Uber is known for offering a service that is affordable and above all, convenient. Users can request a ride from the comfort of their homes and wait till the ride arrives and is waiting before leaving home. The previous Uber wait time allowed the convenience users craved. Users had a 5 minutes grace period to get from their location to the waiting ride. According to Uber, many riders have misused this generosity by making drivers wait longer than the allotted 5 minutes.
The New Uber Wait Time Explained
Well no more; Uber’s new policy embodies the saying “you snooze, you lose”. If you are not at the car after 2 minutes of the Uber arriving, Uber begins to charge you the “per minute rate” for your city. This is added to the total fare at the end of the ride. This policy piloted in NYC, New Jersey, Phoenix and Dallas and has moved to other markets like Singapore. Drivers are free to drive off if the rider is 2 minutes late and they won’t incur a penalty. Furthermore, Users will be charged a “no show” fee if they don’t get into the car within 5 minutes of the driver arriving.
“Drivers’ time is valuable, and while we expect riders to request a ride only once they’re ready, we know that waiting for a rider at their pickup location can be frustrating. In select cities we are running a small pilot so that drivers are compensated for their time even when riders are running a bit late or have a change of plans. When riders and drivers are respectful of each other’s time, the whole system runs more smoothly and the Uber experience improves for everyone” Uber tells Techcrunch who first broke the news.
This is a little tricky as Uber’s ETA for drivers isn’t always accurate. Many users have called out the rideshare giant by pointing to the fact that drivers do not usually arrive as estimated by the app. Sometimes, drivers arrive minutes early or several minutes later than estimated. Making users wait outside for a ride to arrive goes against all that Uber is known for which is primarily convenience. Users will rather opt for hailing local taxis when they are ready.
What We Think
These changes seem uncharacteristic as Uber has always been customer-centric. This new Uber wait time seems to be totally focused on drivers with no benefit to riders. It fails to put into consideration the elderly; people who live in high rise buildings and those who have some difficulty walking. It might take up to 5 minutes to get from your building to the gate if you fall into any of the aforementioned category. It seems Uber is anxious to please its drivers to prevent them from moving to competitors.
On the other hand, it might just be advisable for users to request a ride when they are ready. Monitor the driver’s arrival on the app and as your ride gets closer, make your descent to the pick-up spot. This will be a win-win for all involved.
Are you an Uber Driver and/or Entrepreneur? Did you enjoy this post? Are you looking for other ways to optimize your Ridesharing Business?-If your answer is yes to all three question, and you have not downloaded our kit(s) – you need to do so now and join thousands of other Uber drivers by clicking the Download link at the top right of this page, or by going here or here.