Commuters in metropolitan cities are frustrated by the growing number of cancellations on Uber, the app-based taxi service. Geetika Sachdev, a communication professional based in Gurgaon, is extremely disappointed with Uber services. “I had a crucial meeting I had to attend and I couldn’t attend because three taxi drivers canceled me. The worst thing is that they agree to take you to your destination, and as soon as you share your address, they leave you hanging. There was also an instance where a taxi driver canceled me after arriving at my pickup destination. My biggest fear is if I need a taxi during a medical emergency,” she told indianexpress.com
A Pune-based dental student, Uneza Q, who relies heavily on transport services to get to university, calls taxi services worse than cars. “Last month I almost failed my exams,” she said. Many other passengers in India have also complained on social media about similar incidents. It looks like Uber is planning to address some of these issues with its new policies around improving the driver and passenger experience.
The main reasons for most of these trip cancellations are drop-off locations or online payment (card or UPI) chosen by customers, but deemed unfavorable by drivers. To incentivize the right behavior on the platform, drivers who reach a predefined trip acceptance threshold will now be able to get destination information so they can make an informed choice.
“To take the frustration out of passengers and drivers, we are now showing trip destinations to drivers before they decide to accept the ride. The initial destination feature is already available in 20 cities and will be expanded to all others. wrote Nitish Bhushan, Director of Central Operations, Uber India in an official blog post.
Naturally, drivers don’t like having to go out of their way to pick up passengers. To address this issue, Uber has also introduced additional earnings for drivers in case they have to travel a long distance to pick up passengers.
“Drivers will be able to see earnings for long pick-ups, displayed separately on the till receipt. When drivers are few and demand is high, this will help ensure you can get around when you need to,” Bhushan added.
If you’re a frequent Uber user, chances are you’ve had to endure the hassle of the driver calling you, asking if it’s a cash or online ride, and when you have says “online payment”, the trip is instantly canceled by the driver. Until now, Uber drivers weren’t able to see if the ride was “cash only” or “online.” The service now tells drivers how to pay (cash or online) before the trip begins. This will allow them to choose a cash ride only if that is what they need.
“Going a step further to make cash or online decision irrelevant, we have now introduced a daily payment process for drivers. This will ensure that Monday-Thursday trip earnings will be credited to drivers the next day, while Friday-Sunday earnings will be credited on Monday,” the post added.
Finally, the company notes that it has also increased Uber fares to protect drivers from the impact of rising fuel prices in many cities in India. “We continue to strive to make driving with Uber a viable and attractive option for drivers and the recent fare hike will directly increase their revenue per ride,” the company said.