An Interview With an Uber Driver – Avoiding Scams and More

Uber DriverThe interviewee is an Uber driver who will remain anonymous and wanted to share details surrounding their work conditions with me.

Q1: What type of mask do you recommend using as an Uber driver?

A: “I recommend using N95 masks. They protect me from the environment, and the environment from myself.”

 

Q2: Have you had any customers that refused to wear masks?

A: “Yes, some passengers refuse to wear masks. The passengers sometimes become combative when told to put a mask on, or some simply do not do it. I have full discretion in canceling the ride, but sometimes I simply roll down the window and complete the ride. One rider went into the car eating ice cream and was politely told not to eat in the car. He was silent the entire ride. After the ride, I thought he was retrieving his baggage from the trunk to leave. What I did not know was he was leaving items such as shoes, socks underwear, and condoms, all used, in my trunk for me to dispose of them.”

Takeaway: Always carry gloves in your compartment or under the seat if you ever need to dispose of items that do not belong to you. Also, it is best to decline a customer if they do not want to wear a mask. This includes wearing the mask below the nose or mouth. Wearing a face shield is fine, but this must be supplemented with a mask. In addition, carry around a cleaning agent to keep the car clean after rides.

 

Q3: Do you help the customer in any way during the ride?

A: “If they have luggage, I try to help them put their luggage in the trunk. Some passengers bring aluminum suitcases and if I do not help them, they might bring it with them in the backseat. Oftentimes this scratches the car, which I am responsible for.”

Takeaway: Keep luggage and items in the trunk, and if possible, offer to help the passenger place those items. It may be reciprocated with a tip.

 

Q4: Do passengers try to sit in the front seat?

A: “When I received a ride of 4 passengers, they tried to let me allow one passenger to sit in the front seat. I declined the ride.”

Takeaway: Due to coronavirus concerns, keep the front seat free of passengers.

 

Q5: Has a passenger tried to use cash to pay you?

A: “A passenger told me that they wanted to stop along the way at a liquor store, without inputting this information through the app. He offered cash for the extra stop”.

Takeaway: Do not accept cash in place of using the Uber app to fulfill a ride. Cash is phased out in some businesses due to coronavirus concerns. Also, Uber needs to know your route and destination so they can prepare another ride for you, or the driver can lose a ride.

 

Q6: Has anyone tried to scam you?

Part 1:

“I got a ride and drove to a military base. The security in front of the military base asked me to see my driver’s license, which I provided. Afterward, I drove out when I saw the passengers who ordered the ride. I drove them to their destination, and after the ride, I got a call through the Uber app with the caller ID as “Support”. The man, whom I did not know, knew my full name, and posed as an Uber employee willing to give a bonus. The man said to input an “Uber account number” into the app to receive the bonus. Unknowingly, this was a debit card number.”

Takeaway: Be cautious of anyone posing as an Uber employee, especially those offering a bonus, or enlisting you to submit information into the app.

Part 2:

“On a different occasion, once the passengers got into the car, they told me that they wanted to make an extra stop along the way before their destination. Uber requires that this information be inserted through the app. The passengers told me that their mother ordered the ride and that they do not have their mother’s phone. They asked me if they could insert the extra stop through my phone, which I allowed them to use for no more than 10 seconds. Little did I know, only the passenger could add the extra stop through their app. In that short time, they entered their banking information and tried to withdraw cash, and promptly exited the vehicle.”

Takeaway: Never let a passenger use your phone, even for a few seconds. Always be aware of the whereabouts of your phone in your vehicle.

WorkplaceLawyers.com is the website for the workers compensation attorneys firm of Livingston, DiMarzio LLP Our team of attorneys is made up of New Jersey Mesothelioma Lawyers, NJ Workers Comp Lawyers, Employment Lawyers and Certified New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Attorneys.