Question for Uber drivers

Tecumseh

New Member
I was recently in Orlando and called an Uber. The driver was friendly - he said that he had been an Uber driver for 2 years in Orlando. When my wife called the Uber she put in "Disney Magic Kingdom" as the destination from our hotel. The driver was Venezualan and a little hard to understand but he indicated that he understood we were asking to be taken to Disney's Magic Kingdom. I noticed immediately that the route he took was not a direct route - he avoided the highway and started taking an indirect route using smaller roads. In the middle of the ride he said something about we should have put "Magic Kingdom Parking Lot" as our destination. He never took us to the Disney entrance but he did drive past a walk near Disney's Contemporary hotel that we were familiar with that was a very short walk into the park. We even told him he could let us out there and it would be fine but he said that he would get us to our destination. Well our destination turned out to be a Disney Transportation Hub outside of the back of the park. Not only could we not enter the park but we had to get in line and wait for Disney transportation to take us to the park so essentially defeated the purpose of the Uber. I paid the $13 fair (Uber had estimated the fair from our hotel to be $9-$11) but I did not tip the driver and was left feeling that Uber drivers can easily scam their passengers. When I was in Chicago and NYC recently I only used cabs and all of the cabbies pretty much warn you that Uber drivers will intentionally or unintentionally take longer routes when they drive you. I guess I am just looking for an honest answer - is this a common experience with Uber?
 

hulksmash

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately some drivers lack common sense or unwillingness to deviate from the GPS. As much as I hate the low fares I would never intentionally scam a passenger, and would certainly let them out in a different area as long as it's safe and convenient for the rider. I usually study my route ahead of time to see if it's really the most efficient way, but occasionally I get burned by relying on it, when I'm in an unfamiliar area. I could understand him taking an indirect route, either due to bad GPS directions, or maybe he thought he would avoid traffic (which you do since I visited WDW recently), but there was no excuse for him not to let you out when you asked. You should 1star him and report him
 

Another Uber Driver

Well-Known Member
Moderator
We have a driver on the Washington Boards who admitted to fiddling with the GPS when the customer is not looking to have it show a longer route. Said driver did take down the post where same driver made that admission, but the topic is still there as are several drivers' comments that the aforementioned driver did take the scenic route.

Cab drivers have been doing this for years. To hear even the cab drivers there tell it, it is common in Las Vegas for the cab drivers to "long-haul" you ("long-haul" and "scenic route" are common terms for this). The funny thing is that this really does not pay, be it a taxicab or Uber. You make your best money delivering the customer to his destination in the quickest, most efficient manner and moving on to your next customer. In the Capital of Your Nation, you might (note heavy stress on the "might") be able to convince me that taking the scenic route pays during Congress' Summer Recess or the week between Christmas and New Year's. You would need to work awfully hard to convince me of that, though. In fact, Congress is out for the Summer, but due to METRO's Operation Safetrack, where they are doing major work even during rush hour, both TNC and taxicab business is up despite Congress' being out of session.

Uber offers taxis in both Chicago and New York (and the Capital of Your Nation, as well). You use the application to summon your taxi, only, in New York; you must pay the driver. In Chicago and in the Capital of Your Nation (and everywhere else that Uber does offer taxis, as I understand it), you use the application BOTH to summon your taxicab and pay for it. In fact, when you signed on to Uber as a user, a page came up and asked you what you wanted to tip. That applies to Uber Taxi, ONLY. The default setting is twenty per-cent, but you can change that. The taxis do not surge.

Here, on Uber Taxi, Uber charges you the meter fare that the driver keys in at the end of the trip, whatever tip you have pre-selected plus a two dollar "user fee". In Washington, the two dollar user fee is no big deal, as it has cost extra to call a taxicab here since the 1920s. The current charge for calling a cab in Washington is................................(drum roll and trumpet voluntary, please...............) TWO dollars! (tut-tah-dah-dah!).

So, if you like to use Uber, want to ride a taxi and are in a market where Uber offers taxis, you can do that,
 

Tecumseh

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
I accept responsibility for what my wife entered as our destination and perhaps that caused the longer GPS route but I would think an experienced Uber driver would be similar to a cab driver and understand the customers destination - we were tourists going to WDW and despite the slight language barrier he indicated that he understood. I two starred him and did not give the customary tip (which for me is usually more than 20% on shorter cab rides). I gave him two stars because I want to believe that it was an entirely honest mistake. Thanks for the comments - If nothing else I think Uber has brought a free market alternative and is a great service to both those who use it and don't use it as it has allowed free market forces to keep fares competitive.
 

Tecumseh

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
"keep fares competitive"

How is .65 ethical for drivers when the market rate is 2.65?
All I can tell you from recent experience in NYC and Chicago is that cab rates are very similar to Uber rates in terms of cost to the user. I read a little about the "sting" in Orlando and Uber changing rates based on demand is actually illegal in certain jurisdictions. I believe that Uber has had the effect of lowering cab rates in certain areas and for that I am thankful even if I don't use Uber. A free market has no "ethics" - it is based on supply and demand. Consumers will always gravitate towards the best service at lowest cost. How Uber treats its drivers is a totally separate issue.
 

Atom guy

Well-Known Member
Sometimes a driver might not know the fastest way to get somewhere. I did an airport run yesterday, and I ended up following the signs instead of the suggested Uber route. Didn't seem like the fastest route, but I really didn't know, since I was on back roads and not the highway like I normally take. Drivers who have been doing it a while do learn to interpret what the passenger means, or at least to ask questions to get people to the right place.
 

Reversoul

Well-Known Member
I was recently in Orlando and called an Uber. The driver was friendly - he said that he had been an Uber driver for 2 years in Orlando. When my wife called the Uber she put in "Disney Magic Kingdom" as the destination from our hotel. The driver was Venezualan and a little hard to understand but he indicated that he understood we were asking to be taken to Disney's Magic Kingdom. I noticed immediately that the route he took was not a direct route - he avoided the highway and started taking an indirect route using smaller roads. In the middle of the ride he said something about we should have put "Magic Kingdom Parking Lot" as our destination. He never took us to the Disney entrance but he did drive past a walk near Disney's Contemporary hotel that we were familiar with that was a very short walk into the park. We even told him he could let us out there and it would be fine but he said that he would get us to our destination. Well our destination turned out to be a Disney Transportation Hub outside of the back of the park. Not only could we not enter the park but we had to get in line and wait for Disney transportation to take us to the park so essentially defeated the purpose of the Uber. I paid the $13 fair (Uber had estimated the fair from our hotel to be $9-$11) but I did not tip the driver and was left feeling that Uber drivers can easily scam their passengers. When I was in Chicago and NYC recently I only used cabs and all of the cabbies pretty much warn you that Uber drivers will intentionally or unintentionally take longer routes when they drive you. I guess I am just looking for an honest answer - is this a common experience with Uber?
Yeah take the word of a cab driver LMAO.
There's no conflict of interest.

IF this story is true, it doesn't mean that uber drivers in general try to scam. In this case it sounds like the driver followed the GPS blindly, but forgot to use common sense. But that's when you be a man and speak up. Tell the driver to stop the vehicle or reiterate exactly where you want to go.

Assuming you aren't a cab driver, I am fairly certain that most uber drivers are NOT out to scam anyone.
 

Tecumseh

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Yeah take the word of a cab driver LMAO.
There's no conflict of interest.

IF this story is true, it doesn't mean that uber drivers in general try to scam. In this case it sounds like the driver followed the GPS blindly, but forgot to use common sense. But that's when you be a man and speak up. Tell the driver to stop the vehicle or reiterate exactly where you want to go.

Assuming you aren't a cab driver, I am fairly certain that most uber drivers are NOT out to scam anyone.
Nope I'm not a cab driver at all - just a relatively new Uber user. As a tourist in an unfamiliar area (never stayed at that particular hotel before) you rely on your driver to get you to where you want to go. I knew quickly from earlier rides on the hotel bus and with an Uber driver that the route seemed less than direct but since that was our first time going specifically to Magic Kingdom (all other rides prior to this were to other Disney properties) I was not sure. Being a man has nothing to do with it - I clearly said to the guy it would be fine to let us out here and he said "No I want to get you to your destination" which I assumed was the park entrance.

I can tell you that I do trust cab drivers - I was also recently in Chicago and took a cab from downtown to Wrigley - the cab driver wisely took the "scenic route" through Hyde Park (I think) and off the express lanes because as a professional driver he knew traffic patterns and the most efficient way to get me to my destination. I had been warned in NYC and Chicago that like you said many Uber drivers blindly follow their GPS or don't know the best way to get to a destination. Orlando was my first extensive experience with Uber and besides the one experience I described I had an Uber driver drive me into and out of Animal Kingdom by mistake. Again he said it was an honest mistake and he simply lost the blue "guest drop off line" in the parking lot and accidentally drove us through the entire parking lot and out of the park probably adding a mile to my fare but I don't think it was intentional - just maybe that Uber drivers are not full time professional drivers and more likely to make mistakes. The second experience to Magic Kingdom seemed much more of a scam to me - for someone who was an Uber driver for two years in Orlando to not know the best route from the Lake Buena Vista Hilton to Magic Kingdom is unbelievable to me.

In my recent experience in NYC and Chicago the cab fares were only slightly higher than the Uber estimate and the cab drivers were more comfortable with allowing my wife to keep a child on her lap in the back seat or in one case putting four 10 year old kids in the back seat (I was there with a baseball team) so the cost to take a cab was actually cheaper than Uber and even a bus. In Orlando I think Uber was the better service because the app is so easy to use - I will stick to cabs in NYC and Chicago because they are easier to access simply by hailing them.
 

Huberis

Well-Known Member
I have driven taxi for 17. From my experience, our weakest drivers are those most reliant on their GPS. The routes chosen can be both brilliant and horrible.

As for long hauling: The best route is not always obvious or the shortest. If I have a pax going somewhere during say a special event where traffic is an issue, the route will be altered, I make it known to the pax in no uncertain terms we aill be taking an alternate course. If they have a problem with the extra cost, I give them the option of calling back once traffic subsides. I do not offer them a discount to make up the difference etc...... As a driver, it is not acceptable to allow oneself to get stuck in traffic. That is the kiss of death.

If there are no special circumstances and two routes exist with one being shorter but slower, I give them the option, often they want to get there quicker, perhaps 75% of the time. I drive nights, in the evening when there is no traffic and the lights are blinking, well typically that will speed up the slower shorter route.

- Often, your driver isn't as good with directions as you might think and GPS hinders that skill.
- They may be distracted or not putting much thought into the route


Pax do get long hauled from time to time, but given the traffic of some big cities, I question how often it happens. Vegas is often gievn as an example. but that city is one big hustle founded on ripping people off, paying people off...... In my opinion it is its own exception.
 

Ubernic

Well-Known Member
Even being there two years maybe he doesn't often go there from that direction. When I am going to a common place from a new direction I trust my GPS. I know here in San Diego, if a customer types in just "San Diego Airport" and doesn't designate a terminal, the GPS takes us on back roads completely out of the way, and to the back entrance of the airport where regular passengers can do nothing. It is another few miles to drive e around to the terminals.

When using Uber, try your best to use the pin drop, typing in addresses, especially to large locations, can end up sending you to the correct location, but the completely wrong side.
 

Jinxstone

Well-Known Member
Nope I'm not a cab driver at all - just a relatively new Uber user. As a tourist in an unfamiliar area (never stayed at that particular hotel before) you rely on your driver to get you to where you want to go. I knew quickly from earlier rides on the hotel bus and with an Uber driver that the route seemed less than direct but since that was our first time going specifically to Magic Kingdom (all other rides prior to this were to other Disney properties) I was not sure. Being a man has nothing to do with it - I clearly said to the guy it would be fine to let us out here and he said "No I want to get you to your destination" which I assumed was the park entrance.

I can tell you that I do trust cab drivers - I was also recently in Chicago and took a cab from downtown to Wrigley - the cab driver wisely took the "scenic route" through Hyde Park (I think) and off the express lanes because as a professional driver he knew traffic patterns and the most efficient way to get me to my destination. I had been warned in NYC and Chicago that like you said many Uber drivers blindly follow their GPS or don't know the best way to get to a destination. Orlando was my first extensive experience with Uber and besides the one experience I described I had an Uber driver drive me into and out of Animal Kingdom by mistake. Again he said it was an honest mistake and he simply lost the blue "guest drop off line" in the parking lot and accidentally drove us through the entire parking lot and out of the park probably adding a mile to my fare but I don't think it was intentional - just maybe that Uber drivers are not full time professional drivers and more likely to make mistakes. The second experience to Magic Kingdom seemed much more of a scam to me - for someone who was an Uber driver for two years in Orlando to not know the best route from the Lake Buena Vista Hilton to Magic Kingdom is unbelievable to me.

In my recent experience in NYC and Chicago the cab fares were only slightly higher than the Uber estimate and the cab drivers were more comfortable with allowing my wife to keep a child on her lap in the back seat or in one case putting four 10 year old kids in the back seat (I was there with a baseball team) so the cost to take a cab was actually cheaper than Uber and even a bus. In Orlando I think Uber was the better service because the app is so easy to use - I will stick to cabs in NYC and Chicago because they are easier to access simply by hailing them.
I'm not sure how you reckon that taxi and Uber rates are close in Chicago. A taxi is a $3 flag pull, $2.25/mile and about $0.50/per minute. Uber X is $1.70 flag pull, $0.90/mile and $0.20/minute. If your cabbie took you to Wrigley via Hyde Park he took you 50 blocks south before heading north to Wrigley because Hyde Park is on the Southside and Wrigley is on the north. You should also take a cabbie's view of Uber drivers with a grain of salt because Uber has significantly cut into their business. Not all drivers are great but very few actively try to cheat the customer. It's too easy to get caught because GPS tracks the ride and not worth it for a couple of dollars.
 

Tim In Cleveland

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately some drivers lack common sense or unwillingness to deviate from the GPS. As much as I hate the low fares I would never intentionally scam a passenger, and would certainly let them out in a different area as long as it's safe and convenient for the rider. I usually study my route ahead of time to see if it's really the most efficient way, but occasionally I get burned by relying on it, when I'm in an unfamiliar area. I could understand him taking an indirect route, either due to bad GPS directions, or maybe he thought he would avoid traffic (which you do since I visited WDW recently), but there was no excuse for him not to let you out when you asked. You should 1star him and report him
I'm so sorry that this happened to you. The driver was very inflexible. He clearly is not well trained. An knowledgeable driver will let you out anywhere you want or let you verbally change your destination. Even during the ride, you have the ability to go into your rider app and change the destination. Please try that next time.
 

The Mollusk

Well-Known Member
I'm gonna blow your mind here , but a taxi driver can be an Uber driver. An uber driver can be a taxi driver also. It's virtually the same. Same car. Same person, different fare.
 

Robertk

Well-Known Member
Here is what I don;t get about this story....

why not pull out your phone, consult your own GPS/Map of the area, and determine for yourself where it is you wanted to go? The whole story has you passively sitting in the back of the vehicle wondering if the driver was gonna get you to your destination when you have in your pocket the answer to that very question.
 

reg barclay

Well-Known Member
Moderator
I accept responsibility for what my wife entered as our destination and perhaps that caused the longer GPS route but I would think an experienced Uber driver would be similar to a cab driver and understand the customers destination - we were tourists going to WDW and despite the slight language barrier he indicated that he understood.
I assume cab drivers usually drive in one city/area and even if they take someone to another town they probably return to their city for next pick up. IDK about other areas but where I live in NJ if I pick up pax in my town they are often going to other cities, some of which I know reasonably well, some I don't know my way round at all, but I get pings and do trips there (I definitely don't make enough money to drive back empty to my own town after every trip) so I have to just have to rely on the GPS. One time I got a report for bad route/city knowledge or something, I wish I could have told someone that NJ is not a city it is a state that covers 8,729 mi² and unfortunately we don't make enough money to warrant spending time studying every single route and back street of that 8,729 mi² before we start accepting trips. Anyway pax please have this in mind before you criticize your drivers route.
 

the rebel

Active Member
It depends on how the laws are in each state/ county/ city for how far cab drivers will drive back to an area, just like Uber drivers their dependent on keeping their costs down to make money as well. I know cab drivers that have been driving in the Denver metro area for years and do not know every single street, or where every bar/restaurant/ store is in the metro area.
 

Tim54913

Active Member
The PAX should also make sure that they know where they are going so that they can input the correct address. I had a guy two weeks ago who had the destination in and instead of the bus terminal we ended up at the actual building where they store the busses. And this is after I asked him "Are you sure that is where you want to go?"
 

Ben105

Well-Known Member
I take the quickest route my GPS advises unless the customer gives me a preferred route. I ask which they prefer, GPS or preferred with each ride. There's no upside for me to take my pax out of the way for a few cents per minute/mile. If they question it, Uber will fix it anyway, so why even do it.

It is true that if you don't put an accurate destination, especially with big locales like malls, amusement parks, apartment complexes etc, GPS may end up in a different place, but that is easily remedied by talking with your driver and knowing the limitations of GPS.

I took Lyft in Orlando from my hotel to Sea World. I put in the Sea World address but told the driver right away that I was going to the park and to drop me off at the entrance. He used the GPS to get to the park and then just used common sense and signs to drive me to the entrance.
 
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