After launching in Perth and Sydney, Ola is bringing its ride-sharing service to the sunny-then-cold-then-sunny-again, caffeine-fueled city of Melbourne. Rejoice, Melbournians. To celebrate their arrival in yet another city, they're offering free rides to get you moving.
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"This Uber/Airbnb/restaurant was really great," you think to yourself, as you sit down to write a review. You type up everything you loved about the ride/apartment/meal, and then you hover your cursor over the star ratings. "Well," you think, "there's always room for improvement!" or "This was great, but not literally the best ride/stay/meal I've ever had" and then you give 4/5, or 9/10 stars.
Uber has become a verb for getting a ride, much like Google simply has come to mean search. But Europe's fastest growing ride-share service, Taxify, aims to change that. The company has added Australia to its list of 20 countries where the service is making inroads into the competitive ride-share industry.
The company is promising lower fares for passengers and a bigger cut for drivers with 4000 drivers already on their local books.
The recently revealed Uber data breach, that resulted in 57 million customer and 600,000 driver data records being leaked, has seen the leadership ranks of the company's security team gutted. Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan was fired and his Chief of Staff Pooja Ashok, senior engineer Prithvi Rai and Sullivan's most senior manager Jeff Jones have all resigned.
It has been revealed that Uber was the victim of a cyber-attack that resulted in the personal data of 57 million customers being exposed. And if that wasn't bad enough, it is also being reported that the many paid the hackers $100,000 to keep quiet and delete the data. Under European and Australian laws that will come into effect next year, that $100,000 is small fry compared to the millions of dollars it could cost them.
When you're heading home from a night out with friends, sharing an Uber often makes a lot of sense. However, up until now, you'd have to verbally tell your driver you were going to make a few stops, and then input a new address each time someone gets out of the car. It's a process that works, but tends to be pretty frustrating for both you and the driver.
Yesterday, The New York Times went deep into some of Uber's shady business practices. In the article, one small section revealed that one service we've talked about extensively over the years, Unroll.me, has been mining and selling off your email data, and Uber used that data to gain intelligence on Lyft.
I love the concept of ride sharing services like Lyft or Uber, and I use them all the time when I travel or feel the urge to paint the town red. But it's not just because they're convenient; I like to talk to the drivers! And I wouldn't trade all the stories, advice and near head-on collisions for anything.
There is a strong chance that the ridesharing service Uber will be forced to charge higher fares in Australia following a Federal Court ruling that it must pay GST. Moving forward, Uber drivers will be charged GST like other taxi services, a cost that is almost certain to be passed on to the customer.
Uber drivers collecting GST isn't anything new, ever since the Australian Taxation Office weighed in on the situation back in 2015. However, you may not have known that Uber took the ATO to court over the decision. The case came to a conclusion on Friday, with the Federal Court ruling in favour of the ATO.