Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t the only ones to fall for common driver scams – it happens to Uber Eats drivers, too! Don’t fall for these Uber Eats scams – RSG contributors Elijah Bilel and Paula Gibbins break down the top three Uber Eats scams for you to avoid below.
Have you encountered a scam while being an Uber Eats driver, whether it be the customer trying to do something slick so they can get their food for free or just missing out on certain money that you should have been paid?
I’m going to give you three commonly-known Uber Eats scams that you should be looking to avoid.
I’m also going to share exactly how you can avoid getting scammed so that you can get compensated for your hard work as a driver.
It’s very key that you’re aware of these scams and that you know how to avoid these scams if you find yourself in these situations.
Check out the video on these Uber Eats scams below: 3 Scams to Avoid as an Uber Eats Driver
Scam 1: The Address Scam
The first type of scam some of us may already know very well, and for those of you all that have never used Uber Eats as a customer before, this is a screenshot of the customer app.
As you see, it has a time guarantee like you’ll get the food between this amount of time, and if Uber Eats can’t guarantee you’ll get the food within a certain time, then you can’t order from that restaurant because you’re out of range.
First, let’s start off with the legitimate case – some customers may legitimately forget to update their address so when you’re on your way to the restaurant or maybe even afterwards they’ll contact you let you know, “Hey I didn’t put the right address in there for my work address or whatever” and other times it’s some people actually trying to game the system because there might be a restaurant that’s six miles away but they can’t get the food delivered there so they’ll put their work address just two miles away from the restaurant.
Once that happens then they can order and then get in contact with you saying, “Hey I put the wrong address. Bring it to this address instead.”
One is a scam and one is a legitimate accident, but in both case scenarios, Uber got tired of dealing with this so they actually rewrote in their policy that they’re not going to deliver food out of range of that particular restaurant. That gives you as a driver some options.
The reason this was a problem before is that you could drive 10 miles away at the new location but you only get paid for those two miles because that’s the address that was entered into Uber.
And customers might say they’ll tip you extra, but we know how that goes.
Uber’s policy now states that if it’s not within the delivery range, then they’re not going to do it. And for you as a driver, Uber will compensate you based on the current address that’s in the system.
Let’s say the restaurant is within range.
It just maybe a few miles further. You didn’t have a choice. You can either go ahead and complete the delivery and Uber will reimburse you for your extra time and extra mileage, or you can choose not to do it.
I’ve done this on several occasions if the order is taking me out of my city or would take me out of my city, I just say, “No thanks.” I don’t want to do it, and Uber Eats will cancel the order and you’ll get paid for the distance to the original address that’s in the system.
For this particular scam, in both cases, you want to go ahead and contact Uber Eats support and let them know what you want to do.
If it’s within range, you’ll have the option to take it to the new address and get an extra four bucks. Or say no and have them cancel the delivery and you just move on to the next one receiving payment for what’s already in the system.
I’m not going to say which one is right or wrong. It really depends on the situation.
Scam 2: The Picture Scam
The second scam that’s been going around on Uber Eats and can kind of bite you in the butt as a driver – customers have been reporting that they haven’t been getting their food. This scam is due to this new system brought about because of the pandemic.
Uber Eats has had contactless deliveries for a little while now. This results in you just leaving the food at the front door or wherever the customer says. Strangely enough, Uber Eats has the option to take a picture, but they also have an option to skip taking a picture, which is a little weird. I don’t know why it wouldn’t just strictly be required, but some drivers are skipping taking the picture.
I’m an Uber Eats customer so I can attest to this, about 60% of drivers actually take the picture, and then the copy of the receipt on my end shows that they took the picture as proof, but 40% don’t and some customers are using that to try and get free food or discount on the next order.
They say, “Oh I never received the food” and Uber’s going to look at that picture. If there’s no picture you’re kind of building a case against yourself. Don’t skip out on taking that picture. I don’t know why anyone would want to skip it in the first place. It takes an extra maybe 10 to 15 seconds.
Look at it as an insurance policy against customers who are trying to scam to get free food or discount, because we know there are some people out there that will try and do that kind of thing.
Scam 3: Closed Restaurant
The third one is not so much a scam, but a lot of new drivers and even intermediate drivers may not actually know about this.
Let’s say you’re driving and you get a ping to go to a restaurant, but then you get there and it’s closed. Has that ever happened to you?
This happened to me a few times, and it can be kind of annoying. Most people just cancel and they just move on to the next order, but they wasted 10-15 minutes driving to the restaurant.
Uber will actually reimburse you about $3 just for driving to the restaurant. That amount may change over time, but the point is they’re going to give you something for going to the restaurant. A lot of drivers don’t know that. They just cut their losses and cancel.
No. Contact Uber support and let them know the restaurant is closed. Usually, it’s closed for some strange reason, like they’re supposed to be open but they’re not, you called, and nothing happens. What Uber’s gonna do is they’re going to call to verify with the restaurant. If they can’t get them or the restaurant says when they’re taking orders or whatever then they’re going to cancel the order on their end, and they’re going to reimburse you a certain amount of money.
Reimbursement usually appears between instantly and hours, so sometimes it might not appear right away but it is going to appear.
That can make the difference between like $11 an hour and $14 an hour. The reason I say that is you spent that time going to that restaurant, so you kind of have to take that loss and move on to the next delivery or two.
You might be able to slide two deliveries and let’s say they paid $4 each to short deliveries and throughout tips, you made about $11. Well, that extra $3 has boosted you up to $14.
The same goes for if you made like $13 to $14 with those two deliveries, including tips. Now it’s boosted you up to $17. So, that’s why you want to know that little trick just in case you come up on that situation where the restaurant is closed.
There we have it. We have three scams. Well really two, but the third one is something you should be aware of.
These are instances where money is on the table, and oftentimes you end up losing money because of the circumstances, With the case in the second scam, if Uber thinks you really are stealing food, that’s building the case for you to get deactivated.
Be sure to protect yourself from losing money or deactivations by dealing with these situations accordingly.
Tired of driving for Uber Eats? Take a look at the other best food delivery services out there!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below and if there’s any other Uber Eats scams that you’ve heard of, put that in the comments below too. Share with the community, think of it as a community service. We’re helping each other out!
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-Elijah @ RSG with additional reporting from Paula Gibbins