Pando

Breeze: The scamming startup that just won't quit

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on August 9, 2016

From The Sharing Economy Desk

A few weeks ago, I shared great news: Breeze, the Mark Cuban backed rideshare loans company that lied to attract new users, was going out of business.

Or, as the company put it, they were pivoting away from offering their own autoloans and instead providing a platform for others to do so. 

The important thing was that no longer would I and countless others face a daily onslaught of spam, begging and pleading us to sign up for exploitative autoloans from an ethically bereft company.

I should be so lucky. 

Yesterday morning I received yet another email from Breeze. And once again they were trying to sell me a shitty car loan which I could only pay off by working as a rideshare driver. But instead of being offered directly by Breeze, the company had partnered with something called XChange Leasing:

Still interested in getting a car to drive on Uber? Look no further - we've partnered with Xchange Leasing for an exclusive offer to Breeze applicants.

What is Xchange Leasing?

Xchange Leasing offers flexible leases designed just for Uber driver-partners. There are no mileage caps, so you can drive as much as you want without getting hit with surprise fees. Plus, you get free basic maintenance to help you keep your wheels running smoothly. And just in case your situation changes, Xchange Leasing offers a flexible return policy that lets you return your car as early as 45 days after your first payment date.

What the company fails to disclose at any point is that Xchange leasing is a wholly owned subsitiary of... Uber.

Yep, morally bankrupt Breeze is pimping out its spamming mailing list to morally bankrupt Uber. Which is hugely ironic, given that in 2014 Uber blanket banned Breeze customers from its platform.

Even cursory research on Xchange leasing shows it's just as awful as Breeze. Uber’s car leasing program turns its drivers into modern-day sharecroppers says Quartz:

Behind the shiny veneer of Uber’s venture capital–backed technological innovation lies a time-tested business model: labor exploitation. Uber’s latest scheme is a new spin on the age-old practice of sharecropping. Struggling to find enough drivers willing to put miles on their own cars, Uber recently began offering subprime auto loans to would-be drivers, conveniently extracting payments directly from their paychecks, or (because Uber insists its drivers aren’t its employees) their “Uber earnings.”

Consumerist, meanwhile, offers 5 Things You Should Know About Uber’s Xchange Leasing Program & Its Costs ("Experian estimates the average weekly payment for a new car lease is $96, while a 2013 vehicle through Xchange costs $130 a week.")

...and Bloomberg breaks down how the whole sub-prime enterprise works: Inside Uber’s Auto-Lease Machine, Where Almost Anyone Can Get a Car

That Breeze would end its gross, exploitative little life as a marketing machine for Uber's own exploitative car loans is as nasty as it is unsurprising. 

Please, Breeze, just die now.