Top 5 Controversies Uber Survived with Boss Travis Kalanick
Kalanick said, "Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit,” to the driver and finally had to issue an apology later, so it seems he took or at least tried to take responsibility of his own words.
If you are reading this, you may be of the view that ‘Uber as a taxi-aggregator has been organizing the unorganized cab sector, why then is it circumvent with several controversies?’
Well, let’s go a bit back in time when Uber rides launched in 2012, as a cab sharing network built to circumvent the expensive and substandard service of monopoly cab companies. It revolved around with unlicensed/non-taxicab drivers providing taxi-like services, but using newer personal vehicles instead of decrepit old yellow rust buckets.
It looked fairly smart to book a cab via a mobile app with just a click. Yeah, it was the new sophisticated way to move around the city, you had your chauffer driving you within minutes of ordering a ride. Uber dispatches rides, tracks fares, bills customers, and pays the drivers, without any middle men involved.
Amateur and professional drivers around the world join Uber by passing through online screening and offering the use of their personal vehicles. Uber drivers are not required to pay the exorbitant licensing fees and meet the rigorous controls of municipal taxi cab providers.
Suddenly, it hit them- Uber met with many regulatory roadblocks in many places. It was banned in Spain and Italy, but is legal in Canada, the USA, and parts of Europe and Asia.
Let’s face it, Uber damaged it’s brand much more than it made efforts to build it. Below is a list of the major controversy points around Uber, and an explanation behind each argument-
1. Uber Drivers Hate Uber
In every major city, you will hear about protests against Uber by cab companies and other individuals with grievances about Uber service. The controversies include a range of accusations, including Uber’s unfairly undercuts taxi cab fares, raising the bar for services to not lose any customers, sexual harassment for women employees at workplace and undercuts in their fees by up to 50%, Uber unfairly bypasses operating fees. Uber has inadequate safety standards and background checks for their drivers and they are looked sometimes with a lot of suspicion. Also it does not support tipping; any Uber gratuity is considered in the cost. Taxi cabs, on the other hand, expect a 15% added tip beyond the metered fare.
2. Playing Dirty with Lyft
Uber employees allegedly posed as customers ordered and then canceled rides from Lyft, decreasing Lyft drivers' availability, wasting time and gas, and possibly sending real customers to Uber instead. However, Uber officially denies that it's playing dirty, but some Uber contractor revealed that the company encourages that kind of maneuver. Not only are the private players upset, local players too are out of business due to these cheap operators. Uber prices commonly lower than taxicabs? Because Uber operates as a virtual online network instead of a bricks and mortar garage, hence it has much less operating costs. The cost savings are passed onto the customer as reduced fees.
3. Uber Employs but does not take any Responsibility
If you are 21, possess a clean driver record and criminal record, have a car that is less than ten years old, and if you have fifty dollars cash, you can theoretically become an Uber driver. The catch is if ever, an Uber driver smashes in a car accident, will Uber insurance cover the driver & what about the passenger the Uber is ferrying?
Looks like Uber is an excellent business model but with imperfect management. It is definitely a good new alternative to the rotten and entrenched taxi provider industry. Uber today too is in no stranger to confrontation. The ride-sharing firm is known for aggressive tactics that have helped fuel its explosive growth. Its very business model is based on disrupting old-school taxi services in cities across the globe.
4. Due to Donald Trump’s Economic Advisory Council
Earlier this year, thousands of Uber users shared screenshots of themselves deleting the app on social media. The backlash was sparked after the business was accused of profiting from a protest against Donald Trump’s ban on Muslim travelers and refugees. Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO said, "Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the President or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that. And he added, "There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that." Then he finally, distanced himself from the council and called it quits.
5. Kalanick in a verbal spat with Uber Driver
And last but not the least, this month, the Uber boss has admitted he “needs leadership help” after being filmed in a foul mouth shouting match with one of his own drivers. He was caught on camera debating on fare and accepting the things he has done to stay in business, however they may harm others. Kalanick said, “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit,” to the driver and finally had to issue an apology later, so I think he took or at least tried to take responsibility of his own words.
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