Uber has a new driver support office but not everyone got the memo - Technical.ly Philly

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Mar. 4, 2016 12:05 pm

Uber has a new driver support office but not everyone got the memo

Health IT startup Life.io, which moved into Uber's old office, has had to deal with some unexpected visitors.

Inside Uber's Southwest Philly partner operations center.

(Courtesy photo)

Earlier this year, transportation company Uber opened a sizeable (4,200-square-feet) office in Southwest Philly to serve its more than 12,000 drivers in the region. But it seems like not everyone got the memo.

This via Mike Logsdon, COO of Life.io, which moved into Uber’s former driver support center at 13th and Sansom:

Oops.

We asked Logsdon for some more information and here’s what he emailed us:

Though it has gradually tapered off, we still get one or two drivers per day. Several prospective and current drivers relayed that they weren’t aware of the move. We had the door unlocked while the officer was being repainted and one driver walked into our meeting. The guy “joining our meeting” was funny, what wasn’t funny is his suit was covered in paint.

He added that there were a few days when four to five drivers knocked on the door.

Here’s what Uber spokesman Craig Ewer told us: “We’ve communicated the new PSC location to drivers through text and in-app messages, and our weekly email to all partners includes the latest information on where to go for in person support.”

With a workforce that large, communication troubles aren’t that surprising.

It is a concern unique to tech companies like Uber, Postmates and Instacart, whose businesses rely on sprawling teams of contract workers. For example, we heard, from a source familiar with the situation, that Uber’s former landlord Goldman Properties was unhappy with how much foot traffic the former Uber office was getting (because of all the drivers coming in and out).

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Makes us wonder if the other on-demand tech companies, like Postmates and Instacart, will grow as big as Uber and open their own staff support centers in the city? (Postmates and Instacart are both based at coworking spaces right now, as Uber once was. Postmates is at CityCoHo and Instacart is at Industrious. When Uber first opened in Philly, it had an office at Benjamin’s Desk.)

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes has been covering the Philadelphia tech scene since 2012. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

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