Hacks from an Uber Driver

+11 votes
El Draino on 21/11/2019 - 12:08
I drive with Uber, Ola and DiDi. Most drivers are like me are running these 3 apps simultaneously and taking work as it comes. As soon as you book an Ola or a DiDi, as ozio did, check the location of the car. Often drivers will be completing a drop nearby on another app, then heading to pick you up. The key here is how long will they be. If theyre miles away and not getting any closer, contact them via phone and ask whats going on. Do this in the first 2 minutes because if you wait too long, you, as the pax will be charged a PAX cancellation. Theres some really dodgy dudes driving out there, so watch out for "sliders" - drivers who will commence a fare even if you're not in the car. If a driver does this 10 times a shift, he will pocket $50 or 60 for doing nothing except behaving fraudulently, Ola didnt really enforce this scam until only recently. To combat this, Ola have just commenced a 4 digit code given to pax only. When pax gets in Ola, pax gives driver code and then the driver inputs this code to commence fare (without code, fare cannot be started).

DiDi are usually cheaper than Ola and Uber on light traffic routes due to their fee structure being weighted on time rather than distance like Uber and Ola. But avoid DiDi in heavy traffic as you'll pay more. THe other thing is that DiDi dont surge up like Uber in peak periods. If Uber is displaying for example, 1.5X or 2.0x surge, odds are DiDi wont be surging up like Uber. Uber surges up quickly due it's high customer base - whereas Ola and Didi so look at the other two if Uber is surging.

Another way to combat surge (for longer trips only) if you're say leaving the city, cant get a Didi or an Ola and have to accept taking a surging Uber, often surge zones are very localised. For example, if you're in Fitzroy at midnight on a Saturday and want to go to Carrum Downs, it will be very pricey. But the surge on our app will usually be localised to the inner city (CBD, Richmond, South Yarra, Prahran, St Kilda) past that it's standard pricing. So you can set the destination to Elsternwick maccas, get a burger then book an uber from Elsternwick to Carrum Downs and pay zero surge. I've had people pay 2.0X surge from Ringwood to city not realising they could get out at Nunawadding, book another uber and pay no surge into the city from Nunawadding. Remember this method only makes sense for longer fares, not local fares.

Lastly as a rideshare driver please take note of some pet peeves drivers have.

Pick ups in bad locations - please consider where your pick up will be. A lot of pax (usually under 25yo) will stupidly set a pick up on a corner. We cannot pick up on a corner as you cannot park on a corner. Arrange the pick up where a car can actually park. Places in Melbourne like the corner of Flinders St/Elizabeth St are total poison for parking as well as Southern Cross railway station (Southern Cross is a total nightmare to pick up from). No corners please. Please, no corners.

Long delay picking up/Anchor pax - a few pax will deploy the anchor pax method if someone is still inside a residence getting ready. So you pull up, 1 pax will get in and say the other pax is still in house but coming. But they take a long time. 5 minutes is like an hour when you're waiting for that last pax to get in. When you call up a car, be ready there and then, as there might be a car just around the corner. Delayed pick ups will likely get you 1 starred. Very annoying.

Changing destinations mid trip - sometimes this is fine but remember drivers get two directional fare (DF) opportunities per 24 hours and they are usually used by drivers to get home. So, if im in the CBD and set my DF home to Mordialloc, then uber will only give me fares set in that direction, but if a pax get in and resets the fare to Werribee, then it's a massive problem. Thats 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back because the pax changed their mind. This will get you a 1 star for sure, and you earned it. Please do not do this.

Cancelling fares mid trip - if a driver has done nothing wrong and you do this and you'll get a very upset driver

The dreaded Uber pool - Uber pool is universally hated by rideshare drivers because it's almost always cheapskate millenials who expect mints and water, plus a direct to door drop. It causes issues for drivers as pax always want to go a bit further than theyve paid for, plus you get some awkward situations like pax taking 2 seats rather than their alotted 1. Drivers will often 1 start pool riders - this is a bit unfair but drivers dont like it because you wont ever get long fares on pool. Pool is a bad proposition for a driver because they do 8 - 12 hours shifts - a driver needs a couple of long trips each shift. Pool guarantees you won’t get a long trip.

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Comments

  • +9 votes

    Thanks El Draino for the great overview.

  • +2 votes

    Do you have any info about some dodgy Uber Eats places?
    I have been trying out the pickup option and while I do not know how it really works, 2 things I noticed:

    • Uber Eats says your order is ready for pickup, but when you come there they only start cooking when you ask them about your order or just 1 minute prior
      My conspiracy theory says they do this so they increase their rating on Uber Eats for "fast order-to-pickup" times, hoping the customer won't do anything and just wait
    • Order lacks some toppings, extras or ingredients that you added for a small price or for no cost at the Uber Eats app, but when you come to pick it up the restaurant says "oh you have to pay extra for that" or "oh that price is too cheap on Uber Eats, you have to pay more if you want it added".
      Are they allowed to do this? My thinking is the Uber Eats price is the final price and I don't need to pay anything extra.

    Not sure where to report this as Uber Eats only provides FAQs in their app.

    •  

      If you're picking up, why go through UberEats, they take a hefty chunck of the final price. I'm sure the restaurant would appreciate it more if you called them up directly to place an order and just paid then and there

  • -2 votes

    But the surge on our app

    Your app? 🤔

  • +2 votes

    Great insight ! A++++

  • +1 vote

    I’ve had drivers accept my ride then head away from my location. Is this a scam to try and claim the cancellation fee? I’ve always contested and got a refund but I assume a lot of people cba doing that so the drivers get $10 for doing nothing sometimes

    •  

      From memory, drivers don't receive the $10 cancellation fee. That might have changed since I was driving Uber.

      •  

        Riders have a 5 min window from the time they book to cancel. If bookings (drivers call them pings) are cancelled outside this window, the pax (rider) is charged $10. Drivers get $7.50, Uber gets the rest.

    • +4 votes

      I've had this situation on several occasions. On one occasion the (profanity) fiddled around like this and caused me significant extra cost as I then had to make alternative arrangements (i.e. I had to drive into the city and pay ~$80 for parking) as I couldn't get to my appointments on time any other way by then. These people should be permanently banned from the platform.

  •  

    Thanks for giving us the view from the other side. My Uber experience has been better than a lot of my taxi trip experiences. What I really like is that I know the cost upfront and it is prepaid. Sounds like, in a surge situation, get yourself out of the surge zone and get an Uber from there. Maybe burn a public transport ticket to get out of the surge zone. From Fitzroy there are a lot of options; I know, I live there. It would be difficult to find anywhere, outside the CBD proper, that is so well serviced by public transport.

  •  

    It has to go down as post of the year.

  •  

    Thanks for the driver-review.

    I've been using Didi a lot more than Uber. Using Didi I pay less than the initial amount in about 90% of the trips, while Uber charges me more than expected in 90% of the trips. However, Uber is usually quicker to find when I'm at home (suburbs). Ola lost me when they blocked my account twice for no reason and asked me to call to confirm my details. I called the first time and everything was fine but after a few weeks they did it again. No explanation whatsoever.

    Last week I ordered a Uber and the initial fare was 32.00. The final price was 52.00 for absolutely no reason… The distance was the same and there was no traffic. I sent an email to Uber support and they replied with "we understand your frustration" and refunded 20.00. That was nice, particularly because still don't understand why I was charged 52.00. The fare on the invoice or "my trips" is not specified. My question… Is the refund deducted from the driver?

    My general complaint about both services is: why 4 in every 5 drivers cannot drive smoothly? Really, sometimes I take medication so I won't be nauseated or sick in the trip. And no, I'm not pregnant, and yes, this only happens with Uber/Didi, never when I am driving or my partner or friends are driving.
    So, I promise I will stay away from the corners when using the app but, please, drive smoothly. 😉

    • +1 vote

      When you are feeling sick are you in the back or in the front seat. When I was a kid I got car sick, a lot, but now I sit in the front seat i don’t get the blurry motion effect so much. If you are in the back seat maybe sit in the middle where you can see out the windscreen.

      •  

        It is a lot worse when I am in the back, I recognise that, but most drivers don't use the principle of inertia when driving… It's green, they accelerate like animals… It's red, they brake… I'm talking about basic driving skills here that also affect fuel consumption.

        • +1 vote

          So you’re the person at the front of every set of traffic lights that takes 3kms to reach the speed limit.

          •  

            @Mike88: No, I am not that person. It's all about finding a balance between being the person that takes 3km to reach 60km/h and the other person that aims to reach 60km/h in 3 seconds.

    •  

      What is the support email for Uber? I have so many axes to grind with Uber Eats but I sure can't find anyone to contact…

      •  

        You just use the app for that… The "Get Help"… Then you choose an option or "I had another issue"…

    • +1 vote

      A lot of drivers are new Australians meaning they haven’t been driving long. I’ve driven around Melbourne for 30 years and have a very deep knowledge of where I am and where I need to go. Plus I’ve racked up 1.4 million ks in my life and the only incident I had was a small accident in Murrumbeena Rd in heavy traffic in 1994 where a woman stopped abruptly in front of me for no reason after accelerating hard - I was distracted changing a tape in the audio unit so I hit the back of her car at about 20kph. Apart from this, I’m accident free. I know Uber drivers who have accidents monthly and they don’t seem to be worried about it. Driving smooth is a big deal for me, anticipating traffic around me. I feel your pain having many trips as a passenger bewildered at the utter incompetence of the driver.

      • +1 vote

        new Australians

        That's a weird way to say "student visa holder who works more than the legal limit of 20 hours per week"

  • -3 votes

    Lol at your 5 min waiting time.

    I sure hope you never become a taxi driver and have to pickup their luggage and other services. I hope you mean 10-15 mins rather than 5 mins.

    Can take around 5 mins to get into most taxis at the airport, pushing luggage to the front and then it not fitting, pushing it back when it won't fit in the boot. Literally doing it myself. RIP, I thought drivers these days would at least help out. But I guess Uber drivers won't help anyway, so no points scored there.


    No shit, your post just sounds not like a hack at all, but a rant about how shitty Uber is. But think about if you were a taxi driver instead.

    resets the fare to Werribee, then it's a massive problem. Thats 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back because the pax changed their mind. This will get you a 1 star for sure, and you earned it. Please do not do this.

    Well yeah, this is bad, but imagine you're a cabbie. Imagine having to drive someone down from Sydney to Canberra and not being able to refuse the fare. Sometimes the only way I can get to somewhere is by doing some long fare to the middle of nowhere. I mean it's shit and I would probably tip $150 because it's an unusual request, but you rant about Uber but really it sounds like a dream compared to other similar workers.

    Cancelling fares mid trip - if a driver has done nothing wrong and you do this and you'll get a very upset driver

    Guess the equivalent would be some idiot running away and leaving the cab midway through the trip so he can get away for free with a runner.

    The dreaded Uber pool - Uber pool is universally hated by rideshare drivers because it's almost always cheapskate millenials who expect mints and water, plus a direct to door drop.

    The platform is bad. I sure hope they get rid of that, it sounds dumb. Lobby Uber for a way to get out of those jobs. Although, I have to say, I've been in some cabs and some random will ask to pool and won't pay much. Not much you can do about it because everyone is trying to get to work. Same kind of people I guess which have just gravitated towards Uber.

    Like seriously. Life's not always fair.

    Like seriously, I would do my best to get you banned if you 1 starred me because you were slow to get my luggage in and wasted my 5 mins too. Especially if I tipped at the end. One report to Uber, boom you'd probably get kicked out. Especially if they find out who I really am.

    •  

      I don't think the OP has any inclination to be a taxi driver, but instead is being up front of ho's own experiences which might help both drivers and passengers of uber/didi/Ola.

      The 5 minute wait thing could be a figure of speech, but if the driver is losing money on something that they can help with, then it's on their best interest to help. No matter who the person is.

  •  

    The dreaded Uber pool

    Take this for Friday night pickups.

  • +2 votes

    I guess the main problem with star rating a pax is that it will really have no affect on them. Because every time that pax wants to use the service, I can guarantee there's a driver out there that wants the business. So star ratings for pax is a waste of time imo.

    And if their account gets suspended from bad reviews, it's not hard to make a new one.

  •  

    The Didi app asks for an insane amount of permissions, and refuses to work if you don't acquiesce. Didi are known in China for listening in on rider's microphones, ostensibly for "safety", and they also actively promote the Chinese Communist Party.

    Caveat Emptor.

  • -1 vote

    Stick to uber. They're the most reliable of the 3.

  •  

    For me, Ola has been the cheapest by far, in general. Uber is generally a rip off (or call it a premium for using a more reliable app).

  • +1 vote

    Changing destinations mid trip - sometimes this is fine but remember drivers get two directional fare (DF) opportunities per 24 hours and they are usually used by drivers to get home. So, if im in the CBD and set my DF home to Mordialloc, then uber will only give me fares set in that direction, but if a pax get in and resets the fare to Werribee, then it's a massive problem. Thats 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back because the pax changed their mind. This will get you a 1 star for sure, and you earned it. Please do not do this.

    I mean it sucks I get it but that is just part of your job. Passengers should be allowed to change direction mid trip, but if you did what would be the best way to do it?

  •  

    good stuff! thanks for the info

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