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Is Uber Bound To Be The Next Comcast?

August 15, 2014
My driver to the airport recently made some comparisons between Uber and Comcast. He’s a classic Brazilian immigrant to the US who is hustling, working at both Comcast and as a black car driver. Most of his driving income comes from Uber.

His take on Comcast is that it’s a mafia that has no equal. He helps other Brazilian immigrants when they get screwed by Comcast by calling Comcast customer support and predicting to them how they are going to screw the customer next.

With Uber, he agrees it’s generally a great consumer service and as a driver he’s sure he can stay busy. However, he explains that he recently bought a 3 year old Lincoln Town Car and he got a message from Uber indicating that he needs to get a car that is two years old or newer. If he’s not in compliance he can’t be part of the Black Car Service.

Our driver thinks that’s fair to have car age requirements but complains of Uber’s arrogance because he got so little notice. He would have bought a newer car if they cared to give advance notice. He said he tried to get in touch with Uber to discuss but he couldn’t find anyone to talk with.

Given this, our driver’s hope is that Uber will see stronger competition from Lift or even newer entrance. But our driver says he drives one of the investors in Uber who tells him that Uber founder Travis Kalanick is not exactly a nice guy, so our driver is convinced he will get his monopoly.

If Uber indeed continues to squeeze the driver pool to make a great customer service than a better comparison might be to Walmart which squeezes suppliers because they can.

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