Biting The Hand That Slaps You

Inaccurate Data

I’m suspicious more and more of the information Uber uses, not only for its trip request algorithms, but also for their ratings system, and how it’s impossible to navigate their “linear” support channels. (Since Uber has no phone support, any issue takes extensive effort to provide details they have already, not to mention drivers don’t get paid to do administrative work.)

But back to the ratings. For example, my rating last week was 4.43. Way too low in my book. But I started thinking this isn’t accurate. You have to count ALL rides. If drivers are required to rate every rider, riders should have to rate every driver. Not to mention riders know how drivers rate them, but drivers don’t have the same data. More on that later…

For this article though, my totals last week for driving were:

  • 24 Rides
  • 7 Rated Rides
  • (6) 5-Star Ratings

Six riders gave me 5-stars (30), and one rider gave me 1-star (31/7=4.43) which, when there are only a few ratings, severely affects my rating. But it’s not a true reflection of my service. I’ve received all 5-stars of rated rides in a week multiple times. Not to mention, there was no explanation why 1-star was given.

So Much For Rankings Being Worth Squat

So much for Uber trying to improve the quality of its drivers. If that’s what rankings are even about. If riders are rating me with 1s, I want to know exactly why so I can address the issue. Was it because I gave them a low rating for not answering their phone and taking five minutes of my time to show up?

But no.

In my OPINION, Uber is completely sucking up to riders, who in turn, take advantage of drivers. Like I just mentioned, riders are allowed five minutes after the driver shows up. For every 12 riders who take advantage of that full five minutes, we lose an hour of work, which Uber also claims, is worth up to $35/hour. Riders are just given too much benefit of the doubt, while drivers are given canned support responses when the integrity of the system is questioned.

Anyway, it got me thinking I should ask for all the data that has been collected on me so I can validate it. It seems if this continues I’ll be out of a job. I’m still at 4.84 overall, which isn’t bad. But my cancellation rate has gone up, but I don’t see any cancellations in my trip history.

I did a search to see if anybody else had requested all their data as an independent contractor released to them for validation. (I’m sure we signed those rights away in the fine print of our contracts.)

What I found was pretty shocking, especially since it involves my home city…from the site Motherboard:

Uber and Waze are following an example that was originally set by the surveillance industry.

The town of Altamonte, a small suburb of Orlando, is going to pay Uber at least $1 million in taxpayer money over the next year to subsidize residents’ ridesharing trips. But should a journalist or concerned citizen want to learn more about the public transportation-replacing program, their public records request will ultimately end up in the hands of an Uber employee, who will decide whether or not the information is fit for public release.

Full story: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/how-uber-beats-foia

Oh, and get a WordPress button, Motherboard…

 

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Author: erichutchison

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