On-demand car service that gets you from Point A to Point B with the tapping of a few smartphone buttons. Sounds great, right? In theory, sure. But in reality, there are far too many problems with Uber.
6 Problems with Uber You Should Keep in Mind
1. Shallow Background Checks
In the past few weeks, All Island Transportation has written several blogs about transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber. And every time we do research for those blogs, we find new cases that show the utter impotence of Uber’s background check process. Their failure to fingerprint their drivers is no doubt one of the biggest problems with Uber, because it allows criminals to get behind the wheel.
2. Lack of Responsibility
In Uber’s terms and conditions, their evasion of liability for your protection is quite plain: “YOU AGREE THAT UBER HAS NO RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY TO YOU RELATED TO ANY TRANSPORTATION, GOODS OR LOGISTICS SERVICES.” Unlike traditional, licensed cab companies, Uber is not regulated and therefore, not liable. This makes customer safety an afterthought to profit.
3. Difficulty Complying with the Law
Uber has a tendency to pack up and leave cities that mandate them to tighten up their background checks. Recently in the city of Austin, it was determined that Uber must fingerprint their drivers. Instead of complying, Uber packed up and left the city. Why did they leave? We’ll leave that up to you as the reader to articulate, but just know that Uber pulled the same stunt in several other places, including:
- East Hampton and Montauk, New York
- Auburn, Alabama
- Eugene, Oregon
- San Antonio, Texas (they’ve since returned, but not after throwing a massive tantrum)
- Panama City Beach, Florida
There are even more locations throughout the world where Uber is banned, but we’ll keep the scope of this blog limited to the United States.
|Proposition 1 was the piece of legislation that would have allowed Uber to operate without background checks in Austin, Texas.|
4. Shady Business Practices
Uber uses the term “price surging” to sugarcoat a practice that is essentially price gouging. During peak travel times, such as holidays and rush hour, Uber jacks up prices by as much as 450 percent. Uber even monitors the battery life of people’s smartphones, knowing that they will be eager to secure a way home before their phones dies, no matter the price.
5. No Reservations
In most cities, Uber does not provide the option for you to schedule a ride—it’s a strictly on-demand service. And the term “on-demand” is not entirely accurate. At peak times, when drivers are busy, wait times increase. So Uber is not the optimal choice for scheduled pickups or trips to and from the airport.
6. Insecure Data Practices
From security breaches that resulted in customers’ accounts being wrongfully charged to instances of stalking by company higher-ups, Uber has a bit of a track record of carelessness with customer data.
The numerous problems with Uber have led many people to second guess using the service. If you opt for a traditional cab company, you can take comfort in knowing that there are regulations in place that aim to ensure safety.