It’s about time!
Finally, some more transparency will be created between Uber and it’s drivers.
Last Thursday, Uber settled a class action lawsuit with its drivers that should help improve the quality of the work conditions.
Uber will have to pay up 100 million dollars, between the states of California and Massachusetts, as part of the agreement which will help partially reimburse approximately 385,000 driver’s expenses.
The payment will vary on the number of miles you have driven with passengers in your car. The highest payouts will consist of $8,000 or more for drivers who exhausted the most miles on their vehicles.
While drivers will still be considered independent contractors, Uber has agreed to change some of their policies to help become more transparent with drivers and their disciplinary actions.
The policy changes will include alerting drivers about their ratings if it falls too low, no longer deactivating drivers without a warning, and instituting appeal panels that will consist of highly rated drivers.
Uber will also be paying for an arbitrator to hear appeals that are not settled by the panel of drivers.
This is great especially for the people that depend solely on Uber’s income to make ends meet.
You won’t have to worry about one day just turning on the Uber Partner app only to find out you were deactivated without your knowledge of any situation just like how it happened to thousands of drivers before you.
Oh ya, and Uber will also be telling riders tips are not included in the fare, as well drivers being allowed to tell passengers themselves through signs posted in your car.
With this being said, tons of news sources have already written about the lawsuit itself. So I don’t need to get into too much more detail about that.
My biggest thing I wanted to talk about today was the new Uber Driver Deactivation Policy that has been created stemming from this lawsuit.
Being deactivated has always been a fear for drivers and with this settlement, you will now be able to see more of the reasons behind Uber’s actions to discipline you.
Where To Find The New Driver Deactivation Policy
While the new policy is on Uber’s website, admittingly it’s still kinda hidden. To make it easy just click here to be taken to the policy.
Want to find it on their website?
Go to Uber.com> Scroll to the bottom and click on “Terms”> Scroll down to and click on “Other” > Click on Driver Deactivation Policy.
Uber’s Four Main Criteria for Deactivation
There are four main points Uber has when it comes to being terminated from the app. I will go further into detail about each point later.
Without good quality, the service is no longer wanted meaning customers will bring business to their competitors instead.
Fraud is just plain out bad for business and ruins the trust and credibility of a company.
Safety is a huge concern. Recklessness endangers people’s lives and will make you never try a service again in fear of your own life.
Black, white, purple, blue, no legs, one leg, 3 legs, one eye, 6 eyes, Christian, Buddha, Muslim, Girl, Guy, or both, etc…
Doesn’t matter what you look like, what you wear, where you come from, what you believe in, or how you feel, you can’t Discriminate against anyone. It’s just not right. We all bleed blue.
Without quality service or products you will have no business because no one will want to go through your business. Taxis are a prime example of shitty quality and a big reason why Uber has grown so big so fast.
The taxi service gave people a reason to try a new transportation method through ridesharing and people fell in love with it.
Cleaner cars, Better maintained, smell nicer, Nicer drivers, more reliable, cheaper, etc…
All things people have told me while driving for Uber compared to a traditional taxi.
The two biggest measurements Uber uses to check the quality of a driver is the star rating system and cancellation rates.
The Star Rating Systems
How it works is after every completed ride Uber ask passengers and drivers to rate each other 1-5 star on the satisfaction of the ride. In order to maintain high quality performance Uber has a threshold that if you fall below a certain average rating you will get deactivated.
Unfortunately in the new policy Uber doesn’t specify what that threshold is but does say it changes city to city based on cultural differences and how people rate each other in those cities.
With the lawsuit settlement Uber is now required to notify you multiple times when you are approaching or fall below the required star rating in your city before they can deactivate you.
This should give you ample time to make sure you correct your mistakes before it’s too late.
Your cancellation rate is determined by how many trips you canceled out of the total number of trips you accepted.
For example: You accept 100 trips. 5 of those trips you cancel. This means 5 out of 100 trips canceled which equals a 5% cancellation rate.
If you are constantly cancelling trips on consumers this will create a bad user experience.
Just like the star rating system, there is a threshold you cannot exceed which varies by city.
Once again, you will be notified multiple times about your cancellation rate being higher than other drivers in your city and could be denied access to go online for a short period of time (this does not mean you’re deactivated).
Of course, if the cancellations do not slow down you will eventually be deactivated.
While it is important to have high acceptance rates to show the reliability of Uber’s transportation system, Uber can no longer permanently deactivate you for not accepting rides.
As an independent contractor it is our choice whether or not we decide to pick up that ride that is 15-20 minutes out from us.
Uber is finally going to let us have control of that aspect of driving for them.
If you don’t accept too many rides Uber will temporarily log you out of the app, but they can not permanently deactivate you.
It’s important to keep the integrity of Uber’s system intact. Falsifying rides and putting fake vomit on your floor to collect a cleaning fee ruins what Uber has tried to build these past 6 years.
While there will always be some kind of thought difference between Uber and the driver, we should not try to perform fraudulent activities out of it.
Means for deactivation would include actions like:
Deliberately increasing time or distance of a trip.
Accepting trips without intention to complete them.
Provoking riders to cancel trips on you.
Creating dummy driver or rider accounts for fraudulent use.
Claiming fraudulent fees or charges like false cleaning fees.
Intentionally completing fraudulent or falsified trips.
Safety is a concern no matter what type of business you run. In the case of ridesharing, it’s extremely important. Anytime someone gets in your car they are putting their life in your hands.
For this reason you could temporarily be suspended while under investigation from a customer complaint. If Uber finds nothing then no biggie, but if they do this will lead to permanent deactivation from the platform.
Uber’s Code Of Conduct
Both drivers and riders have to agree to Uber’s code of conduct before they can accept or take rides on Uber’s platform. Doing this helps create a respectful, nice environment.
Anytime you violate Uber’s code of conduct it’s grounds for deactivation.
Some examples would be like aggressive behavior or illegal drugs.
Uber Has A Zero Tolerance No Drugs & Alcohol Policy
Really, this should be common sense. Even if you were driving by yourself you aren’t supposed to be under the influence of anything. So keep it that way.
If caught you will be suspended indefinitely from the app. Several unconfirmed complaints could also cause deactivation. So, try not to act like a drunk either.
Rules Of The Road – Stay Compliant
It’s not just Uber’s rules you have to follow. You also need to make sure you are following local, state, and federal laws as well. This means keeping up to date with your driver’s license, insurance, and car registration. As well as, following traffic control laws like speed limits, red lights, etc…
If you can’t stay up to date and have too many violations for not following the rules of the road Uber won’t have a choice but to cut you off from the app.
You’re a hazard on the road and to0 unsafe of a driver to be trusted with someone else’s life.
This goes with everything above that I’ve already said. If you are receiving complaints for poor, unsafe, or distracted driving you won’t be driving for Uber much longer.
No Firearms Allowed
I think we have all heard about the last Uber driver that decided to carry a gun to work. Things turned into a massacre and it just wasn’t cool.
Guns are a big no-no and will make you lose access to the app if caught having one. If the reason you want to carry a gun around is for your protection then find a new method.
I’ve always recommended pepper spray. Tough to shoot someone or stab them when you are blinded by a burning sensation.
Accurate Personal Information
There are a few safety measures Uber takes to make sure you are safe and getting in the correct vehicle as a rider. Some of those things would be like your name, car your driving, profile picture, License plate number.
Riders use this information to make sure they don’t get into a vehicle that claims is their driver but really isn’t.
Giving Uber false information, Using unapproved vehicles, or letting other people use your driver account will cause confusion for the rider and get you permanently suspended from driving with Uber.
The information given needs to be accurate or the rider might think you’re some kidnapper and not trust you to get in.
In order to drive every driver must be screened through a DMV check and background check to make sure your records are clean and don’t violate any of Uber’s policies.
Even if you passed the first time, every once in a while Uber will need to go through the process again to stay up to date on your information.
If your driving record changes or background history changes for the worse you will get deactivated.
Activities Not Allowed
Uber uses a cashless system where all the transactions are done through the app. This means any kind of activities outside of this cashless system is forbidden.
This includes examples like street hailing rides, soliciting for fares outside the Uber app, as well as any kind of activity that harms Uber’s brand or the business.
Unauthorized use of Uber’s trademarks and intellectual property, and violating your Uber driver agreement with Uber will cause deactivation as well.
“Uber’s mission is to connect riders to transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere for everyone. We do not tolerate discrimination on our platform.”-Uber
I think what Uber says is pretty straightforward with why you would be deactivated.
Their mission is to connect everyone everywhere to a reliable transportation system, and it would be impossible to achieve that mission if you didn’t let every type of person in your car that requested a ride.
Blacks, Mexicans, Whites, All religions, poor people, rich people, blind people, fat people, skinny people, Straight people, gay people, transgender people, and any other kind of person you can think of cannot be denied a ride because of who they are or where they come from.
1.) It’s the law!
2.) It’s the moral thing to do.
If you are the type of person that discriminates you will not be driving for long.
This also includes service animals for people with disabilities. If you do not like animals on your car seats then I recommend storing a towel or blanket in the trunk that you can use to cover the seat in case one does get in your car.
If the person says it’s their service animal you cannot question them about it.
Getting Reactivated After Uber Deactivated You
The advantage now with Uber’s new deactivation policy is the fact that you will have a chance to correct your issues before Uber puts the hammer down on you.
However, in the case you truly are deactivated, if you can prove that you have corrected your issues (For example, taking a quality improvement course) then you will be reinstated.
As the settlement has just happened recently, Uber is still in the process of creating an appeals panel for the most controversial cases.
When everything is set up this will be one more way to help get yourself reactivated to drive for Uber.
For now, the best thing to do is email your local Uber support team to figure out the best way to rectify your situation.
It’s taken a long time for Uber drivers to get their voice heard and with this lawsuit settlement (Other lawsuits still going on) I feel this could be the stepping stone for all Uber drivers to feel confident things will get better.
Every company has their flaws and Uber admits they haven’t listened to us as much as they should.
This is good. This means progression for us.
With the transparency of having this new deactivation policy as well as the other things agreed upon in the settlement, I am looking forward to seeing what’s in store for us as drivers.
What are your thoughts?
How do you feel about finally being told your issues before getting thrown off the wagon by Uber?
Do you see enlightenment in this settlement?
Do you think this will help push Uber towards adding a tipping option in the Uber app?
Please leave your questions and comments below!