Uber changed the payment system in July, and it caused consternation and confusion amongst the many drivers. While the result was the same amount, the way they presented the information had changed and changed in a rather unusual way.
In the previous display, the driver's total income was displayed, the Uber fee was under it, and then the actual earnings were in bold. Today the screen shows the actual earning in big bold letters and under it the breakdown income per mile, minute and Uber supplement. What confused drivers were the rate shown in the new screen, however, what the drivers did not notice was the absence of the Uber fee, Uber has included it in the rate, so now the system only shows what the driver gets and not the actual amount charged to the customer.
What made this change viable? The upfront fare that Uber quotes the customers. Instead of showing the driver and the customer all the gross calculations, they now only show the actual rates that the driver receives for their work and the actual fare charged to the customer. This provides two answers to drivers questions:
- No, you don't get a piece of the action when Uber overcharges them
- Yes, you receive what you signed up for.
Having stated this, it is painful to many drivers seeing how much more the customer pays and the driver is not a part of this profit sharing.
A look at the daily earning screen
The drivers daily earnings sheet shows a list of rides under columns. The columns are Pick up time, vehicle type, duration of the trip, distance in miles and the total paid to the driver. At the top of the screen is a row of dates, for one week, showing the daily totals. This is a quick, informative screen; it is not a calculation spreadsheet.
What are your City Rates?
First login to your account in partners.uber.com and choose the pull-down menu. Choose the fares and then click OK. You will be sent to a screen that will let you choose the cities you are allowed to drive in, the different vehicles you might use and the services you are registered for, such as UberX, Pool, etc.
What you will now get is a screen with a map on the left side and a list of rates per zone. The base fare, miles, minutes, minute waiting time, minimum earnings and the cancellation fee.
To calculate your income before expenses and tax, just deduct the Uber commission, 20 or 25 percent, and that will give you your actual income rate.
A look at the Pay Statement
Now go back to the main menu and click on Partner Earnings. This will open a page that shows you your daily earnings sheet. It presents a list of rides under columns. The columns are Pick up time, vehicle type, duration of the trip, distance in miles and the total paid to the driver. At the top of the screen is a row of dates, for one week, showing the daily totals. This is a quick, informative screen; it is not a calculation spreadsheet.
If you choose a specific date, it will open a new screen showing you a familiar screen if you click on one of the rides in that screen you will get a nice screen that gives you the map of the ride on the right and a breakdown of the income on the left. It also gives us what the rider paid, so you see what the rider paid for the trip, you see what your earning were, you see what Uber earns, and you even get "other Fees." A truly informative page that gives you full disclosure of the trip and its values.
Now let's examine the information, many times we will see that the rider is paying Uber a lot more than the trip costs. Since we, the drivers, always try to find the shortest or fastest route, and this will show up on the map, how come the passenger sometimes pays 20% more than the actual fare? This has got to do with Ubers pre-quote. Passengers agree to pay Ubers pre-quote, and this means that Uber will pay us only for our part of the trip, they will not (and contractually don't have to) pay us any extras the passenger agrees to pay them.
I agree this stinks, Uber is trying to fool everyone all of the time, but so long as they pay drivers a fair income, then there will be no revolution. The only way for things to change is if passengers wake up and say, we don't accept the pre-quote, we want the actual fare.
Uber's new pay system is informative and very useful. Sometimes transparency is the best strategy to use since the sting of trying to prove Uber is overcharging or underpaying is now obvious. There is no need to prove any hidden agendas. At the same time, this new flexibility gives the driver much more control over how they record their earning and allocate expenses against those earnings. Another interesting feature is the ability to find out what each zone rate is, finding the highest paying areas is part of being increased earning tactic that drivers can use when setting their destination filter.
Another interesting addition that we suggest to Uber is adding an expense input section and allow drivers to record all their expenses against all the miles driven, even if they re not period 2 or 3 miles. It will reduce the need for using third-party mileage tracking software and increase the information gathering and intelligence factoring that Uber does on ride-share driving.