On-demand app-based taxi services firm Uber may soon be more strict with you even after being embroiled in a ‘price-surge’ controversy during the second lap of the 15-day odd-even rule in the city.
The car-hailing app, starting this week, is rolling out a new pilot programme with stricter consumer rules in New York City, New Jersey, Dallas and Phoenix in the United States.
The programme, which is being launched due to drivers’ complains of consumers turning late after hailing a cab, could become permanent. If the changes in the pilot programme “improve the experience for riders and drivers, we’ll look at rolling them out more broadly,” Uber wrote in a blog post announcing the programme.
Under the stricter rules, if a customer makes any driver wait more than two minutes from the time the app notifies the customer of the driver’s arrival, the customer will be charged the per-minute rate for the market for every minute of waiting. After five minutes of waiting, the driver can cancel the ride and charge the customer a no-show fee of $10.
Also, drivers will continue to be able to cancel a ride at any point before a passenger shows up. But if the driver does so before waiting five minutes, the driver won’t get paid.
The new rules also denotes that if a customer calls for a ride and a driver accepts, the customer will have only two minutes to cancel before incurring a cancellation fee, down from the current standard of five minutes. Uber has said that they decided to trim the cancellation grace period because “we’ve seen that two minutes is usually sufficient time for riders to determine whether they need a car.”
There will be still no change in status for Uber drivers though who will still be considered contractors instead of employees.