Wes Kretzer (Wes)

Ride Apprentice from Aurora, OH

Weekend Uber Warrior
1556 Rider Driver

Weekend Uber Warrior, experience with lighting and lighting fixtures/applications, Southern Gospel Music.


Posts by Wes

Comments by Wes

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     1 month ago in  What's a typical passenger rating for Uber? Is 4.50 good?

    Thanks for your positive input Bucko. (sarcasm noted)  But, i DO have a highly successful 30 year day job and still hit it every day.  And honestly I've only driven once this entire year but planning on hitting it hard again in July-November during the better weather months.  yeah none of us really "like" rules so think of them more as positive suggestions.  It's totally optional and only YOUR rating will reflect that!

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     1 month ago in  Riders ridiculously unfair

    I've done a couple thousand rides and my overall average is 4.93 BUT one thing that i've noticed and it irritates me beyond words is that I've had 2 one's in the past 12 months and I KNOW there is NO WAY i would EVER deserve that.  (These are my first in four years)  Had someone say I "made them uncomfortable"...  are you KIDDING me!!!  If you knew me you would KNOW how crazy it is to even suggest that.  A consummate sales professional of 30 years with a stellar career - i really DO know how to deal with people.  Complete and utter BS and undoubtedly to get a free ride.  

  • We are currently living in a society where it seems everyone is looking for some else to be at fault!  If she was committed to suicide, wouldn't she have done it no matter what, where or how an "Uber driver" took her.  Yes, we as drivers should know that the minimum age is 18.  And we as drivers have all probably taken someone that is 16-17 for a ride at one time or another.  It is, in my opinion, up to the account owner to be responsible for who requests rides on your account!  Yes, the driver, had he been able to speak English may well have refused to transport her, and yes, if he had refused, she might have been forced to devise an alternate plan, but it is still possible the end result would have been the same.

    It's tragic that anyone commits suicide, and yet it is consistently in the top three causes of death in young people.  Yes, perhaps the Uber driver should have refused her if he was aware of her age, but that is distantly secondary to the reality of her state of mind.

    The parent, and no one else, is responsible for the well being of their 12 year old child!

  • Generally can vary by local city government code.  I would suggest you spend a little time doing some research to see if your local government has a standard for Rideshare and Taxi's.  And yes, when the car hits 15 years (assuming that is acceptable in your market area) you would receive a notice that your car no longer meets the TOS (TERMS OF SERVICE AGREEMENT) he agreed to when signing up and ultimately he would have to replace the car.  Admittedly Uber might not catch it until the last minute (or thereafter) but eventually it will happen.

  • I agree with you 100%!!!

  • I've been saying for over a year (sometimes I get it right LOL) fares WILL increase and it will NOT benefit the drivers.  It's all about the bottom line now and reducing driver costs will be part of the formula you can be sure.  Increased fares?  Absolutely but 100% of the increases will go to Uber.

    Driver compensation won't increase until they're forced to do so due to lack of available drivers, and based on the current supply of available drivers, that won't be changing anytime soon.

  • The "rules" vary by State.  Some states like my own only require that ONE person is aware of the recording device - and that would be ME LOL.  However if I did have a camera, I would post a banner stating that a recording device is in use as I feel this helps "set a tone" for the passengers behavior.

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     1 month ago in  Drivers to become Employees?

    Even as an employee you would still be able to deduct your mileage as an expense unless Uber elects to provide a car and expense account which we all know would NEVER happen.  I'm an "employee" as my day job of 30 years and I deduct every mile driven (as  a salesmen).  

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     1 month ago in  Uber to Ban Riders with Low Ratings.

    It made it to national news last evening.  Our local NBC affiliate (Cleveland, OH) did a story and one of the newscasters revealed how proud she was of her 5 star rider rating.  So free publicity for Uber.  However with that said, the reason Uber hasn't declared a cut off number is for the same reason they don't reveal driver cut offs.  It varies by geography.  Certain local standards and expectations within different communities have proven that individuals rate either more liberally or more harshly based on their local standards and expectations.  So while a driver in NY with a 4.6 might be okay, it would not be okay in Boston.  (just an example, no harm, no foul)....  LOL..  and it's the same affect experienced in rider ratings.  They establish a community "norm average" and then establish the cut-off number.

    However with that said, it only goes to show how tilted and inaccurate the rating system actually is, subject to abuse and inconsistencies, and works against both the drivers and possibly the riders.

    If anything ever causes Uber to update their rating system, it will be CUSTOMER complaints.  Hopefully the results would benefit both the drivers as well as the passengers.

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     1 month ago in  Drivers to become Employees?

    Based on the recent news that Uber has lost over a billion dollars in their first quarter we can assume there will be no positive compensation changes that benefit the drivers anytime soon!

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     1 month ago in  Drivers to become Employees?

    This has been tested countless times and Uber has won every time, BUT, it does seem that California is not giving up the fight!

    I'm hoping that ultimately and eventually Uber will have two classes of drivers - employee's and contractors.  So the majority of folks (like myself) who only drive occasionally can be a contractor while those seeking Uber as a full time gig would become employees.  But we need to remember, as an employee, Uber will completely OWN you whereas as a contractor, we can do whatever we want.

    I LIKE being able to choose my own Uber days!!!

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     2 months ago in  Uber and Lyft IPOs could mean the end of cheap rides

    IMO, autonomous cars (except for designated routes) are YEARS away.  However there will now be tremendous pressure on Uber/Lyft to at least lose less money and demonstrate that they're heading in the direction of profitability.  The easiest way will be to gradually increase pricing through their guaranteed price system.  The driver will definitely make no more, but the company will get more - MUCH more eventually.

    Uber and Lyft are competitors, but trust me on this because i've seen it happen every time there was a change in Uber's pricing model,  if Uber were to increase pricing Lyft will follow within a week.  Uber sets the standard for pricing so all this competition talk is a figment of folks imagination.  Let's be real, you think the drivers would continue to drive for ANY company that paid them less than the other while providing the same service???  LOL.. i think not, so there really IS NO competition to speak of at present.

    The unfortunate truth is, Uber will NEVER pay the drivers more until they are forced to do so - and the ONLY thing that will force them will be if they are unable to secure new drivers to replace those that have left the pool.  

  • I've followed and driven with Uber since they first hit my market area nearly 4 years ago, and this is the FIRST time I've seen any type of driver protest actually make it to the national news level.  

    The result, HOPEFULLY, will be that fewer people will sign up to drive since now a higher percentage of people are aware how poorly it actually pays.  

    The ONLY thing that will EVER cause Uber to pay more will be to attract (and keep) drivers.  Until the continuous flow of newbies is slowed and their driver presence begins to decline, we will never see driver rates increase.

    Hoorah to all the drivers that were willing to take a stand and give up a days earnings to do it.  These people are the real heroes.  And for all the drivers (in the effected markets) that are so self serving and self centered as to try and "hog the extra rides" on the day of the protest - remember folks, the CHI will come back to ya.  I promise!!!!

  • The threshold varies by market.  It is a well established fact that certain geographies rate more liberally or more conservatively and thus there is no single number for the entire US.  However the long standing number for reference and concern is 4.65  and we can assume once you see any version of 4.xx you should be mildly concerned.

  • I'm in the Cleveland and Akron, OH market.  (two different systems on Uber but still considered the same work area).  If the long trip pick up is in Cleveland, no, i don't accept them if they're more than 10 mintues away.  If however they're in the Akron market, particularly in the suburbs, I do accept them as i've found that market area generally produces longer rides.  Unfortunately the long pick up fee is 15 minutes in that area which seriously sucks whereas it's 10 minutes in Cleveland.

  • When that happens, I always explain to the customer that the GPS is only as good as THEIR PHONE.  It has NOTHING to do with Uber's system. While some of that might hint of BS... i've found they generally accept my explanation and then i encourage them to be sure to "check" and see what address the GPS selected as their location, and then make corrections if it's off.  HOWEVER, in your case, I think the dude was looking for a reason to one star you in hopes of a freebie...  we'll never know his real motivation.

  • It's a sad commentary but IMO, the caliber of the drivers we currently see operating for Uber has seriously declined from 2 years ago when it  was largely professionals or semi-pro's that were there in a nice car wanting to transport you in a gracious fashion.  

    But then the rates were cut in half, the majority of those drivers left, and today only a few of those (thankfully) remain in the system (myself included albeit rarely that I drive anymore).

    The current slug of drivers, while still being great people, as a rule of thumb tend to lack education, have poor social skills, and frankly only keep the car clean or serviced enough to get from point a to point b.  Yes I know that isn't the case for everyone and thankfully there are still plenty of great drivers with immaculate cars out there - but oh, just wait until you get one of the "others"....  like the ride I took in Dallas recently where the windows on the INSIDE of the car were so dirty you literally could hardly see out of the car and everything seemed slightly distorted.  The driver had wiped a spot (it was evident) through his windshield.)

    And yet thousands apply daily in hopes that they can somehow beat the system.  Driving for Uber is a LOT like gambling... you're always hopeful and waiting for a better hand (or in this case, next trip request) that will actually make a buck.

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     2 months ago in  Uber and Lyft stop hiring new drivers in New York City

    As more drivers leave the system (because they always do) this should ultimately benefit the drivers who remain by increased ride requests due to the smaller pool of drivers.  

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     2 months ago in  Are there any rides that accomadate electric wheelchairs

    in a handful of cities this is available as a ride classification, but few.  Generally speaking you could request an Uber XL and then contact the driver to see if they can handle you, but honestly you're probably better with a Taxi designed for such service etc...

  • It's another great example of laws being passed and changed implemented by lawmakers who have ZERO knowledge of how it all works!!!  

    Folks this horrible tragedy was completely avoidable.  If that sweet gal that lost her life had ONLY checked the license plate and car model....  we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    Having a "sign" or "light" means NOTHING - that's the FIRST thing the bad guys will get - order them on Ebay 7 days a week!

Featured Answers by Wes

  • You need to call your agent to see if you can add "rideshare" coverage to your policy.  In most states this is now available.  I'm with State Farm in Ohio and it cost me less than $10 a month to cover two cars.  You NEED this coverage as Uber/Lyft ONLY cover you when you're on your way to pick up and when you have a passenger.  You do NOT have coverage when you're waiting for a ping, and if you got in an accident you would technically NOT be covered.  Furthermore when adding Rideshare, particularly to State Farm, they then offer you full coverage and THEY deal with the insurance companies used by Uber/Lyft. 

    If your insurance company does not offer Ridehshare, I would STRONGLY encourage you to change to a company that does.  It simply isn't worth the risk.  Insurance companies don't want to pay claims!!!  Don't give them a reason to deny you, becuase THEY WILL.  I don't care how long you've been with them or who you know, the job of the insurance company is to MAKE A PROFIT, and the best possible way to do that is to avoid paying claims!!!  Think about it and choose wisely!!!

  • Why not use this very site where you are posting the question (www.rideguru.com) and let it calculate the fare for you??? 

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     10 months ago in  My Uber app will not allow me to schedule AM or PM

    At least in our market that option no longer seems to be available with Uber.  It is available with Lyft, but please understand, all it really does is send out a request in advance of your pick up time to the nearest driver.  With Lyft, a driver can accept it well in advance, but if they're on a ride or not near the location, it will still default to the closest driver.  It also does not protect you against surge pricing fyi.

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     10 months ago in  What's a typical passenger rating for Uber? Is 4.50 good?

    4.5 is not good at all.  Keep in mind that, as a driver, we would already be kicked off the system for a rating that low.  Honestly I've done a few thousand trips, I've never given a passenger a 1-2 rating, and I've only given a 3 or 4 on rare occasion when they truly deserved much less.  There are drivers that are much less lenient, and I would offer a few suggestions to bring your ratings up.

    1.  Give a cash tip.  This will almost ALWAYS result in a 5 star rating, even if you were a little late or generally obnoxious.  Once your rating returns to more acceptable levels you could resume tipping on the APP, but a cash tip will be known BEFORE we rate you.  Otherwise it can be a couple of days before we would even know that you tipped as they are not always instantaneous on our end.

    2.  NEVER make the driver wait more than 2 minutes, and most definitely not beyond 5 minutes.  (Most drivers will leave at the 5 minute mark anyhow)

    3.  NEVER turn the sound system up to max!!!  Drivers' need to hear things like sirens and horns etc...  Consider your driver and also consider that it is their personal car, so they DO care about their sound system in general.

    4.  If you ask to make a stop, please be quick.  Remember we make almost nothing when we're sitting still.  We're doing it as a favor, NOT as an obligation.  We don't HAVE to wait, so if your driver is gracious enough to do so, hustle yourself in and out of the store!

    5.  Don't put your feet in our seats.  Don't get crumbs all over our seats.  Don't get into our car wet or soiled without offering a seat covering (plastic bag would suffice). 

    6.  Please tell us if you're sick.  We'll gladly assist you, most of us have barf bags, and we will gladly pull over when it's safe to do so.  PLEASE don't puke in our cars!!!

    7.  Please NEVER yell out the windows at friends or foes, and NEVER discard anything out the window.

    8.  Please don't bring opened alcohol into the car.  It's against the law.  We are NOT a limo, so it is NOT allowed.  I don't care how special your occassion is, don't break the law!!!

    9.  Please bring car seats for the kids and babies.  We don't have them, and you, as a parent, are responsbile to provide them.

    10.  Please make sure the address that the app found as your location is correct.  YOU, not Uber, not me, but YOU are responsible for entering a correct pick up location.  Consider walking outside to request the ride so the GPS in YOUR phone can correctly identify your location.  Remember, it's YOUR phone that pinpoints your location and communicates that information to the Uber system, so don't blame Uber when it's not correct!

    11.  I know nobody wants to "wait"...  that's the nature of American culture. But please, wait until you're really READY to depart before requesting a driver and have your shoes on and be ready to go when we arrive.  Remember, WE MAKE NOTHING waiting for you, or driving to pick you up.  NOTHING!!!  So please be considerate!!!

    12.  Lastly, please don't eat Taco's and messy foods in the car.  I know you think you're starving and that drive through Taco Bell stop smells SO good.  But please - it is totally wrong to expect us to stop and clean our car in preparation for the next passenger (who is probably already waiting for us to arrive) to clean up YOUR mess.  That will ALWAYS result in a lower rating.

    13.  Lastly, be considerate.  Leave the car in better shape than when you arrived.  We are NOT responsbile for your trash, your chewing gum wrappers, your candy papers, and I can ASSURE you the next passenger doesn't want to see them. 

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     5 months ago in  Electric vehicles

    Actually they aren't that prevalent in our area and unless it's a Tesla charging station, they aren't free (nor are they free any longer for the more recent Tesla customers)...

    But I do feel the day will come when they'll be everywhere - in fact I suspect gas stations will soon add areas for charging (if they have room) and use superchargers that can do the job rather quickly) at 30 mins or less.

    But for now - it's still an issue for sure.

  • The threshold varies by market.  It is a well established fact that certain geographies rate more liberally or more conservatively and thus there is no single number for the entire US.  However the long standing number for reference and concern is 4.65  and we can assume once you see any version of 4.xx you should be mildly concerned.