How a New Uber App feature can cause problems for Part-Time Drivers
Hello there Uber Partners! This is Richard, the Part Time Uber Driver
Have you seen the new partner app feature that will send you a request while you are still on a trip? It’s a great feature, and makes a lot of sense for efficiency. More rides per hour for partners and even faster response for riders!
I’m a big fan of this feature but it can cause problems in some circumstances. This is especially an issue for those of us who drive with Uber part-time.
Issue With Partner App Story
I found this issue when I drove for a couple of hours yesterday. I was on my fourth ride and got the next ride ping, but I couldn’t accept it because I needed to go off-line after that run to go to my day job.
I felt bad that I had to let this one go and knew it would show up as a refused ride and affect my acceptance rate. Unfortunately a couple of minutes later when I was almost finished with this last run, I got another ping. Letting this one go really hurt!
I did another 3 runs this morning with no incident, but my Uber Partner acceptance rate stands at 80% (actually 77% by my calculation) which is not good because I’m operating under a promo that requires a minimum of 90%. It’s going to be difficult to recover by the end of the week given I only do about 30 runs a week. This could have a large impact on my payout this week.
Dealing With Uber Support
I tried contacting Uber to tell them what had happened. My incentives are reliant on me getting a certain acceptance rate.
Uber support initially dismissed my complaint as “not significant”, because it doesn’t happen often. It certainly is not a problem for a full time driver who will have many more runs in a week to recover from an event like this. I’m still exchanging email with Uber support but I’m on my fourth email to them asking for some adjustment and it doesn’t look promising.
One thing that would prevent this whole problem would to add a feature to the app to allow drivers to set a personal quitting time so that this would not happen. This could be rolled into a safety feature which would limit on-line time to prevent drivers from getting too fatigued to be a safe driver.
I’ll try to recover my acceptance rate with more rides. Hopefully there will be no other issues this week – I can’t afford any.
Suggestions on how to solve this problem from support and fellow drivers
- Go offline or cancel the ride politely
I finally got a note from a higher up Uber support person. He said that he understood my frustration, apologized for the earlier back and forth emails where I wasn’t being heard, and told me they are working on the problem.
He suggested signing out of the app after picking up the last passenger in order to avoid getting more pings or politely canceling a second ping. Here is a quote from the email:
In the event that you really have to cancel upcoming trip if you need to go offline, you have to inform the rider about it then ask him/her to cancel the ride politely so it will not affect your acceptance rate. It will never count against your acceptance rate.
2. Use Uber Destinations
Another Uber driver on the Uber driver subreddit suggested
Non issue, hit navigate… Then change the destination to a city out of your service area. No more pings when you get close to the destination meanwhile navigation still tells you where to go.
From an Uber.com Behind The Wheel article, this is how to set your destination:
To set your destination, tap the clipboard icon at the top of your screen, and select “Set a destination.” You’ll be prompted to select a saved location or type a new address. Look out for an email to see when it’s in your city.
We’ve also gathered answers to the top questions we’ve gotten about destinations so you can make your time even more valuable.
How do I set a destination in the Uber Driver App?
To set your destination, wait until you’re not on a trip. Then, tap the clipboard icon at the top of your screen, and select “Set a destination.” You’ll be prompted to select a saved location or type a new address — the more specific, the better.
Once you’ve entered a location, start driving toward your destination. Uber will automatically start looking only for trips that are along a similar route.
Hope for an Uber app solution
Yesterday when I was online driving for Uber I saw something pop up and ask me if I was going home, just as I was planning to sign out. Maybe they have fixed it.
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