Ever wondered what it is like working with Uber as driver or partner as the company calls them?
Thinking of joining Uber as a driver?
Let me help you make an informed decision based on my own experience. I have been working as Uber partner for past eight months and I have come up with a list of top 10 advantages and disadvantages of working with cab hailing tech company.
1- Uber Is The Future Of Taxi Business:
Let’s face the fact that the future belongs to automation and technology. With customers getting less and less patient, gone are the days when your customers have to first find the phone number of a Taxi company from directory and then wait for ages for it to turn up only to be faced with the disastrous situation that it has turned up at wrong address just because phone operator made a mistake recording your customer’s pick-up location.
All this hassle and headache is now the past. Now your customers can order your ride using a smart app. Just a bit of tap tap on your mobile and whoa their taxi will be outside. No more uncertainty or waiting, riders can locate your exact location and prepare for taking off when you reach nearby.
The ease of ordering a cab is the reason millions of people are in love with Uber and religiously use it every day. So in short technology especially Uber is future of Taxi and you better jump on this bandwagon before Uber stops accepting new drivers.
2-Safety And Security:
In today’s hostile environment where the majority of taxi drivers come from ethnic backgrounds, it is important more than ever to consider your safety and security as number one priority before choosing any company to work for.
And on this front, I can safely tell you that Uber is a very secure platform. Not only for you as a driver but for your customers as well. In order to use service, the customers have to register their email and link their account either to their credit/debit cards or PayPal, both of which are enough for identification purposes. Devices and IP addresses can be obtained and traced in any unpleasant event. So you are pretty much secure working with Uber.
With Uber it is not only your as a driver who is secure but customers are safe as well. When you sign up for Uber you will have to provide your identification along with the driving license, car registration, car license, your taxi badge (paper part and plastic card) and your insurance documents. Customers will also be able to see you picture which helps with identification and in turn, creates trust between you and your customer.
3- No Cash Involved:
The best thing about Uber is that there are no cash transactions involved. This keeps muggers away from using Uber as a bait to perform their illegal actions as most of them are well aware of the fact that Uber drivers do not have cash on them. When someone uses your services, customers are automatically charged electronically and money is debited from their bank account into Uber bank account which is then automatically transferred into your bank account following Thursday.
But here is an interesting point, if you are running short of cash, you do not have to wait till Thursday to collect your accumulated earnings. You can cash out your earnings anytime during the week and money will reach your account in two working days.
Check out the ‘CASH OUT’ button in the app.
4- Runners And No Shows:
If you have ever worked for local firms you must have experienced the horrible scenario of runners. Yes, you got it right. The people who will book your car via phone, reach their destination and run away without paying the fare.
Not getting paid for your hard work does not feel good, right?
But with Uber, there are no runners. Uber will pay you your due money regardless of if it is able to take it from their customers. In fact, when riders book their cab they will have five minutes to cancel the ride or they will have to pay you £4 for cancellation.
Now let’s talk about no shows. Imagine if you have been booked, you reach your pick up point and find no one. This scenario is called ‘Rider No Show’ in Uber app which basically means that rider did not turn up after booking. You will have to wait outside customer, pick up point for five minutes before cancelling trip using ‘Rider No Show’ button in which case Uber will charge customer cancellation fee and you will, in turn, get £3 for your efforts. I normally wait 5-7 minutes during rush hour and 8-9 minutes during the slow hour for customers before pressing the ‘No Show’ button. However, you can cancel after waiting five minutes.
Runners and ‘No Shows’ are win-win situations for Uber drivers.
5- No Radio Rent To pay:
The best thing about Uber is that you do not have to pay any weekly or monthly radio rent to the company. This is especially beneficial if you are thinking of working part time as a taxi driver.
Uber works on cut per job business model, which means whenever Uber sends you a job they take 25% of the fare amount. This means you never have to worry about radio rent.
So you have read all the advantages. Feeling pumped up, ready to rock and roll and earn some cash? Well, hold your horses. Before you get too excited and sign up as a driver, please read some of the annoying things as well.
1- Financially Unviable Rides And National Minimum Wage:
Even though this has happened occasionally with me, it is still important that I warn you about this issue.
Uber insists on accepting all jobs whether near or far. If you will refuse jobs which are far away Uber will log you out and will not let you log back in for few minutes. This is kind of a punishment system. Due to this system, you will have to involuntarily accept jobs which are quite far. But it’s not the distance which is the problem. It the financial aspects of it.
Let’s say for example Uber send you a job 4 miles away from where you are.
It will take you 20 minutes to reach there only to find out that rider is only going half a mile down the road. which means you will earn net fare of £2.62. You will have to come back into the area with jobs which will take you another 20 mins.
Now let’s do the maths.
20 minutes going to pick up job + 5minutes wait + 20 minutes coming back to town centre = 45 minutes.
But because your rider was only going half a mile down the road you only got paid £2.62 which means in 45 minutes you have only earned £2.62 which is far below national minimum wage.
PS: I had always earned more than national minimum wage per hour with Uber. My average is £10-12 per hour.
2- Uber Navigation System Sucks:
Uber’s own navigation system is shambles. Try to learn the local area knowledge because the in-app navigation system will take you longer routes resulting in unhappy customers leaving less than five stars feedback. This is ethically unfair to your customers, who will be charged more than what they should pay. Uber navigation system has also led drivers into one-way streets resulting in drivers getting points on their license and fines. In some instances, police officers revoked taxi license of drivers. Therefore it is extremely important that you are well familiar with the local area and does not solely rely on Uber’s in-app navigation system.
3- Self Employment:
With Uber you will be self-employed which means you will be responsible for paying your taxes, looking after your car, fueling, arranging your insurance and paying for your car maintenance. You will have to take out your expenses from the money you will earn via Uber. Therefore it is really important that you make at least £12 an hour to achieve minimum wage of £7.50. Being self-employed you will also lose out on paid holidays.
4- Partner Support:
Uber does not have phone support. During your rides, you will face multiple issues. Whenever you will have any issue you will be limited to email support or will have wait for Uber office times which only provides two hours partner support window.
I hate to break it to you but e-mail support is not legendary either. If you are lucky you will get an e-mail reply within 15 minutes but it can take hours to get a reply from the support team.
5- You Cannot Make Everyone Happy:
You must be well aware of the fact that Uber lets its riders (customers) and drivers (partners) rate each other. The problem with this approach is that now matter how hard you try to make certain riders happy. You will end up being disappointed. Which means it will be almost impossible to maintain 5* ratings. And Uber will always most often side with their customers.
A friend who worked with Uber as a partner told me that a customer claimed that he had left his phone in driver’s car. He (driver) claimed that he did not find any phone. Customer complained to Uber and Uber sacked him after taking the word of their customers and without taking any circumstantial or tech based evidence (CCTV or Dashcam) into consideration. This was very very unfair on part of Uber.
I had presented you five pros and five cons of working with Uber according to my personal experience. This will make it easy for you to decide if Uber is the right company to work for you. If you have any questions or wish to add something, please do not hesitate to write it in the comments section.