W.W. Norton introduced right this moment that New York Instances tech reporter Mike Isaac will write a e book about Uber for the writer. The unnamed tome shall be launched in 2019.
Isaac has coated the ride-sharing large for years, and his tackle the troubled firm is certain to be a must-read. However Uber has been concerned in so many controversies that it’s arduous to know the place to start.
As such, listed here are a few of the scandals that ought to be included in Isaac’s e book.
One in every of Uber’s most controversial improvements ensures that charges go up in any space the place there’s excessive demand. Many cities have launched payments meant to curb surge pricing (and cease Uber’s development) to no avail. As such, Uber’s use of the instrument has gotten much more brazen—the corporate was closely criticized for selling surge pricing at New York Metropolis airports throughout protests over President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
Lies about wages
Uber as soon as boasted that its drivers make $90,000 a yr. However the firm did not disclose that it takes a 20 % fee from drivers, who’re additionally on the hook for fuel and car upkeep. As such, a driver must work almost 70 hours per week with no ideas or advantages to earn the reported quantity. Add to this the truth that Uber lower fares by 45 % in some cities, in order that some drivers made lower than $three an hour, and the corporate’s actions turn out to be much more depraved.
Sabotaging the competitors
Uber gave its workers burner telephones and bank cards with a view to request rides from Lyft and instantly cancel them—the corporate performed this trick over 5,500 occasions. Then it tried to derail Lyft’s funding spherical. No marvel Lyft took out a full-page advert in The New York Instances positioning itself because the ethical different to Uber. Smaller journey share corporations like By way of, Juno and Gett have tried related gambits.
Sexual assault accusations
These circumstances characterize by far the worst allegations towards Uber—and there are quite a few examples. Drivers in Los Angeles, Boston, Delhi and Honolulu have been charged with raping passengers. A driver in Delaware strangled a pupil in a dorm car parking zone, whereas one other was charged with tried homicide in Maryland and yet one more stabbed a passenger in Michigan. Even a journalist on the Democratic Nationwide Conference was subjected to “creepy, unsafe” feedback from an Uber driver.
Many of those incidents might probably be averted if the corporate had a greater background verify coverage. Uber doesn’t require its drivers to be fingerprinted, which makes its complete system “nugatory” in accordance with authorized consultants. This lack of oversight (which district attorneys try to combat) results in a rise in hiring individuals convicted of violent crimes.
Sexism on the firm itself
Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler went viral earlier this yr after detailing sexism and sexual harassment within the office. She wasn’t alone, nonetheless—inside weeks two extra “Uber survivors” got here ahead to element their opposed experiences. Uber made a push to rent girls within the wake of this scandal, but it surely was too little too late—at the least 20 workers had been fired because of the sexism investigation, and co-founder/CEO Travis Kalanick was compelled to resign. Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was introduced in to proper the ship.
Publicity stunts gone mistaken
Uber can’t even get the easy issues proper. First, the corporate delivered puppies and bras to clients in an try to avoid wasting face after scandals. Then the corporate promised free rides to have a good time a soccer win that didn’t even occur. It charged processing charges on Veteran’s Day and AIDS consciousness donations. And let’s not overlook the annual failure of Uber Ice Cream, which affords free cones to clients however generally can’t ship. Irrespective of what number of occasions the corporate will get dragged on Twitter, it by no means appears to be taught.
There’s undoubtedly lots to unpack right here, and we’ve barely scratched the floor. Isaac’s e book will certainly comprise extra juicy particulars, together with no matter Uber will get as much as within the subsequent two years.
Isaac isn’t the one Instances journalist with a e book deal—politics reporters Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush are writing a chronicle of the Trump administration for Random Home.