If you didn’t know, now you know: Uber sucks. And they’ve sucked for a while. .
By “sucks” I’m not talking about their actual service — I’m sure it works just fine, I’m referring to their business ethics and the values that the company and CEO holds themselves to.
Questionable Business Practices = Questionable Values
I consciously chose Lyft over Uber several years ago due to their scummy business practices.
Early in the their fight for market share with Lyft, Uber showed their version of “scrappy and fierce” with a slogging campaign that played dirty. Then they surprised users by introducing a not-always-transparent surge pricing feature that gouged passengers at the most-inopportune times. Then their company and CEO opened their mouth and opened their mouths again.
(This is on top of my anecdotal data talking to dozens of drivers that work for both Lyft and Uber and 100% responded that they preferred Lyft over Uber. They listed a variety of reasons but the most common things I heard were that Lyft treated them better in regards to respect, tipping, reliability and that Uber customers aren’t nearly as friendly).
And as you’ve probably heard by now, Uber’s CEO says he’ll work with Donald Trump as long as it gets Uber to its ultimate goal:
“We’ll partner with anyone in the world as long they’re about making transportation in cities better, creating job opportunities, making it easier to get around, getting pollution out of the air and traffic off the streets,” Kalanick told his employees during an All-Hands.
That sounds good and fine on the surface, but in this political climate, where does one draw the line? In the last week, Donald Trump has barred immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, silenced governmental agencies from releasing press releases, went really regressive on immigration by halting all incoming Syrian refugees, has plans on completely defunding the NEA, threatened to remove federal funds from sanctuary cities (San Francisco, New York City, Seattle, Chicago etc.), and had a the President of Mexico cancel their meeting after feeling disrespected by his administration.
At what point in humanity will Uber stop working with Trump or “anyone in the world”? At what point does your conscience and responsibility to your fellow man take over?Because though Trump may support your company (only if you support him) but he’s also destroying lives. So how close do those lives have to be to you before stepping up?
Business and Politics
Not only that, but during the protests at New York City’s JFK airport, Uber turned off surge pricing after hearing that taxis came together for an hour strike refusing service in support of the protest/against Trump’s immigration ban. So what may have made sense as a business decision undermined some of the protest’s political momentum.
Kalanick is laser-focused on dominating his market — that’s fine if there was a separation of business and politics, but that doesn’t exist in today’s world.
I’m unsure of Kalanick’s politics, but I’m there’s no doubting where other technology companies like Google, Netflix, Facebook, Apple, Salesforce, Twitter and others stand on a variety of important topics and social issues (Update: there’s no questioning where these companies stand on Trump’s recent Muslim ban).
These companies have no problem doing what they need to do for business, but also let their money do the talking politically. It’s a balance they pull off without issue. They use their influence to affect change in business, stay competitive and take the time to weigh in on political issues. They understand they have an influential voice.
By not denouncing Trump’s politics, Kalanick’s silence as part of his business advisory board, is endorsing Trump.
(Update: Lyft announced that they will give a $1M donation to the ACLU over the next four years)
Imagine if Tim Cook (Apple), Sergey Brin (Google), Reed Hastings (NetFlix), Marc Benioff (Salesforce) and Jack Dorsey (Twitter) didn’t use their influence to speak up? Our work would be much more difficult.
These CEOs are not only confident enough in their business but have a conscience to take a stand and do what’s right even in the face of potentially losing a million dollars here or there (which is pocket change for them). Even at the prospect of losing some business to do what they consider is the right thing, they can at least heads up high.
Put your money where your politics are — use Lyft.
Lyft has been my choice when it comes to ride sharing since 2014. In a nutshell, here’s five reasons in no particular order why you should #deleteUber:
1. Scummy business practices
2. Arrogant CEO
3. Treatment of drivers
4. Treatment of passengers
5. Passive support of Donald Trump
I consciously chose Lyft over Uber three years ago the same way that Kalanick consciously supports Trump because it gets him closer to his goal. Our principles drive our choices.
It’s early 2017 and it’s going to be an interesting year. There are a lot of actions you can take in doing the right thing. Choosing any other ride sharing company over Uber is just one small microstep in the bigger picture. Here’s a list of Uber alternatives:
With an administration so hellbent on lying and prone to facts, it’s difficult to exact change. One way to make these hypocrites notice is where you spend your money.
So start with #deleting Uber. To entice you to move on from Uber to Lyft (which is in most all of the cities that Uber is in) you can get a $15 credit applied to your first several rides by adding STUART12 promo code into the payments screen.