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Monday, 25 September 2017

Uber - Fake Petition BUSTED

As if the decision by Transport for London (TfL) not to renew the operating licence for driver and rider matching service Uber were not bad enough for the company, it is now becoming clear that the petition to reinstate that licence has run into serious trouble, not least over its credibility. This matters, because the number of signatures bolsters the pre-determined narrative that three and a half million Londoners use Uber.
Given that there are probably no more than 25,000 Uber drivers out there - the claim of 40,000, like so much of the company’s propaganda, is a significant exaggeration - many of those three and a half million may have downloaded the app, but are either very occasional users of it, or don’t use it at all. Moreover, the idea that more than half a million signatures have been garnered for the petition is also proving questionable.
While Uber’s new boss Dara Khosrowshahi, who has the unenviable task of disinfecting the CEO’s quarters after the departure of the deeply unsavoury Travis Kalanick, says he and his company are sorry, and asks his customers to “work with us”, it has become clear that some old Uber habits are not yet dead - like playing fast and loose with the rules.
Uber’s use of customer data to fiddle the figures on its petitions had been known about for around two years, as Dan O’Connell pointed out on Twitter. But it took some actual experiences to show the world what they were up to with their London campaign. First, a Tweeter called Ms Jane Austin observed “I've just had a post from #change.org added to my Facebook page saying that I'd signed a petition in support of #uber. I didn't sign”.
And then she joined up the dots with the company’s earlier efforts: “It’s looking like #uber is orchestrating a campaign of falsified petitions. Get on this @guardiannews”. That prompted London taxi driver Paul Madden, a green badge holder for more than thirty years, to do a little investigating of his own. And what he found was that the Uber petition was not at all particular who signed it, or their declared motives.
Having signed it as “Jack the Ripper”, along with a matching Cod email address, he Tweeted out his findings with the comment “Well that’s the #Uberpetition signed!! Can’t wait to get back in the Prius”. And there was worse to come.
The petition to “Save Uber” in London is available not just to Londoners, and indeed not just to those living in the UK. Moreover, one does not even have to have used Uber at any time in the past. Anyone in the rest of the world can sign it.
To say that this leaves the exercise open to widespread abuse is one of the great understatements of the decade. Besides, as Matthew Black has pointed out in reply to Uber’s protests over the loss of service to its “3.5 million customers” and “40,000 drivers”, which the company claimed didn’t work for it in the first place, “All you need to do is comply with your industry regulations, surely?

Uber's London petition is a fiddle. And doesn’t address the real issue. No change there.

11 comments:

Robert Smith said...

Moreover it's a disgraceful attempt to subvert the authority of the regulator. Worth highlighting the petition on Change.org was started by Uber, not the original demand of concerned citizens.

Robert Smith said...

One @hollidsu boasted on Twitter about signing it - from Washington DC. Has locked her account now.

Anonymous said...

Fuck Uber and fuck London.

Nobody outside the M25 gives a shit about either. Except when the latter thieves finance from the rest of the country. Which they've been doing for decades.

Stephen said...

My God, Anonymous: you have the same view of London as I used to have (when I was about 8). Grow up, please.

Anonymous said...

The petition to “Save Uber” in London is available not just to Londoners, and indeed not just to those living in the UK.

...but then there are any number of regular business travellers who come regularly to London and use Uber while there...

Craig Tresise said...

TFL to Uber - "We are not renewing your licence because you are #notfitandproper"
Uber to TFL - Oh yeah well how about this "As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we immediately deactivated ourselves from our platform. We have reached out to ourselves to offer our support and assistance, and have been in communication with the authorities". Oops .... wrong cut and paste again.

Unknown said...

As the wife of a black cab driver I am outraged that uber can sabotage change.org and then post on Facebook that I have supported them ! I flooded my own Facebook page with anti uber stories and my friends were shocked to see the uber change.org showing I had supported uber ! How can they get away with this. Why is not a huge scandal and headlines on every paper . Why is the BBC and the Telegraph promoting the scam ?

Unknown said...

Freaking cab unions eating only shit and cab propaganda because black cabs are almost dead.... tax evasion

Al said...

The @rejectpetitions account has logged 28 attempted petitions on the government site in the last day or so relating to Uber. Quite a barrage.

Carolan Quinn said...

It happened to me and I cant beleieve that this is not illegal !.. why did the Telgraph and the BBC believe it in the firt place and why are they now not speakinbg out about this scam.. Shame on them all !..

Carolan Quinn said...

Hw can i share this on Facebook where i have made such a fuss about this outragoues use of my name in this scam