Locate2u the Company & its Products ▾

Locate2u Pulse is a software platform designed for any delivery or service business. Learn more here.

Locate2u News

Locate2u News offers up-to-date logistics and e-commerce insights from across the globe, keeping you informed on industry trends and developments.

Locate2u Pulse

Locate2u is a software platform designed for any delivery or service business. Our solution helps these businesses improve their route efficiency, improve their customer’s delivery experience, and increase productivity, all while reducing the time it takes to plan routes.

Uber to curb unfair driver deactivations

Uber to curb unfair driver deactivations
Uber to curb unfair driver deactivations

Uber is making strides to address a long-standing issue affecting its drivers – unfair ratings and account deactivations. The ride-hailing service’s new features will roll out across the US first.

A first-of-its-kind report from the Asian Law Caucus published in February shows that unfair customer ratings from Uber and Lyft customers were found to be influenced by racial, religious, gender, and other forms of bias.

“Even if a driver has a history of thousands of rides and accompanying excellent customer ratings, a complaint filed by a customer against a driver can single-handedly determine when and whether a driver is ‘deactivated.’”

The report clarifies that the term ‘deactivated’ is nothing more than a euphemism used by Uber and Lyft to refer to the act of terminating app-based drivers.

Curbing biased driver ratings

The new technology Uber rolled out this week is designed to detect and discount biased or unfair ratings of e-hailing riders and Uber Eats customers. Uber says the rollout of this system is to safeguard drivers from unjust ratings, which could affect their livelihoods. 

The statement reads: “It’s an unfortunate reality that some people report false issues with a driver with the aim of getting a refund from Uber. We’ve put new systems in place […] to help ensure these reports won’t count towards ratings or a deactivation decision.”

For many, driving for Uber is not just a part-time job. It’s a primary source of income. When they are unfairly terminated, some lose their vehicles and homes. And since they are independent contractors, they don’t qualify for unemployment benefits.

Uber driver deactivation 

The sudden deactivation of drivers’ accounts often happens without an explanation of why they were removed from the platform. 

The Asian Law Caucus says a notable proportion of these deactivations were attributed to customer complaints and discrimination. These complaints particularly affect drivers of color and those with limited English proficiency.

A survey conducted among Uber and Lyft drivers found that two out of three (approximately 66%) had been permanently deactivated by either Uber, Lyft, or both companies. In addition:

  • 32% of deactivated Uber drivers had been temporarily deactivated once; 22% twice, and 13% three or more times. 
  • 20% of deactivated Lyft drivers had been temporarily deactivated once; 11% twice, and 8% three or more times.

Many drivers struggled to pay their bills, with 28% of deactivated drivers having difficulty paying medical insurance or medical bills. A quarter had difficulty paying for schooling and childcare.

The bigger picture

Uber says blocking a driver from accessing their account “is one of the most serious decisions” the company could make, “and one of the most distressing moments that a driver or courier can experience.”

In response to the rising trend of driver deactivations, Uber will also expand the in-app review center. The new features will give drivers insights into the reasons behind their account deactivations. It will also allow them to contest the decision. 

Uber’s recent app changes are a step in the right direction for the gig economy. These features will hopefully promote fairness and transparency while enhancing drivers’ working conditions. 

This approach could potentially inspire other companies to follow suit and contribute to a more balanced and fair working environment for gig workers worldwide.

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

Capterra Pixel