Wes Kretzer (Wes)

Ride Apprentice from Aurora, OH

Weekend Uber Warrior
1453 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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     6 days ago in  Uber and Lyft IPOs could mean the end of cheap rides

    IMO, autonomous cars (except for designated routes) are YEARS away.  However there will now be tremendous pressure on Uber/Lyft to at least lose less money and demonstrate that they're heading in the direction of profitability.  The easiest way will be to gradually increase pricing through their guaranteed price system.  The driver will definitely make no more, but the company will get more - MUCH more eventually.

    Uber and Lyft are competitors, but trust me on this because i've seen it happen every time there was a change in Uber's pricing model,  if Uber were to increase pricing Lyft will follow within a week.  Uber sets the standard for pricing so all this competition talk is a figment of folks imagination.  Let's be real, you think the drivers would continue to drive for ANY company that paid them less than the other while providing the same service???  LOL.. i think not, so there really IS NO competition to speak of at present.

    The unfortunate truth is, Uber will NEVER pay the drivers more until they are forced to do so - and the ONLY thing that will force them will be if they are unable to secure new drivers to replace those that have left the pool.  

  • I've followed and driven with Uber since they first hit my market area nearly 4 years ago, and this is the FIRST time I've seen any type of driver protest actually make it to the national news level.  

    The result, HOPEFULLY, will be that fewer people will sign up to drive since now a higher percentage of people are aware how poorly it actually pays.  

    The ONLY thing that will EVER cause Uber to pay more will be to attract (and keep) drivers.  Until the continuous flow of newbies is slowed and their driver presence begins to decline, we will never see driver rates increase.

    Hoorah to all the drivers that were willing to take a stand and give up a days earnings to do it.  These people are the real heroes.  And for all the drivers (in the effected markets) that are so self serving and self centered as to try and "hog the extra rides" on the day of the protest - remember folks, the CHI will come back to ya.  I promise!!!!

  • The threshold varies by market.  It is a well established fact that certain geographies rate more liberally or more conservatively and thus there is no single number for the entire US.  However the long standing number for reference and concern is 4.65  and we can assume once you see any version of 4.xx you should be mildly concerned.

  • I'm in the Cleveland and Akron, OH market.  (two different systems on Uber but still considered the same work area).  If the long trip pick up is in Cleveland, no, i don't accept them if they're more than 10 mintues away.  If however they're in the Akron market, particularly in the suburbs, I do accept them as i've found that market area generally produces longer rides.  Unfortunately the long pick up fee is 15 minutes in that area which seriously sucks whereas it's 10 minutes in Cleveland.

  • When that happens, I always explain to the customer that the GPS is only as good as THEIR PHONE.  It has NOTHING to do with Uber's system. While some of that might hint of BS... i've found they generally accept my explanation and then i encourage them to be sure to "check" and see what address the GPS selected as their location, and then make corrections if it's off.  HOWEVER, in your case, I think the dude was looking for a reason to one star you in hopes of a freebie...  we'll never know his real motivation.

  • It's a sad commentary but IMO, the caliber of the drivers we currently see operating for Uber has seriously declined from 2 years ago when it  was largely professionals or semi-pro's that were there in a nice car wanting to transport you in a gracious fashion.  

    But then the rates were cut in half, the majority of those drivers left, and today only a few of those (thankfully) remain in the system (myself included albeit rarely that I drive anymore).

    The current slug of drivers, while still being great people, as a rule of thumb tend to lack education, have poor social skills, and frankly only keep the car clean or serviced enough to get from point a to point b.  Yes I know that isn't the case for everyone and thankfully there are still plenty of great drivers with immaculate cars out there - but oh, just wait until you get one of the "others"....  like the ride I took in Dallas recently where the windows on the INSIDE of the car were so dirty you literally could hardly see out of the car and everything seemed slightly distorted.  The driver had wiped a spot (it was evident) through his windshield.)

    And yet thousands apply daily in hopes that they can somehow beat the system.  Driving for Uber is a LOT like gambling... you're always hopeful and waiting for a better hand (or in this case, next trip request) that will actually make a buck.

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     2 weeks ago in  Uber and Lyft stop hiring new drivers in New York City

    As more drivers leave the system (because they always do) this should ultimately benefit the drivers who remain by increased ride requests due to the smaller pool of drivers.  

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     2 weeks ago in  Are there any rides that accomadate electric wheelchairs

    in a handful of cities this is available as a ride classification, but few.  Generally speaking you could request an Uber XL and then contact the driver to see if they can handle you, but honestly you're probably better with a Taxi designed for such service etc...

  • It's another great example of laws being passed and changed implemented by lawmakers who have ZERO knowledge of how it all works!!!  

    Folks this horrible tragedy was completely avoidable.  If that sweet gal that lost her life had ONLY checked the license plate and car model....  we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    Having a "sign" or "light" means NOTHING - that's the FIRST thing the bad guys will get - order them on Ebay 7 days a week!

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     1 month ago in  Cleaning Fee Lyft

    Do you have leather or cloth seats?  Black or lighter color?  I ask because I've seen several instances where drivers had a major issue collecting because it was nearly impossible to show the wet seat via a photo when the seats were black.  Otherwise yes, you should get paid.  The last amount I heard was less than $100 but Uber seems to change the rules every day, so please let all of us know how it works out.

  • I completely understand your situation and would suggest (as others will) that you CALL your Uber driver after the trip to come and get you has started and explain to them your situation.  I would think the vast majority would try their best to be accomodating.

    Assuming you have an extra buck, I would strongly encourage you to consider tipping, and doing it in cash would be the best route since the driver knows FOR SURE that you tipped for the extra inconvenience and time lost waiting for your slow arrival and departures.  This would like fix your rating issue.  If you financially can't afford to tip even a buck or two, I would at least tell the driver you really appreciate them and let them know if you were able you would tip but simply can't afford it.  I know there will be those drivers that feel "if you can't afford it, take a bus" but I also realize you're in a situation with special needs and getting to a bus may not be possible for you.

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     1 month ago in  Have you had any #whatsmyname passengers yet?

    I've had them ask my name.  I give it to them, but then immediately ask them their name.  If they answer incorrectly, I then ask them the name on the account that ordered the ride.  If they weren't able to answer that I would tell them - sorry, this is not your Uber.  Fortunately that situation hasn't occurred recently.

    But I have had several instances while sitting at a drinking establishment at closing time where ladies would walk up and get in my car "thinking" it was their Uber or in 2 cases, they thought it was their friend and after looking at my face (after getting in and sitting down) usually followed by an "Oh sh**, this is the wrong car"..  LOL

    Excess alcohol is truly not anyone's friend!

  • I can understand this in a very conservative Muslim area where customs and traditions are ultra conservative.  For a single women to be riding with an unknown male is considered taboo and probably punishable.  

    Just don't expect to see this happen in the US!!!  LOL

  • I personally feel the driver was completely out of line.  When I signed up to drive for Uber, I agreed to provide safe transportation from point A to point B.  It is absolutely NONE of my business where they're going  nor what they'll be doing once I drop them off.  PERIOD.  

    Even if I know the person is going to doing something illegal that is NONE of my business UNLESS I knew they were going to hurt someone else, in which case I'd reroute myself to the local PD and let them handle it.

    Abortion is LEGAL.  It doesn't matter if you agree!  In fact that driver and I would probably agree on many points, BUT, it is LEGAL and we have NO right to pass judgement period.

  • Utterly foolish.  Anyone can purchase a sign on Ebay - as I have purchased lit Uber and Lyft signs myself - and yes, i'm a driver.

    But as far as facial recognition is concerned, what about the 100's of times I've picked up a passenger where the ride was requested by someone else, often a friend or lover.  

    The solution is simple - the passengers need to check our license plate before they enter the car.  PROBLEM SOLVED!

  • Personally I would never ask for ID.  If i felt they were seriously under 18, i would ask them their age.  If they tell me they're 18, then I don't question them.  If they lied to me, then we would settle that matter in court in the event of Uber/Lyft arguing that as a defense in the event of an accident.

    Honestly, even though it is in the TOS, I've NEVER heard of either company using that as a defense strategy.

    Unless it was somehow construed as a "factor" in an acccident, and I can't imagine that happening, it would never be mentioned in a court case.

    Also keep in mind there are some markets where Uber has a service directed towards underage kids - so it's only a matter of time until we will some iteration of that in our market.

  • I considered buying some - and then had to check myself.  What was I even thinking.  Knowing that both companies have NEVER made the first cent of profit, and knowing that going forward it is clearly NOT going to be smooth sailing, I personally wouldn't even consider it at this point.

    As driver's, we all know how poorly they value their drivers.  I cannot with a clear conscience invest in the company until they restore our rates to a more livable rate.  Big business continues to push the American worker to the absolute minimal level with zero concern about the well being of their employee's.  Fortunately there are still job opportunities remaining that pay well, and thankfully I have a day job that has delivered a livable income for 30 years - BUT, I know hundreds of folks that are living week to week and it's a sad state of affairs.  

    Now that Lyft and Uber will be forced to answer to their shareholders and have a high level of expectation to deliver profits, there is absolutely NO way they are going to help their drivers until they are forced to do so, and as long as we continue to drive and new people are coming on board, that isn't going to change.

  • My passenger can do whatever they want as long as it doesn't cause me aggravation or stress.  It's 100% their ride, they're paying for it, and they can do whatever they want.

    Let's be honest, the majority of passengers are either talking on their phone or playing with their phone, or listening to music, typically with ear plugs while riding.  I certainly don't mind AT ALL...  in fact it eliminates the need for a lot of conversation which can sometimes be distracting.

  • I speak when they arrive.  I usually ask them "how's your day" or whatever - and judge how talkative they are based on their response.  I would guess 50% of passengers are busy on their phones so I don't talk much.  I would never downrate a passenger for not talking - however, I have had a couple of instances where the passenger just looked at me and grunted and didn't answer at all to my "how's your day"..  and didn't say a word the entire trip, nor a word upon arriving even though I told them to have a nice evening and thanks - yes, there's been a few of those that I downrated to 4 just for being a**holes with an attitude, but that's it.

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     1 month ago in  Do Poorer People Tip More than the Rich?

    sometimes it's location especially if they make it obvious it's their home or where they live, but you can sometimes tell by how people conduct themselves, how they dress (dirty unkempt versus clothing that has been ironed or is clean and fits correctly)....  and many times you're right, you just can't tell.

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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     8 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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     8 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. 

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     3 months ago in  Electric vehicles

    Actually they aren't that prevalent in our area and unless it's a Tesla charging station, they aren't free (nor are they free any longer for the more recent Tesla customers)...

    But I do feel the day will come when they'll be everywhere - in fact I suspect gas stations will soon add areas for charging (if they have room) and use superchargers that can do the job rather quickly) at 30 mins or less.

    But for now - it's still an issue for sure.

  • The threshold varies by market.  It is a well established fact that certain geographies rate more liberally or more conservatively and thus there is no single number for the entire US.  However the long standing number for reference and concern is 4.65  and we can assume once you see any version of 4.xx you should be mildly concerned.