Uber’s Cancellation Policy Explained

Hey guys, what’s up? Today I have a great video for you all about Uber’s cancellation policy: What the policy is, how it works, and how you can make sure that you’re doing everything within your power to get the cancellation fees that you deserve.

Check out the video now to get the full rundown on the cancellation policy. If you prefer to read, there is a transcript of the video below.

The basics of the Uber cancellation policy

There are a few things you need to know about the cancellation policy. If cancels a ride within five minutes of making a request, there’s nothing you can do to get compensated. They can cancel freely within five minutes and they won’t be charged. If they cancel after five minutes — whether you are already en route or you’re at their pick up location — then you’ll get a cancellation fee. Now in my market, in LA, it’s $5. Most markets are $5. You can actually check on Uber’s website. Type in your city and it should tell you your cancellation fee.

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I found that a lot of cancellations happen in the first minute or so, 30 seconds to a minute. When riders request a ride, they might see an Uber that is only two or three minutes away, but for whatever reason maybe that nearby driver misses the request and it comes to you and you’re eight or nine minutes away. In that scenario, that passenger might be thinking, “Hey, what happened? I didn’t get the driver who was closest to me.” So they may cancel and re-request.

Texting passengers can help reduce cancellations

I like to accept the ride and I’ll text the passenger, “Hey, this is your driver. I’m on my way.” And now I know when that five-minute clock starts from that text, but at the same time I text them and that let’s them know that I’m on the way, and I think that kind of reduces a lot of the cancellations that I have gotten in that first one minute. Or, they might just cancel and then that way you haven’t wasted any time. You just sit there for 30 seconds and you know instantly if you should go and get them or not.

It’s pretty simple: If the passenger cancels within five minutes, no cancellation fee. After five minutes, if the passenger cancels, you will get a cancellation fee.

Now, the other scenario you want to consider is whether you want to cancel once you’ve arrived. If you want to make sure that you get that cancellation fee, there’s a few things you need to do.

You can be waiting, and if they don’t come out within two or three minutes, I usually like to text them or even call them, and we all know that Uber passengers sometimes take a while. So I usually don’t give them as much leniency as I do with Lyft passengers. I’ll be a little more proactive and say, “Hey, I’m here. Feel free to come out whenever you are ready.”

You should also read: Why I prefer texting passengers instead of calling

Uber wants you to wait if you’ve contacted the passenger — But you don’t have to

Now, if it goes after five minutes and you haven’t heard from them or they’re still not out, at that point, you can cancel as a no-show and you’ll be able to get a cancellation fee. Now, there’s a little bit of, I guess, discrepancy between Uber’s policy. When I emailed Uber, they told me that their policy is that after five minutes, if you’ve been in contact with them, they want you to wait 10 minutes if you’ve been in contact with them. But technically you only need to wait five minutes and then you can cancel as a no-show. I think 10 minutes is way too long.

Let’s say it takes a few minutes to get down because they’re in a big building. I think five minutes is pretty reasonable to come down. Hopefully they’ll be sooner than that, but 10 minutes is just way too long in my book. I will never wait ten minutes for a passenger no matter what they say. I’ll cancel the request as a no-show after five minutes. I’ll get the cancellation fee.

After cancelling, go offline for a few minutes

Another tip that you make sure that you want to do is probably stay offline for a few minutes, or if you’re on Uber maybe go over to Lyft because if that passenger goes and re-requests a ride, they’re probably going to get you if you’re still online and they’re obviously not going to be super happy because you just cancelled on them regardless if it was their fault or not.

Once you’ve arrived at the destination, text, contact them, and do whatever you have to do. If it’s within five minutes, wait that five minutes. After five minutes you’ll be able to get the cancellation fee, but it’s up to you if you want to wait longer. Personally, if I haven’t been in contact with them at all and they’re not responding to texts or calls, I’m going to leave after five minutes no matter what. If they’re saying, “I’m going to be right down. I’ll be right there,” then I might give them another minute or two, but five minutes is the important number. That’s a cut-off. After that you can cancel as a no-show and you’ll get the cancellation fee.

Readers — How long do you wait for passengers before you cancel?

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