Uber Drivers Are Being Recruited To Hawk Solar Panels To Their Riders, Which Sounds Miserable

By: 09.23.16

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Like any other cab ride, when people get into an Uber, some are happy to talk to the driver, while others just want to politely exchange pleasantries and get home. But a new company sees Uber not only as a way to get to and from the bar, but also as a captive audience to hawk solar panels to.

Geostellar has announced that they’re recruiting Uber drivers to explain the virtues of covering your roof in solar panels in New York, Boston, LA, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington and Miami. It’s a pretty sweet deal for the likely-underpaid driver, if they can make a sale, as they get a $1,000 commission. For the person trying to get home from the airport, perhaps a little less so.

Why would Geostellar try this? It turns out that selling solar panels to homeowners has been a harder uphill push than many were expecting. SolarCity and Vivint, the two major players, have both spent hundreds of millions on marketing costs and are seeing little return. Smaller companies simply need to get creative just to stay afloat.

If you were wondering, Uber is not a fan of this kind of thing. Officially speaking, Uber “discourages” drivers from doing this, and it seems likely drivers might take a few dings on their ratings if they get the wrong customer. Of course, considering Uber’s profit margins, it’s probably only a matter of time before they start requiring their drivers to do this. Apple could not have picked a worse time to try and do away with the headphone jack.

(via The Wall Street Journal)

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