You Now Might Have To Pay Extra If You Keep Your Uber Waiting

Just like you might get annoyed when you have to wait too long for your Uber driver, that driver might be losing money for all the time you dawdle inside because you weren’t ready to be picked up. That’s why the service is testing a new policy that allows drivers to tack on a fee if a passenger keeps them waiting for more than two minutes. 

This is a revision of an existing policy in some markets, where Uber drivers are allowed to charge no-show fees of $5-10 to passengers who don’t turn up within five minutes of the car’s arrival.

TechCrunch reports that the late passenger fee is currently being piloted in New York City, New Jersey, Phoenix, and Dallas, and depending on evaluations could expand to other areas in the coming months.

The “Request When You’re Ready” pilot was first spotted by a New York Uber user via a pop-up on the company’s app.


“Drivers’ time is valuable, and while we expect riders to request a ride only once they’re ready, we know that waiting for a rider at their pickup location can be frustrating,” a rep for the company tells TechCrunch. “When riders and drivers are respectful of each other’s time, the whole system runs more smoothly and the Uber experience improves for everyone.”

While the changes mean that passengers should hustle it when ordering a ride, it doesn’t actually change when riders are charged a cancellation fee.

That fee is only applied if the rider doesn’t show up within five minutes. Instead, the new policy states that a driver can start charging its city’s per-minute rate for every minute they decide to wait for the passenger after the first two minutes.

Essentially, the policy allows driver to start trips for tardy passengers before they actually get to the car.

It’s unclear if a passenger being charged the per-mile rate after two minutes will charged both that fare and the no-show fee if the fail to arrive after five minutes and the driver cancels their trip. We’ve reached out to Uber and will update this post when we hear back.

For now, Uber has updated its help page to reflect the charges imposed after two minutes: “Cancellation fees may differ depending on the city and selected vehicle option. Many cities have a 5 minute charge-free cancellation window, but select cities and uberPOOL trips may charge after two minutes from a driver accepting your request.”

TechCrunch notes that while the policy shift appears to be a response to driver complaints about tardy passengers and wasted time and fuel, it could become an issue given the company’s varying estimated time of arrival posted on the app.

For example, the app could show your car is 6 minutes away, but it arrives in three and you’re not waiting on the curb.

Now some Ubers will only wait 2 minutes before charging you, not 5 [TechCrunch]

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