I wanted to recount what has happened to me as an UberEats driver the past 7 months and see if anyone else has had a similar experience or if anyone can verify if this is indeed a regular ploy by Uber to suck drivers in with high promotions and bonuses and then slowly strip them away thinking they we still continue to drive for them.
I started driving for UberEats in Santa Barbara, CA in June of 2018. The initial multipliers were welcome, nothing over 1.5, but still not bad for starting out. Within a few weeks I was given the trips promotion, so do 20 trips for $40 and 30 trips for $60 extra dollars twice a week. Within a few months, my multipliers also steadily increased to 1.8 and even 2.0 on the weekends and late night. I was making decent money and working when I wanted to and all was well until late January when I noticed they took away my trips promotion. I called the help line and they simply told me that promotion was no longer available. At the same time Uber was sending me messages that said they were restructuring the way drivers got paid and that I should expect even more money under the new system. I did notice my multipliers go up to 2.3 and 2.1 weekends and late night and regular trips range from 1.6-1.8 during the week, so it for the most part did seem to work out about the same.
Then literally one year to the day that I started working for them, I noticed my weekend and late night bonuses went down to a max 1.8 and weekday to 1.4. I wondered why this was, but thought that it was still worth my time doing UberEats as long as they didn’t go down further. Well, the next week, they went down to 1.6 and 1.4. In fact I did a trip and made $3.70 and was confused until I realized not only were my bonuses going down, but the windows of time to make the bonuses went from some bonus 24 hours a day to only 3 windows which totaled 9 hours a day when I could make a bonus, and the rest was no bonus at all. I felt pretty crappy because I had been a good driver, had upwards of a 95% approval rating at all times, had done over 1500 trips for them and now this is how they reward me?
I sent an email to company leadership, the CEO, COO and a few others that I found explaining my situation and inquiring why this was happening. I had come to rely on this extra money to help pay bills and survive here in Santa Barbara. I received a response the same or the next day from someone who wasn’t any of those people, but just some guy who fields their emails. He told me he had looked into my payment history and didn’t see much of a change from January to my last paycheck, which I would agree wasn’t all that different since I was still at the 1.8 and 1.6 multiplier and was making mostly the same amount and this rapid decrease had only happened starting the week before. He also gave me some spiel about it’s a complicated algorithm based on demand and a bunch of other factors blah blah blah. I responded to his email a day or so later, but got no further response. I reached out again when my multipliers went down to 1.4 and 1.2, but still no response.
Since June, my multipliers have continued to go down every few weeks until it was 1.4 and 1.2 up until last week. It seems that there is a new way of calculating trips where the total time of the trip is now added to it, so it is not quite as bad as before, but still $4-$6 trips and not very good tipping isn’t worth my time, gas and the wear and tear on my car.
Then this week, everything is gone. No multipliers at all. I did a trip at my usual lunch time multiplier of 1.2 and got $3.70 and then realized they had now stripped me of everything. I will attempt to reach out again, though I’m sure it won’t have an impact on me getting promotions back. I’m just wondering if this has happened to anyone else or if anyone has any advice on what to do next other than quit.