Jump to content

Bangkok Taxi Drivers Have Only Themselves To Blame For The Rise Of Uber


webfact

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, anotheruser said:

Many  people hate Uber's business model. Search online and you will find that Uber is pretty consistently vilified for it's treatment of it's drivers. What they like is Uber's convenience and prices. As a customer I love Uber but really despise it as a corporation. 

 

They are an exploitive company that is disruptive yet offer very good customer service. Their ultimate goal which is no great secret is to let their drivers pay most of the expense of doing their business until they can get rid of them with autonomous vehicles. 

 

Great points.

 

I posted a link to an article a few weeks back where Austin, Texas has come up with a community supported alternative to Uber, and the Uber drivers from other cities are ditching Uber and either moving or commuting to Austin to ply their trade.  I hope that's the future of ride sharing (and the much bigger sphere of sharing everything- bicycles, boats, tools, rooms, etc)  I'm too lazy to find that link since my TVF profile doesn't go back that far.

 

Sadly, though, I suspect most people don't really care who gets stepped on as long as they get what they want, when they want it, and for a lower price.  Personally, I try to support the BKK taxi drivers, the vast majority of whom have done fine by me.  I'd probably feel different if I lived where there are no metered taxis, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uber is hit and miss too, if looking only at the fares. Used Uber for the first time last month and it was a great experience, with the fare comparable to a Bangkok Taxi Meter. On multiple occasions, have checked Uber to Suvarnabhumi and the fare was 2-3 times the Taxi Meter price. Opted for the taxi and saved more than 50%.

 

Bangkok Taxis (using the meter) are still one of the few remaining true bargains in the big city!  :thumbsup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, impulse said:

 

Great points.

 

I posted a link to an article a few weeks back where Austin, Texas has come up with a community supported alternative to Uber, and the Uber drivers from other cities are ditching Uber and either moving or commuting to Austin to ply their trade.  I hope that's the future of ride sharing (and the much bigger sphere of sharing everything- bicycles, boats, tools, rooms, etc)  I'm too lazy to find that link since my TVF profile doesn't go back that far.

 

Sadly, though, I suspect most people don't really care who gets stepped on as long as they get what they want, when they want it, and for a lower price.  Personally, I try to support the BKK taxi drivers, the vast majority of whom have done fine by me.  I'd probably feel different if I lived where there are no metered taxis, though.

 

I like the ultimate goal they are trying to head towards which is convenient transportation, reduced traffic levels and all of that. However I don't like how they are stepping on everybody they come across to get to that stage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, anotheruser said:

I like the ultimate goal they are trying to head towards which is convenient transportation, reduced traffic levels and all of that. However I don't like how they are stepping on everybody they come across to get to that stage.

 

I get the sense that their ultimate goal is just to pump up their market cap and sell out to retire to an island they can buy with all that cash.  

 

Gypsy drivers have been around forever, and the only real value Uber adds is a reservation system, advertising and deep pockets (and audacity that goes along with lots of lawyer money) to fight the legal battles that gypsy drivers can't fight individually.  Of those 3, reservations, advertising and legal fees, the only unique value they bring is the audacity to fight the legal battles.  And that's expensive.

 

My big picture question is whether they'll burn through all their $$ billions of investor money before they dial in their model to become profitable on an operating basis.  I'd bet against them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, impulse said:

 

I get the sense that their ultimate goal is just to pump up their market cap and sell out to retire to an island they can buy with all that cash.  

 

Gypsy drivers have been around forever, and the only real value Uber adds is a reservation system, advertising and deep pockets (and audacity that goes along with lots of lawyer money) to fight the legal battles that gypsy drivers can't fight individually.  Of those 3, reservations, advertising and legal fees, the only unique value they bring is the audacity to fight the legal battles.  And that's expensive.

 

My big picture question is whether they'll burn through all their $$ billions of investor money before they dial in their model to become profitable on an operating basis.  I'd bet against them.

It seems to me they are losing money in order to spread to every last country on earth and command superior brand recognition globally. They won't become profitable until they eliminate their biggest expense and that is drivers. For now they take a loss and let their drivers depreciate their cars into the ground thinking they made money.

 

 They will never make a single penny in profit if they don't crack the market for autonomous vehicles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, anotheruser said:

It seems to me they are losing money in order to spread to every last country on earth and command superior brand recognition globally. They won't become profitable until they eliminate their biggest expense and that is drivers. For now they take a loss and let their drivers depreciate their cars into the ground thinking they made money.

 

 They will never make a single penny in profit if they don't crack the market for autonomous vehicles.

 

I look at them differently.  Like Hotels.com, they don't deliver a product or service, they put together people who need a service with people who deliver that service, and take a commission for enabling the transaction.  In that model, hotel maids (and Uber drivers) aren't an expense.  Advertising, subsidies and legal fees are the biggest ones.

 

But your characterization may be closer to their view of themselves and where they fit.  In which case you're right, they're toast. 

 

Amazon or Google or maybe Musk will be the ones who bring autonomous driving to reality.  Uber's tech isn't even in the same decade.  But then, I could be wrong.  It happens.

Edited by impulse
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It must be odd to work for a company that in order for it to be profitable needs to make you obsolete. Uber subsidizes it's fares and loses money doing so. This is why drivers are an expense of doing business. Uber pays them and offers low fares at a loss. A hotel will lay maids and staff off if it isn't able to generate enough to pay them. Uber doesn't really pay enough to the drivers for them to make a living either. 

 

The analogy of how Uber interacts with drivers isn't a very good one compared to the hotel scenario.

 

Either way somebody will undoubtedly step in and take over. Uber's only chance is if it can remain relevant because every person in the world has their app on their smart phone already. Musk, Apple, BMW, Mercedes etc are all going into the self driving game,

 

Uber's app and the way it works is great but you can hire a couple of MIT drop outs to develop that over a weekend. I don't think there is anything they have done with the app they can patent and control.

 

I think we more or less agree and I just said sort of the same thing as you in a round about way. :)

Edited by anotheruser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Skeptic7 said:

Uber is hit and miss too, if looking only at the fares. Used Uber for the first time last month and it was a great experience, with the fare comparable to a Bangkok Taxi Meter. On multiple occasions, have checked Uber to Suvarnabhumi and the fare was 2-3 times the Taxi Meter price. Opted for the taxi and saved more than 50%.

 

Bangkok Taxis (using the meter) are still one of the few remaining true bargains in the big city!  :thumbsup:

I was doing some comparing of my own lately in booking some trips online in BKK. For some reason, Uber kept coming out over Grab taxi with lower fares for shorter trips. But as soon as the trips got longer, like going across town instead of going 10-15 minutes away, Uber began to get more expensive.

 

There also was a curious issue I read about in Uber's Wikipedia profile regarding their software system for setting rates. Supposedly it's been alleged that their software actually shows different rates for the same trip to the driver (lower) and to the passenger (higher) online, and that Uber the company takes the difference between the two rates/trip totals.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

I was doing some comparing of my own lately in booking some trips online in BKK. For some reason, Uber kept coming out over Grab taxi with lower fares for shorter trips. But as soon as the trips got longer, like going across town instead of going 10-15 minutes away, Uber began to get more expensive.

 

There also was a curious issue I read about in Uber's Wikipedia profile regarding their software system for setting rates. Supposedly it's been alleged that their software actually shows different rates for the same trip to the driver and to the passenger online, and that Uber the company takes the difference between the two rates/trip totals.

 

The driver doesn't know the destination at time of clicking accept. There are many theories but this isn't one of them.

Edited by anotheruser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, anotheruser said:

The driver doesn't know the destination at time of clicking accept. There are many theories but this isn't valid.

 

The driver may not know the destination upon initially accepting a trip, but that doesn't mean Uber's software can't end up showing one fare to the driver internally and one fare to the passenger, at whatever points in the transaction. As I said, it's an allegation.

 

Here's what the Wikipedia entry reports:

 

Quote

 

FTC lawsuit regarding misleading driver earnings potential

In January 2017, Uber agreed to pay $20 million to the US government to resolve accusations by the FTC of having misled drivers about potential earnings.

 

 

Quote

 

Lawsuit alleging software fare manipulation

In 2017 a suit was filed against Uber alleging that Uber uses "sophisticated software" to defraud both driver and passengers. According to the suit, under the upfront pricing model, when a passenger is quoted a price the app shows a longer more expensive route, meanwhile would be drivers are shown a shorter cheaper route. The passenger is charged for the more expensive route, while the driver is paid the cheaper, with Uber pocketing the difference.

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

The driver may not know the destination upon initially accepting a trip, but that doesn't mean Uber's software can't end up showing one fare to the driver internally and one fare to the passenger, at whatever points in the transaction.

 

Here's what the Wikipedia entry reports:

 

 

 

 

Okay i misunderstood your point. If that is ever proven that is the end of Uber. 

Edited by anotheruser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, anotheruser said:

Okay i misunderstood your point. If that is ever proven that is the end of Uber.

If you read about the various antics of those senior execs running the company, I wouldn't rule out anything...

 

There also was this past Wikipedia tidbit re their operations:

 

Quote

Concerns have been raised about internal misuse of the company's data, in particular the ability of Uber staff to track the movements of its customers, known as "God View". In addition to the aforementioned use of the service to track journalists and politicians, a venture capitalist disclosed in 2011 that Uber staff were using the function recreationally and viewed being tracked by Uber as a positive reflection on the subject's character.[230] An individual who had interviewed for a job at Uber said that he was given unrestricted access to Uber's customer tracking function as part of the interview process, and that he retained that access for several hours after the interview ended.

There also was mention the company allegedly was doing the same kind of activity with law enforcement and taxi regulator officials, in order to avoid Uber drivers end up giving rides to enforcement staff in areas where the company's service may have been under dispute.

 

Quote

Evasion of law enforcement operations

Uber developed an internal tool called Greyball which uses data collected from the Uber app and by other means to avoid giving rides to certain individuals. The tool has been in use since at least 2014. By showing "ghost cars" driven by fake drivers to the targeted individuals in the Uber app, and by giving real drivers a means to cancel rides requested by those individuals, Uber can avoid operations by known law enforcement officers in areas where its service is illegal. An investigative report by The New York Times in March 2017 described Uber's use of Greyball in 2014 to evade city code enforcement officials in Portland, Oregon.[225] In response to the report, Uber stated that Greyball was designed to deny rides to users who violate Uber's terms of service, including those involved in sting operations.[225][226] Uber has reportedly used Greyball to identify government officials through such factors as whether a user frequently opens the app near government offices.[225] Uber employees also reviewed social media profiles to identify law enforcement personnel.[225] In the days following the publication of the New York Times story, Uber admitted that it had used Greyball to thwart government regulators,[227] and it promised to stop using the tool for that purpose.

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • I don't really doubt any of it. Uber is contreversial not because their service is bad but because they try to roll over anything in front of them.They basically tell little countries they have an app and don't back down. I won't be surprised if they get a oot of law suits and or criminal charges in their future. Right now they operate with impunity. 
  •  
  • That being said I would rather use Uber then some Tuk tuk in Phuket.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not just BKK taxis it's all the world's taxis although that's a guess but the black cabs in London had way too much of an easy ride and in the end they just take the living P iss. All well and good uber but I even got stung by uber to Heathrow and with all new innovations, over time there will always be some "bankers" who abuse the system 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, anotheruser said:
  • That being said I would rather use Uber then some Tuk tuk in Phuket.

I certainly agree about that.

 

From what I've read, consistent with what you said, it seems their basic corporate philosophy is to plant their flag wherever they can and try to build popular support among customers and consumers, and then worry about the legalities and regulations afterward, and/or, mount local lobbying campaigns to have local regulations changed to better fit their mode of operating. Some places/many places it's worked. In other places, they've been banned and/or had to withdraw.

 

In that context, Bangkok must be an idea place for them, because the DLT can't manage to enforce it's way out of a paper bag on their best days...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

I was doing some comparing of my own lately in booking some trips online in BKK. For some reason, Uber kept coming out over Grab taxi with lower fares for shorter trips. But as soon as the trips got longer, like going across town instead of going 10-15 minutes away, Uber began to get more expensive.

 

There also was a curious issue I read about in Uber's Wikipedia profile regarding their software system for setting rates. Supposedly it's been alleged that their software actually shows different rates for the same trip to the driver (lower) and to the passenger (higher) online, and that Uber the company takes the difference between the two rates/trip totals.

 

Something else that was curious/interesting (and a pleasant surprise!) was that the Uber App quoted the fare @ ฿260. Was willing to pay a small premium because we needed true "door-to-door" service as we were slightly off the beaten track. Upon arriving at our destination the actual fare was only ฿195! 

 

Seems everything in the app is a "guesstimate". The app stated the driver would arrive within 20 mins, but it was actually 30 minutes. The driver couldn't have been more polite and apologetic. He told us he was worried we would cancel due to his delay in arriving because of all the traffic. We were in no rush, so wasn't a problem. He drove a beautiful, new 4-door Mitsubishi Triton. 

Edited by Skeptic7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think in the app, they typically quote a fare within a certain range. And then once in the car/taxi, the actual end fare can change some depending on the level of traffic encountered and how much time delay there may be vs what the trip is expected to take -- not unlike the idling rate that also applies with meter taxis.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.









×
×
  • Create New...