Calling to ask destination before pickup

Old Sep 14, 17, 6:41 pm
  #1  
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Calling to ask destination before pickup

I am seeing more and more of this behaviour and it is driving me bonkers.

- 3/4 of the time I can't even understand the driver on the phone

- It's specifically against Uber policy to do this

- The only reason they do it is to not pick up.some.people

Putting drivers on notice - Whenever a driver calls me before pickup, they are AUTOMATICALLY getting a Max of 3 stars from me. I have zero time for this. Having to deal with stuff like this is what drove me to app based hailing in the first place.

Am I alone?
brunes is offline  
Old Sep 15, 17, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by brunes View Post
I am seeing more and more of this behaviour and it is driving me bonkers.

- 3/4 of the time I can't even understand the driver on the phone

- It's specifically against Uber policy to do this

- The only reason they do it is to not pick up.some.people

Putting drivers on notice - Whenever a driver calls me before pickup, they are AUTOMATICALLY getting a Max of 3 stars from me. I have zero time for this. Having to deal with stuff like this is what drove me to app based hailing in the first place.

Am I alone?
I'm a driver and I generally hate this practice as well. It is awkward and rude. However, a good driver will still call you to verify your pickup location if it's in a busy location or they think the pin is off. Do you really want to give 3 stars for that? Also, please understand that sometimes a driver may come from a long distance away to get you, unpaid. Rates are absurdly low as they are with normal pickup times, unless there's a decent surge. No one wants to invest so much time picking someone for such a low fare. You should reward the drivers that do get you without screening you with a tip.

Also, some drivers want to make sure riders are coherent and will not be problem children
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Old Sep 16, 17, 1:35 am
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Just FYI, some airports (such as ORD) require drivers to call to make sure that the passenger is standing in the correct area because picking up anywhere else would result in a fine for the driver. I took Ubers and Lyfts from ORD, and each and every driver called me to make sure I was in one of the designated Rideshare Zones as these are the only places where they were allowed to pick up. None of them could pick me up from the Hilton as the Hilton was on airport property.

Another tip is to try Lyft. It's not allowed on Lyft either (with exceptions, such as airports like ORD), and if reported, the driver gets in trouble. With Uber, (assuming you are based in the US) the complaint goes to someone in Manila, Philippines whose job is to figure out which button to click to send out a canned response.
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Old Sep 16, 17, 1:48 am
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I took 2 Lyfts out of ORD in July and neither driver called me in advance. So unless there's a very recent policy change or both my drivers were noncompliant, ORD does not require advance calling.

The last time a driver called me was when police activity was blocking traffic on his way to pick me up. I appreciated that information. I'm obviously not inclined to take a call just to make sure I'm "coherent."
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Old Sep 16, 17, 3:34 am
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
I took 2 Lyfts out of ORD in July and neither driver called me in advance. So unless there's a very recent policy change or both my drivers were noncompliant, ORD does not require advance calling.

The last time a driver called me was when police activity was blocking traffic on his way to pick me up. I appreciated that information. I'm obviously not inclined to take a call just to make sure I'm "coherent."
I hear you but and generally agree but... The last passenger I took out of ATL was outside of the designated zone. You get a 6th sense about this kind of thing after doing a number of trips.

I did screen the call, destination, etc because ATL cops setup stings. It was cold and wet (Irma fallout) and I did not want to force a legit passenger to walk somewhere else.

You sir (ma'am) have probably never ordered an Uber at last call. Coherent screening is important if you don't want to waste time playing Marco Polo with your passenger. Even more importantly the coherency test will keep your car vomit free.

@davie355 @brunes The driver can not see the destination when the call comes in. This matters in 2 scenarios:
  1. I got a call 20 mins away and I ignored it. Apparently no one else existed because I got it 2 more times. After accepting and heading in the direction I called to warn I was 20 mins away. The passenger said he was going 3 blocks, apologized, and self-cancelled. What was the alternative to calling? (admittedly I was diplomatic but the destination question was coming)
  2. I did not screen a call that I should not have gotten (many closer drivers) I arrived, started the trip, and they were going out of state! Now having wasted my time and theirs I had to kick them out of my car. What was the alternative to calling?
It's rare and I don't know where or how it happened to you. Uber/Lyft is beta testing warnings:
  1. Minimum money in pocket for driver for long distance pick-ups
  2. Warning that destination is over 45 mins away (destination is still hidden)

The destination was hidden so drivers would stop ignoring 3 mile trips. Honestly I think there are so many drivers (and so many newbies) that the destination could/should come back.

What are your solutions?
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Old Sep 16, 17, 5:11 am
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Originally Posted by Iwantmy240 View Post
Also, please understand that sometimes a driver may come from a long distance away to get you, unpaid. Rates are absurdly low as they are with normal pickup times, unless there's a decent surge. No one wants to invest so much time picking someone for such a low fare. You should reward the drivers that do get you without screening you with a tip.

Also, some drivers want to make sure riders are coherent and will not be problem children
They're not calling for pickup location. They are calling and specifically asking "where are you going". They do it to avoid short fares. Which is why Uber has this against their policy, so they dont end up in the same mess as taxii companies.RE being unpaid to pick up passengers, this is a problem to take up with Uber, not try to screw passengers for.
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Last edited by brunes; Sep 16, 17 at 5:25 am
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Old Sep 18, 17, 6:59 pm
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Originally Posted by brunes View Post
They're not calling for pickup location. They are calling and specifically asking "where are you going". They do it to avoid short fares. Which is why Uber has this against their policy, so they dont end up in the same mess as taxii companies.RE being unpaid to pick up passengers, this is a problem to take up with Uber, not try to screw passengers for.
Short fares are avoided because Uber refuses to adjust the pricing structure to properly compensate for these types of fares. That is what surge is supposed to be for but they have artificially suppressed those rates as well. Although we are independent contractors and not employees, Uber will not allow market forces to set an appropriate rate that is agreeable to all parties. They have surge pricing but they have been known to artificially manipulate it to the drivers detriment through use of subsidies.

We have no one to complain to. Uber corporate is a ghost that no one seems sure that they exist. We can submit feedback on the app but who knows if they read it. Uber has created this monster with their insanely low rates. Until that changes the level of service will continue to deteriorate. Hopefully changes come with the new CEO. Until then, consider tipping any driver who does go out of the way for you.
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Old Sep 19, 17, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by Iwantmy240 View Post
Short fares are avoided because Uber refuses to adjust the pricing structure to properly compensate for these types of fares. That is what surge is supposed to be for but they have artificially suppressed those rates as well. Although we are independent contractors and not employees, Uber will not allow market forces to set an appropriate rate that is agreeable to all parties. They have surge pricing but they have been known to artificially manipulate it to the drivers detriment through use of subsidies.

We have no one to complain to. Uber corporate is a ghost that no one seems sure that they exist. We can submit feedback on the app but who knows if they read it. Uber has created this monster with their insanely low rates. Until that changes the level of service will continue to deteriorate. Hopefully changes come with the new CEO. Until then, consider tipping any driver who does go out of the way for you.
We should tip drivers who merely adhere to the employment policies by which they agreed to abide when hired?
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Old Sep 20, 17, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by Iwantmy240 View Post
Short fares are avoided because Uber refuses to adjust the pricing structure to properly compensate for these types of fares. That is what surge is supposed to be for but they have artificially suppressed those rates as well. Although we are independent contractors and not employees, Uber will not allow market forces to set an appropriate rate that is agreeable to all parties. They have surge pricing but they have been known to artificially manipulate it to the drivers detriment through use of subsidies.

We have no one to complain to. Uber corporate is a ghost that no one seems sure that they exist. We can submit feedback on the app but who knows if they read it. Uber has created this monster with their insanely low rates. Until that changes the level of service will continue to deteriorate. Hopefully changes come with the new CEO. Until then, consider tipping any driver who does go out of the way for you.
Isn't this the basis for free market economics. If you don't like Uber's payment rates as a driver, don't use them; select another service.

If you like surge, honestly, you have zero reason to complain or a leg to stand on about base rates.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico View Post
We should tip drivers who merely adhere to the employment policies by which they agreed to abide when hired?
I really don't get the anti tipping sentiment displayed by some on this forum.

Do you remember taxis? You had to tell dispatch where you were and where you were going and if it was to rural or you were too far out then tough luck.

The Uber/Lyft driver has no idea how far you are going or how much he/she will make.

The passenger however knows that they paid less than $10 and that the driver just drove for 20 mins to make peanuts and possibly less than what he spent to get there.

Why? Why not tip a dollar or two to show gratitude that the driver was willing to go that far?

Keep in mind every time this happens to a new driver that's one more driver who swears off long distance pick ups or who starts to call and ask for the destination.

No one likes a garbage driver so why treat them like trash?
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Old Sep 20, 17, 12:46 pm
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Originally Posted by john2g1 View Post
I really don't get the anti tipping sentiment displayed by some on this forum.

Do you remember taxis? You had to tell dispatch where you were and where you were going and if it was to rural or you were too far out then tough luck.

The Uber/Lyft driver has no idea how far you are going or how much he/she will make.

The passenger however knows that they paid less than $10 and that the driver just drove for 20 mins to make peanuts and possibly less than what he spent to get there.

Why? Why not tip a dollar or two to show gratitude that the driver was willing to go that far?

Keep in mind every time this happens to a new driver that's one more driver who swears off long distance pick ups or who starts to call and ask for the destination.

No one likes a garbage driver so why treat them like trash?
Paying what you agreed to pay is treating them like trash?

You keep ignoring the fact that drivers are driving for Uber voluntarily... there is nobody holding a gun to their head telling them they have to do this. If they don't like their compensation, they can negotiate with their employer (contractor) or go perform a different job.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by john2g1 View Post
I really don't get the anti tipping sentiment displayed by some on this forum.

Do you remember taxis? You had to tell dispatch where you were and where you were going and if it was to rural or you were too far out then tough luck.

The Uber/Lyft driver has no idea how far you are going or how much he/she will make.

The passenger however knows that they paid less than $10 and that the driver just drove for 20 mins to make peanuts and possibly less than what he spent to get there.

Why? Why not tip a dollar or two to show gratitude that the driver was willing to go that far?

Keep in mind every time this happens to a new driver that's one more driver who swears off long distance pick ups or who starts to call and ask for the destination.

No one likes a garbage driver so why treat them like trash?
I really don't get why I must pay you an additional tip if I do not wish to because you or your colleagues did not provide what I deemed good service because you opted for a job that pays you peanuts for a 20 minute drive.

I use uber because it allows me to pay peanuts for that 20 minute drive. Hell in the Dominican Republic I paid less than 5 bucks for a 40 minute drive. it was lovely.
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Old Sep 20, 17, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Diplomatico View Post
We should tip drivers who merely adhere to the employment policies by which they agreed to abide when hired?
Drivers aren't employees, so we arent required to do anything other than keep cancellation rates to a minimum, provide a safe ride using our own resources, and not do anything illegal or stupid while on the job. A driver can choose to ignore or cancel any requests deemed to be unprofitable. Only ones who accept such requests are newbies that don't know better or desperate drivers willing to work for peanuts
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Old Sep 21, 17, 6:49 am
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Originally Posted by john2g1 View Post
I really don't get the anti tipping sentiment displayed by some on this forum.

Do you remember taxis? You had to tell dispatch where you were and where you were going and if it was to rural or you were too far out then tough luck.

The Uber/Lyft driver has no idea how far you are going or how much he/she will make.

The passenger however knows that they paid less than $10 and that the driver just drove for 20 mins to make peanuts and possibly less than what he spent to get there.

Why? Why not tip a dollar or two to show gratitude that the driver was willing to go that far?

Keep in mind every time this happens to a new driver that's one more driver who swears off long distance pick ups or who starts to call and ask for the destination.

No one likes a garbage driver so why treat them like trash?
Since you responded to my post, I'll respond to yours.

I never said I was "anti-tipping". You decided that. Tipping someone for following company policy is ridiculous....tips are designed to be a gratuity for excellent service and not a bribe to get one to provide a minimal level of service.

I'm not going to tip an Uber driver for being sooooo generous as to deem me worthy of his precious time.
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Old Sep 21, 17, 8:51 am
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The whole tipping debate is about what is generally accepted practice, not that things are better in some other country.

I would prefer that Uber & Lyft raise their prices by 20% and be done with it. But, they won't because they can't collude on pricing and people look at base fares.

As to calling about destination, that is a function of neither Uber nor Lyft providing the destination to the driver until the pickup occurs. I get that someone who is ending their "shift" or whatever you want to call it, and lives to the West, does not want to take a fare going 40 miles to the East. I would prefer that the driver could simply not accept (or reject) the assignment before waiting.

If all of this stuff bugs you, these are ride-sharing services and the drivers (at least of the lower end services are not professionals). Just take a taxi or a car service and be done with it. If you are taking one of the basic services to save money, accept that you don't get a trained limo driver for half the price of a cab.
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