Shocking new research reveals…
A study has found that Uber drivers organise mass ‘switch-offs’ so the lack of drivers in a certain area causes a surge fares.
According to a study carried out by University of Warwick drivers in London and New York have been ‘tricking’ the app by logging out of the system ‘en-masse’ making the app think there is a shortage of cars, raising fare prices as a result.
Uber raises fares when there is a high demand of customers in a particular area but a limited supply of drivers, the rise in fares gives drivers a bigger slice too.
The research also found drivers use ways to ‘trick’ the system to cancel fairs they don’t want and to avoid the unpopular UberPOOL, where drivers have to take multiple passengers who are heading in the same direction.
Dr Mareike Moehlmann who conducted the study said: “Uber uses software algorithms for oversight, governance and to control drivers, who are tracked and their performance constantly evaluated.
“In response, drivers have developed practices to regain control, even gaming the system.
“It shows that ‘algorithmic management’ that Uber uses may not only be ethically questionable but may also hurt the company itself
The researchers interviewed drivers in New York and London and analysed 1,012 blogs on the Uberpeople.com platform and found a mass deactivation organised.
On the platform one driver said: “Guys stay logged off until surge.”
While another said: “Uber will find out if people are manipulating the system.”
The first driver added: “They already know cos it happens every week. Deactivation en masse coming soon. Watch this space.”
Drivers also regularly ignored UberPOOL requests, one driver said: “After about 2-3 days of ignoring them you will not receive anymore. I have not received an uberpoop request in months. I guess uber thinks they are punishing me by not sending me any more… poor me. LOL.”
Fellow researcher Professor Henfridsson said: “Drivers also either accept the first passenger on UberPOOL then log off, or just ignore requests, so they don’t have to make a detour to pick anybody else up. They then still pocket the 30 per cent commission for UberPOOL, rather than the usual 10 per cent.”
A spokesman for Uber said: “This behaviour is neither widespread or permissible on the Uber app, and we have a number of technical safeguards in place to prevent it from happening.”