Surge Hacking

Uber, Lyft drivers causing artificial price surges:

Every night, several times a night, Uber and Lyft drivers at Reagan National Airport simultaneously turn off their ride share apps for a minute or two to trick the app into thinking there are no drivers available -- creating a price surge. When the fare goes high enough, the drivers turn their apps back on and lock into the higher fare. [...]

"Uber doesn't pay us enough, what the company is doing is defrauding all these people by taking 35-40 percent," one driver told ABC 7. "They are taking all this money because there's no system of accountability," another unidentified driver said. [...]

"All the airplanes we know when they land. So five minutes before, we turn all our apps off all of us at the same time. All of us we turn our apps off. They surge, $10, $12, sometimes $19. Then we turn our app on. Everyone will get the surge," one driver says. [...]

"Does everyone do it?" "Yes 100 percent. Everyone knows it's not worth it. They know if they take a ride from here without surge, without pumping the surge up, it's not worth it."

This is hilarious, but I can't decide whether to root for the drivers here. Is this effective "collective bargaining"? Or is it just more grift that does little more than prop up Uber's and Lyft's profits? Grift on top of grift. Grift all the way down.

Previously, previously, previously.

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