Hundreds of Uber drivers in Kenya are an angry lot with the online taxi-hailing service, following a three-day malfunctioning of the app last week. When the app is down, that means drivers cannot get clients, and no client means no money to take home in the evening.
However, Uber has owned up to the mistake and has said it will compensate the drivers for the loss of income during the app’s outage. In a statement to newsrooms, Uber said that the driver affected will be compensated with the “average amount generated by trips per hour,” which will be multiplied by the total hours the driver’s app was offline.
The Uber app malfunction was due to glitches in the company’s system but has since been rectified. The malfunction made it impossible for drivers to access Uber online services.
“Driver-partners who experienced difficulty using the app during this time will receive a payment to their account,” said Janet Kemboi, the Uber East Africa Communication Associate.
“For the time that a driver-partner could have been driving during the technical glitch, Uber will pay the average amount generated by trips per hour multiplied by the total number of hours that each driver-partner was offline during the glitch.”
The Uber app outage left many Uber drivers out of work, with customer scrambling for the few taxis they could spot on the streets. For commuters, life was no longer as easy as calling a cab to pick you at the doorstep. One had to go out to the streets and hustle a taxi; all the while appreciating the convenience they had grown to take for granted.
This Uber app outage comes in the wake of multiple reports by drivers that it is stalling mid-trip or fails to end a trip when instructed. The company has since rolled out an update in Kenya said to address these bugs. It is said about 68% of users with the app installed have already received the update, and the company is waiting for others to update their Uber apps.