Taxi-hailing app Uber is facing the heat as the Karnataka State Drivers’ Association plans to get 20,000 Uber driver to stop services on September 24. This following a protest by 300 drivers in Bengaluru outside Uber’s partner support centre on MG Road on Wednesday against non-payment of dues and suspension of a few drivers.
The Hindu reports that many drivers expressed their dismay on the company as it favours customers when they complain and does not give the drivers a chance to explain their side of the story.
The Karnataka State Drivers' Association told TOI that they will mobilize 20,000 drivers driving for Uber to stop the services on Thursday and protest at the HSR Layout office of the company. Swamy DP, another driver who joined Uber nine months ago was not paid incentives as promised by his previous employer Ola.
“We are asked to visit the office on MG Road and then HSR Layout, which results in waste of an entire day. We simply cannot afford this since we have payments to make,” said Magesh, one of the drivers to The Hindu.
The drivers with recurring complaints and poor rating are stopped from accepting rides by the taxi-aggregator.
Uber spokesperson told The Hindu that the protest was fuelled mainly by drivers who were barred because they had not submitted proper documents for verification.
“There are drivers who have incomplete documentation or pending customer issues who have been barred. The management has spoken to them and they have calmed down. The situation is under control,” spokesperson added.
Manjunath S told the TOI that he had left his job two months back and joined Uber seeing the advertisement claiming to give an earning opportunity upto Rs.90,000. "I bought a new car and have to repay the loan and here the company is blocking our devises (the mobile phone) for a week if a consumer complains to them. They promises to pay incentives of Rs100 per trip but if we do not complete the target of 13 trips a day, we are paid nothing at all," he said.
Few other drivers complained that Uber has been cheating the customers and drivers in many ways. "We were given the mobile phone free of cost and never told that the company will deduct Rs300 per week for internet connection. When the drivers joined the company they were never told that they will not be given a single penny from incentives if 13 trips are not completed. Some of them are targeted by the company such that cops slap fine on those who question the manager or argue over incentives or other issues," said Nanjundaswamy, president of Karnataka State Drivers' Association.
To this, the Uber spokesperson told the ToI that the incident involved a very small group of drivers who defaulted the company’s system and hence were barred from using the platform. “In terms of incentives, majority of our driver partners are very happy being able to take advantage of Uber's pioneering lead generation technology, that provides unprecedented flexibility and earning potential. We're working with our driver partners on an individual basis to help address any concerns,” the spokesperson added.