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UberScrewed

Old 05-21-2019, 04:06 PM
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After having a flight to Corpus Christi out of Houston cancelled due to weather, I scrambled to find a rental car so I could keep my scheduled departure date for a boat delivery out of Port Aransas. There were none to be had, but a rental agent suggested I contact Uber. I had no idea they would travel the four and a half hours needed, but he assured me they would, and that it would run less than the one way rental they didn't have. With that, I whipped out my trusty iPhone and hit the Uber button. Ten minutes later, I had a guy pull up to where I was waiting. I confirmed the time and distance involved in this fare, and he says, no problem. After some 45 minutes of driving, it became a problem. In short, he was afraid his car was going to become flooded like it did in an earlier hurricane, so he was cancelling the trip. Excuse me?

I tried to convince him the storm would pass (showed him on radar) and that we were in no danger of drowning his car on the friggin interstate where we were surrounded by thousands of others. He started in on how he couldn't afford to lose his car, so he took an exit where we pulled into a service station for him to call the UberBoss. In short, he was given the okay to terminate the trip with me in the middle of God knows where. At first, he said his wife worked for a hotel, and he could get me a room at the Hyatt or equivalent for $35. Well, after not being able to reach her on the phone, I told him to take me to the nearest Hampton Inn. As fate would have it, they had nothing available, and the nice lady behind the counter told me I would never find a room in that area. Lovely.

I hit the Orbitz app and found a room, and the UberGoober took me to the location some 15 minutes away. At that point I figured I could call Enterprise the next morning to pick me up, but that would mean waiting until they opened. At 4AM, I was awake, so I tried Uber again. Much to my surprise, I got confirmation a driver was en route with an ETA of 15 minutes. I stood out front and waited, and there he came. I explained what happened the night before, and when he realized where I was going, he said he couldn't take me. Excuse me?... why are you here? It would seem Uber only tells their driver that the fare is over 45 minutes from the pick up point. Go figure. He told me to try again, but to call the driver once I got confirmation and let them know where I was trying to go. That resulted in yet another cancellation, but third time was charm. I made sure he understood that Port Aransas was over four hours from that location, but he saved the day.

It definitely struck me as odd that Uber would allow a customer to be dumped at will by an unwilling driver, so if you didn't know that before, you do now. Get this, despite my telling that driver he wasn't going to get paid for taking me somewhere I didn't ask to go (he said he didn't care), Uber charged me for the ride from the airport to the hotel. They also charged me for the cancellation of that next trip, even though the driver is the one who cancelled. They eventually gave me credit for both along with a $5 credit for my trouble.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:10 PM
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Yup, an Uber driver can back out any time they want and leave you. It happened where I lived and made the news. Apparently the two people in the back of the car were talking about a hot political/health topic that starts with an A and the driver kicked them out and it was his right.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:02 PM
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Uber sucks unless you go Uber black any more. Some Uber X cars are in worse shape than taxis.

I had to take one yesterday from my shop to the mechanic. Got in the Prius and the first words out of the ladies mouth were “ I have bible pamphlets and printed pages on the back seat. Please read them and if you would like to discuss anything about Jesus during your trip I would be more than happy to talk to you. WTF??

Yeah was tortured with 12 years of private Catholic school, had my fill of Jesus to last a life time. Let’s just not talk ok.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:49 PM
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wow a whole $5 credit. are they crazy?
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
wow a whole $5 credit. are they crazy?
Price of a bad IPO?
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:14 PM
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If you would have offered to pay the driver for a return trip they would have taken you. there is zero chance that the driver would find a ride in the opposite direction so he would have to work 4 1/2 hours for free.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by I Love Beer View Post
If you would have offered to pay the driver for a return trip they would have taken you. there is zero chance that the driver would find a ride in the opposite direction so he would have to work 4 1/2 hours for free.
Trip was over $200 and I tipped the guy well. My gripe with the first guy was he should have never moved a foot if he didn’t plan to finish what he started. Had he or the other two said they needed an extra $50 or whatever, that would have been fine.

The first guy tried to get me to cancel the trip and pay him directly. Said it would be cheaper for me. I wasn’t interested in playing that game. No telling how things would have worked out had I handed him cash. My guess is I would have been SOL with no recourse.

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Old 05-21-2019, 08:34 PM
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You were going to offer the guy $50 to drive 4 1/2 hours on the return trip? He was only making a portion of $200 for the initial ride.
9 hours of driving for what? $200 Gross?? you think you were the one being ripped off but that guy got screwed even more.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:07 AM
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A $200 fare less a 25% commission cut for Uber means the driver receives $150 for over 400 miles (round trip) of driving. That works out the 37.5 cents per mile. Current (2019) IRS business mileage rates are 58 cents per mile. Your driver was losing about 20 cents for each mile he drove. In addition he would be working for 9 hours for free. My guess is that he started doing the math during the drive, finally figured out what was really going on, and decided not to proceed. I'm not sure this trip would have made economic sense at triple the quoted rate.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:16 AM
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Not sure what Uber app you're using but mine asks for the address to where I want to go. When we get picked up, the driver knows where to go and simply confirms. Your driver had to know exactly where you were going.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:19 AM
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Nobody put a gun to the Uber drivers head and made him be an Uber driver, the money split is what I is, they know going in
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:38 AM
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Yeah, I agree this is a bad experience but the car rental company is the one that steered you wrong in the first place.

I agree that Uber should fix their long distance thing, and while it sounds like you tried to get the driver on board, yeah, somewhere into the first hour of that drive he probably realized just what a bad deal it was for him. The uber business model just assumes that he would casually drive back and pick up fares along the way, which is pretty much nonsense and probably what slowly dawned on the guy. A $100 tip might have made it worthwhile, not sure any less would make financial sense.

I've heard uber drivers refuse much more reasonable trips.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Lorne Greene View Post
Yup, an Uber driver can back out any time they want and leave you. It happened where I lived and made the news. Apparently the two people in the back of the car were talking about a hot political/health topic that starts with an A and the driver kicked them out and it was his right.

It happened here locally with one of the non traditional cab companies (uber/lyft, etc). They couldn't find an address so they told the fare to go inside the convenience store (in a shady part of town) and ask for directions. The driver left the fare there. She was "helped" by a guy who kidnapped, brutally beat, and raped her repeatedly over a few days time in a vacant house. She barely escaped when he took her out of the house to go kill her in an overgrown creek bed.

Neither I nor the hospital staff had ever seen someone beaten this bad who was still alive.

It will be interesting to see how the eventual civil suit plays out.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by I Love Beer View Post
You were going to offer the guy $50 to drive 4 1/2 hours on the return trip? He was only making a portion of $200 for the initial ride.
9 hours of driving for what? $200 Gross?? you think you were the one being ripped off but that guy got screwed even more.
Dude, where did I say I was offering $50?

The point of my post was, if there were a number that made the trip worthwhile for him, just throw it out there. That has zero to do with the guy accepting the trip then decided many miles down the road he wanted to call it off.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by t84a View Post
Not sure what Uber app you're using but mine asks for the address to where I want to go. When we get picked up, the driver knows where to go and simply confirms. Your driver had to know exactly where you were going.
There is only one Uber app that Iím aware of. As I stated earlier, the second driver confirmed they donít know anything about the trip beyond the fact it shows taking more than 45 minutes. I found it hard to believe too, but thatís what he said.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by t84a View Post
Not sure what Uber app you're using but mine asks for the address to where I want to go. When we get picked up, the driver knows where to go and simply confirms. Your driver had to know exactly where you were going.
I don't think so, It shows you but not the driver. I always get asked where you going when I get in.

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Old 05-22-2019, 06:08 AM
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This is definitely a problem for Uber, and to combat it they hide the location of the trip until after the driver accepts the ride...if they didn't no one would volunteer to drive a rider 3, 4, 5 hours. It puts them out of their home area with practically zero chance of finding a rider heading back towards their home locale. I spoke to a driver in Tampa who had to drive someone to Orlando prior to picking me up (in Tampa)...it took him over 2 hours in rush hour and the fair was $147 if memory serves. He received $58 from Uber, plus whatever the rider had tipped. $58 is no where near worth it for 4 hours of riding (2 hours there, 2 hours back).

What happened to Freeebird is unacceptable and the driver should have figured that out before starting the ride, or else honored his commitment...but unless companies like Uber and Lyft pay their drivers nearly the full fare for rides so far out of their home area, I suspect nothing will change.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Flot View Post
Yeah, I agree this is a bad experience but the car rental company is the one that steered you wrong in the first place.

I agree that Uber should fix their long distance thing, and while it sounds like you tried to get the driver on board, yeah, somewhere into the first hour of that drive he probably realized just what a bad deal it was for him. The uber business model just assumes that he would casually drive back and pick up fares along the way, which is pretty much nonsense and probably what slowly dawned on the guy. A $100 tip might have made it worthwhile, not sure any less would make financial sense.

I've heard uber drivers refuse much more reasonable trips.
How did the rental car guy steer me wrong?

Nobody had any one way rentals, and he said Uber would even be less expensive. I questioned whether they would go that far, he said they would. Hard to see any blame on his part as he was just trying to get me out of there.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:27 AM
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I actually spoke to a Lyft driver last weekend and asked him this exact question... he said that the driver doesnít know the destination until the customer gets in the car and the driver confirms by hitting a button on the app... he said that a driver can cancel a trip but that his/her rating would drop.. and if they cancel multiple trips, they can be suspended...
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:36 AM
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Sounds like the greyhound bus would have been your best bet. Grim.
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