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Uber Didn't Let Me Try To Earn My Way Back Home

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twersk77
175 Driver
 Posted 4 years, 2 months ago

So I took a rider to Philadelphia Airport as an Uber driver today from Princeton, New Jersey. Once I dropped him off, I headed to the Staging Area.  When I got to the Staging Area, my Uber app. would not stay online for me to get into the queue. Instead, a little note dropped down on my phone informing me that I was not allowed to pick up anybody from Philadelphia. 

So...basically...I was offered the ride by Uber...but in effect they are telling me that I wasn't allowed to try and earn some money back towards my 1 hour ride home once I got there. Their solution to me? Call the passenger when I find out that I am driving to PA and cancel the ride...don't worry about the cancellation rate. 

Luckily I got a ride with Lyft that took me half way back home which definitely helped. But what if I did not have a Lyft account? Aparently this rule went into effect in April, yet everything I have been reading on this site says I am allowed to get rides back, once in PA. Does anybody else know about this?

Hoping that Lyft doesn't start disallowing this too...

The Guru Take

Comments

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    twersk77
    OP 175 Driver
     4 years ago

    Guru...could you please tell me what this means?: ...you should be under Uber's exception to pick up in surrounding territories/states, such as Pennsylvania and Delaware.

    Is this something written and quotable that I can bring to their attention? And is there a number that we can call where we may have a little more faith in knowing that the people we are talking to actually know what they are talking about?

    As for the Geofencing...I made my way to eastern Bucks County...only 7 miles from my home (in NJ)...43 miles from the airport and I was still getting the same message.

    Show Hide  4 Replies
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      ippei
      1202 Rider Driver Guru
       4 years ago

      Hi, James,

      I reached out to a few New Jersey drivers and also a person who is close to Uber, and I believe I have the information you are looking for.  Just so you are aware, I will be updating the original Guru Response shortly as well.

      Uber now has an agreement with the city of Philadelphia, and the local regulation dictates that you must be registered in Philadelphia (i.e. have Philadelphia as the primary location) to receive requests in Philadelphia.  This enforcement indeed began in April.  The below is a communication that went out to some drivers in New Jersey, which sheds light on what happened.   (Please note that this is from a driver, and it has not been verified with Uber.)

      "To comply with local regulations, drivers who wish to do trips starting in Philadelphia must have Philadelphia as the primary city on their Uber driver account."

      "By switching to Philadelphia, you’ll continue to receive trip requests in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and D…

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      Hi, James,

      I reached out to a few New Jersey drivers and also a person who is close to Uber, and I believe I have the information you are looking for.  Just so you are aware, I will be updating the original Guru Response shortly as well.

      Uber now has an agreement with the city of Philadelphia, and the local regulation dictates that you must be registered in Philadelphia (i.e. have Philadelphia as the primary location) to receive requests in Philadelphia.  This enforcement indeed began in April.  The below is a communication that went out to some drivers in New Jersey, which sheds light on what happened.   (Please note that this is from a driver, and it has not been verified with Uber.)

      "To comply with local regulations, drivers who wish to do trips starting in Philadelphia must have Philadelphia as the primary city on their Uber driver account."

      "By switching to Philadelphia, you’ll continue to receive trip requests in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware as well; however, if you choose to continue as a New Jersey partner, you will only get requests for trips beginning in New Jersey."

      Here's where it gets interesting.  There are conflicting reports from New Jersey drivers on how Uber sent out the communication.  Take a look at some of the claims from these drivers:

      • Some drivers received a notification from Uber with an offer to change the primary city (i.e. registered location) to Philadelphia.
      • Some drivers received a notification from Uber saying that their primary city has been changed to Philadelphia.
      • Some drivers did not receive any notification but noticed that their primary city was updated to Philadelphia.

      Seeing the above, it's possible that Uber may be consoslidating the New Jersey and Philadelphia markets, by having all of the drivers be compliant to Philly's regulations.  This way, all drivers get to continue to drive for both locations and in both directions.  (This is only our speculation, however.)

      So, perhaps you could request Uber to change your home location to Philadelphia?  Since Philadelphia drivers can also drive in New Jersey, this may solve the problem you outlined.  I wondered what other impacts there may be, such as losing the NJ promotinos or not being able to drive in northern states like NY and CT, but upon asking a few drivers, that does not seem to be the case.

      I hope you find this information helpful.

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        twersk77
        OP 175 Driver
         4 years ago

        Yes...that is indeed the case. It was gnawing on me so much I called back today and this did take place in April...I do have to re-register BUT, if I do that, I will have to go offline for 3 weeks...and there is no guarantee that it won't be more time! Since I just came aboard a month ago, this is something that should have been built into all online signups (from NJ) with an explanation. It is also something that should have been told to me when I visited the Uber hub at Philadelphia airport. I had gone there because I had not heard anything in 4 weeks about my application to Uber. As it turns out, the rep there told me that they hadn't even started my background check...so he sort of started the process again and it would have been nice if he had pointed this out to me. I can't think of anything more tedious then applying for clearance for the same thing twice in 8 weeks, especially when the process takes 3 weeks!

        p.s. I still don't understand why every new NJ signup just wouldn't …

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        Yes...that is indeed the case. It was gnawing on me so much I called back today and this did take place in April...I do have to re-register BUT, if I do that, I will have to go offline for 3 weeks...and there is no guarantee that it won't be more time! Since I just came aboard a month ago, this is something that should have been built into all online signups (from NJ) with an explanation. It is also something that should have been told to me when I visited the Uber hub at Philadelphia airport. I had gone there because I had not heard anything in 4 weeks about my application to Uber. As it turns out, the rep there told me that they hadn't even started my background check...so he sort of started the process again and it would have been nice if he had pointed this out to me. I can't think of anything more tedious then applying for clearance for the same thing twice in 8 weeks, especially when the process takes 3 weeks!

        p.s. I still don't understand why every new NJ signup just wouldn't register in Philly from the outset, but apparently it has something to do with the food delivery program that Uber has. Maybe the food delivery drivers who want to deliver in NJ cannot be registered in Philly?

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        HuhnHuhn
        127 Rider
         4 years ago

        Wait, isn't there something very non-kosher about this where Uber is swapping NJ drivers to Philly?  Isn't that like skriting the rules set forth by Philly?   Typical Uber....

        I would assume Philly wanted drivers go through vehicle inspections, and apparently they didn't require them to have PA license plate.  So, perhaps Philly got what they wanted for that reason, but I wonder if Philly drivers (those who actually live there) are pissed off about this

        Why is everything so hard with Uber?

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        KUrlerPhi
        70
         4 years ago

        I bet since you joined in the midst of it all, you fell through the crack and didn't get hitched by ANY of these weird hacks that Uber tried to put into place.  So you didn't get switched to Philly.  You didn't get into a consolidated NJ/PA territory.  You didn't get a notification or an offer to change

        Typical Uber. LOL. WORST COMMUNICATION EVER.

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    WWBlueStuff
    268 Driver
     4 years ago

    @OP.  What went into effect in April?  The fact that you cannot pick up in PA?  Was this told to you by Uber?

    Show Hide  2 Replies
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      twersk77
      OP 175 Driver
       4 years ago

      Yes! And I wrote a response below because this was after someone told me that I just needed to reinstall the app...

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        joeyj
        423 Rider Driver
         4 years ago

        LOL @ "reinstall the app". That's... probably not going to work. Sorry. This is a screw up on Uber's end if you ask me.

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    BrianTheScrewDriver
    457 Driver Driver
     4 years ago

    I did an exact same ride, and I was able to pick up just fine.  and I live farther north than where you are.

    Show Hide  2 Replies
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      twersk77
      OP 175 Driver
       4 years ago  (edited 4 years ago)

      Maybe they have grandfathered it to you or something like that because I became a driver with Uber 4 weeks ago. And the person I spoke to (through the app) was obviously in another country because her accent and English were extremely difficult to understand... and she may have been guessing. 

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        BrianTheScrewDriver
        457 Driver Driver
         4 years ago

        That could definitely be true that I am grandfathered. However, I suspect that they'll tighten the rein on my at some point.

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    cheesehead
    524 Rider Driver
     4 years ago

    Man... that's incredibly dumb of them. Uber being uber. So they are basically saying they can't offer rides between NJ and Philly, right? Because no driver would willingly make that driver knowing they can't get a fare back.

    Show Hide  6 Replies
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      twersk77
      OP 175 Driver
       4 years ago

      This was told to me by Uber...and obviously, based on some of the comments above, they don't enforce this with everybody. What a load of garbage. They also don't have a lot of consistency in their answers. The first time I called, the uber rep said he saw no issues administratively and that all I had to do was uninstall and reinstall the app. It was the second rep I spoke to...after I reinstalled...that told me the above.

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        mboscorelli
        250 Rider
         4 years ago

        Turn off, blow in the cartridge, reinsert, and try again.  Must be in their script.

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      twersk77
      OP 175 Driver
       4 years ago

      Well they would only be able to get a ride back if they were also driving for Lyft...but that's beside the point. I doubt Uber is saying "Don't worry...they can go online with Lyft if they need to save money for their long trip back." And what if someone only drives for Uber?  I just joined Uber and I hope that I see  that there is more concern for the drivers then has been exhibited so far (my opinion).  

      I mean, if there is a good reason for this...by all means, I'll be onboard...But I doubt anyone would ever give me a straight answer anyway!

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        lguirch
        80 Driver
         4 years ago

        I am a driver registered in Philadelphia, I picked up a passenger in Willingboro NJ area in the middle of this month on Lyft and took him to Colombia MD. Got rear ended in PA on way to MD, reported it to Lyft who said once I drop passenger off in MD my account will be locked until I send them pics showing car is ok. After drop off I turned uber on in hopes of getting a passenger or two on a destination filter to help me get closer to Philadelphia. Like you app told me that I was not allowed to pick people up in Baltimore. I drove on I83 towards Lancaster closest way for me to get to PA. Called uber and was told Baltimore is not one of the networked cities to Phila registered drivers. They told me most of larger cities in PA like Erie, Wilksbarre etc are in my netwonrk as is NJ and DE.

        i suggested they at least allow driver from non networked markets be at least allowed to use destination filter so system would match us up with passengers going into my market. Do not match me up with …

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        I am a driver registered in Philadelphia, I picked up a passenger in Willingboro NJ area in the middle of this month on Lyft and took him to Colombia MD. Got rear ended in PA on way to MD, reported it to Lyft who said once I drop passenger off in MD my account will be locked until I send them pics showing car is ok. After drop off I turned uber on in hopes of getting a passenger or two on a destination filter to help me get closer to Philadelphia. Like you app told me that I was not allowed to pick people up in Baltimore. I drove on I83 towards Lancaster closest way for me to get to PA. Called uber and was told Baltimore is not one of the networked cities to Phila registered drivers. They told me most of larger cities in PA like Erie, Wilksbarre etc are in my netwonrk as is NJ and DE.

        i suggested they at least allow driver from non networked markets be at least allowed to use destination filter so system would match us up with passengers going into my market. Do not match me up with passengers needling to go within non networked market.

        same thing happens when i take people to JFK I then have to backtrack empty until I get across bridge into NJ as NY is off limits for me.

        destiantion filter option if Uber implements it with ability for me to collect a passenger landing in JFK to take them back to PA market would be ideal as I would love to grab a ride back to PA with a passenger in a car instead of empty. Same would go for NY drivers who sit in JFK que, pick up a passenger take them to PA and are now stuck having to backtrack to NJ until they can get a fare. This will cause drivers to start declining to take passengers far out of their markets in fear of having to add dead miles into car on way back. Let us do other market’s dirty work ;)

        so anyway uber said you can change your city registration if you feel being associated with another city will benefit you financially.

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          ippei
          1202 Rider Driver Guru
           4 years ago

          I have heard from another Philly driver that they can pick up in parts of Maryland but only in Cecil County, Maryland, which borders Delaware.  As you said, it does not cover the whole state, say Baltimore or Annapolis.

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          twersk77
          OP 175 Driver
           4 years ago

          Thank you! I think that the overall problem with Uber is that they are too big and there is no real customer service. Sure they have phone support but there is no real listening that goes on there. They are order takers who have no emotions and drivers need to be able to have a person to talk to about things like being able to earn money as you go home and ask questions about the fairness about some of the rules...