How is Customer Service in the Age of Coronavirus? Not Great, Say These Drivers

Uber and Lyft driver support is notoriously awful. However, it seems it has really taken a turn for the worse due to the coronavirus and many, formerly helpful, in-person locations shutting down. Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins shares some driver horror stories below, plus strategies for how you can get help from Uber and Lyft.

Uber and Lyft support is bad. Like, really awful. Uber and Lyft support is so bad, it’s one of the reasons Harry cites for beginning The Rideshare Guy – Uber and Lyft support was so bad, he, as a new driver, decided he could provide better information than the companies themselves!

This isn’t news to any driver who’s had to interact with Uber support, but it seems like rideshare driver support is getting worse, not better. Below, I’ll share some examples of truly terrible customer service ‘support’, plus share strategies on how you can contact ‘a real human’ and hopefully achieve better results.

Quick links:

Brief Background on Uber and Lyft Customer Support

It wasn’t already this bad. I remember a time just a few short years ago where I was able to actually call Uber and Lyft support from within the app, get a real person to talk to, and get my problem solved somewhat quickly.

I know this wasn’t everyone’s experience, but now it’s gotten to the point of sad hilarity at just how bad support can be. Not only is it nearly impossible to reach a human being, but it’s fairly common that drivers will get automatic or canned responses from support that have nothing to do with the problem they specified. When asked to provide more details, it seemingly goes nowhere and turns into an endless loop of nothing..

One safe haven for drivers has been the Greenlight Hubs, which are staffed by humans who tend to do all in their power to help out drivers. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, many are closed or are by appointment only, making it difficult for drivers to get the help they need.

Drivers Share Their Worst Customer Support Stories

When Support tells you they can’t help you because they have “limited access to your account” but you’re trying to figure out why your account is flagged.

This Reddit poster had a bad run with Lyft support recently. Their account was flagged for poor passenger experiences. Being a dedicated driver, they wanted to know what these experiences were and why exactly their account was flagged. Support was less than helpful:

Basically, Lyft Support told the driver that the driver needed to provide the information about which ride was flagged on their account.

Except… no driver has access to this information. It should be up to Support to provide the feedback necessary for the driver to fix the behavior or contest it if inaccurate.

As one commenter pointed out, “Check your email. [There’s] usually a nasty gram explaining why.”

This isn’t the only example of support being completely unhelpful – for something they flagged drivers as being ‘in the wrong’ about.

Support gives you the runaround preventing you from earning a living

Oftentimes the lack of help from Support will leave drivers unable to earn a living for weeks and sometimes months at a time. During normal times that is less than ideal, but during the pandemic, it’s downright cruel.

Another Reddit poster relayed their experience with Uber Support recently. They switched cities and needed to update that within the app. Of course, there were issues and a new background check needed to be done…and then another background check. And then their car was suddenly not accepted.

Calling support left them even more confused. “I called three times yesterday and they said they would send it to someone to get it fixed. It’s not fixed, so I called again this morning. Previously everyone said it was just an issue with the app that they needed to correct and it would be fine, the woman today says that I requested to change to my old city (the one I was already previously in) and that’s what they did the background check for.”

This means that it didn’t update to the new city even though a few days prior to posting, it showed the new city as their main driving area. But now the app shows the old city again. And now Uber wants to do a third background check, leaving this driver with nothing but headaches and more questions.

Plenty of drivers over the years have had problems with Uber and Lyft support when they move or switch cities, but in the past, many drivers could go in person and get the problem solved quickly. With COVID, that avenue is largely gone, leaving drivers stuck for weeks going back and forth with support for what’s a relatively simple issue.

This is also similar to a support issue we reported on at the beginning of the COVID pandemic: delayed background checks.

Citing “Improper Use” when you’re just doing your job

Other times, Uber tries to find something wrong in what you’re doing even if you’re following all of the rules. This Reddit poster was denied their full promotion money because of “Improper Use” because they picked up the same passenger more than once that day.

The poster said, “…it’s not my fault I end up with the same rider for 2 trips in the same day. Your stupid system shouldn’t be punishing me for that. They said they “submitted at appeal” and I should get an update within 5 days, what a joke!”

This is likely because of a scam that was happening a few years ago when drivers would ask a family member to request a ride or two in order to get a large payout for completing the number of rides needed for a bonus.

Most especially during a pandemic, it’s not unheard of to have the same passenger more than once. If you’re still in the same area and they just made a quick errand, you could very easily get paired up with them again.

Later on in the thread the original poster said, “All I did was accept every ride request that came in but Uber finds a way to screw you over for that I guess.”

One poster even pointed out that Uber now gives the option in some markets for a passenger to favorite a driver and therefore request them personally. If they don’t fix the “Improper Use” loophole for those areas, there could be headaches for a lot of drivers in those markets.

Possible Solutions to Uber Support Problems

We can’t 100% guarantee that you’ll reach someone who will help you, but here’s our advice for contacting Uber support or simply finding answers to your questions. For the full article, check out “How to Contact Uber to Get the Fastest Response.”

Our first recommendation is simply searching our site, The Rideshare Guy. We have a TON of articles answering a lot of common questions that we update regularly to make sure they are as helpful to you as possible.

You can use the search function on our site or filter down by what you’re interested in learning more about such as Food Delivery, Rideshare, Life After Rideshare and more.

Our next recommendation is harder to do nowadays with the continuation of the pandemic. Greenlight Hubs, in our experience, are where drivers can get answers and get app-related issues resolved quickly and efficiently. Since many hubs are closed, you’ll want to check Uber’s website to see if yours is open or closed, if you have to make an appointment, or if you can simply walk in.

You can search for your city’s office hours by checking your local Uber site (Google “[your city] Uber Greenlight Hub” to find the closest location to you), but here’s a list of some of the biggest cities and their Greenlight Hub info:

If you don’t see the Greenlight Hub info right away, click the Contact Uber button.

If your Greenlight Hub is closed, consider contacting Uber or Lyft through social media. From what I’ve seen on sites like Reddit, social media is becoming one of the best ways to get a response from Uber or Lyft.

When push comes to shove, however, here are the numbers for contacting Uber over the phone: (800) 285-6172 for emergencies and (800) 593-7069 for 24/7 support.

You may also be able to get help from Uber Support in your app, if phone support is available:

Tips for Getting Answers to Your Support Questions

Here are a few tips for getting better responses from Support if you need to use email or in-app support.

1. Keep your response short and to the point.

Support will likely be automated to start and it will search out keywords from your complaint to try to find the best auto-response.

2. Ask only one question at a time.

Again, since it’s likely farming through your request, having only one question will make it easier to get a response. Once you know you’re conversing with a human, you can expand to other questions, but you’ll still have better luck if you keep it to one request at a time.

3. Don’t limit yourself to one form of communication.

If you haven’t heard back within a reasonable amount of time (24 hours), try reaching out in multiple ways, increasing your chance of being heard. If you submitted something within the app to start, consider calling and/or reaching out on social media to get a faster response. Persistence is the key.

Drivers, what’s the worst instance of customer support you’ve ever received from Uber or Lyft? Let us know in the comments!

-Paula @ RSG