As an Uber driver, I have read countless articles on how to be a better Uber driver, ways to give outstanding service, how to get 5 stars and such. However, I have yet to read a single article on how to be a better rider. Maybe it’s the whole “the customer is always right” bit. Having been on the giving and receiving side of the service industry, this is not always true. I’ll not bore anyone with 101 ways to be a better Uber rider, but I will let you in on the top 5 ways to improve your riding experience regardless of who your driver is.
This should be a given and you may think, you don’t have to be because you’re paying for a service. But here’s the thing, you are getting into someone’s PERSONAL car. Uber “the company” does not pay our car payment, they don’t wash our cars, they don’t pay our insurance, heck, they don’t even put gas in our cars. These are OUR vehicles. We use these vehicles in our everyday life. To take our kids to school. To go to church on Sunday. To go to our other jobs. So in this instance “do to others as you would have others do unto you”.
I have been lucky and have not had a problem in this area, but I’ve heard some horror stories. Uber riders I’ve had have been extremely respectful and even ask if eating in the vehicle is permitted. I personally do not mind, as long as what you bring into my car is taken with you. Common courtesy goes a long way.
You may have taken a particular route a million times, but chances are your Uber driver has not. We have our GPS to guide us, but if you prefer an alternate route, say so. Most of us don’t mind, especially if you can maneuver us around construction or traffic. But understand that there are some drivers out there that prefer to stick to the map. If they do, don’t get offended, just sit back and enjoy the ride and be confident in the fact that Uber has provided us with the means to get you to where you are going.
Have a conversation
If you feel awkward getting into a strangers car, realize that we are human too and probably feel a bit awkward about it as well. I tend to break the ice by confirming the destination and usually ask if they are headed to work and what time they start. I can’t control the traffic, or if Uber was called too late to get to work on time, but at least I know I can do whatever I possibly can to get there on time.
I’m not breaking any laws or getting a ticket for my Uber rider, but I’ll usually let them know what the map ETA states, so they are aware of the length of time in the car. Usually, that bit of conversation is enough to naturally ease into further conversation. But in the event that it doesn’t, at least it subdued the awkwardness for both of us.
You’re an Uber Rider, Enjoy the Ride
The whole point of Uber is to get from point A to point B without driving yourself. I drive in Southern California in an area notorious for its traffic. If you’re taking an Uber, there may be traffic to contend with, but you can relax and let your driver maneuver around it. The best thing about Uber is the stress free ride; letting someone else take the wheel. Knowing we’ve been vetted and given the green light to do so.
Nothing stresses out a driver more, than a back seat driver. I don’t mean the location of your seat, but the manner in which you give us directions and stress us out about driving you. If you wanted to be a back seat driver, you should’ve driven yourself. So enjoy it, converse with us, catch up on some zzz’s, tune us out and tune into some music, it’s your time. Do whatever you’d like to enjoy not having to drive yourself.
I’m not asking for 5 stars, and I’m definitely not asking to be 1-starred. Just be honest. I’d rather know I need to improve, than to NOT know I’m doing something wrong, if that’s the case. If you like the service, let us know. If you didn’t, let us know why. It’s that simple. All I ask is to be honest. Don’t be spiteful. If you give a low star, just explain why so we can improve ourselves. We’re human, not robots. We need feedback.
What most Uber riders don’t know is that we rate you as well. It works both ways. Uber wants to know if a rider needs to have their riding privileges revoked or if a driver does. So being honest with your feedback is the best thing you can do for everyone using Uber. Because you can rest assure that since we are required to rate every passenger, we wouldn’t want to pass on a nightmare passenger to the next driver, if it could’ve been prevented.
At the end of the day
You want a more pleasant experience and you want to know if there was something you could’ve done to have one. Well, here you go. I’ve given you a list of things that are within your control for a more pleasant Uber ride. If doing 1-4 doesn’t make it more enjoyable, then you have #5 to make it more enjoyable for the next person that gets in that car. Consider it your social obligation to keep great Uber drivers on the road and bad ones off the streets.