Technology can be a wonderful thing. I’ve spent most of the lay decade investing in startup companies as my “day job”. Disruption is the big buzz word. In the instance I’m discussing today, it’s about how great the world can be if we use technology to disrupt businesses that have monopolies or have grown stale. Uber is at the forefront of disrupting the taxi cab industry. They call it ridesharing. At the core, it’s really just using technology to make more efficient taxi services. What happens when that disruption doesn’t go as planned?
My friend Jeanne from Le Chic Geek was writing about that earlier this week. Here’s the root of the problem as she describes it:
When you book an Uber driver, you may get a phone call from the driver stating there’s a problem with the app and the driver cannot see your destination.
The driver may ask you what your destination is. And then state that the app still isn’t working, and ask that you cancel the ride to “fix it”.
If an Uber driver calls you with this story, he or she isn’t telling you the truth. The driver is trying to determine whether or not s/he wants to pick you up. And may try to convince you to cancel the ride if your destination isn’t ideal.
I never plug my destination in before I hop into the Uber. It wasn’t originally to thwart this type of issue, it just never seemed like critical info the driver needed prior to me getting in the car. And, many times my destination is a major landmark, like an airport. No real need to even plug it in. To the best of my recollection, I’ve never had an Uber driver cancel a ride on me because of where I was going.
That being said, I know this is an issue. I asked Jeanne if she was using Uber Black or UberX. She indicated this was an UberX ride. I’m mostly an Uber Black user. Specifically, I’m taking Uber because I want an experienced driver who knows his way around the city. I want someone who knows alternate routes when travel pops up, and understands the cadence of traffic in cities I don’t frequent often. In those cases, I’m willing to pay more for a ride than I would otherwise spend on a taxi or UberX.
I’m sure there are Uber Black drivers who cancel rides too. But, it makes sense that UberX drivers might cancel rides more frequently. Uber Black drivers are more frequently professional drivers, where this is their primary job. For many, UberX is a side hustle. They may not want to go an hour out of their way to take you where you need to go. They may prefer to stay close to home and just pick up short rides when they can to make extra cash. And, they could just be lazy and not want to drive a long distance.
What You Need To Know
Where drivers used to cancel those rides they didn’t want, I’m guessing Uber is penalizing them now for too many canceled rides. Resourceful drivers are trying to get you to cancel your ride. We can assume that’s so they don’t get dinged by Uber. But, that can result in you ending up with a cancellation fee. That’s not cool.
If your Uber driver calls to ask you where you’re going, you’re under no obligation to tell them. You can be nice and tell them if you want, but don’t cancel the ride if they ask you to. If the driver cancels the ride request, go ahead and request another. Then, report the driver who cancelled to Uber so they can deal with it.
Disruptive technology is all around us. And, it does make things better. But, the only way the service will continue to be an improvement over traditional methods is if the market clearly communicates a reasonable standard. If an Uber driver can cancel without penalty, is it really much better than calling a taxi and having them show up much later than they promised?
The post Don’t Cancel Your Uber Ride Request If You’re Driver Asks You was published first on Pizza in Motion