Uber is putting the brakes on bad behavior by updating its community guidelines (opens in new tab), letting passengers know exactly what’s expected of them when they get in its cars.
You haven’t always been able to get in an Uber and expect to be able to do whatever you like just because you’re paying for the ride, but before now Uber's behavior expectations were only explicitly spelled out for the drivers of its cars. Clearly, however, the company has felt the need to set the balance and make things plain for riders with some specifics.
So, what kinds of things could see you kicked to the kerb? Let’s put it this way - if you’re capable of exercising common sense and decency you probably don’t have anything to worry about.
Commandment number one: don’t damage the property of your driver or other riders. This means you shouldn’t damage a passenger or driver’s mobile phone and you shouldn’t physically damage the car itself, whether through violence, spilling food or drink, or vomiting.
Laying down the law
The no vomiting rule only applies to excessive alcohol consumption, though. We imagine if you were genuinely ill your driver would understand, as far as they were able; you did still vomit in their car so don't expect them to rub your back.
The second rule is to respect personal space. This isn’t a crushed bus or train – everyone in the car has a seat and Uber expects them to stay in it. So, no flirting or touching other passengers or your driver and absolutely no sexual conduct or physical violence. When you get in an Uber pretend you’re being closely supervised at a high school dance and you should be fine.
As well as not making unwanted contact in the car itself, you should also not make unwanted contact after the ride is over. To make things clear, Uber states you shouldn’t text, call, or visit a driver or fellow Pool rider after the journey has been completed.
Obviously this only applies if you met the person through Uber; if you’re dropping your friend home after a night out the use of Uber doesn’t mean you have to sever all contact.
You’re also expected to show verbal respect, meaning don’t make inappropriate, aggressive, or discriminatory comments to anyone in the car.
Last, but certainly not least in terms of significance or obviousness: don’t break local law while using Uber.
For example, don’t bring open containers of alcohol or drugs into the car; make sure every passenger has their own seat and seat belt; don’t pressure your driver into breaking traffic laws; and absolutely don’t use the Uber to commit a crime.
According to Uber, if it’s made aware of problematic behavior, it will contact you to investigate. Depending on the severity of the investigation, a hold could be placed on your account and you could lose access to your account. If your behavior involves violence, sexual misconduct, harassment, discrimination, or illegal activity, though, your account loss is likely to be immediate.
It’s certainly not a bad thing that these rules are being made transparent. Anyone willing to break any of these rules in an Uber, never mind generally, is probably not going to be shamed by a low rider score, so it benefits drivers to have a solid set of guidelines behind them to justify their refusal to complete a ride.
To see the guidelines in full, you can visit Uber's official website (opens in new tab).
- Want to see things from the other side? This is how you can become and Uber driver