uber passengers smoking

How To Effectively Deal with Common Rider Issues

While working as an Uber or Lyft driver can be an extremely rewarding and lucrative job, it always pays to be prepared. Any customer-facing job will inevitably involve unexpected situations which means equipping yourself with as much knowledge as possible to keep both you and your riders safe and satisfied. Here’s a selection of the most common issues and how you can deal with them.

My Rider Is Late – How Long Should I Wait?

Both Uber and Lyft are recognized for offering an efficient service to meet rider needs, which is why riders are advised not to request a ride until they’re ready to take it. With both Uber and Lyft, after you arrive, you can cancel the ride after two minutes on shared rides, or five minutes for regular rides, if the passenger has not arrived. Riders will be charged a cancellation fee which is paid to you as compensation. While on Uber, you can cancel a ride at anytime, on Lyft, you now have to call the rider before you are allowed to cancel the ride. If they do not answer, you can access the pop-up option to mark them as a no-show after five minutes of waiting.

On Lyft, you are paid wait time from the moment you arrive to pick up your passenger. On Uber, you are paid wait time two minutes after you arrive to pick up your passenger. However, the waiting time rate on both Uber and Lyft are very low in every market. It simply doesn’t pay to keep waiting more than two minutes on shared Uber (UberPool) and Lyft (Lyft Line) rides, or five minutes on regular rides.

I Believe That My Rider Or Riders Are Underage

In the vast majority of cities, drivers are not permitted to take unaccompanied riders under the age of 18.

From Lyft.com:

The Lyft Platform may only be used by individuals who can form legally binding contracts under applicable law. The Lyft Platform is not available to children (persons under the age of 18) or Users who have had their User account temporarily or permanently deactivated. By becoming a User, you represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years old and that you have the right, authority and capacity to enter into and abide by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You may not allow other persons to use your User account, and you agree that you are the sole authorized user of your account.

From Uber.com:

In most cities, a rider must be at least 18 years of age to have an Uber account and request rides. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older on any ride.

If you think that the person requesting the ride is under 18, request they cancel. If they refuse, cancel the request yourself. Uber makes this simple in certain markets, as their cancel screen includes various reasons why a driver would cancel. Simply pick “unaccompanied minor”, complete the cancellation process and be on your way. You should receive a cancel fee shortly.

If this reason doesn’t appear on your Uber cancellation screen, wait the required five minutes, select no-show, and cancel. To be safe, send a quick email explaining the rider was a minor.

Uber driver cancel screen

With Lyft, you have to call the passenger first, then cancel the ride, and then email Lyft to tell them why. They’re usually quite receptive and will issue the cancellation fee. However, they could make the process a whole lot easier if they handled this situation like Uber.

My Rider Has Changed The Destination During The Trip Or Has Cancelled The Trip

If your rider changes the destination during the journey, that is completely acceptable. We suggest double-checking that you have picked up the right passenger if they make this request early in the journey. As Uber states: “Both driver-partners and riders can edit a trip’s final destination at any time before the driver-partner swipes End Trip.” This feature is not available on uberPOOL trips. As good practice, some drivers like to confirm the destination with riders at the start of every trip – and during the journey again if needed.

If a passenger cancels the ride during a trip, they are probably attempting to scam Uber or Lyft for a free ride. Sometimes, a driver won’t even notice when this happens until they arrive at the destination. If your ride cancels, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so, and ask the passenger to re-request or exit the vehicle. After the passenger is out, immediately email Lyft or Uber and explain what happened. Generally, neither company is big on passengers trying to scam free rides.

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My Lyft Or Uber Passengers Are Trying To Fit More Passengers Than Legally Allowed

Both Uber and Lyft only allow as many passengers as there are available seatbelts. Do not allow more than the permitted number of riders to enter the vehicle. Tell them you can take up to the number of available seatbelts, and they can call a second car for the rest of their party. Alternatively, they can cancel and order a larger vehicle that can fit their entire party. If neither is acceptable, cancel the ride. On Uber, select the “too many riders” option, and you’re good to go. On Lyft, you have to cancel, and then email Lyft and briefly explain the situation. A two or three line email should suffice.

My Lyft Or Uber Passengers Are Trying To Bring Infants Or Toddlers Without A Car Seat

Riders are allowed to bring a car seat with them to install and use in the car. However, on both Uber and Lyft, drivers are always within their rights to decline a rider who attempts to bring a toddler or infant in the car without a car seat. In fact, there’s a mantra that’s becoming common among drivers – No Car Seat, No Ride.

If a rider shows up with an infant or toddler, but no car seat, cancel the ride. On Uber, select the appropriate option from the cancellation screen. On Lyft, send them a quick email.

My Rider Has Made A Mess – How Do I Get A Cleaning Fee?

If your riders have made a significant mess in your vehicle, Uber requires photographic evidence within 48 hours of the end of the trip. You can request a cleaning fee from within the app. In the lower right hand corner, select “Account”, then “Help”, then “Trip Issues and Refunds”. Select the trip in question, and then click “Rider Feedback”, followed by “Fare Adjustment: Request A Cleaning Fee.

For Lyft drivers, you must submit at least two clear photos of the damage. From your driver dashboard, select “driving history”, select the trip in question. On the trip detail screen, select “Help” and choose the option, “My Car Was Damaged”.

In all cases, provide as much information as possible including the name of the passenger, the pick-up and drop-off locations, days and times, and any further information about how the mess occurred. On both Uber and Lyft, you can receive a cleaning fee of up to $250. However, the cleaning fee depends on the extent of the mess or damage. For most incidents, drivers usually get a fee of around $75.

We hope that this helps to cover some of the most common issues that may arise when working as a driver for Uber and Lyft. If you have any further queries or would like more information about any of the issues described above, please click here to contact us. Wishing you safe travels! And remember, personal safety always comes first.

five star rating on uber and lyft

4 Tips To Get 5 Star Driver Ratings On Uber & Lyft

As in any service based industry, Uber and Lyft win because of the needed service they provide. It is the combination of affordability and convenience that make them so popular with their customer base. Just like the business you work for, as an Uber or Lyft driver, you are also in the service business, providing customers with an easy option to get from point A to point B.

It might seem like I am pointing out the obvious here…of course you know you are providing a service. Yet, when you consider the importance of quality in the service space, it is surprising to see how many drivers are missing a few key points that can improve their ratings, and ultimately make them more money.

In this article we give you the low-down on 4 of the top tips to boost your driver rating, from getting into the right mentality to granular tweaks you can make in order to gain a better foothold on the app.

Customer mentality

The first, most important, seemingly obvious, yet often overlooked tip, is simply that drivers should take a customer focused mentality. Many drivers don’t seem to quite grasp the fact that they are not in the business of driving people but they are in the business of providing a smooth, relaxing and convenient way to get about. Uber and Lyft are certainly not the most expensive options out there, but it is often costly enough, that people expect a much better experience than your cheaper competition such as public transport or even walking.

Thinking about customers first puts you into a mentality that makes you think about the overall experience of those you are serving. This approach will make an immediate impact on your customers experience and is the quickest way to boost your driver ratings.

But what does this mean practically? Simply taking a professional approach to your job is the best way to achieve this. Reading up on customer service, how to act around customers and generally being polite creates a huge impact. It is also important to never get angry, this is both when dealing with difficult customers as well as other road users. Road rage is a sure fire way to make your passenger feel uncomfortable and get you a bad rating.


Nobody likes to feel like they are being ripped off. That is why in the service industry it is really important to be fully transparent on why you are doing what you are doing. This is especially true for Uber and Lyft drivers when it comes to which routes you are taking. If your customer thinks you are taking a longer route than necessary then that will create a bad relationship very quickly, as they will likely get frustrated that the ride will cost them more in terms of money or time.

There are a few quick wins to help you remedy this issue. Firstly, simply mounting your phone and loading up Google Maps or Waze, will allow your customer to easily see which route you are taking and why. Of course with your knowledge of the city you may be able to find better routes based on your experience. If you do this, it is a good idea to communicate this with the passenger. This not only limits the possibility of them feeling confused or like they are being ripped off, but also puts you in a better light. Briefly explain that you are trying to save them a bit of time or money based on your expert understanding of the roads.

Mounting your phone doesn’t just help with transparency, but also helps your rider feel safer in the knowledge that you are not looking down at your hand to see where you are going. For many riders, an unmounted phone is an automatic four star rating.

Use your feedback

Feedback is worth its weight in gold. Unfortunately, both Uber and Lyft are terrible at giving feedback to drivers. They give very little to drivers, and the feedback they do give is vague.  Nevertheless, many drivers will get hung up on bad feedback, or make every excuse under the sun as to why their feedback was bad but not their fault. A much better approach to take is using the legitimate feedback to improve your service. If the feedback was useless, ignore it.

However many tips we might give you here, ultimately each driver in each city will have very different customers with different wants and needs. The best way to boost your ratings is to use what feedback you get and act on it. For example, if you receive some feedback that the car was dirty, then make sure you keep it cleaner. Or, if you get flagged because of some route you take, then make sure you are clear ongoing about the route you are taking and why.

The little things

Many of the tips we have covered so far have looked at some of the big differences you can make to boost your ratings as an Uber/Lyft driver. However, there are also a number of smaller tweaks that will make a big difference to the overall experience of you customers.

For example, understanding that Uber and Lyft are app based platforms will quickly lead you to the fact that all of your customers will likely have a mobile phone. Therefore providing a few of the most common phone chargers will allow customers to boost their battery life on the go. Providing other small items such as mints, chewing gum, vanity mirrors and bottles of water are more great ways to improve customer experiences. These little tweaks can cost next to nothing, but can ultimately lead to better ratings for newer drivers. They don’t seem to have much of an effect on tips though. If you’re newer, and you’d like to boost your ratings a bit, stick a phone charger and a few waters in the car.

Another small thing that makes a lot of difference is making sure that your vehicle is spotless inside and out. This gives a much more luxurious feel and makes people feel important, all contributing to a better ride.

In this article we have given some top tips on what you can do to boost your ratings as an Uber or Lyft driver. Some of these have been overarching such as changing your overall mentality from simply being a driver to being a high-quality service provider. Other tips have gone much more granular, focusing on the small tweaks you can make such as providing gum and water to make a riders experience better.

woman informing lyft driver of location

Eight Things to Tell Your Lyft Driver in Advance

These days, ridesharing services like Lyft have become incredibly popular, but some people still don’t know how to interact with it. Here are some important tips for your ride.

For many people, ridesharing services are a gift from above. They’ve made traveling much more accessible, whether that’s going to work or heading out for a fun night with friends. They’re also an easy way for people to earn money, whether that’s just a little bit of extra cash on the weekends or a full-time job.

However, these services aren’t all fun and games. Plenty of common behaviors make drivers uncomfortable, and you might not even know you’re doing them! Number one on the list is trying to cram more people in one car than it can hold. Regular Lyft vehicles can hold up to four riders, the amount of available seatbelts. If it’s necessary to transport six people, just call for a Lyft Plus, or if it’s available in your area, a Lyft Lux SUV. Or, you can get one of your friends to order another Lyft. Not only is it usually illegal to let people ride without a seatbelt, but it’s extremely dangerous and against company policy. Don’t put your driver in that awkward situation.

While you shouldn’t feel the need to text or call your driver every time you request a Lyft,  there are some situations when you should give the driver a heads up. Usually a quick text, as opposed to a call, will suffice. Also, don’t always expect an instant response, or one at all. Remember, the driver is driving and may not be able to text back. Anyways, here are eight of the most important ones.

Have Any Animals

If you’re bringing a non service animal, whether it’s a dog or a hamster in a carrying cage, you should call your driver to make sure it’s alright with them. If the driver is fine having your pet in the car, they may carry a blanket or towel in the trunk to protect their seats. If you give them a heads up, they can put it down in the backseat before you even get there. Try not to bring an animal that’s not well-behaved if you don’t have a cage, and if you have a large cage, consider bumping up the size of the car you call. It’s not fun to try and cram a huge dog carrier into a compact car, so don’t attempt it. Shoot your driver a text – it’ll be easier on both of you to cancel the drive early, if that’s necessary.

If You’re Under the Influence

If you’ve called an Uber or Lyft after a night on the town, good on you! It’s great that you haven’t decided to drive yourself home. However, you should still inform your driver that you’re drunk, and be on your best behavior. The same goes if you’re under the influence of any drugs; explain it to the driver, so they know what to expect. After all is set and done, use the app to give them a couple dollars as a tip.

If You Need Help Getting Into the Car

Many require assistance entering a vehicle, and that doesn’t just apply to elderly people. If you use a cane, have balance problems, or otherwise need assistance getting into the car, let your driver know before they pull up. Most of them will be okay with it – after all, you likely know the easiest way to navigate the problem – but it’s good form to prepare them for the delay and effort.

If You Need to Make Any Stops

Whether you’re picking up a friend or you want to get fast food, tell your driver before they arrive. Rideshare apps can be a little fussy about payment if you stop for something, and you need to be aware before you force the driver to idle at a Taco Bell. If you do want to pick up fast food, it’s courteous to ask your driver if they want anything – or at the very least, tip them on the app.

Where You’ll Be Waiting

Drivers aren’t psychic, and the app isn’t always perfect. If you’ll be waiting inside because of the weather, let them know where to pull up, so they’re not desperately searching for you. If the Lyft app shows you waiting across the street from where you are, explain this. If it’s a busy area with many people requesting Lyfts (like after a concert), look for a landmark that the driver will be able to see, and tell them you’re near it. Breeze past miscommunication, so you can both enjoy the ride.

If You Have A Lot Of Baggage

Do you have groceries? A huge bag of things you bought from the mall? Actual baggage from your train ride? If you’re carrying more than one or two small bags, give your driver a heads up before they arrive. As a general rule, if you’re pretty sure the trunk will be needed, shoot them a text to confirm the trunk is available, so there won’t be an awkward struggle to fit your items somewhere.

If You’re in a Hurry.

The key here? Be very polite. Telling them you’re in a hurry, then acting upset when they obey the traffic signals is bad form – and definitely annoying. It’s not the driver’s fault that YOU are late. If you’re courteous and patient when informing them that you need to reach your destination pronto, they’ll try to get you there as fast as possible – maybe even using shortcuts they know – without being stressed and annoyed.

Enter Exactly Where You’re Going In The Lyft App

It’s rude to full-on backseat drive, as most drivers use some kind of navigation system outside of the rideshare app. But before your Lyft driver pulls up, make sure you’ve entered your final destination in the app. It’s amazing how many people don’t think about this, and fail to enter a destination at all. Additionally, providing cross-streets isn’t as useful as you might think it is, and it has been known to seriously mess up the payment process on the app.

Final Takeaway

Even if you’re the nicest person on the planet, you don’t know everything, and you probably partake in some behaviors that are annoying. Don’t be afraid to text your rider ahead of time if there’s something that strikes you as outside the norm. It’s not annoying; drivers would definitely prefer the heads up, so they can provide you the best service – and save some headaches. The more information the driver has in advance, the smoother your rider is going to be.