Uber/Lyft Controversies

Old thread is here.

Last post with actual content:

"Uber has been spying on its users. “I’m shocked!” proclaimed no one. " - Daikun

And the reason for bringing it back: Susan Fowler has this post about her very strange year at Uber.

I continue my boycott of Uber. It’s a shame I can’t delete my account in response to one of these outrages. I guess I could make one, then delete it.

I have never and will never have an account with uber. I’m actively trying to talk a friend out of driving for them, or to at least favor lyft when he drives.

Per the CEO’s reply, they’re also getting HR to investigate the misdeeds of the HR department. Which is little more than a bullshit PR move - they’re basically asking offenders to investigate their own innocence.

I expect one of two possible outcomes - if they’re stupid, they play a spirited game of “Throw cards in a hat” for a week, then declare there’s absolutely no problem. If they’re the kind of smart that Uber likes, they’ll play a spirited game of “Throw cards in a hat” for a week, fire a bunch of people using this an an opportunity to get rid of people they don’t like, and come out with a statement that says “We’ve fired all the offending parties, everything is great now!”

Not that it would help either way, really - when you’re dropping from 25%+ plus women in your workforce to 3%, in a single year, then that speaks of a much deeper problem than one little HR investigation is going to handle, and they know it. Uber isn’t pissed that his happened, they’re pissed that they got caught, again.

Where are you guys having uber problems?

Everywhere? They’re a morally bankrupt and exploitative company.

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I’ve never Uber’d and I never will. Legally licensed cabs only.

Cab drivers are required by law to have special training. They are required by law to take you where you want to go within limits. They are required to meter your fare according to a certain rate that does not change. They have a meter that is inspected and regulated, so it doesn’t cheat and rip you off. They are required by law to not refuse passengers based on race, disability, how rich they look, etc. These are only some of the many regulations that a licensed cab driver must obey. If they break any of these rules there is quite a good system in place to penalize them with fines, or even losing their license.

Uber, Lyft, etc. drivers ignore all of these rules. It’s not legally much different than if I just opened a doctors office even though I’ve never been to medical school. Under existing law you could just put all Uber drivers in jail, and why not the executives also? They’re running an illegal operation.

Add on top of that the surge pricing, employee exploitation, sexual harassment, and whatever other scandal, and I see no reason not to nuke them from orbit. I mean, they’ve got a whole thread dedicated to their controversies. That’s not something that happens to non-evil companies.

The only positive thing I can say about these companies is that they make it easier for people who can’t drive, are in a situation where they desperately need a ride, there are no friends with cars, and no cabs just roaming around. For example, you live in the 'burbs. It’s late at night. You are all drunk at your friend’s house. Nobody can drive. You need a ride home.

It would be one thing if the ride sharing companies pulled a Crunchyroll. They start out operating illegally, and then go legit. It’s been years, and they still have not done so. Ubers are driving around without medallions. Their drivers aren’t licensed and trained properly. Fuck 'em.

As Rym said, they’re an awful company, but you can also slip back to the archived thread on the old forum to get a larger picture as to the depths of their utter bastardy. They’ve got everything under their belt from plain old breaking the law and ripping off drivers, through to anti-discrimination breaches and attempted patent trolling.

Not always, cab drivers can skirt around rules, and you can call them out on it. I remember a time when I went to Las Vegas and didn’t know the best route to get somewhere but I knew the destination. I later learned that you should tell them a specific way to go. If you say “whatever is fastest” that can be up to the interpretation of the cab driver. Unfortunately I didn’t know until afterward when I found out an hour after the fact that I paid about $20 more than everyone I was meeting who knew how to get around LV.

The biggest reason why I continue to use Uber over cabs in Seattle is because the handful of experiences I’ve had with cab drivers in Seattle has been abysmal. Cabbies tailgaiting people, constantly applying the brakes aggressively, etc. I’ve never had issues with Uber or Lyft. Should I go with someone else? Maybe. But there isn’t really great options. Last year I went to SF and I asked people what public transportation they had that was good. Everyone basically said none, use Uber. Given that that’s the hometown for those services, it kinda makes sense they were filling in the gaps. But unfortunately they’re not regulated in any capacity.

Did you call the taxi commission and report them?

In NYC if a cab pulls some BS on you, just take a picture of their license in the cab. Then call 311 and report them. If they fight it and ends up in court you get to testify over the phone. The cab driver is gonna get burned. This is what keeps them in line.

Ain’t nothing keeping Uber and their ilk honest.

I should have reported them, but I didn’t take any of their information because I thought they were going the best route. I could have probably gotten that info but I didn’t, and admittedly it wasn’t worth it at the time.

Ethical and poor business practices aside ( and there are many issues here ), One other reason I’m currently not using Uber is also due to the application always using location data from iOS devices. I’m not too concerned about the privacy issues here ( though maybe I should be ) I’m more concerned about the battery drain this new feature caused on my iphone 6s plus. So I’ve since deleted their application and never used them again. Few of my co-workers are doing the same after I’ve informed them about this new “feature”.

I must admit, it was also kind of interesting to watch my sister go from Super Enthusiastic uber fangirl, to super enthusiastic new uber driver, to bitter, angry rarely-drives uber driver within the space of about two months.

Edit - though it probably didn’t help that she set herself a goal of making a thousand bucks on NYE, in one of our busies NYE areas(Gold Coast) that she knew well, and knows all the good spots - and after 16 straight hours on the road, still only managed to come home with about $750 before tax.

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Uber’s Independent Review board is now out and known, and is as follows:

  • Arianna Huffington(Member of the Uber Board of Directors)
  • Liane Hornsey(Uber Chief Human Resources Officer)
  • Angela Padilla(Uber Associate General Counsel)
  • Ex-US Attorney General Eric Holder(Leading the investigation, also, Partner at Covington & Burling - Uber’s long-term legal representatives, and who has previously fought cases such as fighting regulations that would require Uber to do better background checks)
  • Tammy Albarran (Ditto above)

So, basically, we have three people with both a personal and financial interest in Uber coming out smelling like roses, and two people whose literal job it has been to defend Uber from legal penalties. Independent, my hairy arse.

For real? WTF is she doing there?

[quote=“rastergrafx, post:15, topic:499”]
For real? WTF is she doing there?
[/quote]For real, yep. And like I said, she’s a member of the board of directors. She’s there, because even after uber’s strong promises to do better, and almost tearful apologies about how awful they’ve been and promising to change, they literally cannot resist stacking the deck in their favor at every possible opportunity.

NYT has also done a further investigation, and found that Susan Fowler’s experience wasn’t just not unique, it was also far from unusual, with the investigation including interviews with more than 30 previous and current employees, complete with reviews of leaked chat logs, emails, and recordings of meetings.

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I don’t understand how you’re able to watch something like 90% of the women in your engineering department walk away and not assume there’s a problem.

Uber Exec 1: Huh. We’ve gone from 30% women in engineering to 3. Think there’s a problem?
Uber Exec 2: Nah. Crazy bitches will be crazy, right? Wanna go do some hookers and blow?
Uber Exec 1: Fucker, you had blow and it took you this long to tell me?


Uber being a shitstain on society is nothing new. Let’s talk about how to address the issue that they’re profitable. Not talking about big things here, I’m not advocating we pool our monies and take out an advertising campaign or something like that.

What are the most effective ways to convince acquaintances that they’re not a good company and that they should stop using their service/driving for them?

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You joke, but that’s something that came up almost exactly like that:

Per Ms Fowler:

When I asked our director at an org all-hands about what was being done about the dwindling numbers of women in the org compared to the rest of the company, his reply was, in a nutshell, that the women of Uber just needed to step up and be better engineers.

And when confronting HR about dwindling numbers of Women engineers to HR:

When I pointed out how few women were in SRE, she recounted with a story about how sometimes certain people of certain genders and ethnic backgrounds were better suited for some jobs than others, so I shouldn’t be surprised by the gender ratios in engineering.

[quote=“Naoza, post:19, topic:499”]
Uber being a shitstain on society is nothing new. Let’s talk about how to address the issue that they’re profitable. Not talking about big things here, I’m not advocating we pool our monies and take out an advertising campaign or something like that.
[/quote]It won’t help. Others have tried, and it did nothing - Uber has incredibly slick PR and marketing teams, and they’ve been incredibly successful at making any and all such attempts just seem like part of a grand anti-Uber conspiracy by taxi operators, and playing the whole thing into the idea that behind-the-times organizations and legislators are out to get them, positioning themselves as the new, plucky upstart if not underdog.

It doesn’t help that they also have the people I like to call the Uber Defense Squad, who aren’t paid or owt, they’re just a horde of hyper-enthusiastic tech-bros who show up just about anywhere to very enthusiastically defend Uber from anybody who speaks ill of them.