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Monday, October 20, 2014

Spoiled Ridesharing Clients

Recently, a ridesharing client asked why no drivers are available in the early morning hours. She claimed that drivers are usually 3 minutes away from her home. However, the driver who accepted her request was 7 minutes away. Spoiled clients assume drivers will be camping outside their door.

What is the difference between 3 minutes and 7 minutes? Are clients that impatient and privileged to think drivers are parked next to their home. This client lives in the outer Richmond District. In requesting a ride at 3:50 am and a driver accepting it, this client should be thankful they could be taken to the airport on-time. 

However, the client revealed how spoiled riders are impacting the ridesharing system. They depend on ETAs displayed on app interfaces that are unreliable. A driver can arrive at this pickup location, and the rideshare app is telling the client their driver is 3 minutes away.

How is this efficient? Clients will call drivers to request their locations and if they will pick them up. However, this driver is already outside their home. Can we really depend on ETAs? 

Most drivers are respectful enough to give their clients time to get ready. Their usual practice may be to send a text message that informs the client they are waiting outside of this requested address and to let me know if this location is right. If this address is wrong, they will drive to another pickup address. If this client doesn't respond, a driver may call them. 

Why are ridesharing clients spoiled? The ridesharing industry caused this entitlement. Drivers may adopt a theme to spoil clients, so riders take this treatment for granted. Spoiled clients misunderstand the ridesharing platform, believing that drivers should be available at all times and be positioned a mere 2 minutes away from their destination, even though this location is probably unpopular. 

It's puzzling to think that clients will cancel rides based on inaccurate ETAs. Should they know a driver positioned at a light between South Van Ness and Lombard can reach their Marina home in 2 minutes? Why cancel a ride request from 5 minutes out to get a 3 minute driver? 

Clients run late and shift blame to their drivers for their punctuality problems. We hear clients rush drivers, requesting them to make stop lights faster and to speed up. Ridesharing drivers are not race car drivers. This is a ridesharing service that must follow the traffic laws. 

Some clients think ridesharing is a game. It is not. Independent drivers choose areas to drive within. If clients are lucky, driver can make a drop-offs near this area and they can get a faster pickup time. In this case, ridesharing drivers are not swirling around Sunset and Richmond districts in the late PM and early AM. They just so happen to be there, as riders request trips to these areas. 

Ridesharing drivers are asking for a little leeway with ETAs. The ETA features on apps are not totally accurate. We can't rely on ETAs from these apps. Even Google Maps can delay ETAs on bridges. When there are traffic jams, road closures, closed ramps and other delays, these events can cause time issues. 

Would you rather wait for a taxi that may never come? Or can you accept that a driver must travel to retrieve you, and this does not instantly happen? All days are different. Drivers can be available one day at a particular time, and then the next day there is a shortage in supply. 

A driver who is 2 miles away won't arrive in 90 seconds. Be patient and understand that drivers are not computers. Don't rate drivers with low stars for being late. Accept accountability and request a future ride early. Spoiled ridesharing clients impact the ridesharing industry.