Uber established itself in the Ghanaian market in 2016 in the city of Accra. Last year, they expanded their operations to Kumasi and recently celebrated their one year anniversary.
As of today, Uber has over 180,000 riders using Uber and about 6,000 active drivers on the Uber platform.
Lola Kassim, the general manager for Uber West Africa, sat down with Tech Nova and other select members of the media to discuss Uber in Ghana and answer some pertinent questions related to Uber.
On The 25% Commission Fee For Driver Partners
Uber currently takes a 25% commission fee from trips that Uber driver partners take every week. There has been some pushback from Uber driver partners for the company to lower their commission fees especially in the wake of increasing fuel prices in Ghana.
According to Lola Kassim, the 25% Uber commission fee is currently standard in the West Africa market and Uber currently has no plans to change the fees in the interim.
She stated that Uber drivers were encouraged to take advantage of incentive programs that Uber frequently sends out to make more money during their trips.
Why Uber Won’t Lower Their Commission Fees At The Moment
Ms Kassim stated that the 25% commission fee that they take from drivers is to cover Uber Ghana’s operations in the areas of Support, Marketing, and Technology. Lowering the rate would not be a great business decision as the fees helps to cover the aforementioned areas for Uber’s operation in Ghana.
Customer Service and Greenlight Hubs
Ms Kassim admitted that Uber’s support service wasn’t in a good place when they first launched in Ghana but after numerous feedback from riders and drivers alike, they’ve implemented certain changes to make it better.
As of right now, Uber drivers have access to a 24/7 customer service line for any of their complaints. Uber also has Greenlight Hubs in both Accra and Kumasi where driver partners can walk in and discuss issues relating to the Uber platform or any other issues.
For riders, they can contact Uber customer support through the Uber in-app feedback section for any complaints. For critical issues, Uber recently pushed a feature called the Incident Response Team where riders can submit a ticket for a critical safety incident or accident through the app, and get a call-back from a team member within a couple minutes.
When asked when there might be a hotline in riders to call in and report other issues, Ms Kassim stated that Uber Ghana doesn’t any have current plans at the moment but they’re constantly listening for feedback.
Cash Options, Cancelled Trips and Driver Incentives
Uber recently partnered with DPO and MTN money which now enables Uber drivers to pay their commission fees.
At the moment, Uber doesn’t have the option to let riders pay for their trips using Mobile Money but it’s a consideration at the moment.
When it came to the issue of drivers canceling rider trips because they requested card payments, Ms Kassim encouraged riders to make complaints through the Uber in-app feedback. As riders make complaints, Uber can track these issues on their backend and discourage drivers by deactivating their accounts.
Uber Rider Discounts And Unhappy Drivers
Recently, Uber drivers have been complaining about the discounts that riders apply for trips because drivers feel those discounts are cutting into their pay.
Ms Kassim stated for the record that Uber Ghana covers the discount fees for their drivers and therefore the promotions and discounts don’t affect driver’s pay. A reason for driver complaints might owe to the fact that some driver partners might be in arrears (that is, owing Uber commission fees) and this might affect their bottom line at the end of the day when Uber takes their cut.
Ms Kassim did say that Uber drivers do get incentive programs where they have a chance to make more money. Examples of these incentives including getting a 10% boost on every trip that an Uber driver takes.
Celebrating One Year In Kumasi and Expansion Plans
Uber has been in Ghana for two years and recently celebrated one year of operations in Kumasi by rewarding their top driver partners in Kumasi.
For plans of expansion, Uber Ghana currently has no plans at the moment but they are listening for feedback for where areas where people might want them to be in.
All in all, it was a good conversation with Lola Kassim. From her point of view, Uber is doing very well in the Ghanaian market but she acknowledged that not everything was perfect and that they’re always listening to feedback and trying to find ways to address issues that arise.
Sound off in the comment section what they think about the conversation