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Monday, November 02, 2015

Halloween night driving the best night to make money

On Halloween night, Uber clients were some of the best in the past few years. Most of these clients were nice, respectful and friendly. It is rare that a night of wild fun could result in smooth trips.

In San Francisco, Uber drivers were treated to surge fares the entire night. Mostly all trips were taken under surge pricing, some which cost more than several short rides taken on normal weekend nights.

The fear that most Uber drivers have is vomit. When drunk clients vomit, like they do on New Year's Eve and other holidays, then drivers lose money. Uber won't cover lost hours. It is not worth experiencing a vomit episode under current policy standards.

In the past, a driver had to spent hours cleaning up vomit chunks left behind by belligerent riders. On one occasion, an Uber support member made it clear that $100 was the maximum compensation.

This Uber member informed the Uber driver that most drivers who clean vomit receive $30-$60 in compensation. They don't get paid any money for lost hours. Imagine how much money would lost if a vomit episode occurred on Halloween night, where surge pricing remained in effect throughout the night? It would be the worst disaster to take the road and watch a client vomit in your ride.

Uber will only cover direct cleaning costs - a receipt is required. Drivers must contact Uber within 48 hours to report vomiting clients. We don't have any idea what Uber charges the client, nor do we know if a portion of this charge is kept. Some drivers and clients shared that Uber collected a few hundred from them after vomit episodes.

One particular Uber support employee refused to pay out greater than $100 for a vomit episode. He made it clear that Uber policies restricted higher payouts and that no compensation would be received for missed hours. It is unfair for Uber drivers to clean vomit. Worse of all, Uber drivers could lose hundreds of dollars waiting to clean their vehicles. On busy nights, hundreds could be lost from missing busy hours. On hourly promotions, drivers would miss these guaranteed earnings. 5 hours of missing work on a guaranteed $60 an hour would equal $300+.

Lyft drivers receive $250 for vomit episodes. This ridesharing company doesn't request a lot of information. They don't require the driver to get a receipt. In a way, Lyft drivers want their riders to vomit. It can make up for a slow night.

Do the best you can to avoid vomit episodes on high demand nights. It doesn't matter what time of the day a driver transports a rider. Vomit episodes can occur during the morning, daytime, afternoon and evening. Before starting a trip, Know whether your rider is excessively drunk.

A few weeks ago, an Uber driver got lucky to spot a drunk rider. He drove the couple carefully, preventing this drunk rider from moving back and forth. Once this Uber driver dropped these two clients off, 10 second later the male client vomited on the sidewalk, next to several college students. This driver got lucky to avoid this awful mess, which would have cost him hundreds. The drawback of this vomit mess would be a nasty cleanup that could ruin the interior.

This past Halloween night attracted the best Uber clients in San Francisco. These riders were not excessively drunk, showed respect and actually engaged in conversation with their drivers and other riders (UberPool). Those drivers who took part in these hourly guarantees benefited from servicing San Francisco. Fast pickups, surge pricing, and constant demand made driving on Halloween worthwhile.

San Francisco drivers who went online at 6pm and drove up to 3am could've made a guaranteed $390 (10 hours of driving) in gross earnings, before commission and fees. The total payout could exceed these earnings, as drivers may see higher priced fares beyond hourly guarantees.

Think about working next Halloween. On this night, there is high earning potential. In case of vomit episodes, be prepared to bring cleaning supplies. Always bring vomit bags to give drunk clients. Clients may vomit in bags, and then allow this vomit to spill in your backseat. Keep an eye on drunk riders to avoid this nasty mess.