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How False Passenger Complaints Suspend and Deactivate Drivers

How False Passenger Complaints Suspend and Deactivate Drivers

From the start of Uber and Lyft, there have always been scams targeting rideshare passengers or rideshare drivers. There were a fair share of scams rideshare drivers that used to extract a few extra dollars from rideshare passengers and vice versa. There were also those outside of Lyft and Uber who preyed on rideshare passengers, giving them rides for cash. Below is my post on some of the common and low level Uber and Lyft scams:

These types of scams was prevalent throughout Lyft and Uber’s existence. Lyft and Uber tries to inform their drivers and passengers in order for them to avoid these scams, but since there are always new rideshare drivers and rideshare passengers, someone will fall for these rideshare scams.

Other Scams Target Driver Earnings

Late last year, there was a brand new scam targeting Lyft drivers and their weekly earnings. Lyft rolled out a feature nationwide for drivers to instantly deposit their earnings into their bank account for a small fee ($0.50 per transfer). The scammer pretends to be a Lyft employee asking for the 6 digit pin code to access their driver account. Within minutes, scammers log into the driver’s account and transfer their earnings into the scammer’s bank account, leaving nothing for the rideshare driver.

There was a similar scam just a few months ago that hit Uber drivers in select cities where Uber has implemented a similar feature. You can read more about both scams below:

Why Uber and Lyft Passengers File False Complaints?

Uber and Lyft passengers are always trying to get a free ride. Years ago, it was easy to sign up for a new account and get a free ride or free ride credits. However, as they run out of free credits and new passenger accounts, they resort to other ways to try to get a free ride. One of them is to file a complaint against the ride or driver to try to get a free ride.

Here are the most common fake passenger complaints against both Lyft and Uber drivers:

Here is a list of things other drivers have seen:

What Happens to the Driver?

Once Uber or Lyft received the passenger complaint, Lyft and Uber will either suspend the driver pending an investigation or will deactivate the driver. They will notify the driver with an email and disable their account. I have received multiple stories about the followup process to being suspended or deactivated. In the same email, there will be instructions to reply to them about this incident. Sometimes you can email them in order to find out when the ride took place and the reason for the deactivation. In other times, you can go into the local office in order to try to get more information about the complaint and possibly try to get the account reinstated. Typically, Lyft or Uber can’t provide much information about the suspension or deactivation.

I have heard of many drivers responding to the email and then being reactivated within a few days to a week. However, those drivers have lost out on working during that time, so it can be a huge financial hit for some.

How Can Deactivated Drivers Respond?

Below was a form letter of sorts sent to me by a driver that was used to successfully contest his deactivation:

I wanted to report I have never [accusation]. I was hoping that you could give some additional details about this incident as well.

Can you please respond with:
1) The time and date of this incident, so that I may have a clearer recollection of which ride was in question.
2) Whether or not this ride was cancelled, and if so by which party (driver or passenger)?
3) Please provide all documentation received in regards to this matter (text messages, voice recordings, etc.) that would justify an immediate deactivation of my account.
4) If this claim is unsubstantiated, how will [Lyft or Uber] compensate me for time off the road? As my only source of income, if this claim is deemed false, there needs to be compensation for my time off of the road for unjustly deactivating my account.
Thank you,

You may need to add some other questions you may have about your specific incident or accusation. You could have some luck visiting a local Lyft office to contest the deactivation  but there may not be a local Lyft office in your city.

How Often Does This Happen?

I hear about a few cases a month nationwide, so I would consider this to be extremely rare.  However, there has been an increase in frequency in the last month and due to the severity of the outcome, I would recommend taking some precautions to prevent these complaints from shutting down your account.

How Can You Prevent This From Happening?

The first recommendation would be to get a dashcam with a very large microSD card so that it can hold a lot of footage before the dashcam has to erase the old footage. Some have successfully used this footage to reverse the ruling. Some of them went viral lately, especially when one female passenger threaten to accuse the male driver of sexually assaulting her.

The second recommendation would be to work longer shifts in a given day. With more consecutive rides on one platform, Lyft or Uber can easily contact the other passengers to try to find more proof of the customer complaint. This will be most useful in complaints about being intoxicated but not very useful for dangerous driving.

The last recommendation would be to have a backup plan in case you can’t work for a given company anymore. This is the main reason why I signed up for both Uber and Lyft. If I can’t do one, I can do the other. This is also why I expanded into deliveries, such as Amazon Flex, Doordash and Postmates. If my car isn’t in good condition (say I have a few scratches from parking), I can switch to deliveries where it will be much less important about the condition of the car and more important about picking up an accurate order and delivering it on time.

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