Uber is an emerging app-based peer-to-peer transportation company. It connects riders and drivers with an app that is installed on the phone and makes sure that the riders get a safe ride by providing right driver information to the rider and making the driver to earn by providing the right information of rider to driver. Uber has inspired many people by making huge profits through its ride-based app, which is available across the world. In this Paper, I will be addressing the ethical challenges that Uber is facing, the risks that it needs to overcome and regulations to develop compliance with standards to protect competitors and consumers.
- Ethical challenges that Uber faces in using app-based peer-to-peer sharing technology
The Business solely depends on trust factor between drivers and riders. In order to make sure the trust is established proper measurements need to be taken by addressing the following concerns. Below are the ethical challenges that Uber faces in using the app-based peer-to-peer sharing technology
Hacking: Customers were hacked for credit card information; Uber needs to upgrade its database customer security system. This problem can put customers and their information in threat which might lead to legal allegations from customers.
Safety and Licensed Drivers: Because of non-licensed drivers, the customer’s lives are at stake. This needs to be addressed by accepting only licensed drivers across various countries. Also, by verifying the driver’s identity, with proper fingerprint verification, which is not done in many states/countries will make sure that customers are dropped safely at their destinations. Thus, helping to minimize rapes or robberies on customers.
Price gouging: Price increase is definitely a questioned that needs to be answered. One of such incidents is Uber is charging four times the normal price as people struggled to evacuate at a hostage crisis.
- Since Uber is using a disruptive business model and marketing strategy, Risks that the company will have to overcome to be successful
The company is mainly dependent on four things – Drivers, Riders, Employers and Technology. In order to overcome the risks and be successful, Uber has to address the concerns around these three things.
Drivers: Safety of Drivers must need to be addressed from certain riders. There were a lot of situations where the drivers were attacked by the customers. Since the drivers are working on a contract based, proper business model needs to be implemented for providing the drivers with proper benefits like insurance, medical, vision and so on. But instead Uber has provided some regulations that is making the drivers to work only for their company and this is making the drivers to lose their trust in the company and move away to their competitors. The amount of percentage between the driver and company needs to be re-evaluated as drivers complain about insufficient pay.
Riders: Riders look for safety, this needs to be addressed by using the licensed drivers to ride the vehicles and training the drivers with necessary ethical behaviors, making them understand the vision of the company to avoid problems like sexual harassment and theft.
Employers: Employers were sexually harassed at work; the leadership should take care of their employees by implementing necessary Ethical standards to address such kind of issues.
Technology: More attention needs to be paid to avoid hackers stealing customer’s data/information and especially stealing credit card information. Latest applications/tools need to be used for navigation, tracking (GPS) and maintain the customer/driver’s data safe. Uber has to take care in providing good customer support and clearing the doubts of drivers and customers.
- Because Uber is so popular and the business model is being expanded to other industries, should there be regulation to develop compliance with standards to protect competitors and consumers?
Uber’s business Model are risky as it deals with unknown customers (both driver and rider). Trust is the main factor for this kind of business model to be successful. Uber is using technology to establish trust between them. Similar kind of business models being used is Airbnb, where customers can rent a place for a few days. The regulations set by government are for the betterment of the public, as it is trying to make public be safe by providing trust between both the customers (Driver and Rider in Uber case) and on the same side providing one customer, with the service and the other customer to make a profit for the service offered. The companies should make sure that both parties are safe by providing/passing information between both the customers so that both the customers are aware of each other. So, the regulations should be there to develop compliance standards which will help companies to deal with the customers and their safety as both parties meet for their first time.
Business Ethics – O.C. Ferrell, John, Linda