back to article Uber says it's changed and is now ever-so ShinyHappy™

Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has emerged at the head of a charm offensive that promises the infamously belligerent ride share company is “moving forward”. There’s a micro-site full of ShinyHappy™ explaining it all. The short version is that Uber wants to be nice to drivers, riders, city authorities and any other imaginable …

  1. Spudley

    The problem for Uber is that 99% of their competitive edge comes from their willingness to bend / ignore / flout regulations. If they start playing straight, they completely lose their edge and will find it much harder to compete against established players.

    The one area that will still help them succeed is their ease of use; ie the app makes it easy to access their service. But this would not be a difficult thing for others to replicate.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Actually I'd say that the figure is a lot more than 100%.

      As an example, from my house to the town centre costs about £10 on Über, and about £12 from a licenced mini-cab operator via MinicabIT.

      That £2 difference in price is the VAT they are not paying. But in addition to that, they don't pay minimum wage or Employer's NI, and the don't comply with my local council's requirements to provide accessible vehicles for disabled people, or training for all drivers in how to deal with different types of disability, not all of which require an accessible vehicle.

      They are also making a huge loss, so even with all that, they are still not cheaper than local minicab firms.

    2. BigAndos

      Yeah the ease is the main thing, no ringing round lots of mini cab offices or trying flag down a taxi. We've also found it really useful on holiday, your account "just works" as long as you are in a location that Uber operates in. 100% easier than trying to phone for a cab in a foreign language.

      What I really want is an app that lets me search across black cabs and minicabs, I don't mind paying more than Uber if the drivers are treated better and are safer. However, we had Hailo try to do this in London and the black cabbies all started protesting when they tried to bring Minicabs into the app as well. Groan!

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        MinicabIT is one such app. There are others. Über wasn't even the first in the country.

      2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        What I really want is an app that lets me search across black cabs and minicabs...

        ...which have working credit card machines. I never realized how unreliable credit card readers were, but 6 out of the last 7 cabs I've booked over the phone have turned up and opened the trip with "Do you need to go to a cashpoint cos my card reader's not working". Someone should do something about it ;)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What I really want is an app that lets me search across black cabs and minicabs...

          Do you need to go to a cashpoint cos I prefer not to declare all my earnings.

          FTFY ;)

    3. anothercynic Silver badge


      Hailo and others have tried to replicate this. MyTaxi (a pan-European service) does something similar, and given that myTaxi only works with licenced drivers, I'm more likely to give them my business than Uber.

  2. big_D Silver badge

    Do they ensure

    that the driver has the correct driving license? That is what got them banned in Germany. They accepted any driver, whether they had a professional driving license or not - a prerequisite for getting insurance for commercially transporting passengers, which meant most of the drivers were driving illegally without valid insurance.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Do they ensure

      No. My local paper has reports about every two weeks on average of an Über driver being prosecuted for driving without a licence or insurance.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Like hell thay have.

    Thankfully they've had their license revoked where I live. Their vehicles were often old mini-cabs that had been sold for scrap. As for the correct insurance.... Forget it.

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Changed?

      It's worse around here, they all drive Prius Mk2s. A vomit inducing drive if ever there was one.

  4. imanidiot Silver badge

    In other news

    Ducks quack and water is wet! More at 11.

  5. Bob Wheeler
    Thumb Down

    When they ....

    offer a free unicorn with every ride, then I might believe they have changed.

  6. Fred Dibnah

    Management drivel

    “... moving forward it is time to move in a new direction”

    So they’re going to stop moving forward then.

  7. Sheepykins

    We're lucky we still have a good enough infrastructure in place that if Uber did go the way of the dinosaur, people can still get around.

    I lived in Belgium for a year and let me tell you, UBER was a godsend.

    Their trains were few and far between, rarely updated and the taxis were the worst.

    If you called a taxi you first had to pay for them to come to you, then pay to your destination.

    Half of the taxi drivers I had didn't even have a meter, or when learning I was foreign switches it off entirely and made it up.

    I've paid as much as 60 euroes for a 10 minute journey.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      You let yourself get taken advantage off like that? A simple call to the police will solve that.

      1. leaway2

        Yeah, good luck with that. I was taken on a mystery tour by a black cab from Manchester airport. When I baulked at the roundabout journey, plod was called, shrugged his shoulders and told me that the driver could take any route he wanted to. "so via Birmingham would be OK? cough up or get arrested.

        Give me Uber any day.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Switching the meter off is actually illegal, so if it was a 10 minute journey then the plod in Belgium would probably have frank words with the cabbie about charging 60 Euros

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'One of our values as a company is to always do the right thing.”

    Because here at Uber we'll say just about anything this close to IPO, right? Yes, another day / another sociopath in Sillycon Valley asks for our trust...

    Just so they can shit all over it later... Lets remind ourselves of Uber's sins and how this toxic brand isn't repairing, merely hiding their crimes using classic PR. You'd think this tactic would be too shallow to actually work.

    But judging by all the 'dumb fucks' still using Facebook, go for it cynical Sillycon execs. People keep buying your horseshit wholesale! I say 'Fuck the Investors'! Fuck the users! They're the ones keeping this scam going...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Lets remind ourselves of Uber's sins'

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dara Khosrowshahi دارا خسروشاهی‎ is an Iranian-American businessman

    as CEO, he says "UBER changed and is now ever-so ShinyHappy™"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dara Khosrowshahi دارا خسروشاهی‎ is an Iranian-American businessman

      What does his nationality have to do with anything?

  10. TheMole

    Shades of Facebook

    We are very sorry for being caught doing "insert thing we were caught doing here" and promise to try harder not to get caught in future. Your trust is important to us.

  11. lobsterpasties

    I can't see an issue with Uber where I am in Manchester.

    Drivers are always good, cabs are always licenced private hire cabs and the drivers I have spoken too like not carrying cash and being able to work the hours they choose.

    A few of them have quit the firms they were at and now have their own cars (leased prius at £200 a week) which cost less than hiring a meter from local private hire.

  12. MatsSvensson

    I bet a new chain of restaurants that didn't bother following laws or paying taxes or paying minimum wages, would also be very profitable.

    I will call the app EA8TZ!

    So long chumps, perhaps I will send you a postcard from billionaire island.

    Have fun eating cheap-ass poison shit, and...



  13. Goldengriff

    Uber hates their drivers

    And yet they still under pay their drivers......

  14. Dr. Mouse

    I only had one bad experience with Uber. The driver didn't end the trip when my mate got out, so I was charged for him to get back to the centre of Leeds. This was resolved by the end of the next day.

    Around here, they are all licensed private hire cars. The drivers mostly used to work for private hire companies, but moved and are now making more money (even after relevant insurances/taxes/etc) and have more flexibility in their work.

    I know Uber have flouted the laws and regulations in many places, but the convenience of their service beats anything else I have come across. I've tried several other platforms and nothing comes close.

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