Friday, 26 May 2017

Pause!!! Your Uber Driver Is Manipulated?

Have you ever imagined that your Uber driver is manipulated? That's not possible, you think? Talk to your next Uber driver, maybe. Just imagine a little manipulation, the type that could go unnoticed. That's scary, right? Lol, ngwanu easy. Let's take it slowly.


Have you observed that you spend over 2 hours playing Temple Run, Candy Crush, Pokemon Go or any of your other favourite games, even when you have decided to just play for 30 minutes. Do you remember the day you watched How To Get Away With Murder' latest season? Wasn't it just Sense8 that you planned to watch? Ehe, so what now happen? You were helpless okwa ya? What if I now tell you that your Uber drivers are usually that helpless too? This making them do an extra 2, 3 or more hours even after they have decided to rest and grab lunch. Yet, they never rested nor grabbed the said lunch.

Just how, you are wondering. Psychology it is. The same psychological inducements used by game makers, the same used by Netflix to make you binge watch is the same used by Uber to keep drivers on the road. Just like in your games, you want to hit a high score target, you want to get to the next stage, you want to win an award, there's just something to keep you playing. This is exactly how it is for Uber drivers who are kept on the road with various goals and targets. And they get awards too like award for 'Excellent Driving' or 'Entertaining Drive'. Just negodu.

Uber drivers do forward dispatches (claim rides when still on another ride). They usually get notified of other rides they could give to passengers within the areas they're headed. A driver headed to Ikeja City Mall could be notified of a ride in Community Road, Ikeja or somewhere around Alausa. Imagine such notifications coming with a reminder of how close to an earning target the driver is. Imagine how helpless the driver could be in this situation even when Uber claims the drivers are independent and can stop driving at anytime.

Another interesting but obvious trick is the fact that Uber communicates to the drivers using female personas. This is done, evidently considering the fact that the drivers are mostly male. And you know boys will always be boys.  So, Laura is always prompt to remind the drivers of the movie premiere at Eko Hotels and the possible abundance of passengers.

As harmless as the tricks may seem, it's left lotta drivers driving and never stopping for a pee or a lunch break. This is regardless of the fact that drivers complain of the pay being low. Though Uber is currently working to improve things for the drivers, the company is not having a great time. Not with the PR issues and lawsuits.

Uber is one of the biggest ride-hailing services in the world, operating in over 570 cities worldwide. Over 1 million people drive for Uber.

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