Posts by BenWilson

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  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to Sacha,

    Not sure how they feel about that now :)

    and

    Ben I bet they are regretting hiring you now. lol

    Possibly so. They certainly can’t claim to not know me any more, since I had one of the association members serve Richard Menzies a letter personally inviting them all to a discussion. Apparently, in the “roundtable” meeting, which was for selected drivers to air their grievances, when pressed, many of the Uber staff present would not even give their full names.

    But I’m not aiming for them to regret it in the long run. My aim is for it to be of mutual benefit, for a better business model to emerge, one that takes their excellent app but engages with NZ working conditions, processes and pay standards.

    I’d hope that it might lead to an organization that is still highly profitable, but doesn’t have the stink of a corporate culture of secrecy and fear that you see when employees are literally too afraid to give staff their names. I actually feel sorry for people who think they are saving the world, but can’t look their own drivers in the face and say their own name. There’s something really wrong with that.

    I would never, ever work for a company that made me feel afraid to use my own name when doing my job.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    in other words ride sharing is sharing a ride with the driver

    That means the driver is going where you are going. Which is what carpooling is. By "sharing" is meant "sharing the cost of", not "being in the same vehicle as". To call a taxi ride-sharing makes as much sense as calling a cafe "room-sharing", because the cafe has more than just the owner in it. You don't share the cost of the rent with the cafe owner. You pay them for the service of using the room that they are bearing the cost of. "Room sharing" would be having someone back to your house for a coffee, and possibly getting them to bring the coffee.

    But Wiki explains this so I don't have to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    He's the man!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    Here we are undercutting the hell out of them. And it's much higher quality in many cases. Because citizen journalists aren't constrained to making a buck, they can pick their stories and go as hard as they like. How can anyone compete that? Everyone is looking for the new economy that actually works, and perhaps they found it in Uber.

    Certainly Uber does a good job on the propaganda that they have changed the business model. But in fact it's not a new service, basically a taxi, and what is new is simply the efficient delivery and effective labour exploitation. They don't really ride share at all. And carpooling is not a new idea anyway. The fact is that no one (including Uber) has really got it to work is mostly an inherent limitation of the idea of carpooling, present since the time of wagons. It's fundamentally nowhere near as customer friendly as a taxi, because passengers are now subject to the whims of other passengers.

    So finding that the new economy actually doesn't exist in the case of Uber, any more than it does for journalism, is perhaps confirming in some way. I think it's a story that they want to tell anyway, however much everyone is still catching Ubers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    I don't know what the media fascination with Uber is all about really. I think some of it is because media people are heavy Uber users. News is about themselves again? There's probably a sense of a kindred industry wherein the battle to survive against people who are almost doing it for free is poignant for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    Doesn't really explain why the Herald has run many articles pointing out bitterness on Uber, tax dodginess etc. Sure they run some infomercials but that doesn't make them partisan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to Sacha,

    Yup, no references required. Hell, they even hired me!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to goforit,

    think the government must be wondering why they let Uber break all the rules in the first place.

    I'm surprised that they're not worried it will blow up in their faces. They're already extremely vulnerable in being seen to tolerate corporate malfeasance, and encouraging back room deals. This organization is openly crooked. Avowedly, even. It has to be incredibly embarrassing to admit to having been in constant dialog with them.

    At this point, they could act decisively to reign Uber in, directly. Very directly, the way the NZ government can. To not be doing that is extremely weak. Indeed, considering that Uber's law violation is also anticompetitive to NZ based alternatives, several of which already exist, and several more are on the verge of launching. It's not even the vaunted Free Market Saves All in place here. It's corporate favouritism, and open tolerance of large scale law breaking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    That million is profit, btw, not turnover, which is much, much higher. At an average of $500/week per driver, and around 2000 drivers, gives weekly turnover of a million. This organization could be churning 50 million in NZ annually, and paid around $10,000 in income tax and the drivers get far less than the minimum wage, and the organization encourages all of them to blatantly break the law. Not one law. More like 5 at a time, every trip.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    I wonder how they're going to compete with a company that pays only 1% tax?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 9919 posts Report Reply

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