Uber Slashes Lagos Fares With 50 % As Abuja Partners End 2 Days Warning Strike: TechCity – By BellaRose Okojie
This is Nigeria. If or when a parent is wrong towards a child and they cannot apologize, they warm up to the child by spoiling him or her and generally favouring them over the other siblings for between 3 to 5 days. So, pardon me for thinking that the news about Uber Lagos slashing fares by a whopping 50% was akin to a scene from a Nigerian home; only in this case, arising from a rather bold 2-day strike action by Uber partners that held in Abuja which Uber did not see coming. Why? After hearing the news about the strike, some riders/drivers outside Abuja attested to reconsidering using the app. My friend exited the app as a driver and tweeted that she now tends a bar among other fun things. One less “Uber chic” ? For some others, it was a lot of things; solidarity with their fellow country men in Abuja… and more. So imagine the general surprise when the next thing we heard, literally, was Uber Lagos cutting your trip fares by half! For ten days! Wait. A. Minute.
While I would have expected such a treat to come maybe earlier, say October 1st, I decided to be the mature sibling and asked “Mother Uber” why Lagos was getting so much love at a time like this. In my correspondence with Uber communications spokesperson in Africa, Samantha Allenberg, “Lagos has always been a key city in Nigeria and Africa. We are always looking at innovative ways to celebrate riders, drivers and cities and we thought it was only fitting, as we come closer to the end of the year celebrations, that we reward our loyal riders with a 50% discount promotion. Giving riders a more affordable option to move around their city, and drivers an increase in demand for trips”. Resolved.
In my previous post about the Uber drivers’ strike in Abuja, I promised to publish updates once they surfaced. Reports from some partners on twitter put it that the strike has been called off but issues remain unresolved.
Now, from all indications, partners just want to dialogue. As such, I sought to know why a meeting was never had. In response, Samantha Allenberg said, “as a commitment to each independent driver-partner in Abuja, Uber welcome all forms of communication through daily office hours, partner support and in-person meetings to address any queries on an individual basis and in an open and honest manner”.
Responding to complaints about the shutdown of support address which partners were asked to forward meeting request (forms) to, Allenberg said, among other things, “As we scale, we will need to streamline support channels to give you the most effective support. Our partner support team operates 24/7 and we hold regular information sessions, where we meet directly with individual driver-partners to answer any questions they may have. The In-App support is robust and has most popular issues you are likely to face which you can select to get the fastest support. We are always talking with partners and taking their feedback on board”.
Though not half as reassuring as I’d hoped, it gives more perspective to the situation. Seeking closure, I will probe further; updating you as the need arises.