Uber's been talking to drivers, and today announced a series of new initiatives to address the feedback they got. They include a way to cash out the money you've made early, discounted ISAs and lessons on how to make the most money with your time.
Jo Bertram, Regional General Manager of Uber in the UK, explains the reasons for the changes:
“While drivers tell us they love the freedom of being their own boss we also know there are many things Uber can do better. Over the last year we've listened to thousands of drivers across the UK and that's already led to improvements like the driver destinations feature. We're really pleased to announce some new initiatives today and we'll be setting out more in the coming months.”
The new features include (names invented by us):
Get me home by 8
If a driver's heading home (or somewhere else), they can tell the Uber app the direction they need to go in and it'll match them with a passenger going that way. But Uber's now adding a way for drivers to tell the app what time they need to be there, which is handy if they've got an appointment or something else time-sensitive.
Uber drivers get paid at the end of every week. The new FlexPay feature will let them claim the fares they've already earned early - but Uber notes that it takes up to three days, in which case it's not going to make much difference past the middle of the week.
Drivers will be able to book a place on the new Earnings Advice Sessions, which teach them how to make the most money for your time using Uber. They'll be taught by Uber and other drivers, and bookings will be prioritised for drivers making less than the hourly average.
As well as the free language lessons Uber already offers, the company is now working with FutureLearn to give free online courses from big unis. Uber will also stump up for your Certificate of Achievement if you've done over 500 trips and complete one of these online courses.
When I'm 64
The company has teamed up with online investment company Moneyfarm to give drivers discounts on financial products like pensions and ISAs to help drivers save up for the future. They're also offering lessons in money management - I might become an Uber driver just to get those, especially if there's one called "how to stop buying board games you don't need."
Next week, Uber will be launching a Partner Appeals Panel for drivers who've been fired to appeal various decisions. The panel will be made up of other drivers. There are also new guidelines explaining why riders might get kicked out of Uber.
What's not included but absolutely should be
- Go somewhere via somewhere else (seriously HOW is this not included yet?)
- A mashup between Uber and Pokémon Go that lets you a) hatch eggs while in a cab and b) navigate to a particular Pokémon
- An option to automatically avoid your ex's house in all journeys.
Sigh. One day.