It's a weird development and I wonder what the long term effects of this attitude will be.
In larger firms, you'd think the incentive would be to account for the drop-off caused by eroded goodwill, but functionally there's a middle level manager who is using this spike in numbers to jump to another role before the piper has to be paid by his replacement. Even if the company blows up, he can lateral safely with his new title.
I think mileage may have gone up slightly but I'm still well below the norm.
Well, I guess AAA finally hit that "gap between your changes and the long term change in churn" for me. I dropped them for GEICO. But even before I left, I called them back and gave them a chance to match the GEICO quote. Their phone agent seemed to have no path in her script to consider or escalate this offer.
It sounds like we may need a catchy term for that gap you mentioned, the one where as a consumer I'm ready to jump but the alternatives (if any still exist) don't feel like they're worth the trouble. (I'm at that point with my cable internet provider.) Something like the "Recurry" or "Gamey Valley".
Be careful with iselect though, I think all their resellers use the same underwriter. I.E not real competitors.
We had little churn, if you stayed a customer after a slight rise, 90% stayed for the next slow rise.
Captive customers? Rubes?
Then, the inspector can buy the salvage car for pennies on the dollar, fix it, and sell it with a salvage title.
All these gimmicks work short term, until someone figures it out (like this article). But if everyone is doing it then it wouldn't make a difference I guess.
i.e. a collective labour and legal assistance group that has economy of scale and/or ML that's cheap enough for everyone and uses its userbase to collectively punish companies that uses belligerent gamifications against its customers by automating bill payments and underpaying every single bill by a small amount that makes it financially penalizing to resort to collection agencies etc.
A consumer protection equivalent of unions + zombie botnets.
But clients around generally clueless how to run businesses. So they either don't excersize their voting rights or they vote for incompetent managers.
One solution is cooperatives that have no operational assets and outsource everything. Then they still have bulk buying power.
The solution doesn't fix the problem, because the problem is that quality of business models just plain don't sample for customer goodwill - they measure sales metrics rather than feelings. So the sales metrics are gamed at the expense of the consumer feelings that create the metrics in the first place.
> Net Promoter or Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships
It asks one question:
> How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?
The wikipedia article provides more details including criticism.
Instead you often get people trying to game their local NPS scores; not quite the same problem, but similar.
The term you're looking for is "brand". Measuring a brand's value is much more difficult than measuring sales, but it's not something new that no company do.
But why would they favor that? They are intelligently blind.
Its a side effect of an optimization function, basically. New customers are price sensitive. Loyal customers are.. loyal. They will buy anyway. Advertising is expensive, and discounts can be a cheaper way of getting them. If your decision framework is "do what brings the most growth by lunchtime" you will often end up with new customer perks.
If you have freebies and discounts to spread around, spending them on newbies will produce more sales.
Politcal campaigns often consider voters in reverse order to loyalty. Party members are guaranteed votes, so don't spend effort courting them. Party supporters need some attention, to bring them out. Fence sitters or potential conversions are courted vigorously.
Lots of tech "platforms" will be free for new users, cheap for small users and expensive for big clients. The big clients are more locked in, so it's hard to affect sales one way or another. New/small users are fickle, and more likely to respond to prices.
Banks have better rates for new customers, sometimes actual free money.
Its like when you don't put effort into dating your wife. It's not the right thing to do, but there are some difficult to avoid consequences to knowing she will go home with you regardless.
Fantasy I know.
Discounts for long term and importantly, low risk customers, are a way of securing future revenue by disincentivizing customers from shopping for lower rates elsewhere.
If your odds of noticing the bump, and caring enough to drop them were <80%, they still made money.
Hence the whole cat-and-mouse churning game.
Typically it emerges where "customer acquisition" is hugely expensive or important and this typically emerges when either (1) it is a winner-take-most-game or (2) the product is an ironic "commodity:" A product that is 90% standardized under the hood but has a sales oriented differentiation layer. EG, the underlying product is electricity, cable TV or money market stuff like insurance or loans. The company you deal with as a customer is a customer services, sales & marketing layer. Guess how they compete.
I have no interest in repeatedly shopping around for new providers for things like energy, telecoms, savings accounts and so on. I just want to give a company money in exchange for services and have them continue to provide that service with reasonable increases in price as inflation happens. I feel like I'm constantly being bullshitted – "Good news, we're reducing your savings interest rate!".
but… this will be the primary usecase of blockchain projects.
Players on markets agreeing to use one common protocol and compete for prices in real time.
It won't be the incumbent who wants to do this or change. (it never is) It will be the powerlaw distributed Number 3 to 99 who together are alone barely competitive but together as interesting as the main incumbent.
I give major props to companies that reward loyalty. IntelliJ, for example, offers discounted rates the longer you've been subscribed. It works for them because it's an incentive to never let your subscription lapse, and it rewards the dedicated end-users as well with cheaper prices.
For small businesses this type of service still pays. I know bars who hold tables for hours on a Saturday to save them for the regulars who come the rest of the week. But even there, loyalty is to the staff more than the owners.
The larger the company and the more detached the ownership, the less sensitive the company is to any negative effects.
Like gut flora, they can be useful to humans -- but they are not like us.
Over time, today's swing consumer becomes tomorrow's safe user, so it is really complacency that is penalized. That makes some sense, but is hardly the utopia where we get to spend less mindshare on fundamental services.
Doing this will all of your bills can easily save you hundreds of dollars a year, but it's socially awkward and kind of a pain in the butt (especially if you actually have to switch providers), so most people don't bother. Companies know this and capitalize on it.
It's was a very odd interaction given that Charter's fine print says that to qualify for the discount you have to not have subscribed to Charter's services for a mere 30 days. Even with limited competition, now with MiFi hotspots a person could cancel their plan, do a pay-as-you-go MiFi hot spot for 30 days, and then resubscribe with the new rate. (Not sure if Comcast is the same.)
 "Offers are valid for a limited time only, to qualifying residential customers who have not subscribed to applicable services within the previous 30 days and have no outstanding obligation to Charter."
In my case, windstream is the only wired option.. but they don't seem to realize it.
The service used to be completely unreliable too, but as I've complained over the last few years, they seem to have improved things a bit. It's now approaching the reliability of Comcast (i.e. still not great), but at ~1/3 the speed and slightly higher cost.
I do the same process for internet (both Shaw and Telus). Each company has their own process for getting better rates, but it rarely takes more than fifteen or so minutes a few times per year to get them.
I was with Rogers back in 2003 and had their retention give me a killer rate after a few months.
For mobile, I always dig through the loyalty threads on Howard Forums first so I know what to expect.
As these people are in the minority, the companies can afford giving them the goodies - the "suckers" foot the bill regardless.
Sadly, everyone's favorite darling Sonic.net doesn't do this. They will gladly charge long-time customers more than the advertised rate though.
If you're not already, find yourself a local deals site - it can really help you avoid getting screwed over by stuff like this. You can also wind up staying if you're willing to call your current provider back and say "here's what they're offering, beat it or I'm leaving".
OTOH, consider the value of the satisfaction you feel pushing back against a business that rips you off.
Only in London, people I know have had both experiences. Letting agencies are really the one pushing. For the landlord, a paying tenant is a good tenant, there is friction in changing tenant: you can lose 1 month rent or need to do some refurbishments. Even missing a few weeks can mean losing any benefit of keeping the same tenant at the same rate for 1 or more years.
Letting agencies offer a service to both the landlord and the tenant. As a tenant you get a certain level of service, like repairs or maintenance. As a landlord, the agency offer vetted tenant, management and various guarantees. They are the one pushing for rate increase as that's what they take their share from.
The real problem with renting is the underlying skyrocketing price of housing. You can't escape it.
Since I've been here the neighborhood has improved to the point that people actually want to live here and not, like when I originally moved in, a semi-OK neighborhood with cheapish rent where you probably won't have any hassles walking to the corner store at 3am.
Then again, I was talking to my landlord a while back and the city was complaining he wasn't charging enough (ie. wasn't paying enough taxes) but he would rather have good long-term tenants than charge "market rates" and deal with all the problems that come with that.
Both sides lost - I had to spend the time and effort to move and they now needed to spend time and money to prep another apartment for rent - but I suppose the pricing algorithm takes this into account and figures that in aggregate the apartment complex still comes out ahead by continuing to squeeze people that don't want to move.
Property markets are perverse in many different ways, most of which don't benefit renters.
Edit: Apparently this was an old wive's tail or something. Oh well...
With a lot of frequent flier miles you are very likely a status customer and airlines will bump those last and, depending on the status, will bump other low revenue passengers to make space for a high status customer.
I know a bit about aviation and if an airline really needs to involuntarily bump a passenger (which is quite rare) they will chose an infrequent flier with a cheap ticket.
Unless you can provide a source for your assessment I call bullshit.
This is accurate per everyone I know at airlines. The reason is it’s trivial to shift one’s loyalty. If an airline goes to shit, I’ll switch from spending cash with them to burning down miles while I book work trips with someone else.
Status-qualifying miles are miles that you can only earn by flying with that particular airline. Those miles are used in calculating your "status" with the airline. Achieving a higher status generally comes with perks that make frequent travel easier and more enjoyable (such as being able to sit anywhere in the plane for free, extra checked bags, access to lounges and better chances at upgrades).
Award qualifying miles are the miles that people most commonly associate with frequent flier miles. These are the miles that can be redeemed for discounted flights in the future. There are several ways to earn this aside from flying with the airline (though flying with the airline gives you more award miles than not): credit card spend, promotions through airline partners, giveaways, etc.
There is also another metric that airlines collect to determine loyalty: the amount of money you spend on your tickets, or status-qualifying spend (or dollars). In the past, this information was only used to protect more frequent or high-paying customers from being inconvenienced during travel. Now, airlines use it as an extra requirement for achieving status levels.
Now, since award miles for airlines can be collected without flying with them, flyers with very little status-qualifying spend will usually be the first in line for involuntary removal (involuntary denied boarding, or IDB). However, IDBs have become less frequent ever since the United Express incident last year; airlines are trying to favor giving people vouchers first (voluntary denied boarding, or VDB) before bumping folks.
Now, if the vendor continuously offers the discount to the customer just because they keep asking for it, then that is unfortunate. But I usually only see this with monopolies, like Comcast. I'm sure their strategy is to do that on purpose just to satiate the vocal minority.
That is not a problem for new customers, who have 1 chance to try a new product.
Optimistically, middlemen or automated tools that ease the pain of changing in hard-to-enter markets. In easier-to-enter markets, the emergence of companies respecting simple pricing (we've already seen some of this). Simplicity will win in the long run, again, unless it's a market that can keep competitors out.
Not sure what it's like outside of the EU, but what made it easy and attractive to swich mobile operators here were neither "middlemen or automated tools". It was regulation. Namely, the EU directive that forced mobile operators to allow you to take your phone number with you when switching to another operator. Before this you had to get a new phone number when you switched operators, which was a huge disincentive.
In the meantime I'd get really bad offers (I want to say scam, but they were IMO deceptive) from other places (they were still legit financial institutions) for whom spamming me via mail wouldn't cost them much and they'd make plenty if I was dumb enough to take their offer.
Then I found I got the same, not a scam... but really bad offers from the places that I had done business with for years.
It really irked me when I'd get those fake check (actually a loan) things from a bank I'd been with for ages...
Eventually just said screw them and to a credit union who just keeps mailing me about local discounted baseball tickets. I can handle that.
But, once they get some sort of monopoly everyone is going to be worse off. Something which is happening right now with Grab's acquisition of Uber.
Set a reminder to call cancellation every year or so. It’s annoying we have to do this, but it easily saves hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year.
I bet that would lead to complaints that companies are exploiting the less wealthy. The argument would be that less wealthy people might not be able to afford to switch to a new company where they would not have the long term discount.
New customers got all sorts of incentives.
So, perversely, the system encouraged to switch providers every year or every 2 years.
Many people (myself included) don't do it because of the hassle.
This has always been so, it's nothing new.
At some point in the 1600? the Quakers decided that a person morally should only get some fair markup on something they were selling and that to charge more was wrong. On thing they were selling they put fix prices on and no haggling. Lots of people liked this way of shopping. You save time and don't feel ripped off. This idea really spread, department stores took off, and fixed pricing was around for quite awhile. It is a much better way of selling things for society in many ways.
This fixed price for everyone has been eroding for awhile. Coupons have been around for all of my life. Not sure when they started or if they always existed since the first newspapers. In any case, with computers, businesses are able to change the price at will and everyone is carrying smartphones leaking their identity. I wouldn't be surprised to see digital prices in supermarkets that change depending on who is next to the tag. Sets the price when you pick it up. Amazons automatic stores could easily do this. I really like Trader Joe's because it does not do all of this coupon, sales, huge bulk discounts, etc stuff.
I think safeway already does this with their just-for-u coupons which gives personalized deals on frequently bought items.
This is just not true. In many jurisdictions, it's the maximum price and the number of hack licenses that are regulated. In those jurisdictions, taxis could charge less than the "regulatory" rate, it's just that none of them do...because the taxi biz is about artificial restriction of supply.
Anyway, every major city (New York, DC, Chicago) I am aware of fixes rates and makes it illegal to charge some people less. (This is a very common feature of rate regulation generally: rates must non-discriminatory and non-preferential.)
Thats pretty crazy.
Pricing - yes it's going up - both from a "this seems higher" perspective but more concretely in the 30 day "pass" I buy that locks in a flat fare for 30 days between 2 specific endpoints. My flat pass fare when up 50 cents a ride between last month and this month. I believe it's gone up in the past as well but don't have my receipts readily available.
Route Time - I believe the uberpool route is no longer (if it ever was) calculated purely on efficiency. Instead, I suspect the individual riders are assigned a priority and then the route is calculated. And I'm guessing the flat fare pass riders are assigned a low priority. My ride times have increased dramatically over the last two months, with 8 rides marked as "late arrival" meaning they took longer than the longest time estimated by the uber app. These rides are approaching 1 hour to go 7 miles (that's right, that's an efficiency of 7mph if you will). The most egregious was a route that literally passed by my block (my home was 3 houses away from the intersection) and took me 10 minutes further out to drop off a co-rider and then 10 minutes to return to the intersection. (I realized too late to jump out.)
So I am guessing they are testing people's tolerances both for 1) pricing and 2) duration. I have some wiggle room with pricing and am willing to stomach some increases. However, I can't stomach the ridiculous routing and excessive ride times. I may be unique in that Uber is the only rideshare app I've used to date but I'm now planning to try out Lyft, read about Waze Carpool, and investigate any other rideshare solutions out there... :)
Some people try to game the airlines in the same way that the article describes, getting a price based on one route (SFO-BTV via NYC) and then actually taking a different one (SFO-NYC). I expect Uber will eventually prevent this the same way the airlines do: penalizing you for taking a trip that doesn't match what you told them you were doing by refusing to allow you to continue once you deviate.
For instance, (at the time of writing) this Lufthansa one-way flight from Prague to Budapest at 1pm on May 20 costs $425 . But this round trip flight from Prague to Budapest (which includes the 1pm May 20 flight) costs $343 .
Normal trip would be:
Week 1 Mon - Week 1 Thu: RT CHI-PHX
Week 2 Mon - Week 2 Thu: RT CHI-PHX
Week 1 Mon - Week 2 Thu: RT CHI-PHX
Week 1 Thu - Week 2 Mon: RT PHX-CHI
If it's something only a small fraction of the customers actually bother to do, it doesn't dig into their profits too much.
It effectively acts as another form of market segementation. There is a mostly fixed cost for flying an airplane; the marginal cost per passenger is relatively low. So ideally, you would have a paying passenger in every seat. Some passengers are more price sensitive than others, so you want to have the less price-sensitive passengers pay as much as possible, while still providing ways for the more price sensitive passengers to get fill up seats that are still available after that.
People who are willing to go to the trouble of doing this will happen, but you're still making money off of filling seats with paying customers, they're just acting as slightly more price sensitive passengers.
The airlines fluctuate rates for just this reason; they want people to be able to buy tickets at different prices, so price sensitive passengers can go to a little more trouble to book earlier or take bigger risks by flying standby or waiting for the price to go down if it's not appropriate, while less price sensitive passengers will just buy the ticket whenever convenient.
If this were being seriously abused a lot of the time, or there were automated systems which booked trips like this for you, I could see the airlines doing something about it, but if it's just a few people going out of their way to get a slightly better price, it's probably just considered to be part of the whole ticket pricing game.
This is pretty much how it's gone so far - sites that have offered anything even resembling an automated service to do bookings like this (and similar other tricks) have been aggressively fought by the airlines legally.
There are also a very small handful of stories per year about some frequent flier getting caught abusing these sorts of fares habitually and getting a trip canceled and/or banned from the airline.
As far as I know my airline flags all sorts of trips like this - but doesn't do anything about it unless it becomes obviously gamed. For example I fly between two cities frequently for week long+ periods, but may need to go home for a weekend during a 2 week stay now and then. I know my airline flags that, but haven't had a problem since it only happens a few times a year out of dozens of total trips.
In a word, no.
Flights in the US are dynamically priced. Each airline decides how much they want to charge per particular flight for a particular person at a particular time (meaning, when you purchase the ticket). Prices fluctuate constantly. If you look up a flight from City A to City B today (and said flight departs within a reasonable amount of time; say, a month), it's fairly likely to have a different price tomorrow. Prices can also vary based upon how you book the ticket (i.e. travel agent, different travel websites, by phone, etc.).
It's very much possible, and generally expected, that you and the person you're sitting next to paid different amounts for what amounts to the same ticket.
The previous commenter was talking about how nesting flights allow you to avoid various fees (i.e. FAA, 9/11 security fees) but afaik they're fixed.
I stumbled upon this strangeness while planning out a vacation. I'm basically hopping through Europe so I was buying several one way flights. I accidentally clicked the roundtrip button once and noticed that the prices, in general, seemed lower than the one way. So I checked and lo and behold: they were lower. I ultimately just went with Ryanair because their prices were literally a third of what the next lowest carrier wanted (~$35 vs. ~$120).
They're not that worried about regular folks doing it once or twice a year.
I use this all the time. It is recommended though when flying this way to not use rewards/ff accounts because they can be closed and to not check baggage because it won't end up in the right place.
The reason behind hidden city fares is, the price of SFO-NYC-BTV is for the SFO-BTV market, to compete with other airlines' SFO-ATL-BTV, SFO-ORD-BTV, SFO-Whatever-BTV or SFO-BTV direct flight. It has nothing to do with SFO-NYC market, just for this particular airline it happens to route through NYC. It discounted more than SFO-NYC market because competitions on that market. That's why competition is good for customers (history has shown us that when an airline has monopoly on a market, you can only expect the fares on that market to go up). That's also why it's against the contract of carriage you have with the airline and the airlines are working very hard to avoid customers doing that (if you associate your frequent flyer number with hidden city bookings, they might cancel your account. they might also put you on a blacklist if you are caught doing this frequently).
The airline practice similar to the Uber one is charging more for frequent flyers. United was caught doing that a few years ago (maybe they are still doing that).
In price disparity situations as an outsider, its impossible to determine whether the lower price is because based on competitive pressure (as you claim) or whether the higher price is based on customer's willingness to pay (as I claim), because both imply that the other is the "normal" price absent those features. Its likely a little bit of both.
What is the same is the economics: costs in both industries are primarily based on miles that they took you. Prices are based on what they think they can get away with charging you. The more they know about you (or infer based on the data they have and what you are trying to do) the more chances they have to charge you higher prices because they think you can afford it.
Care to roll the dice? :-)
Note that while this tactic can be money-saving and useful in practice, it does have certain downsides, like if you need to check luggage, or if you expect to collect your airline miles and segments (typically requires completing the full itinerary, though not always).
So don't book a round trip SFO-NYC-BTV-NYC-SFO on one ticket and skip the NYC-BTV segment, because you won't be able to rejoin either for BTV-NYC or NYC-SFO.
In short, you can't check your baggage, they'll probably notice you didn't take the second leg, and if you do it too many times, you might find yourself with a ban.
Skiplagged I think helps you figure this sort of thing out: https://skiplagged.com/
Route preferences are one thing. Charging different people different $ is another thing.
Uber is profiling passengers, it's been known, which is why I stopped using them. As convenient as they are, I hate being profiled.
I'm from Romania and our alternative over here is https://taxify.eu; the app is as polished, the cars and drivers are actually a little better due to being less popular and thus less noisy. And they do charge higher prices in rush hour, but their pricing is far more predictable.
I don't care if this is legal or not btw. It's my money, so fuck Uber.
That means there is at least a simple object representing your profile of you. Unless you mean profiling in the racist sense.
I'm not sure I subscribe to this idea, but I notice I don't feel morally aghast at this story.
The difference between letting folks opt-in to a more overpriced service versus selecting it for them is huge, because it centralizes all the economic choices in Uber HQ. Uber knows you will pay more, but does it know that you have 5 kids to support with what's left over? Or that your costs come out of a non-profit budget? Or that your need for rides is associated with disastrous new medical expenses? These concerns are built into our tax code, but Uber doesn't have the interest or ability to align with any kind of moral consensus about what "able to pay" should really mean... they just have a lot of insight into what you're willing to pay for rides.
Early on, Uber was championed in some circles as a good example of technology enabling a two sided market to compete with highly centralized industries. Over time, they've stopped being a market, and insisted on becoming a broker that keeps both sides at an information disadvantage. This is a good way to collect rents, not to drive competitive service.
I think this isn't so much segmentation as it is simply extracting more money from people who probably aren't going to bother looking for alternatives like Lyft or a vanilla cab.
If you don't care at all about cost (aka yield), like with RAD hardened CPUs or high throughput serial processors like those from IBM, there is no real room for discrimination and you just pay for the NRE/fabrication plus a profit for the vendor.
There was no change in my income but I became a frequent rider.
My trips started getting more expensive, Lyft stopped telling me “This is a good deal” on prices before trips, and all kinds of shadiness.
It feels like you’re being mistreated when you’re punished for using a service more than others.
I’d much prefer they give out a fixed amount free credits for new accounts, make surge pricing crystal clear, and then keep prices at a base rate.
Instead of trying to play 3 card monte with the real price of a ride.
Some mobile games with in-app purchases do various flavors of this, but it's more based on willingness / capability to pay than affluence. And of course they're structured such that switching to a competitor would make everything you've previously paid in moot.
There's all sorts of ways that companies charge the wealthy more for the same product without collusion.
2. Generic brands that are repackaged name brands
> anyone being charged more would switch to the other company
And this is a common way to charge the wealthy more for the same product. Someone making $500K+ is less likely switch ISPs every year, or even spend the time to threaten their ISP they are going to switch.
And it requires that suppliers be able to know or discern things about their customers. If it becomes too severe, then the consumers that were overcharged have an incentive to either deceive their suppliers (as in the article) or to discriminate in the same way for the good or service that they supply (such as by adding a 50% surcharge to whatever it is you sell, just for known Uber owners).
It is economically more efficient for suppliers to always sell at the same price for everyone, and to not know anything about the customer other than the color of their money, but that is not a Nash equilibrium. A supplier can always get ahead by discriminating, if everyone else is not. It is therefore beneficial to discourage the practice by statute or by social approbation.
Income tax is often progressive, but doesn't affect any one good or service in particular, beyond financial instruments. We basically charge richer people more to have a higher savings and investment rate.
And mostly, people don't want to have to haggle, use coupons, and read sale flyers every time they buy anything.
Result of that would be disincentive to do anything that raised one's wages, I suppose.
So it's not infinitely elastic.
Some places have this thing called "public transportation" that is typically financed in this way.
I don't know how you could bring that into the physical world successfully. But I always thought it would be cool if gas prices changed depending on the type of car you drove up in. Or if ATM fees changed based on how much money you have in your account.
It's basically the reverse of gouging people with low credit scores.
Seriously? Of course they do. They have your online id and your credit card so they know more about you than you do.
They've also got your e-mail address, which has some predictive value for income. And access to your contacts, which likely includes the names / e-mail addresses / mailing addresses / phone numbers of people with which you interact. If you have an entry for yourself with your address, they can probably know your home's value and whether or not you're listed as an owner.
With enough cross-referencing between users, I imagine they could get a reasonably good guess.
This app has access to:
* find accounts on the device
* read your contacts
I do know it knows where "Home" and "Work" are without me explicitly telling it. I assumed I'd be able to type in the name of a contact and it'd resolve that to the contact's address I have listed (an actual valid use case), but I just tried that and it didn't work. So I don't know OTOH what valid justification they have for using it.
I do see if you go to invite friends (for "free rides"), it allows you to connect contacts to send codes to. I don't think that's how I got prompted, though.
It doesn't need to be 100% perfect in all cases to be useful.
Their indicators can be wildly off because they do not know the person themselves and they can only make guesses.
Yes, seriously. Of course seriously. Stop being insulting and rude.
Not that I know what they do of course, but without much thought I can think of a model that would allow me to predict income.
- They're using Uber, that cuts out a decent chunk of poor people.
- What areas do you visit and at what times?
- Property prices in those areas, are they workplaces or urban commuter areas? Can likely predict value of someone's house if they use it from home.
- Type of Uber taken
- Size of tip
- Frequency of travel
- etc. etc.
I reckon that given some time and some people's ride data I could estimate their income, house value, and even perhaps job. I would guess Uber have done this and then some.
Of course it's not going to be 100%, but Uber don't need that.
Reading your response I suspect you failed to account for the fact that what "Uber knows" is not limited to the set of facts that you choose to disclose to Uber. They can and likely do use those facts to lookup your information in third party databases. They also know facts that you may not have chosen to disclose but unwittingly did so.
There is nothing to suggest Uber "[does] not know if you are poor", they could very easily be buying this data on their users.
I would think that there is no way they don't know that. They know where you live and which bars/restaurants/whatever else you frequent via uber. They might even know where you work if you've ever taken an uber to work. I'm sure they've either purchased from a third party or taken off your phone all sorts of other data they use to build a customer profile on you.
That is a wickedly evil definition of poor and extremely distopian if you truly believe that. Your scenario does not make someone poor or define them as poor or anything like that. It is a data point that Uber can use to guess your income but it does not mean you are poor. To define poverty like that is so extremely mean and also possibly straight false.
Wow. This is just wrong. Uber knows where you live and its trivial to link that to general income level, either indirectly based on zipcode/neighborhood or directly via public property records.
Because in the case of taxes, you are paying to a collective fund to advance collective interest.
Paying more for some product or service will just fill the pockets of the owners. It is just thievery.
The mechanics are different, but the goal is always the same: Store brands that are just repackaged brand products sold cheaper, slightly more comfortable travel experiences that cost disproportionatly more, support contracts and "enterprise features" for absurd prices, lootboxes in games, etc.
I don't think you can specify this. In principle this could subsidize rides for some people or it could increase profit and even if the money were put towards subsidizing rides there is no guarantee it's going to subsidize rides for the poor, there is no law that says the poor are going to receive these subsidies - frequently they don't because they don't because they're a lower priority for the company due to their decreased spending power, have less information about the marketplace and are less able to substitute between alternatives.
We're here to help [you stop feeling discriminated by making your wife pay $12.16 fee too]!
What I did notice though is that prices can fluctuate plus or minus a dollar in a matter of minutes, so sometimes I can get a cheaper fare by simply waiting a couple of minutes (though that tends to only work if I'm not approaching peak rush hour).
Plus, Uber takes a huge loss on Pool and Express Pool especially when they first launch since they want to offer low prices to riders but they don't know the match % rates yet.
Can you qualify what you mean by a frequent rider? How frequently are we talking about?
I did experience lower prices when I first started using express pool (though not to commute to/from work), and at one time I got a $2.50 ride to go from downtown SF to Ocean beach (a 40-ish minute ride), which anyone with half a brain would suspect to be VC subsidies at play.
Could it be that this is a similar case, where the original "cheap" price is just subsidies for new rider/some desirable target audience and the "ripoff" price is just the regular price if VC money/competitive race to the bottom weren't in the equation?
Another theory I had was that congestion in pick up/drop-off areas would play a role in pricing (given that cheaper-than-expected rides happened to be nearer the freeway as opposed to, say, Market st)
I think the point is not to shorten or speed up the driver's route, but instead to deliberately add inconvenience for the rider. So if you can afford it, you'll do traditional Pool (which now costs more) or UberX, while if you're truly price sensitive you'll deal with the indignity of Express Pool.