The other day, we received a press release from Uber titled “Uber Drivers in Every Borough Share Stories on Price Cut Impact.” It began with some data showing an increase in trips in NYC, stating there have been about 25 percent more trips in Manhattan and the Bronx and about 37 percent more in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Again, Uber is attempting to lead everyone to believe that lower fares = more trips = a better experience and higher earnings for drivers. While the first part of the equation is true, we (and the many drivers we’ve spoken to over the past few weeks) have explained time and time again why the second part isn’t.
The release went on to share quotes from five obviously cherry-picked drivers.
Joel from Brooklyn said, ”I’ve been seeing more trips in Brooklyn and Manhattan and less wait times—you get the calls quickly. … I can make my weekly goal in less days now.”
Saul from Manhattan echoed, “It’s definitely been busier in Washington Heights, Yonkers, Riverdale. Demand used to drop off after 10am, and now it doesn’t. I don’t wait long for the next request once I finish a trip. All of my friends who drive with Uber have said the same thing.”
You get the picture, but you can read the full release here.
Based on everything we know about both this Uber saga and public relations, it was clear this press release wasn’t telling the whole story. So we showed this press release to five completely random NYC Uber drivers and asked for their thoughts. Here’s what they said:
Drives in all five boroughs
“What Uber is doing—the price cuts—it’s not working, not for us. We have more trips but less money, and more hours for sure.”
Drives in Manhattan
“Uber is like a stubborn and spoiled child, when you tell them that it’s wrong what they are doing – they won’t listen to you, and will keep doing whatever they want to do. As one of the representatives in Chelsea Uber Office told us: ‘It’s our company and we can do whatever we want.’ They need a good spank, so it will put their brain together. About the press release, they have commentary of couple drivers—I will bring them 1,000s commentaries proving that statement is wrong.”
Drives in all five boroughs
“Very bad. No money after 15 percent cut. Uber became very bad company to work. Uber is bloodsucking.”
Drives in Queens and Manhattan
“Uber’s website—it’s total lie. I am sure those drivers are new in Uber platform. I can show you some data that my income does not increase at all. On the other hand, my expenses are increased. To make [the] same amount of money I now have to drive extra 70 miles.”
Drives in Long Island
“I now can no longer travel 10 minutes to get a ride because the profit margin has been squeezed, so I end up canceling a lot more rides. It was perfect before they screw with it…I lose so much on airport runs which I get every day. It’s discouraging to even do them…I haven’t worked a full week for Uber since the price cut. I am now forced to go to Manhattan and work for their competitor Gett, which is a much better compensation plan.”