Sometimes things don’t happen according to plan. You plan on taking a trip and end up getting sick. You think a meeting is one building, only to find out it was moved to another. That is what cancellation policies are for. But in recent years, cancellation policies have become points of debate in the rideshare world, leading to confusion. Our guide on what to know about rideshare cancellation policies seeks to make things simpler.
How Cancellation Fees Work
After a passenger requests a ride, most services give them a two-minute window when they can cancel the ride. If they cancel after two minutes, they pay the driver a cancelation fee to pay for the time they spent traveling to the location. If a passenger doesn’t show up at their pick-up location after five minutes, the driver may cancel the ride and charge the passenger a “No-show” fee.
The price of the fee depends on a few things:
- The city where the ride takes place
- The type of service canceled (i.e. a standard Uber vs. an UberBlack)
- If you have canceled a ride multiple times within a short period
If a passenger feels they were wrongfully charged a fee, they can dispute the charge on the app and receive a refund.
A Note on Scammers
In recent years, there has been a rush of drivers accepting rides and then purposefully not showing up to pick up the passenger, forcing the passenger to cancel the ride and earning the driver a cancelation fee. To avoid this, rideshare apps will often waive the cancellation fee if a rideshare driver takes longer than usual to arrive or does not make progress toward picking up their driver.
When To Cancel as a Driver
To make the best use of the cancellation policy, it’s important to know the best scenarios to cancel rides for both drivers and passengers. That way, you can avoid falling into the same traps as the scammers. Other than tardiness, try to avoid canceling a ride unless they’re a particularly bad-behaved passenger. This includes canceling after finding out a passenger’s destination.
Both Uber and Lyft have policies prohibiting drivers from contacting passengers ahead of time to find out where they’re going. This prevents drivers from purposefully ignoring passengers with short rides in favor of picking up drivers with longer, more lucrative trips.
As a rideshare driver, you have a lot to think about between your fares, routes, and NYC TLC rental car. But cancelations happen, and knowing about rideshare cancellation policies is necessary to navigate these at times tricky situations.