What would you do if you didn’t get a promised sign up bonus? That’s a question one Uber driver was faced with recently, and what he found in pursuing his bonus might surprise you. RSG contributor Paula Gibbins shares this reader’s story of pursuing his sign up bonus.
Recently, an unlucky Uber driver reached out to us about not receiving his sign up bonus. Curious, we wanted to know if this was common, what Uber’s reason was, and what options drivers have if they are denied their sign up bonus (or guarantee). Here’s the story of Rob Jones (his real name will not be used due to his current legal battle with Uber).
Rob has been a driver with Uber for less than 90 days. He was told he’d receive a $525 bonus for completing 100 rides within his first 90 days of driving. “I finished the required rides in under 30 days,” said Rob. “I have emails and chat transcripts with Uber customer service representatives that all confirm that a bonus would be paid once the 100 rides are complete.”
How to (Typically) Get a Sign Up Bonus from Uber
The easiest way to get a referral code is from a fellow driver, such as Harry’s: 3e3dg, or by clicking here to go straight to the sign up for Uber page with Harry’s code already filled in. Simply fill out the rest of the information and you’ll be ready to go.
The tricky part though is that when you sign up, you’ll see the offer for the referrer’s city and not necessarily the offer you’re eligible for. You can still use a driver’s link that lives in another city to sign up but you’ll want to contact Uber to see what the guarantee offer is in your city. If you have questions about the guarantee, Uber has a FAQs page dedicated to their guaranteed earnings at this link.
The landing page for Uber in Minneapolis currently shows:
Is Uber Not Giving a Sign Up Bonus Anymore?
Rob noticed that the bonus was never paid and all correspondence with Uber before he signed up and well after completing his 100 rides all stated he would receive $525. It wasn’t until his third correspondence after reaching the goal that said all previous information given was incorrect.
“I called and spoke to two customer service reps the day I completed my 100th ride since nothing had posted to my account, explained Rob. They both confirmed I would be receiving $525 and this money will show up in my account later that day but hadn’t yet because of a company-wide technical error Uber was having with guaranteed amounts posting properly that day.”
Later, after still not having received the amount, he contacted Uber once more. “I was told that all the previous information I received (from multiple, documented accounts) was incorrect and I would not be receiving my new-driver bonus because I should have been told that it was a ‘guaranteed earned amount.’ This was the first time in a month of driving with Uber I have heard of the reward referred to with these words.”
Why Uber Didn’t Give a Sign Up Bonus?
The representatives he spoke with concerning this issue said they could not verify that he wasn’t given the correct information all along and stated that Uber would be paying him nothing extra for completing his rides.
Rob continued, stating, “Inconsistencies on company policy and how Uber calculates a driver’s pay are made more apparent since Uber can’t provide proof that I was aware of this unique wording or that they fully disclosed the terms of the bonus prior to completing the required rides.”
So, what does this mean for Rob and others who are likely caught up in the same battle? Well, it depends on if you really want to fight for it or not. In this instance, Rob is going to fight for his well-earned $525. Once he was unable to receive an adequate response from Uber’s customer service representatives, he contacted Uber in another way.
“I sent Uber a letter explaining my situation and what documentation I had to prove that a new driver bonus was promised to me under the agreement we made,” said Rob. “This letter was intended to inform Uber of an escalating situation and the desire to find a solution ASAP.”
He never received a response from Uber and is planning on sending a second letter with a demand for satisfaction and a resolution. He’ll be informing Uber that he’ll settle the matter through arbitration if needed.
“My demand letter will be simple and straightforward – it will include my personal information and driver identification, what their initial agreement was and what compensation I expect from them,” explained Rob. He’ll be asking for the $525 that he was originally promised when he signed up for the company using the the RSG referral code.
Pro-tip: If you can get a lawyer to help draft up a demand letter for you and send this to Uber, this shows the company that you’re serious and it also means that they’ll have to pay one of their high priced lawyers to review and potentially respond to it. For $525, it may be cheaper for Uber to just pay you the bonus 🙂
Is Uber Moving to Guaranteed Earnings Instead?
In many cities, Uber is moving toward offering guarantees instead of bonuses. What that means is that when you sign up with Uber, they will guarantee a certain dollar amount in earnings. For example, complete 100 rides in your first 60 days and you’ll be guaranteed $400. So, if you complete your 100 rides in those 60 days, if your actual earnings for those rides is less than $400, Uber will make up that difference. Say you earned $350, Uber will give you the remaining $50.
Watch the video below for Harry’s more in-depth explanation of this:
What if I Never Signed Up with a Referral Code?
Uber does allow for retroactive referrals within 15 days of activation, so if you didn’t sign up with a referral code, you can contact Uber through the driver app to get it added. Go to Account -> Help -> Payments and Rewards -> Driver Referrals -> Report a missing driver referral. Uber may ask for:
- Name: Harry Campbell
- Uber e-mail: [email protected]
- Uber phone #: 310-428-2765
Uber vs. Lyft
While no resolution has been made at this point, Rob is still hopeful. However, this entire experience has tainted his view of Uber, and rightly so.
“Uber has disappointed me in multiple ways during my first 30 days,” said Rob. “I continue to call Uber, the Company of ‘No’ because every time I call with a correction that needs to be made or an adjustment to my paycheck, they always say no.”
On the other hand, Rob’s been driving for Lyft for just shy of a year and he’s had nothing but great experiences with them. He explained, “If anything went wrong or needed correction, they were willing to correct the problem immediately.”
However, he’d also noticed a shift in customer service quality from Lyft, and his pickup requests had also dropped off. That’s why he thought he’d give Uber a try. He’d also heard that Uber tended to pay their drivers more. So, Rob figured he had nothing to lose.
For the time being, however, he’ll hold off on giving Uber any more business and is just driving for Lyft again. From his experiences with Uber, Rob believes, “the current company policies only benefit Uber, without any consideration for the driver’s needs. Drivers make very little money after expenses are considered, and Uber does whatever it can to prevent the driver from making any additional compensation for completed rides.”
What would you do in a similar situation? Is it worth fighting Uber?
Earn 3x driving kids to schoolTriple your ridesharing pay. Zūm drivers average $32/hour and many make $750+ a week. Work when you want. Get repeat rides and drive only on weekday mornings and afternoons. Apply to drive here.
-Paula @ RSG
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