Is Uber Backing Off on its 180 Day Pledge?

We’ve spoken a lot about Uber’s 180 Days of Change program, a series of changes that Uber has been making over the year that are intended to make life better for drivers. Some of those changes, like the addition of the tipping feature, have been a pretty clear slam dunk success. But is Uber living up to the promises they made to make real changes?

Mark from Uber Hints has been tracking the 180 Days of Change program and has a few critiques about the program that might convince you Uber is backing down from the challenge they set for themselves.

Watch Mark’s video, then read the transcript of the video below.

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What’s going on with the 180 Days of Change program?

Is Uber up to its old tricks? What’s happening to the 180 days? Let’s talk about it.

Hey, everybody. Mark here with UberHints.com. What’s happening to the 180 days? As you know, I was an enthusiastic supporter of the 180-day program. They were launching something different every month that was improving the driver experience. Most of it looked pretty good. Now, in the past month or so, I’ve been seeing Uber backing off a little bit from this. The first sign of this is they’re rescinding the destination filter, or at least they’re backing off on it.

Changes to the destination filter were reversed

For those of you who are not familiar with the destination filter, that’s where you can tell the app where you want to head. Let’s say it’s the end of your shift. You want to head home. It will only pick up rides that are heading in that direction. Now, when Uber made one of their 180-day changes, they made that option available so we could use it six times in a day.

Now, as of September 28th, Uber officially announced that across the board, they’re only going to allow the destination filter to be used two times a day. They gave some reasons of it. If you opened up your app and you read the notification, it says riders aren’t getting quick pick ups. They’re not getting as good a service. I can understand all that, but from a driver’s perspective, it looks like they gave us something, and then they pulled it away from us. They dangled something in front of us just to have it removed.

Now, it’s not all bad, because some of us never had that option in the first place. When they rolled out the six-time option for the destination filter, a lot of markets that never got it. So now that they pulled it back to two times a day, I’m still better off, because I’m left with something I didn’t have in the first place. However, the whole idea of giving us something and pulling it away is disturbing to me.

What happened to 24/7 phone support?

The place I recently noticed a rollback of changes is with the 24/7 phone support. If you remember, before they rolled that out, we could never reach support by phone. You had to visit an office or email through the app. Now, we can make a phone call. You would go to the help feature in your app, and there would be a blue phone up in the corner, and you could call. I noticed a few weeks ago that my blue phone wasn’t there anymore. I’ve never had to use it, but just the idea it wasn’t there. I made note of it, and it never went any further.

Well, this morning, I got an email from someone asking for some help with an unrelated subject, and one of my suggestions was going to be go ahead and call that support line. Just to make sure I was giving him the right instruction, since I never used it, I opened my app so I would walk through it and I could send him the proper instructions in the email. It wasn’t there. Now, it makes me wonder. Has your phone support disappeared from your app? Mine has, and it hasn’t been there for some time.

What message is the new CEO sending?

We have seen two indications of something that Uber has offered us and now they’re taking it off the table. What good is 180 days of change if those changes are just changed back? Another thing, it’s kind of a disturbing note for me, is the new CEO and the message he’s sending. The message is positive, but it’s directed almost exclusively at the in-office staff.

Well, that’s where most of the problems did lie, with the sexual harassment and all of those antics and shenanigans that were going on. And of course, now he’s mired in the London controversy, where they pulled the Uber’s license to operate. With that happening, I’m sure that he’s preoccupied and really busy trying to solve that. But the thing that I’ve noticed is that he never addressed the drivers, the largest workforce he has. Now, granted, we might be independent contractors. We’re still the largest workforce he has. I have not seen a single message come from his lips directed at us how he’s going to help us. If it doesn’t come from the top down, where is it going to come from?

There are a couple of disturbing things I’ve noticed. I’d love to hear your comments below. Do you think the 180 days is good? Do you think it’s going to stick? I haven’t really made up my mind yet. I don’t know if the verdict is in, but these are some things, when I see them pulling things back, that send up a red flag for me.

Let me know.  As always, I encourage you to share. I thank you for that. I’m Mark from UberHints.com.

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