Is Uber secretly encouraging drivers to call riders and pressure them to cancel if the ride does not “suit” the driver?
As I wrote about here, Uber drivers are increasingly calling ahead to ask where you are going, then cancelling if they don’t feel like it. This happens often for longer distance trips, where rates are far less lucrative than for short-distant trips.
Nevertheless, calling a rider to ask the destination runs counter to Uber’s public-facing policy. For example, outside many airports you will be see the following message on your Uber app:
Drivers should not call and ask for your destination while you wait for your ride to arrive.
Le Chic Geek shares of a startling email an Uber driver received from his internal support staff (from Uber)–
To answer your question, the only way you will be able to contact riders would be after you accept the request a uber number will be provided for that trip only. Using that uber number, you can contact the rider to find out the destination. If it does not suit your distance, you can ask the rider to cancel.
That doesn’t sound like what Uber is telling riders…
Uber outsources its support service so it is conceivable this is just an agent speaking in error. Le Chic Geek contacted Uber for a statement and received no reply.
But if true, this policy is incredibly offensive. By asking the rider cancel, the rider will incur a cancellation fee (if more than five minutes after the initial request). Penalizing the rider for the driver’s decision not to accept the ride is disgusting.
Uber needs to clarify this policy clearly to its riders and drivers. While Lyft shows its drivers the destination prior to acceptance, Uber does not. I like this as a way to ensure that drivers are not selective about the trips they take. Nevertheless, I’d rather wait for a driver who wants to drive me than be hassled for where I am going then pressured to cancel.