Little changes that go a long way
Millions of Uber rides happen every day, and every one of those trips is made up of a lot of moving parts: the request, the pickup, the journey, the dropoff. So it’s safe to say that even the most minor improvements can make a major difference down the line. The little things add up, and small tweaks can have a big impact on everyone.
That’s why we’re rolling out changes to the pickup and customer support experience based on feedback we’ve heard from drivers and riders. These tweaks are designed to save time, frustration and money by giving our customers more control and flexibility to solve for those moments when things don’t go exactly as planned.
Pickups are one of the hardest parts of the experience to get right, and they’re especially difficult when riders accidentally request a pickup from the wrong place. It often begins with a phone call and ends with a canceled ride. A small miscue leads to a frustrating situation where riders aren’t riding, and drivers aren’t earning.
Now we’re enabling riders on iOS in the US, Canada and the UK to update their pickup location if they happened to request from the wrong place. We’ve tested this feature in a handful of cities and found that it led to fewer cancellations (and less stress). We plan to roll this out to all riders across the US, Canada and UK in the coming weeks starting today.
Here’s how it works:
- Once your driver is en route, tap “edit” next to your pickup location
- Enter your new pickup address, and tap “confirm”
Once a rider updates their pickup location, drivers will be notified of the new location and have their route updated (experience will vary for in-app and out-of-app navigation).
The pickup is a core part of the Uber experience and we’re always looking for ways to make it as painless as possible for both riders and drivers. This simple fix gives riders more control over their pickup experience and saves everyone time and avoidable headaches.
Many drivers have told us that some of our support policies feel stacked against them and seem to put riders’ interests above theirs. In response to that feedback, we’ve begun to make updates to a handful of policies in the US and Canada that affect a driver’s bottom line, including:
- Wait time fee: We’re introducing a wait time fee that allows drivers to be compensated by riders for the time they spend waiting after they have arrived at your pickup location. This charge will begin 2 minutes after they arrive and you’ll see this note in your app too. Everyone’s time is valuable, and this ensures a smoother ride for all. To learn more, please visit help.uber.com.
- Cancellation fee update: Previously you had 5 minutes after your driver accepts to cancel a ride without incurring a fee. Now, you’ll be charged a cancellation fee after 2 minutes. We’ve found that 2 minutes is what the majority of riders need to confirm their plans. This change to the cancellation window more fairly compensates drivers for their time.
- Rider Complaints: When looking into rider complaints related to poor driving, we’ll now take into account driver history. Going forward someone with three rider complaints but just 100 trips under their belt will be treated very differently than a driver who has received three complaints but completed 10,000 trips. Instead of a one-size-fits all approach, this policy will take the entirety of a driver’s time using Uber into account.
- Wrong Driver Reports: In addition to relying on rider feedback when suspending a driver—for example, a rider writes in saying that their driver didn’t look like the picture in the app—we will use technology like Real Time ID to validate that the driver is who they say they are and get them back on the road quickly. This will mean less unnecessary time off the road for drivers.
- Wrong Rider Pickups: There are times when riders report that someone took a trip on their account that wasn’t them. Before, we used to take the rider’s word for it. Now, if a driver disputes this claim, we’ll use technology and input from drivers to determine and validate what actually took place.
- Fare Adjustments: We will now give drivers a say in fare adjustments. For example, there are times when riders accidentally cancel a trip while they’re still on the way to their destination. When this happened in the past, the driver was paid out up to the point of cancellation, even if they claim that they completed the trip. We realized this approach didn’t give appropriate consideration to the driver’s perspective. Going forward, if a driver disputes a fare adjustment, we will validate the claim and make sure they are appropriately compensated
These are only a handful of feedback-driven changes we are making to our customer support policies, with many more to come in the weeks and months ahead. We have an entire team dedicated to reviewing all of our support policies on an ongoing basis to ensure they are fair for drivers and riders.
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