Okay, so ‘hate’ might be a strong word but as with any customer service job, there are a few things that Uber passengers can do that really annoy their drivers.
Now I’ve been driving for Uber and Lyft for three years so I’ve seen it all. Fortunately, I’ve never had any serious incidents that made me feel unsafe, but I have had everything from passed out riders (literally they would not wake up) and pukers to bachelorette parties and karaoke singing in the back seat of my car.
Some of it comes with the territory but there’s definitely more that can be done to educate passengers how to behave in the back of their Uber.
In fact, Uber recently released new community guidelines that touched on some of this but a lot of it seemed like common sense to me. Don’t have sex in the back seat of your Uber, don’t break the law, don’t assault your driver, etc.
For a lot of riders, this should be common sense. So today I wanted to touch on a few of the more subtle things that you may want to try and avoid as a passenger.
Remember, passengers get to rate drivers at the end of every ride, but drivers also get to rate passengers too — so in the interest of high ratings, let’s see what you can do.
Time is money
If you’ve ever kept your driver waiting for a long period of time, they probably weren’t too happy about it. When drivers arrive to pick up riders, there’s a five minute grace period in most cities. But drivers don’t actually start getting paid until the rider gets into the car and they start the trip.
So if you’re going to call for an Uber ride, just make sure that you’re ready when the driver arrives. Uber makes it easy to track the progress of your driver and they’ll send you a notification one minute prior to the driver arriving so you’re ready to go.
Another time this issue comes up is when passengers want to make stops along their ride.
As a driver, I don’t mind a quick stop here and there. But if you’re asking the driver to wait around while you go grocery shopping or get a haircut (yes, both of those things have happened to me), that can really cut into their earnings.
Drivers do get paid to wait once the ride has started, though it’s at the much lower per minute waiting rate of $0.12/min in Atlanta for example, which equates to an hourly rate of just $7.20. So as you can see, drivers can make a lot more money by actually driving.
Over the past couple years, Uber has been rolling out UberPool service in more and more cities.
UberPool works by matching two groups of riders that are headed in the same direction with a single driver. Passengers can save up to 40% on the cost of a ride, but you may have to share the ride with up to two strangers.
UberPool is a great deal for riders. For drivers, it’s more stressful because you have to do two pick-ups and drop-offs (usually the most stressful part of a ride) and you have two bosses now too.
I’m not saying you should avoid UberPool completely. But if you do call for a Pool ride, make sure that you’re standing outside ready to go when your driver arrives since there may be another passenger that is also waiting on you. And if you’re in a rush, remember UberPool takes longer since you may have additional riders in the car.
One of my worst experiences as a driver happened when I had an UberPool rider late for their flight who yelled at me for picking up the second passenger! I kept telling them ‘I’ll do my best, sir’ but what I wanted to say was, ‘You idiot! Why did you call for an UberPool when you knew that you were late?!’
This doesn’t bother me too much, but I know it is one of the biggest pet peeves for a lot of other drivers. It’s also one of those things that you don’t realize is annoying until you get your door slammed twenty times a night. This is a simple fix for riders — just take it easy when you close our doors 🙂
Communicate with your driver
If you’re at a residential address, your driver should have no problem finding you. But if you’re at an event or area where the pick-up point isn’t clear (think malls, mega-apartment buildings, sporting events), don’t be afraid to text your driver with detailed instructions of where you are.
Like with waiting, drivers aren’t paid to search for you for 10 minutes. So if you can do anything to make the pick-up process a little easier, it goes a long way.
You can use the contact button on the Uber rider app in order to text and/or call your driver with detailed instructions.
Remember, ratings matter for drivers
Some of these items might seem trivial but at the end of the day, how you rate your driver might be the most important of them all.
Uber drivers need to maintain a 4.6 star rating. So unlike sites like Yelp, where a four-star restaurant may be a great place, a four-star rating on Uber actually means that you’re going to lose your job as a driver.
So if you’re happy with the ride, make sure to leave a five-star rating. If not, feel free to rate accordingly and leave some feedback on what went wrong.
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