The Bottom Line:
Research suggests Uber drivers have found a way to initiate surge pricing
The Full Story:
- A new report suggests Uber drivers are in cahoots to make us all pay more for our rides
- Research indicates that drivers in London and New York band together to turn off the app and make it look like few drivers are available in order to initiate surge pricing
- Uber insists such practices don’t exist and say they have technical safeguards to make sure it doesn’t happen
As if Uber wasn’t getting enough bad press already, a new report suggests drivers are in cahoots to make us all pay more for our rides.
New research out of the UK has discovered that drivers in both New York and London will band together to log off their apps and make it appear as though there are less drivers available and thereby bump up the rides to surge pricing, which can increase the cost of a fare an astronomical amount in some cases.
The study looked at over 1,000 posts on the online forum Uberpeople.net and uncovered the sneaky dealings of some drivers with posts like, “Guys, stay logged off until surge,” and “Less supply high demand = surge.”
"Drivers have developed practices to regain control, even gaming the system,” Dr. Mareike Möhlmann, from the Warwick Business School in Coventry, tells “The Times.” “It shows that the algorithmic management that Uber uses may not only be ethically questionable but may also hurt the company itself.”
But Uber insists such practices don’t actually exist. “This behavior is neither widespread nor permissible on the Uber app,” a rep says, “and we have a number of technical safeguards in place to prevent it from happening.”
Source: The Times UK