If you find yourself wondering whether you are sober enough to drive, the likely answer is no. Luckily, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are here to help you get home safely. These services are widely available throughout the United States. We asked the following experts for advice about using Uber or Lyft as your designated driver to get home safely: Alex Tran — Travel blogger at Love Eat Travel Harry Campbell — Uber driver and blogger at The Rideshare Guy Jeremy Ong — Founder at HUSTLR Tina Willis — Orlando rideshare accident lawyer at Tina Willis Law Here’s what they said: 1. Plan ahead As a rider, it’s significantly safer to travel in groups. The best tip here would be to plan who you’ll be riding with ahead of time, and leave the bar/club/event area before the majority of the crowd does. — Jeremy Ong 2. Listen to your gut Do not get in the vehicle if you have any doubts about your driver (meaning, if you have a bad feeling about the driver or the vehicle). — Tina Willis 3. Require safety Ask your ridesharing driver to follow all rules of the road, drive cautiously and carefully, and follow the speed limit. Obviously it never hurts to tell the driver that these issues are important to you, especially now that some apps are allowing driver reviews afterward.Ask to end the ride immediately if your driver is not following the rules of the road, or you do not feel safe. — Tina Willis 4. Allow the driver to focus I would recommend not talking too much during your ride because the driver also has to stay focused. — Alex TranTell your driver that you do not want them looking at their phone, or using any apps, while driving. This is especially true for texting while driving, or talking on the phone, even if using a bluetooth device. If the driver must use the app for directions, then those should be set before the ride begins. If, despite your request, your driver uses his or her phone during the drive, ask again, then ask to end the ride immediately if the driver will not comply. — Tina Willis 5. Avoid wait fees Ensure that you have the entire group ready to go and close together before calling in the ride, as late fees usually result in having to look for the other riders when the driver arrives. — Jeremy OngOne of my biggest pet peeves is when an Uber driver arrives at the pickup spot and the passenger is not there. It might take minutes before the passenger finally shows up. This is disrespectful to the driver and it takes up the time they could have used to start and complete another ride. As a passenger, be at your pick-up point three to five minutes prior to your pickup time. This gives you ample time if anything were to happen or if you forgot something, you can quickly go grab it without having the Uber driver wait too long. — Alex Tran 6. Consider your pick up location Also make sure to set the pick up location at a well lit area without too much congestion. For example, if this is a bar or a club, try setting the pickup location at the opposite street or intersection instead. — Jeremy OngYou can also call for a ride a block or two away from the busy front door where there may be dozens of other drivers and riders. This will make it easier to spot your driver and faster too. — Harry Campbell 7. Keep it clean The most important thing to consider is that drivers are using their personal car and that you should respect it while riding. That means no eating, breaking the law, slamming the doors, etc. Most riders follow these rules without a problem but some tend to take advantage of a driver's car and their time. Drivers don't get paid much or at all for waiting so it's best to request a ride when ready and try not to keep your driver waiting. Drivers have always been beholden to a ratings system and now that riders will be too, it doesn't hurt to behave with some etiquette. — Harry CampbellIn terms of etiquette, the most important factor would be keeping the car clean. Ensure that all riders are clean before going on the ride and that they are not drunk to the point where they might vomit in the car at any given moment. If this isn’t an option, try to have plastic or paper bags on hand, just in case. Also, keep noise levels to a reasonable level as a courtesy for the driver. — Jeremy Ong 8. Verify your ride Rides to and from bars and clubs happen all the time on the weekends but especially if you've been drinking, it's important to verify the license plate of your driver. — Harry CampbellMake it easy to find your driver by also looking for them. Most of the time uber drivers will flash their lights to let you know they've arrived. When they arrive, confirm their name verbally and confirm their license plate visually. Make sure you're getting in the right vehicle. One time I had another person with my first name get into my car on the same block. I had to call another car because they only confirmed using their name with the driver. — Alex Tran 9. Don’t overcrowd When riding with others, make sure you're not taking up space in an empty seat with your bag. If you need to, use the trunk to hold your belongings. Remember that if you're using a pool, you're paying for one seat in the vehicle. Do not bring more than one person and keep all your belongings to yourself in your space because you never know who else might join you on your ride. — Alex Tran 10. Consider scheduling a ride Scheduled rides typically make the most sense when you know that you have to be at a certain place at a certain time, like when heading to the airport, dinner reservations, or concerts. Lyft is the only major company to offer true scheduled rides that a driver will see ahead of time whereas Uber just sends out a request a few minutes beforehand. If available in your city, Wingz is another great option for scheduled rides since you can favorite drivers and customize your experience. — Harry Campbell 11. Don’t forget to tip As far as tipping goes, the minimum tip of 10 percent would suffice as ride-sharing companies tend to have policies where the driver doesn’t get the full amount for tips anyway. If it’s not against the terms of service, consider tipping in cash since the driver gets to keep all of the tip revenue that way. — Jeremy OngSpecial thanks to our expert panel for their advice. Click on the links below to read more about their work. Alex Tran, Love Eat Travel Harry Campbell, The Rideshare Guy Jeremy Ong, HUSTLR Tina Willis, Florida accident & injury lawyer Read More: 10 Things You Need to Know about the Uber and Lyft Apps Before You Install Them Uber Reviews Lyft Reviews
Making extra money by letting people borrow your car is the thrill of peer-to-peer auto marketplaces like Turo and Getaround. You can turn an idle car into some extra cash. But, how do you make sure that your insurance coverage is adequate to keep you and your bank account safe? Read this article to learn best practices for protecting your assets while making passive income on your car. As the vehicle’s owner, would your regular insurance policy cover car sharing? No. Jason Hargraves, managing editor of InsuranceQuotes.com says, “The most important thing to understand is that your personal auto insurance will NOT cover accidents that occur when your car is being rented out.“Most likely, your personal insurance policy excludes coverage when you are renting out the car to a third party customer. Guests will not be covered by your personal car insurance policy. They will either need to be covered by their own personal policy or choose to get coverage through the rental marketplace during checkout. This is just like when you rent a car at Hertz or Enterprise, and they ask if you want the insurance or to waive the coverage.KAAS Law explains, “Personal auto insurance policies are now being written to specifically exclude peer car-sharing apps from coverage. While, companies such as Uber or Lyft provide liability insurance coverage to accommodate peer-to-peer car sharing, it is best you check if the P2P car sharing company you are participating offers such coverage.” Do P2P car-sharing platforms offer insurance? “Most platforms offer a basic package of liability coverage for the host (the owner of the car being rented),” according to Hargraves. “Many also have tiers of coverage if you want more, so it’s what you feel most comfortable with. These tiers can include varying levels of collision and comprehensive coverage, such as excessive wear and tear or providing a replacement car while yours is having repair work done. Each company will be different, so pay attention when you sign on. I always suggest asking what’s NOT included in whatever tier you choose. Also, look for time parameters. Often you need to make a claim shortly after you discover damage.” What insurance do owners need to safely participate in P2P car sharing? Do I really need two insurance policies on the same car? Turo states, “We do not expect your insurer to cover losses arising while the car is shared. That’s why Turo has purchased a $1,000,000 liability policy and also provides protection for physical damage.” There are a few different things to think about. To cover the car while someone else is in possession of it, you will either need to look into a commercial auto insurance policy or choose a policy through the marketplace or app where you are listing it for sharing. “You need ample coverage,” says Hargraves, “and I would suggest making sure you add comprehensive and collision to the basic liability coverage offered by these platforms. If you find what they offer insufficient or too pricey, then consider taking out a commercial auto policy on your car. Most auto insurers offer these policies for people who use their car for business.“ You need to keep your own personal policy, in case you drive the car or it gets damaged as it is parked outside your home or apartment. “Regardless of what coverage you choose for car-sharing,” Hargraves advises, “you will still need a personal auto policy on the car. Why? Your car-sharing insurance only covers your car while it’s being rented out. If you drive your car or something happens to it when parked on the street and not in use, then that is on you. Don’t make the mistake and forgo a personal policy.” Turo also suggests that owners check with their insurance company before signing up. Why should you check with your insurance provider before joining a P2P car sharing service? Insurance policies and exclusions are highly variable and depend on the company you are covered by and the state or local laws. You want to make sure that joining the service doesn’t void your insurance. Turo warns, “Your insurer’s response to car sharing will depend on their specific policies and the laws of the state in which your car is registered. If your insurer is concerned about your participation in our marketplace, we believe you should be able to withdraw from Turo and retain your coverage. If you receive any indication that your insurance is in jeopardy, we would like to know about it so we can address it with the insurer and potentially with your state’s insurance regulator.”In a carinsurance.com article, the site’s consumer analyst Penny Gusner advises, “To be completely covered properly, I’d recommend talking to your car insurance company at the onset of participating in a P2P car-sharing program. Your insurer will tell you what, if anything, your personal policy covers and if you need to upgrade to a commercial policy. It is better to be proactive so you don’t get yourself into a financial bind by not having the coverage you need.” KAAS Law warns that if you don’t inform your insurance company of your participation, it’s possible that the insurer will cancel your coverage. “Thus,” says KAAS, “its best to check with your insurer before placing your car for rent on a car-sharing app.” Additionally, if your policy is ever canceled by your insurer, it can be harder to get insured. What if the unthinkable happens, and the car is damaged? Will your current insurance policy respond if something happens to your car while it's rented out? Policies from car sharing platforms like Turo and Getaround are meant to take care of the accidents that happen when the guest is in possession of an owner’s vehicle. They are primary to both the owner and the renter’s personal policies. However, Turo explains an exception regarding underinsured and uninsured motorist (UIM/UM) protection and personal injury protection (PIP), “In some states, certain coverages may continue to stay with the vehicle, even during the rental period. In states where the UIM/UM, PIP, and liability coverages ‘follow the vehicle,’ in the event of an accident, the host’s insurance could be implicated. To note, Turo, through its third-party liability insurer, provides the statutory minimum UM/UIM coverage in all states, which may sometimes be zero.” How does insurance work for Turo and Getaround? From a vehicle owner’s perspective, there are a couple of different things to worry about when it comes to car sharing. Owners may be on the hook for third-party liability and financial consequences of physical damage to the shared vehicle. What does that mean?Both Turo and Getaround use a $1 million liability policy. As NerdWallet explains, this liability policy is used “in case a renter crashes your car and you’re held responsible for others’ injuries or property damage. Even if you and the renter have your own liability insurance, coverage from the car-sharing company is the primary insurance, meaning you can use it before any other policy.” Idaho attorney David Leroy says via KIVITV, “For the most part, a million dollar policy should cover almost all potential losses that the owner of the vehicle who was renting it out could suffer.” Much like renting a car from traditional car rental companies, drivers who use the Turo app can choose to purchase insurance coverage for a percentage of the trip price or decline coverage. Both companies also include protection against physical damage, but amounts vary, depending on a host’s service level. They both offer physical damage protection for the value of the car. Turo Insurance Turo offers a couple different perks, based on the protection plan you choose: Basic, Standard, or Premium. Here is a quick breakdown of the Turo protection plan and its coverage for car owners: Basic Plan Cost — 15% of the Turo trip price Third-party liability — $1 million Necessary repair costs — Turo covers 20% of the first $3,750 for uninsured repairs, then 100%, up to the lesser of the value of the vehicle or $125,000. Basically, you would have a $3,000 deductible. Replacement vehicle reimbursement — not covered Exterior wear and tear — not covered Loss of hosting income — not covered Standard Plan Cost — 30% of the Turo trip price Third-party liability — $1 million Necessary repair costs — For uninsured repairs, Turo the pays up to the cost of the vehicle, $125,000 max Replacement vehicle reimbursement — Turo covers up to $30 per day for 10 days max Exterior wear and tear — not covered Loss of hosting income — not covered Premium Plan Cost — 45% of the Turo trip price Third-party liability — $1 million Necessary repair costs — For uninsured repairs, Turo the pays up to the cost of the vehicle, $125,000 max Replacement vehicle reimbursement — Turo covers up to $30 per day for 10 days max Exterior wear and tear — Turo covers, if it is an eligible claim Loss of hosting income — Covered by Turo, based on the last month or year's average. But of course, as with all insurance policies, there are several specifications: Check out the full policy here. Renters are on the hook for damage, unless they pay for a damage waiver while renting. Much like a standard car rental, drivers who use the Turo app can choose to purchase coverage for a percentage of the trip price or decline coverage. Will your own personal car insurance be affected by a renter’s accident? Turo says this: “As a general statement, we believe that your insurance should not be affected if your vehicle is covered under one of Turo’s coverage plans. … If the guest gets into an accident, our insurance policy will go into effect. That should leave your personal policy untouched.” Getaround Insurance Combined single limit liability — $1 million Necessary repair costs — up to the cash value of the vehicle Replacement vehicle reimbursement — Getaround will pay up to $25 per day, max $30 days, while it is being fixed Excessive wear and tear — covered Loss of hosting income — Getaround will pay up to $25 per day, max $30 days, while it is being fixed The plan also offers roadside assistance. Check out the full policy here. Exception — New York For both P2P marketplaces, the state of New York is its own exception. Getaround requires that each car owner get a commercial insurance policy, while owners in New York aren’t allowed to rent out their vehicle through Turo. Are there any car sharing insurance red flags to look out for? Hargraves explains, “This is a very new industry and as such the rules and laws are constantly changing. I suggest investigating a car-sharing company thoroughly before choosing one. Go online and look for reviews. You are entrusting a platform with what is probably one of your larger assets, so it pays to do your homework. If you can’t get straight answers in a timely manner, then find another company. Also, keep up with your state laws regarding these companies and the insurance requirements. Laws vary by state so if you move, it might be time to change car-sharing companies.” So, before you add your personal vehicle to the sharing economy, make sure that you contact your insurer, and understand your options, between the different companies and insurance plans. Special thanks to Jason Hargraves, managing editor of InsuranceQuotes.com for contributing to this article!Check the Best Car Sharing Companies
Car sharing is growing in popularity within the United States. Each year, more companies are getting in on the game, trying to capitalize on the “Mobility as a Service” business model. We have compiled a searchable list of car sharing companies and the US cities they operate in. For more details about each of these companies, click on the links below to see our in-depth reviews of each company: Car2Go EnterpriseCarShare Getaround Gig Car Share HourCar Hui Car Share LimePod Maven ReachNow Turo UhaulCarShare Zipcar
Guest Post by Victoria Schmid If you live in a city, it’s hard to miss the rising popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. In the past few years, these mobile platforms that match riders with vetted drivers have grown rapidly. Uber operates in forty-five countries and cities around the world — from Anchorage in Alaska to Zurich in Switzerland. Lyft has expanded in the United States, opening up to drivers across forty states and ensuring nine out of ten Americans have access to ride sharing. With such unprecedented availability, ride sharing is expected to continue to grow. Uber and Lyft’s appeal rests on offering an alternative to customers who want to avoid using their own vehicles for every trip, dealing with traffic, or driving home after a night out. Before you hail that first ride, though, it’s essential to understand what you’re signing up for and the critical differences between Uber and Lyft. 1. Uber and Lyft are mobile only If you want a ride, you’ll have to download the app on your smartphone. Uber and Lyft only come as mobile apps and require a strong, reliable internet connection. If you're not sure your internet connection is up to speed, you can check with this quick test online. Once you've downloaded the mobile app, you'll do some basic setup regarding your personal and payment information, and then you're ready to hit the open road. 2. Uber and Lyft are popular Uber and Lyft are the most popular ride-sharing platforms in the United States, and chances are you’re in the coverage area of at least one if not both companies. Since 2010, more than five billion people across the world have taken a ride with Uber. Lyft, which was founded in 2012 and is available only in the United States, hit one million rides in 2017. 3. For Uber and Lyft, ratings are a two-way street Both platforms allow drivers and riders to rate each other based on the quality of the ride and the overall interaction. This setup not only helps you have confidence about the competence of your driver and the condition of the vehicle but also makes the relationship a more courteous one for both parties. 4. Uber and Lyft focus on safety Ride-sharing companies have adopted features to improve safety for customers and drivers. Uber has an emergency button in the mobile app to sound the alert if you feel unsafe during a ride. Uber and Lyft have the option to share your route with a friend, and both platforms have 24/7 response teams dedicated to handling your concerns. 5. Uber and Lyft disclose the cost up front Both platforms tell you up front how much your trip will cost. The estimate is based on your pickup location, destination, type of service, and time of day. Be warned that if you change your destination during the ride, you’ll risk incurring an additional. 6. With Uber and Lyft, beware of surge pricing Uber calls it surge pricing. Lyft calls it primetime. However, they both charge a higher rate given the volume the platform is currently experiencing. If it's rush hour, your ride is going to cost more than it would in the middle of the afternoon. While Lyft’s prices may be more economical during high volume times, both platforms have similar pricing overall. 7. Uber and Lyft have different levels of service When you open either app, you’ll be asked to specify the kind of vehicle you need. Uber has different levels of service based on how many people, how much luggage, and the type of car you'd prefer. Lyft takes a similar approach with Lyft Plus for up to six passengers or Lyft Lux, a premium black-SUV service. 8. Uber and Lyft both offer carpool options If you’d like to save a few bucks on your ride and save the environment, you can select a carpool service: "uberPOOL" or Lyft’s "Shared Ride." Each matches you to passengers traveling in your direction who are willing to share a vehicle and split the cost of the ride. 9. Uber and Lyft charge cancellation fees If you suddenly decide you no longer need a ride, you could be charged a cancellation fee. For Uber, some cities bill a fee if you cancel more than two minutes after your request. Lyft has similar stipulations, including fees for shared rides if you don’t show up within one minute of your driver’s arrival. 10. Lyft drivers report higher satisfaction than Uber drivers There are many similarities between these ride-sharing services, but driver satisfaction is a key difference. While Uber's signup bonuses are large, Lyft drivers tend to make more per month. Finally, roughly 75 percent of Lyft drivers report satisfaction with their experience while under 50 percent of Uber drivers say the same. Go the distance with ride sharing Whether you choose to download Uber or Lyft, it’s clear that ride-sharing platforms are here to stay. When you’re stateside, Lyft may be a better deal to get where you need to go, but in cities worldwide, it’s Uber that’ll meet you curbside. Learn more about how Lyft, Uber, and other ride-sharing companies rank before you get taken for a ride.Victoria Schmid enjoys writing about technology for the “everyday” person. She is a specialist in online business marketing and consumer technology. She has a background in broadcast journalism.
On November 1, ride sharing company Uber and Arizona State University announced a new educational pilot program offering eligible Uber drivers free tuition through ASU Online. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and ASU President Michael M. Crow published an op-ed about the program in the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, explaining the new program’s aims and goals. How does it work? It all starts with Uber Pro, a rewards platform available as a pilot program in eight locations across the country. The program currently includes all drivers in Chicago, New Orleans, Phoenix, and Seattle and randomly selected drivers in Denver, New Jersey, Orlando, and Tampa Bay. The program gives drivers special perks and opportunities based on points accrued. They get rewards like savings on gas, car maintenance discounts, and roadside assistance, as well as the new tuition program. Drivers earn points to determine their rank in a special tiered system, The tiers start with Partner, then increase to Gold, Platinum, and Diamond level status. Drivers will be eligible for the tuition benefit at the Platinum and Diamond levels if they have completed 3,000 Uber trips. One of the awesome things about this program is that drivers who have earned the opportunity through the Uber program can, instead of using the benefit themselves, give it to a family member. This includes a domestic partner, spouse, child, sibling, parent, legal guardian, or dependent. Innovation Arizona State University has been ranked the most innovative school in the United States for four years running by US News & World Report. It’s no wonder that Uber went to ASU to build this partnership. The school already has a similar tuition program with coffee megagiant Starbucks, aimed at giving employees the benefit of an education. Starbucks The Starbucks College Achievement Plan was introduced in 2014, as a way for eligible employees to earn a bachelor's degree, also through ASU Online with no cost for tuition. Eligibility is based on working an average of 20 hours per week and workers who already have a bachelor's degree are not eligible. If you have served, or are serving in the military, you can give the benefit to a family member. What’s Next? The Uber Pro and the ASU program starts in the eight selected locations and will be launched more broadly after pilot program feedback. As Khosrowshahi and Crow said in their op-ed, “[W]orking together, we can deliver a more inclusive future where everyone has the chance to get ahead.” This is certainly a great move for the company to improve its image and morale among drivers who are merely freelancing at their Uber gig. It will also bring renewed job interest among those who are looking for both a flexible job and a leg up for their family’s future. You can learn more about the program at uber.asu.edu.
America's workforce is going freelance. Well, not all of us. But enough to cause some waves. And if things continue, more than 40% of U.S. workers, roughly 60 million people, are expected to be independent workers by 2020, according to a recent Intuit study. Blame the rising cost of living. Blame wages for not keeping up with it. Blame our incessant desire to control our destinies. Blame the Internet for making it possible for people to work from wherever they want. Wherever you pin the blame, freelancing and contracting are only going to become more common. The real question now is, will all this freelancing and contracting hurt or help customers? Perhaps one of the world's foremost users of freelancers and contractors is ride-sharing service Uber, which recruits an army of normal drivers to act as an alternative to taxis and other forms of public transportation. Recent lawsuits, however, have taken Uber to court over the question of whether their drivers are contractors or employees. Two separate lawsuits in California have concluded that, because Uber controls so much of how the driver does their business-from what kind of car they use to set prices to discouraging tips-their drivers should be considered employees. At the same time, numerous other lawsuits have produced the opposite result, that Uber drivers are contractors only. Which puts Uber at a crossroads. If Uber has to treat its drivers as employees, their obligations to those drivers-their whole business model, in fact-change dramatically. If Uber drivers are contractors, things stay as they are, with all the good and bad that entails. These cases highlight the growing debate about which is better for companies and customers: freelancers or employees. When it comes to the companies we deal with, are you and I and other consumers like us better off with companies that employ large numbers of freelancers? Or will employees produce better products and services for our buck? The multifaceted answers to these questions get at the very heart of the value freelancers and contractors can provide-and the disadvantages that come with them. [Disclosure: I am a part-time freelance writer and have been for the last three years. I also oversee a team of freelance writers in my full-time job as a content marketing manager. No bias, either way, is foreseen, but I just thought you should know.] Will employees cost you more? Contractors and freelancers are almost always cheaper than full-time employees. You don't have to pay for health insurance, equipment, a desk for them to sit at, power, or team lunches. You usually don't have to pay them unless they're actually getting work done. And these savings can create huge advantages for companies. In Uber's case, their whole business model, their very profitability, is based on their drivers being contractors and not employees. If their drivers suddenly became full-time employees, the results could be catastrophic, says Andrew Nusca of Fortune: "Uber would have to pay taxes for hundreds of thousands of new employees (and make various new considerations: benefits, unemployment, and so forth) at a time when it is believed to be deeply unprofitable in its quest for growth." Up to this point, Uber has been killing taxi companies and other public transportation providers. A recent study found that while taxi use by business users had declined from 52% to 32% in just the last year, use of Uber went from 9% to 29%. One of the main drivers of this growth has been Uber's ability to offer lower fares than taxis. But what if Uber were suddenly forced to pay for the expenses for their drivers? It wouldn't be long before those costs were passed on to customers. Those low fares wouldn't be so low anymore. A change of this magnitude to Uber's fares would break its chokehold on taxis and other ride providers. Unfortunately, when companies go with full-time employees instead of freelancers, at some point, customers end up paying for it. Employees just cost more. Of course, that isn't to say that the extra costs aren't worth it. Who delivers better products and services? Many business leaders will argue that it takes full-time employees to build truly great companies. With full-time employees, you can build culture, unity, and devotion that you just can't get from contractors and freelancers. And this feeds directly into better products and services. On this subject, one COO has said: "Talented, trained employees treated well by their employers will treat customers well and deliver exceptional service. Customers will remember our employees delivering exceptional service and will find reasons to extend the commercial relationship with our company." It stands to reason that having employees who are on site should be better for a number of reasons, but every office has examples to the contrary. Employees who deliberately limit their workloads and spend the afternoon watching cat videos. Employees who pin their shortcomings on other team members. Employees who talk the talk with little actual achievement. Freelance and contractor work, on the other hand, makes this kind of mediocrity much less likely. Uber drivers, for instance, are forced to provide real value to riders or be penalized by Uber's system, where drivers are rated by passengers after each ride and drivers are downgraded if their scores fall. Does this provide more incentive for constant improvement and mindfulness of customer service than you might find with a full-time employee who is comfortable in his or her job security? Most likely. Anyone who can't adapt and improve fast enough will quickly fall out of a company's freelance pool. As a freelancer, this aspect of my work keeps me motivated to produce high-quality work. I know that the minute I stop demonstrating my value, my clients can go with another service. There are no afternoons of cat videos, just the delivery of finished products that meet the high standards I've committed to. As someone who regularly hires freelancers, on the other hand, I can say that freelancers don't always share this same perspective. Whether because of lack of skill, because they become disengaged, or because they just lack the ability to take feedback and respond appropriately, some of my freelancers fall short. Similarly, there are certainly times when Uber's drivers fall short. Search 'Uber horror stories' and you get a page of tales involving epithets, kidnapping, battery, stalking, sexual harassment, and even rape. For sure, freelancing isn't a silver bullet when it comes to quality, but freelancers and contractors are easier to fire when things go bad. And then there's the flexibility... Easy Come, Easy Go You know all those popular taglines about being your own boss and working in your pajamas? They speak to the flexibility that comes with the freelancer/contractor arrangement. This flexibility can be a problem. When you take on a new freelancer or contractor, they know nothing about your product, processes, or culture. So you put in lots of time to get him up to speed, similar to what you would put into onboarding a new employee. Then, after making this investment, he-and all the assets he brings to the table-can leave at any moment. It's not easy watching all that human capital that you've invested in just walk out the door, especially since you're now right back where you started, onboarding a new freelancer. Sometimes right in the middle of your busy season. I'm not saying this doesn't happen with full-time employees. Nowadays, with average employee tenures shorter than ever, it's likely more common than ever. But it's still far more common with contractors and freelancers. But this same transiency can also be a benefit to cost-conscious teams faced with inconsistent demand. With freelancers, you pay only for services that you actually use. You usually never find yourself paying someone for just sitting there, waiting for work to do. (I say 'usually' because I once heard of a government contractor who received $150,000 per year to work from home, but never received any assignments, despite the contractor's best efforts to bring the problem to his client's attention.) When work ramps up, freelancers are ready to get to work. When work ramps down, freelancers go find work somewhere else. For teams that face these up-and-down cycles, freelancers are a smart move. The only alternative is for team leaders to spend most of their time hiring and firing, like you see in retail around the holiday shopping season. Can you get this flexibility with employees? Yes, but it's not an inherent part of the arrangement. Employees, especially salaried ones, are more likely to stay within their primary job duties and not question lulls in their workloads. Freelancers and Contractors or Employees? Perhaps, then, this comparison is a draw. On a project-by-project basis, freelancers are highly incentivized to deliver superior results-although, not all will deliver-but it's difficult to build consistent quality and delivery with a team of freelancers. Conversely, employees are much easier to build into a unified, consistent team, but their incentives to go above and beyond are less. In the future, Uber might not have the luxury of choosing whether their drivers are deemed contractors or employees, but most companies will continue to be able to choose. In truth, the best companies out there use a combination of freelancers, contractors, and employees to get the benefits of all. So do Uber's contractors make it a better company for customers? Visit our Uber reviews page to find out!