Uber is kind of the anti-taxi company that counterculture loves to love. But Uber has just started doing something that most people will not really like at all (except for Uber drivers, that is). The company has decided to charge a late fee when people aren’t ready for the Uber car that they call. Here’s the complete story.
Most people have somewhere to be. Even Uber drivers have somewhere else to be (most likely picking up another passenger). So when people call an Uber car and then make that driver wait for minutes on end, Uber drivers tend to get upset. Unlike taxis, though, an Uber driver isn’t letting a meter run while you walk your dog or change your outfit. So Uber has decided to help drivers out by charging passengers a fee.
Right now, passengers are allowed a five minute grace period before being charged an extra amount for being late. In the future, that grace period will be reduced to two minutes. Passengers will also have two minutes (instead of five) to cancel an Uber ride. All of this works in favor of Uber drivers, but it’s also a fair rule if you think about it.
Comparing Uber to Taxis
Taxi drivers are allowed to let a meter run while waiting. Uber drivers can’t let that meter run, so some kind of penalty must be applied, it seems. A number of Uber drivers have been complaining recently that passengers simply don’t show up when a car arrives as well.
This is a big problem for the Uber driver that’s trying to make some extra cash on the weekends by picking people up, but the number of people that a driver can pick up becomes reduced thanks to passengers that don’t bother canceling cars or take too long to get into a car.
So if you use Uber the rule is now really simple - don’t call an Uber car until you are ready to go. If you’re not quite ready or have to do other things before you get into the car, don’t assume that the driver will happily wait for you. Uber drivers have places to be too. Right now, Uber is testing out the new penalty and time allowance in some major cities including New York City, New Jersey, Phoenix, and Dallas.
Drivers Can Leave Too
In addition to the new charge, drivers now have the option of leaving if a passenger is not ready to go. A drive does not have to wait for a passenger past five or two minutes. If that passenger is not ready, a driver can just take off - some drivers would rather pick up another fare than wait for a passenger even if that person will be paying a late fee. Drivers in some areas protested when Uber did eliminate a late fee earlier this year, so all of this makes sense.
Uber’s intention with the new fees and rules is to make sure that drivers have the upper hand when it comes to driving and picking up passengers. Since Uber is not a taxi company, some passengers take advantage of Uber drivers.
Uber isn’t Uber without driver, and drivers won’t drive for Uber if passengers don’t comply with simple rules like making sure that they are ready for a car when using Uber. As always, Uber does not encourage tipping and attempts to make Uber rides as simple and as hassle-free as possible.