Getting requests from riders on smartphone apps instead of running after them on roads and getting bonuses after completing a fixed amount of rides was the basic motive for Pakistani Rickshaw drivers to work with Uber and Careem. Well, it seems that corporate greed that often ends up victimizing the workforce has now begun to play its role in Uber Pakistan as well.
Hours TV conducted interviews with random Uber drivers to know about their experience of driving with the company and whether they were benefiting or not. While respondents were satisfied with the app for accessing customers on tap of fingers they were disgruntled with the company’s policy of reducing bonuses.
Rickshaw Drivers Complaining Uber
A Rickshaw driver Hameed told HoursTV that he was happy to drive with the app as it promised better income opportunities and served an ideal mean of earning income. He said, “Fares are not the same as they used to be. Further bonus has also reduced. Earlier we earned 7000 to 8000 bonus. Now, it has been reduced to 3000 to 4000 that too after 60 rides.”
Hameed was not the only Uber driver who had concerns. Several Rickshaw drivers who started working with the app were worried about not receiving enough bonuses.
“Earlier bonuses were more but now they have been lessened. This is causing a bit of trouble”, said a Rickshaw driver.
Fares Were Also A Big Concern
Riders who frequently use ride-hailing apps, choose them because they keep on getting discounts, something which is totally absent in conventional means of transportation. But, such a feature is making riders unhappy as they are not getting enough fares. Very often drivers also complaint that providing services to passengers through traditional means is more profitable for them as they get to charge the fares of their choice. Further, they don’t have to pay a fixed share to the ride-hailing apps.
As this Uber driver told HoursTv, “The fare is very less. Apart from this, they have reduced bonuses from 6000 to 3500 Rs. The petrol prices have also increased and we are unable to understand (what to do). Hence, we request Uber to increase our bonus so that we are better off, otherwise, our condition is not sound.”
A Challenge for Uber or Drivers
Since Uber has acquired Careem, both companies have become one ending competition for each other. The merger is now only making drivers and customers worse-off; for the farmer, it is the loss of bonuses and for later it is the increase in fares. For riders, the likely increase in petrol prices is also going to add the insult to injury. In such a scenario, using Uber and Careem may become more costly for drivers as well as riders.
It is also a fact that many users choose for these apps, for easy navigation, hassle-free access to the rides and pre-determined fares that save the time which would otherwise go wasted in bargaining. But, there are also users who chose this app because of lesser fares and discounts they would receive on a regular basis to reduce the transportation costs.
Now, when the Uber has reduced its bonuses, it has acquired Careem and petrol prices are hiking up, it is inevitably facing a challenge of each of the stakeholder happy. Or, its users, either driver, particularly Rickshaw drivers may consider the alternatives.