White woman who speaks Spanish takes Uber

@sarcasm.generator/TikTok Alex Photo Stock/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I don’t understand why they aren’t just the same’: Uber customer realizes rides with Spanish-speaking drivers are cheaper

‘Uber is doing something potentially very questionable.’

 

Alexandra Samuels

Trending

Posted on Jan 22, 2024   Updated on Jan 22, 2024, 10:58 pm CST

A content creator went viral on TikTok after questioning the price difference between regular Uber rides versus those booked through UberESPAÑOL.

“Uber is doing something potentially very questionable,” said @sarcasm.generator, who recorded the video from her bed. As of Monday evening, her clip had amassed over 103,300 views.

UberESPAÑOL allows Spanish-speaking users to ride with a Spanish-speaking driver. Though this service might seem particularly helpful for Spanish speakers wanting to talk with their drivers, @sarcasm.generator questioned whether these drivers received a fair wage.

@sarcasm.generator said the issue was brought to her attention after she was flown out to a conference in Los Angeles, California, and needed a ride to her hotel. “I pull up my Uber menu and I notice that UberESPAÑOL is $5 cheaper than UberX,” she said. “Since I speak español and like saving money, I get that ride.”

But then she said she started wondering why it was cheaper. After some online digging, the content creator said that she couldn’t find a solid answer. She did, however, find a number of other Uber users posing her same question. She also said she stumbled across lots of speculation as to why the charges didn’t match.

“There might be, for example, more people who speak Spanish as drivers and, therefore, based on quantity, it would be cheaper to get a driver who spoke Spanish,” @sarcasm.generator guessed.

But that conclusion didn’t sit right with her.

“Two things about that strike me as odd,” she said. Firstly, she said, even in a more racially diverse city such as Los Angeles, there are still more native English speakers than Spanish speakers. And secondly, unless Uber could demonstrate that UberESPAÑOL drivers were paid the same as regular drivers, @sarcasm.generator questioned whether UberESPAÑOL drivers were paid less.

In the accompanying video caption, @sarcasm.generator made clear that she wasn’t certain this was true. Instead, she said she only wanted to raise awareness regarding the price discrepancies. 

“For legal reasons I am not asserting anything about why Uber español rides could be cheaper than an UberX,” she wrote. 

@sarcasm.generator

For legal reasons I am not asserting anything about why Uber español rides could be cheaper than an UberX

♬ original sound – pls follow my other socials

But in the comments, viewers also expressed shock at the price differences.

“Pay Spanish speakers more,” one user demanded.

“They need to be more expensive. That’s not fair to the spanish drivers,” another added.

Others, meanwhile, offered their own guesses as to why the rides might not cost the same.

“It’s dynamic demand pricing,” one user said. “Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less. Same reason why Uber Black & Comfort are often cheaper than X.”

“I think it’s just about supply/demand,” another speculated. “I’ve had times when Uber black was cheaper than UberX. Bc there were more of those drivers available and less people ordering them.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @sarcasm.generator via TikTok comment and to Uber by email.

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*First Published: Jan 22, 2024, 11:00 pm CST