We often come from the light that customers just want good service and a safe ride, and for that they will reward you. It is a great outlook to have, because positivity breeds positivity, and that hopefully leads to a kinder interaction with your customer.
It would be naive to think that some customers are not trying to scam the system, just like there are drivers who try to scam the system. Here are the top scams we have come across:
Wrong Passenger. This is the easiest to catch. Instead of saying “Hey are you Jimmy?”… say “Hey, I’m Mike, may I have your name?”. This works because the person whose phone called for the ride never leaves their location. Can say they were never picked up.
Wrong Passenger 2. So my friend orders me an Uber. I know his name so I answer you correctly. You let me in and start the ride. My friend then calls you saying “Where are you?” to document that he isn’t in the vehicle. He will then contest the charge, meanwhile you just drove me for free. You should cancel the ride, ask the customer to get out in a safe place and then report the fraud.
Street Hails. This happens in Uber pick up areas, where it is easy for a customer to see you are an Uber driver and are available. Maybe they say something like: “I lost my phone, but I’ll pay you cash…” As enticing as it is, its too risky for you. Recommend they take a cab instead. There are no protections for you if you pick up a hailed ride and in fact it is illegal.
Wrong Pin Placement. If you arrive at the location and they aren’t there, they might have placed their pin in the wrong location to avoid surge pricing. If they call you and say “I’m actually at this address”, do not go to them. Either have them update the pin or wait the 5 minutes and cancel.
Dumping Jobs: This usually happens with cabs, but we’ve seen it happen to rideshare as well. Bar has a very inebriated customer. Someone from the staff requests the Uber for them using the drunk persons account. As you pull up, someone from the staff comes out and says “The customer is on their way out.” This is the trap so you don’t see the drunk customer. The bar staff will ask if you will unlock the door. Seconds later they will help/carry/whatever the drunk person and put them in your car. Guess what? They are your problem now. Keep your doors locked, and do not unlock them until you see your customer, can identify them and realize they are not a stumbling drunk (or are).
Anchors. An anchor is a person, bag or belonging that is intended to anchor you to a location. This happens most on airport runs where a person will toss a bag in your trunk and then disappear back into the house to finish up getting ready to leave or say their goodbyes. Generally I don’t have a problem with waiting a couple minutes, we’re all human. But there have been a couple times where it got over 5 minutes and I have had to approach the house to hustle them along.
Roadside Assistance: Don’t be surprised if you get called for a pickup right on the highway. Cancel this immediately. They would like you to jump their car (you are liable) or use your jack to replace a tire (you are liable). If you want to be a good Samaritan, awesome. You can help them get AAA or some other roadside assistance.
Whats the most recent scam you encountered?