A Kiwi Uber driver claims the ridesharing company's recent changes to its driver pay model makes working - and earning - for the US giant less transparent.
Last week Uber rolled out changes to the way its Uber Eats drivers earn money through the food delivery platform in New Zealand.
The move, announced two months ago, was introduced to make earnings on the platform "more consistent" and "reflect the effort and time of an individual trip", with upfront trip information now displayed on the app before a job is accepted.
But one Uber Eats driver, who has been driving for the company for three years and formerly full time for about one year, says the move has seen the end of transparent rates.
Prior to last week, New Zealand-based Uber Eats drivers reportedly earned $3 for order pick up, another $2 for drop off and $1.60 per kilometre driven before a 10 per cent commission fee was deducted. Now, these rates are no longer in play.
An Uber spokesman said this previous fare structure did not "always evenly reflect the effort or time which went into individual trips".
The Auckland driver, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Herald the move had left drivers "in the dark" with no breakdown on earnings from each component and therefore unable to check if they were being paid fairly.
Uber's spokesman told the Herald the change to the remuneration model meant drivers may earn less for shorter trips and were likely to earn more for longer trips.
"This new model is designed to better reflect the effort and time that goes into each trip, so trips that do take longer are more likely to earn more, while shorter trips may earn less.
"The new fare structure takes into account estimated delivery time and time spent travelling to and waiting at the restaurant.
"Importantly, delivery partners will have transparency on what the minimum earnings for each trip are before they decide to accept it," the company said.
"While delivery partners have always been able to cancel a trip after accepting, we added more upfront trip information so they can see the minimum earnings (after the Uber service fee), estimated total travel times and distance, restaurant name, and pickup/drop-off location of a trip before they accept."
The Uber Eats driver said the company was currently doing time-to-time promotions to increase earnings per trip.
"They make you feel like at a certain time you are earning more," he said, adding that he was concerned now he would have to work more hours to make the same income.
"I say just show me your pay structures on each ride criteria.
"There is no certain way you can figure it out or what criteria they are using to [determine] pay."
Uber said the fare structure for delivery partners had "evolved to account for each trip's total estimated time as well as distance, including travel to the restaurant.
"This means that for two trips of the same distance, a delivery partner may earn more if one trip takes longer to complete, for example, if there is heavy traffic on that route.
"The previous fare structure was based on a pick-up fee, drop-off fee, and distance travelled - which didn't always evenly reflect the effort or time which went into individual trips. In practice, this meant that the fare for a trip that took twice as long could sometimes be less than a quicker trip because of the distance travelled."
The Uber Eats driver, who said he had completed more than 6000 deliveries, said he was concerned of the lack of support for Uber drivers in this country. There was no official channel - other than through the app - to discuss matters or concerns, he said.
The company closed its Auckland-based support centre earlier in the year.
The man said he signed up to Uber on the basis of the old "transparent" payment structure, and was not happy with the changes: "I didn't sign up for this structure. It's like paying for a business class seat and halfway through the flight they say you have to change your seat to economy class."