Ubers new 24-hour Phone Support and other changes

As a part of Ubers 180 day change, they introduced some changes including a 24-hour live support phone service for all drivers in the US and Canada. I present here a list of the changes introduced in July 2017 with a brief explanation of how it impacts Ubers overall service. Just remember that Uber will introduce many changes every month, some will have high impact and others less. Many updates will take time to fathom and evaluate, and will most probably go through more changes over time. So long as Uber continues this trend, their service will only improve, and drivers will continue to enjoy the interaction.

  1. Ubers 24-Hour Phone Support
    This service is aimed at offering drivers a quick line to Uber's support center. Offering this service all over the US and Canada by the end of 2017. Uber will add French and Spanish to the service and will most probably add more languages for specific locations based on city demographics.
    The reason this service warranted an upgrade was due to drivers continuous complaints about not being able to get a live service for various questions. While the service is fast, sometimes the representative is not knowledgeable in all matters raised by the driver. It is only a matter of time, but services representatives will most probably go through more extensive training since they can't just parrot out customer support phrases to drivers, drivers are not customers, they are the backbone of Uber's global initiative.

  2. Educating Passengers about Ratings
    Due to multiple instances where drivers suffered weird ratings, Uber finally conceded and added a stipulation; ratings have to be explained to passengers. Any rating below five stars will warrant an explanation; it is mandatory so the rating cannot be sent without an explanation.
    We can write a whole article about Uber ratings, from student pranks to drunks, from soccer mums wanting drivers to take kids alone to UberPool which is a breeding ground for bad ratings. Just imagine all the bad rating driver get from frustrated pool passengers, add to that all the drunks that vomit in your car and mix in teenagers or students that want loud, crazy music and you refuse to put it on. Now add to this the fundamental misconceptions of ratings, such as most people think four stars is good, and presto you have half the fleet of drivers being de-activated.

  3. The $15 fee for returning lost items to passengers
    On many occasions, drivers find out that passengers have forgotten items in their cabs. From banal items such as a glove or a hat to a high-cost item such as a smartphone or even a wallet, and an emotional item such as a kid's soft toy. Returning items is a costly affair, finding the address and driving to the customer at your own expense and not only not being paid but sometimes not getting a tip or even a thank you. So now Uber added a return fee, either the passenger comes to the driver, or the driver gets goes to the customer, no matter what decision is made, the driver gets $15 for the return service.

  4. Upgraded driver support policies
    There are some support policies for drivers which seemed a bit askew at times, so User upgraded all policies based on two concepts: The policy must show positive intent to drivers, and the policy must seem fair to drivers. The result was a complete overhaul of the policy system, replacing, editing and updating most of the driver service policies.
    One of the main issues that we noticed that was changed, the "three complaints" policy where drivers that received three unsafe driving complaints would be put on a waiting time. The new policy replacing this will take into account how long the driver has been driving and what was the frequency of the complaints. This will change the way Uber deals with unsafe complaints to the benefit of the experienced long-term drivers.

  5. GreenHub person to Person (P2P) appointments
    A P2P appointment is exactly what it sounds like when two people talk face to face. Drivers will now be able to make an appointment ahead of time and schedule a personal appointment with an Uber Greenlight Hub representative. Interestingly enough, Ubers Greenlight Hubs have always been efficient, offering a quick clean service. Some might think its too mechanical, but it is one of Uber's leading lights.

  6. Fast Fare Adjustments
    The fare adjustment takes the driver from having to go to the Uber Fare Adjustment page into an in-app option. The driver will then be able to manually add the missing ride details if the driver forgot to start the ride or if there was an app or mobile device problem.
    While this might not seem to be much of an upgrade, additions in apps rather than using websites does save time and allows the app functions to "talk" with each other fluently and efficiently. Mind you, once a driver forgets and isn't paid for the fare, it's most probable that he won't make the same mistake again.

  7. Document Review Process Efficiency
    The processing of documents scanned and uploaded into the Uber database used to take a while; now Uber claims it will be able to process drivers documents, such as driving licenses, insurance policies and relevant proofs and claims within 2 hours from receiving them. Some drivers don't put much on this issue since most times Uber takes about 15 to 30 days to process any requests, renewals, and claims. They also notify the driver beforehand, so a 2-hour turnaround is a good and efficient bureaucratic upgrade more than a drivers need an upgrade.