The newest update/feature is that Uber will no longer allow you to cancel a ride until after you have waited five minutes at the riders pickup destination. (according to the timer that does not always work as planned).
This is great news for riders as they are often cancelled on for one reason or another, but really bad news for drivers. We can no longer cancel on someone who is yelling at us on the phone making us feel unsafe, or that person demanding we pull into their apartments without giving us a gate code. Even better, if the dropped pin is inside the gate, your app will never pick up that you are there. So you are at the mercy of your rider.
Personally, I found this out at a concert venue tonight. The rider decided to request in an area that was not accessible, thanks to police road blocks. This was not his fault, as the road block was not visible from where he was standing, BUT he did not answer his phone. My timer never started because I was not close enough to the rider. But, there was no way to get closer to him. Fortunately, he ended up calling me back and I was able to explain to him where I was waiting at because of the roadblocks. He did turn out to be a pleasant rider, however, I was just lucky. Riders at concerts are often tired of walking and will come to the car all pissed off. I would rather cancel on them before this happens, but I guess this is part of the problem.
So, like you are probably thinking, I thought, Hey, instead of waiting for him, or for the timer to count down, maybe I can start the trip and end it. When you do this, yes, this becomes a minimum trip and now you are paid a couple dollars less compared to the cancel fee. Hey, at least it is something. But then you remember, “well shucks, that means he can rate me. Surely a 1 star. Meh, stars don’t pay bills anyways, I will go ahead and do this. ” So like that you start the trip. Only to find:
Yes, that is right! Now let’s say your rider is not in your vehicle. Guess what? You can not start the trip. You need that special code from the rider. My question is, what happens when a rider requests for someone else? That means we will have to call that rider, send the pin code, wait for it, and type it in. A seamless pickup experience is now a nightmare.
A couple of youtubers have already posted about this, but one in particular, I am not going to mention any names but his name starts with a “D” and ends with a “N”. that I saw had it all wrong. To summarize, he stated that “This is to protect the riders with all of the incidents that have been going on. This way, they know they are in the wrong vehicle.” He is partly right about this, but truth of the matter is, you only get a code if you are a driver waiting for someone else and that someone else has not made it to your vehicle. Yes, this does help, BUT the incidents of riders getting killed, are happening because they are getting into a vehicle that is NOT an Uber at all. Therefore, this only holds true if the rider app informs them they maybe in the wrong vehicle. The only way this is possible, is if the Uber app determines the rider is traveling in a car, via GPS and speed. Guess what? It is already too late. That strange driver has already locked the doors. So no, it is not to protect the rider or the driver for that matter.
So, why is Uber doing this? Because of your fellow drivers. The ones who cherry pick rides by calling the rider and cancelling on them when they realize it is not a far trip, or headed in the direction they want to go. (remember, destination filters do not work at airports, so cherry picking is a lot more abundant there). This is because of the drivers who start a trip, without a rider, and drive around racking up the fare. So now we all have to suffer because of these scammy drivers.
So is this a necessary evil?
No! I mean maybe at the airport, where cherry picking happens often. But elsewhere, where anything can go wrong and now we have to make this big ole deal about cancelling? Not cool. What if I want to simply drive away from momzilla who is yelling at me because I refuse to take her infant without a car seat? What about that drunken belligerent rider that makes me feel unsafe? Do I just sit there with the windows rolled up and doors locked and hope nothing happens to me? Do I just wait around for an hour until the rider cancels because my timer is not starting because the dropped pin is in an inaccessible place?
I get it, complaining never solves anything, but let me ask you this. Why can’t Uber simply deactivate those who start and end trips or cancel on a regular basis? Why can’t they pay more to retain the good drivers?
Oh, and there are going to be plenty of drivers that say “If you don’t like it, you can quit.” I get that. But why should I quit? MLK didn’t quit simply
because he did not like something. He decided to step up and try to change it. As drivers, we need to fight this. What am I going to do? I am going to be using Lyft only until this is resolved. #ScrewUber #bringbackcancellations