I researched Uber drivers in Croatia for 2 years, and I learned some uncomfortable truths about the company.
If you're an Uber driver, you've probably concluded by now that you're actually a slave to their system. As a driver, you're bound to suffer all sorts of things and keep your mouth shut so Uber doesn't throw you out. Uber is a company that only cares about maximizing its own profits, and it uses deception in many ways to that end.
That's why I decided to bring everything to the surface. I’ve been researching this topic about Uber in Croatia for 2 years, and now I can finally tell you the truth firsthand. Keep in mind that this information focuses on the experiences of drivers in Croatia, though many of these points are true of drivers in any country, and they reveal the general character of the Uber company.
Reasons You Shouldn't Drive for Uber
- You Are Not an Uber Employee
- Uber Doesn't Care About Your Car
- They Will Ban You From Driving If You Don't Accept Rides
- Uber Doesn't Respect Countries' Laws
- Uber Steals and Prices Are Not Transparent
- Their Customer Service Is Disgraceful
- There Is No Loyalty Scheme
- The App Isn't Very Good
- The App Has Different Conditions in Different Countries
- Uber Doesn't Care Who Drives for Them
Judging by the negative personal experience of many drivers, I can confidently say that Uber doesn't care about its drivers in Croatia. One Uber driver told me “They think we don't deserve the same treatment like the rest of the Europe." Others told me, “Uber is a company that only cares about money." There are no Uber employees to whom you can turn to in the case of an injustice, and that is the company’s advantage. Why is that so? The reason is very simple: This way, people who work at the top positions can easily steal, and they can't be judged for the injustice they perform on a daily basis.
1. You Are Not an Uber Employee
Drivers are not Uber employees, and for this reason, the company is not behind your actions. You drive for them, but legally speaking, you are classified as an independent contractor, not an employee. You are only there to increase their profits.
I'm sure Uber drivers can make money for themselves, but is it worth it to drive for someone who doesn't even care about you and your car? If something bad happens to you, you are solely responsible for dealing with it; Uber won't help you.
2. Uber Doesn't Care About Your Car
If passengers get your seats dirty or wet, or if they leave a mess in your car, Uber doesn't offer you compensation or an apology. Uber will blame the driver's wrong estimate of the passenger. I have heard many instances of this issue, and all of them show that Uber doesn't care about you or your car.
3. Uber Will Ban You From Driving If You Don't Accept Rides
Some drivers have told me that Uber banned them because they hadn't accepted every ride. They said that Uber had warned them they must have a high percentage of accepted rides, otherwise they would be banned from the app.
When you contact Uber customer service, they tell you that this is a lie. They try to assure me that every driver has the chance to cancel or not to accept a ride for various reasons. In my research, 300 drivers told me Uber is lying when we talk about this issue. This further proves that Uber is disrespectful to its drivers.
4. Uber Doesn't Respect Croatia's Laws
Passengers who travel with Uber don't know that the company doesn't care about the laws of the individual countries in which it operates. Uber is trying to enter every market by force, and once they enter, it is difficult to throw them out.
The laws of Uber and the laws of Croatia are not in sync, and from drivers' personal accounts I can tell you that many drivers experience unpleasant situations based on these mismatched guidelines and Uber's disrespect of the law. In many cases, drivers run into problems because of Uber. Croatian traffic laws are very clear and must be respected; Uber doesn't respect many of them.
Examples of Uber's Disregard for Croatian Traffic Laws
- Users of the app stop wherever they want, so in a few cases they are standing in the middle of the road waiting for the driver's arrival. Uber doesn't care about how passengers endanger traffic. They make allowances for customers because the only goal of Uber is to get as much profit as possible from them. If you stop as an Uber driver in such locations that are not permitted by Croatian law, the police will write you a penalty, and guess what—Uber will not pay your fine for improperly stopping the vehicle.
- Uber constantly violates airport boarding law. Uber drivers in Croatia must stop in areas that are prohibited by Croatian law. Croatian law makes it clear that you can't stop your car at the bus stop, but Uber doesn't take these laws into account so they have designated the bus stop as a point of departure for passengers on their application. Some of the drivers in my research have been punished for this case and, of course, Uber didn't pay their penalty.
- Uber violates border crossings. None of the Uber drivers have an international license to drive passengers, and every crossing of the border with passengers in the car is legally punishable.
5. Uber Steals and Prices Are Not Transparent
Uber strives to make money behind the backs of drivers in ways that are cruel and unfair. Uber is competing with their competitors' prices such that an Uber driver earns less on each and every ride, making the app users feel like the ride is less expensive than other companies such as Bolt, Lyft, etc. If you dig a little more, you will find that an Uber driver is actually losing money on every ride. An example of such theft and Uber's price list for the ride are provided in the image below.
You can check the math if you want. 6,38x5(for distance) + 5(for duration) + 5(start) = 41,9KN. Uber takes 25 percent off each ride so it means 41,9 - 25% and that gives you 31,4 KN. When you compare it with the final price of 23,24 it means that Uber took from you 8,16KN, which is more than 1 euro.
So by taking this ride, you're basically doing a big favour for Uber; passengers will think that Uber is better than other companies because of its low prices. Remember, Uber is always right, and when you contact its customer service, they will try to assure you the price has been calculated correctly.
In this last ride you lose only 3KN. Maybe you think that's okay because it's a small amount of money, but just imagine if someone is constantly doing that—I would get upset. After all, no matter how large the amount of money really is, it is your money that you earned, and you deserve to keep it.
6. Their Customer Service Is Disgraceful
Uber's support line is terrible, and they never deliver on what they promise. It seems that people who work for customer service in Croatia are paid for their inactivity, and they damage the company's reputation by their ignorance and negligence.
In Croatia, drivers can only access written support, unlike other countries where voice support can be obtained. Customer service has automatic messages, and it constantly threatens drivers and treats them like slaves. Last year, Croatian newspapers praised Uber's work in the country by looking at only one side of the medal. They asked what passengers say about Uber and didn't ask about what drivers have to say. Of course, Uber seems like a good thing for passengers because they can get from point A to point B at a low price.
7. There Is No Loyalty Scheme
Unlike other companies, there is no loyalty scheme when it comes to Uber, and it is not a good thing. A loyalty scheme is an important part of every business. Many drivers during my research have told me that Uber does not give them bonuses, as opposed to competing firms. They said it is not fair, because they always try to do the best job when it comes to driving and making the passenger feel safe and happy.
8. The Uber App Isn't Very Good
Sometimes I think that elementary school kids work on developing the app. The application crashes constantly, and every new update makes it even worse. In Croatia, and especially in the cities of Split and Zagreb, the application does not show the exact streets. In 60 percent of cases, the pickup location is incorrect. Whoever it is that works to improve the app, I doubt they could even find their own street on the map!
9. The App Doesn't Have the Same Conditions in All Countries
Working conditions are not the same in Croatia and other European countries. Anyone who travels in Europe can easily see that. In Europe, drivers have had the option of getting a tip from the beginning of Uber's service. This option has been introduced in Croatia only at the beginning of 2019.
10. Uber Doesn't Care Who Drives for Them
Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured, and that is the real situation in Croatia. Uber doesn't care about this as long as the driver can still make them a profit. Illegal Uber drivers steal rides from the real drivers and are treated the same.
What Others Say About Uber
Uber may be banned in London, but I only hope that it will be banned in other cities as well. As has been stated on Wired, Uber doesn't care about their illegal business: "On Monday, the agency Transport for London, which regulates taxis and for-hire vehicles in the city, said it has identified “a pattern of failures” by Uber that threatened rider safety, and that Uber hadn’t done enough to correct the failures." The same situation is taking place in Croatia, but Croatia is not in a position to say no to Uber. Furthermore, Uber doesn't pay real taxes to Croatia, and the company takes 25 percent of every ride.
If you read the news, you'll see that Uber is a big problem everywhere. In November 2019, New Jersey demanded that Uber pay $649 million for years of unpaid employment taxes. When you notice all of this, it's clear that Uber is a problem everywhere and it makes money behind the laws of every country, especially Croatia.
Finally, I would advise you not to even consider driving for Uber. Depending on what country you live in, there are other, better companies for which you could drive. It is not just my opinion—it is also the opinion of 300 drivers who told me their negative experience with Uber. Of those 300 drivers, 200 are still part of the Uber company. Why? They drive only because they can still make extra money with the app, but all of them have lost respect for Uber, and they've told me they would immediately switch to driving for some other rideshare company if another one comes to Croatia.
© 2019 Dream Lover
Aurora on April 02, 2020:
Uber is so bad company. They care only about money.
James on December 08, 2019:
Great article with a lot of new information.
leo on November 30, 2019:
Uber is bad for drivers, but it is good for passengers
David on November 29, 2019:
I agree with you. They care only about profit!