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Uber, Lyft Drivers May Soon Try to Sell You Solar Panels

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Uber Ride

Hey buddy, want to buy a home solar power array?

Things are about to get a little awkward for Uber or Lyft patrons in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, Dallas, and Miami, as a number of drivers in those area are being enlisted to, while driving you to your destination, sell you solar panels.

The company behind this practice is called Geostellar, which is an online marketplace for solar panels, and which has seen some success due to the drivers, who have reportedly made 220 sales since June. Drivers who successfully make sales can stand to make at least $1,000 per sale—home systems average about $18,840 total for a 6kW array.

This sales tactic is one of the ways in which large solar panel companies are attempting to save costs in marketing, due to a risk of entering into a spiral of rising costs and slowing growth.

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While this may be good for Geostellar, on the other hand Uber is not happy about this sales tactic, which has been used before by an in-car advertising company called Viewswagen—back in 2015, Viewswagen paid drivers $3 or so per hour to display ads to passengers on a tablet in the back of the car.

While Uber did not take any direct action to stop Viewswagen, at the time it told Business Insider that “We don’t believe that in-ride advertising enhances the ride experience, and we discourage driver partners from working with third party in-ride advertisers such as Viewswagen.”

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News Sources: Business Insider, Wall Street Journal