Friday, July 07, 2017

Ubering

As I've been driving for Uber for just over a week, I didn't know things were bad enough such that changes needed to be made:
Ridesharing service Uber introduced a new wait time fee and a shortened cancellation window in an email sent by the service Wednesday evening.

The wait time fee will compensate drivers for time spent waiting for their passengers once they have arrived at a pickup location. Two minutes after a driver arrives, the charge will begin. A note will appear in the rider's Uber app.

The new wait time fee will be per-minute based and will vary based on your vehicle option and city, according to Uber.

"Many drivers have told us that some of our support policies feel stacked against them and seem to put riders’ interests above theirs," an Uber news release reads.
I've been kept waiting--the only ride I've canceled was for a passenger who not only didn't show up, but didn't respond to my text messages, either.  That passenger was charged $5 by Uber, of which I got $3.75.

Are you considering using Uber?  (I probably won't drive myself to the airport and park in the economy lot ever again!  Uber is so convenient to/from the airport.)  Let me share some tips that will make things easier for both you and your driver:
  • If you're at a house, please ensure the address can be easily seen, especially at night.  If not, then when you see on the app that your driver is about 1 minute away, please step outside.  Looking for addresses on dark houses at night--no muy bueno!
  • If you're at a business, please identify the business by name--every business in that shopping center is at 123 Main Street, and it's a big shopping center!  If you're not able to do that, then as soon as you're told your driver is on the way, please send a text like "I'm at the Trader Joe's".
  • If you're at a mall, please identify which mall entrance you're waiting at!  "The main one" isn't much of a help, as many malls have many entrances, none of which is a "main one".
  • Similarly, if you're in an apartment or similar complex, be very clear where you'd like me to meet you.
  • If you know a better way to get where you're going than what my GPS is telling me, please share it with me!  I want to get you to your destination as efficiently as possible.
So those are a few suggestions I have. Here are a few of my pet peeves.
  • Please don't smoke just before you get in my car.  Ew.  Just ew.  I Febreze the seats each day before I leave home, but still, my next passenger...
  • Yes, we're adults, but I don't want to hear f***ing this or a-hole that, whether you're talking to me, your fellow passenger, or someone on your phone.
  • Please don't think you're going to eat in my car.
  • I'll ask if you'd like the a/c on or the windows open, or if the radio is too loud (it's barely audible, but you might not like my music).  Please don't ask me to turn the radio to your favorite station.  Some Uber drivers might be OK with that, I think it's a bit presumptuous and rude.  Hey Macy's, please turn off that elevator music and crank up some headbanging heavy metal or misogynistic rap--no, not gonna happen. 
Some observations I've made in my week-plus of driving:
  • Most people are genuinely nice and friendly.
  • I can't believe how many people commute via Uber to fast food jobs.
  • I enjoy driving around much more than I thought I would.
  • I'm learning about parts of the greater Sacramento area that I've never even been to before.
  • You meet all kinds of people when you drive for Uber, most of them kind and decent.
  • I can charge your Android phone while we drive, but I need to get a USB-to-Lightning cord for all the iPhone users.
Update, 7/9/16: Picked up a lightning charging cable yesterday.

3 comments:

David said...

I've done uber/lyft several times to and from the airport and in an unknown city. Here's my 2 cents:
1) I will never ever park at an airport again. Many times the uber is cheaper especially if the trip is several days.
2) Uber is great as a tourist in a new city. Why rent a car? Parking is expensive many times. Most of the time you don't know your way around. Many times, it is cheaper than the price on the rent-a-car.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the music rule doesn't cost you ratings. I've heard that if you drop below 4.7 in ratings you are terminated, and looking at Yelp reviews people dock stars for the pettiest of things.

Ellen K said...

A friend of ours that Ubers usually has breath mints available in his car.