This blog was originally posted in 2015; we have updated it to reflect the most current and accurate information.
Are you looking for reliable, secure transportation? Uber is a dubious choice.
There are a few occasions in your life when you need reliable transportation.
Maybe you’re in town on business and aren’t sure how to get from place to place.
Maybe you’re planning a night on the town with a big group of friends.
Maybe your company is attending a seminar in an unfamiliar city.
You need transportation you can trust, and you need the process of booking to be stress-free.
Enter the newest fad on the transportation scene—ride-sharing.
Technology companies like Uber and Lyft have stormed the transportation world to offer cheap rides at the click of a button. People have jumped on the bandwagon, expecting Uber to be a utopia of transportation when and where they need it.
Unfortunately, the rose-colored glasses are fading.
There are more than a few reasons why Uber simply doesn’t measure up to traditional car service.
Uber’s Drivers Are Poorly Vetted
For a company that claims to background check each of its drivers, Uber has suffered a rash of bad publicity for incidents involving their drivers harassing or assaulting customers and killing pedestrians.
+This past April, Uber lost a California lawsuit that alleged that the ride-sharing company was dishonest about the quality of its background checks. Uber was ordered to pay $10 million to settle the allegations of sub-par background checks. The lawsuit revealed that Uber’s driver screenings were less thorough than those performed by cab companies.
+ In February of 2016, a Michigan Uber driver went on a killing spree, taking the lives of 6 people. He picked up riders between the shootings, terrifying passengers with erratic and dangerous driving.
+ One driver hit and killed a 6-year-old child, and Uber denied responsibility for the accident. At the time, Uber claimed that it checked all of its drivers’ driving histories, yet the Uber driver responsible for the child’s death had a previous reckless driving charge on his record.
+ In another incident, an Uber passenger was assaulted by a driver during a ride; when the driver was investigated, it turned out he had a prior felony conviction for drugs and was on probation for a separate charge of battery. He had supposedly undergone Uber’s background check and been allowed to drive anyway.
+ There are countless stories of sexual assault committed by Uber drivers who have supposedly passed background checks, as well.
The list could go on and on here.
Transportation companies have the most stringent and thorough hiring practices in the transportation industry.
If safety, security and dependability are your biggest concerns, only transportation companies can deliver.
Price gouging is one of the most maddening aspects of Uber’s policies.
Uber’s system is set up to create incentive for drivers to drive, offering spiked prices on holidays or during inclement weather.
This means that you, the consumer, will be forced to pay two to three times as much for a ride if Uber can’t find enough drivers to meet demand.
With a true car service company, the rates that you discuss with the company before your ride will not change.
This is true regardless of the holiday or the demand.
If you make a reservation, that reservation’s parameters will not change and the billing will not increase because of a change in the market.
You Can’t Trust That Your Information Is Safe
Lisa Sotto, a privacy and cyber security lawyer at Hunton & Williams, says this language is strategic.
For users who are unaware of exactly who can see their information and how Uber is able to use it, consider this: once you enter your name, email, password, billing information and zip code into Uber’s app, Uber claims the right to share your information with third parties, for industry analytics.
Does this sound like the company you want having access to some of your most important information?
You won’t have to worry about the same breaches of confidence with a legitimate car service company, where your information is privy only to small number of employees and will never be subject to third parties for “industry analytics.”
Photo Credit: Scott L