I wanted to share with you the underhanded and abhorrent business practices I encountered tonight via uber support…
In the Tucson market, a minimum fare to a driver is $2.25. A cancellation fee is $3.75.
This evening, I arrived at a location where there were four people outside a house, who began to get into my vehicle. As they situated themselves, I started the trip. After I started the trip, a 5th person comes out from the house who tries to get into the car. I advise them that it is both illegal and against the Uber TOS for me to have more bodies than seatbelts in my car, and I could either take some of them, or they could cancel the ride and order an XL. They opted for canceling.
I received a minimum fare of $2.25, but feel that this should be considered a cancellation fee instead since I did not go anywhere and it was the passenger’s fault for the cancellation.
I contact Uber support via email to advise them of the situation, and the responses I received are in the photos below.
To summarize, in the event of a passenger cancellation where they would charge a fee, Uber charges the customer $5. Since this was marked as a minimum fare on their end, they charged the passenger $5.35 instead. Since that amount is greater than a cancellation fee, the amount of my compensation will not be increased. It doesn’t matter that I did not move an inch or that the passengers were attempting to break TOS and I was just doing my job appropriately, they will not fix it.
In fact, after these email responses, I called support who advised me they CAN NOT fix the fee, their system will not allow them to do it. So basically, because it is more profitable for Uber to keep the extra $0.35 and the extra $1.50 they would have had to pay me, they are perfectly content to screw the driver for doing their job well instead of biting the bullet themselves. That is a new low for corporate greed in my book.
This kind of treatment encourages dishonesty and risky behavior on the part of the driver. It puts us in a bad situation both physically and financially, and it is an unfair business practice. When you consider that the entire business model of Uber is to create a transportation model on the backs of hard working drivers which ultimately finances the replacement of every single one of them with autonomous vehicles, it is just another example of how very little they respect the drivers.
Every time I hit that “Go” button, I feel a little sick to my stomach–that I am somehow betraying my moral compass by supporting a business in this way; a business which very clearly cares about me so little. An hour of my time tonight wasted over $1.50 that was just too precious for Uber to part with. Pathetic.
For comparison, I had the exact same situation come up during a Lyft ride a few months ago. Had an agent on the line who fixed the whole thing in less than 5 minutes. And I got the full $5 cancellation fee with them.
All I’m going to say in conclusion is this…if you are a full-time driver like me, be diversified in your pursuits. You can not rely on Uber to be helpful or to care about you or to let you work hard to get your rent paid–ever. They will drop you the second they feel its profitable, and that could literally be any day. Protect yourself, and Uber at your own risk.