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Speaker: Confessions of an Uber driver

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  • goforit,

    its not the drivers whom are part of the ponzi scheme, its the funding side, drivers are just pawns in the game where they should be the major players.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Bob van Ruyssevelt,

    As any marketer will tell you ideally the No 1 in a business will be the most expensive and make the most money. The Uber model is far superior to the old taxi model and with just a small discount to the rates of the main players should be making money for the drivers and the company while giving a great service. The company's tactics are bad for everyone.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2016 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bob van Ruyssevelt,

    That's my position in a nutshell. Uber is mostly better than taxis, particularly for when you have to call it rather than just get in one that's waiting for you. The app conveys several advantages in safety and convenience and customer service, and provides the driver with safety and convenience too, as well as the ability to rate the customers (although that is a very weak power indeed compared to the customer's ability to rate the driver). It's also cheaper, although the above points mean that a lot of people would prefer it, even if it wasn't cheaper.

    So moves to aggressively exploit drivers and flout the law make no sense at all. It's a perfectly good business model just as a "normal" business. Because, for the most part, it IS a normal business. It's providing something that's been possible for thousands of years (giving people a lift for money) via a better interface. It was growing just fine, and NZ was even getting on with making the laws more convenient for it. Why they think they get the right to just unilaterally fuck with their drivers and the whole NZ laws, government and public without warning is beyond me. It's beyond arrogant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    It’s also cheaper, although the above points mean that a lot of people would prefer it, even if it wasn’t cheaper.

    I would, in most cases.

    But I must say, the new fares are appealing. I can get to K Road or back for less than $13, which does make me more even more inclined to call an Uber, especially for the ride home, when I might otherwise just jump into a taxi that’s already there.

    Why they think they get the right to just unilaterally fuck with their drivers and the whole NZ laws, government and public without warning is beyond me. It’s beyond arrogant.

    It's like they don't know any other way to behave ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to goforit,

    its not the drivers whom are part of the ponzi scheme, its the funding side

    Not necessarily. Amazon went more than 20 years without recording a meaningful profit. But last quarter it reported $513m of profit on revenues of nearly $30 billion.

    Uber says it's now profitable in North America, but it's spending all that profit (and much more) trying to crack China, where it's burning $1 billion a year. It needs to be able to make big profit projections before it goes for an IPO.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    when I started driving back in the day, the flagfall was $0.40, the time was $0.05 and the rate was $0.15 per mile. Uber will soon have you back to those rates. Except the costs don't drop fuel was $0.45 per gallon now its over $8.00 per gal. A brand new car was $3,000.oo now a simlar brand new car is approx $50,000.00.
    If Uber prices drop anymore peddling a rickshaw maybe the thing, lol.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    Just a change in subjuct. Drivers be aware of BP Ellerlise and give it a wide berth, that service station excessively overcharges it fuel prices, the other day I was charged 50% more for my fuel than the price normally charged at other BP Service Stations in the Auckland region.

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • goforit,

    have the Uber drivers given up the fight with Uber

    Auckland • Since May 2016 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to goforit,

    Some probably have. But no, those that are organizing are growing in number quite rapidly. It's a long fight, though. A marathon, not a sprint. If you're referring to this thread, there's a new one: Here

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Not sure if this got posted already. It's NZTA clarifying its position that Uber drivers without the compliance are breaking the law.

    Note that they undertake no remedy against Uber whatsoever, despite clearly acknowledging what the current situation is. Their only recourse is to go for the drivers.

    I think their hands are tied in some way that is not clear. The statement:

    “As a safety regulator we have no interest in standing in the way of innovation, but we have a responsibility to ensure that people carrying passengers for a living have been properly vetted and understand their responsibilities under the law.”

    kind of says it all. Somehow, because it's innovation, they don't want to actually go for the source of the trouble, which would be to take strong steps against Uber itself. So they will pick up the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, in the form of severe punishments for the tiny fraction of Uber drivers that they can catch. Their recent statement that they've issued dozens of notices says it all. The drivers know for a simple fact that the number of people being signed up in this way is enormous. Legal drivers could soon be in a minority. We are talking about hundreds of people per week being signed up. It's now been a month since this happened. We could be pushing a thousand illegal drivers in Auckland now. But we don't know because Uber is beholden to no one to say how many they are doing, and anything they do say can only be taken with a grain of salt, considering how often they simply lie to people making queries.

    It's literally on us, the public, and the drivers, to try to answer questions statistically that they could answer with a database query.

    I suggest to any corporate clients of Uber that you should have a very close look at your health and safety policies, and consider the reputational damage you could suffer when this blatant lawbreaking becomes clear.

    I don't really want to name the corporations here. You guys know who you are, and we're contacting you privately, to give you a chance to beat all the other ones to the punch.

    I would not want to be the last one putting my staff into Uber vehicles that are being driven by people that have literally not got passenger licenses, have not had their backgrounds thoroughly checked, have not had recent medical examinations, have not recently re-sat their drivers licenses, are not keeping log books of their hours spent in the car, and in their other jobs, are in cars without passenger vehicle safety checks, and are not required to have commercial insurance.

    I absolutely would not want to be the one putting my customers in them. I'd be calling Uber management directly with all of corporate bigwig clout I could muster and tearing them a new one, threatening to dump their platform publicly if immediate reversal of all of that doesn't happen.

    I would not want to be that company, after the other ones have all come out loudly decrying something that could land them in extremely hot water with their staff and customers, and taking steps to fix that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    It's an odd stance, because I would have thought, and it would be good if one of the distinguished lawyers on PAS could clarify, that by encouraging and benefitting from people breaking the law, Uber are a party to the offence. But maybe that doesn't apply to traffic offences?

    (It certainly would seem more clear-cut than Kim Dotcom's legal troubles, where he didn't (at least) actively advertise that people should upload copyrighted content).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    It would certainly seem more clear cut, because the crimes that the people are being caught for certainly are crimes, as laid out quite clearly in acts of parliament. Copyright violations are far more nebulous crimes, full of jurisdictional issues. But driving passengers for hire or reward without a P endorsement in this country is a crime without any reservations. NZTA can and have busted people for it.

    The issue of the meter is perhaps the one that is more KimDotcomish in its nebulousness. Is this method of charging a meter? I think this has always been the part the NZTA sees as the innovation that they don’t want to “stand in the way of”. But putting people on the road, en masse, without proper licenses, logbooks, medical checks, history checks, or insurance, is NOT innovation. It’s inciting or inducing crime for their direct profit. It has to stop.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Pao Montenegro,

    Anyone here have a tax guide for Uber drivers in NZ? Thanks :)

    Wellington • Since Feb 2017 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Oh, so Uber's self driving car project seemed to be built on plans stolen from Google. That's going to end well.

    https://medium.com/waymo/a-note-on-our-lawsuit-against-otto-and-uber-86f4f98902a1#.cet824g44

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Pao Montenegro,

    Sorry, no one's written a guide as far as I'm aware. Try the NZUDA Facebook page for free advice, if you think such a thing is a good idea when it comes to taxes. Personally I think you'd get what you paid for. But you may be able to inquire about reasonably priced accountants with experience with Uber drivers.

    AFAIK, IRD is itself conflicted about whether Uber drivers are meant to pay GST.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Pao Montenegro, in reply to BenWilson,

    Thanks, Ben! I have asked Uber and they mentioned something about not needing to register for GST if the revenue is going to be under 60k. However apart from the GST, I have no clue what or how much will have to be set aside for tax purposes. I haven't joined Uber yet but I'm guessing there's a lot to consider that is not being highlighted when signing up.. and it's frustrating how there's no one place to look!

    Wellington • Since Feb 2017 • 2 posts Report Reply

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