Although Uber and Lyft take many precautions to ensure their drivers are responsible and safe, we all know it is still possible for issues to arise. However, many people don’t know how to report a bad Uber or Lyft driver, and they aren’t sure of when it’s appropriate.
So, how do you report a bad Uber or Lyft driver? There are several ways to make a report to Uber or Lyft. These include:
- Leaving your driver a review
- Contacting customer support through email
- Calling Uber or Lyft’s emergency hotline number
Keep in mind that you need to choose the best option of reporting your driver based on how severe the issue is. Taking a ride in a smelly car is certainly less severe than your driver assaulting you. Throughout this article, we will explain how and when to report an Uber or Lyft driver after having a bad experience.
How to Report an Uber Driver
Uber thoroughly vets its drivers with background checks and driving records search. However, it is certainly possible for a bad driver to slip through the cracks — it is nearly impossible to catch every single one.
It’s also possible that previous criminal activity went undetected by law enforcement. While the vast majority of drivers are good people and law-abiding citizens, as with any occupation, there are a few bad apples in the bunch.
If you happen to have an issue with your Uber driver, whether it is minor or severe, there are several steps you can take to report them.
1. Uber Driver Reviews
The first way to report an Uber driver would be through leaving your driver a review. You do this on the app. Use this option to direct a driver’s attention to minor problems. Apply this option for:
- A rude driver
- A dirty car
- Not following app directions
- Mechanical issues
In some cases, the driver may not be aware of the issue. Leaving a review is the best way to let them (and Uber) know about your less-than-perfect experience.
When leaving your Uber driver a review, you can rate them between 1 and 5 stars. Anytime a rider gives a rating that is less than five stars, Uber will ask you to explain your reasoning for the low rating. You must do this to let Uber and the driver know what they can do to improve. The more detailed you are, the more they can do to prevent the issue in the future.
Keep in mind that the lower the rating you give, the more impact it will have on the driver. Be sure to stay fair in your rating — perhaps the driver was having a bad day, and they took it out on you. Giving a driver a 1-star review certainly has the possibility of costing them their job, so just keep this in mind.
How to Leave an Uber Review
Leaving a review for your Uber driver is relatively simple. At the end of your trip, the Uber app gives you the option to rate your driver between 1 and 5 stars.
You can also find this information at the bottom of your receipt.
Remember, your driver will never see the specific rating that you gave. A driver’s overall score is an average of their last 500 completed trips.
Of course, there will be more severe cases where leaving a review just isn’t good enough.
2. Email Uber’s Customer Support
If you experienced a critical issue with your driver, you have the option to email Uber’s customer support.
It’s challenging to draw the line between leaving a review and emailing customer support. But keep in mind that for the most severe issues, you should contact Uber by phone — we will explain this further below.
So, what driver issues warrant an email to Uber? These kinds of problems are when the driver does something that you feel is inappropriate, but it isn’t a direct threat to your safety. Some examples of this include:
- Smoking cigarettes during the ride
- Making inappropriate comments that are not threatening
These are things you can mention in your review, but it may be helpful to speak with someone from Uber in a more direct manner to try to change the behavior. This way, you can be more specific about what happened. They will also be able to follow up with you to give you personalized assistance, which will not be the case with just a review.
How to Email Uber
To contact Uber through email, you can visit this page. You will be able to choose from several options about your driver being unprofessional, including:
- I had an issue with my pickup
- My driver didn’t match the profile in my app
- My driver was rude
- My driver drove dangerously
- My driver refused my destination
- My driver made an unplanned stop
- I have different feedback about my driver
- Can my driver ask for a tip?
- My driver’s behavior made me feel unsafe.
There are several other issues on this page that you can choose from, as well. Once you select one, it will ask you for some more specific feedback. Afterward, an Uber representative will reach out to you ASAP.
3. Call the Uber Critical Safety Response Line
Finally, for the most severe issues you may experience with your Uber driver, the company has a 24/7 emergency response line. Remember, this is only for serious safety incidents. If you are simply annoyed at your driver because they were rude or accidentally dropped you off at the wrong location, save the issue for a review or email.
This emergency line is meant for when a driver does something you feel was threatening toward you or potentially harmful to your safety. Do not hesitate to call this number if something like this happens.
Some examples of these types of issues are:
- Your driver did something illegal
- Your driver physically, verbally, or sexually assaulted you
- Your driver threatened you
- You experienced a traffic accident
- Your driver was driving recklessly
Before calling the number, ensure you are out of immediate danger. Keep in mind that it is still crucial to call 911 when you have an emergency.
Additionally, the Uber app will allow you to see the license plate number for your ride — take advantage of this when calling the emergency number or filing a police report.
How to Call the Uber Hotline
To call the 24/7 Uber hotline, call (800) 353-UBER or (800) 353-8237. Again, this is only for emergency, time-sensitive situations where you need immediate assistance.
How to Report a Lyft Driver
Reporting a bad Lyft driver is very similar to the steps for reporting an Uber driver.
Just like Uber, Lyft takes detailed steps to ensure their drivers have clean driving records, are respectful, and do not cause problems. However, a bad driver or two is bound to slip through the cracks.
For these inevitable issues, there are a few steps you can take to report the Lyft driver and help make the experience better for all users.
1. Leave a Review
The first option you have is to “report” a Lyft driver by leaving them a review. Apply this option for issues like:
- Driver being rude
- Strange smells inside the car
- A poorly maintained vehicle
Like Uber, you can rate your Lyft driver between 1 and 5 stars. When you leave a review of fewer than five stars, Lyft will ask you to explain your reasoning. Make sure to share as many details as you can and be as honest as you can. However, remember these reviews do affect a driver’s livelihood, so only give low ratings when they are appropriate.
How to Leave a Review
Leaving your Lyft driver a review is incredibly simple. After your ride, you will get the option to rate your experience and leave a tip — both of these are optional. These options will pop up directly within the app after your ride.
2. Email Customer Service
Next, for more severe issues, you can email Lyft’s customer service. This option is appropriate when you experience a more critical problem with a driver then being rude, but it isn’t a direct threat to your safety.
In these situations, you should still leave your driver a review in addition to contacting customer service. Leaving a 3-star or lower review will result in you not being paired with the same driver on future trips.
How to Email Customer Service
To contact Lyft’s customer service team via email, you can visit the Lyft Help Center, found here.
Lyft’s Help Center page is a comprehensive resource to visit when riding or driving with Lyft — it is full of questions and answers, as well as various ways to contact them.
Additionally, Lyft has an email support box embedded directly on the website found here.
Keep in mind response time will vary — Lyft has thousands of messages to respond to each day. To better your chances at receiving a quick response, be sure to:
- Keep your message clear and concise
- Use the happy or sad face emoticons — you’re more likely to get an answer with a sad face
- If you have several questions or concerns, send a separate message for each one
- Use the “reply” option to respond to follow-up emails. This option will send your return email to the same operator that replied to you initially.
- Be nice
3. Contact the Lyft Safety Team
Similar to Uber, Lyft has a 24/7 phone line that you can call in case of severe emergencies you experience during your ride. These may include:
- Your driver doing something illegal
- Your driver physically, verbally, or sexually assaulting you
- Your driver threatening you
- Your driver was involved in a traffic accident
- Your driver was acting recklessly
Remember, you should only contact the safety team for emergencies that threaten your safety. If you have a less severe issue, leave a review or contact Lyft through email.
How to Use Lyft’s Call-Line
Now, there is no direct phone number for Lyft — you cannot call them directly using your phone. You have to go through the app or website to request they call you. This page can be accessed here.
Once you are on this page, click the “Contact Safety Team” button. Once you do that, you will receive a prompt to enter your phone number and then click “Call Me.” Lyft will call you as soon as possible after receiving your request, usually within minutes.
Ride-Sharing Safety Tips
Although safety issues concerning your driver are never your fault, there are guidelines you can follow to help ensure you are taking every precaution possible. Here are our tips for staying safe while using Uber or Lyft.
1. Ask Your Driver for Your Name
Ensure that your Uber or Lyft driver knows your name before getting into the car. Your driver will know your name and destination as the apps provide that information to them.
There is even a campaign out there promoting this, called #WhatsMyName. This campaign was created by the University of South Carolina and the family of Samantha Josephson. Samantha was a 21-year-old senior at UofSC who was kidnapped and murdered in March 2019 by a fake Uber driver.
Because of this horrible tragedy, Samantha’s parents started the #WhatsMyName campaign to encourage ride-share safety to prevent other families from going through the same thing.
2. Wait in a Safe Place
Ride-sharing apps will tell you the exact location of your driver. Because of this, you do not need to go outside to meet them until the last possible second.
If you are in an unsafe area, request your ride while you are inside and stay around other people for as long as you possibly can.
3. Don’t Ride Alone
If possible, try not to take an Uber or Lyft ride by yourself. Share a ride with a friend if you can. If possible, this will help keep you safe, and you’ll be able to split the cost — it’s a win-win!
4. Verify Your Driver and Car
The Uber and Lyft apps will tell you the exact make, model, and license plate number of the car. Verify this before getting inside, and be sure that the driver’s profile photo matches their appearance.
5. Use Personal Safety Technology
There are various apps and devices that you can utilize to protect you further if you don’t want to rely solely on the ride-sharing app.
One example of this is The Nimb Ring, which is a smart-ring that includes a panic button for situations where you are in danger. You can also purchase a personal keychain alarm, such as this one, that will alert others around you when you are in danger. It may even scare off someone who is attacking you.
6. Use Trip-Sharing Features Within the App
Uber and Lyft both have in-app trip-sharing features. This feature allows you to share live updates with your friends and family, so they know where you are and that you are safe.
Hit “Share trip status” in Uber or “Share route” in Lyft to utilize these features.
Keep in mind these are not 100 percent effective. Samantha Josephson, who we mentioned earlier, had her boyfriend tracking her phone’s location when the tragedy occurred. Use this safety method with a few other precautions.
7. Choose a Safe Seat
Uber will advise you to sit in the back of the car. Why? It creates two possible exits for you and will increase the space between you and the driver.
The safest location is to sit in the seat behind the front passenger side, rather than the driver’s side. This position will help you keep an eye on both the road and the driver.
Keep in mind every car and situation will be different. For a large vehicle or shared ride, you will want to choose a seat that has easy access to the door, with a reasonable distance between other passengers.
If you do feel safer in the front passenger seat, many drivers do not mind. After all, you are the paying customer. It’s a red flag if a driver attempts to force you to sit in a specific seat.
8. Make Your Driver Aware
As they say, people are more likely to commit a crime when they believe they won’t be caught. So, give them some sort of indication that people know where you are.
One way to do this is to make a phone call and tell someone that you’re in an Uber or Lyft. Say something like, “Hey mom, just calling to tell you that I’m in the Uber and will be home in about 15 minutes. I’ll share my location with you through the app. See you soon!”
This strategy can be useful even if you are only pretending to make a call. The important thing is to make the driver believe you have communicated with someone about your location. As a driver myself, and a parent, I encourage my riders to do whatever makes them feel secure!
Keeping these safety tips in mind will help you stay as safe as possible in an Uber or Lyft. However, it is certainly possible to experience issues with your driver no matter how many precautions you take.
If you do experience an issue, use your best judgment on how to proceed with reporting your driver. Simple complaints about service and comfort can be handled through the review process, and a phone call is the best option for threats to safety and personal security.
Be safe out there!