Uber stress: Customers will pay for keeping drivers waiting

Keep the Uber driver waiting and you may see an extra charge on your credit card.

The ride-hailing firm is testing new grace periods for lateness and cancellations in four regions, including New York, Phoenix and Dallas, the company said in a blog post this week.

Here’s how it will work:

Drivers will be paid for wait times that exceed two minutes.

“When a driver arrives promptly, we think it’s only fair that they’re compensated for their time,” the company said in a blog post titled “Making the Most of Your Time.”

In addition, passengers in these regions will have less time to cancel a trip once they have been matched with a driver- a two minute grace period, reduced from five. They will be charged a small fee, depending on the city, the company said.

The pilot is in response to driver complaints, the Wall Street Journal said. If the changes “improve the experience for riders and drivers, we’ll look at rolling them out more broadly,” the company said.

TechCrunch argues that the change is presented as a benefit to riders but it isn’t:

But the driver cancellation policy feels rude and unforgiving. Sure, people shouldn’t be requesting cars when they’re not even close to ready to leave, forcing drivers to burn tons of time waiting for them. Maybe five minutes was too long; but getting ditched doesn’t seem appropriate, and two minutes feels too short to start charging people.

Maybe. But riders should also want drivers’ time and pay to be maximized, or the system doesn’t work.

Having an Uber driver wait while a passenger goes to the bathroom or finishes a sandwich is fine. But it should cost something extra.

Above: A limousine driver checks his Uber service in Chicago, Illinois. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT)


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  • My time is more important than Uber drivers’.

    Every American

    • Hashim Williams

      Uber didn’t respect us the driver. A Passenger dent my Car door. The Cost to Fixed the Door is $650.00

      Uber Insurance Company refused to Pay for the repair because the deductible agreement with them and uber is $ 1000.00

      I continue to try to let uber assist me but they refused and even disrespect me. They said I deccided to ride my car and no one else force me to do so.

      Stop driving for uber until they start respecting drivers aNd making sure they earn good pay for a trip

  • YC Lawson

    I was an Uber Driver in Houston for a short time. I was constantly waiting for passengers (pax) to load the car. Often it would be well past the five minute wait time. Canceling a passenger was more expensive than waiting when you travel more than 10 minutes to get to their location. I did it last summer for a family vacation, and I will never do it again. With all due respect, Dr. Strangelove your comment was the main problem that I had with my pax; they truly believe their time was more valuable than mine and that they could have me waiting until they felt like loading the vehicle.