NASDAQ-listed cab hailing company Uber is now testing a rewards programme for its drivers in India. The programme, Uber Plus, is under a pilot phase for a select base of drivers across Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh.
Under Uber Plus, the company is offering exclusive loyalty rewards programme to enable driver partners to ensure more savings and access to exciting rewards, as they continue to drive with Uber.
The drivers earn points over a fixed period of every three months. These points can be accumulated and used to unlock rewards and a series of tiers. The higher the tier unlocked by the driver, the better the rewards they can access. The tiers are divided under Blue, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
Some of these benefits include:
- access to free doctor’s consultation on call
- priority support
- discounted prices for educational modules
- additional savings on maintenance cost
- access to micro loans
- faster pickups at select Airports
Prabhjeet Singh, head of cities, Uber India and South Asia said, “Uber Plus is a massive effort in that direction, enabling our driver partners to garner more savings as a part of their everyday journey, and accomplishing their dreams. We want to recognise and reward our driver partners for their efforts and commitment through this program.”
Uber will monitor progress and assess feedback before rolling it out to driver partners across the country.
The programme comes at a time when Uber has been facing wrath of drivers globally. For the longest time, it has been facing the ire of various labour organisations for classifying drivers as contractors or “partners” under American federal and state laws, instead as employees. The relief came when US National Labour Relations Board said that Uber drivers are independent contractors and not employees.
It had later expanded its driver-centric beta programme, Uber Pro, to select Uber drivers and give them benefits such as higher returns, waiving of their college tuition fees and car maintenance services.
Since Uber India was launched, it has always reiterated that its drivers are partners and not employees. These cab drivers usually work with Uber as well as its Indian rival Ola.
In terms of benefits, these driver partners have time and again protested citing lesser earnings due to low wages and not being able to repay debts. With a new programme to entice drivers, if Uber can improve its market share in the country would be an interesting watch.