Drivers on these platforms are using a fake GPS app called ‘Lockito’ to scam riders
This app calculates a wrong amount that favors the driver by bumping up the ride fares.
An app named ‘Lockito’ has become popular amongst some of these drivers who now use it to calculate a dubious itinerary fare for the riders.
Their reason Uber Nigeria drivers are giving for going this direction according to Quartz is due to management slashing base fare prices by 40% in response to Taxify.
Why was Lockito developed?
Lockito app actually was meant to be used by Android developers to test geo-fencing based apps or just test his apps on different locations.
Geo-fencing actually allows marketers target potential customers based on a defined geographical boundary using global positioning (GPS) or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), such that when a potential customer enters that area with his mobile device, a text message, an e-mail or app notification is triggered to target that customer.
How does Lockito then work?
Lockito allows you to make your phone follow a fake itinerary, with total control over the speed and GPS signal accuracy, and also simulate a static location.
Pulse spoke to one Usman, an Uber driver, to find out if he uses the Lockito app. He claims he doesn’t but is aware of it and actually tried to inquire about it from his fellow drivers but they refused to explain to him what it was all about.
He however talked about some ways drivers can be dishonest when using Uber.
“What I know they do is some of these drivers start the trip before getting to the riders’ pick-up point in order to shoot up the total ride fare,” Usmanexplained.
He then goes on describing an app that the drivers use which helps raise the trip fares which he says he doesn’t know the name of but from his description it sounded similar to what the Lockito app does.
“They use that app together with the Uber app and at the end of the trip they will show the rider the other app instead of Uber's , but some smart riders check how much the fare is on their phone after the trip ends.
So when the driver shows them how much they are to pay, if they see a different figure they will bring out their own app to shame the drivers, and this is for those that pay cash, those that pay with card, the drivers don’t play this trick on them,” Usman explained.
He went further to say that Uber is aware of the fast one these drivers are playing through riders who report suspected hike in trip fares, and has been penalizing the offenders by not paying the drivers at the end of the month.“Uber is disappointing them a lot, uber doesn’t pay them at the end of the day, the drivers will now be lamenting they have not been paid, why would you be paid, are your hands clean? Mr. Usman remarked.”
It’s not so hard to see why some of these drivers are cutting corners. Moral principles asides, the Nigerian economy has been a sorry case for most.
And though Nigeria has been reported to have come out of recession in September, the economic situation is still tough for the average citizen.
A recent report from the World Poverty Clock predicts that by February 2018 Nigeria will overtake India and become the country with the most people living in extreme poverty.
Underemployment, Unemployment, commodities inflation, lack of infrastructural and social amenities are still the order of the day.
This is however not excusing the dubious action of these set of Uber drivers.
As for Taxify who like Uber have now set up shop in Abujait has been learnt that the company is dealing with drivers that make such moves by making them upgrade the app. That way, Lockito is ‘locked out’ says an Uber driver with the pseudonym Williams, that spoke to online media Quartz.
Asides seizing the payment of the dishonest drivers, perhaps to discourage this bad behaviour, Uber can review the percentage splits between it and driver-partners, upgrade the app like Taxify, encourage the riders to take note always of the estimated fare before a trip, and of course refund the riders where applicable with an unreserved apology.
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