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Uber Caught with Pants Down – Operation Greyball

The further up the pole the monkey climbs, the more he shows his arse.UberEATS

This was a  favorite saying of mine when I was in a corporate environment.

It is rapidly becoming the Uber moto.

Having just lost a high court action and whilst in the middle of an appeal this has been a terrible two weeks for Uber.

And it aint over yet.

Greyball reported by New York Times

News of an alleged secret program called Greyball was revealed by the NY times.

It is alleged that Uber were using this system to check who was requesting cabs and to establish if they had any connection with undercover regulators.

Checks were made to determine if passengers were making pick up requests fro areas close to government offices and credit card information was also coming under scrutiny.

If Uber suspected a person of working for one of these agencies they would be prevented from getting a ride.

The official explanation given by Uber was that the were trying to deny ride requests to fraudulent users.

The end of  bad week

Earlier in the week it was announced that Uber drivers would have to undergo a basic English language test, though how this could be applied to just Uber I don’t know.

If such legislation is introduced it would have to be applied to all taxi firms and in fact all employees of any business who interact with the public.

If this was not the case then Uber could claim discrimination against them.

But do they really need adverse publicity at this time.

Remember Ratner

The power of adverse publicity can not be underestimated.

Those of us old enough will remember Gerald Ratner who’s careless comments led to the collapse of a huge jewelry empire.

He owned a chain of jewelry stores but carelessly said:

“We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, “How can you sell this for such a low price?”, I say, “because it’s total crap”

A little later he added “cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long.”

Overnight the value of his empire dropped by £500 million. His only consolation was that he became famous for the

Ratner Effect.

Uber must clean up their act

It is not fair to the hard working Uber drivers, many of whom feel underpaid and lacking in benefits.

It is their livelihood that suffers from the activities of Travis Kalanick and his team due to no fault of their own.

I suspect that if Uber are caught with thier pants down one omore time the they may become very familiar with the Ratner Effect although for slightly different reasons.

Come on Uber bosses – Clean Up Your Act.

About Brian G

The UK Rideshare and Ride hail blog. How to Guides, Reviews, Weekly News, Opinion and personal view of the business. Brian who got his first Black Cab at the age of 26 had had a life long interest in all things related to cabs and private Car. In addition i have had 18 years experience of running my own business and helping others to get started.

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