Uber In The News: Moving Forward & Cut Throat Tactics

With the growing incidents of collisions and accidents in the US, stern actions are enforced to check the number of unfortunate injuries resulting from accidents. The same was evident when bureaucrats from the department of motor vehicles, Virginia made their move against Uber technologies. The rapidly growing ride-for-hire company was informed that its popular service was illegal and the company has to closed down all its operations in the state with immediate effect. However, the company was prepared to fight back, and its counter attack in the form of driving for Uber from users and lobbyists changed the scenario.

Uber quickly employed its fastest growing weapon, its rapidly-growing list of smartphone-wielding customers. The company sent an email to all its users informing about the move taken by the official in charge. The message sent to users included the phone number and email address of the low profile official who was responsible for putting a halt on Uber’s operation in the state. The company started its move driving for Uber requesting its supporters to take a stand demanding the DMV to revoke the decision.

In response to the message, hundreds of supporters rendered their support, and this was evident when the inbox of the commissioner Richard Holcomb was flooded with emails. The commissioner had to respond to all of the emails right from his bed, even though he was ailing. Besides lobbying Holcomb, Uber also took a quick move to capitalize its newly hired team of lobbyists in the state capital.

With increasing pressure form riders and lobbyists, the transportation secretary of the state was forced to make a statement that the DMV would not interfere with Uber drivers till further notice. Moreover, the state government official made a revised decision a few weeks later enabling Uber to carry out its operations without any issues. This particular example demonstrated how a San Francisco based Uber has originated as a new taxi service and pioneered a way to change local ordinances on driving through pressure from its users and lobbyists.

However, Uber has witnessed a bitter taste in many instances including the examples of Nevada, Arizona as well as Spain and New Delhi, India where the operations of the service was disrupted and limited. In most of these cases, even Uber users and its lobbyists failed to put pressure on the government authorities. Although “driving for Uber” is endorsed by users with the growth of the company and its operation, the company needs to work with local laws and authorities to ensure that its reputation and operation are not affected.

Information found and summarized from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/uber-pressures-regulators-by-mobilizing-riders-and-hiring-vast-lobbying-network/2014/12/13/3f4395c6-7f2a-11e4-9f38-95a187e4c1f7_story.html