Fees not enough: Uber drivers lose money due to ride cancellations

by Vanessa Ingram — Communications and Content Manager @dumpling

Check out what Uber Drivers are saying at dumpling.us

Following the recent removal of CEO, Travis Kalanick, Uber is trying to make fast changes to its treatment of drivers and their driving experience in an effort to show these drivers how commited the company is to them. One of these changes was an option for drivers to receive tips, something their drivers had long been asking for. Another change was the implemention of a policy to notify drivers when they accept a ride that includes travel longer than 45 minutes. As more changes are being implemented during Uber’s 180 Days of Change, many drivers believe that another issue should be addressed: ride cancellations.

An Uber driver in Seattle, WA shared their frustration with the current ride cancellation policy and fees on dumpling:

“I wish that the cancellation fee was higher and that the [cancellation] fee money came to us drivers… Every time someone cancels we as driver[s] lose out and we don’t get compensated.”

Accepting a ride doesn’t always guarantee a payment for Uber drivers. Sometimes a customer may decide to cancel the ride several minutes after accepting the transportation from the Uber driver. According to Uber’s website, the company’s ride cancellation policy is that riders will be charged a fee if they: cancel the trip more than 5 minutes after the driver accepts the trip (this is has been reduced to 2 minutes in some cities), or if the driver arrives at the destination and cancels the trip after waiting more than 5 minutes for the customer to show.

Despite the fees charged for canceled rides or no-shows, rides are routinely canceled and drivers are not compensated for their gas or time spent traveling, even if they are more than halfway to the destination or traveled the full distance. This is a policy that many drivers would like to change. Another Uber driver in Seattle, WA recently shared this idea on dumpling:

“I would like it as a driver [that] once I accept a fare and am on the way that I know I will be compensated. Even if the passenger no shows or cancel[s]. It’s frustrating to be on the way to a job and have it cancelled with no compensation.”

Long rides to the airport and across town can be a lucrative or disappointing experience for Uber drivers depending largely on whether the customer decides to cancel the ride before the driver arrives at the destination. Not only are drivers not compensated for cancelled rides, but the driver also loses their place at the front of long lines for on-demand drivers at many airports, and valuable time that could have been used to transport other paying customers. An Uber driver in the San Francisco Bay Area had this to say on the topic:

“There are times when I travel up to 2 miles to get to a restaurant and as soon as I arrive the customer cancels the order. They don’t give cancellation fees. It’s a waste of my time and energy. Other times someone else will pick up my order and I’m not paid for that as well. Ridiculous.”

Uber drivers: do you lose money due to cancelled rides? What changes would you like Uber to make? Share your ideas at dumpling to make your voice heard and to start a movement to have them implemented: http://bit.ly/dumpling-us.