Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Expose all clients who refuse to follow seat capacity limits

Ridesharing clients take advantage of ridesharing drivers. These clients put drivers in terrible predicaments, such as contributing to bus zone tickets, taxi/bus turn tickets, speeding tickets, and potential citations for exceeding seat capacity, open alcohol containers, and drug use. Most clients don't care if their driver gets cited; that is the truth. Ridesharing is a high-risk job that can cost you money, especially with clients refusing to obey the laws.

An UberX client caused a driver to get a bus zone ticket. She told the driver to remain outside of the bus line because she needed additional time to locate an address. This event took place a few months prior to Uber integrating in-app navigation and rider destination. A one to two minute wait proved costly, as an SF parking control officer snapped a photo of this vehicle outside of the bus lane and cited this driver with a $271 ticket. Since then, this unpaid parking ticket has increased to $380 and will eventually block their registration. Uber had no comment concerning this event.

On many occasions, UberX clients drink beer and hard liquor in Uber rides. Drivers fear telling these riders to stop drinking in their cars, because the rating system favors the client. For the most part, drivers will get deactivated based on clients submitting low stars. However, low-rated clients are permitted to remain on ridesharing platforms. We heard clients with 3.0 star ratings are out there taking UberX rides. 3.5, 3.7, 4.0 Uber clients exist, but drivers with less than 4.6 will not.

The double standard in ridesharing is against drivers. Clients who curse and continue to use the "F" word and even yell obscenities out the window toward dining female guests, are given 5 stars out of fear these clients will retaliate with a low star rating against drivers. Clients know when their star rating drops, so they can wait to submit a bad rating later on. They have a 24-hour to submit a rating. However, drivers must rate clients soon after closing a trip in order to continue giving rides.

The most problematic issue in ridesharing are riders who refuse to follow traffic laws. Seat capacity requirements exist to ensure the safety of all passengers. Nonetheless, clients push the envelope to exceed this seat capacity to serve their needs. They want to stack double the seat limit in ridesharing vehicles. One client's friend begged to sit inside the trunk and wouldn't stop threatening the driver to allow this. The driver refused to accept these two riders to sit in the trunk. This is pathetic! It is despicable that drivers must be put into these situations to make a few dollars.

Clients are not conspicuous when breaking these traffic laws. They attempt to hang out the window, move around, are loud, and harass pedestrians on the road. Taxi drivers crave for an opportunity to report a ridesharing driver breaking the rules. Exceeding seat capacity is a good argument to eliminate ridesharing services. Clients refuse to listen. All the blame is pointed at ridesharing drivers. Drivers will ruin their driving record in result of these violating riders breaking traffic laws.

The star rating system is so unfair, this is another double standard that hurts the ridesharing industry. If a client decides they want to submit a low rating and affect a driver, they have the power to do this and deactivate drivers. These clients voiced their willingness to terminate drivers in media website comment sections. A client with a 3.0-4.5 star rating is permitted to continue using UberX. Nevertheless, drivers who dips below 4.6 are given a choice to quit or undergo a 4-week probationary period where weekly ratings are closely monitored and deactivation may be inevitable.

All UberX drivers need to report clients refusing to obey seating requirements. No more than 4 riders can ride in 5-seat vehicles. Drivers shouldn't have to dispute clients who demand 7-8 riders. Common sense would tell most people it is unsafe to overseat vehicles. Why should irresponsible clients care whether they ruin the lives of ridesharing drivers? Their selfish antics represent the reason good drivers get deactivated from Lyft and Uber.

In the Uber driver app, there is a prompt that shows "help" in the middle. Enter this previous trip. Click on the "help" option. Select that you had a problem with the client. Choose the seating requirement option to report the client exceeded the capacity. Uber will deal with this client accordingly. Hopefully, violating clients get deactivated just like drivers are in such situations.

Don't allow clients to step on you. It is your livelihood to maintain a good driving record free of blemishes. Imagine overseating a ridesharing vehicle with open containers and passing through a sobriety checkpoint, which last weekend there was one between Ashby and Telegraph near Berkeley and Oakland. Ridesharing drivers could possibly get arrested, towed and would receive a major infraction on their driving record.

Uber would likely deactivate drivers under these conditions all because of irresponsible clients. There is very little mediation involved to favor drivers. Most drivers are expendable, in a sense that there are thousands of activated ridesharing drivers ready to give rides at any time. There won't be a fight to save drivers who get into bad situations, receive unfair star ratings, and get into major accidents.

Refuse to seat extra riders. Tell the client you can't accept more than the maximum seat capacity. They will need to order a second Uber vehicle or request an UberXL. It is not worth making chump change on any ride in which clients refuse to follow the rules. In such cases, drivers face potentially ruining their lives, even worse, taking a life if an accident takes place from overseating vehicles.

Don't take a risk. Report all violating clients who pressure you into seating more riders. Let Uber and Lyft handle these client/passenger accounts.