Problems using Uber

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denismurf
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Problems using Uber

Post by denismurf »

Here are a couple of issues for Uber enthusiasts.

Today I entered a request for UberX without an address for my destination since I didn't know the address. The app acknowledged my request and sent me the location, name and ID of the car to pick me up, A couple of minutes later I got a phone call from the driver wanting to know the location of my destination, which I described for him. Seconds later, Uber sent me a message saying no car was available for me. Out of desperation, I entered a new request, which somebody accepted right away.

I told the second driver what happened, and he said some drivers simply do not accept requests for trips they think are too short, even though Uber rules prohibit such behavior by drivers.

So,
1) How common is this practice by Uber drivers?
2) Do savvy Uber users just leave the destination box blank?
mw1739
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by mw1739 »

I usually put my destination in when I make the request, that way everyone is up front about the arrangement. I've never been denied a ride because of it. I did have a situation a week or two ago where the driver didn't look at the destination until after he picked me up, and he was annoyed that it was only a 5 minute trip, but that's not my problem.
amphora
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by amphora »

I've taken Uber many times and never had this issue. The only problem I've had is having the location pin give an incoherent address to the driver.
harrychan
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by harrychan »

I've had taxi drivers balk at me for short rides but used lyft twice in and out of lax for less than 2 miles and had no issues whatsoever. A taxi driver once wouldn't accept my credit card and drove me to an ATM to pay him in cash!
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Nebster
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by Nebster »

denismurf wrote: 1) How common is this practice by Uber drivers?
2) Do savvy Uber users just leave the destination box blank?
1. Very common, especially in some markets and in some locations.

2. Yes, when drivers are scarce and the ride will be short. You can wait to put in a destination until you're in the car, or even ask the driver to input the destination at that time. However, taking a really short ride will probably get you a lower score, which in turn may affect your ability to hail future rides. You should probably wait to do this until you know you've built up a good buffer of higher-scoring trips. That way your average rating stays high.
spectec
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by spectec »

Seems like a good tip would make the Uber driver more appreciative of a short trip. That's what I do, and there's no doubt a tip improves your score.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers
Jim85
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by Jim85 »

If you put in your destination when requesting the ride, which you should, the Uber driver should not see this until they pick you up. They only know where to get you. Your destination comes up on the driver app after they tap on Picked Up Rider. If they see this before picking you up that means they have already started your ride ahead of picking you up and you would be charged more for the extra distance (between where they started the ride and where they actually picked you up). The driver calling you to ask where you are going can happen whether you have entered your destination or not - but they are not supposed to do that.

The driver not knowing where you are going is key to the whole Uber business model. They absolutely do not want the driver to know pretty much until its too late (after rider in the car). They want the closest driver to pick you up and really do not want them turning down ride requests based on final destination.

Being semi-retired, I drive for Uber once in a while. Just for fun actually. There's no money in this. Once I first "joined" I did it a lot on weekends just to see how it worked and how the money was. Thought it might be good retirement gig as you can do it anytime you want and for as long or little at a time. But soon learned that, while you could have some good days, it's mostly not worth it. Now do it just enough to keep my account open or if I'm bored.
inverter
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by inverter »

I don't get this, because then the drivers get paid a flat rate as opposed to variable. Wouldn't they be making more money doing short trips, where they can continually hit the $5 (or so) minimum and stay within a confined, densely populated area?
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JonnyDVM
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by JonnyDVM »

Feel free to complain to Uber about it if it's obvious that he cancelled you after you told him where you were going. They are actually pretty responsive to complaints. I'm not afraid to give bad drivers or gross cars a bad review. Uber will actually ask you about the experience if you give a bad review. I have had requests get cancelled for whatever reason before. It happens. I just put in a new request. Plenty of other Ubers out there. I always put the destination in and usually don't have a problem.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by michaeljc70 »

You also cannot do UberPool without a destination, but that is probably obvious.

I always put in the destination. The only time I've had drivers cancel is when surge pricing kicked in. That sucks as then you wind up paying more. They ditch you to get more.
Guest9876
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by Guest9876 »

While Uber is generally responsive to complaints involving such tactical behavior by drivers, I would put in the destination at the front end to prevent that particular problem.

Uber has no incentive to stop drivers from cancelling to take advantage of surge pricing--- Uber makes more in that case as well. The only risk Uber takes is angry customers more likely to support laws that attempt to limit "price gouging."

As soon as a driver has accepted your ride, there is some sort of contract in force, and probably down the line Uber will be the defendant in some sort of class action---- the class of persons who were "held over a barrel" late at night when a driver holds out for more and delays the rider, etc.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by SmileyFace »

denismurf wrote:Here are a couple of issues for Uber enthusiasts.

Today I entered a request for UberX without an address for my destination since I didn't know the address. The app acknowledged my request and sent me the location, name and ID of the car to pick me up, A couple of minutes later I got a phone call from the driver wanting to know the location of my destination, which I described for him. Seconds later, Uber sent me a message saying no car was available for me. Out of desperation, I entered a new request, which somebody accepted right away.

I told the second driver what happened, and he said some drivers simply do not accept requests for trips they think are too short, even though Uber rules prohibit such behavior by drivers.

So,
1) How common is this practice by Uber drivers?
2) Do savvy Uber users just leave the destination box blank?
I had a driver tell me even when you enter the destination into the app it won't tell the driver what the destination is UNTIL AFTER they accept the ride and pick you up - I confirmed this with another driver. So you can enter the destination and they won't know until you are in the car with them. I almost always try to enter a destination so the driver doesn't get it wrong when I tell them (and some don't know where they are going without the destination in the app - I did have one driver actually ask me to enter it in as soon as I sat down).. I guess when the driver calls and asks you where you shouldn't tell them - they are not supposed to know until they arrive to pick you up.
I don't know how common this practice is - I use Uber all the time (well several times a week when traveling) and have never had a driver call me and ask about a destination. Perhaps it is a certain city where this practice is common (and not one of the ones I frequent).
jane1
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by jane1 »

As a couple of others have pointed out, driver does not know your destination even if you enter it when requesting a ride.
I have never had a ride cancelled by an Uber driver so no issues there.

My current issue is with the highly dynamic surge pricing. Out where I am, it could fluctuate wildly several times within a few minutes, sometimes 1x to 3.2x to 2.5x to 1.2x to 3x all within less than 10 mins. So it is becoming less reliable to grab a ride at a reasonable price within my desired time. Seems more so during peak hours. For short rides that is okay, but last month I had to go 30 miles away and didn't know whether I would pay $50 or $200 for the ride!
I understand supply-demand and have worked in airline pricing and inventory management, but Uber needs to do some modulation with surge pricing for the benefit of riders and drivers.
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TxAg
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by TxAg »

My buddy (who uses Uber a few times a week) was just telling me about this very thing. Happened to him when at the airport coming home from a business trip. He used Lyft instead.
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Blueskies123
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by Blueskies123 »

I know a Uber driver. She has had instances where she made as little as $2 before her own driving expenses. If you are honest about the short drive then some Uber drivers may not want your trip so your options are to try another driver, try Lift, offer a tip, or try a taxi. Not sure why you "in desperation" tried to make another call to Uber because you have so many options. Another good option is tell them you will tip them $5 extra bacause you know it is a short drive.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by michaeljc70 »

I took 2 trips on Uber last night. I used Pool (shared ride). It was $3 each way and I was going around 4 miles in moderately heavy traffic. 50 cents of that goes to the city. Some goes to Uber. What does the driver wind up with?

To put it in perspective, if there was a bus that went directly where I was going (there isn't), it would have been $2.25.

There were 2 of us in the car so that means $6, but still. Kind of crazy.

When I first tried to call the Uber home it was 1.4x pricing (Tue night, 9pm). I walked a few blocks and no surge pricing. I think they have made the rates really low with more frequent surge pricing, but I could be wrong.
Ikigai
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by Ikigai »

Because tipping is optional, and most people don't tip, I can see an Uber driver doing this. I know because my husband is an Uber driver. He can work for hours taking people on short trips, and make very little $$/hr, and that's before expenses. Of course, that's because he doesn't cancel.

It's helpful to understand that most people are driving Uber to make ends meet and not just supplementing their retirement. Automation, technology, and outsourcing are taking their toll, creating a "gig" economy. I think most people on this board are pretty well off and may not truly understand how this impacts people who aren't lawyers, scientists, engineers, doctors, etc.

So just a gentle reminder to everyone tip your driver, especially if its a short trip. If more customers did this, you would see fewer cancellations. :sharebeer
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SmileyFace
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by SmileyFace »

Ikigai wrote:So just a gentle reminder to everyone tip your driver, especially if its a short trip. If more customers did this, you would see fewer cancellations. :sharebeer
I've never understood this mixed message from Uber and Uber-drivers about tipping - I've had Uber drivers tell me specifically that I am not supposed to tip (and there is currently no way to add it to your payment either). Early on - the Uber message was that tips should not be given and they are built into the fare. I never tip as this was my understanding from Uber early on and have a 4.9 customer rating so drivers don't seem to be getting upset about it. Uber certainly still says tipping is NOT expected (sounds like you are saying it is). Is there a way to add a tip to fare that I'm not aware of? I remember reading about this in the news recently.
tim1999
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by tim1999 »

I usually tip them a couple bucks in cash as long as the service is good, same as I would for a cab driver. I've had dozens of uber rides and only one guy ever refused a tip.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by SmileyFace »

DaftInvestor wrote:
Ikigai wrote:So just a gentle reminder to everyone tip your driver, especially if its a short trip. If more customers did this, you would see fewer cancellations. :sharebeer
I've never understood this mixed message from Uber and Uber-drivers about tipping - I've had Uber drivers tell me specifically that I am not supposed to tip (and there is currently no way to add it to your payment either). Early on - the Uber message was that tips should not be given and they are built into the fare. I never tip as this was my understanding from Uber early on and have a 4.9 customer rating so drivers don't seem to be getting upset about it. Uber certainly still says tipping is NOT expected (sounds like you are saying it is). Is there a way to add a tip to fare that I'm not aware of? I remember reading about this in the news recently.
I found the article I read recently on Uber's mixed message on tipping from Harvard Business Review:

https://hbr.org/2016/05/ubers-new-tippi ... -a-mistake
oxothuk
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by oxothuk »

DaftInvestor wrote:
Ikigai wrote:So just a gentle reminder to everyone tip your driver, especially if its a short trip.
The expectation of tipping is one of the worst features of legacy taxicab industry. Why on earth should we want to import that practice into new platforms like Uber and Lyft?

Just tell me what the price is and let me decide whether I can accept it. I don't want a variable surcharge that's based on my capacity for feeling guilt vs. other people's capacity for the same.
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TxAg
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by TxAg »

oxothuk wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:
Ikigai wrote:So just a gentle reminder to everyone tip your driver, especially if its a short trip.
The expectation of tipping is one of the worst features of legacy taxicab industry. Why on earth should we want to import that practice into new platforms like Uber and Lyft?

Just tell me what the price is and let me decide whether I can accept it. I don't want a variable surcharge that's based on my capacity for feeling guilt vs. other people's capacity for the same.
+1

Generally speaking, expected tipping is a big turn off
saladdin
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by saladdin »

spectec wrote:Seems like a good tip would make the Uber driver more appreciative of a short trip. That's what I do, and there's no doubt a tip improves your score.
So you have to bride a business to perform a service that you already have an agreed on price for?
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SmileyFace
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by SmileyFace »

saladdin wrote:
spectec wrote:Seems like a good tip would make the Uber driver more appreciative of a short trip. That's what I do, and there's no doubt a tip improves your score.
So you have to bribe a business to perform a service that you already have an agreed on price for?
Uber has stated in the past the star-rating system was supposed to indicate how well the driver did.
As far as tip improving your rider score - I don't tip and have a 4.9 so don't see that being true.
spectec
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by spectec »

Every time I've used Uber, they showed up at my home within a few minutes and took me directly to my office. I could use public transportation, but would have to walk to a bus stop and then change buses enroute. Public transportation would be cheaper, but considerably more inconvenient.

So I elect to tip my driver for the convenience for the same reason I sometimes buy a bag of nuts at the 7-11 and pay more than I would at Sams Club. And I tip like someone who has worked for tips, which I did when I was a young person. That experience greatly affects one's perspective on this "bribery" nonsense.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers
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SmileyFace
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by SmileyFace »

spectec wrote:Every time I've used Uber, they showed up at my home within a few minutes and took me directly to my office. I could use public transportation, but would have to walk to a bus stop and then change buses enroute. Public transportation would be cheaper, but considerably more inconvenient.

So I elect to tip my driver for the convenience for the same reason I sometimes buy a bag of nuts at the 7-11 and pay more than I would at Sams Club. And I tip like someone who has worked for tips, which I did when I was a young person. That experience greatly affects one's perspective on this "bribery" nonsense.
The debate in my mind is whether or not Uber drivers are actually working for tips. Some Uber drivers told me no, Uber states they don't work for tips, and Uber provides no means to tip a driver through their payment system so I would say - no - they aren't working for tips. They are working for an agreed upon payment system. There is a star-rating system in place which is meant to express your gratitude regarding how well your ride was.
My local Subway after years starting putting a tip jar on the counter - does this mean they are now working for tips? Did you tip the person behind the counter at the 7-11 for helping you purchase your nuts? If you take public transportation do you tip that bus driver? Where does it end.
knowledge
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Re: Problems using Uber

Post by knowledge »

This is all from conversations with Uber drivers:

- No, they don't know your destination until after they "start the trip", which happens after pickup. This makes sense, as if you allow your drivers to be selective about their destinations, that will impair passenger demand coverage. However, Uber does have a handful of driver friendly features that allow drivers to choose a general direction that they'd like to go.

- Driver's are motivated by both stick (bad ratings, getting suspended/booted from the network) and carrot (incentives and bonuses) to both pick up when called, and not cancel when they accept a pickup. I've had cancellations happen to me a handful of times, and it's very frustrating - especially if you're in a low coverage area. That said, they'll only be able to contact you once they accept a pickup, so that will impact their cancellation rate.

Note that this is primarily from taking uber in major markets. Each market may have their own rules, and I have no idea what the rules are like outside of the US.
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