Last Tuesday, it was reported that Gett was in talks to acquire Juno and, within a day, the deal was done. Wow, that was fast! Later that day, Juno drivers got an e-mail from Juno telling them that “Juno and Gett are joining forces!” although it conveniently left out the fact that Juno was also going to get $200 million for the acquisition.
Despite Gett and Juno’s cheery corporate message, I’m not a fan of this deal and I think Juno really took advantage of its drivers. Juno has always offered a lot of hope to rideshare drivers everywhere since, to their credit, they did a great job identifying the problems that Uber drivers have been facing over the years. That might not sound like a big deal, but one of the strangest things I’ve noticed in my three years of driving for Uber and blogging about the industry is that Uber just hasn’t cared much about improving the driver experience.
Uber drivers are always going to want higher rates and a tipping option but there are countless features, policies and programs that Uber has failed to take action on even though they would be mutually beneficial to everyone. Fixing Uber’s broken ratings system, paying drivers more to deal with UberPOOL and hiring knowledgeable customer service representatives all seem like basic tenets of a successful company, yet Uber’s customer service might even be worse than it was three years ago and 75% of drivers in Los Angeles (a top UberPOOL market) are still dissatisfied with their UberPOOL experience.
The two most popular driver-friendly features of 2016 were a stolen Sidecar feature (Destination Filter) and the exact same idea Lyft came up with (Instant Pay). Don’t get me wrong, these are great features for drivers and help their bottom lines, but they’re not exactly the type of industry leading innovation you’d expect from a $70 billion company.