On popular ride-sharing app Uber, both drivers and passengers can give each other a rating. That rating ultimately determines who’s allowed to stay on the platform and who gets kicked off. Being a five-star Uber passenger isn’t difficult. But it does require a bit of discipline, particularly if you’re using Uber to get around when you’re at least a little bit intoxicated.
The do’s and don’ts of being a good passenger are relatively straightforward. You should be ready to go when your driver arrives to pick you up, for instance. Additionally, you should be courteous to your driver. And you should avoid making a mess or trying to cram too many people into a small vehicle. While being a little bit loud in the back seat doesn’t sound that terrible, there are some offenses that can actually get you kicked off Uber.
As Uber reports in a recent blog post, the company has decided to publish “a policy explaining why riders can lose access to Uber.” Uber explains, “Most riders show drivers the respect they deserve. But some don’t — whether it’s leaving trash in the car, throwing up in the back seat after too much alcohol or asking a driver to break the speed limit so they can get to their appointment on time.” The post adds, “This kind of poor behavior is not OK, which is why we will take action against passengers who are rude, abusive or violent.”
Read on to check out some of the behaviors that can get you kicked off Uber, according to the platform’s new Community Guidelines. As Uber notes, “The way you behave while using Uber can have a big impact on the safety and comfort of drivers, as well as your fellow passengers. Courtesy matters.” Engage in any of the following behaviors, and Uber will not only contact you to investigate, but may put a hold on your account. And if the issues reported are a serious or a repeat offense, or if you refuse to cooperate, you may lose access to Uber. And if your behavior is serious enough, you will be kicked off of the platform immediately.
1. Damaging a driver’s property or another passenger’s possessions
The first behavior that can get you kicked off Uber is damaging other people’s property. That includes damaging the car, or breaking somebody’s phone. It also includes intentionally spilling your food or drink, or even smoking in the car. And Uber also notes that it includes vomiting in the car due to excessive alcohol consumption. You should always take your trash with you, avoid spills (or clean them up if they happen), and keep the car in good condition.
2. Touching or flirting with other people in the car
Everybody needs their own personal space in an Uber. That applies to your driver, and, if you’re taking an UberPool, other passengers in the car, too. You can get kicked off Uber for touching or flirting with other people in the car, and Uber recommends avoiding commenting on somebody’s appearance or asking whether they’re single. Uber has a no-sex rule, which means “no sexual conduct between drivers and riders, no matter what.” And Uber also doesn’t tolerate anyone hitting or hurting anyone else in the car.
3. Using inappropriate or abusive language or gestures
A variety of behaviors can fall under this category. But Uber specifically cautions passengers against “asking overly personal questions, using verbal threats, and making comments or gestures that are aggressive, sexual, discriminatory, or disrespectful.” It’s important to be courteous and respectful to everyone in the car, and failing to do so can get you kicked off of Uber. This is the kind of situation in which you need to remember that not everybody shares your views, and something that doesn’t bother you may offend other people in the car.
4. Making unwanted contact with the driver or a fellow passenger after the ride is over
Perhaps that late night Uber ride results in you meeting someone you’d like to see again. But if the driver or passenger doesn’t want you to contact them, then don’t. Uber says that you can get kicked off the platform for texting, calling, or visiting someone in person after the ride has been completed. You can text or call your driver directly from the Uber app without having to share your phone number. Which means there’s no reason to ask for anybody’s phone number in the first place.
5. Breaking the law while in the vehicle
Uber is serious about its drivers and passengers obeying all applicable laws. A few laws you shouldn’t break? Bringing open containers of alcohol or drugs into the car. Or traveling in large groups that exceed the number of seat belts in the car. You also shouldn’t ask the driver to break local traffic laws, like speed limits, no matter how big of a rush you’re in. And you also shouldn’t use Uber to commit a crime, which includes “drug and human trafficking or the sexual exploitation of children.”
6. Letting someone under 18 use your account and ride unaccompanied
7. Carrying a firearm into an Uber driver’s car
Uber has a Firearms Prohibition Policy that it’s serious about everybody following. The policy is short and sweet: “Our goal is to ensure that everyone has a safe and reliable ride. That’s why Uber prohibits riders and drivers from carrying firearms of any kind in a vehicle while using our app.” The company adds, “Anyone who violates this policy may lose access to Uber.”
8. Discriminating against other riders or against drivers
Uber explains that it has a “zero tolerance policy towards discrimination of any kind.” It warns that you’ll lose access to your account “if you are found to have discriminated against drivers or other riders based on their race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, sex, marital status, gender identity, age or any other characteristic protected under applicable law.” Refusing to ride with a driver or a passenger based on any of those characteristics, for instance, can get you kicked off Uber.
9. Committing fraud or other illegitimate behavior
This one is pretty straightforward. Uber warns passengers that “fraudulent or illegitimate behavior undermines the trust on which Uber is built.” Uber may deactivate your account if you abuse promotions, or participate in collusion with a driver. You may also get kicked off Uber if you dispute fares for fraudulent or illegitimate reasons, or even if you create and use duplicate accounts.
10. If you’re a driver, offering poor service
Passengers aren’t the only ones who can get kicked off Uber. If you’re an Uber driver (or thinking of becoming one), you should know that there are plenty of ways for you to get kicked off Uber, too. If you offer poor service, resulting in low ratings and high cancellation rates, your account may be deactivated. Consistently declining trip requests is also discouraged. And Uber warns drivers against actions that threaten others’ safety, including unsafe driving, breaking laws, making physical contact with riders, using inappropriate language or gestures, or making unwanted contact with passengers after the trip is over. Uber also doesn’t tolerate drivers using drugs or alcohol while driving, carrying firearms, making anonymous pickups, falsifying their personal information, discriminating, or engaging in fraud.