Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ridesharing Vomit Policies

Courtesy of Lyft passenger dressed in Sheep costume for Halloween 2013

Ridesharing and vomit are a match made in Hell. Drivers are expected to clean this disgusting mess. What makes vomiting worse is loss of earnings. Ridesharing drivers are not compensated for vomit disasters. They must clean this mess on their own. Fortunately, there is a cleaning agreement set in the terms and conditions of the ridesharing app. Uber, Lyft and Sidecar set policies on the handling of vomit cleaning, such as what fees will be charged to the rider account owner. 

How do the three ridesharing giants handle vomit events? At Sidecar, we never heard of any drivers reporting vomit episodes. However, this ridesharing company does reimburse drivers for vomit episodes. We will investigate to find out how much Sidecar pays out to drivers for vomit episodes. 

It is common for UberX clients and Lyft passengers to vomit inside vehicles. These riders don't care about drivers and their personal vehicles. A vomit episode is the most disrespectful aspect of ridesharing. Drivers can inform riders they have vomit bags and plastic bags available in the side door panels. Nevertheless, these clients/passengers are too proud to admit they are drunk. These riders would rather vomit in vehicles than to warn drivers of their inability to hold liquor. 

Why should riders care if these vehicles are not theirs? They should because Lyft passengers and UberX clients will get charged a cleaning fee. You agree to the terms and conditions of this ridesharing app. It is stated that any mess left behind can incur a cleaning cost. If you leave behind vomit and your driver must clean this terrible mess, they lose money, time and this ruins their personal vehicle. Ridesharing companies don't compensate drivers for lost earnings. It is a poor policy that impacts all drivers performing ridesharing services. 

The worst ridesharing platform is UberX. They will only cover direct cleaning costs. If this vomit episode occurs on a weekend night, good luck cleaning this mess and receiving a fair reimbursement. If you clean this mess yourself, Uber will give you $30-40, or maybe $100, if you're lucky. That's it! You have to clean this mess or risk this vomit damaging your interior space. Maximize this cleaning cost by taking your vehicle into a car cleaning service shop. Uber has a horrible cleaning policy. 

Imagine how much money is lost with vomit episodes. Drivers who work during peak time hours and on guaranteed hourly promotions, will lose out big. How many Uber vehicles across the world are stalled out from vomiting clients? We suspect there are quite a few drivers scooping out smelly vomit chunks from their seat, floor, and crevices of their interior. Don't be surprised to find riders hanging out the window, vomiting all over your exterior and interior space. At Uber, this happens.

On the opposing side, Lyft has a favorable flat rate cleaning cost in place. Passengers who vomit inside vehicles must pay $250, which is charged to the rider account. Drivers can at least salvage their shift, choosing to end the night prematurely. They can get professional cleaning performed the next day. This is the right way to treat drivers, unlike Uber rushing to make reimbursements without consulting their driver on a fare reimbursement.  

Lyft wins the vomit game. Uber is the vomit that soaks into vehicle interior crevices. They mistreat their drivers for reimbursing disrespectful amounts without at least asking their drivers what they want to do. How can Uber support assume a vomit mess cleaned up by a driver is actually 100 percent clean. Shouldn't the case be left open until this driver can have professional cleaning performed to remove vomit? Uber support doesn't think this way. They wait a few days to even respond to this vomit mess. 

It is always the same story with Uber. We'll respond 3-4 days later on a lost client phone and instruct drivers on what to do. Drivers know better than to wait for Uber support to make pickup arrangements. These drivers take it upon themselves to return these phones to their owners. Uber's vomit and cleaning policy is bottom line, bottom of the barrel. 

If you drive for UberX, watch out for drunk clients. Just know that if this client vomits in your vehicle, you will lose money and must clean up this mess yourself. All Uber will reimburse drivers for is direct cleaning costs. When will a driver have time to schedule professional cleaning? If this happens on a weekend night and they don't have money, they are doomed. 

With Lyft, their vomit policy is the best in the ridesharing industry. They automatically reimburse drivers $250 to cover cleaning costs. Take a picture of vomit mess, capture screenshot of passenger, and write a summary. It is as simple as that. 

Sidecar vomit policy is to reimburse the driver. As mentioned earlier, we will look more into what Sidecar pays out for vomit messes. 

Ridesharing drivers must expect vomit encounters. It's a very low probability to have a vomiting rider, but don't let these statistics fool you. One driver shared that 3 people (one on Lyft and two on UberX) vomited in two different cars within a year. On UberX, one rider left her saliva in a vomit bag that oozed on his leather seats. Another rider asked the driver to pull over on a side street to vomit. On another occasion, a rider asked to pull over on a corner street in Pacific Heights, where she vomited in front of a million dollar home. Vomit happens. 

This driver is lucky to only experience these vomit episodes in 2000 rides. However, one of the worst vomit events occurred when the San Francisco Giants played Game 3 of the World Series in San Francisco. The client's friend vomited on the back floor and on the seat of a luxury ride. On Lyft, a girl dressed in a sheep costume took a Lyft and projected her vomit all over the interior space of the backseat. This was by far the worst experience ever for this driver. On Uber, two male clients took a ride back from a wedding and one rider vomited outside of this moving vehicle while on the freeway. The vomit got all over the window, on the car body, on the side of the door and on the floor. Bad experiences!  

Expect the worst, plan for the best. Bring cleaning supplies. Know how to clean this mess to continue driving. Don't let Uber's poor policies for vomiting clients ruin your day/night. Uber doesn't care enough about drivers to cover lost earnings. They will only cover direct cleaning costs. The more Uber clients who vomit, the more drivers lose out money and ruin their vehicles. At least Lyft is more favorable with helping their drivers to recover from vomiting events.  

Good luck and watch out.