Uber drivers cancelling shorter trips out of the airport

By TtheTraveller | Nov 26, 2018, 04:20 PM
Anybody got tips on the best way of handling Uber drivers trying to cherry pick longer trips out of the airport?

As I think has been discussed here (or possibly on Reddit) previously, as more Uber drivers have come across from the taxi industry, some of them have taken their poor customer service habits with them.

And that's included picking up a booking, calling ostensibly to discuss the pickup, then casually asking what suburb you're going to. If it's not far enough, they'll cancel the booking a minute later. It happened to me twice before I realised what was going on.

So I tried simply not answering the phone when it's going to be a shorter trip (Surry Hills, on this occasion.) But he kept calling and calling, and I could see on the app that the car hadn't started moving. When I finally gave in and answered, the cancellation followed a couple of minutes later when I told him the destination.

(It's difficult, by the way, to report the behaviour to Uber because the app doesn't seem set up to flag the behaviour of drivers who cancel, as opposed to the actual trip taken.)

Should I just lie and tell them I'm going Manly, then say I've changed my mind once I'm on board?
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By nix584 | Nov 26, 2018, 04:40 PM
Other people I have heard that this has happened to will screenshot the booking immediately and then report the driver to Uber if they cancel. A question though, are you not putting in the destination when you book? If you are and they still cancel that should definitely be reported. And as for saying Manly then changing your mind, they could give you 1 star, reduce your rating then you're banned.
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By Doo | Nov 26, 2018, 04:56 PM
This happens to me on a regular basis and i usually screenshot the driver and report to uber - not sure how effective this is though and definately annoyjng.

Once a driver even refused to take me to the airport. He asked me where i’m going when i was about to get in the car - he drove away saying he can’t be bothered.

Needs a fix in the uber algo to either increase the minimum fare or something. As i can see why the drivers are doing it.


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By Rufus1 | Nov 26, 2018, 06:53 PM
Seems like the more Uber displaces taxis, the more it is becoming just another taxi service!
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By airADL | Nov 26, 2018, 07:37 PM
Sydney airport hotspot fot this
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By Peterb1960 | Nov 26, 2018, 07:48 PM
Had an Uber driver cancel a trip from suburban Melbourne to the city because I wasn’t going to the airport. He called me to ask where I was going and then cancelled when I told him I needed a 15 minute trip into town. Definitely bad behaviour creeping in without the mechanism to respond that we have with the taxi industry.
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By djtech | Nov 26, 2018, 09:14 PM
I don't even understand why they would call then cancel if they know where you'd be going anyways. I had this happen to me a few times, one time causing me to miss my flight! Screenshoted the driver and made a complaint. Gave me a $5 coupon in the app. Sometimes booking a taxi with 13cabs works out better for me.
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By markpk | Nov 26, 2018, 09:23 PM
Is this even a legitimate post?
  • AFAIK you can't book an Uber without putting in a destination
  • Uber has partnered with Qantas - why would Qantas want or accept the blow back from this?

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By robhung | Nov 26, 2018, 09:35 PM
I've previously asked another Uber driver about this behaviour as it happens to me on a very frequent basis, especially on a late Friday / Saturday night in Sydney.


Apparently Ubers attempt to prevent this by actually hiding the destination from the driver until they've actually started the trip by picking up the passenger.


So drivers have caught on to this and use the calling ability to get around the hidden destination, when this feature was really more to be used in helping the driver locate the passenger. Seems like a Catch 22 as you wouldn't want to get rid of it.


I generally just get the phone call over and done with as quick as possible, and usually by the third attempt, you'll get a driver who's willing to do the trip. There's an oversupply of drivers at the moment, so if someone doesn't want your business, there will always be another ready.


Another suggestion would be to replace your phone number on Uber with a number that's uncontactable, eg. use an old / international sim card, change your mobile number on your Uber profile to this new number, receive the 4 digit pin by SMS, and then change your SIM card back to your main number. By doing this, they can't call you and they're forced to just come pick you up, or cancel the trip straight away.

Last edited by robhung at Nov 26, 2018, 11.42 PM.
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By dimi | Nov 27, 2018, 05:35 AM

Is this even a legitimate post?
  • AFAIK you can't book an Uber without putting in a destination
  • Uber has partnered with Qantas - why would Qantas want or accept the blow back from this?


In Australia Uber does not disclose the destination to the driver until the passenger is in the car.

That’s why they try calling to find out where the passenger is going.


I have no idea why you think Qantas has anything to do with this (or why Qantas’ involvement is supposed to be some sort of quality guarantee).

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By ryanpst | Nov 27, 2018, 06:16 AM
Try living a few minutes from the airport and using Uber - this has happened dozens of times to me, even when I’m making short trips that aren’t to the airport. Uber has stopped replying to my complaints about drivers who do this.

I’ve given up and gone back to hailing taxis. At the airport I also don’t have to walk to the pickup zone or wait for the driver. Most times the queue is very short too.

Uber is ok elsewhere just not within 5kms of Sydney airport.
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By Rigs | Nov 27, 2018, 10:58 AM
This certainly happens a lot in Sydney. I've also noticed drivers giving lower star ratings to me as a passenger if I'm not going long distances.
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By Neil R | Nov 27, 2018, 12:13 PM
This is becoming a pain. I live in the south eastern suburbs of Sydney, and it has happened to me twice in the last 3 months. The User driver has pulled up and seen my luggage, has cancelled the trip and driven off. This use to happen to me before Uber started with Taxis (Especially when getting into a Cab at the Airport). However, it is now the Taxis who are welcoming my business to and from the Airport (Its like all the bad taxi drivers have gone across to Uber).
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By hakkinen5 | Nov 27, 2018, 12:19 PM
I don't even understand why they would call then cancel if they know where you'd be going anyways. I had this happen to me a few times, one time causing me to miss my flight! Screenshoted the driver and made a complaint. Gave me a $5 coupon in the app. Sometimes booking a taxi with 13cabs works out better for me.

Uber drivers cannot see your destination until they arrive and pick you up and start metering. That's why they call to see if they can find out the destination before they get there.
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By patrickk | Nov 27, 2018, 01:35 PM
Is this even a legitimate post?
  • AFAIK you can't book an Uber without putting in a destination
  • Uber has partnered with Qantas - why would Qantas want or accept the blow back from this?


The driver doesn’t see the destination until pick up. That is why they call.
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By Businessasusual | Nov 27, 2018, 02:16 PM
I have been an Uber driver and they have a policy of not disclosing destinations to drivers until the trip commences as a way of assuring maximum trip fulfillment. If drivers are finishing a shift they have the option of setting a destination so they are only offered trips in that direction.
Furthermore, a driver is not entitled to ask your destination in a phone call. Therefore you are under no obligation to tell them your destination under Uber's terms of service, and I would recommend using this as a response to drivers if asked.
It's a practice that is reducing the reliability of the service and it drags down the reputation of the whole company.
In summary: if asked, don't tell.
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