There are two types of people who complain. There are those who complain because they feel truly wronged and want something done. Then there those who complain simply because they want something for free.
The individuals in the second group are a rideshare drivers' worst nightmare. This is because drivers are expected to maintain a minimum rating score in order to keep their driving privileges. Negative complaints impact a drivers' rating.
How A Driver's Rating Score Is Calculated
Uber's Rating System
Uber has indicated that a drivers rating score is calculated as follows:
"Your rating is based on an average of the number of post-trip stars riders gave you (from 1 to 5 stars), up to your last 500 rated trips or the total number of rated trips you've taken, if less than 500."
At Uber, the minimum rating score varies from city to city primarily based on cultural norms that have been found to differ from one city to another when it comes to reviewing rideshare services.
Lyft's Rating System
Lyft has indicated that a drivers rating score is calculated as follows:
"Your driver rating is the average of your last 100 ratings, or however many you've received so far."
At Lyft, a rating of 4.8 or above is considered awesome and drivers are encouraged to maintain that average.
Complaints Against Rideshare Drivers
Rideshare companies allow customers to initiate complaints about the following common reasons
- Unprofessional driver behavior including things like inappropriate physical contact, verbal aggression, discrimination and suspicion of drug or alcohol use.
- Poor vehicle handling that puts both the drivers and the passengers' safety at risk.
- Failure to observe local traffic laws
Common Complaints Against Rideshare Drivers
Uber and Lyft have been around long enough so that people who want to score free rides know which complaints to use to get an automatic refund.
Following is a list of common complaints that have been levied against drivers whether they are true or false.
• The driver was drunk.
• The driver was driving aggressively and dangerously.
• The driver never showed up to pick them up.
• The driver discriminated against them based on race and refused to let them take the ride.
• The driver verbally or physically abused them.
What Happens When A Complaint is Received
Both Uber and Lyft will send you an email notification of a complaint and advise you that an investigation has been launched. The email will indicate the nature of the complaint and will either advise that your account has been temporarily suspended or permanently deactivated based on the seriousness of the complaint while the investigation is ongoing. The email will also indicate what to do to resolve the issue. This usually entails sending a response via email explaining what occurred.
Unfortunately, most drivers who have had to defend themselves against false complaints say that the complaint resolution is not as simple or as straightforward as the email makes it seem.
For the most part, there always appears to be a delay in handling. As you are unable to work while under investigation this means that you are losing money.
False complaints are especially aggravating but do not ignore them. Stay on top of the matter. Where possible even go as far as going to your local rideshare office if the matter is still pending so as to clear your name and return to work.
What to Do When Your Account Has Been Suspended or Deactivated
The first and most important thing to do is to respond to the email notification mentioned above immediately and request for more information.
You should ask for the following:
- Date and time of the incident
- If the complaint was due to a canceled ride, indication of who canceled the ride (Driver/Passenger)
- Any proof forwarded by the individual complaining justifying the current action taken.
- Compensation for lost revenue should the complaint be found to be false.
Most drivers do not check their emails while on the job so you need to be on the lookout especially when you have had a troublesome passenger or see that a payment for a ride has been revoked.
This is also important because if you have proof of what really occurred on your dashcam as you need to save the recording before it gets recorded over.
How to Protect Yourself Against False Complaints
False complaints are not common but every so often a spike is noticed.
Following is a list of tips that have been shared by rideshare drivers on how to protect yourself from false customer complaints and also how to maintain a good rating score.
Have a Dashcam
Always make sure to fit out your rideshare vehicle with both an outward and inward facing camera. It protects both you and your passengers especially in a he said she said case. Cameras also, for the most part, deter people from acting unruly as the camera provides irrefutable evidence of what really happened.
If you do not have a dash cam take a look at this article. It reviews what you need to know when buying a dashcam and gives you specific recommendations.
Always Act In A Professional Manner
Being a rideshare driver may be your side hustle or part-time job. However do not be unprofessional. Being professional is not about wearing suit and tie but about how you act. Making a good first impression goes a long way.
Here are some tips on how to come across as a professional.
- Follow ally our rideshare company's rules and regulations
- Leave bad attitudes at home.
- Always keep your car clean and ensure that it is good working order.
- Greet your customers pleasantly.
- Don't get overly familiar with your passengers.
- Be on time to pick them up.
- Don't get into the habit of canceling rides once you accept them
- Get to know your city so you don't get lost.
- Always ask the passenger whether they have a preferred route to their destination.
- Thank them for using the service
Other great tips can be found here.
Respond to All Notices of Complaints or Low Scores
Never ignore any complaint notification. Unfortunately, that notification does not come to your phone but to email so be on the lookout when you notice you passenger has given you a rating under 4 stars or has indicated a complaint.
Failure to respond in a timely manner especially concerning certain complaints e.g. drugs or alcohol may result in either your account being temporarily suspended or permanently deactivated
Report any Incidents Promptly
Lyft has a feature that allows their drivers to report any concerns about the passenger and that particular drive. If you've been a rideshare driver for a long time you learn to read customers well. The story of Tro'juan Henderson is a perfect example.
Tro'juan Henderson is a Lyft driver and he made the news earlier this year for all the right reasons. Henderson accepted a request for a pickup. Upon arrival at the pickup location, two friends put their intoxicated and unconscious female friend in his car. They then tried to give him the keys to her apartment along with the number.
Their intention was for him to take her home, unlock her apartment and take her inside. He refused and promptly recorded a video explaining why.
Had Henderson agreed and something happened he would have been held totally responsible with nobody to back his story because his dash cam was in the car.
Work Longer Shifts
When a complaint is received about a driver being intoxicated for example while on the job, the driver's previous passengers and those who come after the individual who makes the complaint can be used as evidence of a false complaint.
Especially if those passengers rated you as either a 4 or a 5 and nobody complained.
Have A Backup Plan
Do not sign up to work for just one rideshare company. Try to have a backup plan. This will allow you not to lose money when one company is investigating a complaint against you and have suspended your account.
Rideshare drivers report that Uber is stricter about complaints than Lyft. That being said though, while eliminating false complaints is impossible there is a lot you can do on your part. Always aim to provide excellence service so that your record can speak for itself should the moment ever arise when you must defend yourself.