Posts by BenWilson

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

    I keep my eyes and ears open and see if its just isolated or a trend.

    I'm willing to bet it's a trend. It has been everywhere else in the world. Like I've said many times, this company has only invented an app with some servers, not some kind of amazing game changing rocket science. They're extremely vulnerable to competition.

    It will be rather ironic if they try to aggressively protect their monopoly after their entire rhetorical spin for years being about busting up monopolies. How are you going to punish drivers for working for someone else? Fire them?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    This is at variance to what the drivers are themselves told when they sign up, though. The line I was given was that "no Uber driver has ever paid a fine". Hopefully, in the next few days, I'll know whether that is actually true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    Instructions for adding links are at the bottom of the screen. Use double square brackets, then the URL, then a "|" then any text you want to show for the link, then double square brackets. Give it a go...I could link what you're talking about, but it's not rocket science, have a go.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    Has this issue come to your attention.

    Not yet. Their deactivation terms and conditions do suggest that “illegal street hailing” is grounds for deactivation. Also that poaching customers is not allowed, nor is disparaging their service. But I’ve never seen them specifically say that working for another ride sourcing service would lead to deactivation.

    ETA: I should add: It’s always been their policy that you can’t just be a taxi. No signage. I think this is the law for a private hire service anyway. Passengers are encouraged to report taxi signage on Ubers.

    ETA2: One thing I can say for sure is that a growing number of drivers do work for multiple ride sourcing services. Eventually, this could kill Uber's monopoly outright, so I would not be surprised if they got bitter on it. It could, however, be very difficult for them to detect.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    I don’t see him having made a fuss about the process, it’s just background, a single sentence. The point of the letter is that there is no checking at all of people being able to work legally.

    For the rest of your question, we’re doing it, whether anyone likes it or not. We are finding out whether the drivers have any rights or protections, however we can do it. Because it is important to know, one way or the other. It is part of the picture of an employment situation. You claim it’s illegal, but currently anyone who has the main compliance required is not being taken off the road. It is being accepted as a form of employment by our enforcement officers. It is being tolerated by the government. We’re trying to find the limits of it, what the shape of this new brand of employment is. If it turns out to be master-slave, as you seem to think it should be, by virtue of people being ensnared into contracts stripping them of rights, then it’s important that every driver in the country knows that, and considers whether the alternatives aren’t better. It’s possible that a judge won’t see it that way and will consider the precedents set in our high courts against multinationals in the transport industry to be well established and not something they want to overturn. It’s an attempt to find just where in limbo the drivers stand. I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a legislator, I’m not a judge. I won’t speculate any further on how this will pan out in a public forum. Take it offline if you want to find out more.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    Nothing is certain about any legal challenge. We have very limited resources. I don't think the dispute is about the right to an income. It's about due process in changing terms and conditions. I don't want to go into too much more about the particular case, speculating at length about what Uber will do, or how we will approach it.

    If you know a whole lot about the angles of attack that could be leveraged, and what the taxi industry has already tried please feel free to make all that plain. You can either air it here in an open forum for all the world, including Uber, to see, or you can contact me in private. We certainly can use any help given in good faith.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    Yes, I don't think the delays are due to any extra slowness or care on NZTA's part. More that he got his P endorsement first, and then applied for his PSL. Delays in the appointments for courses and tests precede all the formal applications. TSL tests are particularly choked up since the step up in enforcement.

    I think he didn't pipeline them because he was concerned that he could easily pay twice as much and then be tripped up at the P endorsement phase, at which point the PSL application would fail. So I believe, anyway, and that was probably overly cautious - I think you can hold a PSL without a P endorsement. But his thinking was "what would be the point?". PSLs only exist nowadays as bureaucratic stepping stone for the P endorsed to form an "organization" that has only them in it, just so they can drive for their own private hire service. He couldn't use a PSL for anything else but to be a driver himself.

    Also, like so many Uber drivers, it's not the only thing he does, he has a business to run, and Ubering is only intended to be a stop gap.

    I don't think the letter is about "his woes". Its primarily about the question of whether Uber is doing any checks whatsoever about the right of its drivers to work in this country. We've had a number of reports that students, and even people who are just here on holiday, are driving for Uber. If all you need is a driver's license....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    I'd like to dedicate a whole post to uberASSIST at some point, since this is a forum with a long history of advocacy for the disabled. One of the main headings is dedicated to it, the Access column. The overall co-ordinator of Public Address has special needs children, as do I. It's too big a topic to leave solely to thread comments. We should certainly talk about it beforehand but bearing in mind that this topic can and will get individual treatment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    A look at how app based ride sourcing has worked out for the disabled in Philadelphia.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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

    This is why I suggested that evaluating how appropriate the rating system is depends on what you think the purpose of it is. If it's to find out who the good and bad drivers are, it's not very good. But if the purpose is to make drivers work harder for less pay, then it's very effective.Which is most likely why in the many years Uber has been operating this system has remained the same. It's purpose is not fairness, and it never has been.

    I wrote this blog to show this point. I'd love lots of discussions about how it could be fairer, of course. But I don't think that any of it would be news to the designers of the Uber setup. The way it works is the end result of conscious decisions made by very clever people. So you have to assume that the outcomes that it achieves are deliberately designed into it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10089 posts Report Reply

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