You would think that these tips would be common sense, but as you may already know common sense is not so common. These 4 tips will help your Uber or Lyft experience go smoother.

Tip # 1 – Correct Address

When you input your information into the app please know the address (or cross streets or major landmarks) where you are and the address where I will be taking you.

Tip # 1.1 – Your Address

I ran into this problem several times this week.  I drove to a destination to pick someone up and I could not find them.  The GPS was wrong.  In one instance, the woman was at the Holiday Inn Express, not the apartment complex that Google Maps had given me for the destination.  The more comical one was when Google Maps sent me to pick someone up on the freeway overpass when in fact it was the Applebee’s that was next door to the freeway.  Although not the passenger’s fault, it would have gone a lot smoother if once they saw I was struggling to find them (the Uber and Lyft app both give the passenger an approximation of where I am) they would have called me or texted me to let me know where they were.

Tip #1.2 – Destination

One passenger had been given the wrong address as her destination.  It turned out it was her son’s old home.  She did not play close attention to what she was putting in the app and she did not question it when she received it from her soon to be daughter-in-law (they are getting married tomorrow).  I picked the woman up and started driving like I always do, I had no reason to question where I am taking her or if it is the correct address.  I just drive to the address.

As I approached the home, the passenger was slightly bewildered.  She was supposed to be getting her nails done at a nail salon.  It was to be a bonding moment with her soon (almost) daughter-in-law.  We ended up wasting 30 minutes and driving in a big circle.  It was humorous but my passenger was only a little upset.  She said she would “let it slide” because her son and his fiancée were getting married tomorrow.

Tip #2 – Move Away from the Crowd

If you are attending a large event and want to call an Uber or Lyft, unless there is a designated tent set up, please move away from the crowd.  Do not be a needle.

Imagine throngs of people walking all around you.  You have a car and are looking to pick someone up.  You look just like everyone else in that crowd.

I have no way of recognizing you.  The apps generally do not display a picture, even if it does display your picture, almost every picture I have seen has not looked like the person I have picked up.  If you want me to find you, you have to move away from the crowd and communicate that to the driver.

Last night I was trying to find a passenger that had just gotten out of some sort of mass event. Almost everyone had lawn chairs and coolers.  I am sure it was an amazing time.  They requested an Uber, I was in the neighbor and responded.  I spent 10 minutes trying to find them until they canceled the request.  There were just too many people.  It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  The haystack won.

Tip #3 – Wait Outside

I know you are busy, so am I.  If you ask for an Uber or Lyft, your driver is heading directly to where the app tells him to pick you up.  If you are not waiting outside when he gets there, then it gets difficult.

Tip #3.1 – Save Money 

First, you get charged while the Uber or Lyft driver is waiting for you.  Save some money, be outside.  Second, if are not waiting outside when he (or she) gets there, then you have the chance that he will cancel the trip and then you have to ask for another one.  It wastes time and money because you get charged when the driver arrives and then has to cancel as well.  Save yourself more money, be outside.  Third, it is terribly frustrating for the driver to have to spend time and money looking for you.  If he does find you, depending on his mood you may be in for a long ride.

Tip #3.2 – Do Not Make the Same Mistake Twice

I had several instances where waiting outside would have saved several of my passengers time and money.  The first one requested an Uber at a McDonald’s.  Besides waiting for him outside when I arrived, I drove around for 10 minutes trying to find him.  He made no effort to find me, text, or call me.  After I canceled that request I started to leave the area.  I thought it was a prank.

Then I get another request from the same guy!  This time it was in front of the Ralph’s across the parking lot.  I drove back to the area and tried to find him again.  This time I stopped every single person that was outside to try to find out if it was the passenger.  I even drove around the back of the store looking for him and asking everyone.  Once again, he was nowhere.  I canceled the trip again and then logged off so that I would not get him again.  Sure, I made money off it because that is how it works but the man could have saved himself nearly $10 if he would have waited outside or communicated with me in some way that he was actually there.

Tip #4 – Use the Rating System

They designed the rating system to give feedback to drivers.  If we do not know what is wrong, we cannot fix it.  Please rate us by giving us stars and in some instances comments about what we did right and what we can improve.

Tip #4.1 – Be a Squeaky Wheel

There is an old adage that goes “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  If you do not like something or someone please say something.  I keep my car very clean because I wash and vacuum it every day that I drive.  I also have a nice air freshener in my car so that my passengers feel like they are getting a high-quality vehicle.  If I treat my car with care, then I will most likely treat them with the same or better care.  After all, people matter more than things. Also,  first impressions matter and how I represent myself and the company makes a big difference.  Almost every passenger that gets in my car compliments me on how clean and fresh it is.

However, what is more remarkable is that other Uber and Lyft drivers do not even come close.  Many of my passengers have complained about the levels of cleanliness of other drivers (the cars were dirty inside and out or they smelled like marijuana).  However, I doubt they have said anything on the app.  They just give them the five stars and go on with their day.  The passengers did not want to get the drivers in trouble.  I understand that but how can we improve (or care) if no one ever says anything.  I know that driver’s cars would be a lot cleaner if passengers said something.

Final Thoughts

Drivers want to get you to your destination safe, sound, and with all your belongings.  If you use these tips you will find that your driver is happier and will accommodate you as much as possible.  That is not to say they will give you the moon, however, you will find that the experience is a lot more enjoyable.  The GPS is difficult enough and we have no way of fixing that problem, but as guests, in our car, a little common sense and courtesy mean everyone has a better day.

Do not be like the passenger who got into my car, wanted to listen to music (I generally do not care what my passengers listen to), and played highly offensive rap.  Please do not misunderstand me, I have no problem with rap, I have a problem with listening to rap that demeans and degrades minorities and women.  He can listen to that music as is his right. I choose not to.

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