Uber Drivers Say Driving for Uber Blows

Less than half polled say they dig it.

Driving for Uber Sucks
Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Being an Uber driver seems like a great way to make some scratch. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend their nights and weekends being summoned by random, inebriated strangers, risking life and limb to make 28 cents a minute?

Well, a lot of Uber drivers, that’s who. According to Uber driver Harry Campbell, who runs the Rideshare Guy blog, only 48 percent of drivers polled are satisfied with their experience with Uber, compared with 38 percent who say they’re unsatisfied. That’s a stark contrast to Uber’s own poll numbers, released last December; that survey claimed 81 percent of drivers were satisfied with their driving experience.

Still, there’s a Sir Mix-A-Lot-sized “but” to those most recent results: Campbell reached out to 10,234 Uber drivers who subscribe to his newsletter, and 453 responded. As the Yelp Era has taught us, the voluntary response system can result in an unnatural volume of negative responses, as people are more likely to complain than compliment.

Uber’s own poll, conducted by Beneson Strategy Group, had an 833-person sample size. However, it doesn’t detail exactly what questions were asked; we have no way of knowing how they were phrased, which can play a big role in affecting responses. Also, Uber’s official survey was conducted back in 2014, while Campbell’s results came from the beginning of 2016—a gap that saw the ride-sharing service slash its rates, and thus driver pay. So take all these results with a grain of salt.

Interestingly, Campbell’s survey found that while respondents showed virtually no preference between working for Lyft and Uber (45 percent vs. 47 percent, respectively), 74 percent said they drove primarily for the latter. Lyft may be the friendlier company, but the money seems to be in Uber.

Eroding driver morale? Perhaps. But, hey, at least there’s a Bop It!.