Uber could track users after they deleted the app.

I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in 2015

Yup, Uber may have tracked users after they deleted the app.

This week, the New York Times revealed that Uber tracked users after they deleted the app from their Iphones. Basically, they used a technique called fingerprinting to log an Iphone’s serial number after the Uber app was uninstalled. This practice is expressly forbidden by Apple because of privacy concerns. Even worse, to try to hide their activity from Apple, Uber geofenced Apple headquarters to keep Apple from finding out. This did not work and in late 2015, Mr. Cook summoned Mr. Kalanick to Apple headquarters and dressed him down, leaving Mr. Kalanick shaken. Mr. Cook told him to stop the fingerprinting or Uber would disappear from the app store.

After the NYT broke the story, Uber issued a statement that did not deny or apologize for their behavior:

We absolutely do not track individual users or their location if they’ve deleted the app. As the New York Times story notes towards the very end, this is a typical way to prevent fraudsters from loading Uber onto a stolen phone, putting in a stolen credit card, taking an expensive ride and then wiping the phone—over and over again. Similar techniques are also used for detecting and blocking suspicious logins to protect our users’ accounts. Being able to recognize known bad actors when they try to get back onto our network is an important security measure for both Uber and our users.

Please note that the denial above uses the present tense. In others words, Uber said they don’t currently track users who delete the app. However, they have not denied using the practice in the past.

Are arrests on the way because Uber tracked users (illegally), or just more civil suits?

It’s almost a certainty that these revelations will lead to more civil suits against Uber. The real question is whether any Uber execs could be arrested? Unfortunately, the answer is probably no. While it would be satisfying for many Uber drivers to see Travis Kalanick do a perp walk, or at least appear at an arraignment, he’s probably not going to be arrested.

Uber tracked users. Lawsuits to follow.

However, it’s possible the continuing torrent of awful PR could eventually spur Uber’s board to take action. While this is also unlikely since Mr. Kalanick controls most of the voting shares, it’s possible. It all depends on Mr. Kalanick’s CEO contract and if there are any clauses that could be used to justify his removal. At this point, he still has the support of the board. But if Uber keeps losing billions and stories keep breaking about atrocious and immoral behavior emanating from its executive suite, that could change.

Should Travis Kalanick be fired? Let us know your thoughts below?

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California Rideshare Insurance Options for Uber and Lyft Drivers.

Driving for Lyft or Uber in California? Buy proper California rideshare insurance with liability, property, and collision coverage today.

Is Uber overcharging riders or underpaying drivers?

Is Uber Upfront pricing overpaying or underpaying drivers?

The Rideshare Guy covered this topic briefly last year. This week, Quartz has new piece detailing some continuing issues with Uber’s Upfront pricing and overcharging. Specifically, Uber is underpaying drivers on certain rides. On other rides, the opposite may be occurring.

From Quartz:

I was the last drop-off that night, and I asked Kevin if I could stick around to compare what he earned with what we had paid. He agreed, so we sat in his car and waited for the trip summary to appear. Once it did, we noticed something odd: Uber had charged me $11.46, but it told Kevin my fare was $10.26, of which he got $7.30. The difference—$1.20, or 10% of what I paid—was unaccounted for.

Is Uber overcharging riders and underpaying drivers?

Uber’s response was lacking. Also from the article:

Uber said the upfront fares that riders agree to are a “best guess” of what a trip will cost based on time, distance, traffic, and demand, among other factors. Drivers are paid based on the actual length of a trip. Uber said this sometimes results in drivers being paid out of a higher fare than what the passenger is charged upfront. The company declined to provide details on whether these discrepancies net out in Uber’s favor.

Is Upfront pricing to blame?

Basically, Uber says that on some rides, drivers may be underpaid. On other rides, they may be overpaid. Uber, however, refuses to say whether the discrepancies work out in Uber’s favor or the drivers. In all likelihood, some drivers may be coming out ahead, but most are probably not. Even worse, this issue seemed to begin when Uber introduced upfront pricing (passengers see an estimate of what they’ll be charged before the trip). Prior to upfront pricing, drivers could see what they made from a trip almost immediately. Now there is a delay of several minutes. Is upfront pricing to blame?

Hopefully, we’ll find out. In February, a driver in North Carolina filed a class action lawsuit, alleging that Uber is obligated to pay drivers based on the fare charged to passengers, not the distance and time driven. If the case goes to trial, or gets to the discovery phase, we should get more information on the effect Upfront pricing has on drive pay.

In the meantime, are you a driver who has been underpaid on a ride? Or a rider who has been overcharged? Let us know below.

Lyft Sign Up Bonus

Drive With Lyft in Gary Indiana.

Sign up to Drive With Lyft in Gary, Indiana

While Lyft has been around for some time, it has finally made it’s way to Gary. Yes it’s true. The birthplace of The Jackson 5 has joined the rideshare universe. Although this means you can summon a Lyft while in Gary, it also means something else. For the first time, you can now sign up to Drive With Lyft in Gary, Indiana. Residents have welcomed Lyft to the city as an affordable alternative to other modes of transportation. However, Lyft is still in need of more drivers in Gary.

Drive With Lyft in Gary, Indiana.

Drive With Lyft in Gary, get a sign up bonus.

Even better, Gary, Indiana is a newer market for Lyft. This means Lyft is currently offering some of the highest sign up bonuses in the country for new drivers in Gary. While you can earn up to $25 per hour driving for Lyft, most drivers average between $15 and $20 per hour. Click the “Join Lyft” button below to start your application and see your sign up bonus.


Join Lyft


If you’d like more information about driving for Lyft in Gary, post a comment or question below, or check out these resources.

Drive With Lyft in Gary – Additional Resources

If you would like more information about signing up to Drive With Lyft in Gary, be sure to check out our page about Lyft Driver Sign Up Bonuses.

Want to drive rideshare, but don’t have a car? Check out our rental car guides.

Here’s some other resources that you may find helpful as you get started.

Why Uber is against tipping on Uber.

Why is Uber so against tipping?

Uber doesn’t allow in-app tipping on Uber. New York City and California are trying to change that. Now, if Uber wanted to be smart about it, they would just add in-app tipping like Lyft has had for years. That would make the pending California legislation and New York City regulations moot, while increasing driver morale. Uber has said it does not want to add a tipping option because it would:

  • take away from the seamless nature of the app,
  • allow biased customers to punish drivers from certain groups,
  • encourage drivers to concentrate in wealthy areas to get bigger tips.

Let’s break those reasons down.

Will tipping on Uber become a reality?

Even with a magnifying glass, you won’t find a tip option in the Uber app.

Tipping on Uber – The seamless Uber experience

Even with a tip option, the app would still be seamless, because it would be an option. Customers would not have to tip, but they could if they wanted to. Currently, customers don’t have to rate the driver, and many don’t. But Uber doesn’t think the rating system interrupts the seamless Uber experience. Why is tipping any different? All Uber would have to do is add a tip screen after the rating screeen. Still pretty seamless, no?

Tipping on Uber – Customer Bias

Another reason Uber gave for no tipping is that customer bias would lead to some groups of drivers getting tipped more than other groups of drivers. To translate, there are bigoted people in the world, and some of them use Uber. My response is that you shouldn’t punish drivers by removing the tip option entirely, simply because certain members of your user base are racist. Perhaps a better solution would be to add a tip option, while simultaneously educating Uber customers about cognitive bias and racism.

Tipping on Uber – Classism

As for drivers concentrating in wealthy areas, that already happens, and is unlikely to change. The reason is that drivers go where the money is, because that’s where the most Uber and Lyft requests are. In fact, Uber encourages drivers to drive in wealthy, predominantly white areas, on a daily basis.

Every day, across the United States, Uber sends text messages to drivers telling them where to go to find riders. In New York, they tell drivers to go to midtown, In L.A., it’s places like West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Hermosa. Here in Chicago, I get texts telling me to go to Lakeview and Lincoln Park. Uber has never once sent me a text telling me to go to a middle or working class neighborhood in Chicago to find riders. I also never get texts sending me to predominantly African American or Hispanic neighborhoods. I don’t know how to break it to Uber, but there’s money in Beverly and Morgan Park. If Uber was really worried about an overconcentration of drivers in wealthy areas, they would incentivize us to drive in other areas of the city.

The real reason Uber is against tipping on Uber

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the reasons Uber has given for not allowing in-app tipping are mostly bullshit. If the reasons Uber gave were true, they probably would’ve stated that from the beginning. Instead, they said tip was included, demonstrating that they didn’t have anything against the concept of tipping. Once Uber couldn’t tell customers tip was included, the company suddenly developed a whole philosophical opposition to tipping. Quite convenient. In reality, the real reason Uber has resisted adding an in-app tip option is because their exec suite doesn’t think it adds anything to their bottom line.

Unfortunately for Uber, their executives are wrong about that. In addition to improving driver morale, adding a tip option would probably increase driver retention, which has been a consistent problem for the company. Increasing driver retention means Uber would have to spend less money onboarding new drivers. That would save Uber money and improve their bottom line. Moreover, adding in-app tipping would raise the overall service level of Uber. Uber’s exec suite may be unaware, but there’s a saying going around in rideshare circles among drivers who drive for both Uber and Lyft:

I drive for both, but on Lyft, I drive for tips.

In other words, many drivers who drive for both Uber and Lyft, put more effort in when driving for Lyft. That should be reason enough for Uber to add a tip option, and reason enough for any Uber riders out there to give Lyft a try.

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Tipping Uber drivers: Will New York and California force Uber to add a tip option?

Is tipping Uber drivers in-app coming to California and New York?

Tipping Uber Drivers has always been a confusing topic, mostly thanks to Uber’s confusing and obtuse behavior . Years ago, Uber told customers a tip was included. It really wasn’t. Then, after multiple lawsuits, Uber stopped saying that. Now, they go out of their way to tell customers that there is no need to tip, or to imply to customers that a tip is included, when it’s still not. The vast majority of drivers disagree and would prefer if riders had the option to tip. We understand why many don’t tip. Uber doesn’t let you tip in the app.

However, if legislators and regulators get their way, Uber may have to start letting riders tip their Uber driver through the app in California and New York City. In California, Assembly Bill 1099, would force companies that accept payments by credit card, to allow their users to tip using a credit card. In New York, the taxi regulator plans to implement rules forcing Uber to allow in-app tipping by this July.

Will Uber ever adding a tipping option?

Will this force Uber to allow in-app tipping in other states?

It’s difficult to say. On the one hand, New York and California are such large markets, that Uber may make tipping functionality available in the rest of their U.S. markets. Also, it would be yet another PR nightmare for Uber if they are forced to allow tipping in two states, but still refuse to allow it in other states.

On the other hand, Uber and CEO Travis Kalanick have a history of obtuse stubborness, so who knows? Keep in mind, the legislation still has to pass and the regulations actually have to be issued. Uber can slow that process down. They could also challenge any resulting legislation or regulations in court, so it may still be a while before tipping comes to Uber.

If Uber wanted an easy, badly needed PR win, they would get ahead of the pending legislation and regulations, and add in-app tipping. It would likely help with driver retention and improve Uber’s bottom line, but why would they want to do that? It’s not like they lost $2.8 billion last year or something.

Source:The Boston Globe
Source:The Los Angeles Times

Uber loses another high level executive.

Sherif Marakby, Uber’s vice president of global vehicle programs, leaves after a year.

Uber executives quitting at a rapid pace.

Mr. Marakby was a key player in Uber’s autonomous vehicle program. He had worked at Ford, a leader in autonomous vehicle technology, for 13 years before coming to Uber last year. According to Uber, his departure is unrelated to the lawsuit Google subsidiary Waymo, filed against Uber earlier this year.

If you’re keeping count, that’s three high level executive who have left Uber in roughly a month. Rachel Whetstone, Uber’s communication head, left last week, while its president, Jeff Jones, quit in March. And that’s on top of other executives in the engineering, business growth, and mapping areas, who have left or been asked to resign in recent months.

Given Uber’s continuous run of bad PR and $2.8 billion 2016 loss (not including the $1 billion they lost in China), the executive departures do not bode well for the company. Don’t get me wrong, Uber’s not going anywhere. But any IPO plans are probably shelved for the foreseeable future, and they may find it difficult to close another round of funding above the level of their last round. They still probably have a substantial amount of cash on hand, but they can’t keep losing close to $3 billion a year.

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Comparison Shop Rideshare Insurance Costs with Coverhound.

Coverhound launches new rideshare insurance cost comparison tool.

Driving for Lyft or Uber and wish you could compare rideshare insurance policies? Well, a new tool is now available for drivers to do just that. Coverhound, the auto insurance comparison shopping site, has launched a rideshare portal. It lets you compare rates for rideshare insurance from a number of companies including: Safeco, Progressive, Mercury, Foremost, State Auto, CSE, Kemper, and National General.

Currently, Coverhound’s ridehare portal provides quotes in the following states.

AZ, AR, CA, CO, GA, IL, IN, KS, MD, MN, MO, MT, NC, NV, NM, OH, OK, OR, SD, TN, TX, UT, WA and WI.

Not every company listed above offers insurance in all of these states.

Does Coverhound work and send you back actual rideshare insurance quotes?

Yes, it does. On the first screen, you enter your zip code, and the number of vehicles and drivers you want to insure.

Rideshare Insurance Price Comparison with Coverhound

Source: Coverhound.com

After that, you enter your vehicle information and how much coverage you want, and you get comparison quotes from different companies. Some companies give a quote, others ask you to call them. I asked for a quote for a rideshare policy on a 2017 Toyota Camry. I got back quotes from multiple companies, at multiple coverage levels! The Coverhound rideshare insurance comparison engine even lets you see how much the cost is if you pay in installments vs. all at once.

Rideshare Insurance Price Comparison

Source: Coverhound.com

As you can see, minimum coverage for a 2017 Toyota Camry will cost $163 per month through Safeco. This is for a policy with limits of $50k for liability and $20k for property, and has a $1,000 deductible. However, Coverhound also shows you basic, superior, and deluxe coverage levels.

Source: Coverhound.com

If I want to stay with Safeco, but have slightly better coverage, the cost will be $177. For that, I would get a policy with a liability limit of $100 for bodily injury and $25k for property. Also, my comprehensive deductible would be $500 instead of $1,000. However, according to Coverhound, I can get a similar policy on Mercury for just $143 per month. That’s less than the minimum coverage policy offered by Safeco. It definitely pays to comparison shop when looking for rideshare insurance.

Have you used Coverhound’s rideshare portal, and what was your experience? Let us know below?