20 things you didn’t know about Uber | London

1. Ratings matter.
Users of Uber’s app probably know you can rate your ride experience with your driver after you are dropped off at your destination. At first look it seems like a great way to weed out bad drivers (if the rating criteria were clearer). It seems that Uber bosses have very high standards, with drivers below a 4.6 star average rating potentially being place at risk for deactivation.

2. It asserts that its drivers are ‘partners’, meaning they are not entitled to normal worker’s rights.
Uber has contested claims that this is exploitative, claiming that it is allowing its drivers to work as independent contractors as part of the gig economy and in the spirit of entrepreneurship. Currently an Uber driver does not have rights to holiday pay, or the right to properly challenge a discipline or grievance notice before being fired from their role.

3. Uber has spread worldwide.
In only eight years, the San Francisco-based taxi-hailing company has reached 630 cities across 81 countries since 2009 (each with their own competitors) and makes 10 million trips a day worldwide. There have however been a growing number of cities, territories and states that have banned the service including Alaska, Barcelona, Vancouver, Oregon (except Portland), Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary and Australia’s Northern Territory.

4. There are no limits on the number of cars Uber can operate.
The company it currently has more than 40,000 drivers in London, which contributes to London’s already terrible air quality (a TfL- commissioned study found that nearly 9,500 people die each year in the capital because of pollution) it means there will be less and less work for drivers who have made Uber their full-time job.

5. Uber’s tax arrangements are highly contested.
Uber processes its jobs through its Dutch subsidiary, Uber BV, which allows Uber to charge a lower VAT rate. The Dutch VAT rate is 0 per cent for entrepreneurs conducting foreign businesses from the Netherlands; in the UK it’s 20 per cent. This allows Uber to offer super-low prices.

6. Uber deducts a fifth of a driver’s income, which is already low.
According to a GMB union member who works exclusively for Uber in London was paid £5.03 net per hour for 234 hours driving during the August calendar month. This is £1.47 per hour below the current national minimum wage of £6.50 per hour. For each hour he worked, he paid £2.65 to Uber, equating to 53 per cent of his net pay per hour.

7. Cars cannot be more than 10 years old.
Not anyone can become an Uber driver. Uber’s parent company Uber Technologies has some pretty strict regulations and policies in place. When it comes to cars that can be used for ride sharing, they cannot be older than 10 years. Also, cars used by Uber chauffeurs must have four doors. Two doors are not allowed.

8. Drivers can rent their car and smartphone.
People who want to drive for Uber but may not have an acceptable car or their own smart phone are often able to rent both through the company. Uber Technologies has schemes in place to connect people to car rental companies in their area and enable them to rent a vehicle.

9. Drivers don’t know their passenger’s destination when they pick them up.
When an Uber chauffeur accepts a ride request, the only information they get is where the passenger is to be picked up. No other information is provided – including the destination address. This means that Uber drivers pick-up rides cold.

10. Uber has no customer service phone number.
They never have and they probably never will (they do, however, offer email support at [email protected]). This has actually caused serious issues for a New York based design company called Uber Inc. (who registered the name back in 1999) which allegedly received 500 phone calls in four months from frustrated passengers and even drivers looking for their paychecks.

Source : http://www.itv.com/news/london/2017-09-22/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-uber/