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(Salon)   Cab company Uber must be stopped by any means necessary. It is the true embodiment of unrestrained hypercapitalism. And together, we can destroy it   (salon.com ) divider line
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7917 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Aug 2014 at 10:58 AM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-08-31 09:45:00 AM  
Andrew Leonard strikes me as the sort of person who, 60 years ago, would have seen a Red under every bed.
 
2014-08-31 09:51:25 AM  
A lot of African Americans love it because they can actually get a ride.
 
2014-08-31 10:16:52 AM  
I just paid $5.69 for a ride in a clean car with seatbelts that work, instead of paying $10 for a gross Somerville cab, so I'm getting a kick out of this thread.
 
2014-08-31 11:01:12 AM  
Tried Uber a few times when I was on the road prices were ALWAYS crazy high. Glad I live someplace I don't have to take cabs or Uber ever.
 
2014-08-31 11:01:48 AM  

SockMonkeyHolocaust: A lot of African Americans love it because they can actually get a ride.


Yeah, I really like how nondiscrimination is kind of built into the uber system. Also that the drivers are allowed to judge you back. And the tip is built in.
 
2014-08-31 11:05:54 AM  
Uber is not going to look as solid an investment once it gets sued for a couple accidents.
 
2014-08-31 11:07:11 AM  

charlesmartel11235: SockMonkeyHolocaust: A lot of African Americans love it because they can actually get a ride.

Yeah, I really like how nondiscrimination is kind of built into the uber system. Also that the drivers are allowed to judge you back. And the tip is built in.


Allowing more customers into the marketplace creates competitition which is great.

The problems are the tactics that they use to stifle competition.
 
2014-08-31 11:08:40 AM  
Uber is just a sign that taxi licensing needs to be reformed in most places.

And Uber is cheating the system.  Taxi companies may be corrupt, but so is Uber - and Lyft too.
 
2014-08-31 11:08:57 AM  
I use Uber all the time...I'm torn because I don't like their tactics, but they kick the ever-living shiat out of cab services around here in terms of service, price, and ride experience.

And the "no tipping" thing saves Drunk Me a lot of money.
 
2014-08-31 11:09:37 AM  

Plant Rights Activist: Uber is not going to look as solid an investment once it gets sued for a couple accidents.


From what I understand getting insurance was the hardest part of starting their business.
 
2014-08-31 11:10:35 AM  
"What happens to labor - the Uber drivers - when they have no alternative but Uber?"

Um....like how there's no alternative to traditional cabs? Why would there be no alternative to Uber? That's stupid.
 
2014-08-31 11:10:50 AM  

SockMonkeyHolocaust: A lot of African Americans love it because they can actually get a ride.


African Americans were using Uber like service before it became Uber. Every black person in big city know a ghetto cab number.
/I have two myself
 
2014-08-31 11:13:24 AM  
Well, American capitalism. Which means one company (Uber) works in a business free of regulation while identical companies (cab companies) have to adhere to several legal regulations in order to be in the exact same business. Really the only thing that happens if Uber wins is that cab companies disband and start back up using the same loopholes Uber does.
 
2014-08-31 11:14:49 AM  
As somebody who has taken exactly three cab rides in his life and is way too lazy to investigate this or even RTFA, can somebody briefly sum up what Uber actually is and why it is generating alternately high amounts of ire and praise?
 
2014-08-31 11:15:53 AM  

drjekel_mrhyde: SockMonkeyHolocaust: A lot of African Americans love it because they can actually get a ride.

African Americans were using Uber like service before it became Uber. Every black person in big city know a ghetto cab number.
/I have two myself


For a while I was certain that everyone in New York, regardless of color, knew a Greek guy with a town car.
 
2014-08-31 11:15:56 AM  
I can still use Lyft though, right?

/fark cabs
 
2014-08-31 11:16:34 AM  

drjekel_mrhyde: SockMonkeyHolocaust: A lot of African Americans love it because they can actually get a ride.

African Americans were using Uber like service before it became Uber. Every black person in big city know a ghetto cab number.
/I have two myself


You have two black persons?  Is that legal in this day and age?
 
2014-08-31 11:17:19 AM  

casual disregard: As somebody who has taken exactly three cab rides in his life and is way too lazy to investigate this or even RTFA, can somebody briefly sum up what Uber actually is and why it is generating alternately high amounts of ire and praise?


You could have read the article in the time it took to post this.
 
2014-08-31 11:17:37 AM  
The concept that one should meed a "medallion" to give someone a ride is idiotic. Uber is common sense. The taxi system is the problem.
 
2014-08-31 11:19:55 AM  

drjekel_mrhyde: SockMonkeyHolocaust: A lot of African Americans love it because they can actually get a ride.

African Americans were using Uber like service before it became Uber. Every black person in big city know a ghetto cab number.
/I have two myself


Yeah, in Chicago they were known as jitney cabs.  I guess they still exist.
 
2014-08-31 11:20:45 AM  
I always knew that farkers were anti rules and regulations when it comes to their own interests.
 
2014-08-31 11:21:03 AM  

Tigger: casual disregard: As somebody who has taken exactly three cab rides in his life and is way too lazy to investigate this or even RTFA, can somebody briefly sum up what Uber actually is and why it is generating alternately high amounts of ire and praise?

You could have read the article in the time it took to post this.


To be fair to him, the article doesn't explain how it works.

cd: It's an iPhone app that calls an unlicensed taxi (ie; some dude in his normal car) to give you a lift. Somehow it's legal to flaunt taxi regulations that way, so they can massively undercut on price.

It's also a great way for a budding serial killer to find victims. Win-win for everybody!
 
2014-08-31 11:24:19 AM  
with Uber:

1) never been told "your ride will be there in two minutes" when the taxi was not close and probably picked up another person before coming to me
2) never had to stand outside in the snow waiting for a cab that I was told was right in front of my house
3) never been blown off three times in a row having to call the only two cab services that are licensed to pick up people in my town
4) never had an uber cab ask me where i'm going -- to decide if they want to take the fair or not
5) never had an uber cab ask me whether I plan to pay cash or credit so they can decide if I am a worthy fair or not
6) never not been able to get an ride home/to the hotel, even in Munich at the end of an Oktoberfest night when cabs were impossible to find and drunk kids were staggering in the streets.  I got an uber cab in 5 minutes and got home when others were sitting waiting for their rides
7) never had an uber complain "my credit card machine isn't working -- you must pay cash" even though it is illegal to operate a cab in Boston that doesn't have a working credit card machine and when that is brought to their attention, the credit card machine magically starts working again.

Taxi companies are complaining about Uber and how they are cutting in to the traditional medallion cab system.  fark TAXIS COMPANIES --  even an uber service piggy backing on taxi cabs is worth a premium.
 
2014-08-31 11:25:57 AM  

odinsposse: Well, American capitalism. Which means one company (Uber) works in a business free of regulation while identical companies (cab companies) have to adhere to several legal regulations in order to be in the exact same business. Really the only thing that happens if Uber wins is that cab companies disband and start back up using the same loopholes Uber does.


In NYC Uber has to meet the exact same regulatory conditions as livery companies and is under the same restrictions (neither taxi can be hailed on the street, you must call/app for one). Uber is actually more expensive but it provides a much more convenient experience and much less shady drivers/vehicles. I mean, Uber drivers actually all have GPS devices in my experience so I know I'll actually get to where I'm going eventually on their own. Livery or even yellow cabs? Good luck, enjoy telling the driver directions off of your smart phone for the whole ride.
 
2014-08-31 11:32:17 AM  
It has always amused me watching liberals praise Uber, essentially a lightly regulated cab company, while in other threads believing any reduced regulations will destroy us all. Same with Aereo.
 
2014-08-31 11:32:51 AM  
Wrt to insurance, Uber isn't adjusting claims in an accident-- it's actually denying it provides any coverage for an accident or narrowing the window for coverage to an extent that makes it practically non-existent.

Wrt to pricing: their dynamic pricing model is essentially legalized gouging. There is absolutely no reason a $30 ride should cost $150 simply because there's high demand. That's happened during big events, holidays and inclement weather.

Wrt to its self-definition: Uber doesn't call itself a transportation company, and in the sense that it doesn't provide vehicles to transport goods or people, that's true. But it is a transportation company in the sense that it provides a dispatch service for transportation. It's a load of crap that this is college kids and soccer moms ride-sharing while they run errands. This is a dispatch service connecting on-the-job drivers with people desiring transportation services. Cities have rules for that within their taxi divisions because that's considered a public service.

Wrt to customers: only a certain clientele can use Uber. Those without a credit card or debit card cannot use Uber. Those who utilize disability services like Paratransit can't use Uber. These are all typically people lower on the income scale.

Wrt drivers: Uber's background checks are cursory. There's a reason why municipal regulatory agencies are in charge of taxi background checks: to avoid the hiring of people just to increase enrollment. Uber has a monetary interest in getting as many drivers of whatever character on the road, where a municipality has no such stake. Additionally, cities have limited the number of medallions available to limit the number of cabs. Too many drivers on the road means not enough income for each driver.

Uber innovated a great application of technology to the taxi business, but that's it. The rest of their model relies on gaming a system designed to protect consumers and drivers against things like gouging and oversaturation. Uber doesn't need to be banned; it just needs to follow the rules for taxis, since that's the service they're dispatching.
 
2014-08-31 11:34:03 AM  
Uber is part of  the growing Black Market economy. When taxes and regulation become too burdensome, people start finding ways around them. The direct point is that Cab companies bought into tight regulation and licensing in order to freeze out competition.   The broader point is that in the South -at least- many many low skill jobs go to illegal aliens because even if you pay them equivalent wages you save 30 percent in tax and benefit costs.

For that matter, how many Farkers are working  under the table jobs?  I'll bet the number is surprisingly high.
 
2014-08-31 11:35:02 AM  
I feel in love with the NYC cab commission when they busted a volunteer-ride-to-the-doctor for cancer patients. So anything short of ISIS is probably great for the industry which appears corrupt through and through.

Like a stripper, a doctor in a "hospital-based office," a cabbie has to pay "rent" on his unserviced cab. Then he's at the mercy of a "dispatcher" for his livelyhood, or he can play gamble his time away at the airport in line with all the other cabs.  These cabbies probably would have a better life at Uber and others.
They'll be first to use the new flying cabs coming out soon as soon as Obama is out of office and magic Republicans rule.
 
2014-08-31 11:37:16 AM  

Giltric: I always knew that farkers were anti rules and regulations when it comes to their own interests.


They're pro-rules and regs when it promotes fairness and common sense, and against them when it harms these things.  I don't think Farkers differ from regular people on this.
 
2014-08-31 11:37:43 AM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: The concept that one should meed a "medallion" to give someone a ride is idiotic. Uber is common sense. The taxi system is the problem.


This is correct.
 
2014-08-31 11:37:54 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: Plant Rights Activist: Uber is not going to look as solid an investment once it gets sued for a couple accidents.

From what I understand getting insurance was the hardest part of starting their business.


ah, so they are insured now?  I was under the impression they were still going with the business plan of not taking any accountability.
 
2014-08-31 11:39:06 AM  
The only people who are buttmad about Uber are the Yellow/Checker cab conglomerates.
 
2014-08-31 11:39:18 AM  

MyRandomName: It has always amused me watching liberals praise Uber, essentially a lightly regulated cab company, while in other threads believing any reduced regulations will destroy us all. Same with Aereo.


without even the slightest hint of a thought process you barfed out that? ... hmmm ...

that someone can believe that regulation is essential but also limiting to business (limiting doesn't mean bad -- just restrictive on the number of ways a business can make money and that can be an Ok thing or a thing that doesn't work) -- and that Uber is a line that works.

But, you know, dumping dangerous or unknown chemicals in a river that people get their water supply from is not a line that works
 
2014-08-31 11:39:49 AM  

rzrwiresunrise: Uber innovated a great application of technology to the taxi business, but that's it. The rest of their model relies on gaming a system designed to protect consumers and drivers against things like gouging and oversaturation. Uber doesn't need to be banned; it just needs to follow the rules for taxis, since that's the service they're dispatching.


No.  The system is designed to protect traditional tax cab companies from real customer service.  Look up "rent seeking" if you are not familiar with the concept.

Here is the one thing uber haters like yourself never address.  The abysmal customer service history of traditional taxi service.  Its horrible on every level.  And has been for decades.  Uber is succeeding not by creating an awesome application (they did) but by providing their customers like human beings.

/taken four uber-x rides in the last 48 hours when visting my parents - not a single complaint and cheaper than having to rent a car
 
2014-08-31 11:40:02 AM  
FTFA: "It's probably too soon to cry out "Break up Uber." The company hasn't won yet. But the smart money is on Uber (by definition, if you consider Google and Goldman Sachs, two prominent Uber investors, to be "smart")."

Not necessarily.
 
2014-08-31 11:40:15 AM  

BolshyGreatYarblocks: They're pro-rules and regs when it promotes fairness and common sense, and against them when it harms these things.


Are you a bridge salesman?
 
2014-08-31 11:42:02 AM  
That Verve article revealed scummy behavior by both Uber and Lyft which just reminds me the way that cab companies behave. I'd rather not deal with any of them.
 
2014-08-31 11:42:10 AM  
What Uber is in Reality:
downtownrob.com

What the Yellow/Checker cab company conglomerates want you to think Uber looks like:
31.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-08-31 11:43:40 AM  

BolshyGreatYarblocks: Giltric: I always knew that farkers were anti rules and regulations when it comes to their own interests.

They're pro-rules and regs when it promotes fairness and common sense, and against them when it harms these things.  I don't think Farkers differ from regular people on this.


Exactly. I have no problem with Uber's business. Taxi laws should be reformed to deal with it. The internet and always connected smartphones have made services like this (and AirBnB) possible.

The article though, is about Uber's assholish tactics against the competition. Essentially hiring people to tie up the drivers of the other service to make the experience for the customers of that service crappier. Competing on merit I think everyone is all for. Using shady tactics like that, most people probably find kind of vile.
 
2014-08-31 11:44:15 AM  
Everybody loves the free market. Unless you're getting in to their market.
 
2014-08-31 11:44:19 AM  

badhatharry: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: The concept that one should meed a "medallion" to give someone a ride is idiotic. Uber is common sense. The taxi system is the problem.

This is correct.


In Chicago, a medallion cost, on average, nearly $330,000 in June.  Talk about gouging.
 
2014-08-31 11:46:54 AM  
I haven't taken very many taxi rides in my life, but if there are "systems" in place to prevent gouging, they don't seem to be doing a very good job.

Also, I enjoyed the jab at the poster who didn't read the article asking what Uber is, telling them to read the article which, in fact, does not explain what Uber is, despite asking that very question in the first sentence of said article. There's just too much irony floating around here, I need to get outside for some air.
 
2014-08-31 11:48:54 AM  
I hate everything about cabs, and the politicized medallion system more than most. After reading about Uber business tactics and a recent $38 ten minute surge priced ride in Seattle.. fark Uber.

Lyft I like.
 
2014-08-31 11:50:42 AM  

gingerjet: No.  The system is designed to protect traditional tax cab companies from real customer service.  Look up "rent seeking" if you are not familiar with the concept.


What's funny is how you ignore what Uber is: a taxi dispatch service. Except they've spent their lobbying dollars on how to avoid following the rules of that industry.

gingerjet: The abysmal customer service history of traditional taxi service.


No argument. But that's not an excuse for Uber to say it's not what it is and thus avoid any regulation.

I actually think the best innovation Uber came up with is the rating part of the app.
 
2014-08-31 11:52:27 AM  

gingerjet: rzrwiresunrise: Uber innovated a great application of technology to the taxi business, but that's it. The rest of their model relies on gaming a system designed to protect consumers and drivers against things like gouging and oversaturation. Uber doesn't need to be banned; it just needs to follow the rules for taxis, since that's the service they're dispatching.

No.  The system is designed to protect traditional tax cab companies from real customer service.  Look up "rent seeking" if you are not familiar with the concept.

Here is the one thing uber haters like yourself never address.  The abysmal customer service history of traditional taxi service.  Its horrible on every level.  And has been for decades.  Uber is succeeding not by creating an awesome application (they did) but by providing their customers like human beings.

/taken four uber-x rides in the last 48 hours when visting my parents - not a single complaint and cheaper than having to rent a car


Dude, we get it, you really like uber.  But the man does have a point.  Many (but not necessarily all) of the existing taxi/limo regulations are in place for public safety and fair competition purposes.  When you allow a company to circumvent those regulations, it gives said company an unfair advantage, which in turn will naturally create a monopoly.  Once a monopoly is in place and barriers to entry exist, said monopoly has no reason to compete as strongly as it would if it had fair competition.
 
2014-08-31 11:54:07 AM  

BolshyGreatYarblocks: Giltric: I always knew that farkers were anti rules and regulations when it comes to their own interests.

They're pro-rules and regs when it promotes fairness and common sense, and against them when it harms these things.  I don't think Farkers differ from regular people on this.


They do, however, differ from Giltric who as a committed racist is inevitably a big supporter of making things worse.
 
2014-08-31 11:55:22 AM  

Rakishi: I mean, Uber drivers actually all have GPS devices in my experience so I know I'll actually get to where I'm going eventually on their own. Livery or even yellow cabs? Good luck, enjoy telling the driver directions off of your smart phone for the whole ride.


What city are you in? In Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco, I've had to whip out my phone and play backseat driver because the driver lacked a GPS unit. I was not aware they were required to have one. They'd use their phone to get to me, I suppose, then take a phone call while driving me to my destination. Not the most pleasant experiences, actually on par with cabs (save for the "MINE!" part when hailing one).
 
2014-08-31 12:01:15 PM  
The existing cab environment is corrupt to the core, unfortunately Uber is not going to make any significant dent in it because too many connected people have a financial interest in the status quo. Uber's attitude will likely be it's downfall when enough bad things happen to them and we are reminded why need to have regulations.
 
2014-08-31 12:02:29 PM  

MyRandomName: It has always amused me watching liberals praise Uber, essentially a lightly regulated cab company, while in other threads believing any reduced regulations will destroy us all. Same with Aereo.


You bore me

/not a liberal
 
2014-08-31 12:02:51 PM  

keithgabryelski: with Uber:

1) never been told "your ride will be there in two minutes" when the taxi was not close and probably picked up another person before coming to me
2) never had to stand outside in the snow waiting for a cab that I was told was right in front of my house
3) never been blown off three times in a row having to call the only two cab services that are licensed to pick up people in my town
4) never had an uber cab ask me where i'm going -- to decide if they want to take the fair or not
5) never had an uber cab ask me whether I plan to pay cash or credit so they can decide if I am a worthy fair or not
6) never not been able to get an ride home/to the hotel, even in Munich at the end of an Oktoberfest night when cabs were impossible to find and drunk kids were staggering in the streets.  I got an uber cab in 5 minutes and got home when others were sitting waiting for their rides
7) never had an uber complain "my credit card machine isn't working -- you must pay cash" even though it is illegal to operate a cab in Boston that doesn't have a working credit card machine and when that is brought to their attention, the credit card machine magically starts working again.

Taxi companies are complaining about Uber and how they are cutting in to the traditional medallion cab system.  fark TAXIS COMPANIES --  even an uber service piggy backing on taxi cabs is worth a premium.


Allow me to add:

8) Never had drivers asking ME for directions how to get to my destination.
 
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