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True or false: Uber jacks up the price when your phone is low on battery (and desperate)?

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KGardiner
47
 Posted 4 months, 1 week ago

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My girlfriend told me this is absolutely true.  I dismissed it as an urban legend, but then I heard from a driver the other day.  Is there any basis on this rumor?

...or is it really true?  I know Uber historically has done some shady things.

The Guru Take

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    RahRah
    24 Rider Driver
     4 months ago

    Actually I would not doubt it at all I mean they had and probably still have things in the driver's phone that tells them when we're breaking too hard and when we are taking off too fast, how fast we're going and so forth. Unfortunately as a driver I can tell you that stuff doesn't work properly. When you hit speed bumps it will false read like you took off too fast or put on the brakes too fast. I mean this is not the first time I've heard of this they've actually been talking about this for years. And the fact that they have been working on an algorithm to know if a passenger is drunk or not simply by how they are holding their phone come on don't tell me you don't believe it can't be done. That's just like drivers used to get 75% of the fair after Uber took there booking fee. Now with upfront pricing Uber can charge the customer whatever they want to charge the customer and if the customer accepts so be it. The driver gets paid their percen...

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    Actually I would not doubt it at all I mean they had and probably still have things in the driver's phone that tells them when we're breaking too hard and when we are taking off too fast, how fast we're going and so forth. Unfortunately as a driver I can tell you that stuff doesn't work properly. When you hit speed bumps it will false read like you took off too fast or put on the brakes too fast. I mean this is not the first time I've heard of this they've actually been talking about this for years. And the fact that they have been working on an algorithm to know if a passenger is drunk or not simply by how they are holding their phone come on don't tell me you don't believe it can't be done. That's just like drivers used to get 75% of the fair after Uber took there booking fee. Now with upfront pricing Uber can charge the customer whatever they want to charge the customer and if the customer accepts so be it. The driver gets paid their percentage of the distance and time driven. If Uber charge of the customer for a longer route and a driver takes a shortcut guess what the driver only gets paid for the distance and time driven their percentage. Uber pockets all the rest. They grossly overcharged passengers to the point that passengers are starting to take Lyft instead of uber. Now don't think that Lyft is not doing this as well they're just not doing it as bad as Uber is doing it. But at the same time drivers don't like working for Lyft because Lyft does not charge a long pickup fee and they're always sending drivers 25 to 35 minutes away for a ride. And if the driver gets there and that ride happened to be a $3 ride that driver loses money. So drivers when it comes to Lyft are not accepting rides over the 10-minute threshold Uber has in place as a long pickup fee. I need some drivers logo 14 minutes but they won't go 15 minutes away. Drivers also don't like working for Lyft because we can't say we want to drive XL only and only get XL request. I mean if you have a larger vehicle and that's all you want to do then I think you should be allowed to only do that. But the way the system is set up you got to keep refusing the regular rides if you don't want them. And that's not right fortunately Uber will allow people to do excel only so in the evening time and on weekends and during events when it's really profitable it's going to be hard to get a Lyft request because drivers have liftoff because they're working for Uber doing XL only. But there are several things that actually need to be done with both companies. White one a livable wage for drivers during the winter time drivers have to drive hundreds of miles away and sleep in their car and take showers at Planet Fitness just to make a living because their Market is a tourist market for the summer and nobody comes here during the winter. And those themed markets that drivers are going to pet people that are actually coming to our market and sleeping in their cars and taking showers at Planet Fitness to make money during the summer because their town is a college town and the kids are gone for the summer. So yes the number one thing is a livable wage across the board I mean there has to be a standard sitting place that no matter what state you were in this is what you're going to get. That's like the drivers over in California they got those rate so low that I would not personally drive her neither company I mean the fuel is $4 a gallon how can you survive only making $0.60 a mile as a driver. If drivers were compensated fairly we would actually be able to pay federal income tax. But as it stands right now the rates are so low that everything is written off due to our mileage. all drivers are doing is trading the equity of their vehicle for money right now. when that vehicle breaks down if that driver was not smart enough to save their money that driver is out of work with no way to fix their vehicle. And when you got to think about feeding little Sammy and Josephine and your wife sitting at home or maybe there's a couple more kids in there how the hell are you going to save money for a rainy day to fix your car. You're just SOL and out of work looking for a job hoping to come up with the money to fix your car so you can start back doing this part-time and keep that job because that job saved you. And if you get a driver that has a brand new vehicle just know this they're not going to be working too long because 70,000 miles on a vehicle per year means that they will still be paying for that vehicle after it's dead. The best thing a driver can do is buy used vehicle that they're able to pay cash for and then go out and make their money. And if they get a chance go ahead and purchase a second vehicle to have sitting for backup just in case that vehicle breaks down. Yes I know I got off topic a little bit but that's the life of a driver. And most of us drivers we don't put anything past Uber. They will steal our tips they will charge the customer a higher upfront price just because they tipped their driver. And yes we have seen that happen a driver made this going from point A to point B and got a $10 tip the driver got that same customer going back 2.8 Uber charge that customer the same thing that they charge the first time including what the passenger paid as a tip without their passenger actually tipping the second time. It is actually best for you to tip your drivers in cash because Uber has their algorithm setup to where they see that a customer tipped which means and never mind that the customer is willing to pay more so therefore they charge them more. I had a woman one time that I watched give me a $20 tip and I only got $10. I had another guy then I watched give me a $5 tip and I did not even get a tip Uber will steal from their drivers and they will steal from the passengers. there is no shame in their game. And they are protected up front pricing and all these different amendments to the policy that they make drivers agree to just to go back online. If a customer makes a false complaint against a driver that driver gets deactivated with no way to provide for their family for at least Forty-Eight Hours the first time. And yes that has happened to me but you know what the next time it happens I'm going to take a hair sample test and go to the courthouse to press charges against the person who made the complaint sure I can sue that person for all my lost wages and defamation of character. Because I don't drink and I don't use drugs but I had a customer say I was impaired just to get a free ride because I would not allow them to bring an open container into my car and then changed the trip to an XL ride because they had five people.

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      momof4
      8056 Rider Driver
       4 months ago  (edited 4 months ago)

      Great Post! Great info for drivers and riders. I also drive XL. Its only happened to me on 5 rides that I had to send Uber a message to upgrade my ride from X to Xl because there were more than 4 passengers. I give it approx. 24 hrs or less,  if passenger tips I know they rated me. I then send the message about them having more then 4 people to please apply XL rates. I then know they cant rate me 1 star for doing it. I dont like being shady but why should I have to take hit on my ratings all because they tried to game the system (cheat the driver). In reality XL isnt that much more especially 5 or more riders. If they split the price it may be costing them $3/$5 each. What I dont like is they we cant opt out of pool when we have XL vehicle. Uber will send me 4 different riders knowing I have larger vehicle. It's rare I even accept pool but I will sometimes if surge is high enough. There should be a choice for XL to opt out of pool. A single pool ride in an XL vehicle is the...

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      Great Post! Great info for drivers and riders. I also drive XL. Its only happened to me on 5 rides that I had to send Uber a message to upgrade my ride from X to Xl because there were more than 4 passengers. I give it approx. 24 hrs or less,  if passenger tips I know they rated me. I then send the message about them having more then 4 people to please apply XL rates. I then know they cant rate me 1 star for doing it. I dont like being shady but why should I have to take hit on my ratings all because they tried to game the system (cheat the driver). In reality XL isnt that much more especially 5 or more riders. If they split the price it may be costing them $3/$5 each. What I dont like is they we cant opt out of pool when we have XL vehicle. Uber will send me 4 different riders knowing I have larger vehicle. It's rare I even accept pool but I will sometimes if surge is high enough. There should be a choice for XL to opt out of pool. A single pool ride in an XL vehicle is the worst especially on short rides. The other issue is you drive 12/15 min to get the XL ride, its a 4 min ride 1.25 miles. I spend more time to reach them and drive more miles then the actual ride. No long pick up fee for XL in my market in Uber. At this point in time Uber and Lyft need to clean up a few issues. Safety, transparency, ratings, honesty, and increase the rates. Fix all the BS and make the companies better and safer. Not holding my breath. Yes you are correct Uber does know everything about our driving habits:) Still on the fence about them hiking prices when your phone is about to die:) although it wouldnt be unheard of. They definately can be shady. Thanks for sharing. 

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      StevenL-NYU
      141 Driver Driver
       4 months ago

      Strong argument. Especially when you mention how Uber's been openly developing ways to identify drunk drivers.  They definitely know exactly what the drivers are doing.

      They got their hand slapped for spying on riders (celebrities, remember?), but with the drivers I think it's all fair game. 

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    ChazKillington
    38
     4 months ago

    WHAT.  First of all, does the Uber app even know our battery level?  Second of all...why would that change the price?  oh, because you are so desperate that you'd take any ride?   

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      CharlieLazie
      101
       4 months ago

      I guess it prevents them from comparison shopping?

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        RahRah
        24 Rider Driver
         4 months ago  (edited 4 months ago)

        Bingo, it also let's Uber know that you have to order that ride really quick or else you may be stuck without a ride. So the longer you wait the higher the Price goes because you are now at 2% battery power.

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          BWaltersDad
          52
           3 months ago

          I wouldn't put it past them for sure.  Their proud proprietary "algorithm" will never be shared outside of the walls, and I am sure it has very shady aspects of it.

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          LG-PA
          811 Driver
           4 months ago

          One other interesting thing is Uber will have different prices for same ride depending what phone is used. 

          Try it sometimes, have 2 users side by side order same ride (without actually ordering) one from android and one from Iphone see if the rate is the same.

          You will also find it with Lyft (as a driver) when looking at scheduled rides screens of iphone and android,  same ride depending what phone you (driver) is using will have slightly different rates for the same ride.

          Latly, I believe rates for rides will be different depending on what payment method you have as default in the app.

          I would not be surprised if battery status has rates tied into the rates

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    BenRosen
    71 Driver
     4 months ago

    Please do not disseminate garbage like this. Internet is already too crowded with idiots

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      RahRah
      24 Rider Driver
       4 months ago

      How soon everybody forgets that when Uber first started out they had the police chasing ghost cars that weren't even there. Simply because Uber knew where the account was being signed up from. Also everyone would be amazed at what permissions you actually give Uber when you sign up an account. Uber can track you up to 5 minutes after your ride has ended. So who's to say they haven't increased that.

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        BenRosen
        71 Driver
         3 months ago

        Oh, yeah, I remember the god mode, where they were chasing celebrities and x-girlfriends into their homes.

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    CharlieLazie
    101
     4 months ago

    You have to be pretty naive to believe that Uber isn't doing this.  Just the fact this observation was uttered from their chief economist shows that they have thought about it and have incorporated this into surge calculations.  Their moral compass is messed up and we know this.

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    lionfool
    229 Rider Driver
     4 months ago

    I doubt it. Uber is shady, but that is really shady. I mean, bordering on illegal IMO...

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      CarrieB78
      36
       4 months ago

      Uber is definitely really shady.

      What about that time they had an office day, where every employee of NYC got together and requested Lyft rides all at once?  Then they later cancelled them all?

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    momof4
    8056 Rider Driver
     4 months ago

    I dont put much past Uber but this sounds a little ridiculous even for them:) Like Chaz said, how would they know your battery is going to die? When reading things on the internet use credible sites to get your info. 

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      RahRah
      24 Rider Driver
       4 months ago

      How soon everybody forgets that when Uber first started out they had the police chasing ghost cars that weren't even there. Simply because Uber knew where the account was being signed up from. Also everyone would be amazed at what permissions you actually give Uber when you sign up an account. Uber can track you up to 5 minutes after your ride has ended. So who's to say they haven't increased that. And yes they can tell when your battery is going to die thanks to the permissions that you have given them.

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        HickMick
        9
         4 months ago

        Yes, I can confirm as a developer that iOS apps do have access to the battery levels of your phone.

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      MaisieCy89
      83 Driver
       4 months ago

      I am actually on the camp of not believing that Uber does this, but iPhone apps indeed do have access to the battery level.

      How else can you build an app like this?  One that shows you the battery level!  :)  Plus, I heard somewhere that many apps do check battery levels to potentially go into power-savings mode.

      https://apps.apple.com/us/app/battery-hd/id331453283


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        momof4
        8056 Rider Driver
         4 months ago  (edited 4 months ago)

        I wouldnt put it past them. They are shady. I just dont see how it would benefit them. I guess they could increase the fare. I've had riders who say they didnt think I was going to show because their battery died and they were not sure if it went through. They are excited to see I have chargers:) none of them have complained about the fare being high. When I go through my trips none of those riders fares were higher than normal. So although they may know battery level is low not sure they do much with that info. I dont work at Uber headquarters and no no one that works there so I cannot say with certainty if they do and what they do if it is low:) Just another Uber mystery:) I have  Galaxy Note 8 the only app that throws me into power saving mode is Waze. Otherwise I have to do it manuaaly or eet it up to go into power saving mode in my settings.

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    JavierX
    202 Driver
     4 months ago

    Honest?  I wouldn’t pass it by them. There’s a reason they make their pricing a big mystery and vague. It’s so they can pull stuff like this. 

    We may call it ridiculous but we have seen many ridiculous things done by Uber. Let’s be real.