Uber Trials Phone Monitoring of Its Drivers

Uber is well-known for problems. The popular app allows drivers to charge as if they were taxi’s, getting notifications that someone is requesting a lift and then offering their services at a charge. Uber, like many companies, suffer from bad press and actions like stolen accounts being sold and even having its leaders in France arrested. In order to combat their drivers though Uber looks to employ the same technique that some insurance companies now use, monitoring of its drivers.

Uber announced that it will be rolling out a trial in Houston, Texas, to check on drivers who have received complaints about their driving standards. The system will use a combination of the phone’s accelerometers, GPS and gyroscopes to record actions such as excessive speeding or even if you decided to check your phone and send a text while at the wheel.

Uber made it clear that they would only access this information though if the driver had a complaint made against them, although the possibility of always-on monitoring is still on the cards.

While monitoring is often frowned upon, when you are placing your trust in a driver who is monitored in very few ways, with some instances of drivers being accused or committing crimes, a little extra safety for passengers and road users can’t be a bad thing.

Valve Got an ‘F’ for Its Customer Service

Valve, the world’s biggest PC gaming service, apparently was given an ‘F’ for its Customer Service by the Better Business Bureau, while other gaming companies mostly have received an ‘A’.

According to BBB, people have filed 717 complaints about Valve and Valve-related products, 502 of which they have failed to respond to. The majority of complaints come from problems with either a product or service, having BBB stating that Valve “has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.”

“On June 25, 2013, BBB recognized a pattern of complaints from consumers regarding product, service and customer service issues. Consumers allege the games they purchase from Valve Corporation or Steam malfunction, do not work or have an invalid CD key. Consumers also claim the company blocks users from accessing their library of games. Consumers further allege they attempt to contact the company for assistance, but Valve Corporation fails to correct the gaming issues, does not correct credit card charges or issue a refund, or does not respond at all.”

“On July 1, 2013, BBB notified the company of the complaint pattern. To date, the company has not responded to BBB’s request to address the pattern.”

BBB has stated that they review the companies once every six months to see if there are any improvements, which is not the case in Valve’s situation from their point of view. However, to be noted is the fact that BBB is not a government agency, nor does it have any sort of regulatory power. The company is a national network of non-profit groups who seek to improve businesses.

Valve’s development authority, Erik Johnson, stated that the company doesn’t consider BBB as a priority, but users have the right of it. This is why Valve needs to throw away its faulty customer service program and start anew.

“The BBB is a far less useful proxy for customer issues than Reddit,” Johnson began. “We don’t use them for much. They don’t provide us as useful of data as customers emailing us, posting on Reddit, posting on Twitter, and so on.”

“The more important thing is that we don’t feel like our customer service support is where it needs to be right now,” he said. “We think customers are right. When they say our support’s bad, our initial reaction isn’t to say, ‘No, it’s actually good. Look at all of this.’ It’s to say that, no, they’re probably right, because they usually are when it comes to this kind of thing. We hear those complaints, and that’s gonna be a big focus for us throughout the year. We have a lot of work to do there. We have to do better.”

Though Valve is stating it will have a look at improving its customer service, we have yet to see some sort of beta testing or indications of a new or improved service being in the works. Still, it is good to see the company at least acknowledging their weakness and this might even lead to making Valve’s notorious wall of silence a little shallow.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information