Uber is launching a limited beta test in response to AB5, which is the California law that requires Uber and other gig apps to classify their workers as employees rather than contractors. Hoping to disqualify them from the new law that just went into effect New Year’s Day, Uber is now allowing select California Uber drivers to choose their own fare for rides.
Starting with rides at just three California airports — Sacramento, Santa Barbara, and Palm Springs — drivers can increase their prices up to five times the normal amount, in increments of 10%. This move is meant to give drivers more autonomy over the money they make, which helps Uber say, “Hey, we’re not their employer, we’re just the middle man.” *shrug*
My opinion: This is extremely anti-customer-centric, and users are not gonna let it progress past the beta test.
Essentially, I think it’s just going to turn Uber into a bidding war that is most likely not going to benefit the customer. Although Uber does automatically match riders with the lowest price ride available which would make having the lowest price at the moment advantageous, it’s pretty doubtful that prices will actually lower for riders, the minimum price will more likely get bumped up a little — or a lot.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Social Media + Events Coordinator at Worthix, as well as the host of the monthly CX News Recap segment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.