Before we get started, a note:
I drive full time. Which means I’ll be “online” for anywhere from 30-50+ hours a week. Full time Uber & Lyft drivers aren’t too common. Most drive as a side gig or to get some pocket money. My feelings toward both ride share platforms is, therefore, colored by the fact that I use this as my primary method to pay rent, bills, groceries, etc.
And before you start looking for #2… there is only 1.
- You are guaranteed NOTHING
Since summer hit and, presumably, more college students and teachers are on the road getting competitive, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to hit my weekly goals without digging far, far down into the “expenses are overcoming profit margin” hole.
This kind of work is not for the faint of heart. It’s a gamble. It’s a slog. It’s trying to navigate blindly in an ever-changing market because competition and need shifts week to week. Uber and Lyft, at least in Kansas City, do not guarantee a minimum “hourly” rate. They will not make up any difference. If you don’t get your rides, you’re screwed.
I’ve had the apps on, moving every fifteen minutes from potential spot to potential spot, for eight hours at a time and made $60. I’ve also worked five hours and made $250. Those blissful, money-raining times give you a false expectation of how things will work out in the future, when in reality one can never know.
You’re not an employee.
You have no health insurance. And if the current administration has their way, you won’t have any way to privately purchase health insurance (especially with a pre-existing condition)
There is very little right to appeal if you’re deactivated, even if it’s not your fault. This is happening with greater frequency as the “Put your Uber driver on blast” meme circulates, and more passengers use deceit to scam free ride credits.
You can’t file for unemployment benefits.
Neither company chips in on the cost of ride share insurance, which is more expensive than regular insurance. And regular insurance will not cover you or your passenger if you were doing ride share when you’re in an accident. In fact, most insurance companies will pull your coverage altogether under breach of contract.
Lyft & Uber will never assist in a tow, repair, or gas expenditures.
Even as fuel rates begin to rise again, neither company is adjusting their drivers’ per-mile or per-minute rate.
Both companies are mum about any potential app-related issues. If their technology fails, there is no recourse. No way to reclaim that lost time and potential lost income. If the tipping feature malfunctions, as many Uber drivers are currently claiming, we have no way of knowing and no way of reclaiming that money.
Most of all, this article here explains the economic and sociopolitical drawbacks of both companies and the so-called “gig economy” in general.
I do this because I have to. Because my mental illnesses make it incredibly difficult to do a customer-service job in a traditional company. But I’m not going to be doing this forever, because there’s no way in hell it’ll ever be sustainable.