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Yes, it is. Uber isn't the driver's employer. Uber is a vendor to the driver. The driver is complaining that its vendor made commitments, on which the driver depended, and then reneged. The driver might be right or might be wrong, but in no discussion with a vendor in the history of the Fortune 500 has it ever been OK for the vendor to accuse their customer of "not taking responsibility for their own shit".

What the video shows isn't wrong on the level of the Fowler post. It just shows Kalanick as petty and deeply unserious about his role, which is an alarming look for someone whose company is embroiled in scandals about mismanagement.




Kalanick kept arguing that he didn't cut prices on Uber Black. That may be technically true, but overlooks nuance (probably intentionally). This is childish (and unclassy) because Kalanick is prioritizing winning an argument on technical merits over actually understanding the problems of his earliest adopters and closest partners, who have made big investments in his business.

https://pando.com/2014/09/04/uber-continues-to-screw-its-par...


This. I think it says something about the overall decline in the level of discourse that the acceptability of this kind of behavior by a CEO engaging with an employee, vendor, or otherwise is even arguable.


That's not accurate either. Uber has maintained from the start that their driver's are independent contractors. You can make all sorts of verbal/casual agreements, but if "we will ensure you have X amount of work at Y rate for Z amount of time" is not written into your contract, you have no right to complain.

Uber or any other company are not responsible for any tools a contractor might buy in order to complete their work, unless explicitly stated in a written agreement.


I really hate this notion of "you have no right to complain." The only thing that your contract takes away from you is your right to pursue legal action on things that fall outside of its scope. If you have a contract and the company begins doing things that you believe are outside of the spirit of the agreement, you should absolutely complain. This driver is even maintaining the terms of his contract by continuing to drive.

The idea that you shouldn't be allowed to express your grievances because you work at the pleasure of your employer/company is toxic and regressive.


Again, not an employee; in fact, the standing here is almost the opposite; it's Kalanick who has most of the obligation in this relationship. (I think we agree about the rest of this).

I keep bringing this up because it's crucial to Uber's business model and something that has been repeatedly disputed. Uber badly wants its drivers not to be employees but instead partners. Kalanick can't get huffy when his business partners have grievances for him.


Absolutely. Every time I see it come up it's a knee-jerk defense of the party with most of the power.


> if [X] is not written into your contract, you have no right to complain.

Except that's not the way the law works, and there are cases where things in contracts are not enforced and things outside contracts are, because the law is all about how reasonable something is.


You have no right to sue. You certainly have a right to complain.

I've been in business for a long time. I've run into many vendors who didn't breach a contract or the law, but chose to do business in a way that impacted my business in a negative way. This has ranged from enterprise software vendors to janitorial services.

Ultimately, it hurt then in some way as we priced their bullshit into the next procurement cycle.

When a giant company pretends that some random afghani dude working as a contractor is a peer to any other vendor, that's either delusional thinking or a justification for bullying.

When The US referred to targeted assassination in Vietnam as "termination with prejudice", it didn't fool anyone.


That's not true in any way. Verbal contracts are harder to enforce, but enforceable they are. And if you say something that both parties agree on in good faith, you can't just back out of it!

That's not the ways things work, and it's not even how they are meant to work.


There's no such thing as a 'verbal contract'.


In the sense that all contracts are "verbal", sure. In the sense that oral contracts aren't enforceable, false.


"Verbal" as in the adjective, "expressed in spoken words". In essence a synonym for "oral contract".


I'm rather afraid there is.


Kalanick is telling his customer the driver to suck it up. Drivers will go to a different vendor like lyft who if they want to keep their customers (the drivers) they won't pull shit like this.


This isn't really responsive to my comment.




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