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Uber drivers are gaming the app to stick riders with cancellation fees

Cool. Totally cool.

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Image: Banker & Tradesman

Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you. You’re in a rush to get out the door, and you order an Uber. The app says your driver is 7-10 minutes away. You wait. Ten minutes later, you check the app again to see where the hell your driver is. You get a notification telling you the driver has canceled the trip. You, in turn, get mad and scream to the high heavens. Repeat cycle.

If this has ever happened to you, just know, you’re not alone.

According to a recent report from The Sydney Morning Herald, Uber drivers are reportedly gaming the app to get cancellation fees from riders. In other words, Uber drivers are conning riders into handing them over a cancellation fee for a service they never intended offering.

I think we all knew it was happening but didn’t know what to do about it

This isn’t the first reported case either. According to The Points Guy, some Uber drivers even go as far as messaging the rider via Uber’s messaging service into having passengers cancel the ride themselves, or even driving far away from the pickup location in hopes a passenger will get frustrated and cancel the ride themselves. Extremely shady, I know.

The Sydney Morning Herald was able to talk with a frustrated Uber driver and got him to explain why some Uber drivers do this:

“On a night when you have had too many idiots and your patience has worn thin, and a passenger keeps you waiting and waiting. Two minutes. Three. Four. OK, now I don’t want your job, I want the fee. Even as you see them walk towards the car at four minutes and 50 seconds, if they haven’t opened the door at five mins, they’re cancelled. Report me, I don’t care,” he said. “Uber drivers are in the business of turning time into money. If these fools are going to steal your time – and think they are not going to pay for it – they’re in for a surprise.”

We reached out to Uber for comment, but they didn’t immediately reply to our request at the time of publication, however, in a statement provided to Mashable, here’s what the company had to say:

“We are continually working on technology solutions as well as education to inform driver partners and riders about safe pick-up zones and ways to reduce cancellations,” Uber’s spokesperson said. “We have an in-app Help section where riders can report issues around cancellation fees and we follow up with driver partners who regularly have cancelled trips. We are also working on an enhanced technology solution to further examine cancellations that will be rolled out in April.”

I don’t live in Australia or anything, but I could swear I’ve had this done to me. Thankfully, I was able to get in touch with Uber through its help section, and they were able to resolve the problem quickly, even going as far as crediting my account for the cancelation fee and offering me a free ride on my next trip.

Sure, there’s Uber drivers who game riders for cancelation fees, but the good thing is that Uber addresses it when it happens and deals with it internally with the driver. If this has ever happened to you, just be sure to reach out to Uber in its in-app Help section, and they’ll deal with it.

Has this ever happened to you? Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Founder & Editor. Email me at kevin@knowtechie.com

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