Uber driver-side updates include 24/7 phone support and paid lost item returns

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Uber has added a range of updates on the driver side of its service, in keeping with its ‘180 days of change’ promise to the supply side of its ride hailing equation. The new updates include 24-hour, 7 day a week live phone support, quick fixes to fare mistakes, protection against bad ratings resulting from factors beyond a driver’s control and payments for trips to return lost passenger items, among others.

Some of these features, including the ratings protections, were previously announced when Uber described forthcoming changes it would be making to address negative feedback from its driver population. Driver turnaround on Uber is reportedly quite high, based on outside measures like Uber Driver app installation and usage numbers, and the company has itself admitted that it needs to make positive changes to the driver experience.

The first major step in this improvement program was the introduction of integrated tips in the Uber app, which went live across the U.S. last week. That’s long been a requested feature from the driver side, and something that rival Lyft has long offered within its own app.

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  4. PhoneSupport

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Six new features are rolling out for drivers today, as described in an email shared by Uber Regional General Manager for U.S. and Canada Rachel Hold and Head of Driver Experience Aaron Schildkrout to registered drivers.

These changes include 24/7 phone support, which will be available directly within the Driver app, and connects drivers with a live support agent in under 2 minutes; quick fixes to fare mistakes, like when a driver forgets to start a trip, managed via self-service (with in-app corrections coming soon); protection against losing rating points for factors specified by a rider as beyond the driver’s control, including pricing for the trip; payments for lost item returns, including $15 from the rider per item, and optional tips; quicker review of documents including insurance and driver’s license; and scheduled in-person meeting times at Uber’s Greenlight Hubs.

The 180-day long campaign continues, so this isn’t the end of driver-side changes. Anecdotally, these do seem to address a number of complaints about the Uber driver experience I’ve heard in the past, so it does appear to be a good start for changing the dynamics of that Uber customer relationship.