11 Ways To Get Yourself Banned As An Uber Driver
Our guide on getting banned as an Uber driver was drawn from conversations with reps and administrators from the USA and the UK. We fortified our information with the guidelines given out by Uber. This guide is for people who are already Uber drivers and wish to avoid getting banned from being an Uber driver. Some of the actions mentioned in this article will get your account deactivated permanently, some will have your account deactivated until you can prove yourself, and some will have your account put on hold.
If you are not already familiar with Uber, then here is our Pros and cons of Uber article.
If you are thinking about making money with ride-sharing and you are not registered as a driver with Uber yet, then try this article on Making money with Uber and Lyft.
1 – Not Allowing Service Animals In Your Car
Allow animals in your car if you wish. You stand to make more money in the long-run if you allow pets in your car. However, it is part of your Uber user agreement that you allow service animals in your car. The Uber company has been in trouble in the past for allowing drivers “not” to accept people with service animals. It is the law that a driver cannot refuse somebody because he or she needs a service animal; just like you cannot refuse to give somebody a ride because they have a false leg.
Even though driving is a service industry, there is no law governing whom you may and may not serve. Shops do not have to serve everybody who walks in, and restaurants can refuse to feed people, so why are drivers in the ride sharing industry forced to accept disabled people and their service animals?
It is your reason for refusal that is the problem. You can refuse somebody if they want to bring a pet and you do not want pets in your car. You can refuse somebody who you feel is too young, or somebody who is drunk. Those are some of the many fine reasons, but if you refuse somebody just because they have a service animal, then that is a form of discrimination that is illegal according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example, you could refuse a person with a service animal because she was high on drugs, but not because she needs a service animal.
You have probably heard of, or read, stories about Uber drivers refusing to pick somebody up because they have a baby, or a small child, or because they are in a wheelchair. Refusing to pick people up for discriminatory reasons is giving Uber and bad name, so Uber is in their rights to instantly deactivate your account if they suspect you are refusing people for the wrong reasons.
2 – Going Inactive For A Month
To maintain your account as an Uber driver, you need to give at least one paid ride per month. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is because it helps clear up which drivers are actively working and which drivers are using Uber as a passing fancy. Those who are not committed to being a driver at least once per month are less likely to stick to Uber’s rules than those who frequently drive as an Uber driver.
The second reason is because people have been known to use Uber to pick out a few choice customers, and then work for them privately and cut out Uber all together. Even though Uber’s 30-day activity policy doesn’t stop people doing this, it does make it more difficult for people to dip into their Uber account whenever they want new private customers.
3 – Canceling Trips Because They Are Too Short
Not only will Uber notice the pattern of you canceling shorter journeys, they will also receive complaints from people who are upset about being left in the lurch. Plus, remember that people who have to call a taxi or an Uber for short journeys tend to be people who are injured or in some way vulnerable, and their complaints are likely to resonate loudly with the Uber admins.
4 – Driving With A Companion In Your Car
People have been found out or discovered many ways, but the most common is that users make comments to Uber, or make comments online that Uber investigates. Allowing other people to drive your car and take your Uber fares is also not allowed. Since it is tough for Uber to know if you are driving with a companion, they will cancel your account right away upon somebody reporting you carrying a companion as you drive. There is no permissible excuse that will help you get your account reactivated.
5 – Giving Away Free Rides Or Charging Outside Of Uber
Uber claims that they can tell if you are giving away free rides or charging outside of Uber by your driving behavior. There are a few ways around their detection, such as not turning the GPS on your phone when you travel, or traveling using a different phone whenever you drive your private (no Uber involved) customers. Since most people do not know how to avoid Uber’s detection methods, you will likely be caught if you give away free rides, issue refunds after rides, or give people lifts and keep Uber out of the loop.
6 – Get An Average Review Rating Lower Than 4.6
Keeping a review rating of 4.6 out of 5 seems pretty high, but Uber claims that 4.8 is the average, and they may be right. The idea of Reputation Inflation says that over time people feel uncomfortable leaving negative reviews when they use a service unless the service has been truly terrible. Plus, passengers are dealing with regular people who drive and not with multi-national restaurants or hotels that are miles away, so people feel awkward and even afraid to leave negative reviews. On the whole, most people are going to have very high ratings, which means maintaining a score of 4.8 shouldn’t be that difficult.
You may have heard of firing a driver slowly, in what some consider to be the flaw with five-star review systems. Some people used to think that three stars was okay, four was good, and five was great. However, if you give your driver a 4-stars, then you are actually firing your driver slowly because his or her rating will fall just slowly enough to dip below 4.6. It seems odd, but if you give a driver a robust 4 out of 5, you are actually firing that driver slowly.
7 – Failing To Maintain A Clean Record And/Or Failing Background Checks
There are some people who earn a DUI and end up losing their Uber membership, which is fair enough, but almost any type of criminal record will get you banned. You will be instantly banned from being a driver if you have a felony on your record, sex offense, and/or violent crime on your record. Some non-violent felons may be accepted, but the myth that you can wait 7 years after getting a criminal record and then reapply is a false. Sexual offense felonies and violet crime convictions will have you banned for life.
You need a clean Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), and you cannot have had more than three incidents in the last three years. You must have no DUI or reckless driving on your record. If you have violations for speeding at 20mph or more over the speed limit, and they occurred within the last three years, then you are automatically denied as an Uber driver.
8 – Promoting A Competitor In Any Way
There has been a lot of yes and no about this issue, so we had it clarified with Uber. They said that you are not allowed to show the logo or any sort of advertising for another company while you are on duty as an Uber driver. This means that if you are a taxi driver by trade, then you cannot show your company’s taxi logos on your car or in your car in any way.
People have been known to have their accounts deactivated if they do things such as hand out cards for Lyft while driving as Uber drivers. Despite this being against the rules, Uber stated that promoting any other type of business while being an Uber driver is going to give the passenger a bad experience and put your review rating at risk. We liken it to trying to sell people a Whopper from Burger King to somebody who is inside a McDonalds eating a Big Mac.
9 – Uber Received A Serious Compliant About You
People have been warned and fired for all sorts of complaints that people have made about them. Plus, Uber will almost always side with the passenger because they are the ones who can bring the lawsuit, or who need to feel protected in order to stop Uber facing further lawsuits.
In essence, this means that a trickster or vindictive passenger could lie about you and have you fired. Even though this is a risk, the risk is similar for most drivers for hire. Many taxi drivers have been warned or fired because of hateful comments given out by drunken passengers. The difference with Uber is that Uber will almost always take the side of the passenger, and the worse the accusation is, then the longer your banning will be.
10 – Carrying A Firearm In Your Car
It is a known fact that most taxi drivers are armed because they frequently deal with strangers, and we have all seen enough horror movies to know that stranger danger is scary. Nevertheless, Uber has as strict no-weapons policy. Even if you have a license to carry, and all the applicable permits in your state, Uber does not allow drivers to be armed in any way.
11 – Flirting With Or Having Sex With A Passenger
There is a no sex policy. Have sex with a passenger, and you will be banned for life from ever being an Uber driver. Few people understand that this rule applies heavily to flirting and any form of unwanted contact after a passenger has paid. Even mild flirting is looked upon very seriously and they will cancel your account if you are accused of making somebody feel uncomfortable.
Some people think that flirting with passengers is a harmless perk of the job, but it can lead to some very dangerous situations and Uber has no desire to get into any sort of legal trouble, so they treat flirting as a serious breach of the rules.
We have a few other ride-sharing articles you may be interested in: Ride Sharing Link.