Uber Changes Rules for California Drivers…Again

Since the passing of Prop 22, Uber has rolled back and eliminated some benefits California drivers had received in the lead-up to the election.

Uber announcement of changes

In a nutshell, Uber is telling drivers in California that they must accept at least 5 out of their last 10 trip requests in order to see data such as upfront price and destination.

The wording that Uber used to make the announcement just adds to the flames. For example, Uber states, “Don’t worry, if you lost upfront details and want to see them again, just start accepting your next few trip requests.

Basically, it’s telling drivers to accept more trips than they may want to get these basic details. The company is likely trying to get drivers to accept more rides overall to keep customers happy. But the savvy drivers prefer to pick and choose their trips based on a number of factors such as passenger rating, pay, distance to pickup and destination. Being picky often helps drivers prioritize and be more efficient drivers overall to boost their earnings potential.

California Driver Reactions

Drivers took to Reddit to complain about more changes that came through from Uber.

One driver pointed to this as a reason to give up on Uber and stated, “Well boys, it’s been a fun ride. I’m done with Uber, back to delivering food for me.”

Another stated that these changes clearly indicate Uber is treating their drivers as employees: “This is so they can guarantee that five out of every 10 rides they send you will be absolute bullshit rides. Consider yourself an employee. There is no way that you’re an independent contractor under these circumstances.”

Someone else agreed and added stipulations for what a real independent contractor should be able to expect in these circumstances: “If we are truly IC, every one of us in every market should be shown pickup, drop off and estimated earnings before we accept and they should get rid of these manipulation tactics. Pay and treat drivers well and you won’t have to manipulate them into giving rides that aren’t profitable.”

In part, one commenter said, “Uber and Lyft claim to be Third-Party payment systems that connect drivers with passengers, yet they never act like it. They want all the benefits of being an employer, and a contractor service, yet none of the obligations.”

This comes about one month after Uber lowered the rate cards for drivers picking up from LAX airport. The per mile rates for drivers dropped from $0.60 per mile down to a mere $0.32 per mile.

On Twitter, Michael Wirasto believes that riders will likely be most affected: “This will not be good for drivers and riders. Mostly riders, as more drivers will be discouraged to go online.

@uber wants driver to vote on prop 22. Now they literally took freedom from drivers. Start with the multipliers and now this. I know few drivers stopped driving instantly.”

Non-CA Reactions

One person on Reddit seemed to take this very personally and called out California drivers as “whiners”. They stated, “So you have to accept 5 out of your last 10 trips to see upfront info? Let me find my tiny violin. The rest of us have to accept 85%+ on a rolling THIRTY day period and be gold to see that same info. 5 out of 10 is a bargain in comparison.”

Another agreed stating, “If they spent that energy learning new skills or starting an ecommerce biz they would actually take control of their life. But like most, complaining about a problem is easier. Stop relying on someone else to better your life.”

Not all jumped on the California-drivers-are-whiners bandwagon, however. Some pointed out that the poster should instead be complaining that they don’t get to see upfront pricing instead of complaining about California drivers.

My Thoughts

While I’m not a California driver, I am a driver. I do believe that ALL Uber drivers should be allowed to see their earnings before accepting, and wanting to see the destination should not be something drivers are punished for.

Despite the fact that California has different rules from the rest of the U.S., these are still basic things that Uber should have been allowing all drivers to see from the get-go. And, don’t get me started on low earnings.

We see pay cuts year after year and are expected to provide more and more services. It’s no wonder drivers are saying “enough already.”

Are you being affected by these changes? Share your thoughts below!

-Paula @ RSG