The Cancellation Strategy That Earns You More Than Driving

Rideshare Guy here. Today’s video is called “The Cancellation Strategy That Earns You More Than Driving.” Now, I think this video may be a little controversial and stir up some good comments, so I definitely look forward to hearing what you guys have to say!

For those who haven’t heard of this trick or for those who don’t know, it’s a pretty interesting strategy that I heard about recently in a few different places and unfortunately, I can’t say I came up with it. I haven’t gone out and tried it yet because I’m still little bit on the fence about it. But I definitely understand why drivers are doing it.

Cutting off contact with your passenger: Make more money?

What this strategy involves is not texting or calling the passenger. Once you get to the destination, you hit that you’ve arrived, but after that, you don’t text or call at all. Once that 5 minutes is up, you cancel, get your fee and move on. You go out there and hope that the passenger won’t come out. You eliminate any contact that you normally have.

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Now, obviously this is a lot different than the strategy I normally recommend, right? What I normally recommend is that as soon as you accept the request, you send a stock text to establish an initial connection so that they are less likely to cancel on you and so that they know you are on your way. And frankly, because most drivers don’t do it, it makes you stand out. Once you get there, send another text too. Obviously, the passenger gets a notification through the Uber app, but that doesn’t always go through. So you send another text once you get there. After two to three minutes, you call to see where the heck they are. And then, after five minutes, that’s when you can cancel.

Now, the strategy in this video video, “The Cancellation Strategy That Earns You More Than Driving,” basically involves no contact with the riders. This is going to work well on Friday, Saturday nights when passengers are drinking, and when they are in groups of three to four people. Because obviously it’s harder to get three to four people out the door.

You make more from cancellation fees than minimum fares

You guys may already know the big joke about Uber passengers is that they take forever to get out of the door. So if you don’t text them and stay under the radar, they may not even realize that their Uber is here and if they’re partying, pre-partying, whatever, you basically can get that $5 cancellation fee. And obviously, with that $5 cancellation fee, you still pay Uber’s 20%. So, it is a $4 pay-out. If you have a $4 minimum fare after Uber’s $1 safety fee and 20%, you’re down to $2.40. And obviously, that’s a lot less than $4. Another thing you have to consider is that you also are not having to go and drive those miles. So you can go right back online and wait for your next request.


This strategy is obviously a little bit more grey hat, I would call it. If you’re going to go and do this strategy and cancel on people, they’re probably going to be pissed. And in fact, I probably wouldn’t go immediately back online on the Uber app because you’ll be the closest driver to them and you’ll get them again. So maybe pop out of the app and wait a few minutes, and then turn the Uber app on until they get someone else. I want to know what you guys think about this strategy. Technically you’re not doing anything against Uber’s rules, but you’re basically hoping that you don’t have to give a ride, which is obviously not the purpose of the platform.

I have to give it to people: They’re creative. I can’t take credit for this idea. I definitely didn’t think about it or think of it, but there are drivers out there doing this and probably having pretty good success. Because now that I think about it and the passengers that I normally take on Friday, Saturday nights, I’m doing all this stuff to work hard to make them come out. And the other drivers are taking the opposite approach that they’re not going to do anything. As soon as that five minutes is up, cancel on them and move on.

Collecting cancellation fees can be tough

Now, I will say that getting cancellation fees from Uber is tough at times. If you are going to do this, you definitely want to make sure that you’re screenshotting everything with timestamps, so that basically when you do go and check your pay statement the next day if there are a couple cancellation fees that aren’t there, you have proof that you can go to Uber and say, ”Hey, I should have gotten paid for this,” because they do have a lot of problems with that. With this strategy, they’re not doing anything they shouldn’t be doing. So that’s why I call it grey hat. In the online world you say white hat is really clean stuff that just anyone can do, no one has any problems with. Black hat is the stuff where you start to be really spammy, and grey hat is somewhere in the middle. That’s where I would qualify this strategy because like I said, it isn’t against Uber’s rules but it does make for a poor passenger experience.

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At the same time though, I understand. If passengers are taking five minutes to get out there, you have to value your time. I value my time. So I definitely recommend canceling after five minutes. But is it the driver’s responsibility to really go at these passengers and make sure that they come out on time and do everything they can to come out on time? I’m curious to hear from you guys.

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Drivers tried hacking fare guarantees and Uber caught on

Personally I can’t say that I’m completely innocent because I have employed a similar strategy. One of the most popular articles ever on my site was about hacking Uber’s fare guarantees, which basically involved drivers going and sitting in low-request areas where they’re not going to get many requests and just sitting there and reading a book. If your house happens to be in a low-request area, that was a really good bonus because I talked to drivers who basically would sit at home and watch Netflix for 5 hours. Then they’d go downtown, do five rides, make sure that they hit the guarantees, and then they would get boosted up to that average hourly guarantee.

Obviously, Uber didn’t like that and ended up changing their policies to end with the guarantees to avoid that. You can still do it a little. That was a strategy that I thought of and I know other drivers are doing. But that was something that I employed, and it worked pretty damn well. So I know that this strategy is about the same. It’s in that grey area. So I’m curious to know what you guys think about it. Do you have a problem with it? Obviously, it does make the passenger experience worse but at the same time it’s training these passengers. Sometimes I say they have to train them a lot and it sounds like we’re talking about dogs or puppies, but they’re actually people.

Is this a trick you would use? Comment below!

At the end of the day, I don’t blame people. They’re out doing what they have to do to maximize their income. Is this strategy something you guys would do? Is it something that Uber should or you think will eventually ban? And obviously there’s been some big changes to the cancellation fees lately. And supposedly in certain cities on the East Coast, I think 5 or 6 right now, the passenger no longer has to pay a cancellation fee, but the driver still gets it. There’s still trying to figure out what the exact situation is and how it’s going to work and how it’s going to play out. But it’ll be definitely interesting to see drivers that are using this strategy in those cities.

So, definitely leave a comment. Feel free to like, comment, subscribe on the video, and subscribe to the channel. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email or definitely leave a comment below, and I will respond as soon as possible. Thanks!

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