4.9x Surge, Forgotten iPhone and Airport problems

MikesUber

Well-Known Member
Hello Everyone,

Here are a few stories from my most recent days of driving (Pittsburgh, PA market):

4.9x Surge - Always know what's hot in your city as far as events! A few nights ago we had an EDM show featuring The Chainsmokers at Stage AE. Knowing shows there typically end at midnight I head over to the venue at 11:30 and it's already surging 2.0x. Just like bar closing you have to be patient as I knew it would continue to rise. I sat right outside the venue and saw a few other drivers pass by but for the most part it seemed not many drivers knew about this concert. Right around 12:00 it just took off holding a 4-4.9x surge for at least 40 minutes. I was able to get three trips at high surge and made great money on 15 minute trips.

Know your area, save schedules for concert venues/sporting events and don't jump online until surge is above 3.0x if possible to maximize earnings!

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Forgotten iPhone - Nothing new here for experienced drivers but let me share my first experience with a pax forgetting a phone in my car. I like crediting this forum for providing tips and you guys came in handy again. Always check the backseat after every fare! After dropping off a pax I log off and head to a hotspot that I like 10 minutes away. On my way there I check the backseat and I see the passenger's iPhone 6. Few options here:

- Immediately mark the trip as "item left in my vehicle" in the Uber Partner app and continue with my night

- Immediately turn around to the drop off location and return the phone

I chose the latter and here's why. As some of you may know my career is in customer service, I feel like as a professional in this situation it is our job to make it right and immediately return the phone. I was only ten minutes away and did not have a fare in the car.

I do not agree with the argument of negotiating a return fee. I think this is very unprofessional and leaves a bad impression for the passenger. Once having lost my car keys someone found them, turned them in to my local gym but wanted $20.00 for finding them. The gym employees rightly denied this request. You are being a good citizen and helping someone else, you shouldn't be thinking of reimbursement just for helping someone out. I know a lot of users argue about very tight margins driving and will say you cannot afford to take items back nor is it your job to do so. I acknowledge Uber has processes in place for lost items, but in this case it was easy and the right thing to do. These things happen and we all know how much valuable information can be stored on a phone. I was on my way back to her before she even called me to let me know; she graciously gave me an extra $5.00 for the effort. It's not always about money for me, I pride myself in my service level.

Airport Problems - So not so much airport problems but GPS problems. Driving west on one of the main arteries of Pittsburgh (I-376) the Uber navigation app sent me towards a service road for emergency and authorized vehicles only (not the standard unloading zone). This was strange that on the main interstate it directed me away from the main airport to this odd road. It was my fault for relying on the GPS too much as I have been to the airport plenty of times but I have never driven into the area myself (always have taken a shuttle). All in all a 10 minute roundabout delay. This is an issue that Uber may need to fix for new drivers that are using Uber navigation. Always be mindful of roads and posted signage. If something feels off review the "overview" of the trip and make sure you are headed to the right location. Also ensure that you are allowed to make drop offs/picks ups from your airport as this varies on market. You may need extra permits displayed as well.


Summary - Doing well so far! 60 trips and a stellar service rating, I'm loving this experience so far and have met so many different people.

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Please comment and post any questions you may have regarding driving, providing excellent service or advice in general.
 

nickd8775

Well-Known Member
At least you discovered a lost phone quickly and it did not cost you much in lost revenue to return it. Had you been going back to a 4.9 surge, it would cost you a lot more. Same thing if the passenger was 50 miles away.
 

MikesUber

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
At least you discovered a lost phone quickly and it did not cost you much in lost revenue to return it. Had you been going back to a 4.9 surge, it would cost you a lot more. Same thing if the passenger was 50 miles away.
Very good point about surge pricing, that's a very tough scenario. Let's imagine it was Halloween again or a very high surge and I had that same scenario happen. In that case I would mark the fare as "item left in vehicle" and continue to take high surge fares until depleted. I'm more than happy to help a passenger but also realize this is a business where time is money. In a high surge scenario I would take additional fares and return the item as soon as possible. If the pax determined it was an emergency to retrieve the item immediately then I would sacrifice the surge to accommodate the request.
 

nickd8775

Well-Known Member
Very good point about surge pricing, that's a very tough scenario. Let's imagine it was Halloween again or a very high surge and I had that same scenario happen. In that case I would mark the fare as "item left in vehicle" and continue to take high surge fares until depleted. I'm more than happy to help a passenger but also realize this is a business where time is money. In a high surge scenario I would take additional fares and return the item as soon as possible. If the pax determined it was an emergency to retrieve the item immediately then I would sacrifice the surge to accommodate the request.
If the passenger determined it was an emergency he would request an Uber from where you are to his place to compensate you for your time. Or he would come get it himself. Or promise a $100 tip
 

MikesUber

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
If the passenger determined it was an emergency he would request an Uber from where you are to his place to compensate you for your time. Or he would come get it himself. Or promise a $100 tip
Valid options, that would save me a trip as well if he requested an uber back to his location. Hopefully no one leaves items behind we can see how tricky this can get for everyone!
 

Disgusted Driver

Well-Known Member
Very good point about surge pricing, that's a very tough scenario. Let's imagine it was Halloween again or a very high surge and I had that same scenario happen. In that case I would mark the fare as "item left in vehicle" and continue to take high surge fares until depleted. I'm more than happy to help a passenger but also realize this is a business where time is money. In a high surge scenario I would take additional fares and return the item as soon as possible. If the pax determined it was an emergency to retrieve the item immediately then I would sacrifice the surge to accommodate the request.
Let me give you a few tips which are worth what you paid for them.

You are driving in a much better market than most are. In Pitt. I think the service is fairly new and your rates are $1.20 a mile. It's .85 where I am and .75 in markets like Orlando. So you are doing well only because the Uber gods are letting you. With your 60 rides under your belt you think you are hot stuff, just wait. Drivers will flood in, rates will get cut, you will start hating it. Here in Raleigh, we barely get surges anymore and it might hit 2.9 at bar close for 5-10 minutes. I know where the damn venues are and what time things end but even for a football game there will be 15 drivers waiting and it might go to 1.5 and then disappear, way to many drivers and pax are skilled at waiting out the surge now. Enjoy it while you can but do yourself a favor an don't make any long range plans with Uber. It won't last.
 

MikesUber

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
Let me give you a few tips which are worth what you paid for them.

You are driving in a much better market than most are. In Pitt. I think the service is fairly new and your rates are $1.20 a mile. It's .85 where I am and .75 in markets like Orlando. So you are doing well only because the Uber gods are letting you. With your 60 rides under your belt you think you are hot stuff, just wait. Drivers will flood in, rates will get cut, you will start hating it. Here in Raleigh, we barely get surges anymore and it might hit 2.9 at bar close for 5-10 minutes. I know where the damn venues are and what time things end but even for a football game there will be 15 drivers waiting and it might go to 1.5 and then disappear, way to many drivers and pax are skilled at waiting out the surge now. Enjoy it while you can but do yourself a favor an don't make any long range plans with Uber. It won't last.
Yes our market is strong right now, I just came back from Orlando earlier this week and took an Uber while I was down there (tipped of course). The 30min 12 mile ride was $16.00. In Pittsburgh I took an Uber for the same distance and time and it was $25.00. I understand that I am under the control of Uber for setting fares in my market, and I do not claim to be superior to any other driver out there. I am however very astute and I heavily researched before starting Uber. Yes our rates may continue to go down (fare cut this past June) and driver interest will most likely go up. I do understand your frustration in being in a saturated market; I'm just doing my best and trying to work as efficiently as possible to maximize profits.
 
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