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5 min read

    5 min read

    Uber has two new features called “Share Adjustment” and “Surge Adjustment” and you’re going to want to know about them since it means you’ll be getting paid extra. Today, RSG contributor Joe Pierce shares his experience with these adjustments in Minneapolis.

    A few weeks ago I gave a long ride with a $6.25 flat rate surge attached to it, which is pretty good. However, when I finished the ride, the amount I received was nearly DOUBLE what I thought it would be, and I thought to myself — “how in the hell?!”

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    This nearly double the expected payout actually happened twice in 2 days. The first time was on a Monday during rush hour, 7:30 in the morning, and flat rate surge again was at $6.25, which is about as high as I have seen flat rate surge get in the morning here in Minneapolis.  The pickup was at the airport and it was a long trip, 28 miles. 40 minutes later, I dropped the passenger off and when the amount for the ride flashed on the screen I was dumbfounded.  I expected it to be around a $30 ride, but the amount I received was $62.66.

    Surge and Share Adjustment from Uber

    If we look at a screenshot of the trip details below we can see exactly what happened.  First, the passenger actually gave me a $10 tip while the ride was still in progress. I love that they have that option by the way!  However, the second and third reasons why Uber adjusted the surge amount was to better reflect what the passenger paid.

    This meant I received a much higher percentage of the surge amount.  I was originally supposed to get the flat rate surge of $6.25 but I ended up getting $18.12, nearly triple the amount. I also received what Uber calls a “share adjustment,” and they define it right right there on the trip details:

     

    Share adjustments happen when the difference between a rider’s payment & your earnings is higher than estimated.

    I not only received a higher surge amount but I also received a higher amount of the total fare.  The passenger paid $100.96 for the ride, so of course I should have gotten more, but still – it’s surprising to see Uber do this!

    Here’s what Uber told us about Share adjustment vs surge adjustment:

    • A Share Adjustment occurs when the difference between a rider’s payment and a driver’s earnings is higher than estimated. The Share Adjustment will appear on a driver’s Payment Statement.
    • These differences occur from time to time because the model of a rider’s upfront price isn’t always perfect. Driver earnings are always based on the time and distance driven on a trip.
    • A Share Adjustment is a step towards ensuring that a driver receives an equitable portion of the fare (the total amount the rider paid).
    • This feature became generally available in early July 2019 throughout the U.S. We built it to address drivers’ pain points around the variation in Uber’s take rate.
    • Surge adjustment occurs only on trips where a rider pays and a driver earns surge.

    Some Examples

    According to Uber, share adjustment can happen on surge rides or non-surge rides, so if Uber charges the passenger $100 on a regular ride and their algorithm totally sucks and only pays you $50, you might get a share adjustment.

    And if on that same ride, let’s say the passenger pays a 2x surge, so their total fare is $200 but you only got a $5 flat rate surge bonus, you might get a surge adjustment.

    Surge and Share Adjustment Throughout the Week

    I was really appreciative this happened but assumed it would probably be a one-off thing.  The following day, though, it happened again!

    I got another $6.25 flat rate surge ride, this time from downtown Minneapolis to the suburbs. It was 14.82 miles and 30 minutes long and would typically have been a $22 ride with surge. However, this time I received $44.79, double the expected amount.

    I looked at the trip details and again saw both a surge and share adjustment.

    surge and share adjustment uber

    When Were These Adjustments Implemented?

    So when did Uber start doing this and why are they doing it? Late last year we published a post explaining how to get your fare adjusted by Uber.  A driver in Charlotte named Rich had given over 300 flat rate surge rides.  He examined the trip details of those rides and saw that he was getting a significantly low percentage of the total fare on some of them.  He was able to get 45 rides of those adjusted and ended up recovering about $980, which was incredible.  He took the initiative himself and got Uber to pay him nearly $1000 more!

    We reached out to Uber and were told that they have been working on these share and surge adjustments since 2018 and were implemented in July of 2019.  I think we can thank drivers like Rich for pointing this out to Uber, and good on Uber for automatically paying drivers a more equitable portion of the fare.  We were a bit confused as to why both a surge and share adjustment would occur on the same ride, but we’re not going to complain 😉

    This is really great of Uber to do this though, drivers deserve these adjustments and I am glad Uber realized this.  Have you experienced these and what were the adjustments you received? Also, were you surprised like me that this is actually a thing that Uber does? Leave a comment and let us know!

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    -Joe @ RSG

    Joe Pierce

    Joe Pierce

    Joe has been a Rideshare driver in Minneapolis since 2014 with nearly 15,000 rides

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