After what has obviously been a bad year for Uber in the press, we've taken a look at what really has happened with the firm in 2017.
The lightbulb moment
It all started in 2008 when Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp couldn’t hail a cab in snowy Paris. If only they could click a button on their phone and a cab would be requested. EUREKA… Uber was born.
What originally started as an app covering a small number of cities to request a few premium cars, it has now grown into the largest ride hailing service globally, operating in over 630 cities.
With years of success, and an expansion rate beyond imaginable, Uber seemed unstoppable. Then some cracks began to appear…
Timeline of events; 2017 controversies
In February of this year, Uber ex-employee Susan Fowler published a blog addressing her “very strange year at Uber” in a “slightly horrifying story”. Sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination within the company was made apparent, with serious complaints being overlooked and a lot of seriously sneaky cover ups. This revelation sparked an almost constant Uber slamming year.
Following this huge outing made by a former employee, Uber brought in lawyers to investigate the claims addressed in the blog.
Less than 2 weeks later Uber was across the news for the wrong reasons again. A dash cam video footage was released of CEO Travis Kalanick swearing at one of the firms drivers. This raised further concerns of the mistreatment of employees at the business.
In June, Uber fired 20 of its employees after a law firm investigated the company culture. They addressed over 200 staff complaints since 2012, with over 40 relating to sexual harassment.
Shortly after this, Uber announced a campaign to help improve the companies dire public image with the introduction of allowing to tip drivers (I wonder where they got this idea from… *cough* Lyft *cough*).
Finally, Kalanick resigned at the end of June.
So, after all this bad press, why aren’t people boycotting Uber?
The app has revolutionised the use of taxi travel in major cities across the globe. Not only does it solve the issue of not having any cash, as the money comes straight out of your account, it also shows a constant live map of where your uber driver is and how long it will take them to arrive. It is the perfect middleman between flagging a black cab and getting a lift.
Ubers biggest rival in America, ride hailing company Lyft, has yet to infiltrate Europe. But what if it does? Maybe this introduction will begin the ultimate downfall of Uber… or maybe not.
Sources: The Guardian, Wired, Shortlist, Fortune, MSL, susanjfowler.com