If you need an odd job doing, services like TaskRabbit exist that let you hire a person from the internet so they can do it for you. Now Uber appears to be considering a move into that market as well, because it's been emailing drivers to ask whether they'd be willing to do it - and how much they'd want to be paid.
The email reads:
“We would like to ask about your interest in receiving requests from Uber to perform other types of tasks on a flexible basis. Task requests would be similar to ride requests from Uber. A request would be sent through the Uber app for a task. If interested, an Uber partner would accept the request and then travel to meet the request at the specified task location.”
It also includes a link to a survey so that drivers can make their feelings known. It asks for them to state a minimum hourly rate, and whether they'd be interested in tasks that involve healthcare services, moving services, customer service, retail, cleaning, clerical tasks, warehouse tasks, and food service.
According to Recode this sort of thing has been discussed internally at Uber for the past year or so, but it isn't very clear what stage those talks are at. The company reportedly declined to comment.
I suppose it makes sense. Uber already has the brand recognition for this sort of on-demand work, and has expended its business beyond being a glorified taxi service with Uber Eats. I can certainly see the appeal for customers, seeing as how Uber wouldn't need to start the new business from nothing. With all the people already employed-but-not-employed by the company, that means there's a much bigger pool of workers to get stuff done for people.
Hopefully they'll learn from past mistakes, and won't try to screw anyone who does decide to use UberTasks (copyright pending) to earn a living. [ReCode]