The true story of a Uber/Ola driver

Hello Sir, I am calling from Uber! Said a crisp voice from my phone.

It was a call and I pretty much understood that it was the Uber I booked a few minutes ago. I confirmed I’ll be there at the meeting point in a minute and began scrambling all of my stuff into my backpack, ready to head back home after a tired day’s work.

I arrived at the prefixed point and as I boarded the cab, a warm smile greeted me. I responded with a smile and sat down, resting my back into the warm and soft seat. Most of my cab rides usually go on with me boarding the can, plugging in my headphones and turn up the music and wait until I reach my destination. But little did I know, this trip is not gonna be the same.

How much did the price show in the app, sir? Asked the guy behind the wheels. 643 rupees bhaiya, I replied!

“That much!!?”. I saw his puzzled and shocked look just by the mention of the price. ”It’s too high na bhaiya. That’s too wrong!”, he added. I nodded in agreement, a usual trip in that route wouldn’t cost you that much. But today it was high due to the concept of “Surge pricing”. And as everyone would brush it off thinking the driver gets a high share, I did the same.

“They shouldn’t charge you so high, that’s wrong on their part!” He swiftly added as if he had somehow read my thoughts. I agreed. His words piqued my interest. I began to ask him questions based on how he had behaved till now and it gave me a set of new insights on how the drivers are paid by cab service companies like Ola and Uber.

One common thing in all of our daily cab rides is that we seem ignorant to the way they are treated. We just assume that the driver reaps the profits from the money being paid by us. However, it seems untrue. The drivers are not paid a lot and a whopping 25% commision is collected by Uber for letting them be a driver on their apps. Many of us would have assumed that the mobile internet bills and call costs are all refunded by them. They aren’t either, the drivers have to pay a hefty sum for their mobile bills every month. Along with all this, they get all the online transaction payments after a week. Till they receive this amount, the cost of fuel for the vehicles and other emergency expenses are paid from their own pockets.

Above all that, they don’t have any accidental or life insurance given by these companies! Riding 12 hours for a day is a must for these riders. All these terms and conditions apart, their call for changes is unheard. According to the driver’s statement, “ Many of our claims don’t reach the right person. It finds it ends along the “feedback” process.

As a customer, we all need to understand that drivers aren’t enjoying all benefits as we think. Even they have the short end of the stick, just like us! Their problems and qualms reaching the ears of the concerned person from Ola and Uber is something they wish for. Finding a common ground for all of us is the best course of action. In the end, all of us want a positive experience, be it as a customer or a driver or as a company.