Uber User Defection Continues: Automated System to Deal With Requests

Uber’s social media-led crisis continues as many claim they are having trouble deleting their account in protest of Uber leadership’s recent actions and words in the immediate aftermath of the “Muslim ban” executive order.

Users have screen grabbed different responses to their requests, from immediate deletion, to claims their accounts will be deleted soon, to claims they cannot delete their accounts because they have unused credits. Others have claimed they’ve gotten a “system down” response.

A Uber spokesperson supplied the following comment to DMN.

Anyone who requested that their account be deleted will have their account deleted, and reports to the contrary are false. Over the weekend we implemented a new automated process to handle an increased volume of requests and implemented a password check, a security best practice to avoid abuse and fraud.

New York Times reporter Mike Isaac reported on the issue, further explaining why there were delays.

Twitter is the source of a sustained movement against ride-sharing company Uber due to allegations of operating during a taxi strike, and CEO Travis Kalanick’s support of President Donald J. Trump. Kalanick currently serves on an advisory board of business leaders who are scheduled to meet again with Trump this Friday.

While it’s impossible to know how many people have gone through with deleting their account, many have claimed to do so on Twitter. Twitter satirist @Bro_Pair (Hunter S. Failson) is spearheading the campaign, impelled by two actions that occurred at nearly the same time.

First chronologically was a statement about the immigration ban. While the company promised support and compensation to drivers affected by the ban, it ended with Kalanick reaffirming he would stay on Trump’s advisory council, to be a voice of protest against the ban. Many felt the better protest would be to resign from the board.

Secondly, the NYC arm of the ride sharing company Tweeted out that it turned off surge pricing, which many interpreted as a way to promote its services amidst a protest and strike.

Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.
— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017

Uber quickly followed up with another Tweet, acknowledging the timing and attempting to diffuse the situation by referring back to the statement that was also causing an issue.

Last tweet not meant to break strike. Our CEO’s statement opposing travel ban and compensating those impacted: https://t.co/joWvPvux9J
— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017

The influence of @Bro_Pair is so great that many of his followers reported seeing a sponsored Tweet from Uber while he was actively encouraging people to delete Uber. I follow @Bro_Pair, and can report I saw such a sponsored promotion after he began his campaign.

The protest shows no sign of letting up, and some people (including celebrities like Carmelo Anthony and Susan Sarandon) made public statements about switching to or preferring competitor Lyft, which pledged a $1 million donation to the ACLU in its response to the controversial executive order.

While the recent actions are responsible for this wave of criticism and threatened boycotts, past issues about how Uber classifies drivers, and the economic uncertainties facing drivers, have compounded the ire towards the company. Organizer Bro_Pair was quick to reply to anyone who decided to support Lyft instead that he recommended using cabs over either ride-sharing product. 

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