As a rideshare driver, one thing we always worry about is getting our Uber account deactivated. No matter how hard we try to make sure we provide the best ride to our passengers, there are many things that are out of our control. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes take the blame for even the most minor inconvenience that may happen on a trip.
Understanding Uber’s Driver Deactivation Policy is your number one protection against suspensions and deactivations. When you know what is allowed and not allowed, you can be confident that you’re not just providing safe trips to your riders but also offering the best service in the community.
Here are some of the reasons that may get your Uber account deactivated.
This can take two forms: (1) a rider complains about your driving or (2) you fail Uber’s annual background check.
You might be heading out to drive one day only to discover that you have been deactivated. After investigating, you uncover the reason— excessive speed. You might get a response stating that several riders have reported you as speeding with them in your vehicle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just your first time to hear about such complaints. Uber could deactivate you. If you’re lucky, you may receive a warning before you get your Uber account deactivated should it happen again.
The worse part of this situation is that you have no idea which passengers or passenger made the complaint. You might be adamant that you never went over the speed limit and the accusation is baseless and erroneous.
Another scenario could be that a disgruntled passenger wanted to get back at you for something entirely unrelated. In nearly all cases, Uber will take the passenger’s side. Remember, passenger safety is one of their highest concerns.
Don’t forget that passing the background check before you’re initially brought onto the platform is not the last time you will be getting one. A background check is typically done once a year. You’ll never know it has even happened unless Uber found something that doesn’t meet their standards.
You might have had a couple of speeding tickets in recent months. Did you think these tickets won’t affect your status with Uber?
Many drivers assume because they weren’t on the app when they got pulled over, their tickets won’t affect their account. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There’s a great possibility that you will get your Uber account deactivated. It’s just a matter of when Uber will find out about the tickets and when they’ll decide to deactivate you. So, please be careful out there.
Remember when you signed a document agreeing to abide by certain rules or risk deactivation? Unfortunately, not all drivers read it before signing or simply chose to ignore them.
Having someone with you while you’re on rideshare duty is a clear violation of Uber’s guidelines. There simply is no excuse for it. If somebody reports you, expect to get your Uber account deactivated. First, you need to have room for four passengers (six on XL). Bringing a passenger along will not meet that criterion. Second, a passenger may become uncomfortable to order a vehicle and discover someone else riding with them.
This is a tricky one. Some companies allow drivers to advertise on their vehicles— and will even pay them to do so. These ads include a rooftop monitor showing promotional materials or a similar device mounted on the headrest. Also, flyers for businesses are generally allowed.
Commercial branding on your vehicle, however, is generally not allowed. It’s a vague term, I know. So, it’s best to reach out to Uber before doing any kind of advertising on or in your car. Don’t just take other people’s word for it —even if they swear that they have the company’s permission. Always, ALWAYS verify before you commit.
You may find this hard to believe but a few bad apples exist amongst Uber drivers.
Qualifying for a Bonus
Maybe a driver needs a couple more rides to qualify for a bonus. He then gets his spouse to take a couple of very short rides. A $12 investment is worth a $100 bonus right? Wrong!
If Uber gets wind on your MO, they will investigate. It’s easy to find certain patterns that could make you look suspicious. An example would be having the same rider very frequently for very short rides. It is never worth the risk.
Burner Phone and Stolen Credit Card
Another illegal activity that sometimes happens is getting an account with a burner phone and a stolen credit card. Either the law-breaking driver or nefarious accomplish will use the account and arrange long-distant rides. These rides will be initially paid by Uber and later on the credit card companies will charge them back. If Uber finds out about this, you will probably get more than a deactivation. You will end up facing a judge.
Cutting the Middle Man
Accepting cash for a ride. A driver might be at a busy sporting event with many attendees angling to get a ride. Some might see your decal, knock on your window, and offer cash to get them home. It might be significantly more than what you could get for rides booked through the app.
These offers are tempting. But, if Uber finds out, they could accuse you of fraud, resulting in getting your Uber account deactivated. Not a smart move. There is a worse consequence that could happen to a driver- you may get in an accident. The coverage you get from Uber will not cover it. Your own insurance probably will not either as you have a paid passenger.
Also, a driver may pick somebody up for a long trip and mention they will give them a discount if they pay cash. It may seem a win-win. But Uber loses and that is considered collusion. If Uber learns about it, they will remove you and the rider from the platform.
Whether you have severe allergies or simply don’t want animals making a mess in your car, you’re legally obliged to take a passenger with a service animal.
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I have heard drivers state “my car-my rules.” This may sound reasonable. However, you risk getting a lawsuit and your Uber account deactivated. It is worth mentioning that not all disabilities are immediately apparent or have any physical signs. Never take the risk. If shedding is your concern, keep an old blanket in your trunk for when the situation arises.
As an Uber driver, you are required to keep your account active and give a minimum of one ride in 90 days. If you are traveling out of the country or have fallen sick, lett Uber know beforehand so they don’t deactivate your account.
Denying a passenger due to race, national origin, color, age, sex, gender identity, religious believes, or disability could get your Uber account deactivated. This not just Uber’s policy and the law. It’s also common decency.
Uber has a fair system of rating. A rider can rate one to five stars after a trip and the average of the last 500 rides is the driver’s rating.
Uber understands that there are reasons beyond your control that might get you a low rating. However, it takes a lot of low ratings to fall below the required level of 4.6. (This rating varies in different cities- due to cultural and regional variances.) Also, there are ways to make sure your passengers give you a 5-star rating every single time.
Typically, Uber will warn the driver if they are getting close to the minimum rating requirement. They will also offer advice and tips to bring up that average. But, if you consistently fall below the line, you may get deactivated.
Cancellation rates should be less than 5% in most markets. A cancellation is when a driver accepts a ride and then, prior to picking up the passenger, cancels. This causes a lot of inconvenience on the part of the rider. As things do come up while driving, Uber allows you two to three cancellations per 100 rides without consequence.
Acceptance rates should be at least 85% to keep Uber happy. Cherry-picking rides by calling them to find out how far they are going and canceling on them if you don’t want the ride is not allowed. This is prevalent at airports and Uber has deactivated many drivers for employing the shady practice.
Under Uber’s terms and conditions, drivers mustn’t carry any weapons of any kind on themselves or concealed in their vehicle. This does not only mean firearms, but knives, pepper sprays, or any other device used in self-defense. Take note, however, that in some states, you could carry a gun for as long as it is not loaded. You should also lock it in a hard-sided box in the trunk of your car.
Driving a Different Vehicle
Every once in awhile, you may need to take your vehicle to the shop for maintenance. What some drivers do is to borrow another person’s car so they can continue making money. This puts you at risk as that vehicle might not be covered under insurance, may not have passed the 19-point Uber vehicle inspection.
Annual Inspection and Other Documents
All documents must not only be up-to-date. You should also upload them onto the app. These include vehicle registration, proof of insurance, current valid driving license, and the annual inspection form. You are given plenty of warning and reminders through texts, emails, and in-app notifications. The uploading itself is a quick and easy process, so there is no excuse.
Unreported Vehicle Damage
When accidents happen, you must follow the protocol. If you’re on the app at the time of the accident, you need to report it.
You will receive an incident form through email and you need to fill it out as honestly and accurately as you can. This is extremely important, especially if an injury occurs to the driver or passenger.
Should the incident cause a major dent or cracked headlight, you need to take care of the damage. Additionally, you have to take photos as proof that the car is safe to drive again. It is also your responsibility to keep your vehicle clean on the inside and out at all times. Uber expects you to maintain their standard of quality.
It’s common sense. But if you get enough complaints about your personal hygiene, Uber might deactivate you if you don’t take their warnings seriously.
The same goes for what you wear. Hate speech and symbols or graphics that could be offensive might result in deactivation. Once you receive a warning, take heed and be more mindful of your clothing.
Safe Driving Habits
Uber may deactivate a driver after receiving multiple complaints of poor or dangerous driving habits. These habits include speeding, jumping traffic lights, weaving in and out of traffic, and not following road signs. Holding, texting or chatting on a cell phone could also lead to complaints. Taking illegal U-turns or any other behaviors that make the rider feel unsafe in any way brings you closer to deactivation.
Language and Inappropriate Conversations
The same can be said for the way the driver communicates. Excessive bad language or conversation of a sexual, inappropriate nature could make the passenger uncomfortable. This may easily lead to deactivation.
Asking if the passenger is dating anyone is blatantly an offense. It is so easy to misinterpret the question even if you asked innocently and without malice. There are plenty of conversations to be had that are perfectly safe. The same can be said of a passenger saying something they should not— do not go along with it.
Attempting to contact a passenger after a ride, following them, or finding them on any social network is stalking. It will result in your Uber account being deactivated.
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If a passenger accuses you of smelling of alcohol or any other substance that could possibly interfere with your driving ability, you may be taken off the platform. Uber might suspend you for 10 days while they investigate the matter. Depending on the investigation, Uber could permanently ban you from the app.
A ticket for driving under the influence —even under the legal limit— will lead to a failure of the annual background check and is reason for immediate deactivation.
Help! My Uber Account Has Been Deactivated!
If you feel that Uber deactivated your account inappropriately, you have the right to appeal via the app. Fill out and sign the form to have Uber re-evaluate your case.
All of the rules that Uber enforces under the risk of deactivation are common sense. Many are merely reinforcing criminal road behaviors (speeding, dangerous driving, etc.). These violations become more serious when you commit them during a rideshare trip.
Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, please be respectful to each other. Let’s make our rideshare community a safe and happy community for everyone.