I never thought it would happen, but I’m officially sick of reading about Uber. When I mentioned this to the Wife, she quickly replied, “Now you know how I feel.” Fair enough. I have been somewhat obsessed with Uber and Lyft. I’m a driver. It’s hard not to think (and blog) about the injustices we face every day at the hands of these two companies. Since I first considered driving back in December of 2013, I’ve been reading every article about ridesharing that has crossed my Facebook and Twitter feeds. And since March, when I finally took the plunge and got behind the wheel, I’ve joined all the driver groups I could find and followed numerous sites and writers who cover ridesharing.
Needless to say, I was not shocked by the latest Uber scandal, when vice-president Emil Michael’s suggestion that they hire reporters of their own to go after other reporters who are critical of Uber. Just another day following the Uber train of disaster.
Since then, the articles, tweets, updates and blog posts about this incident have been nonstop. Seriously, I’ve reached maximum Uber overload. Can we just go on to the next scandal already? I’m sure there will be more…
Granted, this one is pretty horrendous. If I were Sarah Lacy, the designated target of this doxx campaign, I’d be furious. Livid. Outraged. Pissed the fucked off! Everybody should be. It’s bad. Real bad.
So bad that people are now deleting their Uber accounts. Going so far as to figure out how to permanently remove their data from Uber’s servers. Because, surprise, surprise, Uber doesn’t just go away when you delete the app from your phone. Uber stores your information for “legitimate business purposes.”
Well, people, before you feel high and mighty because you’ve deleted the app and possibly gone as far as to contact Uber and have your data removed, think about this: it’s your fault.
What Emil Michael said was unconscionable. But it wouldn’t have happened if all these loyal Uber users weren’t so happy to play along with their disruptive business model. It’s not that shocking when you think about all the shit Uber has done before.
The drivers know. We’ve been fighting with Uber for a while now. But nobody cares about us. Or our puny little problems. But attack that venerable institution of online reporting and the OUTRAGE! The HORROR! OH MY FUCKING GOD! BRING ME THE HEAD OF EMIL MICHAEL!!!
So let’s see...
- The lack of a screening process to vet potential drivers with violent tendencies, rapists and anger problems is all good.
- Preventing their drivers from receiving tips - no problem.
- Charging drivers a $10 a week fee to use their mandated phone on top of the (now) 25% commission...
- Subjecting drivers to a dysfunctional rating system...
- Displaying a complete disrespect for woman in the past... which is what led to this recent attack on Pando's Sarah Lacy
- Continually lowering the fares so drivers make less and less, down to almost 50% less from before the price wars with Lyft...
All that is chill, but when they threaten to dig up dirt on a reporter, that’s when people freak the fuck out and delete the app?
Come on! What did you expect from a company that has done all these shady things? And no doubt has many more shady things in the works. (UberScholar, anyone?) Yeah.
Everybody sat back and let it happen. You fed the Uber monster. And now that monster is so big, it doesn’t matter if a few users delete the app. It’s too late for Uber’s comeuppance. You created this monster. It’s here to stay.
And don't get me wrong: Fuck Uber. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see this behemoth fail. Even if that means getting a new source of income. As Hector the dishwasher told me many years ago, "I was looking for a job when I found this one..."