Would you drive for a new rideshare company if you were an employee?

More and more states are looking to place further regulations on the rideshare industry. There is a big push by governments to force companies like Uber and Lyft to make drivers their employees.  

But what if there was a rideshare company that started all of their drivers as employees? How many current Uber and Lyft drivers would give up their contractor status and become an employee? 

Yesterday a company called Alto launched in Los Angeles according to LA Magazine. They will  providing the vehicles, training, and W2 – status for all of their drivers. The article goes on to say, “The brand hopes its focus on safety will help people justify the additional cost—particularly during a pandemic. All the company’s cars are equipped with plexiglass barriers and HEPA air filters; between rides, the vehicles are sprayed with a “hospital-grade” sanitizing mist that’s reported to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses.,”

It will be interesting to see if this business model can expand beyond just the LA Area?

Friday: Is decorating your car for the holidays a good idea?

Will a dash-cam in your car improve your ratings?

A lot of rideshare drivers who do not currently have a dashcam are currently looking for one. Now is a great time because so many brick and mortar or online retailers are offering some greater deals.  

If you are in the market for one of the cameras, I suggest you check out the post from July 20th, ‘What do you look for when buying a dash-cam”.  

Some of the reasons  rideshare drivers are making this investment include things like personal safety and false claims by riders against drivers. However, could owning one of these cameras have an unforeseen benefit? An article posted by Frontiers in Psychology, “suggests that people observed by cameras feel that their behavior is being evaluated, and hence might adjust their behaviors following social norms. Findings from their study indeed showed that people were more willing to assist others when a camera was present and visible.” The idea that people were more willing to assist could also translate into higher ratings for drivers. 

I did see a slight uptick in the number of 5-star ratings after I installed my dash-cam. However, I can not claim that it was a direct result of having a camera in my car. 

Wednesday: Would you drive for a new rideshare company if you were an employee?

Contacting driver support for both Uber and Lyft

We’ve all had issues while driving on our rideshare platforms. More often than not, we need to reach out to support. Both Uber and Lyft have more than one way to contact them. Below are the most up to date ways for drivers to contact support on either platform.

Uber

  • Through the driver app:
    • Open the driver app
    • Click on the hamburger icon(3 bars) in the upper left-hand corner of the app
    • Click on “Help”
    • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on “Call Support”
  • By phone: 800.593.7069
  • Email: support@uber.com
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uber/
  • Twitter: @Uber_Support
  • Greenlight Hub: To book an appointment at a Greenlight Hub that is open click here

 

Lyft

  • Through the driver app:
    • Open the driver app
    • Click on help
    • Search for a topic with the “Contact us button”
  • Online: help.lyft.com
  • Twitter: @AskLyft
  • The Hub: to find an office in your city go to https://www.lyft.com/hub/hours

Contacting support can require patents. Getting your issue resolved in your favor may require calling support multiple times and speaking with different representatives each time. Finding the right representative can mean the difference between success and failure.

Where to pee?

Rideshare drivers have always struggled with finding a clean restroom while out on the road. Since the onset of Covid-19 those choices have dwindled dramatically. 

One option is at the gas station when you fill up. They often have open restrooms but it is not a guarantee. 

The worst situation is when you have to go and there aren’t any choices at all. I’ve started carrying a product I found on Amazon called Mini Toilet. Its single use only and can be used by both men and women. After use, it zip locks closed and comes with a small garbage bag for disposal. Amazon often runs out of this one so here is another option called Coolrunner Disposal Urine bags and basically works the same. I am sure there are plenty of other similar products out there but these are the ones I’ve tried and they work great!

When this is all over, I hope we can go back to using Starbucks as they have a location on every corner. 

Wednesday: Contacting driver support for both Uber and Lyft

What roadside assistance program are you using?

As a rideshare driver, you never know when you will need to call for roadside assistance. Keys locked in the car, flat tire, stuck in a ditch, or worse an accident, having a company you can rely on can bring you peace of mind. 

Today, there are a wide variety of programs available but how do you choose the one that is right for you? According to Living On The Cheap  “When deciding which program is right for you and your family, consider who needs to be covered and what vehicles they drive, and whether you need to be covered in other vehicles. You also want to compare different companies’ average response times for service calls, whether memberships cover all costs or if you’ll need to seek reimbursement, whether calls cover accidents or just electrical/mechanical failure, and how often and for what distance towing is covered.” 

There are 3 ways to choose your roadside assistance program:

New or certified used car purchases – When you purchase a new or certified used car, they often come with roadside assistance included for free. Edmunds has put together a list of manufacturers that offer this service.

Traditional programs – The most common way to get coverage is to purchase a program like AAA but there are other options available. Good Sam Roadside Assistance, AARP Roadside Assistance with AllState (55yr+), and others. Pricing can vary greatly depending on the types of coverage and number of drivers. It can take some time to sort out all of the options but that homework can pay off with savings.

Credit cards companies, phone companies, and auto insurance carriers – American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Discover all offer their members some form of coverage but it is limited. Both Verizon and AT&T have coverage for a small additional monthly fee. Insurance companies often have their own programs, but again there is an additiinal monthly charge beyond your plan’s premiums.

Whichever route you choose, you can be secure in knowing that a backup plan is in place when you are stranded.

Monday: Your car smells like weed because of your last rider, now what?

Don’t discount riders who say they will tip in the app!

You’ve just completed a trip and the rider says to you as they’re leaving, “Thank you, I’ll tip you in the app”. You turn your head, roll your eyes and give them 1 star. 

When it comes to earning tips from riders, many of us have been jaded. Tips that were promised by riders never appear in our accounts. No one can debate that the way you feel isn’t justified but are you jumping the gun?

When you complete a trip, a driver is prompted to rate the rider before moving on.  Riders rarely order a second Uber right away and thus are not prompted to rate you or give you a tip right away. In fact, it may be several days or longer before you receive their rating or a tip. Some riders aways tip, some never tip and others only tip when they feel you did really did a good job. The way you rate your rider should be based on how they conducted themselves in your car over the entire trip and not on what they said at the end of the trip. Neither riders nor drivers want to receive a 1 star rating especially if it wasn’t justified. Be patient, that tip may still be coming!

Friday: What roadside assistance program are you using?

Drivers are responsible for checking IDs when delivering alcohol

In some states like California, UberEats drivers are temporarily permitted to deliver alcohol with their food delivery orders. Adding beer, wine or mixed drinks brings added revenue to struggling restaurants and brings increased demand for delivery. If this option is available in your state, you do have to opt-in for this kind of delivery. However, this also means drivers are responsible for checking ids and more!

The Washington Post had an article back in April that went over some of the perils drivers face when accepting these deliveries. One of the most shocking is restaurants including alcoholic drinks in orders even though it was illegal in their state.

In the Golden State, authorities are taking action. California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is conducting sting operations and fining drivers for not checking ids at the door. These fines can range from $250 – $1000, ouch! The best way for drivers to protect themselves is to follow all of the steps listed on the Uber Help page on delivering alcohol.

Lastly, remember that these orders can not sit upfront with you because of open container laws and must be kept in your trunk.

Wednesday: Don’t discount riders who say they will tip in the app!

Some interesting information on UberEats for drivers

We all know that user demand for rideshare is way down. According to QZ.com, demand in the second quarter of 2020 was down 75%. 

With such a sharp decline, many of us have turned to food delivery options like DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats, and others. In October, Business of Apps posted an article claiming UberEsts has now passed Uber Rides in revenue. 

For drivers, the move to delivery is easy to understand given the increased demand as well as limiting one’s exposure to Covid-19. But what can we expect to earn and how can I tell which one has the best boosts?

Money – Quora.com claims Uber drivers make more money as UberEats drivers only get a set amount per delivery. Whereas, Uber drivers earn more per mile. So when you are being pinged for a delivery, it is best to only accept those coming from restaurants that are closest to you.

Finding the best boosts – Signing up with a different account for Uber Rides and UberEats can be the secret to increasing your income. If you run separate accounts, you can sign-in to each one and shop each app for the best boosts for different times a day. Shopping the apps is a great way for you to raise your income and use your time more efficiently.

In the gig economy, we all have to work smarter not harder to be successful. 

Friday: Dealing with vomit, are you prepared?

A quick look 2021 cars for rideshare

The new year is right around the corner and so auto manufactures are now out pushing the 2021 models.

 

For rideshare drivers who are looking for a new car, 3 models stand out as great options:

 

All 3 cars remain among the top choices from last year, according to USNews. Both the Corolla and the Civic provide riders with a roomy back cabin, which is reliable and affordable. The Prius makes the list for its enviable fuel economy, always an important factor when working in the rideshare industry. 

No matter which one you choose, be sure to search around on pricing because with many deals offered right now.

Wednesday: 5 tips for food delivery drivers

5 things I wish I knew before becoming a rideshare driver.

Being a rideshare driver means you have to be able to accept a lot of unknowns: where you will be driving to today, how many trips you will have, what kind of tips you will make, what kind of riders you will be picking up, and more. All of these are unknowns will deal with every day. But what if you were new to rideshare, what things would you have liked to have known before you started driving?

Here are five big things to know when you’re getting started that will help you during your day:

  1. Don’t drive around looking for rides – After you have driven for a couple of days, you will quickly learn the busier parts of your city or town. Find a place to park and wait for the app to go off. There’s no need to waste gas and to rack up miles on your car.
  2. Don’t bother waiting for rides at the airport – This is especially true right now because of Covid-19, as there aren’t a lot of rides from the airport. But even when people start traveling again, airport queues for rideshare can be between  30 – 90 minutes. You could have easily made good money during that same time by driving in hotter spots downtown. Too often, airport rideshare lots are just a place where drivers gather to complain about rideshare. They would have less to complain about if they were out working the busy parts of their town or city and making money instead of wasting time in a queue at the airport!!
  3. The secret to high ratings may not be what you think – Too often people who are thinking about becoming a rideshare driver believe that they will be good at it because they have a nice car and they know their way around their city or town. New drivers don’t understand that this is a customer service job. You will be dealing with all kinds of people and you need to be able to read their tone and body language to understand what they want.
  4. Getting your rider to their destination in record time isn’t a rider’s top priority – Yes, most riders want to get to where they are going quickly, but feeling safe in your car is more important than speed!
  5. A clean car doesn’t need air freshener – Riders love a clean car! If you keep your car clean, there is no need for air freshener. People are sensitive to smells like air freshener, anda rider who hates the smell or even gets a headache from it will likely not say a word to you about it. Instead, they will tell your rideshare company with a bad rating. Now, If a rider leaves a bad smell in your car after they leave, just roll your windows down and air out your car before your next trip.

*Previously posted on Aug 11th

Tomorrow: A new paint job versus a vinyl covering for your car?