This article is a bit long for your busy schedule. But I beseech you to please read to the end. Our relationship seriously depends on how our points in this article are understood. I value your relationship and I value your investment in our business. I don’t want this relationship to breakdown because there was a “gap” between what JobHouse promised and what JobHouse is delivering. Please read to the end. – Richard Dogbe, CEO, JobHouse.
The issue has up over and over again. On several occasions, our Partners (car owners) have asked questions or made certain comments that make us believe we need to make a formal statement to clarify how we are running this fleet management service on Uber and in particular, what we mean by Weekly Rate or Weekly Sales.
How Uber Drivers Operate with Individual Car Owners
To better appreciate what we are doing differently when it comes to Uber fleet management, kindly consider the situation of an individual Uber car owner. The car owner after getting his car, recruits a qualified Uber driver and both parties agree on an amount per week. Currently Uber drivers accounting to Individual car owners are paying GHC400-500 per week.
Conditions under this arrangement:
- The car owner will have to check where the driver stays and get any guarantees needed.
- Uber will not help your or play any part is a driver runs away with your money. Uber is NOT employer of any driver. Therefore if a car owner has any issue with a driver, Uber will not want to get involved. If a driver leaves car owner “A” today, he can start driving with car owner “B” the next day and Uber will not want to get involved with any allegation a car owner may level against a driver.
- Car owner is in charge of all maintenance costs. In some cases, driver is in charge of oil change only.
- Even if the driver works the full 6 days per week, most drivers still owe their car owners sales per week or even weeks.
- It sometimes gets to a point where the car owner just wants the driver to bring back the car and forget about the debt but even that is not easy. The driver could just “go off” for several days before bringing the car.
- Perhaps the most difficult part of individual car owner and driver arrangement is when driver stops or is terminated; car owner could spend weeks and even 3 months just to get a suitable Uber driver. The reason being that, Uber drivers go through a number of processes before they can drive; they must pass the online test from Uber, complete training and get their account activated. And if you are an individual car owner, you will likely want a driver living closer to your area. You will want to know where the driver stays. All these take time and some car owners are not lucky to get a suitable driver even after three (3) months.
- Despite the odds, some car owners are lucky and might get a reasonable driver who is also hard working. But this is rare.
Weekly Rates to Partners at JobHouse Explained
Our contract with Partners (car owners) is clear in terms of daily rates and weekly rates. We pay each Partner a fixed amount PER DAY that the car works (with emphasis on “per day that the car works”). Each car is expected to work six (6) days per week. And this gives us the weekly rate. Since our reports and payments are done weekly, we prefer to organize the weekly reports based on weekly rate. Nevertheless, the rate that all Partners signed for is RATE PER DAY that the car works. This is why we made it mandatory for all Partners to sign onto a vehicle tracking system so that where Partner is not sure about a particular day or number of days being reported as “OFF” the partner can cross check.
We don’t guarantee to any Partner that regardless of the situation in the week, you will always get the weekly rate. What we guarantee is that, if your car works, we will pay you the FULL amount agreed per day. We won’t pay you half or quarter of the agreed amount PER DAY provided your car works for “x” number of days in the week. We won’t tell you stories that “oh your car worked 5 days in the week but we couldn’t get all the money from the driver so accept sales for 2 days”. We won’t tell you that “the driver was ill and couldn’t work the full day on Monday so we are paying you only half for that particular day”. Once the car works on Monday, we pay the full amount for that day.
What is JobHouse doing for Partners then? Where is the “professional” service I thought I could get from a company managing my cars if I can’t get guarantee for a fixed amount PER WEEK?
Here is our answer:
- Before a driver is considered to work with JobHouse, we conduct interviews, take the driver for practical driving test and ascertain he can combine phone calls with driving (as is the case on Uber).
- Before we on-board a driver, a staff of JobHouse will visit the driver’s house, get two guarantors, complete a profile on the driver etc.
- There are occasions drivers work the full week but are unable to pay us or become uncooperative. We absorb this and pay our Partners for the number of days the car worked.
- We also undertake oil change for oil Partners with “regular” contract.
- When accident occurs, we work on insurance (fill claim form and put all documents together) and in many cases, compensate Partners to the tune of 1 week full sale (major accidents). We also work with police and make all necessary arrangements with the “typical” Ghana police where the police get involved.
- We supervise all repairs and maintenance; of course we don’t bear all the cost but we supervise or arrange all repairs for “regular” contracts.
- When a driver suddenly stops working with us, we urgently find replacement driver. We normally replace within a few days even though the contract allows us to replace within 5 to 7 working days. Now, we need to emphasize that replacing an Uber driver is no easy task at all. Many Partners give us the impression that replacing an Uber driver is just like replacing a corporate driver. No please! Some individual car owners have parked their car(s) for up to 3 months just looking for suitable Uber driver. Please us to to elaborate on this point. One may ask, why not just keep recruiting drivers down so you can always replace fast? The answer is this: we have to conduct background check on each new Uber driver at JobHouse. The problem is if we don’t have a car readily available for the driver but go ahead with background check and the driver gets a job within that same period, he will immediately leave us. We were losing so much due to this practice and had to stop it.
- Last but not least, we research on what is working for Uber in Ghana and what is not working. We rely on experiences gathered from managing close to 70 cars each week and also scan the environment and make meanings from data gathered. Then we give valuable insight to Partners via articles on our website and communicate to Partners so Partners can make decisions based on accurate information.
It is our sincere hope that we have been able to explain our “promise” and what we are delivering to you as a Partner. We are under no illusion that every Partner is satisfied with our “delivery” or even this explanation. Where a Partner feels that what we are delivering is not what he/she signs up for, that Partner is at liberty to seek for further clarification or even terminate the contract (in accordance with the provisions therein).
Of particular importance is the issue of weekly sales. Our promise is that, if only your car works, we will pay you the full amount per the number of days your cars works. Whether we got the full payment from driver or not, whether the driver works the full day or not, we will pay you the full amount per number of days the car works in the week.
Thank you for your time.
JobHouse Fleet Management Team