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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Friday 3:50 AM. I start my weekend driving.. and immediately notice something is wrong. Very. Very. Wrong. If this is the new normal, then I am 20 TIMES more pissed about it than I am about the new 7 minute wait time.

First, so everyone knows what I'm talking about, I need to define a term: "Surge update."

When a surge update happens, the driver app screen is briefly cleared of all surge rendering and all gray clouds. Then it's all redrawn, and it all reflects at that point in time accurate surge values on the map.

Before today, a surge update would happen:

1. When you go online or offline.
2. When your sticky increases.
3. When you decline a ride.
4. Every 20 - 60 seconds while you're offline (eventually disappearing forever after about a few minutes)
5. Every 10 - 30 seconds while you're online and not getting pings (probably because you're on Pet or Connect)

Today, this is apparently when surge updates happen:

1. When you go online or offline

That's it! So now, you can be online all day long, either declining UberX pings left and right or chilling with Pet/Connect, and the surge display will be PERMANENTLY FROZEN on your app.

Here's a series of annotated screenshots to show what I'm talking about:

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World Product Map Font Line

Here I am after dropping a pax off at ORD (which I was not happy about at all, but that's another story). I'm pretty livid about the new surge issue that I've been seeing since 4 am at this point. I decide to dead-head back into the city on I-90, app on with Connect, until I hit surge. I cropped it out, but the time on this screenshot was 7:02 AM.
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World Map Font Line Urban design

Here I am 12 minutes later at 7:14 AM. I cropped it out, but now my app shows $1.50 minimum surge at the bottom. Notice how the surge looks the same 12 minutes later. But here's the thing... it's NOT the same. It's stuck. Immediately after taking this screenshot, I go offline then online and this is what I see:
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Ecoregion World Product Map Font

Look at that! TOTALLY DIFFERENT ALL OF A SUDDEN! This is making is kind of impossible to chase surge effectively. (I know, under the current pay scheme, Uber doesn't want that. If they'd switch back to an 80/20 or 70/30 scheme, they'd want us to chase surge... but that's also another story.)
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At that point, I was so angry I decided to give up for the morning. I noticed a $15 Lyft streak ending at 7:45 am, so I set my Lyft DF to home and knocked out 3 easy rides, then quit.

Is anyone else seeing this this morning? Is anyone else as pissed about it as I am? Do you think it's intentional/unintentional? Is this the new normal?

At the very least, if this is affecting all drivers, there is going to be a 1000% increase in reports of "I drove to the surge number but the app isn't picking up the surge."

What say you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
It works like this at least the last week. I always force stop the app and open again to see the actual surge. Did you expect a tool from uber that will make surge chasing easier?)
I haven't driven since Sunday. So it could have been as early as Monday. But if it was Monday, I'm shocked that no one else has reported it here until now.

Of course they wouldn't make surge chasing easier under the current scheme. Again... if they'd pay us a percentage of pax fare and take a percentage, and make pax surge the same as driver surge like it was years back, they'd like us to chase surge since it would be more money in their own pockets as well. And in a general sense, they want us to drive where the surge is... that's kind of the point of it, right? To shore up supply where it's low and demand is high? (I know surge doesn't always reflect demand... let's not go down that rabbit hole right now).

But if they are going to discourage surge chasing then this is about the most ham-fisted and frustrating and just all around messed up way they could have done it. Now the app just doesn't work right. Not for any driver (assuming all drivers are affected). Not even for good ants. Hundreds of thousands of ants and new drivers are going to be like "why doesn't it pay me the surge it says on the map?"

When you say force-quit, do you really mean just close and reopen? Going back months, maybe years, when I close and reopen the app I remain online, but then the surge takes a LONG time to redraw. Like a couple of minutes. That's pretty useless as well. I would love an effective workaround but that doesn't seem to be it.

Staying online with Connect or Pet worked beautifully. Surge would update quite frequently then. Not quite real-time, but pretty close. In particular it was useful to get the auto-update when your sticky increased. Because that's the time you often want to make the decision to accept a ride or keep chasing. I sincerely hope those days are not gone.
 

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I started out in the SW burbs this morning as I always do. What you describe did NOT happen to me.
Surge updated as it always had.
 

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But the nature of such trucks is clear. They delay surge updates as drivers chasing it come to needed areas. Many of them,seeing no bigger numbers,will take smaller surges or any other trip. Profit.
 

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I never ever took a ride without checking surge prices. App on App off. Checking pax App whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I'm on Android,so force stop efficiently refreshes the app and surge.
I'm on Android too. I'll give that a shot and report back. Do you sometimes get the nastygram "Fraudulent activity detected" from it? I got one of those a few months back - no idea why. I'm concerned it might be one of those "3 strikes and you're out" offenses.

Do you force stop while you're online? Do you remain online, keeping your sticky, when the App comes back up?

Even if this works I can't imagine doing it all the time, constantly, while chasing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I started out in the SW burbs this morning as I always do. What you describe did NOT happen to me.
Surge updated as it always had.
Hmm. Are you on Android or iPhone? If this is a glitch, maybe it will be fixed. Or maybe their are only punishing select drivers with it. If I can fix this by moving to iPhone, then hell, I just might.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
And right now it looks like a $40 honey pot at 107th and Throop. I so want to burn my 2 DFs back to back abusing it and raking in $250+ in 3 hours but I feel like I can't :(

Product Font Red Pattern Poster
 

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Maybe this is why I am not getting any surge despite the surge being visible on the map. Leave it to a "technology company" to release dysfunctional programs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Maybe this is why I am not getting any surge despite the surge being visible on the map. Leave it to a "technology company" to release dysfunctional programs.
How long has this been happening to you? If you go offline and online, does the surge update? Does the surge update any other time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I seem to be getting surge updates now while online with Connect. I uninstalled and reinstalled the app. I didn't want to even play with it until my 12 hours came back. Might be too early to report that all is well. We'll see.

That $40 honeypot at 107th and Throop is still there... go and get it ants!
 

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I'm on Android too. I'll give that a shot and report back. Do you sometimes get the nastygram "Fraudulent activity detected" from it? I got one of those a few months back - no idea why. I'm concerned it might be one of those "2 strikes and you're out" offenses.

Do you force stop while you're online? Do you remain online, keeping your sticky, when the App comes back up?

Even if this works I can't imagine doing it all the time, constantly, while chasing.
Yes,you need to do it constantly. It is irritating. Today. Ord. 3 bucks surge on the map. 3 again. 0 drivers. Reshreshed it 4 times. 18 surge) Picked it.
What kind of fraudulent activity is refreshing the app? Never had any reports on uber.
 

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I just had 67 bucks hour. Ord to Elmhurst with surge and tip. Deadheading back,open the map,17 surge. Went online,8 mins trip took me 10 away from the airport. Another 18 surge and I'm in the city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes,you need to do it constantly. It is irritating. Today. Ord. 3 bucks surge on the map. 3 again. 0 drivers. Reshreshed it 4 times. 18 surge) Picked it.
What kind of fraudulent activity is refreshing the app? Never had any reports on uber.
They have an algo running that constantly watches for "fraudulent activity". I had an interesting conversation on a video call with a Hub worker, a former driver in Chicago. He has a pretty IDGAF attitude about Uber, was pretty cynical, and seemed willing to tell me anything. I didn't agree with everything he said, not by a long shot. But FWIW, he is an insider now of sorts, and he felt that the fraud detection thing was particularly sensitive at or near airports. He even told me DON'T go online an offline a lot anywhere near airports. When talking to regular phone support, the only thing I managed to get out of them was that my 1 offense had "something to do with an airport," which was interesting. Around the time of it mario-karting airport surge was working and I had abused that several times in a row. I wasn't going online/offline though, I was using Connect.
 

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Fantastic bullshit. I decide when and where I go on or off line. Uber has 2 surges at ord map. I always take the highest. Again,it is on the map. I don't do any tricks. I posted the screen. I earned 40 bucks with 18 surge and Uber earned 40 bucks on the ride. Is it fraud? It is a rip off of the rider of course,but has nothing to do with fraud.
 
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