Das Magain Jalopnik hat in einer längeren Untersuchung die erste, einzige und beste Untersuchung der Fahrerverdienste bei Uber durchgeführt. Dieser Artikel beschreibt die Ergebnisse.
Dhruv Mehrotra, Aaron Gordon, 26.8.2019 - In July, an Uber driver we’ll call Dave—his name has been changed here to protect his identity—picked up a fare in a trendy neighborhood of a major U.S. metropolitan area. It was rush hour and surge pricing was in effect due to increased demand, meaning that Dave would be paid almost twice the regular fare.
Even though the trip was only five miles, it lasted for more than half an hour because his passengers scheduled a stop at Taco Bell for dinner. Dave knew sitting at the restaurant waiting for his fares to get a Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch or whatever would cost him money; he was earning only 21 cents a minute when the meter was running, compared to 60 cents per mile. With surge pricing in effect, it would be far more lucrative to keep moving and picking up new fares than sitting in a parking lot.
But Dave, who was granted anonymity out of fear of being deactivated by the ride-hail giant for speaking to the press, had no real choice but to wait. The passenger had requested the stop through the app, so refusing to make it would have been contentious both with the customer and with Uber. The exact number varies by city, but drivers must maintain a high rating in order to work on their platform. And there’s widespread belief among drivers that the Uber algorithm punishes drivers for cancelling trips.
Ultimately, the rider paid $65 for the half-hour trip, according to a receipt viewed by Jalopnik. But Dave made only $15 (the fares have been rounded to anonymize the transaction).
Uber kept the rest, meaning the multibillion-dollar corporation kept more than 75 percent of the fare, more than triple the average so-called “take-rate” it claims in financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Had he known in advance how much he would have been paid for the ride relative to what the rider paid, Dave said he never would have accepted the fare.
“This is robbery,” Dave told Jalopnik over email. “This business is out of control.”
Dave is far from alone in his frustrations. Uber and Lyft have slashed driver pay in recent years and now take a larger portion of each fare, far larger than the companies publicly report, based on data collected by Jalopnik. And the new Surge or Prime Time pricing structure widely adopted by both companies undermines a key legal argument both companies make to classify drivers as independent contractors.
Jalopnik asked drivers to send us fare receipts showing a breakdown of how much the rider paid for the trip, how much of that fare Uber or Lyft kept, and what the driver earned. (▻https://jalopnik.com/we-think-uber-and-lyfts-new-surge-fares-screw-drivers-a-1835952856)
Link: We Think Uber and Lyft’s New Surge Fares Screw Drivers and Riders. Help Us Prove It. ▻https://jalopnik.com/we-think-uber-and-lyfts-new-surge-fares-screw-drivers-a-1835952856
Link: Uber changed how its surge pricing works last year. Not for riders, but for drivers. The changes… ▻https://jalopnik.com/we-think-uber-and-lyfts-new-surge-fares-screw-drivers-a-1835952856
In total, we received 14,756 fares. These came from two sources: the web form where drivers could submit fares individually, and via email where some drivers sent us all their fares from a given time period.
Of all the fares Jalopnik examined, Uber kept 35 percent of the revenue, while Lyft kept 38 percent. These numbers are roughly in line with a previous study by Lawrence Mishel at the Economic Policy Institute which concluded Uber’s take rate to be roughly one-third, or 33 percent. (▻https://www.epi.org/publication/uber-and-the-labor-market-uber-drivers-compensation-wages-and-the-scale-of-uber)
Of the drivers who emailed us breakdowns for all of their fares in a given time period—ranging from a few months to more than a year—Uber kept, on average, 29.6 percent. Lyft pocketed 34.5 percent.
Those take rates are 10.6 percent and 8.5 percent higher than Uber and Lyft’s publicly reported figures, respectively.
Graphic: Jim Cooke — G/O Media
In regulatory filings, Uber has reported its so-called “take-rate” is actually going down, from 21.7 percent in 2018 to 19 percent in the second quarter of 2019 (Uber declined to offer U.S.-only figures for a more direct comparison to Jalopnik’s findings).
Business Insider has previously reported Lyft’s take rate for 2018 was 26.8 percent, although Lyft claimed it does not publicly share their take rates and declined to do so with Jalopnik.
When asked for comment, Uber and Lyft disputed Jalopnik’s findings as flawed and not representative of their overall business. But neither company agreed to Jalopnik’s request to provide statistically significant data sets of anonymized fares for independent verification, continuing their longstanding pattern of data secrecy. (▻https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/08/uber-drivers-lawsuit-personal-data-ride-hailing-gig-economy/594232
The findings “support the argument that their business model is built on large scale labor exploitation.”
Trips like the $65 Taco Bell run only highlight inequities between the multibillion dollar companies and drivers earning at or below minimum wage. When asked about that fare, an Uber spokesman acknowledged, “For all the pain points new surge helped solve, it has its challenges: top among them is the fact that drivers may earn comparatively less on longer surged trips, even if they earn surge more frequently.”
The spokesman added that “To better serve drivers, we often increase surge payments on longer trips with added amounts that vary based on the length of a trip. Drivers are able to see this additional amount on their trip receipt after the trip is over.” Dave received no such increase.
Trips like Dave’s also expose inconsistencies in the very logic under which these companies operate. Drivers like Dave are technically independent contractors, but they have no control over many aspects of their work life, including the price of their own services.
“This is really fascinating and troubling,” said Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director of the Open Markets Institute, a nonprofit studying corporate concentration and monopoly power, when briefed on Jalopnik’s findings. Vaheesan went on to say the findings “support the argument that their business model is built on large scale labor exploitation.”
“This is, as far as I know, the most convincing data that we have at the individual driver level about the share that Uber takes of every driver’s gross earnings,” said Marshall Steinbaum, an economist at the University of Utah who studies labor markets, “and in that respect it moves the ball a lot forward in terms of understanding how these labor markets work.”
He added that “if their [Uber and Lyft’s] response is this is not representative of all the drivers, it is representative of other people who have tried to verify their claims and found them wanting.”
To be sure, Jalopnik’s data set is not perfect. The sample of 14,756 fares is a tiny fraction of the millions of trips Uber and Lyft complete each day in the U.S. alone; it would be impossible for any independent researcher to get their hands on an adequate data set without Uber and Lyft’s cooperation (or, in theory, more nefarious methods such as hacking or data breaches).
And there is almost certainly some degree of selection bias in Jalopnik’s data acquired via the web form toward drivers who are unhappy with their share and would therefore be more likely to take the time to submit their fare. Along those lines, the fares Jalopnik received through the web form were disproportionately from outside of Uber and Lyft’s major metropolitan markets and during surge times, indicating a possible selection bias in our findings.
“While 8,926 fares is a large increase from the 175 you had before,” (▻https://jalopnik.com/we-think-uber-and-lyfts-new-surge-fares-screw-drivers-a-1835952856) an Uber spokesman said, “it is still not a statistically representative sample, given Uber completes approximately 15 million trips per day around the world.”
But there are also reasons to believe our findings are more representative of the individual driver experience than Uber and Lyft would care to admit. Even the complete fare records Jalopnik received showed a higher take rate than previously reported (▻https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-lyft-strike-why-take-rate-is-so-important-2019-5). And these drivers, Steinbaum observed, may present a selection bias in the other direction.
By keeping diligent records, “they’re probably the savviest drivers and therefore the ones that the companies are least able to fleece, so to speak, so you might be getting an underestimate of their take from them.”
Lyft disputed this as well. A spokesman told Jalopnik, “Even if the investigation looked at every ride for a handful of drivers, the sample pool of drivers needs to accurately reflected [sic] a cross section of all Lyft drivers, and not just a specific subset (i.e., did that sample size have enough diversity to say it represents the average experience for Lyft drivers across the board).”
In regulatory filings, court cases, and their terms of service, Uber and Lyft claim to merely be facilitators between the rider and driver, not a transportation service. They claim their actual customers are drivers (▻https://jalopnik.com/uber-s-twisted-logic-means-this-isnt-a-strike-its-a-bo-1834598838). And drivers pay Uber and Lyft a cut of their earnings for connecting them with their customers, the riders. This echoes a common Silicon Valley refrain: they are just technology companies, and therefore should not be subject to the regulations of the industries they are disrupting.
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Link: Uber’s Twisted Logic Means This Isn’t a Strike. It’s a Boycott ▻https://jalopnik.com/uber-s-twisted-logic-means-this-isnt-a-strike-its-a-bo-1834598838
Link: Today, many Uber and Lyft drivers in major cities across the country are striking to protest their… ▻https://jalopnik.com/uber-s-twisted-logic-means-this-isnt-a-strike-its-a-bo-1834598838
But in recent years, in efforts to stem the tide of their multi-billion dollar losses, both ride-hail companies have separated what riders pay from what drivers earn, moving away from a strict percentage-based commission.
Using what it calls Upfront Pricing, first instituted in 2016, Uber tells riders exactly how much they will pay before the trip begins based on their own algorithm’s prediction (as is often the case, Lyft instituted the same policy shortly after Uber). It then compensates drivers based on the trip’s actual time and distance.
According to both companies, the change to Upfront Pricing was made in response to rider and driver feedback; riders didn’t want to be surprised with a higher bill, and drivers wanted to be compensated for the work they actually performed.
This common-sense policy has potentially profound legal implications. In practice, Upfront Pricing decouples the rider’s payment from the driver’s earnings; one price is set before the ride based on an estimate, the other after the ride is completed based on reality.
This change is most evident with how Uber and Lyft now handle high-demand periods. Along with the move to Upfront Pricing, both companies also changed the way their high-demand pricing model, often known as Surge or Prime Time works (Lyft has since changed the brand name to Personal Power Zones for drivers).
Instead of drivers receiving a multiplier on their earnings, as Dave did for the Taco Bell run, most now get a flat fee bonus, typically only a few dollars per ride. Uber and Lyft will sometimes kick the drivers a couple extra bucks if the surge is particularly high or the ride especially long, but there seems to be little rhyme or reason for when this happens. Riders, meanwhile, still pay the multiplier, meaning riders are often paying far more than drivers are earning on those rides.
“It shows that they are a firm that is charging consumers and then making decisions with that money, including how to pay a labor force.”
An Uber spokesman explained this dynamic to Jalopnik as follows: “While driver- and rider-side surge are both tied to real-time imbalances in supply and demand, what a rider pays in surge and what a driver earns from surge on a given trip isn’t always the same. This is due, in part, to the fact that new driver surge is based on the driver’s location, not the rider’s. What this means is that a driver may receive surge on a trip even if the rider doesn’t pay anything extra.”
Similarly, a Lyft spokesman said, “Lyft continues to pass the rider Prime Time onto the drivers, via PPZs, at the same rate in aggregate. There are differences on a ride-level but these differences cut in both directions,” in that sometimes drivers earn an usually higher or lower percentage of the fare.
In other words, Uber and Lyft say they are taking all the surge charges riders pay and spreading the proceeds among all the drivers in the area, whether their particular passenger pays a surge fare or not (both companies deny they merely pocket the difference).
This, according to Wayne State University law professor Sanjuka Paul, who has written extensively on the ride-hailing industry, is a new wrinkle in the independent contractor debate, because it doesn’t align with the arguments the companies make that they merely facilitate interactions between two independent actors in a market.
“The economic reality is they, Uber and Lyft, are collecting the fare from the consumer and then making a capital firm decision which, in this case, doesn’t sound like a very bad decision— actually making quite a sensible decision,” she said. “But it shows that they are a firm that is charging consumers and then making decisions with that money, including how to pay a labor force.”
Or, as Steinbaum put it, “what they’re doing is exactly what employers do with their workers.”
In addition, the companies can, and have, changed the base time-and-distance rates drivers earn whenever they want. And there have been many pay cuts.
In recent years, driver forums have been flooded with angry comments about hastily announced pay cuts in markets around the country. This, despite drivers already making near (or sometimes below ▻https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/22/uber-lyft-ipo-drivers-unionize-low-pay-expenses) minimum wage. These cuts have led to some drivers who spoke with Jalopnik on the condition of anonymity curtailing their own hours, or exiting the ride-hail business entirely, because it’s no longer worth their time after accounting for expenses like fuel, insurance, and car payments.
Uber and Lyft both deny that driver earnings have declined. “While not every driver has the same experience,” an Uber spokesman wrote to Jalopnik, “that’s not what we see when we look at trends in drivers’ average hourly earnings over the last couple of years, which have increased.”
A Lyft spokesman told Jalopnik the number of drivers on their platform is increasing and that driver earnings increased over the past two years. The company claims drivers make “more than $30 per booked hour nationally,” although that figure only accounts for the time from when a driver accepts a ride request to when the passenger is dropped off and does not include expenses.
Some drivers didn’t even realize the extent of the changes in the company’s take rates, both for high-demand trips specifically and across the board, until they compiled their records to send to Jalopnik. One driver, who has been working for Uber in Texas for three years, sent us almost 500 surge fares.
“Kind of depressing to know that Uber used to take 20 percent when I started and now gets on average 31 percent, with some fares up to 50 percent,” he said.
A former full-time driver from Iowa said that prior to the pay cuts that ultimately slashed his per-mile rate more than half, he estimates about 30 percent of the fares he picked up were, after Uber and Lyft’s cut, not worth his time. After those changes, from 2018 onward, he says the number of undesirable fares is now closer to 70 or 80 percent, which is why he stopped driving full-time.
(It’s tricky to compare ride-hail take rates with the taxi industry in any meaningful way, where drivers are on the hook for fixed expenses such as dispatching services, leasing the taxi and/or paying off the cost of a medallion. Taxi drivers have to pay those fees regardless of how much money they earn. In fact, many taxi drivers switched to ride-hailing because percentage-based commissions—along with the hefty sign-up bonuses Uber and Lyft once offered—sounded like a better deal.)
The drivers’ frustrations with pay cuts and Uber and Lyft’s rising take rates are compounded by other inequities of the ride-hail industry.
Uber and Lyft argue that drivers are not employees, but independent contractors, since they are allowed to set their own schedules. Both companies lean heavily on this arrangement in advertisements and promotions to recruit drivers, using phrases like “be your own boss” (▻http://ourweekly.com/news/2015/may/07/becoming-your-own-boss-uber) to describe the arrangement.
But the reality is much more complicated. In fact, drivers don’t have the power to make many of the decisions that typically come with self-employment. Chief among them is the ability to set prices—or even negotiate—for the services they provide.
In driver agreements, both companies state that drivers accept their new rates simply by continuing to drive for the company. In other words, the only recourse drivers have to a pay cut is to quit; a familiar arrangement for any employee, but not for anyone who is their “own boss,” and thus would not have income determined by another company’s ever-changing set of rules.
“It’s really crazy how companies have carte blanche to deprive us of our rights through contract,” Vaheesan wrote in a follow-up email after Jalopnik showed him the contract language. “Courts and Congress have basically accepted this regime as normal.”
Furthermore, drivers have the option to decline or cancel rides, but there is widespread belief among drivers that if they do it too often, they risk being put in “timeouts” where they receive no requests at all for a certain amount of time, a phenomenon that is frequently documented in driver forums and blogs.
Drivers don’t have the power to make many of the decisions that typically come with self-employment. Chief among them is the ability to set prices—or even negotiate—for the services they provide.
Both companies deny they punish drivers in any way for declining rides, but Lyft acknowledged some incentives are only available to drivers with high ride acceptance rates.
In another bid to increase revenue, Uber is rolling out Comfort Mode (▻https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/9/20686640/uber-comfort-extra-legroom-quiet-mode-temperature-air-conditioning-ac), which provides riders amenities such as a car with extra legroom, the option to set a desired temperature, or request the driver to be quiet for an extra fee (drivers for Comfort rides get a few cents extra added to their mile-and-time rates).
Uber says this is merely a request to the driver rather than a requirement, but riders are unlikely to be pleased if a driver refuses to comply with a request they paid extra for. Should a driver not follow the instructions, it is likely they would at the very least receive a lower rating.
Taken together, rather than being their own bosses, drivers often feel as if they are being governed by algorithms, as Alex Rosenblat wrote in her deeply reported book Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work. (▻https://www.amazon.com/Uberland-Algorithms-Rewriting-Rules-Work/dp/0520298578) This algorithmic “boss,” which sets pay rates in opaque ways and governs work rules through carrot-and-stick arrangements, not only removes any accountability but results in drivers having to guess what the algorithm wants. In her book, Rosenblat wrote:
An algorithmic manager enacts its policies, penalizes drivers for behaving in a manner unlike what Uber “suggests,” and incentivizes them to work at particular places in particular times…When I ask drivers if they are their own boss, they usually pause and remark that it’s sort of true, and that they set their own schedule. But an app-employer provides a type of experience that differs from human interactions, and it can be challenging to identify the fault lines of autonomy and control within its automated system.
In an interview for this story, Rosenblat, who spoke to hundreds of drivers researching her book, added that drivers had different reactions to rides where they thought they didn’t get a fair cut.
“Some drivers were pissed, and they would say, if I’m an independent contractor you should give me the information I need to make an informed choice,” Rosenblat said. “But other drivers rationalize taking bad fares with the idea that taking a bad one is kind of like karma… If you only take a passenger a couple of blocks on this ride, you might get compensated for a better ride later.”
Rosenblat added that the karmic realignment theory is a direct result of the lack of transparency from the ride-hail giants. She characterized it as a “magical thinking [drivers] wouldn’t have to resort to if Uber and Lyft gave them the actual facilities to make informed decisions, or to better understand how they might be treated, or rewarded and penalized, for their work performance with valuable or less valuable dispatches.”
A full-time veteran driver from New Orleans told Jalopnik that she somewhat subscribes to the karmic realignment theory on the take rates, although recent cuts have changed her attitude a bit. She has seen her earnings drop roughly 20 percent this year due to a combination of factors, including an expanding of the driver pool as a result of the companies allowing older vehicles than prior years. As a result, she is considering a job change, even though an occasional health issue makes the flexible hours of ride-hailing especially appealing.
Even though she prefers driving to her previous jobs in the service industry, she said she has come to believe Uber and Lyft’s take rates ought to be capped, perhaps at 25 or 30 percent, and said she would get behind a driver organizing campaign to make the profession more sustainable.
But for now, she still avoids looking at individual fare breakdowns. “It just annoys me,” she said, “and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Discussion, Community (492)
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So this is an at-will gig where you pick your own hours, have no barrier to entry besides owning a car, have no interview process, and can quit whenever you want with no repercussions and you make $30/hour. What exactly are people complaining about?
If you don’t like it, go get an actual job and quit driving. Hell, get your CDL and go be a delivery driver. Clearly drivers are willing to work for the pay here since the companies are having no issue covering demand (financial issues aside). If you have an issue with the way they do business, don’t drive for them and don’t use their services.
Give Me Tacos or Give Me Death
I can’t comment on the average hourly wage an Uber/Lyft driver makes because it almost certainly varies with geography.
But the entire time you’re driving, you’re burning fuel, wearing out tires and such. Those cost money. They could PROBABLY be deducted from one’s taxes, but I’m not sure the average person knows if that’s true, or keeps their receipts, or has an accountant who can answer the question with any authority.
So the real wage is almost certainly going to be considerably lower.
I drove for Uber for 6 months in a major market. I never saw the $30 they claim. Actual take home after expenses was closer to $12-$17/hr depending on when it was. Tipping was almost nonexistent.
How would you come up with a number of $30/hr? Well you would have to ignore all the expenses the driver incurs (taxes, insurance, gas, etc) plus disregard all of the idle time waiting for the next time you are paired up with a driver. There is an airport lot near me where drivers sit for over 2 hours waiting for a single fare (and you don’t know if they are going 40 minutes away or 2 minutes away when you finally DO get it because they don’t tell you in advance). I guarantee none of that time was factored into their calculation.
I killed an hour just waiting in a lot making $0 once. I’ll never sit in an airport lot again.
You’re right in a lot of what you’re saying, but when I put off cdl school to do this gig because they say they only take 20% or so, then stiff me another 10-15%, then I’ve wasted time and money because they lied about how they do business. That’s shitty
Big Block I-4
You don’t make $30/hr. That is only if you are constantly booked, if you do 6-10 min. trips over three hours you will make $30 in a hour of work time, but it will have taken you 3 hours to work an hour. Their $30/hr booked rate is a useless stat unless you can work non-stop, which is impossible since you are never dropping off and picking people up at the exact same time a place ride after ride after ride.
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So the companies are ripping off drivers and still losing a metric shit ton of cash. It seems nobody is making any money in this scheme except the investors and executives, ohhhhhhhhhh.
How are the investors making money?
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Left Lane is for Passing
They are the only ones loosing money. Drivers get paid, passenger get cheaper than should be rides.
I really don’t get how they lose as much money as they do, unless they are heating their buildings by burning $100 bills.
Somebody is making money here, but it is neither the drivers nor the investors.
Left Lane is for Passing
“Billionaires are going bankrupt subsidizing my Uber ride and that is bad.”
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This is a lot of words dedicated to a fundamentally broken statistical analysis of a non-random survey of an insignificant sample size and some anecdotal stories.
Well go ahead and do an article on the data you wish you had, so you can compare it to the article Jalopnik did on the data they do have, and then we’ll see whose article is better.
ZHP Sparky, the 5th
What alternative are you suggesting? The rideshare companies are notorious for keeping their ridership data close to the vest...so that leaves you needing to try gathering what you can from the drivers.
If you’re willing to fund a larger and more scientific study perhaps you should reach out to the author?
Or are you suggest some form of regulatory filing requirement for ridership data? Excellent idea, I’m sure Uber and Lyft will be thrilled!
I don’t want to say “well, they got your click,” but aside from the informational aspect of this piece (and it does give some insight into Uber/Lyft even if it’s not an incredibly significant sample size), they also are getting traffic on the piece (no pun intended), even by people who don’t think the story matters. So, mission accomplished.
Your comment is entirely anecdotal.
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Uber and Lyft ripping off drivers?
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Seriously, I started to notice these discrepancies within 3 months of driving for Lyft.
I did it at the time because my contract job was up, and I was in-between jobs looking for new work. I’m happy I didn’t have to do it for more than the year that I did do it. While it’s a fun and amusing side-gig, driving people around, it’s by no means sustainable with the current structure.
It was good, quick cash to help me in a rough spot but truly this was never meant to be long term. I don’t see a [regulated] situation where it is any more sustainable than a cab business. In which case, cab companies are you listening?
If you upgrade to digital dispatching, payment, ride-hailing, etc. on a universal system, and maybe vacuumed a fucking cab more than once a year, you could easily overtake these apps.
Because as a driver? Fuck these guys. But as a rider? What the fuck is a better option when public transit is a joke, cabs are....cabs, and owning a vehicle is nothing but a headache in urban areas.
ZHP Sparky, the 5th
OK that’s a very reasonable take, but I object to your statement that “this was never meant to be long term”.
Sure, that’s the companies’ PR spin on things – but the reality is they need rivers to stay with them for as long as possible, and to drive as many hours as they can entice them in to.
Grandmas trying to make knitting money and college kids in between classes aren’t going to make up the ridership volume they’re looking for in the large markets they’re trying to dominate.
Yeah, it really sucks because in some ways, Lyft and Uber have revolutionized people getting around (especially in metro areas). It’s so much more convenient than it used to be, response time is insane (4 minutes is about as long as I typically have to wait around my neighborhood), and in general the whole user experience is great for riders.
But for drivers, and for traffic (and yes, for cabbies), it just blows.
ZHP Sparky, the 5th
My argument to that would be that these “driver incentives” that they use for new drivers are just made up through this price gouging, especially when the driver is out of that probationary period and they’re no longer entitled to driving incentives. I would argue they absolutely can deal with constant driver turnover as it’s not like they have anything invested in the drivers besides giving them a free LED “pill” (after they’ve done over 250 rides). As long as they keep getting desperate people, with or without 4 wheels, who need money, they will keep this shit up.
ZHP Sparky, the 5th
I look at it like when I worked retail during college at REI and tried to make a living off of it afterward. As a society, we honestly don’t really need the benefits offered by having full-time long-term employees in areas like retail and cab driving, and companies are recognizing this and moving away from it. This isn’t to say I agree with this practice, as I wish we do still had knowledgable long-term full-timers in specialized retail, but I think this is what’s going on:
Think of the retail experience prior to the internet. You were going to a store to talk to someone with experience and knowledge (albeit biased) in a field you were less familiar with and had less information available to you about. The long-term full-time retail worker would have been to trade shows and the like to increase their product knowledge, on top of years in the field working with those products. Now that we have review blogs/vlogs, and product reviews on product pages, we kind of don’t need them except for the few specific items that are body fit specific. We can find out more seemingly unbiased information online than they can tell us in-store, so what’s the incentive to keeping them around as they become more expensive for a company to retain? I just don’t think there is one from a business perspective, which is a monetary one, but I wish they’d rethink that since I think there is a less tangible benefit felt by customers in terms of trust and what not.
Same goes for driver professions. Prior to everyone having GPS on their phone, who was the best source of navigation in a local area? AAA and cab drivers. Well, cab drivers got greedy and people got smart and saw they were being ripped off considering the information is now widely available in your handheld devices. I experienced this in London too when my company booked a black cab from city back to Heathrow. Not exaggerating, it was 3 times more expensive than the Uber I took from Heathrow to the city and there was absolutely zero advantage that I could discern. The black cab driver didn’t say squat to us that would indicate they gleaned something from their supposedly rigorous knowledge test they have to take, and it was just a really typical taxi when it comes down to it.
I don’t know, it’s just my .02 but I think that’s why we’re seeing these companies try to make it hard to stick around. They just don’t want us to.