New Uber No Show Policy Requires Riders To Be Uber Fast

Uber no-show policy

The new Uber no show policy is no-nonsense. Uber drivers can not only ditch you if you are five minutes late for your ride, but also start charging you the city’s per-minute rate.  If after two minutes of arrival, they decide to wait for you to get in the car, a rider would be charged a $5 no show fee.

Uber said the reason it is introducing this new Uber no show policy is because many drivers waste a lot of time waiting for people, which can lead to wasting gas and missing out on other clients.

“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,” Uber said in a statement. “When riders and drivers are respectful of each other’s time, the whole system runs more smoothly.”

Uber No-Show Policy Not For Slowpokes

You had better sprint outside and get your ride now. No dawdling. Uber doesn’t have time to wait around for you.

The ride-hailing company told Techcrunch it is running this pilot program in New York City, New Jersey, Phoenix and Dallas, and will be evaluating results over the next few weeks before deciding whether to expand it to other markets.

The strict “Request When You’re Ready” policy update was first spotted and shared on social media by an Uber user in New York who saw a pop-up message appear on the company’s mobile app.

The new policy, which is aimed at helping drivers, will also allow the drivers to charge a $5 to $10 no-show fee to passengers who cancel a trip after two minutes of being matched with a driver.

“Previously the cancellation window was five minutes, but we’ve seen that two minutes is usually sufficient time for riders to determine whether they need a car,” the company said on its newsroom blog.

How the New Policy Will Help Passengers is Unclear.

One of the key advantages Uber had over regular taxis was that its cars would wait for you. If you needed to grab something you forgot, use the bathroom or were a parent with a couple of kids trying to get in the car, you knew Uber was flexible enough to politely park and wait for you.

Now, with only two minutes of wait time, you practically have to be standing outside already so you don’t miss your ride. Meanwhile, Uber’s main competitor, Lyft, will wait five minutes for you to get in the car and must contact you by phone or text before they leave you with a similar $5 to $10 penalty.

Moreover, Ubers are known to sometimes arrive sooner than anticipated. The Uber app will — on some occasions — show a driver six minutes away, but then the ride arrives four minutes later when you are not waiting on the curb. Other times, it marks cars as having “arrived” when they’re still a block away, which in both cases could lead to passengers being charged extra wait time.

Unreliability can also work the other way, too. Traffic jams, wrong turns and faulty GPS all contribute to making pickup time unreliable — even for drivers. But, unlike what will now happen with passengers, there is no immediate monetary penalty for the driver who runs late for a pickup and offers some excuse.

Uber has, however, provided that if a driver is more than five minutes late for an estimated arrival, you can cancel the ride with no penalty. You will nevertheless be left out in the cold, looking for another alternative, and probably be late to your destination.

How passengers will react to the Uber no-show policy pilot program remains to be seen, but Uber hopes that the new policy will encourage users to call an Uber only when they are actually ready — and make haste to get to the curb when their ride arrives.

Uber Photo via Shutterstock


David William David William is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers franchises, brick and mortar businesses, public policy and other small business issues. He is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.

10 Reactions
  1. I love taxi and taxiiiiiiiiiiii.yes.

  2. Why non-sense? You have no empathy towards drivers on the road and understanding how how much time drivers wasted waiting for riders.

  3. The driver will be happy to wait for you as long as you respect their time. Just let the driver know you are finishing up and give an accurate amount of time that you’ll be at the car and finish it with please start the trip, while you wait. As the driver’s time has a value and he should be compensated for waiting for you. Also, a driver that does wait for you is deserving of a tip as it is not in their normal job duties to work for free because you are unorganized.

  4. OH MY GOD… Uber is going to charge riders .20c for making the drivers wait!!!!! WHAT IS THIS MADNESS. This article is beyond retarded

  5. Why shouldn’t a rider be charged. I bet riders don’t like waiting either, and would be more than happy to whine while waiting in line for a coffee. Personally, I get cheesed off with heading for a fare, and then they cancel, wasting my time, my fuel.

  6. George Bourgeois

    It doesn’t require you to be “Uber-fast”. ALL a rider has to do is call Uber when he or she is READY. Then watch their car on the GPS the app provides for you – it’s more reliable than their sometimes-inaccurate pickup estimates.

  7. UBER Driver no call, no show at Ball and Chain Bar and Restsurant, Miami, a very public place. waited in front as I watched the minutes drop, checking for the make and model of the vehicle assigned. No call, no show on drivers part. Reentered order. Same result. Reentered order. Same result. 4th time, driver made it. Charged 3 times for Uber drivers failure and absolute zero effort to reach origin (pick up point). Uber billled me for each driver no show, no call. NY TIMES may or may find interest. UBER billing policy egregioius, appalling, astounding. (When getting dropped off there earlier that evening, GPS directed UBERb to an incorrect location). Again, NY Times may or may not find this dogmatic billing policy of interest.

  8. Nothing annoys me more than when I’m requested to drive 10 minutes away to pick up a rider but when I get there the rider is nowhere to be found. Not ready. Not by the curb. And it’s always at night when I cannot see the house numbers. What the fruit have they been doing the last 10 minutes???! I have no problem canceling these people simply out of principle. They can wait another 10 minutes for another Uber or Lyft sucker.

  9. I requested an Uber for the first time last week. I was given a time slot when the ride was coming. I was not given any information about the type of vehicle. Uber never showed up and I cancelled the request. My friend had to quickly get in her car and drive in an unsafe manner so we could attend our event. Shouldn’t Uber have informed me that no one was coming? I think I will try Lift next time or call a taxi.

  10. We ordered an Uber ride for a 930am pick-up, with driver Frances (Disney area) assigned to us. The time continued to get pushed back. We tried several attempts to contact her via text, call and left voicemail with no return response. Uber drivers if your going to be the no show. Just let us know for consideration as you’d want from us. Frances from Disney Area TWO THUMBS DOWN!!