Uber Starts Charging What It Thinks You’re Willing to Pay – Bloomberg
Charging what the market will bear isn’t controversial. What’s new here is the way what the market will bear is determined, and the granularity of the market which could get as fine as the individual consumer. Even though this is a a new and more accurate tool, I don’t see how its use is a radical departure from how goods and services are priced.
Uber will most certainly “optimize” this methodology for pricing if it attributes a decline in revenue to the pricing. Uber’s objective is not accuracy or consistency or fairness for their own sake, which is also entirely consistent with its function in the market.
If one is a proponent of, or sanguine about, Uber’s disruption, as it were, one cannot take issue with this newly revealed practice without contradicting oneself.
Not so incidentally, the drivers will now have another legitimate grievance which might have only a temporary and marginal adverse effect on the business. What it will do, however, is further stretch Uber’s interpretation of the “independent contractor” classification for its drivers. By the time this classification is successfully challenged, if that happens, the issue will be moot because Uber will have virtually no need for drivers.
An Uber non-scandal
Uber CEO Says He’s Seeking “Leadership Help” After Video Shows Him Yelling At Driver – BuzzFeed News
I’ll be surprised if this will cause much damage to Uber other than a few people deleting the app temporarily. Kalanick will come out of this unscathed as well – the feigned contrition lives up to the standards of Hollywood realism.
What he said, the bit about “people don’t take responsibility,” is an opinion widely shared by the privileged. The “job creators” are never at fault for doing whatever in pursuit of profits, and screwing the common folk over is just par for the course. After all, the chumps chose to work under the dictated rules constructed only to protect the makers of the rules. Now, if they find themselves shafted then they should take responsibility for their limited choices and quit whining.
This incident, like the others before it, is reported and handled as a mere PR problem, and just about everyone will go along with that assessment because to look deeper would lead to questioning the system, which only a heretic who doesn’t believe in cheap convenience would do.
Kalanick has a good PR adviser, to whom he listens. Next, he might announce that he has brought on board another high-profile person – Obama seems available – to be his “leadership helper.” Now we can all feel assured that this time the abuser really means it when he says he will change, and that he will make amends.
Uber’s latest “PR problem”
The brilliance of such innovations/disruptions is that they maintain the systemic status quo. Why would anyone want to destroy the reliable value of poor people’s vulnerability in the making of fortunes?
Bloomberg spoke to five auto-finance experts. Most said the leases are expensive, even predatory, compared with leases available to drivers with good credit. “I’d say the cost is greater than the benefit for your average driver,” said Mark Williams, a lecturer at Boston University’s business school who reviewed the terms of a blank lease agreement provided by Uber, along with some average weekly lease payments and a driver-reported account. “The terms, the way they’re proposed, are predatory and are very much driven toward profiting off drivers rather than to facilitate an increase in drivers.”
Uber spreads its innovative convenience to subprime auto leasing.
I give Uber a PR boost. “Look, we give those poor, poor veterans a way to make money!” they can say. But veterans have experience being exploited, used up, treated as a statistic. As one soldier motto goes, “Suck it up and drive on.”
My Life Driving Uber as an Iraq War Veteran with PTSD