Passengers are complaining of being left stranded at the roadside, with some drivers admitting they accept but then reject more than half the jobs they are offered through the ride-hailing phone app.
A change in drivers’ terms and conditions and a hike in petrol prices means they will often accept only the most profitable fares, but the issue has caused frustration among passengers.
Uber customers are suffering from a ‘cancel culture’ of abandoned fares as the tech giant finds itself locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with drivers
Complaining on social media yesterday, one woman called Estelle wrote: ‘So 12 Ubers have cancelled on two young women in the middle of Central London between 4am and 5am in the morning on New Year? We’re getting hypothermia.’
A shortage of drivers has been blamed on soaring wages in other sectors, such as home delivery and logistics, which has seen many switch jobs.
At the same time there has been a 40 per cent rise in passenger numbers due to people avoiding public transport during the pandemic.
In November, Uber increased its rates by ten per cent in London as part of an attempt to entice drivers back.
It has also been told to guarantee workers more employment rights after courts decided its 40,000 drivers are not self-employed and should be paid the national living wage and offered holiday pay.
An Uber spokesman said: ‘In recent months demand for Uber rides has soared, leading to higher driver earnings.
At the same time there has been a 40 per cent rise in passenger numbers due to people avoiding public transport during the pandemic
‘With drivers also receiving new worker rights such as weekly holiday pay and a pension, there has never been a better time to drive with Uber.
‘We are continuing our efforts to sign up an additional 20,000 drivers to help meet this growing demand.’
But Zamir Dreni, vice-chairman of the App Drivers And Couriers Union, who has been driving for Uber since 2012, said: ‘People are not being paid properly, and that’s why they have to pick and choose the jobs that they take.
‘It’s not the drivers letting you down, it’s the app. The company is exploiting drivers and as a result the public are left stranded.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail