When ordering an Uber there are some common mistakes some people tend to make. The trouble is, you’ll never realise you’re actually making any mistakes if nobody ever tells you – right?!
The majority of people in this world like to avoid conflict and so, rather than letting you know that they’re secretly plotting your murder and already have an alibi planned, your Uber driver will quietly stare at the road ahead and bite their tongue if your Uber etiquette is sub-par. If you’ve ever felt those ‘I think he hates me’ vibes after jumping into your Uber then here are 5 simple tips to ensure you and your driver get off to a good start. Don’t forget, drivers rate riders too (you can check your rating here).
KNOW YOUR CURRENT LOCATION
OK! This is ridiculous isn’t it? I’m asking you to make sure that you know where you are! Well….duh! Of course you know where you are!
However, all too often I arrive at a pick-up location only to discover no obvious signs of life within 100 metres. You’re clearly not here! So where are you? A quick phone call will usually reveal that you have used the ‘use my location’ feature in the rider app. Technology has come a long way but please don’t rely on satellites in space to pin-point your exact location guys and gals. Sometimes it may work but, usually, it doesn’t. Check a street sign, ask a passer-by, look at the number on the nearest building. Anything! Just amke sure you enter a street name and number and make sure that the pin is in the correct location. If the pin is slightly off you can easily move it around on the map.
KNOW YOUR DESTINATION
Alright! I’m being ridiculous again! Of course you know where you’re going! Well that’s great for you, but your driver wants to see a location when they swipe ‘start trip’. This is because we only find out where you’re going after the trip has started, so we want to know which direction we are going asap.
If you’re in a hurry just enter the suburb your going to, that’s fine for now. You can look-up the exact address on the way and then edit your destination en-route. As with most things in life, communication is key. Don’t be afraid to let the driver know that this is what you’re doing. We’ll understand.
Another top tip is if you’d like to make more than one stop, let your driver know the second you get in. Doing so will allow us to go offline and stop us from receiving new trip requests. If I get a trip request during your trip I’m going to accept it! This means that when I drop you off I already have my next trip waiting for me so I won’t be able to drop your mate in another location. Communication is key!
BE READY TO GO
A couple of weeks ago I was arriving at a pick-up location and saw my rider standing outside waiting for me. I actually said out loud (yes, I talk to myself sometimes!) “good man, that’s the way to do it!”. I pulled over and he walked over to the car, leaned over and just looked at me. I let the window down and he asked me if I’d mind waiting a few minutes. I asked why we needed to wait to which he didn’t say a word – he just raised his right hand to reveal a partially smoked cigarette. He wanted me to wait for him to finish smoking a cigarette! It was one of those scenarios where a million possible responses flash through your mind in a split second but I managed to compose myself and offer him the simple advice I’m sharing with you now: order an Uber when you’re ready to go.
If you’re in any city which has Uber, then there’s a very good chance you won’t need to wait any more than 4 or 5 minutes for one to arrive. Even before you order, the app gives you an estimated potential wait time which in my experience as a rider is usually very accurate. We’re never far away, parking is usually an issue, we don’t want a ticket for stopping illegally, time is money and we don’t make much for our time. We don’t want to wait!
WAIT SOMEWHERE WE CAN STOP
I wrote a blog a while back about one of the worst choices I’ve ever seen for a pick-up location (you can read that here). The thing that irritates me so much is that it’s really, really easy to find a pick-up location if you just stop for a second and consider one simple question:
“If I were driving a car, would I be able to legally stop here?”
If the answer is ‘no’, move yourself and your pin to a better location. If the answer is ‘yes’, proceed with ordering your Uber. It’s that simple.
I’ve learned to ignore the trip requests which are clearly at traffic lights on a busy intersection in the city, or the ones on a street which I know has a bus lane running the entire length on both sides. But some drivers do attempt to pick you up in illegal places just to keep you happy and their rating high enough to be allowed access to the Uber platform. And sometimes, in trying to please you and keep their job, they get smacked with a fine for that illegal stop to pick you up for an $8 fare of which they received $6. It may seem like I’m being a bit dramatic, but just stop and think before you order your Uber. Your lack of thought and consideration could cost a driver his full days worth of fares.
JUMP RIGHT IN….NOW!
This last point goes hand-in-hand with being ready, but from experience I believe it’s worthy of it’s own explanation.
So everything has gone well. You set the correct pick-up location and entered the correct destination. You’re ready and waiting at a sensible, safe, and legal spot for me to pull over for you. This is great! Thank you Uber rider, I’m glad I came to pick you up. You’re a smart and considerate individual who I’ll be happy to have in my car for the next 15 minutes while I get you home safely.
But wait! Hang on a second! What are you doing now? Are you seriously leaving me waiting while you double-cheek-kiss, hug, and say an individual and personalised goodbye to all 16 of your friends? Hell no! I’ve driven 5 unpaid minutes at midnight on a Friday night to pick you up. Get in. Now!