Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Uber as a predatory lender

If you want to understand where Uber's business model is going read this stream on Twitter:



PS. I am currently on a business trip to the United States. Maybe it is just bad luck - but the quality of Uber service has dropped fairly dramatically since the last time I was here. I no longer feel the need to recommend Uber to friends - and indeed am coming close to advising against it.



Anonymous said...

The quality has definitely dropped. In San Diego, there are never any cars in downtown. (They apparently consolidated the SD + LA offices a few months ago). When there are cars, it's always surged pricing. However, in LA it's been consistently good. My guess is they are focusing on the larger markets a bit more rather than focusing on every city.

After having Lyft on my phone for years, I finally started using it, and never looked back. Happier drivers, better service, more cars.

Anonymous said...

In NYC you can now hail a cab on the street, tap 7 numbers into the Taxi app on your phone (there are a few to choose from - arro, way2ride, etc.) and it pairs you to the cab you're in an pays automatically on the credit card you store in the app and emails you / your secretary a receipt... just like uber but without the need to book through the app. So much better!!

When I lived in Sydney I'd use uber to get to work - not too many empty cabs going up and down bellevue road, and calling silver service or whoever else was a nightmare. I'd never use it to come home though - cabs in the cbd are everywhere, so why bother. Since moving (back) to NY i almost never use uber, because there are cabs everywhere. (Actually I did once - a ride share from Ikea red hoot to the UES for about $30. Pretty good deal). What really works against uber is that need to book through the app and stand around waiting while empty cabs stream past.

By the way, you should check out an app Via - it's like uber but exclusively for ridesharing. Very good.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Have yet to notice quality issues in NY, SF or Paris which are the last 3 major cities I've spent time in. Did not compare it to Lyft, however.

Anonymous said...

Would agree with your comments John on Uber service. I use Lyft and Uber in DC, both services have seen a marked deterioration in driver quality IMO.

Anonymous said...

Uber is a walmart on wheels. I don't see how drivers will be making any money operating their cars and getting paid $0.70 per mile before Uber takes its cut. Per IRS, the cost of operating a vehicle is 57.5 cents per mile.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the income-inequality driven debt deflation is bringing back the company-store economic model from the turn of the last century!


Uber drivers paid to work in Uber scrip; Ford trucks purchased with Ford Bucks; Apple phones purchased with Apple bucks. Purchase anything you want as long as it's sold by the company store and they are willing to extend you the scrip!

Can't let the the hoi polloi determine where their dollars go! Truly convertible currency must carefully be shepherded by the elite and contractually converted into scrip that will return safely home while gathering up any truly convertible currency that inconveniently landed in the wrong hands.

My word... I'm starting to sound like a revolutionary

PA said...

Not sure this is correct. Haven't read the loan agreement but the media coverage on the product makes it seem like the borrower has 15 weeks to repay the $1K without interest, after which fees set in (up to a max of $50). So the actual APR would be variable based on amount outstanding after the 15 week grace period and subsequent speed of repayment.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be surprised to learn that Lyft and Uber are both in a race to the bottom. Quality on Lyft has visibly dropped in the past 6 months.
I have heard from friends who are drivers (in San Francisco) that Lyft has eliminated their testing regiment that kept out some of the lower quality drivers - less familiar with the geography, less comfortable interacting with passengers, more visible driving error. One person told me the new test for drivers is 'can fog a mirror'.

Dmitry said...

Wow this is getting way too obvious.

As in, I clearly remember other "hi tech darling" of not so long times, which hadn't much to do with actual technology, had a huge marketing, record growth and overall ah-so-good turnover (worse still, it too presented itself as an on-comission intermediary to any scrutiny, but as a provider when booking all the money passing through as revenue, not just the comission)...
... and which also had a "predatory lending" hidden deep down in business model.

I've been pretty sceptical of sustainability of "drive for cost, dear contractor" model any better then "sell your stuff half price, dear seller". And we already know where the latter ended up.

Best regards,

Anonymous said...



don't know if you saw the above summary of R & O and VALEANT Litigation.

I find it interesting that IMHO Valeant was intentionally violating CA ( and others )
rules on licensing - yet none of these licensing boards appear to have inquired/file


J said...

Completely off-topic, but I thought you'd like this: http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/ian-young-on-vancouvers-freak-show-housing-market/

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the ads I used to see for "adults with cars wanted to deliver newspapers".

As long as there is a supply of people who are willing to take less than minimum wage in order to "go into business for themselves" and "be their own boss", someone will exploit them.

valuetradeblog said...

I used Uber last year in London (at night the best substitute for the tube) and it was very nice. A lot of drivers. Has this changed?

Luke said...

My observation from John's hometown is Uber is heading downmarket. Originally cars and drivers were much better than taxis....now I'm not sure they are even as good.

Anonymous said...

The constant price cuts are forcing car & driver quality down. We get cheaper rates but drivers can't afford those new car leases anymore. After dealing with unreliable taxis charging $50 for an airport ride, I was happy as a clam to pay $30 with fast pickup, 100% reliability, nice car etc. Now it's $21, still reliable but pickup times and quality have fallen a lot.

Anonymous said...


Brenton said...

It's not unreasonable to envisage Uber bringing forward a huge fleet of driverless cabs.
Perhaps convert their current fleet to driverless (if that can be done) and allow the existing driver to get some money off the table by selling their car back into some type of car pool. The driver then cares for the car and takes a passive income stream.
So I cant see the predatory lending idea, more large scale lending pool divided up for risk for insto investment alongside passive driver.

hugs'nkisses said...

Your Uber comment is spot on. It's on a linear downtrend.

Ye Old Buccaneer said...

Nah. See you next Tuesday, septics

Unknown said...

Great to see the pay imbalance driven obligation emptying is bringing back the organization store financial model from the turn of the most recent century!


Uber drivers paid to work in Uber scrip; Ford trucks obtained with Ford Bucks; Apple telephones bought with Apple bucks. Buy anything you need insofar as it's sold by the organization store and they will develop you the scrip!

Can't let the preletariat figure out where their dollars go! Really convertible cash should deliberately be shepherded by the first class and legally changed over into scrip that will return securely home while getting together any genuinely convertible money that awkwardly arrived in the wrong hands.

My pledge... I'm beginning to sound like a progressive

Unknown said...

New slavery here in north carolina after uber fees ,expenses & taxes you earn about 3.33 an hour even with surges . I used to drive taxi and the last time a fare was 1.00 a mile was 1981

Anonymous said...

Uber = Gett = circling the drain

Andersone said...

yeah quality has drop but what is the process again back in the plate-from? it will help uber driver .

Unknown said...

i think it's not . uber driver is not drop there position .

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