Americans Are 'Fed Up' With Uber, Survey Says
Fewer Americans would consider using Uber for their next trip, according to a new survey.
Uber is weathering a storm of bad publicity, and it may have an impact on the ride-sharing service's bottom line, according to new survey data.
"Americans are really fed up with Uber," says Quartz, which commissioned market research firm YouGov BrandIndex to compile figures on public perception of the company. The resulting survey found that 13.9 percent of U.S. consumers would consider the Uber the next time they needed transportation, down from a high of 18.3 percent in November 2016.
YouGov BrandIndex, which surveys 4,800 people in the U.S. each weekday to track brand perception, also found that Uber's loss may be Lyft's gain. The rival ride-sharing company's stock has risen considerably with consumers, according to the YouGov data. As of April 5, 9.6 percent of U.S. consumers said they would consider Lyft, up from 5.6 percent in September 2016, the earliest month with available data.
Uber has faced a number of PR crises over the past few months, but its decline in popularity began much earlier, according to YouGov. User's rankings started to drop in November, well before a botched response to protests prompted the #deleteUber hashtag in January or allegations of sexual harassment by a female former Uber engineer became public in February. The company has also faced criticism for alleged use of "grayball" software to circumvent government officials, and for CEO Travis Kalanick's participation in a Trump administration business advisory council.
Quartz speculates that Uber's popularity decline actually started with changes to the Uber app's privacy settings, which were rolled out in November. That not only corresponds to the beginning of Uber's brand-perception slide, but also with an increase in poor reviews on the iOS app store. Many reviewers complained that the app asked for continuous access to location tracking services, instead of asking for it just when the app was in use.
Whatever the reason, Uber's problems seem to be a good thing for Lyft. But the formerly-mustachioed company still has a long way to go before it can surpass its larger rival, and become number one in ride sharing.