Wes Kretzer (Wes)

Ride Apprentice from Aurora, OH

Weekend Uber Warrior
1142 Rider Driver

Weekend Uber Warrior, experience with lighting and lighting fixtures/applications, Southern Gospel Music.


Posts by Wes

Comments by Wes

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     12 hours ago in  Phone Comparison

    It could be about your ratings.  Was his overall rating and number of rides given significantly better than yours?  

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     12 hours ago in  Uber Is Headed for a Crash [nymag]

    You said "new competitors would simply come in and undercut them."  but here's the reason that isn't true at least not on a significant level.  Every time Uber changes their price structure, the DRIVER is who suffers.  The ONLY reason Lyft and other Rideshare products pricing structures are as they are is so they can compete against Uber.  

    If Uber were to raise their pricing, the others would follow because their drivers will instantly support the company that pays the best rates.  If Uber starts taking a larger share of the cut (which they have very sneakily through their "up front pricing" scheme, the other companies will follow (and they have).  

    IMO the long term solution will be to increase the rates, probably double where they are now which will double income and profits to everyone involved.  Second, reduce the surge.  Seriously folks charing $40-$50 dollars during a ride that is normally $10 is obscene.  Surge should be capped at 2X but on the NEW rates that would now be doubled.

    This will drastically reduce the driver church which hugely lowers operating costs, and brings rates a little closer to cab rates.  Will riders ride less?  Possibly, BUT, the trips you DO have will be more profitable.  All businesses are there to make a profit. Thus far Uber has yet to prove they are capable of doing this. 

  • It would be SO EASY for Uber to flash a message when ordering a ride to say "Riders must be 18 unless accompanied by a parent/guardian.  Chidren under X years must be accompanied by an appropriate child seat,  installed by you,  and used consistently throughout the ride"...  How hard would that be?  

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     1 month ago in  advanced reservation with Uber

    In some markets you can (I am told) although it no longer appears on the passenger app for Uber in our area.  With Lyft, you are still able to schedule in most markets, but allow me to explain something most passengers don't understand.

    When you schedule a trip, the app simply sends out a request for a driver in advance of your pick up time.  It is also available to drivers to accept in advance, but if they're busy at the time it will default to another available driver.  

    My point being, if there are no drivers available, you still won't have a ride waiting for you.  However, St Louis is a busy market so I can't imagine, unless you're deep in the suburbs, that a car won't be available to pick you up at 3AM.

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     1 month ago in  How to report an uber driver

    How do you KNOW it was cocaine?  Anyhow, if you're absolutely confident that is what he/she were doing, you can simply go to your trip history and select the trip, then report it to Uber on the App in your phone. 

    But please be absolutely SURE you're correct as this will cause immediate suspension and likely a permanent ban from the Uber system for the driver.

    Also keep in mind that if the driver chooses to prove his innocence through blood tests, then YOU could be permanently banned from Uber for false reporting.

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     1 month ago in  Anyone getting 100% of their fares?

    Many companies actually use Gmail so they have easy coverage when they're away from the office (my own included)...  and also, they probably don't want to list their corporate name in this blind listing.  I dropped them a line, so we'll see how they respond.

  • Keep in mind they're factoring in a car and expense cost per hour so that $17.22 is supposed to represent a minimum wage AFTER expenses.

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     1 month ago in  About payments

    No, the system is not set up for cash and therefore if any driver agrees to do so, you're at extreme risk of being uninsured in the event of an accident.  I would definitely recommend against doing that unless the driver has commercial insurance.

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     1 month ago in  WAYMO's CEO Says True Self Driving Cars are DECADES AWAY!

    Living in the snow belt (Cleveland, OH) and seeing the issues we face in our road system almost daily, I've never doubted that we are many years away from having a truly self driving car.  Admittedly it could be done (as the article points out) on specified routes, but as Uber drivers, we don't drive "specified routes"... that's left for public transportation systems to do that!  

    When I envision a snow where there's no visible lane markings, the snow is continuing to fall, visibility is reduced, traction is limited - there's simply NO WAY given the current technology that it can happen.

  • Part of the tipping issue is with millennial's which as a class of people, don't like to tip.  I've heard MANY of this age group say "i'd rather they raise the rates than have to tip"...  and frequent "I hate tipping" commentary.  So the 18 to 30 group are consistently very poor tippers in my experience.  Once the rider is beyond 40 years old, the tip percentage increases drastically.

    Second is the current rates.  Yes that's correct, we're TOO CHEAP.  Uber has become affordable for everyone - including the poor and disadvantaged, and where they previously were limited to public transportation, now they can afford to use Rideshare for a few more bucks.  But you can KNOW that poor folks aren't going to be tippers.  They literally don't have it to give!!!  

    I received more cash tips back when the rates were more than double what they are today and those were cash (since it wasn't available via the app).  Think about that!  Most of the readers weren't driving 3 1/2 years ago when Uber was still "starting up"....  and don't realize how things really have changed.  Now only perhaps 20% of the rides tip, and back in the day, even when Uber was still touting "tipping not necessary" in their marketing, I still received some extraordinary tips.

    i'm hoping that a new rideshare company starts that charges about double the current prevailing rates, BUT, also guarantee's highly vetted drivers over 25 years old with cars that are less than 8 years old, inspected annually by the company with a rigid safety standard inspection with safety and appearance being the primary concern, allowing for underage riders lowering the minimum age to 16 when requested by a parent through the app, with a rating system that is either "yes or no" without the degrading and often manipulated system currently in place from all the rideshare companies.

  • When Uber began the uberX standard after initially being limited to black car, they were a very small start up company and eventually started doing background checks.  I'm sure they chose a company to do them that was affordable and provided reasonably adequate checks.  Back in the day, Uber appealed to folks that had nice cars and were generally a class of quasi-professionals.  Cars had to be newer than 10 years (and less in some markets) and there really were standards to follow. 

    Today the rates are less than 1/2 of where they were then, and the driver base has migrated downward.  Today cars can be 15 years old (in our market) which honestly folks is really drawing some raggedy old junkers into the mix, and the quality of drivers has depreciated immensely.  I hear comments from my passengers often such as "wow, this is the nicest Uber car we've ever been in" etc....

    Is my car nice?  Yes, BUT, the key is that it is immaculately CLEAN.  I'm appalled at the condition of some of the cars I've ridden in as a passenger.  Yikes!  I can only imagine how they live at home - as this is apparently their "normal" and perfectly acceptable based on their personal standards.

    The ONLY way this will ever improve is for Uber to genuinely start vetting their drivers, insist on thorough background checks, and insist on car inspections before they do their first ride.  I think the first step would be to make the drivers PAY (make a little investment) for their own background checks and to receive a copy for your personal files.  Secondly let's do automobile inspections - with a test drive for a few blocks with the driver.  Third let's develop a real "standard" for dealing with folks under 18.  If it's okay, then let's have a set of guidelines that make it "ok".  Uber tends to not comment at all until an accident or situation raises the issue.  It would be SO easy to ask the rider their age when requesting a car if their name is different than that on the account- and if they intentionally falsify their information, then it's on them and not the driver.  Let's increase rates so that we can actually make a profit.  The easiest and best solution IMO would be to increase the rates, but decrease the surges to a more reasonable level such as double or triple at the very most.  And how about a help line that is actually informed.  I keep reading and even seeing video's of horrific help line experiences.  This is inexcusable for a company doing billions of dollars in business.  And lastly, let's create a class of "child seat" cars where the driver will make an extra buck for installing and making available a child seat which is required by law!!!

  • Well, the concept of your suggestion is built upon the assumption that Uber/lyft could "afford" to give away a larger percentage of their take.  And when we, as drivers, sometimes see them get more than 50% of the fare, it does seem like they're being pigs.  BUT, keep in mind they're losing BILLIONS of dollars at present - they've never had a profitable year - FAR from it, and they're current pricing scheme where they are clearly taking more than ever is a desperate move to decrease their losses before they go public.

    My best "guess" is that we will eventually see things improve (and rates increase although I feel their share will become much larger than it is today) after they go public.  Other than that, don't expect to see either company offering any additional dollars to their drivers any time soon.

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     1 month ago in  Regulation fees Uber

    Generally Uber and Lyft have managed to avoid taxes/fee's from various cities although that is beginning to change with many airports and now some cities beginning to implement fee's for the priviledge of providing rideshare within their market area.

    Keep in mind when researching that fee's are typically implemented at a CITY level, not at a state level.

  • As a passenger, I expect only two things.

    1.  A clean car - and I mean a truly CLEAN car.  Yes the floormats can be soiled from today's traffic, but NOT from two weeks ago with filthy carpet around them.  And yes, I do prefer to look at the windows so PLEASE, wipe the interior windows down once a week or two.  And no, I don't want to play with your kids toys scattered about the back seat and back window.  And yes, I DO need the AC running when it's in the 70's outside (or warmer) and NO i don't ever want the windows rolled down.

    2.  Drive the speed limit and obey the laws.  Come to a complete stop at stop signs.  You don't need to be the fastest car in the left lane on the interstate - just drive safely and comfortably with the flow of traffic.  Remember, YOU get paid for TIME and miles, so there's really no reason to drive unsafely, you're actually costing yourself money.  And I pay the same no matter how long you take.

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     1 month ago in  How low is too low (Passenger rating)

    What I have found interesting is that in every instance where I accepted a paz with a low rating, and honestly it was almost always because of being too quick to press accept, those passengers have been outstanding people whom i really liked.  Which always makes me wildly curious - "what did you do to get such a low rating" kind of thing, but honestly I've never asked the paz what happened to make their rating so low.  I think i'm going to start just to hear some entertaining stories.

  • I totally agree, this is NOT okay.  It's NOT okay to leave an innocent rider stranded and forced to wait for someone else to come to them - probably another 20 minutes, all because you saw a "better" opportunity.

    As far as I'm concerned, barring unforeseen circumstances, you should NEVER cancel on a passenger and especially not after making them wait more than a minute or two.

    As drivers we may have the right to do as we wish, but at the same time, we have an absolute obligation to take care of the passengers.   This is what we do!!!  

    You may well have caused the passenger to be late or possibly miss an important appointment.  Terribly rude to say the very least!!!

  • This would vary wildly between markets.  For example in Cleveland, OH market, we very thankfully do not offer Uber pool.  The Cleveland market offers X, XL ,Select and Black.  The southern Cleveland market area offers only X and XL.  And yet there are markets in other areas that have additional services you didn't mention (and probably aren't aware of) such as UberSUV, Uber with child seat, Uber for handicaps and several other unique services.  

    Uber has never released a break out nor do I anticipate they will anytime soon since any report would be misleading because of the variation within market areas.  BUT, with that said, in our market area (remembering that we do not offer Pool) UberX is by far the most popular service and since I also drive XL, I would have to say that at least 90% of requests during the week are for X with the XL option peaking on weekends with groups heading to and from an evening with friends.

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     1 month ago in  Why can a rider rate me who has never entered my car?

    Stop starting trips early!!!  Don't do it!!!  You may think you're making a extra few cents on the time rate but this validates how important it is to NOT do that EVER.  Wait until the passenger is inside your car and you've confirmed their identity.  I usually do that before they climb in the car, so you can then start the trip while they're getting seated.

    Once you have swiped to start a trip, the passenger will be able to rate you.  PERIOD!  And not to be rude, but you deserved the one star as YOU started a trip on the wrong passenger, and unfortunately that totally is YOUR fault.

    Listen - we've all done it, but be smart and LEARN from your mistakes.  Uber is NOT going to adjust your rating my friend.  It's just simply not going to happen based on every story I've heard over the years.

    Good luck!

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     2 months ago in  How to

    You can go to Uber.com on your desktop computer and establish an account and schedule a ride.

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     2 months ago in  Drivers, Are you driving the Night before Thanksgiving?

    The system will only stack one additional ride at a time, and yes, at bar closing on Thanksgiving eve, it can be CRAZY GOOD!!!

Featured Answers by Wes

  • You need to call your agent to see if you can add "rideshare" coverage to your policy.  In most states this is now available.  I'm with State Farm in Ohio and it cost me less than $10 a month to cover two cars.  You NEED this coverage as Uber/Lyft ONLY cover you when you're on your way to pick up and when you have a passenger.  You do NOT have coverage when you're waiting for a ping, and if you got in an accident you would technically NOT be covered.  Furthermore when adding Rideshare, particularly to State Farm, they then offer you full coverage and THEY deal with the insurance companies used by Uber/Lyft. 

    If your insurance company does not offer Ridehshare, I would STRONGLY encourage you to change to a company that does.  It simply isn't worth the risk.  Insurance companies don't want to pay claims!!!  Don't give them a reason to deny you, becuase THEY WILL.  I don't care how long you've been with them or who you know, the job of the insurance company is to MAKE A PROFIT, and the best possible way to do that is to avoid paying claims!!!  Think about it and choose wisely!!!

  • Why not use this very site where you are posting the question (www.rideguru.com) and let it calculate the fare for you??? 

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     4 months ago in  My Uber app will not allow me to schedule AM or PM

    At least in our market that option no longer seems to be available with Uber.  It is available with Lyft, but please understand, all it really does is send out a request in advance of your pick up time to the nearest driver.  With Lyft, a driver can accept it well in advance, but if they're on a ride or not near the location, it will still default to the closest driver.  It also does not protect you against surge pricing fyi.

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     4 months ago in  What's a typical passenger rating for Uber? Is 4.50 good?

    4.5 is not good at all.  Keep in mind that, as a driver, we would already be kicked off the system for a rating that low.  Honestly I've done a few thousand trips, I've never given a passenger a 1-2 rating, and I've only given a 3 or 4 on rare occasion when they truly deserved much less.  There are drivers that are much less lenient, and I would offer a few suggestions to bring your ratings up.

    1.  Give a cash tip.  This will almost ALWAYS result in a 5 star rating, even if you were a little late or generally obnoxious.  Once your rating returns to more acceptable levels you could resume tipping on the APP, but a cash tip will be known BEFORE we rate you.  Otherwise it can be a couple of days before we would even know that you tipped as they are not always instantaneous on our end.

    2.  NEVER make the driver wait more than 2 minutes, and most definitely not beyond 5 minutes.  (Most drivers will leave at the 5 minute mark anyhow)

    3.  NEVER turn the sound system up to max!!!  Drivers' need to hear things like sirens and horns etc...  Consider your driver and also consider that it is their personal car, so they DO care about their sound system in general.

    4.  If you ask to make a stop, please be quick.  Remember we make almost nothing when we're sitting still.  We're doing it as a favor, NOT as an obligation.  We don't HAVE to wait, so if your driver is gracious enough to do so, hustle yourself in and out of the store!

    5.  Don't put your feet in our seats.  Don't get crumbs all over our seats.  Don't get into our car wet or soiled without offering a seat covering (plastic bag would suffice). 

    6.  Please tell us if you're sick.  We'll gladly assist you, most of us have barf bags, and we will gladly pull over when it's safe to do so.  PLEASE don't puke in our cars!!!

    7.  Please NEVER yell out the windows at friends or foes, and NEVER discard anything out the window.

    8.  Please don't bring opened alcohol into the car.  It's against the law.  We are NOT a limo, so it is NOT allowed.  I don't care how special your occassion is, don't break the law!!!

    9.  Please bring car seats for the kids and babies.  We don't have them, and you, as a parent, are responsbile to provide them.

    10.  Please make sure the address that the app found as your location is correct.  YOU, not Uber, not me, but YOU are responsible for entering a correct pick up location.  Consider walking outside to request the ride so the GPS in YOUR phone can correctly identify your location.  Remember, it's YOUR phone that pinpoints your location and communicates that information to the Uber system, so don't blame Uber when it's not correct!

    11.  I know nobody wants to "wait"...  that's the nature of American culture. But please, wait until you're really READY to depart before requesting a driver and have your shoes on and be ready to go when we arrive.  Remember, WE MAKE NOTHING waiting for you, or driving to pick you up.  NOTHING!!!  So please be considerate!!!

    12.  Lastly, please don't eat Taco's and messy foods in the car.  I know you think you're starving and that drive through Taco Bell stop smells SO good.  But please - it is totally wrong to expect us to stop and clean our car in preparation for the next passenger (who is probably already waiting for us to arrive) to clean up YOUR mess.  That will ALWAYS result in a lower rating.

    13.  Lastly, be considerate.  Leave the car in better shape than when you arrived.  We are NOT responsbile for your trash, your chewing gum wrappers, your candy papers, and I can ASSURE you the next passenger doesn't want to see them.