, people won’t do what you suggest nor will they allow their names to be mentioned in a story of a company retaliating against workers, indeed maybe even dabbling in “pre-crime”.

      • Ourson

        I just wanted to help uber price surge experiment by using its own strategy.. Have you heard of workplace bullying?

        • Wild J. Mywildersyde

          Actually I was not money motivated when I joined Uber. However, that still doesn’t stop them from creating a very hostile work environment for the drivers. I’d love to see such crappy companies shutdown. If anyone knows of a good lawyer who has expertise in hostile work environment and laws around contract employment have them get in touch with me.

    • Christian Perea

      People have tried it in the past. There is no reliable way to reach enough drivers to have an effect. Especially on Uberx

      • Leticia Alcala

        The attorneys for the class action suit have been informed.

    • This is one reason Uber never has get together’s for employees. They don’t want people getting to know each other and comparing stats.

    • Leticia Alcala

      There is such a movement

      • beechnut79

        Why not add to that a provision that drivers can’t be permanently deactivated for low ratings unless complaints at least border on criminal activity? At the very least the threshold should be 3.5, which translates to 70%, which is the passing threshold for most school tests. Do you think they will ever listen? If any of you know of a strike planned in the Chicago market please let me know.

    • Leticia Alcala

      Please share

    • Chris Martin

      It’s been tried time and time again.. Just not enough drivers willing to revolt

      • beechnut79

        That is because most of the time in this day and age the tactics backfire and would no doubt lead to deactivation and at the very least blacklisting, a tactic that definitely did not die with Joe McCarthy.

    • beechnut79

      I heard that there is a protest planned for June 3, which is the anniversary of the day Uber first began operations. My understanding of it is that there are no pickets planned at Uber offices and will operate more like a sickout, with many drivers refusing to go online to accept rides that day.

  • Dane Allen
  • d000505

    I wonder what Judge Chen has to say about this?

    • Christian Perea

      “This will all be solved in a higher court anyway…”

  • Lang Proutt

    We now get a taste of what cab drivers experience when dealing with the various taxi cartels throughout the country. Uber’s philosophy: love it or leave – we don’t care – there’s more standing in line waiting to drive and who are willing to drink the punch. http://safefreerides.com/

  • Leticia Alcala

    I received a phone call from Uber today and warning regarding cancelling rides. I informed them that I have written proof that I was not in violation of their cancellation “threshold” and proof that we were told by Uber support that we could cancel rides.

    They are interested in coordinating a focus group for members of Uber Woman Driver Network. If interested in attending, please let me know.

    • What is your rating?

      It has got to do w/ cancellation AND rating combo, b/c my acceptance rate is only at 57% for the past two weeks.

      • Leticia Alcala

        94-97% Acceptance rating. Never lower. However, I’ve just learned via personal call from Uber that I was flagged for excessive cancellations. Couldn’t get them to give me a number or threshold, just said I was 1%.

      • Leticia Alcala

        94-97%, but she said my cancellation rating was 1%.

    • A phone call?? I didn’t know Uber EVER called anybody! Wow! Even when you ask them to they won’t call you.

      • Leticia Alcala

        Exactly why this was so odd. I wad very surprised, but if this leads to talks and progress, I’m all for it.

        • Please allow 24 hours and sometimes more for a response. If this is urgent, please red flag your email and put urgent in the heading. Thanks, RUBY

      • beechnut79

        Am wondering what trick you used to manage that one. Would love to get a phone call from someone in high authority so that I could explain my situation a bit more.

    • beechnut79

      Please advise as to what I might be able to do to get back on board. I had told them that I had corrected some of the problems such as keeping both my car and myself cleaner, and that since I had over 600 rides on the platform that it would take time to boost ratings. Yet the cancelled my partnership anyway. And, when you got your phone call, was a message left if you weren’t home at the time?

      • Leticia Alcala

        I received the call from them directly. No message was left. However, this was not the same situation as yours. Did you inquire about their class? In many cities they offer a class you can take. If you pass their exam they give you 30 days to improve your rating.

        • beechnut79

          Did it just happen that you were by the phone when they called? Yes I did take the class, but you have to pay out of your own pocket. My ratings did improve for a while after that but got lazy and let the car get a bit cluttered and that’s probably when ratings fell again. I was originally told that you can only take the “class” once. I emailed and mentioned that I had taken the corrective steps that were cited (albeit vaguely), but yet they cut me again a couple of days later anyway. I am going to contact them again today. Once you have reached around 600 rides it takes quite a bit of time for ratings to budge one way or another, and did explain that.

          • Leticia Alcala

            No, i was contacted personally because of my driver network presence. I was specifically called because of my influence and they wanted to ensure I wasn’t deactivated.

  • I’ve noticed much higher surges recently. In fact, picked up a 3.3X surge yesterday on a Friday afternoon. In the past, it would be 1.8-2X max. This is in San Francisco.

    Just wrote about how to make over $100/hour driving for Uber. Maybe this mass culling will help.. if I don’t get culled myself for a 57% acceptance rate!

    • Christian Perea

      I am pretty surprised you weren’t part of the purge…

  • I think this just reiterates to drivers that they should want to have more than one ride share company in their basket of income potential. OR better off, their own private service where they can hand out biz cards to those that drive black/suv etc..Even with X people ask for my number all the time. I’m going to upgrade to luxury now and create my own biz card and build my own clientele now while I’m “ride sharing”. Who wants to be loyal to a company that can cut you down without warning and not have a reasonable answer for it. Just like when they cut fares, it’s done the same way and there’s then given no motivation to keep on driving for half the money, so they get rid of the complainers and just hire hundreds more eager for the $1.00 mile fare. Btw, we don’t get paid for the drive to go get a client. If it takes me 15 min to get to you, then another 30 min of driving with Uber X and I make $15, I’ve really made .50 mile! Then have to pay my insurance, gas out of that. Recently someone said to me that Uber X was basically slave labor. I agree!

    • beechnut79

      Have you had any luck with this quest yet? If so I would like to learn how to do the same things. Need to fight fire with fire.

  • Leticia Alcala

    Paul (Uber)
    Sep 19, 10:17

    Hello Leticia,

    Paul here with Uber Community Support! Thank you for brining this to my attention. I will be taking over from here to make sure your concerns are addressed!

    After reviewing your profile, it looks like everything is currently active with no further issues. From here you should be able to continue completing trips.

    To explain the message in your screenshot. As stated previously calculating your acceptance rate, only factors in the number of requests that you did not accept. The message is just clarifying the process if there is a pattern of cancelled trips. The good news is that you have displayed no such pattern, and have maintained an excellent level of service that shows in your high rating.

    Going forward from here, I would continue to complete trips as you always have, but use the “Go Offline” function as needed.

    I hope this answers any questions you have and resolves your concern. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to me again!

    Paul

    • beechnut79

      I would love to get you to take on my case, as I felt that I needed more time to boost ratings after taking corrective actions. But this part of the platform tends to be quite vague, and the concerns aren’t addressed as they should be. Would be happy to provide more information upon request. Once I familiarized myself with the system I never really cancelled a ride unless it was at the riders’ request, and accepted nearly every ride that came my way while I was online. Was cited a couple of times for cleanliness issues, but that was only a couple out of 600+ trips. But got cut even after explaining in emails that I had took corrective actions. I do think the cutoff point is too high, as 4.3 still equals 86 percent in translations. And one or two reports out of hundreds shouldn’t be considered that bad at all. There are always a lot of situations in play, many of which are largely beyond the drivers’ control. Further information if necessary.

  • Leticia Alcala

    There is a movement

  • Eugene Weixel

    This really was surge manipulation by Uber / Goldman Sachs should stand as a warning to the general public that of course enjoys a cheaper ride. Once Uber / Goldman Sachs gains dominance and control over surface transport the sky will be the limit for fares and waiting times too. Access for wheelchairs? Someone must be joking. Once he has destroyed his competitors a cold blooded reptilian type such as Travis will take full advantage of the situation.

  • jaejaedynomite

    Lyft is just as bad as Uber. They deactivate drivers too. Both companies need to be regulated.

    • Astral Writer

      We agree that Lyft is way worse. Uber is extremely fair.

      Uber clients show more mutual respect than Lyft riders. At Lyft, a driver who talks too much is hit with a 1 star rating and negative feedback.

      Lyft deactivates their drivers without any warning. Waitlisted Uber drivers at least have a chance to get back on the road.

      However, Lyft is infamous for deactivating drivers and never reactivating them. These drivers experience major financial struggles, but eventually rebound.

      Lyft deactivates drivers around the holiday season, even a week or two before Christmas. We suspect the Lyft grinches are ready to deactivate more drivers this month. Sad but true.

      Great Lyft drivers who get deactivated should never give up. Uber is a far better ride platform than Lyft.

      • beechnut79

        But with Uber reactivation can be hard too, if it happens to you more than once. At least they told me there was no formal appeal process as of right now. But both platforms still act as though there is a constant shortage of drivers. If they deactivate that many it is then their own fault. They seem to want so much perfection in their drivers that they can’t make Cinderella’s glass slipper fit.

    • Lyndasue Christensen

      Anyone notice that Astral Writer is so PRO Uber and ANTI Lyft? Moreso than anything I’ve ever read on any rideshare blog. Makes me think that this person is actually an Uber Representative! LOL! I started driving with Uber, then with Lyft 5 months later……have had lots of issues with Uber (regarding idiot passengers, etc), NONE with Lyft 🙂 Just sayin’ 😉

    • beechnut79

      But even if they are, in these corporate plutocracy times the axis will be tilted in favor of the enterprise rather than the workers.

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  • Astral Writer

    Too many drivers make clients wait to find a driver. It is unprofessional to do this. Clients must wait longer to secure a driver. A fair share of drivers ride profile to make money.

    They pick and choose clients based on times and client ratings. Some call the client and request their intended destination. There are drivers who limit the number of clients in their vehicles. Why? So they don’t have to make multiple drop-offs and lose money due to increased time and decreased mileage.

    Drivers should understand that accepting a high number of rides is just as important as providing great service. Imagine waiting 20 seconds several times to finally get a driver. This is what clients experience on a daily basis.

    • Sarah

      When Uber paid an appropriate amount, thus was never an issue.

    • Sarah

      When Uber paid an appropriate amount, this was never an issue.

    • beechnut79

      I didn’t even know that we even knew the client’s rating before accepting the ride. I never looked at it and never cancelled except maybe twice per client request. Still got canned anyway.

    • beechnut79

      I would think it would be the opposite in that it would be a shortage of drivers which would cause clients to endure longer wait times. That is the idea behind surge pricing, isn’t it?

  • Chay

    Thank you so much for posting this. I told a coworker today about my unjust, unexpected and unforeseen “termination” today and she told me she heard Uber doing to a lot of others what I had just experienced. So when I got home from work I did some research and found your article.

    Just today I received an email stating my “partnership” with Uber was terminated effective immediately. This followed after 2 emails within 24 hours of each other. The first email stated my account was deactivated because my ratings had fallen below the standard (my average was 4.4 with only 60 trips under my tires). Not even 1/2 of my trips had even been rated. Of those that were rated, the majority were 5 stars. I’m a 30-something people-person with a clean driving record, a bachelor’s degree, business-savvy, and loads of customer service skills. This job isn’t rocket science and I can honestly say I didn’t have any horrible, 1 star-rating, type of rides.

    I replied to the automatic email about the deactivation calmly but firmly outlining my frustrations and lack of understanding about why this was happening. I also asked questions about what minimum rating requirements are, what reasons riders have given for their ratings less than 5 stars. I got a response that seemed to be 1/2 cut & paste and 1/2 human. The woman seemed kind and reassured me everything would be taken care of and that all I wold have to do would be to attend a “quality improvement session” and I would be back online. She continued to include comments like “you’re not just a partner, you’re family” and “we value you” and “we don’t want to see you go” blah blah blah. Ultimately, her response didn’t answer any of my questions. I sent her a reply with more questions and stated that I wanted to fix the issue so I could continue driving.

    The next email I received in response to my reply to the woman was from “Bradley” telling me my so-called “partnership” was terminated effective immediately. I understand what it means to be a 1099 contractor, but regardless of the type of employee you are, there are still good and fair business practices to be followed and Uber doesn’t seem to give a f*** about them or you.

    Now that Uber’s ugly, 2-faced head has reared and can be seen for the wretched business that it is, no way will I be recommending Uber to potential drivers or riders.

    *side note – the “Quality Improvement” session is a laughable. You pay almost $25 dollars to watch short video clips and answer a multiple choice question about it. It’s so basic and simple that a 1st grader could pass. I took the silly course several months ago which apparently Uber doesn’t keep record of so they use that as an excuse to scam you out of more money. (In case you’re wondering i scored 100%. I’m not an idiot)

    • Which company did you take the QI session with? I thought it was only in person or over skype video?

      • disqus_7AqMjA03Jk

        It was offered by http://www.7x7experience.com/virtual/. I have no qualms with 7×7, but a big problem with Uber who wants you to pay $34 to take the course and then proceed to completely disregard any personal measures taken to better yourself and don’t record when you do take the training even though they are automatically notified upon completing the course. I took it long before my account was threatened with deactivation solely for the purposes of being a better driver and in hopes of learning something.

        The training highly recommends rating all riders with 5 stars unless there was a serious problem. They certainly don’t recommend this rating style to riders. It goes to show that Uber doens’t really want to keep an level playing field.

        • beechnut79

          And yet they are constantly giving incentives to drivers as though there is a shortage of them. Any efforts to rally or descend en masse on the offices? Please let me know if it happens in Chicago as I will make every effort to be there to point out some of their wretchedness.

          • Never trust HR for accurate information about the labor market or job availability. The HR staff is required by professionalism to only say things that would improve the companies profits. An increased supply of employees is always profitable and a decrease in the supply of employees is never profitable for a company. So the only acceptable answer any HR staff can provide to a news outlet is that they desperately need more staff and that more people should apply to work their. That increases their supply of candidates for every position and gives them the ability to lower wages which increases profit.

    • beechnut79

      I’m guessing that you will also not take rides with Uber and walk if necessary. Don’t they understand that without the riders there would be no Uber. But they are like so many others in that when they use the term “valued” it really is a crock of you know what.

  • Sarah

    Uber just deactivated, I am guessing, hundreds of drivers in the Cincinnati area. As far as we know, it is indefinitely.

    • Hmm why is that?

      • Sarah

        Cancellations is what they are going with. But some drivers who only csncelled some on rides that were 20+ minutes were deactivated, while others who were known to cancel on damn near everything were left on.
        We’ll see if thenlocal office ooens today at 4:00, like they are suppose to.

  • Jon Dough

    We need competition. Uber raising price of fairs for customers, artificially create surges, but lover drivers compensation by raising their fees. We also need cheap and reliable carpool service. I hope Lyft will develop it.

  • Wild J. Mywildersyde

    I have only driven for Uber in Chicago, IL from April 15, 2016 just after six p.m. in the evening up until about 9 a.m. April 16, 2016. Then I took the rest of the weekend off. I started back up on April 18, 2016 and worked grueling long ass hours up until Wednesday April 20, 2016. I put in fewer hours on Thursday April 21, 2016 because I knew that I was going to bust my butt off on Friday and Saturday for them, but by like 2:19 a.m. on Sunday April 24, 2016 my account was rejected for what they consider low ratings of a 4.24 star average. Then I went into their office during the week on April 27, 2016 to discuss this further in person. I didn’t have that many one star ratings only 2, and like the remaining 20 then 8 were 2 star, and the rest were 3 or 4 star, while the majority were 5 star ratings out of like 91 ratings with a total lifetime trip of 124 riders. I ended up having to fork out $34.00 to 7x7experience.com to do an online video course and quiz to get reinstated. I wasn’t reinstated until this past Friday. I didn’t do any ride requests that day, and I only left my app on duty for a whole whopping 90 minutes on Saturday. No ride requests came in. I kept it offline all Sunday May 1, 2016. Then here I am on Sunday getting harassed about my low star rating all over again. I shot them a question and they failed to read it before answering it. I pointed that out to them. I wasn’t responded to until today, and still it was apparent that Uber support didn’t read it again before replying. I shot them a reply again this morning that still has not been addressed. Instead come this evening my account is now wait-listed instead of rejected, because supposedly someone made a false claim that I was under the influence. Honestly, I am more inclined to think that it is Uber Support trying to create a surge and also out of retaliation for asking them if English is their second language? That their department is failing to answer my question. Now, I am also inclined to believe that Uber likes to create a hostile work environment for the drivers. Because, if they manipulate their driver base they can gouge the riders. This makes perfect sense. I haven’t worked at all for them since getting my account reactivated and I informed them over the weekend that I will be too busy to work this week. Next thing you know I am being wait listed and this Uber company is just way too much bullshit if you ask me. They threatened me from the get go when I first signed up for them at the beginning of April of this year. I was out of state at the time I signed up. I wasn’t going to start until my return. I barely got back to town and the threats from Uber came right on in saying that my account will be deactivated and I won’t be allowed to rejoin if I didn’t login and start driving by April 15, 2016.

    • Dang that’s frustrating – you may want to sign up with Lyft and give them a shot. A lot of drivers prefer lyft over uber, including myself: therideshareguy.com/5-reasons-to-start-driving-for-lyft-before-uber/

      • beechnut79

        And yet I have heard stories that Lyft is just as hostile toward drivers with low ratings as is Uber. Haven’t driven for them yet but may apply now that my Uber cancellation appears to be permanent. It’s testimony about the perfectionist society we seem to have become where ratings and surveys have become king.

    • beechnut79

      I just got deactivated for the second time yesterday and this time they seemed to indicate it was permanent. Maybe the two of us should join forces and at least be FB friends because we are both in the Chicago market. Am wondering if you were able to keep your driving privileges intact? Please let me know if you know of any forms of possible recourse available. Even baseball at least gives you three strikes before you are out. Did you not go online as a form of protest? If so, perhaps you should communicate this.

      • Wild J. Mywildersyde

        Call me at the following number 3 6 0 6 2 8 2 7 9 3 I will ask you several questions and then see what can be done about getting your account turned back on.

        • Wild J. Mywildersyde

          I am in the Chicago market too. And I did manage to get my account reactivated. It took a few days and several emails. I even showed up at their Uber offices downtown.