Uber extends olive branch to drivers, launches new policies

In its latest move to placate angry drivers and customers in the wake of recent scandals, Uber on Thursday launched several new features it says are a direct response to user complaints.

In answer to gripes from drivers who say Uber’s policing policies are stacked against them, the startup is introducing new methods it says are more fair. The company also is rolling out a new feature that lets riders correct the pick-up location they’ve already entered into the app — preventing the headache a canceled ride can cause. But there’s still no sign the company will adopt in-app tipping, which has been one of drivers’ most pressing demands.

“We know we have a long way to go,” Uber wrote in a blog post announcing the changes. “And moving forward, we’ll continue to act on the feedback we’ve received from drivers and riders to improve the experience for both.”

Uber promised to make those changes last week in a conference call with reporters, during which General Manager Rachel Holt admitted Uber’s relationships with drivers are frayed and the company is looking to “rebuild that love.” The call, which came as Uber is fielding accusations of sexual harassment and sexism, and dealing with bad publicity after the release of a video showing CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with a driver over fares, was the company’s attempt to assure the public that it is committed to cleaning up its image.

When evaluating rider complaints related to bad driving, Uber says it now will take into account a driver’s history — drivers who have logged 10,000 trips will be treated…[read more]


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