Uber takes steps to combat unfair driver suspensions | TechCrunch

Uber is rolling out new features aimed at addressing the unfair deactivation issues that ride-hailing and delivery drivers often face.

Starting Monday, Uber will roll out technology across the U.S. to identify riders or Uber Eats customers who consistently leave negative reviews or feedback with the intention of getting a refund. The company said in a blog post that these customers’ claims would not be dismissed. Considered in driver rating or deactivation decisions.


Uber launches recording function Serving drivers and riders nationwide last year.The company also started Driving video recording And said on Monday that it would expand the pilot to iOS drivers in more than a dozen cities in the United States, including Select drivers in Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles.

Uber will also pilot voluntary drug testing so that drivers accused of driving under the influence or whose vehicles smell like marijuana (in states where marijuana is legal) can dispute those complaints.

Drivers have long protested unfair suspensions, which amount to being fired in the app-based gig economy, and many have joined a class-action lawsuit against the company. Drivers complain that some passengers file false complaints out of spite or bias. They have also said they lack transparency into the nature of these complaints to dispute them, and that Uber has offered little recourse to dispute the claims.

Two drivers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had received no warning that they would be suspended. One day, they tried to open the app, only to find that their access had been revoked.

February report The Asian Legal Caucus found that 30% of suspended drivers said they had not received any explanation as to why they had been suspended. yes When reasons were given, 42% of respondents said they were deactivated due to customer complaints. Another 10% of respondents said they were deactivated due to low customer ratings.

The report also found that nearly half of deactivated drivers believe customer discrimination contributed to their deactivation — with drivers of color and those who don’t speak English well more likely to experience temporary or permanent deactivation.

Because Uber drivers are not classified as employees, they do not automatically qualify for unemployment when they are suspended and often find themselves suddenly without income. Among those surveyed in the report, 81% said driving on the Uber and Lyft platforms was their main source of income. Nearly one in five people who were deactivated from the app lost their car, and 12% lost their home after being kicked off the app.

Proving the validity of customer complaints—and whether they are motivated by bias or simply a fickle desire for a free ride—is a difficult problem to solve. Historically, Uber has never shared the exact complaint or the time and date of the complaint. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that this is for safety reasons so abandoned drivers don’t decide to retaliate against customers who gave them bad reviews.

Uber did not clarify whether the new in-app review center will now provide such details to drivers.

The company does say that its model for detecting false complaints or “support for abuse” looks for (1) outrageous or exaggerated reports that do not follow a logical sequence of events; (2) an obvious motive for receiving funds or credits; (3) multiple report, including similar or verbatim language.

Additional updates for verified passengers and drivers

Uber also said that by 2025, the company will expand the verification of passenger identity. Passengers will be identified based on simple third-party checks, such as whether your name matches the credit card on file. If Uber can’t verify a passenger’s identity this way, they will ask for ID, but that won’t be the standard. Uber would not reveal further information, such as whether Uber automatically verifies riders or whether riders must opt ​​in.

Uber has also integrated Android Auto with the Uber Driver app, so drivers using Android can now view heat maps, accept rides and use on-screen navigation through their car’s dashboard. This integration comes a few months later. Uber launches something similar to Apple CarPlay In February.

Finally, Uber added a tool to the app to help couriers find nearby parking. The company said it will also add map tags designating the exact delivery door or photo of the building so couriers have a clearer idea of ​​where customers are requesting delivery. falling down.

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