“Uber is the bomb.” “Oh man, did you try Lyft? They’re awesome.” “I take Uber EVERYWHERE. I never leave home without it.” On and on, everyday somebody at my job is the poster-child for these companies. So I got excited, set-up an account, ordered my Uber ride, and the app said that Khalil was four minutes away. I was impressed. Khalil pulled up in a long black car and I got in. In less than 5 minutes I was in front of my building on campus. It was cool. I thought, I can do this. I’ve now got an inexpensive car service that will come to my door and deliver me right to my job. My life was about to change for the better–until I called for a ride during a rainstorm.
Round, and round, and round the car went on the digital matrix on my cell phone. I ordered the ride during bad weather. No confirmation that my order went through, no confirmation that it didn’t. So I waited, in the rain and oh, my phone did ask if I wanted to pay the surcharge of 5x more than what the ride would normally cost due to inclement weather and rush hour. But what was that going to be? $40.00 to travel 11 blocks? I agreed because I had to get to work that day.
8:55am no Khalil or anyone else showed up so eventually, I had to walk the painful and uncomfortable 5 blocks so I could hail a cab. Late and exhausted, I arrived at work in a really bad mood and picked a fight with co-workers about how great Uber is. They convinced me to give it another try so I did. Same thing. I ordered the ride, no confirmation that my order went through, no confirmation that it didn’t so I walked and hailed a cab again once again.
Finally, I gave up and deleted my account and started a relationship with Lyft. I entered my credit card information and they took $25.00 of my money before I even ordered my first ride and held onto it for 8 days before giving it back. I was furious. Are you kidding me? I must have overlooked some tiny small print “term.” Disappointed and disillusioned, I deleted my Lyft account.
So now I’m disgusted and just have to rely on my boyfriend for a ride to work in the morning. Strengthening my arguments against Uber at least, I have family members and friends that drove for Uber because they believed in their marketing campaign, until they received their compensation. $7.14. $2.50. $17.18. $25.00. After several weeks of that they are no longer drivers. I found an article on Twitter arguing in defense of Lyft drivers, how they should be treated as employees instead of independent contractors.
IoT is a beautiful thing, for most. All you have to do is enter your personal information, press send and the guy with a stylish car is right outside and someone is at their destination in just a few minutes. It did not work for me–not sure why my experience was so bad. It’s obviously a great concept if it works but is not such a great deal for the drivers I know. In addition to poor pay, the drivers are independent contractors so they absorb all their own expenses. This business model is only advantageous for the company and the riders.
Uber and Lyft are scratched off my list but I am very much looking forward to a future with Driverless Cars. I want it to come when I call it, deliver me to my destination, safely, and I want it to be affordable. I am ready for this next phase of IoT. How about you?