Every UBER driver has dealt with at least one horrible passenger, even if you have just started using the service. There are several types of UBER passengers that offer the worst experiences. How you deal with them, however, makes a difference in your ratings and success overall.
The worst passenger for any UBER driver to deal with is the drunk. When you pick up someone who is obviously extremely intoxicated, you risk them vomiting in your car, being belligerent, and possibly not even knowing where they need or want to go. Many UBER drivers avoid working late at night or in areas with clubs for this very reason.
Remember that you have no obligation to pick up someone who is obviously extremely intoxicated. Many drivers will refuse passengers who are too drunk to walk to the car or start out with yelling and cursing. Your safety and the cleanliness and safety of the vehicle should always be your primary concern.
If you aren’t comfortable giving a drunk passenger a ride, you can cancel the ride before it ever begins, in which case the passenger will not be able to leave you any feedback. It can affect your acceptance rate, but your safety should come first. Politely tell the passenger you are unavailable, and then refuse the ride.
If a passenger is already in your vehicle and the ride has started, but they become unruly or belligerent due to their drunkenness, you can end the ride. Pull off to a safe place, swipe to end the ride and charge the passenger, and ask them to exit the vehicle. Be as polite and professional as possible as you do so. Avoid cursing at the passenger or meeting their attitude with one of your own. This way if they leave negative feedback due to ending the ride early you have some grounds to request the feedback be removed.
Nothing is more daunting than picking up a pax without a stated destination. Some passengers will refuse to give you the destination and insist on giving you turn by turn directions. Other passengers will seem to not know where they are headed, and they may even have you driving around aimlessly while they try to figure it out.
While this can be frustrating, and take up a lot of your time, remember that you are being paid for that time and just sit back and go with the flow of the ride. Avoid becoming outwardly frustrated with the pax and keep a positive attitude. Give suggestions for destination, offer to look up the address of a business or hotel if they are unsure where it is located, and complete the ride.
If, on the other hand, a passenger gets in your car with no stated destination then requests a drive of outrageous distance, you have every right to deny that ride. One UBER driver had a pax without a specified destination, and after driving around town the passenger asked to be driven 600 miles. If that happens to you, politely let the passenger know this is not possible, pull to a safe place or ask for a different destination, and end the ride.
The Rude Pax
Some passengers seem to think that the UBER driver is no more than a servant. They don’t say hello, they don’t want to give any information or confirmation of their name or destination, and they don’t want to talk. They may seem like they have an overall bad attitude, or they may simply be uncommunicative.
Everyone wants to be treated like a person with dignity and respect, and when passengers don’t give you this common courtesy your first instinct might be to lash out. Instead, firmly insist that they confirm their name and destination. Then simply sit back and get the ride over with as quickly as possible. Make sure you still treat them with respect, even if they haven’t earned it. Otherwise you could get bad feedback.
The Pile In
College kids are the worst about this one. You think you’re only picking up one person, then when you arrive at pick up a group of six tries to pile into your vehicle, talking about who is going to sit where, and who can have someone on their lap. You don’t have to take these passengers if you don’t have enough seats to accommodate them. But refusing the ride tactfully and before the ride begins is important.
If you do decide to squeeze an extra person in the back seat, make sure that you are being safe in your driving. Don’t allow the passengers to be rambunctious and distracting. If they are, pull off to a safe place and politely explain that you cannot drive under these conditions and end the ride.
The most experienced UBER drivers will tell you to vet your passengers before you start the ride. Many drivers keep their doors locked and roll down the window slightly to verify the passenger’s name and destination, as well as the number of passengers. This also gives you an opportunity to judge if they are sober or might otherwise be a troublemaker. Making this a habit makes it easier for you to refuse the ride before they enter your vehicle.
Lastly, consider purchasing a dual camera dash cam for your vehicle. This way the exterior of your vehicle is recorded, as well as all exchanges between your passengers. This offers peace of mind and ensures you have evidence to help your case with Uber, should a passenger wrongly leave a poor rating or report you.
Have you ever driven one of these passenger ‘types’? Do you have a ‘type’ to add to our list? Please share your stories, add to the discussion and comment below!