9 Things Uber Passengers Do That Just Ain’t Right (And What You as a Driver Can Do to Rise Above!)
As a rideshare driver, there are certain things you can control. You can control the cleanliness of your vehicle. You can control your own manners and demeanor. You can control your expenses—more or less.
As for what you can’t control? Well, traffic, naturally. And weather. But more than anything else, the one big variable in your rideshare experience is your passengers.
Thankfully, most Uber and Lyft drivers report that their passengers behave pretty well—but every now and again, you’ll get someone who does stuff that just drives you crazy. Here are some of the most common offenses, as well as some tips on coping.
Leaving You a Weak Review—for No Reason at All
Most passengers still don’t understand that drivers really need five-star scores—and that even a four-star score is considered pretty bad. And one-star reviews? Well, those are obviously the worst—yet some passengers will leave them, and for no reason at all.
When that happens, don’t fret, and don’t lose your cool. Unless it’s happening on a routine basis, it’s clearly not you—just a weird, wonky passenger. Keep focusing on doing a great job, and getting stellar reviews to balance out those duds. At the end of the day, you can’t stop people from leaving bad reviews; if you’re not giving them any reason to do so, well, that’s all that can be expected of you.
Making the Driver Wait
It’s just good manners: Don’t order a ride unless you’re more or less walking out your door, ready to jump into the car. But passengers don’t always follow that rule, and sometimes can waste their drivers’ precious time.
Whatever you do, don’t start the ride until your passenger is in the car. Do feel free to reach out to the passenger—not in a pushy way, but just letting them know you’re ready when they are! Often, that’ll put the right spring in their step.
Eating in the Car
Since Uber forces you to have a more-or-less-new vehicle, and since vehicle cleanliness is a key part of the experience, it can obviously be frustrating when passengers start munching on messy snack foods.
We don’t recommend snatching food out of anyone’s hands, but we do recommend keeping some cleaning supplies in your vehicle. A small Dust Buster, stowed in your trunk, can be an especially wise investment.
Getting Sick in Your Car
To be fair, this probably isn’t intentional, and a lot of the time people just can’t help it. But when you’re dealing with the after-hours crowd, drunkenness is going to be pretty common—and with it comes the possibility of a big mess in your back seat.
Again, there’s not necessarily anything you can do to prevent this, but you can be ready. Keep those vomit bags handy, and also invest in some good, washable rubber mats for your floorboards.
Making Personal Phone Calls
There’s nothing wrong with this per se—it just makes the driver feel a little awkward. You can crank up the music to drown it out, but that’s obviously rude. Or you can turn the music off, but then you feel like you’re eavesdropping. What’s a rideshare driver to do, anyway?
Generally speaking, we recommend the second approach—turn the music off to give them some peace and quiet. Yes, this can make you feel awkward, but hey, your passenger was the one who chose to have a call in your vehicle. Just downplay the awkwardness by not saying anything about the call or letting on that you were listening. (Even though, how could you not?)
Not Buckling Up
An Uber car is still a car, and no matter how safe the driver is, accidents can happen. Most passengers know this, and buckle up. Sometimes, though, you’ll get someone who doesn’t, and that can be worrisome.
This is actually a case where we’d recommend saying something, as kindly as possible, and then letting it go. You can’t force anyone to buckle up, but offering a friendly reminder is not out of place. If they choose to ignore you, well, you’ve done all you can do.
Trying to Cram Too Many People in Your Car
There are legal limits to the number of people you can fit into your vehicle, so you’re well within your rights to enforce those limits. Don’t allow people to treat your vehicle like it’s a clown car, but do offer to wait for them to get another car, if they need to split their party in half.
Changing the Music
You should always be willing to play the music your passengers request, rather than forcing them to listen to your own tunes—but still, it can be annoying when they reach up to change the dial without asking you.
Try to curb this by asking, right when they get into the vehicle, for any requests. Make it clear that you’re happy to play whatever they want to hear, and that all they need to do is ask.
Leaving Trash Behind
It’s going to happen. You can’t stop it. Your best bet here is to keep a discreet trash receptacle in your car, and empty it whenever you need to—or, whenever you park to use the bathroom or grab a quick bite to eat.
Dealing with Problem Passengers
There’s no real secret to dealing with passengers who behave poorly. You just sort of have to grin and bear it sometimes, remembering that you’re there to serve them—and that the better you do so, the more likely you are to get a decent rating and a tip.
One more thing: Rideshare driver forums and online communities can be invaluable here. Get advice on sticky situations you encounter, or just vent. You’ll quickly find that you’re not alone. Weird passengers are just part of the job—and the longer you drive, the less they’re likely to bug you.
How many of these can you check off? Are there any ‘UBER sins’ your passengers commit that are not on this list?