If you wake up one day screaming "Uber fired me!" it might not be a dream, many drivers have been deactivated for many reasons. Some were not warranted, others very much so. This article will review all the options available to drivers that have been deactivated.
How it all began
You either receive an e-mail message from Uber stating that they deactivated you. This comes without warning, and the reasons are many. The other way you can be notified is through your app screen when you receive a message stating "Your account needs attention."
The biggest issue to deal with is the time frame, you don't have any. So, it's important to create a preventative maintenance program that will assure you never receive such a message, and manage a risk mitigation process on a daily basis. Even with all these actions set in place, you can still find yourself on the receiving end of such a message, and I will also explain what steps you must do to get reactivated.
The four messages of deactivation
In most cases you won't receive an e-mail from Uber, you will receive a message in your app, these four messages are:
- "Your account needs attention."
- "The partner account you drive under has been disabled"
- "Your account has been placed on hold."
- Your profile status at partners.uber.com is rejected, onboarding or waitlisted
As a rule of thumb, these messages mean that your account is disabled, and you are either being deactivated or in the process of deactivation. The reasons, as I mentioned above, are many and include anything from missing documents from your application process to a screening check that came back with information about your past.
Depending on the type of reason will define whether you can reactivate or not.
This is a sample deactivation message in the Uber driver app
The 12 top reasons for deactivation
- Documents expired. Sometimes you let your insurance policy expire, or even forget to renew your driving license. You rarely get fair warning, but these are the easiest to rectify. Just renew the document and send Uber the update.
- Cancel too many rides, aka Cancellation Abuse, ACRO, or Skipping. Don't fall into the habit of accepting a request and then cancelling it, Uber is checking your cancellation frequency and will deactivate you for this
- Unsafe driving. If a passenger reports unsafe driving, you can be deactivated.
- Average star rating drops below 4.6. Ratings is a big issue with Uber, and there are plenty of articles about maintaining your Uber ratings above 4.6 stars. You also get ample warnings from Uber about this, so if you get deactivated due to a low star rating, it is actually your own fault.
- Failing a refresh background check. This is a state requirement, so if you do have issues in your past, think about them before you do apply. Also, Uber does yearly checking, so if you get into trouble during the year, you will be found out.
- Unwanted contact with passengers after the ride is over. Unless your passenger is a friend or a family member, (paying not as a companion in the car, which is also the reason for deactivation), you must not have any contact with them apart from the ride. If you are doing more than one job, and the person you took is someone you work with or a customer from another job, make sure you don't cause them to get angry.
- Driving with a companion. You are not allowed to drive with a companion while the app is on. So, if the car is also your family car, make sure the app is off when transporting family members.
- Passenger makes a serious complaint about you. This is the big no-no, and Uber rarely gives drivers a chance to respond before deactivation. This is due to the nature of complaints, the more serious a complaint, the less chance of defense you have.
- Violate the Code of Conduct. The Uber code of conduct is sacrosanct and includes the prohibition of violent or inappropriate behavior, drug and alcohol use, and any other illegal behavior.
- Fraud. Naturally, if you are caught in nay way to defraud Uber or its customers, you will be deactivated and most probably also face criminal charges as well.
- Letting someone else use your account, providing false information about yourself or your vehicle. This is also a big no-no, sure, you can let anyone use your car ion your own time, but when the app is open in the car, you cannot let anyone drive it but you.
- Violating the Uber Terms of Service in any way. Any TOS violation can get you deactivated. Here is a link to Uber's TOS where a full list of reasons is provided as well as the full deactivation policy.
Low acceptance rate
This is no longer a reason for deactivation; Uber allows drivers to take only 1 ride a month so long as you only open the app for the ride. If you open the app and don't accept rides, you can be warned, but you will not be deactivated.
Ascertaining why you were deactivated
Some deactivation messages come without reason. In the case of "Your account needs attention," you can go to the "Contact Support" button on this screen and send a message to find out why you are being deactivated. For other instances where you cannot use the app, go to the relevant help.uber.com screen and send a message on the contact form there.
Deactivation due to expired documents
- Go to partners.uber.com,
- Click on My Profile.
- Click on the "Manage Documents" tab and check to see if there are any expired documents.
- Update the document.
Be patient, and be polite. Getting angry at a support staff member will not help the situation, and the support staff member is not a decision maker. Just stick to the facts, give them whatever documents or proofs they need. In the case of unfair dismissal, you can use a lawyer and sue Uber, but don't expect them to rehire you, this will only get you a possible day in court, but no more than that. Uber is protected by the agreement you signed, and you are not an employee you are an independent contractor, so Uber can actually stop the contract whenever they feel like it.
The Uber Greenlight Hub
The Greenlight Hub is a physical office set up in some cities to deal with driver issues and applications. You can visit a hub and ask all the questions you want there, you will get a response very quickly, and if it is not the response you want, don't get angry, it wont help. If you believe you can be reactivated, just smile, express your dissatisfaction and use the contact forms to help get your facts over.
The Reactivation Process
Some instances do allow for reactivation. Since the process can take time, you need a lot of patience. However, there are two lights in the tunnel; the first is don't just drive for Uber. If you also drive for Lyft and other services your income will not be impacted, just increase your schedules with the other services. At the same time, just be patient with the reactivation process and hope to resolve the issue as fast as Uber can process it.
Document Related deactivation
Upload the new documents, and you'll be reactivated. If you need to speed up the process, you can visit an Uber Greenlight Hub, or call your local Uber driver phone support to verify they received the new documents online.
Low Rating Deactivation
Uber has initiated a quality improvement course in some areas. To join such a course contact Uber support or search help.uber.com. Uber calls this the "7×7 Experience," and is either an online class or an in-person class, dependent on your location. This course is a customer service skill improvement class made to help Uber drivers improve their service and driving skills. The classes cost less than $100, and after you complete the course, you upload the certificate at help.uber.com. by searching for the help screen title "reactivation."
Deactivation in General
If you have been deactivated for any other reasons, you will need to contact Uber via help.uber.com, or visit Greenlight Hub and ask to be reactivated. Since the other reasons for deactivation are usually permanent ones, your chances are slim. No matter what the reason, and how you feel about it, do not get angry. This is the ultimate reason for never being reactivated ever. If you feel that the reason is such that you will never be reactivated, don't bother to try and reactivate. Its better to just move on and work with the competiton. Uber is not the only driving gig economy in the US.
One of the best preventative measures is to drive carefully, drive safely and make sure your customer is always comfortable. Here is an article about 5-stra ratings, no Uber driver with a 5-star rating gets deactivated (unless they cross the illegal boundaries)
When you will not get reactivated
- If you violated an Uber policy that relates to safety or fraud. Uber will not reinstate you if you gave them a reason to believe, or if the facts are that you are unsafe or tried to defraud customers. For instance, the fake vomit claims that some idiots try.
- If you received a serious customer complaint. For instance, sexual harassment. You might not have been sexually harassing the customer, but you made a rude joke or talked about women's rights, or just commented on how she looked. DON'T! Keep your mouth SHUT! Let the passenger lead the conversation and never discuss anything that can be misconstrued as sexual, which means don't complement looks, don't talk about women, and never touch the passenger even if you have to help them out of the car, ask their permission first.
Deactivation solutions for no reactivation situations
Uber is not the only employment opportunity in the US. Unless you did something that has criminal or driving charges, you could get work with Lyft, DoorDash, GrubHub, Amazon Flex, Caviar, Postmates, dolly, BellHop…etc. etc. etc. There are so many gig driving opportunities out there that you should be working for more than one company in any event.
The best way to avoid deactivation is to follow the rules of maintaining a 5-star rating. The basics are:
- Activate a Dash Cam at all times
- Drive carefully
- Be polite at all times
- Know your way and use GPS
- Don't lead conversations
- Don't talk or comment about sex, looks, and women
- Follow Uber's driving rules
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