Taxi apps brought disruption in the riding business at a time when people who were accustomed to the traditional system were not ready to let go. But we are all aware of what change can do to us; it is inevitable, and probably the only thing that lasts forever. This means that the demographic that shunned ride-hailing business has been forced to adapt, which is not a bad thing if you investigate the benefits derived from online taxi hailing.
Uber drivers, among other local taxi firms, are disgruntled about some decisions that have been made by their parent platforms. Specifically, Uber, Taxify as well as Little drivers laid down their tools of trade earlier this week. Uber drivers, in particular, are complaining about poor returns and unfavourable terms, and in some cases, some protests have turned violent.
In its defence, Uber Kenya says that it had communicated to drivers before deploying any promotions that seem to be eating into the drivers’ revenues.
“From June 8th, 2017 Uber in Kenya has been running a variety of promotions aimed at encouraging riders in Nairobi to take trips with Uber while continuing to offer safe reliable and affordable transportation. We communicated to all driver-partners how Uber was covering all costs of the promotions and about the hourly guarantees we put in place during the promotion to ensure that they would benefit. We also communicated to riders encouraging them to participate in these promotion(s),” says Uber in a statement.
Apparently, it makes little sense for drivers to go on the road about promotions that have been ongoing for some time. On the other hand, it is an indicator that such promotions are not welcome, which, by extension, frustrates the technology firm’s attempts in winning the trust of their customers after a series of internal issues at its head office.
It has been reported that some riders and driver-partners have been subject to some form of violence and intimidation while using the app. For this reason, Uber is reminding the culprits of its zero-tolerance approach to violence and intimidation. Driver-partners who disobey the firm’s community guidelines will be reported to the police. Also, the company will deregister their profiles.
“We are closely monitoring the situation to ensure that riders get to their destination safely. Our internal security experts and law enforcement response teams are working tirelessly to help wherever possible,” adds the statement.
Riders are advised to report all incidents through Uber’s in-app help feature.