Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Major Uber driver app flaw

Last year, Uber redesigned their driver app. The best update ever occurred, UberX drivers could use in-app navigation, seconds after accepting a ride request, to reach clients without having to pull to the side of the road to input pickup addresses. This very cool feature put UberX drivers at the same level as Lyft and Sidecar. In the past several months, the Uber driver app regressed and eliminated another good feature that creates conflict with ending trips.

In the old Uber driver app, drivers could press a button to end a ride. Uber changed this "end trip" button to a slide like Lyft. Sure, there are no problem with sliding rides to end trips. However, clients who forget to input ride destinations and offer to navigate drivers may complicate this trip. Some drivers may forget to start trips and must submit a fare review. At this time, drivers will get lectured to avoid making this mistake. This is not as frustrating as the next app problem.

Once the slide button made its debut, drivers couldn't backtrack on ending trips. This is a problem. If clients don't communicate with their drivers on multiple destinations, then there drivers may slide the button to end this ride. Once the button slides to end the ride, there is no way to reverse this to restart a trip. In the past, a warning prompt appeared to ask whether a driver wanted to end this trip or continue on. This feature could save a driver from losing money, as fare reviews can reduce the amount of extended trips.

An UberX driver ended a trip in the East Bay. Seconds later, their client informed the driver this trip would continue on. Therefore, the driver knew they would be submitting a fare review on this trip. With an extra 2 miles to travel, the fare review actually reduced the cost of the original trip. It didn't make sense to submit a fare review and have a trip reduced by a dollar, especially when the driver traveled another 2 miles. There is obviously a flaw with Uber applying a route and generating an estimated trip price.

Don't make any mistakes ending trips. For the most part, Uber driver app change to end trips is worse than ever. A good rule of thumb is to ask clients whether they require multiple drop-offs. By doing this, drivers will avoid ending trips prematurely.

The driver app doesn't allow drivers to decline ending a trip. Once the slide button ends a trip, the system will require the driver to rate their client. There is no "Yes" or "No" prompt to prevent a trip from ending. It is not always a seamless process to notify Uber of trip fare reviews. During surges, a revised trips may reduce your potential earnings associated with waiting time, traffic, and other delays. All Uber support does is apply an estimate trip review based on expected distance and time. If you waited with the client for 60 minutes, you will lose these earnings.

Stay alert. Respect your time. Request the warning prompt to return. We know removing this feature has caused trip issues. It will be a problem once you end a trip and the client requests a long ride. At this time, you can have them request you again. It is the only good way to take this trip without losing time and money. However, if you had an active surge in a previous ride and the surge dropped, then you may want to consider submitting a fare review to receive compensation at the surge price.

This end trip problem can also apply to clients who requested rides without surge pricing and now there is a surge after ending a trip. Always favor the client, as much as possible. Don't adopt unethical practices that will cost riders additional money. Contact Uber via the driver app and explain this trip issue. They will do their best to revise this trip to accommodate both drivers and clients.

Happy Ubering!