In a noble effort, Uber president Jeff Jones hosted a public Facebook Q&A to create a discussion with drivers and respond to their direct complaints. However, the Q&A turned sour real quick, hardly a surprise considering Uber’s rocky reputation, especially when it comes to its drivers.
After only about 30 minutes, Jones dipped from the session, having answered a whopping 12 questions (2 of which were clarifying that the Q&A was indeed live, and one posing the age-old philosophical question “Hello,” to which Jones wisely answered, “Hey!”).
As for the 9 other questions he actually answered, the Uber president’s replies varied from borderline dismissing to echoes of a corporate PowerPoint presentation. Responding to a question about Uber driver’s making money beyond metropolitan areas, all Jones had to say was “Investing in ways to get more riders to use Uber is the first step!” Translation: “Next question!” One driver simply “asked,” “We need to get paid more and treated like humans,” and Jones’ response was hardly encouraging:
“We are fixing the way we communicate with you and provide support to you — these are 100 percent about treating drivers with respect and as people. There is a lot that goes into earnings… things like earning on your way home with driver destinations or back-to-back trips or paid wait times beyond two minutes. Also, ensuring Uber is the first choice with riders. I am making sure that the Uber team knows drivers are our customers… our job is to make driving with Uber feel rewarding and worth your time.”
Realizing he had bitten off more than he could chew, Jones retreated with his tail between his legs, assuring the frustrated drivers that he would read all of their questions, though would not be able to answer every single one. Obviously, this did nothing to assuage the drivers’ frustrations, with one commenting “Bottom line: Uber doesn’t care about us, and neither does Jeff Jones.”
While this Q&A probably was born out of good intentions, the end result seems to be a disaster; instead of putting drivers’ gripes at ease, drivers are now angrier than ever.
[via The Verge]