Uber, Where is My Money?

At the Rideshare Guy, we try to maximize driver earnings by driving smart. Part of this includes multi-app usage, and our Senior Contributor Sergio Avedian has written many articles on how to become a top driver in Los Angeles. 

While the majority of his articles focus on getting paid and employing the “show me the money” strategy, this article is about what happens when you don’t get paid as a rideshare driver. Here’s what happened to Sergio recently.

Rideshare drivers work very hard for their money. They expect to get paid in a timely manner either by direct deposit or Instant Pay. They depend on this money to pay their bills and put food on the table.

When they don’t get paid, they try to solve the problems by contacting Uber Support either through the app or by calling in person. Follow my journey while I am still waiting to get paid.

First, What Are Consecutive Ride Bonuses?

Consecutive Ride Bonuses (CRBs) are a major contributing factor in my success over the past few weeks.

Why does Uber offer these generous (up to 3 for $30 lately) incentives? They want to flood the marketplace where all the demand is with drivers, kill the surge and lower passenger wait times. Plus, it keeps you from switching over to Lyft. Does it work? Yes, it does, take a look at the screenshot below!

All the areas inside the CRB zone are mostly pale white, and there’s no surge to speak of on a Saturday night. However, that brings the Red Sea of demand to my neighborhood.

Just because CRBs lead to a flood of drivers does not mean that you should forget about CRBs. In fact, you should chase them and, with certain strategies, you can make a killing out there.

I averaged $50 per Active hour chasing CRBs with almost no surge to speak of. I tried gunning for short rides deploying certain strategies and I achieved my goal. Almost 50% of my earnings for the week were through CRBs.

When Did My Problems Start?

Picture this: you are on the last leg of a juicy consecutive ride bonus (CRB), and you are counting your money. Then you accept the third ride, and click on Stop New Requests not to get stacked.

You are on your way to pick up the passenger and suddenly you get an error message on your app (network error etc.) and the third trip that was going to complete your CRB magically disappears.

Now you have broken one of the rules of the CRB, you have declined a ride in the string. All the hard work you did previous to this event is for nothing. 

Is it a coincidence that this happens quite often on the third leg of a CRB? I don’t think so – take a look at the examples below.

Kiss my $87 potential dollars goodbye! Don’t try to deal with Uber Support, they will send you canned responses like this. Bite the bullet and move on!

We Have a Problem, Uber!

I have a habit of taking plenty of screenshots during a shift. This was taught to me by my mentors who were top drivers in Los Angeles years ago.

Why do I do that? In case I run into problems with the app, I have proof to present my side of the story.

Another habit of mine is to run a total earnings tape after I am done driving for the week. We rely too much on computers these days, but let’s not forget that the software is written by humans and mistakes are made.

For the week of November 29-December 6, I added all the rides, promotions, etc., and came up with $1221.17. That number did not match the total on the app.

One good thing about math is it doesn’t lie. Right away I figured it was the last CRB for $24.50 of the week that was not included.

I did not make too much of it and waited for the direct deposit to hit my bank account. It did and I was short by $24.50.

On Sunday, December 5, I had completed 4 CRBs of $24.50 each, the last one was missing.

I knew it would be an uphill battle to get my well-deserved money by texting support via the app, but nonetheless, I did with no results. Granted it is not a million dollars, but it is the principle of the issue. I work hard for my money!

I gave up after not getting anywhere with Uber Support.

I’m Still Not Getting Paid!

From December 6-13, Uber sent me 3 for 29 or better consecutive ride bonuses (CRBs).

Like I have previously mentioned, I am part of the SHOW ME THE MONEY club. I will drive when I know I can be profitable, otherwise my car stays put in the garage.

I did so for a few hours on the weekend and made $50+ per Active hour thanks to CRBs.

Again, I waited for Tuesday’s direct deposit and I was shocked to see the following.

This time I was short $87. I immediately went to my screenshots and figured out that I did not get paid for the last 3 CRBs for $29 each. Add the $87 to the previous week’s $24.50, Uber is holding my $111.50. This is my money that I could put to good use during holidays.

How is it that I am getting paid for some CRBs and not for others during the same pay period – it is beyond my comprehension!

Going in Circles with Uber Support

After reluctantly accepting Harry’s suggestion to call the Philippines, I embarked on the following adventure. After a 15 minute hold listening to Uber elevator music, I got a hold of someone who, accidentally I am sure, hung up on me.

Now I am annoyed, and on another 20 minute hold. Finally I got Kay. She tells me that there’s nothing she can do but will send a report to another department to further investigate the matter.

What is there to investigate? Just run a total on the week and look at the direct deposit! I am SHORT!

This is when I asked for a supervisor, and Kay transferred me to Rom. He kept apologizing and after hearing that I have screenshots, he admitted there has been a problem with CRBs for three weeks and Uber is working on it.

He was surprised that Uber did not notify me through the driver app. Well, they notify drivers for everything else, why not this problem? You be the judge of that!

Rom told me to attach the screenshots I had to a message he would send after our conversation. We wished each other Happy Holidays, not exactly, and hung up! The following is truly astonishing, frustrating, and upsetting!

Takeaways for Drivers

As of the date of me writing this article (mid-December 2021), I still have not gotten paid what I am owed. I keep checking my bank account but NOTHING! So it has been two weeks that Uber has been holding my hard-earned funds from me.

Let’s do a back-of-the-napkin calculation. Two million drivers, give or take a few in the US. Average of $100 held from each driver could be more, that is $200 million dollars. Where is the money Uber collected from the passengers when they exited my car?

Hopefully, I hear back soon and get reimbursed what I am owed. As drivers out there, we have to make sure that we watch out for ourselves.

Take plenty of screenshots, run a total of your weekly earnings, and always compare them to your weekly direct deposits.

Has something like this ever happened to you? What was the resolution?

-Sergio @ RSG