Thousands of Uber drivers are furious with Uber after the company downgraded Suzuki Cultus from the Go category to Mini category. Only the 2017 model is exempt from this decision.
The drivers claim that this has lowered their earnings. The downgrading was conveyed to the drivers via a message last week.
A 61-year-old driver, Muhammad Ismail, said that over the last 14 months he has completed over 3,000 rides. “I made decent money however, since last week I have seen my earnings drop.”
“I was making Rs. 1,600 even on slow days but now the maximum I am making is Rs. 900.”
“The minimum distance I have to cover before I get a Mini ride is at least 5-6 km while on Go, I usually had rides within a radius of 3 km, which means more fuel consumption,” he said, calling Uber’s new policy “unjustified”.
He says that he visited Uber’s office but the company paid no heed to him.
On the other end, Uber’s spokesperson said they were catering to their customer base and after customer feedback, they decided to enlarge the Mini product to better meet the needs of the customers. Although he didn’t share the details for the downgrade, he did add that only a ‘few vehicle types have been shifted to Mini on the basis of what the riders value most in which product.’
Interestingly, Cultus is still listed in Go category on Uber’s website and the website further states that models to be eligible in this category should be air-conditioned sedans of 2001 model onwards.
It is the students that are facing the brunt of this policy change as they drive Uber to earn for their family whilst studying. The company has refused to confirm the number of cars it has working for it but according to a media report, over 10,000 models of Cultus are registered with Uber across Pakistan with over 3,000 in Karachi alone.